| AROUND THE WORLD: APRIL 2008
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Subject: Around the World Today - Wednesday 30th April
CHINA: China Warns Deadly Intestinal Virus Could Kill More
The Chinese government on Wednesday warned that a lethal intestinal virus that killed 20 children in east China could cause more deaths. The virus, known as
Enterovirus 71, or EV71, has already killed 20 children in Fuyang city in Anhui province, and has infected 1,884 kids, the state-controlled Xinhua news agency said
on Wednesday. "We estimate that the hand, foot and mouth disease [caused by EV71] in Fuyang city will still continue for some time, the number of cases will
continue to increase, and serious and fatal cases might still continue to happen," the Health Ministry said in a statement on its website. The World Health Organisation
earlier in the week also voiced concern over the epidemic in Anhui.
SPAIN: Spain approves emergency scheme for drought-hit Barcelona
The Spanish parliament Tuesday approved a 180-million-euro (280-million-dollar) scheme to channel water from the river Ebro to combat the worst drought in
decades in the region around the northeastern city of Barcelona. The ruling Socialist Party and the conservative opposition Popular Party backed the measure, which
would ensure drinking water supplies for around five million people in the Barcelona region.
INDONESIS & AUSTRALIA: Jakarta hosts disaster relief exercise
A two-day disaster-relief response exercise hosted by Indonesia and Australia begins in Jakarta. The exercise aims to improve the effectiveness of response
capabilities of the 27 participating countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum. The exercise will include disaster response
contingencies for civil, military and multinational capabilities. The Australian defence minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, says the initiative builds on the valuable contributions
Australian Defence has made in regional disaster relief efforts. He says the last few years have seen an increase in multinational responses to regional disasters, most
notably the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The knowledge-based exercise is being held at the Indonesian Naval command and Staff College in the
AUSTRALIA: Sydney Harbour boat crash kills five
There were 14 people on board the boat when it collided with a trawler. Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd, says the boat accident on Sydney Harbour that left
six people dead is every parent's worst nightmare. Four women and a man in their late teens and early 20s, died when the small repair boat they were in collided with
a fishing trawler in the early hours of the morning. Another man died of his injuries in hospital on Thursday evening.
SOUTH AFRICA: Lift plunges down gold mine shaft
Nine workers have been killed in an accident at a gold mine near the South African city of Johannesburg. The men died when the lift cage in which they were
travelling fell 58m (190ft) down a shaft at the Gold Fields South Deep mine near Carletonville.
EGYPT: Tourists die in Egypt bus crash
Many of the crash victims were reported to be badly burnt. Nine people have been killed and 28 injured after a tourist bus crashed and caught fire in Egypt's Sinai
peninsula. The bus was apparently rounding a sharp bend when it overturned about 40 miles (70 km) south of the city of Suez. Russians, Egyptians, Britons,
Canadians, Italians, Romanians and Ukrainians are said to be among the casualties - many of them badly burned.
INDIA: Many killed in Kashmir landslide
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir say they have recovered the bodies of at least eight labourers who were killed in a huge landslide. The men were trapped under
rocks and earth in Kishtwar district, about 160km (100 miles) south-east of Srinagar.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 29th April
VANUATU: An earthquake measuring at least six on the Richter scale has hit the region between Vanuatu and the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. The
United States Geological Survey says the quake was centred about 90 kilometres south west of the Vanuatu island of Isangel, and about 175 kilometres northeast of
the Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there's no threat of a tsunami. However, it did say that earthquakes of this size
sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometres of the quake's epicentre. There have been no immediate
reports of damage.
USA: Three tornadoes have ripped through the US state of Virginia, killing at least 1 and injuring more than 200 people and damaging buildings. Virginia's governor
declared a state of emergency in the worst-affected areas, in the central and south-eastern parts of the state. The southern city of Suffolk was hardest hit by the
storms, which brought down trees and power pylons. Witnesses quoted by local media reported seeing cars flipped over and roofs blown off houses. "Multiple
buildings have been destroyed, homes have been destroyed," said Dana Woodson, a Suffolk city spokeswoman. She said that although the city's Sentara Obici
Hospital had suffered storm damage, it would still able to treat patients. Several thousand households were affected by power cuts as a result of the storms, which
tore through the state on Monday afternoon.
INDONESIA: Bird flu: Indonesia's trial run
In the backstreets of a Bali village, all hell has broken loose. The Balinese rural calm has been invaded by men with megaphones and masks, there are sirens wailing
down the main street, and at the centre of it all, Putu Arini sits quietly on the porch of her house, waiting for the police. A few hours ago, her husband was taken to
the local health clinic, with bird flu-like symptoms, and now investigators have told her she is being quarantined. Luckily, all this comes as no surprise to Putu Arini.
In fact the village has been planning this for months. Indonesia has spent the past few days simulating a human bird flu pandemic - according to the World Health
Organisation (WHO), the largest ever such simulation in the world - and Putu Arini is one of the star players. Parts of Bali have looked like the set of a germ-warfare
film. FULL STORY http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7371658.stm
USA: A wildfire forced 1,000 people to evacuate their homes in the hills northeast of Los Angeles on Sunday. Temperatures climbed above 32 degrees Celsius but
low winds and humidity helped fire-fighters. Between 400 and 500 homes were under a mandatory evacuation order. About 500 fire-fighters from throughout the
state were assigned to the fire. Water-dropping airplanes and helicopters were also mobilized. Fires continue today with about 30% control established thus far.
Subject: Around the World Today - Monday 28th April
CHINA: 'Dozens die' in China train crash
The collision occurred at 0443 local time on Monday and at least 66 people have been killed and 400 injured, many of the seriously, after two trains collided at dawn
in eastern China, state media have said. A train travelling from Beijing to the summer resort of Qingdao reportedly derailed and hit the other, which was going from
Yantai to Xuzhou. Ten carriages of the Beijing train then toppled into a ditch after the crash outside Zibo city in Shandong province.
JAPAN: Dozens hit by Japan 'suicide gas'
A Japanese teenager has committed suicide by mixing common household cleaners, releasing fumes that made dozens of people sick, officials said. About 100 people
in Konan City, in western Japan, fled their homes after smelling the toxic hydrogen sulphide the 14-year-old girl had made. There has been a spate of similar suicides
since details of the technique were posted on the internet.
MEXICO: A moderate earthquake of 5.8 magnitude struck southwestern Mexico on Sunday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Rafael Abreau of the
USGS said there were no reports of damage from the earthquake, which was centered about 54.5 miles (87.7 kilometers) below ground, and about 100 miles (161
kilometers) south-southwest of Mexico City.
CANADA: A concert by a Christian Winnipeg rock band went horribly awry after concert-goers plunged "like an elevator" through the floor of a local church during
a concert in this British Columbia community late Friday night, said witnesses. Several dozen people were injured at Abbotsford's Central Heights Church, where a
mostly teenage audience of about 1,000 gathered to watch popular Christian rock band Starfield, when people were sent falling several metres into the basement
below. As the floor of a B.C. church collapsed Friday during a concert by Christian Winnipeg band Starfield, lead singer Tim Neufeld jumped into the gaping hole to
help rescue injured concert-goers. Seconds later, the large lighting and sound system, which was attached to a metal stand extending up from the floor, toppled over
onto audience members as the wood beneath it gave way, witnesses said.
Subject: Around the World Today - Sunday 27th April
NEW ZEALAND: A magnitude 6.1 at a depth of 10KM has struck Southland New Zealand followed by aftershocks. No injuries yet reported.
MOROCCO: Many die in Morocco factory fire
The blaze was so strong it took fire-fighters hours to get inside. A fire has killed at least 55 people in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, state news agency MAP
reports. Twelve others were seriously injured in the fire, which broke out on the ground floor of a mattress factory in the Hay Hassani district of the city. More than
100 fire-fighters were sent to tackle the blaze, which spread rapidly because of the chemical products stored in the factory.
TURKEY: A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 has shaken a city in southwestern Turkey. There are no reports of any injuries. The Istanbul-
based Kandilli observatory says the epicenter of the quake is the town of Honaz, near the city of Denizli. The quake struck Friday morning, aftershocks continued
INDIA: Twenty-four people were killed when a truck collided with an overcrowded van in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. The accident took place late at
night northwest of the city of Jodhpur. The cause of the crash is unclear. Most accidents are blamed on reckless driving, old vehicles and poorly maintained roads.
UNITED STATES: An earthquake measuring at 4.2 magnitude hit Reno city in northern California Thursday afternoon but caused no immediate injuries. The quake,
followed by a series of aftershocks, shook downtown buildings for about 30 seconds, though there were no immediate reports of damage. Tremors of magnitude 2
and higher have been occurring about every three days since a swarm of widely felt earthquakes began February 28. Locals ask is something building?
Subject: Around the World Today - Saturday 26th April
UKRAINE: 22 years after disaster, Chernobyl reactor is getting new shelter. Twenty-two years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, work is under way on a larger,
stronger shelter to cover the ruins of the exploded Soviet power plant and prevent further contamination. For years, the original iron and concrete shelter that was
hastily constructed over the reactor has been leaking radiation, cracking and threatening to collapse. "After we complete this project we will reach the goal of a safe
state in Chernobyl," said Vince Novak, Director of the Nuclear Safety Department with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which manages the
$505 million project. The new shelter is just part of a broader $1.4 billion effort financed by international donors that began in 1997. The project involves fixing the
current shelter, monitoring radiation, training experts and building a massive new steel shelter that will slide over the current structure.
CANADA: FLOODING Fredericton water levels to stabilize, but other areas at risk. Water levels are expected to stop rising in New Brunswick's capital over the
next few days, but flooding will continue to threaten many communities along the Saint John River, an official with the province's Emergency Measures Organization
said yesterday. "In Fredericton, they are starting to stabilize," said Andy Morton, deputy director of New Brunswick EMO. "Lower down [the Saint John River], they
will still be coming up." Water levels in Fredericton hit 7.15 metres early yesterday, but are expected to fall to 7.1 metres today. Emergency officials predict the river
will remain at 7.1 metres tomorrow. Flood stage, the point at which the water is high enough to damage nearby structures or roads, is 6.5 metres.
Subject: Around the World Today - Friday 25th April
GERMANY & CZECH REPUBLIC: Exercise Albus will test major flooding response cross border between these two neighbours.
Cross-border flood simulation exercise "EU-ALBIS 2008" The European Commission is co-financing a simulation exercise organised by Germany and the Czech
Republic that simulates the cross-border floods that occurred along the river Elbe in the 2002 and 2006
GERMANY: High water levels for the rivers Danube, Rhine and Havel are reported for some areas in Germany. Navigation had to be suspended in specific sectors
of the Rhine. Because of heavy rain the level has gone up in the Havel but as is reported for the south of Germany in Bavaria, the level is going down again.
CHINA: The State Headquarters for Forest Fire Control on Wednesday ordered forest fire prevention measures to be stepped up in northeast China and Inner
Mongolia, which are facing the highest spring fire risk in 60 years. Precipitation in northeast China and Inner Mongolia was more than 30 percent less than the annual
average, with temperatures 1 to 6 degrees centigrade higher Since March 15, Inner Mongolia and the northeast provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang had seen 16 to 24
days with forest fire risks at or above "Level Four"
RUSSIA: Russia is experiencing its worst forest fires in thirty years. Two people have been killed and hundreds of families evacuated from their homes.
CHINA: An earthquake of magnitude 5.9 has struck a moderately populated region of China 118km from the city of Hua-lien. The nearest civilian airport (Green
Island) is 37km from the epicentre. The estimated geographical coordinates of the earthquake are: 22.92 North and 121.7 East.
Subject: Around the World Today - Thursday 24th April
INDIA: Dozens killed in India road crash
Twenty-four people were killed when a truck collided with an overcrowded van in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, police said. The accident took place late at
night northwest of the city of Jodhpur. The cause of the crash is unclear. All of the dead were travelling in the van, and the only surviving passenger is in hospital in
critical condition. The victims were thought to be returning home after a family function when their van was hit. Fourteen people died immediately, three others died
on the way to the hospital, and the other victims died in hospital, police said.
[Comment: Prevention first step! 24 in 1 Van, 3 DOA 7 Die in Hospital - compare that to UK / US road use and post accident medical care]
AUSTRIA: An avalanche has buried a street in the alpine province of Tyrol. Police are searching for possible victims. The avalanche struck Tuesday morning and
piled snow over a 91,5 m stretch of roadway in the town of Imst, a small town not far from the popular alpine ski resort of Soelden. Police say they are not sure if
any vehicles or people got caught up in the avalanche.
GLOBAL: Sign of Food Pressures - Wal-Mart restricts rice purchases
Rice prices have been hitting record highs. The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is restricting sales of rice at one of its chains - the latest sign of a global shortage
of the staple food. Sam's Club, Wal-Mart's cash-and-carry division, says customers can buy a maximum of four bags per visit. The limit applies to jasmine, basmati
and long grain white rice. The international price of rice has risen by 68% this year and Wal-Mart said the restrictions were "due to recent supply and demand
trends". There are more than 550 Sam's Club stores in the US.
THE NETHERLANDS: An ammoniac leak occurred in an industrial plant in Rotterdam. The central station has been evacuated and public transport means passing
nearby have been stopped. There are no victims or casualties from the accident at this stage.
TURKEY: An earthquake occurred in Western Turkey at 09:38:48.4 UTC. The tremor was located 38.99 N; 27.07 E and its epicentre occurred at the depth of 10
km. There are no reports of casualties or any damage at this stage.
OFF INDONESIA: Two Tropical Cyclones Durga-08 and Risie-08 are tracking almost parallel to each other up the East Coast of Indonesia. Both have passed close
by Christmas Island.
RUSSIA: Fire sweeps through Siberian forests
Russian fire services were on Wednesday battling blazes across Siberia blamed on an exceptionally mild winter and illegal logging.
The emergency situations ministry said on its website that 36,000 hectares (89,000 acres) were burning in the Amur, Buryatiya, Khabarovsk, Primorsky and Jewish
Autonomous provinces. Another 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) of forest had been consumed by fire in the previous 24 hours, the ministry said. "To extinguish the
fire, 6,551 people and 1,779 firefighting vehicles, including eight aircraft, have been deployed," the ministry said. The Interfax news agency reported the air was
thick with smoke in the oil city of Tyumen. However the fires are not threatening residential areas or hazardous facilities such as oil and gas storage sites, the
ministry said. State television said the fires were the worst for 30 years and that a lack of winter snow had left the ground unusually dry.
UKRAINE: Nuclear waste storage inaugurated in Chernobyl
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko Wednesday inaugurated a nuclear waste storage and processing centre in the contaminated zone around the Chernobyl
nuclear station ahead of the catastrophe's 22nd anniversary, his press service said.
The centre's first module, constructed with the European Commission's aid, would be launched by the end of the year, Valentin Melnichenko, a project official, told
AFP.He said it would be able to store up to 75,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste from Chernobyl and its surrounds. The entire complex, which is due to be
completed in "five to 10 years," will also allow storage and processing of radioactive waste from four nuclear power stations currently operational in Ukraine, he
Subject: Around the World Today - Wednesday 23rd April
UNITED STATES: Windy weather triggered a wildfire in central New Mexico. The blaze was 30% contained on Monday, between Manzano and Torreon. Voluntary
evacuations remained in effect Monday for the two towns southeast of Albuquerque. A red flag warning remained in effect Monday for parts of the state. Bulldozers
were used during the night to cut fire breaks around the blaze. Officials urged people to leave about 130 homes around Manzano and Torreon. There was no
confirmation whether any buildings had burned. The fire in the Coronado National Forest was 40% contained. So far, no homes or buildings are threatened by the
blaze, which is about 7 km west of Nogales.
UNITED STATES: A strong aftershock, measuring 4.5 magnitude in the Richter scale has been recorded on Monday. The temblor's epicentre was about 3,1 km
northwest of Mount Carmel. There are no reports of any casualties or damage at this stage.
COLOMBIA: The Nevado del Huila volcano in Colombia began an eruptive process on April 14, 2008. There was a red alert I downgraded to orange II level, which
means that the eruption in the nearest future is possible due to the decrease in the number of seismological events.
INDONESIA, JAKARTA: Indonesia has raised the alert level for two volcanoes in the Sunda Strait and Mollucas island chain to the second highest following
increased volcanic activities. The alert status concerns Anak Krakatau, and Ibu volcano on Halmahera island in the Mollucas. People living in the area have been told
to stay at least 2 km from both volcanoes. The ashes from Ibu volcano have already reached as high as 700 m.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 22nd April
THAILAND: Drought hits millions in Thai rice region: government
More than 10 million people in parts of Thailand's rice bowl region have been hit by drought, the government said Monday, causing further concerns as prices of the
staple grain soar. Thailand's Disaster Prevention and Mitigation department reported that 55 of the kingdom's 76 provinces were struggling with drought, mostly in
the central, north and northeastern regions. More than 151,000 rai (60,000 acres) of farmland has been affected, they said in a statement, including half of the key
central rice growing provinces.
ENGLAND: Plan to drag bomb away from homes
The device is thought to be German and weigh about 1,000lb. Bomb disposal experts have attached a floating raft to an unexploded 1,000lb (500kg) World War II
bomb which was discovered on a beach in Suffolk. The bomb, found in Felixstowe on Monday, will be dragged back out to sea at high tide and a controlled
explosion will be carried out, police said. A half-a-mile cordon is still in place and officers are warning people not to return to their homes. The floating raft was
attached by a Royal Navy bomb disposal unit. Hundreds of people were forced to spend Monday night away from their homes.
BAHAMAS: Boat capsize kills 20 off Bahamas
The bodies of 20 people, believed to be Haitian migrants, have been found off the coast of the Bahamas after their boat capsized, the US Coast Guard says. Three
survivors were found in the sea some 24km (15 miles) from Nassau. A search operation was launched on Sunday after fishermen heard people screaming for help,
news reports said.
Subject: Around the World Today - Monday 21st April
JORDON: Multi-million dollar plan to pump water to Jordan's capital
Jordan on Sunday announced that a multi-million dollar project would begin in June to supply the capital with water from an ancient southern aquifer 325 kilometres
(200 miles) away. "The capital will get water from the aquifer for the coming 100 years," Water Minister Raed Abu Soud told reporters, adding that the project in the
desert kingdom was expected to be completed within three and a half years.
SPAIN: Spain approves river diversion for drought-hit Barcelona
Spain's government Friday announced a 180-million-euro scheme to channel water from the river Ebro to combat the worst drought in decades in the region around
the northeastern city of Barcelona. "If we do nothing and it does not rain, five million residents of the Barcelona region will have no more water to drink in October,"
Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a news conference.
Subject: Around the World Today - Sunday 20th April
SPAIN: Nine killed in Spain coach crash
Reports say there were 44 passengers on the coach. Nine Finnish tourists, including a seven-year-old girl, have been killed in a coach crash in southern Spain. At
least 19 other Finnish passengers were also injured, some seriously, in the crash on Saturday near the southern coastal resort of Benalmadena. Police say the bus
collided with a 4X4 and overturned on the AP-7 highway. The 4X4 driver has been detained on suspicion of drink driving.
ECUADOR: Deadly fire sweeps Ecuador club
Firefighters say the exit doors were locked. At least 15 people died and 35 were injured when a fire swept through a crowded nightclub in the Ecuadorean capital,
Quito, officials have said. It is believed that the blaze was caused by fireworks, meant to be part of a performance by a rock group. Some 300 people were reported
to be attending the afternoon concert at the Factory nightclub when the fire began.
Subject: Around the World Today - Saturday 19th April
EAST TIMOR: East Timor shaken by strong earthquake, causing panic
An undersea earthquake rocked East Timor's coastal capital Saturday, shaking buildings and sending screaming residents running into the streets. There were no
immediate reports of injuries or damage from the magnitude 6.4 tremor, according to a witness and meteorological agencies. The agencies said it struck 55 miles
north of the capital, Dili, at a depth of 7 miles.
CHINA: Tropical storm hits China, 56 fishermen missing
Fifty-six Chinese fishermen were missing Friday as one of the earliest typhoons to hit the region in six decades made landfall, state media reported. Typhoon Neoguri
weakened to a severe tropical storm as it hit the southern island of Hainan late Friday, packing winds of up to 108 kilometers (67 miles) per hour, the Xinhua news
agency said, quoting local meteorologists. Authorities ordered tens of thousands of fishing boats back to port and evacuated about 120,000 people from fish farms
and low-lying coastal areas of Hainan as Typhoon Neoguri approached.
ARGENTINA: Smoke blanketing the Argentine capital Buenos Aires has thickened, prompting the authorities to close airports and major highways. The smoke
started a week ago, caused by fires on grassland outside the city that are being blamed on farmers clearing the land to graze cattle. The government has said it will
prosecute anyone it finds to be responsible for lighting the fires.
USA: An earthquake struck the American Midwest before dawn on Friday, causing tremors from Ohio to Missouri. The quake, with a magnitude of 5.2, was
centred six miles (11km) from the town of West Salem in south-east Illinois. The quake shook skyscrapers in central Chicago, and rocked homes in Cincinnati,
Ohio, but there were no reports of injuries. The fault zone where the tremor was centred has produced quakes in the past, but mostly very minor ones.
Subject: Around the World Today - Friday 18th April
CANADA: State of Emergency declared
Volunteers are being requested to help with sandbagging after a State of Emergency was declared across the county in the face of rising water levels in Trent Hills,
Ontaria. The areas most at risk from flooding are the low-lying lands adjacent to the Crowe River and Trent River, with water levels expected to continue to rise for
at least the next 5 days.
CHINA: Early typhoon may be "strongest" to hit south China
A typhoon bearing down on the southern Chinese resort island of Hainan on Friday is the earliest to threaten the region in decades and may well be the strongest,
state media said. Hainan and the neighbouring province of Guangdong were braced for Typhoon Neoguri, the first of the year, with almost 22,000 fishing boats
called back to harbour as the storm skirted Vietnam. "Neoguri will be the earliest typhoon of the season to affect the south China region since the founding of new
China in 1949," Chen Lei, deputy commander of the State Headquarters of Flood Control and Drought Relief, was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying. The
storm was expected to be "one of the strongest in history" to hit the region, Xinhua said.
ITALY: A large-scale fire simulation exercise, has started today. The exercise involves forest fire-fighting forces of 5 countries â€“France, Greece, Italy, Portugal
and Spain. This exercise is being held within the context of the Community Civil Protection Mechanism and is co-financed by the European Commission
RUSSIA: A forest fire in the Khasan district, Primorye Territory, left without electricity several dwelling houses in two villages â€“ Barabash and Ovchinnikovka as
well as a border post, reported the press service of the local branch of the Primorye power grid. A disquieting situation is shaping up in the Primorye Territory with
MEXICO: An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 and with a depth of 95 km has struck the highly populated region of Chiapas in Mexico.
VIETNAM: Vietnam's first tropical storm of the year has developed off the coast earlier than in previous years.
Subject: Around the World Today - Thursday 17th April
GLOBAL/SPACE: German schoolboy, 13, corrects NASA's asteroid figures.
A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported Tuesday, after
spotting the boffins had miscalculated. Nico Marquardt used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a 1
in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported. NASA had previously estimated the chances at only 1
in 45,000 but told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that the young whizzkid had got it right. The schoolboy took into consideration the risk
of Apophis running into one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029. FULL STORY AT: http://www.
SOUTH AFRICA: EC Receives New Emergency Vehicles for 2010.
Sixty two new emergency vehicles, deployed in strategic areas of the Eastern Cape, will ensure accessibility to health care in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World
Cup and beyond. "The vehicles are 42 fully equipped ambulances, 11 patient transport vehicles and nine specialised rapid response vehicles are in preparation for the
2010 Soccer World Cup," department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo told BuaNews on Tuesday. He said the department had set aside R17 million worth of equipment
and have also appointed 744 emergency personnel to ensure an efficient and effective service across the province.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG Disaster Management officers assess landslide damage.
The National Disaster Management office in Papua New Guinea says it will today assess the damage a landslide has caused in the Highlands regions. Heavy rain
caused a massive landslide on the weekend and the government has declared a natural disaster zone on the Okuk Highway in Simbu Province. The slip displaced
some 3000 people, wrecking their homes and gardens and is affecting four provinces. There are reports that businesses have begun controlling their food and fuel
distribution as panic buying sweeps the region. The National Disaster Management Officeâ€™s acting director, Martin Mose says officials are now assessing the
INDONESIA: An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale has been reported. There is no report of damage or casualties. The quake happened at 10:11am with
epicenter at 306 km southwest of Saumlaki town, Malukun province and with a depth of 10 km.
INDONESIA: Hundreds flee as Indonesian volcano erupts
Hundreds of Indonesians have fled their homes after a volcano erupted spewing ash and smoke thousands of metres into the air, authorities said Wednesday.
Breathing masks and clean water have been rushed to the eastern island of Flores where the 1,703-metre (5,587-foot) high Mount Egon erupted late Tuesday, they
said. Indonesia's vulcanology office said 600 people from a village near the crater had been evacuated, but a local official said 23,000 were living in the danger zone.
USA: At 7:54:02 AM yesterday an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 and depth 40km occurred in the province of Alaska in United States.
COLUMBIA: Colombia's Nevado del Huila volcano erupted in a shower of hot ash, prompting thousands of people to leave their homes on Tuesday. The remote
volcano, 150 miles southwest of Bogota, erupted shortly before midnight on Monday and appeared less active at daybreak.
Subject: Around the World Today - Wednesday 16th April
DC CONGO: Airliner hits houses in DR Congo
At least 79 people have died after a plane hit a busy residential area while attempting to take off in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is unclear whether the
victims were travelling on the plane or on the ground at the time of the crash. The DC-9 skidded off the runway in the eastern city of Goma during heavy rain,
smashed through a wall and broke up. The plane, which had 79 passengers and six crew on board, was chartered by the private airline Hewa Bora. Last week, the
European Union added the carrier to its blacklist of airlines banned from flying in the EU.
INDIA: Children die in Indian bus plunge
At least 44 people have been killed after a bus plunged into a river in the western Indian state of Gujarat, a local official has said. Most of the dead are children who
were travelling to a school in Baroda when the bus fell into the Narmada river. Four children have been rescued, the local official said. The Narmada, one of India's
largest rivers, originates in central India and flows through the west of the country before emptying into the Arabian sea. Local officials said it was unclear how
many passengers were on board the bus, but that the death toll might rise, as some were still missing.
BANGLADESH: Fatal train crash in Bangladesh
At least 17 people have been killed and about 20 injured in a train crash in central Bangladesh, officials say. The train reportedly collided with a crowded bus at an
unmanned railway crossing in Tangail district, 80km (50 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka. Officials say all of the victims were passengers on board the bus. Three
of the injured are reported to be in a serious condition. There was no major damage to the train, a railway official said. The official said the train was travelling from
the northern town of Dinajpur to Dhaka when the incident happened early on Wednesday
USA: Do they think we don't know this?
California '99 percent' of major quake by 2038: scientists
A powerful earthquake capable of causing widespread destruction is 99 percent certain of hitting California within the next 30 years, scientists said Monday. A new
model devised to determine the probability of major earthquakes has found that the chances of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake not hitting California by 2038 was one
percent, the US Geological Survey said. The chances of a monster quake, measuring 7.5 or greater, were predicted at 46 percent over the same projected period,
with densely populated southern California most likely to be affected.
NEW ZEALAND: Students killed in NZ flash flood
Rescue workers recovered the bodies of the students swept away by floods. Six high school students and a teacher have been killed by flash flooding in a national
park in New Zealand. The group, from a school in Auckland, were taking part in an outdoor adventure course in the North Island's Tongariro National Park. Police
said that they were swept away by rising river water after a sudden rain storm. New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark described the deaths as "an unspeakable
tragedy". A group of 12 people - 10 students, an instructor and a teacher - had been canyoning along an isolated gorge on Monday.
USA: Colorado Wildfires
At least two people died after wind-driven wildfires burned into a southeast Colorado town and an Army post. An air tanker pilot was also killed when his plane went
down while battling another blaze. At least 20 buildings were damaged in Ordway and about 11 square miles of grasslands were scorched around the town 122 miles
southeast of Denver. More than 1,100 residents were evacuated and two deaths were reported. Much of the state was under a National Weather Service red flag
warning, signifying high fire danger.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 15th April
GUATEMALA: Strong quake off Guatemala, no casualties reported 15 A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Guatemala on Monday,
sending residents into the streets in panic but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.
CHINA: A large spill of toxic slurry from a mine has turned part of a northern Chinese river black and fouled it with dangerous chemicals, state media said Monday.
The accident occurred Friday in Shaanxi province when the sides of a catchment basin for toxic tailings, or mining debris, at a vanadium mine collapsed after heavy
rain, the Shaanxi-based Chinese Business View reported.
IRELAND: Disaster planning in place - Taoiseach
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern today said Ireland had "comprehensive" emergency plans in place for man-made or natural disasters. A public awareness campaign on
emergency planning for man-made or natural disasters was unveiled today by the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea. Speaking this afternoon, the
Taoiseach said: "At the core of this campaign is the goal of awareness and reassurance. It is not to cause undue concern that the Government believes an emergency
is any more likely now than in the past. It is simply to tell the public that we have comprehensive plans in place.
RUSSIA: A total of 105 woodland fires covering the area of about 3,000 hectares are registered in four Russian regions. Over the past 24 hours the number of fires
increased by 41, while their area â€“ by 271 hectares. Forest fires are raging in the Far Eastern, Siberian, Volga-Urals and Central federal districts.
Major fires are fixed in the Primorsky Territory and the Amur region. A fire emergency has been declared in two districts of the Baikal region
Subject: Around the World Today - Saturday 12th April
CHAD: Fire Sweeps Through Refugee Camp in East - 3,000 Homeless
A fire swept through part of the remote Goz Amer refugee camp in eastern Chad on Friday, leaving some 3,000 Darfurian refugees homeless. UNHCR staff
reported that 10 people were slightly injured, and many refugees lost all their food rations and meagre belongings. "The refugees have already suffered so much
tragedy and now face yet another trauma," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees AntÃ³nio Guterres in Geneva. "I am deeply relieved that there was no loss of
life in this devastating fire. We will do everything we can to help and to get shelter and food supplies to them as quickly as possible." The cause of the midday blaze
was believed to be an untended cooking fire which spread rapidly, fanned by high winds.
MOLDAVIA: A Sudanese-owned transport plane laden with fuel crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport near the Moldovan capital and burst into flames,
killing all eight people on board, authorities said Saturday. No casualties were reported on the ground. The plane, an An-32, took off for Sudan late Friday but pilots
requested permission to return to Chisinau airport 10 minutes into the flight, the press service of the country's emergency department said. Pilots tried to land the
transport, which was carrying a cargo of 2.3 tons of fuel, but a wing struck a fence and electrical wires a few miles from the airport and the plane burst into flames,
the department of Civil Protection and Exceptional Situations said. The plane crashed at the edge of the village of Bacioi, and there were no reports of damage or
injuries because the explosion occurred on the outskirts of the village. The emergency department said all eight crew died, including two technical crew, and that
four were Moldovans and four were Ukrainians. Seven bodies have been recovered, it said.
Subject: Around the World Today - Friday 11th April
PORTUGAL: IAEM Europa Presidents arrival at IMEM 2008 greeted with thunderstorms and a localised Tornado!
GREECE: Two minor earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.5 & 4.4 and a depth of 8 km & 6 km occurred today in Dodecanese Islands. No damages were
reported. The nearest cities are MitilinioÃ (3 km), MarathÃ³kambos (10 km) and Kusadasi (46 km).
INDONESIA: An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook eastern and northern parts of Indonesia's Sulawesi island Friday morning. There are no
reports of casualties or material damage.
Subject: Around the World Today - Wednesday 9th April
INDONESIA: Another Volcano begins to rumble
On 4/8/2008 1:48:01 PM UTC a change occurred in the eruption status of Volcano Ibu in the highly populated region of Indonesia in Halmahera.
SPAIN: Spanish drought sees land-fire damage soar: ministry
Fires destroyed more than twice as much land in drought-hit Spain during the first three months of 2008 as over the corresponding period last year, the government
said Tuesday. 17,364 acres (6,945 hectares) of land were lost between January and March as Spain endured its worst drought in decades, figures from the
environment ministry showed
RUSSIA: Russian mayor urges closure of own town: report
A Russian mayor has taken the unusual step of calling for his own town to be shut down due to toxic weapons waste, a daily newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Nikolai Malakhov, mayor of the southwestern town of Chapayevsk, formerly home to Soviet arms factories that produced toxic agents, had told a meeting with
visiting officials that closing the town and resettling its residents would be the "ideal solution," said the independent daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta. The paper observed
that "mortality rates caused by tuberculosis, cancer of the throat, liver and the kidneys are three times higher in Chapayevsk than in the rest of the region."
INDIA: Gas leakage kills two at Pakistan nuclear plant, say officials
Two workers were killed Tuesday after a gas leakage at a Pakistani nuclear facility, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said in a statement. The accident took
place at the Khushab heavy water plant, which had been shut down for annual maintenance, the commission said, adding that it was immediately evacuated and there
was no threat to the public. "(The) situation was immediately brought under control and two workers lost their lives while controlling the incident," the commission
said in a statement.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 8th April
ROMANIA & BULGARIA: Emergency Number Deadline For Romania - Romania has two months to solve problems over how their emergency services are
contacted, the European Commission warns. The EC has found that the emergency phone systems in both Romania and Bulgaria are still not working properly.
Although the emergency 112 number is functional in Romania, locating the caller is not possible if the call is made from a cell phone. Last week, the EC said it was
issuing its final warning to Romania and Bulgaria before taking the two countries to court.
CHINA: Bird flu breaks out at Tibet poultry farm
An outbreak of bird flu has occurred at a poultry farm in restive Tibet, resulting in the deaths of at least 268 fowl, China's Ministry of Agriculture said Monday.
Tests on dead birds at the farm in the village of Zhuba in Qamdo county revealed the virus was the deadly H5N1 strain, according to an announcement on the
ministry's website. The outbreak was reported to authorities last Friday, the ministry said, adding that it had been contained but providing no further details. The case
was one of several such outbreaks reported in China this year, with three people dying of bird flu in 2008, according to earlier reports.
SPAIN: Two people die from vCJD in Spain
The death in Spain is the first since 2005. Two people have died in Spain after contracting the human form of "mad cow disease", variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
(vCJD), Spanish media has said. The two died in the central region of Castilla-Leon, one three months ago and the other last week, regional health sources were
quoted by news agency AFP. The disease was first found in humans in 1995 and is thought to be transmitted in infected meat and bone.
INDONESIA: The Volcano Kerinci in SUMATRA, 139km from the city of Padang began minor eruptions. The nearest populated places are Pondokmuaradjernik
(8km), Pondoklintang (3km), Pondokdanaulawas (8km), Siulakderas (11km), Sungaigalampei (16km). It is a mountainous region with a maximum altitude of 3633 m.
ITALY: An earthquake of 3.3 magnitude in the Richter scale occurred in Northern Italy at 07:30:29.1 UTC. The depth of the quake was 2 km.
INDIA: Fresh bird flu outbreak in India
Millions of birds were culled in West Bengal. Officials in the Indian state of Tripura have ordered the culling of about 40,000 birds after an outbreak of bird flu was
confirmed. They say the virulent H5N1 strain has been detected in poultry in nearly 40 villages bordering Bangladesh. The culling of birds would begin from
Tuesday, they said. Earlier this year, West Bengal reported an outbreak of avian influenza. In Bangladesh, the epidemic has spread to more than half the country.
ALASKA: Several earthquakes have jolted various sections of Alaska's remote Aleutian Islands. The quakes ranged in magnitudes between 4.2 and 4.7. There are no
immediate reports that any of the quakes were felt or caused any damage.
REPUBLIC OF VANUATU: An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 has struck the unpopulated region of Vanuatu. The depth of the tremor was 39km, and it was situated
85 km south-east from Isangel island. There is no tsunami report at this stage.
Subject: Around the World Today - Monday 7th April
ISREAL: Israel Starts Biggest Emergency Drill Amid Tensions With Syria.
Israel today began its biggest emergency drill, a five-day, nationwide exercise that will include simulated chemical and biological attacks amid heightened tensions
with Syria. Local authorities, government offices, security and rescue teams and the educational system are all participating in the training exercise, the Israel
Defense Forces said in an e-mailed statement this weekend. The drill is being led by the recently founded National Emergency Authority together with the Home
Front Command, it said.
SOUTH KOREA: S Korea tackles bird flu outbreak
South Korea has confirmed a second outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus at a duck farm, a week after reporting its first case in more than 13 months. Workers are
culling thousands of ducks at the Jeongeup farm in the south-west of the country, the Farm Ministry said. They are also investigating two nearby farms where birds
had died over the weekend. The area is less than 30km (19 miles) from a poultry farm in Gimje which reported an outbreak of H5N1 last week. About 270,000
chickens at five farms there - the affected one and four others nearby - were slaughtered.
PAKISTAN: Fatal bird flu cases in Pakistan
Pakistan culled thousands of birds last year to stop bird flu spreading. The first case of human-to-human transmission of avian flu in Pakistan has been confirmed.
Tests carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that bird flu killed some members of a family in north-west Pakistan late last year. The WHO says
steps were taken to prevent future fatalities in the area.
ENGLAND: 3 inches of snow fell causing chaos and havoc according to many UK newspapers. Alright it was only 3" .... its an emergency according to the English!
Oh for a real blizzard to really test our severe weather plans or lack of them!
Subject: Around the World Today - Saturday 5th April
MALTA: It took 21 hours for fire fighters to completely extinguish the blaze that gutted a Francis Busuttil & Sons warehouse in MisraÄ§ Sta Venera on
Wednesday. No one was injured in the major fire although several fire fighters had to be treated for burns, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. The head of the
Civil Protection Department, Peter Cordina, said yesterday that, although the fire had been extinguished at about noon, one fire engine was left standing by because
there was still a lot of smoke. In fact, there was so much smoke that the on-site inquiry, scheduled to be held yesterday, was postponed to tomorrow because the
experts could still not go inside the building. Mr Cordina said thousands of gallons of water were used in the operation, which he described as "very tough and very
dangerous". A total of 46 fire fighters, including volunteers, took part in the operation on Wednesday and another 30 yesterday.
AUSTRALIA: ThousandsS of Victorians will be without power until early next week as the clean-up from Wednesday's wild weather continues. The State
Government faced an angry backlash as more than 15,500 homes were last night still blacked out, with temperatures dropping below 10C overnight. Homes in the
eastern suburbs, including Glen Iris, Burwood, Vermont and Malvern, the Dandenong Ranges and Gippsland are without power. Companies Alinta and SP AusNet
say they aim to have power back by mid-Monday. The Government was last night in talks with emergency services and power companies to arrange financial aid
and food for those struggling.
CANADA: Fire guts historic Quebec armoury
The building collapsed after burning for two hours One of the most historic buildings in Canada's Quebec City has collapsed after being swept by a massive fire. The
blaze, which witnesses said was followed by an explosion, left just a wall and two towers standing. No casualties were reported. The City Armoury, built in 1884,
was the home of Canada's oldest French infantry regiment. It also housed a
museum and was being renovated.
RUSSIA: Lethal blast rocks Moscow flats
The bodies were reportedly found on the 11th floor An explosion has ripped through a high-rise block of flats in the north of Moscow, killing at least three people
and triggering a big fire. Dozens of people were evacuated to a school as firemen battled the blaze. The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzkhov, said the blast had been
caused by an accident with gas-powered welding equipment in a flat under repair.
Subject: Around the World Today - Friday 4th April
TAJIKISTAN: After the cold wave/energy crisis, the country is now starting to face Spring related emergencies. Financial support is urgently needed to procure
additional stocks and ensure warehousing and transportation of pre positioned goods, this would cover the projected needs of 1,500 potentially disaster affected
INDONESIA: A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolts Indonesia's Sumatra island Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
KENYA: At least 6,000 people have been affected by flooding following heavy rains in the southern coastal district of Taveta. The water
levels in some areas are up to chest level.
INDONESIA: The strange, slow-motion disaster of the mud volcano
A seemingly unstoppable mud volcano has displaced thousands of Indonesians. On one side of the levee, a line of trucks waits on a clogged, two-lane road under a
broiling sun. On the other, a vast lake of mud stretches to the horizon. Neither appears to be moving. In the distance, a trail of white smoke rises from a hole in the
ground where the mud flow began 18 months ago. Despite attempts to stanch the sludge, such as by dropping giant concrete balls from helicopters into the fissure,
the mud continues to gush, swallowing everything in its path. Prone to earthquakes and volcanoes, Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters. But what befell this
densely populated slice of Java Island was, by most accounts, a man-made calamity. Last May, an Indonesian energy company drilling for natural gas accidentally
opened a fissure in the ground from where hot, viscous mud began erupting. The unstoppable stinking ooze has since swallowed up 11 towns, destroying homes,
factories, schools, and farms, and forcing some 16,000 people to uproot.
EUROPEAN UNION: Bulgaria, Romania with Final Warning by EC over Delayed Emergency Phone number.
The Bulgarian Minister on State Policy for Disaster Emel Etem said on Febr. 11, the day of the EU emergency phone, that 112 should be fully operational by end of
2008. Bulgaria and Romania received Thursday last warnings over the delayed launch of the 112 emergency phone. Unless the newest EU member states take the
respective measures to provide for the proper coverage and functioning of 112, the cases will be referred to the EU Court, the Bulgarian National Radio reported. The
European Commission issued a second and final warning to Bulgaria, because the emergency phone still does not function in the whole country, whereas Romania's
problem is that the emergency services are still not provided information about the location of persons calling from their mobile phones.
SURINAM: Twenty people are feared dead in a plane crash in a remote gold-mining area of Surinam in South America. The twin-engine Antonov AN-28 took off
from Paramaribo, capital of the former Dutch colony. Local radio said it went down at Benzdorp in the south. It was run by local carrier Blue Wing Airlines, aviation
authorities said. Air Traffic Services Director Kenneth Dors told AP news agency that about 20 people - including two pilots - had been on board and all were dead.
Surinam has a population of around half a million. Many foreigners work in its economically vital mining industry.
PORTUGAL: Fire & Brimstone - a very interesting article on the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
Subject: Around the World Today - Thursday 3rd April
ISREAL: Cabinet approves large-scale emergency army drill next week
The security sabinet on Wednesday approved plans for a large-scale emergency drill scheduled to take place next week across the country. The drill will include all
the government ministries, the Israel Defense Forces, local authorities and educational facilities. The drill will simulate a war-time attack on civilians. It will be the
largest drill in the past few years and ten of thousands of people are expected to participate, whether in the field or in special war rooms.
AUSTRALIA: Wild winds whip southern Australia leaving one dead: officials
Powerful winds lashed southern Australia Wednesday, causing air and traffic delays, cutting power to thousands of homes and killing at least one person, weather
officials said. In Victoria, weather forecasters took the unusual step of asking people to remain indoors as strong winds battered the state, reaching more than 130
kilometres (80 miles) an hour in one region.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 1st April
ANGOLA: Luanda - The number of deaths, victims of the collapsed building of the National Criminal Investigation Department (DNIC), increased to twenty four
with the removal of seven corpses of women, one child and two men from the debris. This information was granted by the co-ordinator of the Civil Protection
Services, EugÃ©nio Laborinho, in a press conference, informing that three sisters were amongst the victims. According to the official, rescue missions are being
very difficult, but the team continues engaged in the operations and will work all night, until all the debris and victims are removed.
SRI LANKA: Torrential rains from the early North-East monsoon. Floods and landslides. 174,214 people displaced. 75,000 acres crops destroyed. 228 houses
destroyed. 600 houses damaged. 340,000 affected. Mannar district - 6,300 families displaced. Two dams damaged. 41,000 affected. Negombo area - 1,112 families
displaced. Karuwalagasweva - thousands of acres crops destroyed. Batticaloa - 7,200 displaced. 100,000 affected. Badulla - 3 dead. Moneragala - 2 dead. Ampara -
42,000 affected. Heavy rainfall has affected the are since 12/03/08.
ECUADOR: La Nina rains since January, rains and floods expected to continue until May. Heaviest rains in 25 years cause floods and mudslides. 21,500 in shelters.
315,000 affected. 271,000 hectares crops destroyed. 30% of crops damaged. Five coastal provinces have flooded. Rains expected to last until late March.
Infrastructure, housing, agriculture and health, electrical, and communication systems have been severely damaged. Recovery expected to cost more than $1US
billion. Extensive damage to banana crops. $161 million crop damage. "some of the worst floods in country's history" "rainiest winter in Ecuador in at least 20 years"
"Historically, this is the worst flooding some areas have ever had" March 10 - heaviest storm in a decade hits west coast, 28 dead, 20 missing, 10,000 families
evacuated, 300,000 affected.
|AROUND THE WORLD TODAY