| AROUND THE WORLD: DECEMBER 2008
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Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 24th December
Last AWT until 05/01/09 Happy Holiday's everyone !!!
PNG: An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 and depth 58.2km has struck an unpopulated area in the Northern Solomons Province (population: 0.1 million) in Papua New
PNG: Authorities in Alotau have revealed at least 20 confirmed cases of typhoid fever from areas around Losuia station on Kiriwina Island in the Milne Bay Province.
Most cases reported to the Losuia Health Center have been treated and listed for follow-ups for close monitoring. The situation was first detected in March this year.
The way of life of the Trobriand Islands people has seen them get by without proper toilet but health authorities are moving into the area to encourage proper hygiene
and the importance of proper toilet facilities.
SOMALIA: Dozens of people have died in central Somalia's Galgadud region after an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), medical personnel said on 23
December. The worst-affected area is in and around the town of Balambale.
GUYANA: Non-stop rain began during the week of 8 December, causing approximately 25 communities (Greenfield, Dazzel-Paradise, Haslington, Foulis among
others) along the East Coast of the Demerara River to flood, and parts of the capital city of Georgetown.
USA: Tennessee - A retention pond holding toxic coal ash slurry burst Monday in Roane County, Tennessee, releasing over half a billion gallons of potentially toxic
sludge that swept into the nearby town of Harriman and contaminated tributaries of the Tennessee River. The resulting flood damaged 15 homes, injured one man as
it knocked his house off its foundations, and has left over 400 acres of land covered by several feet of coal ash, mud and contaminated water.
KUWAIT: Two more cases of meningitis, both in adult women, are currently being treated at the Amiri Hospital. Doctors are baffled about the cause of the disease in
one of the individuals, an Ethiopian woman, although the sponsor of the other woman believes that she may have caught it from her sister. The Ethiopian woman,
who is employed as a maid, is currently in an isolation unit in the hospital. Doctors there suspect that her condition may be infectious.
USA: Oregan - The Umatilla County Public Health Department has confirmed a case of Meningococcal Meningitis in a child. It can cause permanent health problems
ZIMBABWE: The worst cholera epidemic ever recorded in Zimbabwe is still not under control after infecting nearly 24,000 people, with the death toll approaching
1,200, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported today.
ITALY: An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale has struck the Italian cities of Parma, Milan, Genoa, and Florence, damaging some buildings. There were
no immediate reports of casualties, reported on Tuesday. The temblor's epicenter was near the Apennines mountain city of Parma, the National Institute of
Geophysics in Rome reported.
USA: Maryland - Rescuers scrambled helicopters and boats to pull commuters from frigid floodwaters unleashed by a massive water main break Tuesday on a
commuter road just outside Washington. One neighbor described the torrent as a river that filled the street after the rupture of a main measuring 5-1/2 feet in diameter.
BELGIUM: Emergency measures have been taken after an outbreak of bird flu was detected in two farms in northern Belgium, Belgian media reported on Tuesday.
Control tests showed last Friday that some ducks and geese in a farm in Bocholt, which borders the Netherlands, were infected with the H5 bird flu virus.
VIETNAM: Spoiled cakes are the suspected cause of a food poisoning outbreak that put hundreds of students at a Ho Chi Minh City secondary school in hospital this
week, health officials said Tuesday. "Four hundred seventy children were hospitalized due to the food poisoning on Monday," said Le Truong Giang of the Ho Chi
Minh Department of Health.
BANGLADESH: Bangladeshi authorities said Tuesday a new outbreak of bird flu had been detected at a village in the north of the country as they struggled to contain
the disease.Livestock department spokesman Salahuddin Khan said at least 100 birds were slaughtered on a farm in the northern Kurigram district late Monday after
the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza was discovered.
DENMARK: A flock of free-range chickens on a farm in south-western Denmark is suspected of being infected with bird flu, the Danish Veterinary and Food
Administration said on Monday.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 23rd December
No information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 22nd December
GLOBAL: Catastrophes killed more than 238,000 people this year, with cyclone Nargis which swept through Myanmar accounting for more than half the deaths, a
study by reinsurer Swiss Re showed on Thursday. "While the total cost to society was 225 billion dollars (182 billion euros), 50 billion dollars was covered by
property insurance, making 2008 the second costliest year ever in terms of insured losses.
ARGENTINA: Health authorities in Misiones, a province in northeast Argentina that borders on Brazil and Paraguay, intensified measures against yellow fever after
having found that more than 20 monkeys died with symptoms lesions of the disease. According to the local press, there is more concern in the past few days since
some of the dead animals were found near Posadas, the capital city of Misiones province, located 1000 kilometers (621 miles) north from Buenos Aires, and next to
Encarnacion province in Paraguay.
AUSTRALIA: Queensland - Two people have been taken to hospital and 150 people have been evacuated from a south Brisbane club after a chemical smell was
detected. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus evacuated patrons at the Southside Sport and Community Club in Mt Gravatt and are inside searching for the
source of the smell, which was first detected in the kitchen area. Two people were taken from the scene to QEII and Greenslopes hospitals with nausea. About 150
people were evacuated from the club and it is not expected they will be allowed to return to the building for some time.
AUSTRALIA: WA - About 240 campers were forced to evacuate the Cape Le Grand National Park yesterday after a series of lightning strikes triggered several
bushfires at the popular tourist destination. Access to the national park remains closed as firefighters continued to battle the blazes. The campers were evacuated
AUSTRIA: Avalanches in the Austrian Alps killed three German ski tourists Sunday and blocked several roads in the Vorarlberg and Tyrol provinces, officials said. A
22-year-old unnamed snowboarder was buried by an avalanche on a closed slope in the Bregenzerwald region.
USA: Colorado - A Denver International Airport spokeswoman said this morning the total number of people injured last night was 68, higher than originally reported
after an airport runway accident. A spokeswoman from University of Colorado Hospital said that of the nine people taken there, seven have been released. One of
those still hospitalized is in serious condition, and the other is in fair condition. Both have broken bones, she said. Continental Flight 1404 was bound for Houston,
carrying 112 passengers and crew members when it skidded off a runway shortly after 6 p.m. last night. The Boeing 737-500 ended up in a ravine and burst into
flames, with the plane's entire right side engulfed.
CHINA: Nearly 400 villagers in southern China were forced to evacuate after a sinkhole opened up, causing one building to collapse and threatening up to 72 others,
state media reported on Saturday. The cave-in on Friday afternoon left a three-metre-wide (10-foot) hole in the ground in the southern city of Guangzhou, Xinhua
news agency said.
JAPAN: An intense earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale jolted seas east Honshu of Japan, at 0923GMT on Sunday, the Hong Kong Observatory said in a
news bulletin here Sunday evening.
UK: Mutual Aid Guide for Local Authorities released - http://www.ukresilience.gov.uk/media/34839/mutual_aid.pdf
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 21st December
No information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 20th December
ITALY: More than 50 days of nearly nonstop precipitation throughout Italy has caused extensive flooding, 10 deaths and millions of euros worth of damage. Rivers
running through Turin, Florence and Rome were at greatest risk of overflowing, according to civil-protection officials. They've been fretting not just about flooding
but also about major damage to these historical city centers. Guido Bertolaso, the head of the Italian Civil Protection Department, said the barges and floating
restaurants and bars in Rome had not been properly secured to their moorings despite the warnings about the rising river. http://www.newsweek.com/id/176177
TAIWAN: Taiwan said Saturday it was suspending poultry exports for at least three months owing to an outbreak of what officials said was a mild form of bird flu.
"Tests have confirmed that the bird flu that broke out at the chicken farm in Kaohsiung County on October 21 is the low pathogenic strain of H5N2 birdflu.
USA: A winter storm continued to sweep across north-eastern US after heavy snow and strong winds disrupted transport, power and schools. Storm warnings were
in place in a dozen states, with the National Weather Service warning of power outages and dangerous travel conditions. Minnesota could face some of the worst of
the blast, with 15 inches of snow forecast, and "impossible" road travel.
MEDITERRANEAN COMMUNICATIONS: Internet and telephone communications between the Middle East and Europe were disrupted after three submarine cables
between Italy and Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea were damaged. The failures cut the flow of "data of various kinds" between Europe and the Middle East, and
there's no timeframe for when communications will be restored, said Sanjeev Gaur, director of assurance at Reliance Globalcom Ltd. in India. France Telecom SA,
which plans to send a maintenance boat to fix the problem, said the situation should be back to normal by Dec. 31. Three cable systems carrying more than 75
percent of traffic between the Middle East, Europe and America have been damaged, according to the U.K.'s Interoute Plc, which operates a fiber- optic data
network connecting 92 cities.
DR CONGO: Medical authorities in Congo say nine people are dead from what could be hemorrhagic fever. District Medical Inspector Edmond Mulamba says it is
too early to label the illness. It is also too early to say if the deaths are due to ebola, a type of hemorrhagic fever. He says tests were being run to determine the cause
of the deaths in remote Kasai Province. At least 14 other people are suffering from symptoms of hemorrhagic fever, including high temperature and violent vomiting.
Mulamba says a team of doctors from the World Health Organization are traveling to the province.
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 19th December
USA: Snow and ice storms across the U.S. Midwest knocked out power service to more than 220,000 homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio early
Friday, local utilities reported. The storm left 161,000 customers out in Indiana, 47,000 out in Illinois and 15,000 out in Ohio. The utilities said the outages would
likely grow as the storm marches across the Midwest toward the Atlantic Coast. The large storm was expected to drop snow from Minnesota to Connecticut, with
ice and freezing rain falling in northern Indiana, Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Freezing rain was causing more damage to the power system than the snow because
the ice weighs down tree branches, snapping them onto power lines. American Electric Power Co Inc's Indiana Michigan Power unit was reporting the most outages
with more than 94,000 customers out in Indiana.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Heavy rain, which has been falling all over Bosnia and Herzegovina almost constantly for the past two days, has pushed up river levels
and caused flooding across the country. No casualties have been reported so far but material damage is significant, reported on Thursday. The most difficult situation
on Thursday was reported to be around the central Bosnian town of Gornji Vakuf, where the Vrbas river has destroyed several bridges and forced local authorities to
evacuate some residents and their cattle.
SOUTH AFRICA: Six suspected cases of cholera have been reported in KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial health department said on Friday. Five of those people
currently being monitored were admitted to hospital early this month, after eating food that was suspected to have been poisoned at a farewell party at the Zululand
Primary School, said department spokesman Chris Maxon. One person is from Nongoma whose source of water is a nearby dam.
PHILIPPINES: Global health authorities are preparing an emergency mission to the Philippines after U.S. scientists discovered a strain of the Ebola virus in dead pigs
there that had previously only been found in monkeys. Unlike more-deadly strains of Ebola virus, health officials say this particular strain, known as the Reston strain,
has never caused human illness or death, and it's not immediately clear there is a public-health issue.
NAMIBIA: Cholera has broken out in the Kunene Region with the death toll already standing at three, the Ministry of Health and Social Services said yesterday. The
ministry confirmed that 29 suspected cases have been reported with two confirmed as vibrio cholerae.
NETHERLANDS: The Dutch government on Thursday unveiled a multi-billion dollar plan to reinforce dykes and the coastline and augment fresh water supplies in the
face of rising sea levels due to global warming. Two-thirds of the Netherlands lies below sea-level and the country is increasingly worried about the threat of
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 18th December
UK: Food Standards Agency issued the following alert. Imperial Snack Foods has recalled one batch of its own-brand Brazil nuts, because the product is
contaminated with salmonella.
CHINA: 18 miners are trapped after a coal mine blast in central China. The blast happened Wednesday afterenoon in Lianyuan city in Hunan province and that
rescuers were trying to contact the trapped miners. It said in its report Thursday that 32 miners were working at the time of the blast but that 14 managed to escape.
An investigation into the cause of the blast at the township-owned mine has been launched. It has a annual capacity of 30,000 tons. China's coal mines are the world's
deadliest, with fires, floods and other disasters killing an average of 13 miners a day.
PAKISTAN: Karachi - Hundreds of people were evacuated on Wednesday evening from a congested Karachi neighborhood in Korangi when a massive crude oil spill
from a damaged pipeline submerged their houses, endangered their lives and put the authorities on red alert. This first of its kind accident occurred due to the
negligence of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) workers who were drilling near the cross-country pipeline in Korangi, residents and authorities said.
INDONESIA: More than 2,000 tribal fishermen in the southern Philippines, known as "sea gypsies", lost their homes in a three-hour fire on a remote island, a navy
commander said on Thursday. Two children were killed and about 250 houses on stilts were destroyed by the fire on Wednesday near the shore of Bongao town in
Tawi-tawi, the country's southernmost chain of islands.
VIETNAM: At present, five provinces namely Nghe An, Yen Bai, Thai Binh, Ninh Binh and Ha Tinh are still facing foot-and-mouth disease, according to the
Veterinary Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Department has called for intensified measures to stamp out the disease and
asked local authorities to conduct research to identify the cause of the foot-and-mouth disease that is spreading fast in the central region
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 17th December
USA: Washington State - Sixteen people at a seafood business in Bellingham were sent to hospitals to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday, officials
said. Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Boyd said the people were overcome by fumes at the Homeport Seafoods cold storage business. The fire department responded to a
call at 8 a.m. about a person passing out. When firefighters arrived they found everyone conscious, but people showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Investigators suspect warehouse doors - closed due to freezing temperatures - trapped carbon monoxide emissions from forklifts, Boyd said. The fire department
transported the 16 to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, and four were later transferred to Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, where they could be treated in a
hyperbaric chamber, which increases oxygen pressure in body tissues and the amount of oxygen blood can transport. Boyd said others may have gone to hospitals on
their own. A manager from Homeport Seafoods declined to comment. Bellingham is about 88 miles north of Seattle. A cold front has brought below-freezing
temperatures to most of Washington state.
BRAZIL: At least 10 people have died in floods and mudslides caused by heavy rains in two days in southern Brazil just two weeks after slides killed nearly 130, the
government and Brazilian news media said Tuesday. Three of those who died in the latest round of downpours were killed near Rio de Janeiro Monday when the
warehouse they were building collapsed.
PHILIPPINES: A coast guard rescue vessel went missing Wednesday as it headed to help survivors of a sunken cargo ship off the coast of the central Philippines,
officials said. Another rescue ship was dispatched to waters off Antique province to find out what happened to the coast guard vessel 3504, which reportedly was
lashed by big waves when it lost radio contact, said coast guard spokesman Lt. Gary Dale Gimotea. More than a dozen rescuers were on board, he said. They were
responding to a distress call Tuesday by a cargo vessel loaded with cement that sank off Caluya island in Antique province, killing one crew member, Gimotea said.
The remaining crew of 19 were rescued by a passing vessel and brought to Caluya, he said. (Our thoughts are with our EM colleagues and there families)
NIGERIA: No fewer than 24 people have died as a result of an outbreak of meningitis in Aggur village, Shagari local government area of Sokoto state. Over 40
people have been hospitalized following the outbreak of the desease in the area. The disease broke out last Friday and the villagers immediately reported to the local
authorities but lamented that they did not receive immediate medical attention.
TAIWAN: Investigation underway in to a suspected bird flu case following mass poultry deaths, agricultural officials said on Wednesday, while rejecting local press
reports of a possible second case. Inspectors are looking at reasons for the sudden death of poultry on Oct 21 in Luzhu in Kaohsiung county, the Council of
Agriculture said on a statement. The H5N2 strain of avian influenza, which is less serious than H5N1 that has spread to humans, is a suspected case.
CAMBODIA: Cambodia began culling poultry near its capital today, officials said, five days after a young man from the area was confirmed with H5N1 bird flu by
the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government. Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun told reporters today he had ordered a three-month ban on poultry
transportation from the province of Kandal, 50km (30 miles) south of Phnom Penh, after tests confirmed it was hit by the deadly virus.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 16th December
SPAIN: Mallorca - Four construction workers trapped after three storeys of the Son Moll hotel in Cala Ratjada (Mallorca) collapsed on top of them at 8.40am this
morning, are not answering their mobile phones. Emergency rescuers supported by a police sniffer dog team are working against the clock to locate the missing men
who were carrying out reforms. The recent heavy rain in the area is blamed for the accident and is hampering the rescue mission. Four other workers were injured.
The Son Moll hotel is located on the calle Tritin.
ITALY: Heavy rains and strong winds continued to lash Italy on Tuesday, while authorities in the country's northern Piedmont and Val d'Aosta regions warned of
possible avalanches due to intense snowfalls. Near Rome, the Aniene river flooded its banks in several areas, submerging farmland and prompting the evacuation of
several homes and factories.
MOROCCO: Five people were killed when a house in eastern Morocco collapsed following heavy rains amid an unprecedented cold snap in the region. Rescuers
removed the five bodies from the house in Oulad Ali Belhaj in Taza province, some 300 kilometres (188 miles) east of the capital Rabat, after the rains on Monday.
Unusually cold weather, along with strong rain and snow, have hit eastern Morocco in recent days.
AFGANISTAN: Over 270 people have been diagnosed with a hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), locally known as "camel belly" or 'charmak' disease, in the
western province of Herat - and at least 44 deaths have been confirmed - since November 2007. The disease - which causes rapidly filling ascites (an accumulation
of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, severe abdominal pain, vomiting and jaundice - killed a 15-year-old boy on 8 December, according to local health workers.
AUSTRALIA: WA - Oil and gas exploration workers have been evacuated from rigs in the Browse Basin amid concerns a cyclone is building off the West Australian
FRANCE: Two people have died and some 90,000 households were without electricity on Monday following a powerful weekend storm that left much of central
France buried in snow.
EYGPT: A 16-year-old girl died of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu on Monday, the 23rd fatality and 51st case of the disease among humans in Egypt. Samiha
Salem from a village in the central Egyptian province of Asyut caught the disease after exposure to sick household poultry, said a health ministry official.
TSUNAMI RESPONSE 2004 : The Red Cross said Monday it will have built more than 55,000 houses for people hit by the devastating 2004 South Asian tsunami by
the end of 2008, when most major construction work should wind down.
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 13th - Monday 15th December
ENGLAND: The Buncefield Major Incident Investigation Board published its Final Report today. The report is presented in two volumes: the first contains some new
elements, for example on economic impact and the explosion mechanism. It also summarises the incident and the work of the Board in an accessible way, and brings
all of the Board's 78 recommendations into one place which demonstrates the close relationship between them. http://www.buncefieldinvestigation.gov.
USA: Wild winter weather caused slick streets, downed icy tree limbs and has knocked out power for more than a million residents of New England and New York,
prompting the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire to declare states of emergency. In western and central Massachusetts, dozens of schools are closed
and 20 towns have declared states of emergency because of a fierce overnight ice storm and loss of power.
SWEDEN: The lethal disease anthrax has been detected on a farm near Varberg, Halland. 13 cows have died since November 29. 2008, according to the home page
of Sweden's Ministry of Agriculture. Anthrax can carry from animal to human, but it is not common. The bacteria does not carry from human to human.
UGANDA: The death of two more people from yet unidentified disease in Bundibugyo district has intensified fear among residents. The Ministry of Health has
dismissed reports that it might be the re-emergence of the deadly Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fever, which hit Bundibugyo district last year.
AUSTRIA: Record snowfall in parts of southern Austria disrupted traffic and rail services Friday and prompted authorities to declare the highest-level avalanche alert.
In the Gailtal valley, in the southern province of Carinthia, about 102 centimetres of snow fell in just 48 hours, marking an 80-year record, according to the Austrian
national weather centre ZAMG.
AUSTRIA: Another case of livestock disease bluetongue has been detected in a calf in Austria, the second within the space of just over a month, the Health Ministry
UGANDA: Over 45,000 residents from 200 homesteads in Biharwe, Mbarara, were hit by hailstorm on Tuesday, which destroyed their crops and houses.
NIGERIA: A cholera outbreak in Kula community, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers, has claimed 10 lives. The State's Commissioner for Health, Dr
Samson Parker, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the disease broke out about three weeks ago. Kula is a riverine community that is about 30 nautical
miles from Port Harcourt.
UKRAINE: A large-scale disconnection of flats from central heating and hot water has started in Ukraine. In particular, company Lvovgaz cut off gas supplies from
the Power Plant-1, because the city administration failed to deliver payments, which resulted in half of city buildings being left without heating, including 924
apartment blocks, 42 schools, 26 nurseries and 11 health facilities. The situation is also poor in Kiev. Kyivenergo Co. has stopped hot-water supply because of the
limited gas-supply. Buildings in the area in charge of the Power Plant-5 and the Power Plant-6 are left without hot water; that in general is about five thousand of
apartment blocks, nearly 500 schools and nurseries and 200 hospitals.
GREECE: Kefalonia - Strong winds battered many parts of the country yesterday, causing widespread damage and flooding and keeping ferries moored in ports. A
Greek ferry sailing into the western port of Patras from Italy sustained a 2-meter gash in its hull when gale-force winds drove it into the pier. No harm came to the
102 passengers aboard the Pasiphae.
ENGLAND: Extensive flash flooding hit the south-west of England over the weekend, according to the emergency services. Somerset and Devon were especially
badly hit, with up to 18 inches of floodwater in places.
GREECE: A quake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale struck central Greece on Saturday, the Geodynamic Institute of the Athens Observatory reported. The seismic
shock hit at 0827 GMT causing minor damage to homes in Amphikleia. The epicentre of the tremor was 170 kilometres north of Athens. Greece accounts for half
the seismic shocks recorded on the European continent.
INDIA: A mysterious deadly disease has killed several sheep and goats in this frontier district during the past two weeks. The Gujjar and Bakerwal community has
expressed serious concern as the disease is fast spreading to other areas.
INDONESIA: Bali - Australians travelling to Bali are being warned about an outbreak of rabies at the popular tourist destination. The Indonesian island was considered
to be free of rabies until the fatal disease was diagnosed last week in two dogs in Kuta, a beach frequented by Australian tourists.
FRANCE: Heavy snowfall and rainstorms across southern France cut power lines and trapped people in cars and trains overnight. About 100,000 households were
without electricity, local authorities and the ERDF power distribution company said. Two thousand people were stuck on trains running along the Mediterranean
coast that came to a standstill when rainstorms brought down power lines.
NORTHERN IRELABND: A Belfast woman was last night fighting for her life after she was diagnosed with what is believed to be rabies - the first case in Northern
Ireland for 70 years. Although more tests were set to be conducted on the patient later today, initial tests conducted over the weekend proved positive for the deadly
disease. The patient involved had previously been overseas in an area associated with rabies in animals and may have been bitten there.
SPAIN: The army remains on alert as more snow is forecast across the country and temperatures remain low. The army has been called in to rescue drivers who
have been trapped in heavy snow in parts of Spain. 120 people were trapped in 100 vehicles when a blizzard hit the AP-66 motorway in Lein at Barrios de Luna.
Subject: Around the World Today - Friday 12th December
ITALY: Rome's mayor asked authorities to declare a state of emergency in the Italian capital on Thursday after heavy rains and thunderstorms overnight caused
floods, disrupted transport and led to at least one death. Much of Italy has been hit by bad weather in the past few days, with strong winds and steady downpours in
the south and heavy snowfall in the north.
INDONESIA: Bali - Health authorities in Western Australia (WA) have issued a warning about an outbreak of rabies in Bali. The Indonesian government has
confirmed the presence of the disease in the Kuta area, and local media are reporting that several Balinese people showing rabies symptoms have died after being
bitten by dogs. Bali had previously been considered rabies-free, but 2 dogs have been confirmed as having the disease.
COLOMBIA: The Ministry of Social Protection reported that on Sun 7 Dec 2008, physicians from Bucaramanga reported to the health department 2 possible cases of
febrile illness with cardiac involvement, apparently of infectious origin and one month's duration, in 2 young men, aged 22 and 23. According to the Ministry of
Protection, one of the affected patients presented with acute heart failure and died on Sun 7 Dec 2008 at 7 Intensive Care Unit of the Clinic of Bucaramanga. At the
autopsy, it was concluded that the patient had Trypanosoma cruzi infection (Chagas disease). The other patient remains at hospital in the Chicamocha clinic in the
intermediate care unit. A 3rd youth, who works with the other 2 patients, presented with symptoms of subacute general febrile illness for which he is under
observation. The 2 patients and the one who died were working for an airport services and baggage handling company at the airport in Palonegro Lebrija (Santander).
LATIN AMERICA: Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and droughts hit 18 million people in Latin America this year causing around 1,000 deaths and seven
billion dollars' worth of damages, the UN said Thursday.
IR MAURITANIA: A plague of locusts are swarming over 400 square kilometres of desert land in north Mauritania, said the head of a locust control organisation.
USA: Hawaii - Nearly 14,000 Hawaiian Electric Co. customers were without power today, thanks to the powerful storm lashing Oahu. By 4:30 p.m., about 1,100
customers were still affected mostly in Ewa, Waimanalo, kailua and Kaneohe, according to Heco officials. That was down from about 14,000 at midday in areas that
included Nanakuli, Maili, Ko Olina, and Pauoa, the company said.
SPAIN: The blaze has affected a warehouse belonging to a wholesale toy distributor and a beer company. Firemen are trying to put out an enormous fire in an
industrial estate in Motril. The fire is visible from the whole town and is thought to have started in the early hours of the morning, 3am, in a warehouse for Almacenes
Morn, which stored toys and plastic material. A neighbouring warehouse belonging to the Alhambra beer company is also ablaze, and police have had to divert local
traffic. The latest news from the scene is that the fire is still not completely controlled. The Motril fire service say the problem was caused by the roof of the
Almacenes Morn warehouse which was made of highly inflammable porexpane.
RUSSIA: Nine workers were killed and six injured in a mine explosion in Russia's northern Murmansk region, said a police source. The blast took place Thursday
when an explosive mix accidentally detonated during excavation at an apatite mine near Kirovsk, a town some 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) north of Moscow, the
unnamed source was quoted as saying. As a result of the explosion nine people died. Six received injuries, of which three have been hospitalised while the others
received outpatient care.
CAMBODIA: The Ministry of Health in Cambodia confirmed that a 19-year-old man is the eighth person who has been detected with confirmed avian influenza in
Cambodia since early 2005. This is the first case of avian influenza detected in Cambodia in 2008.
USA: Massachusetts - An ice storm that coated western and central Massachusetts overnight has knocked out power to more than 100,000 customers, prompting
Gov. Deval Patrick to declare a statewide state of emergency.
Subject: Around the World Today - Thursday 11th December
USA: New Mexico - Plague has been confirmed in a cat in Los Alamos, and the state Department of Health is encouraging people to keep pets from hunting and take
other precautions against the disease.
SCOTLAND: Two children with typhoid fever are being treated in the high dependency paediatric unit at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. It is understood the siblings
have recently returned from a trip overseas where it is believed they picked up the infection. Those who have been in close contact with the children are being tested
for the infection.
SUMATRA: Continued Risk - The subduction zone that brought us the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and tsunami is ripe for yet another large event, despite a
sequence of quakes that occurred in the Mentawai Islands area in 2007, according to a group of earthquake researchers led by scientists from the Tectonics
Observatory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
CHINA: Two people were confirmed dead and three others were injured in a 5.0-magnitude earthquake that shook southwest China's Sichuan Province early on
Wednesday, the local government said on Thursday.
AUSTRALIA: South Australia - West coast communities in South Australia have reported flash flooding and damaging winds. There is a severe thunderstorm warning
for the West Coast, Eastern Eyre Peninsula and Northwest Pastoral districts and a flood watch for the Pastoral and Flinders Districts.
AUSTRALIA: Queensland - Severe thunderstorms have damaged homes and cut power to almost 6000 properties across southeast Queensland. Four storm cells are
moving across the southeast.
SOUTH AFRICA: Firefighters who have spent the past three days battling blazes which killed three people and severely damaged homes in Gordons Bay are expected
to be mobilised for another possible five days of hot, windy, wildfire-conducive conditions.
Subject: Around the World Today - Wednesday 10th December
PAKISTAN: an earthquake of magnitude 5.6 and depth 10km has struck an very highly populated area in the Baluchistan Province population: 6.5 million) in Pakistan.
USA: Louisianna - An apparent tornado has touched down west of Dixie Inn, damaging homes, downing trees and leaving residents without electricity. No injuries
were reported, Sheriff Gary Sexton said. The damage is centered around Goodwill Road and Fuller Road about five miles north of Interstate 20.
USA: New Mexico - A massive power outage in northern New Mexico is affecting as many as 30,000 customers of Jemez Mountain Electric Co-op. Andrew Chavez
of the utility says a feeder line is down and crews were dispatched at about 7:20 am to repair it. Chavez says the outage is widespread and affects people in Espanola,
Cuba, Chama, Jemez Springs and Pojaque. He said this morning that there is no timetable for restoring power.
USA: Oaklahoma - Strong storms spawned a possible tornado near Tulsa and damaged homes and businesses in Tulsa and Wagoner counties early this morning.
National Weather Service meteorologist Max Blood in Tulsa says warm air ahead of a cold front created the storms. Blood says weather service investigators are
examining damage east of Tulsa to determine if a small tornado touched down. The winds brought down power lines and left about 1,000 PSO customers in the dark
including Liberty Elementary School in Broken Arrow. The school canceled classes for the day today. PSO says all outages are expected to be repaired by tonight.
UKRAINE: The administrative agreement of cooperation between operational-duty service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergencies and the Monitoring and
Information Center of the European Commission Civil Protection Mechanism was signed by Ukraine's Emergencies Minister Volodymyr Shandra and Jos Delbeke,
Director of the European Commission Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV).
INDONESIA: The Ministry of Health of Indonesia has announced 2 new confirmed cases of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. A 9 year old girl
from Riau Province developed symptoms on 7 Nov 2008 and was hospitalized on 12 Nov 2008. She recovered and was discharged from hospital on 27 Nov 2008.
Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Investigations into the source of her infection indicate poultry deaths at her home on 2
Nov 2008. The 2nd case, a 2 year old girl from East Jakarta, developed symptoms on 18 Nov 2008, was hospitalized on 26 Nov 2008, and died on 29 Nov 2008.
Laboratory tests have confirmed infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Initial investigations into the source of her infection suggest exposure at a live bird
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Huge waves caused by 'king tides' have smashed into dozens of villages and towns in northern Papua New Guinea, destroying homes and
flooding businesses and a hospital. Authorities said there were no reports of casualties, but they were still trying to contact several outlying islands after the waves hit
across an 800km stretch of ocean yesterday. Hundreds of people were left homeless. The waves struck PNG's north coast near the town of Wewak and islands to
the northeast, such as New Ireland.
ZIMBABWE:@ A total of 774 people have now died in the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe and suspected cases have climbed to 15,219, the United Nations' World
Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday. WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said the latest death figure -- nearly 200 up on the 589 deaths the agency reported
on Tuesday -- covered the period up to December 8.
PHILIPPINES: Hogs in at least three piggery farms in the country were found positive for Ebola virus, the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture said
on Wednesday. Tuesday Niu said both agencies have called for a joint press conference Wednesday evening to warn the public about the recent developments.
CHINA: A river channel in two provinces in east and central China has been closed off and environmental authorities are building dams to prevent its arsenic polluted
water from running downstream. The Dashahe River's Zaoji section in Henan Province showed excessive levels of arsenic as a result of waste water illegally dumped
by chemical factories in Shangqiu City.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 9th December
PACIFIC: Shallow (35Km) scale 7 earthquake north of Hawaii shakes ocean floor and raises tsunami concerns. No reports from shipping yet.
PAPUA NEW GUNEA: A huge wave has hit a Papua New Guinea island, submerging buildings and causing widespread damage but no casualties. The giant wave hit
Kavieng, on the New Ireland province, late on Tuesday and there were reports of a similar surge hitting PNG's north-eastern coast province of East Sepik. Details
remain sketchy but one witness told AAP the water surge hit late this afternoon and disaster teams are now working through the damage. “The wave took out the
hospital and the east coast road of New Island's; local resident Nessie Amos said.
AUSTRALIA: NSW - Severe thunderstorms dumped heavy rain and large hail over central and northern NSW this afternoon causing flash flooding and damage to
property. Storms brought heavy rain - in just 10 minutes Tocal in the Hunter copped 28mm, in about half an hour Fairfield in western Sydney had 18mm, while
Cessnock had 36mm.
PERU: The city council of Oyotun, a district located 83 km (52 miles) east from Chiclayo [capital city of Lambayeque Department on the northern Peruvian coast], is
declaring an emergency alert because of the risk for a potential outbreak of bubonic plague as a result of the presence of a "massive" number of rats that have
destroyed 360 hectares (890 acres) of crops in this area. Mr Aguinaga reported that specialists from the Ministry of Health had found up to 25 Asiatic rat fleas
(Xenopsylla cheopis), vectors of bubonic plague, per rat.
UGANDA: A strange disease has hit Bundibugyo District, killing 15 people in the last two months. The dead were from Bubukwanga, Katumba and Bundibulagye.
The chief administrative officer, Elias Byamungu, said they had asked the Ministry of Health to come in and curb the situation before it turns out as a repeat of last
year when the district was hit by Ebola. Last year, over 40 people died following an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Bundibugyo.
CHINA: Shaanixi Province - A mountain forest in northwest China's Shaanxi Province has been ablaze for nearly 20 hours and at least 100 forestry workers are still
working all-out Tuesday to extinguish the fire. The fire started in the weeds and bushes near the Huangfu Valley in the renowned Mount Hua at 1:30 p.m. Monday,
said a clerk with the mountain's management committee.
CHINA: Hong Kong - Three dead chickens tested positive for bird flu in Hong Kong, prompting the city to suspend poultry imports for 21 days and begin
slaughtering 80,000 birds, an official said Tuesday.
ENGLAND: Thames Water is facing an unlimited fine after more than 10,000 fish died when staff spilled industrial-strength bleach into the river Wandle. The water
company pleaded guilty to releasing 1,600 litres of sodium hypochlorite into the river in south-west London. Magistrates decided the incident was so serious that
sentencing must take place at crown court, where a much bigger penalty can be imposed. Prosecutor Janet Fedrick, acting for the Environment Agency, told Sutton
magistrates' court it was the most serious case of river pollution she had seen brought before a court.
USA: Texas - One person suffered minor injuries in storms that damaged or destroyed more than 20 homes and left thousands of people without electricity today.
Denison Police Lt. Billy Shaw told The Associated Press that "it did appear to be a tornado, by looking at the damage." National Weather Service officials are expected
to review the damage to confirm whether the system, which rolled through North Texas on Monday night, was a tornado.
SERBIA: One worker was killed in a fire that erupted on Monday at the Viskoza Chemical Factory in the western Serbian town of Loznica. Firefighters are still trying
to contain the blaze. Safety and Rescue officials from the Interior Ministry stated on Tuesday that there are simultaneous efforts being conducted to both keep the fire
from spreading and to make sure that no new explosions occur.
Subject: Around the World Today - Monday 8th December
DUBAI: Emergency teams worked round the clock yesterday to clear flooded roads and junctions as motorists continued to experience delays following a weekend of
unusual downpours. Dubai Municipality said its 200-strong emergency response team was manning pumps and tanker trucks in shifts to tackle flooding in several
parts of the city. Torrential rain accompanied by thunder pounded the city over the weekend.
MALAYSIA: Sixteen relief centres were opened early yesterday as floods worsened in the state following hours of torrential rain. The total number of evacuees at
relief centres in several districts in Terengganu rose from 668 to 1,024 on Saturday. A state operations centre spokesman said in Marang.
CARIBBEAN: A pan-Caribbean early warning weather radar-system is nearing completion, a senior Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) official said Friday.
Through the multi-million dollar project, a series of digital radar stations, each with a 400-kilometer (250 mile) radius, will allow forecasters to monitor weather
including hurricanes, a major concern for the region.
VIETNAM: A blast Monday at a coal mine in northern Vietnam killed at least seven workers and injured 15, a company executive said. Rescue workers pulled their
bodies from a 750-foot-deep (230-meter-deep) tunnel in Quang Ninh province and were still searching for another victim following the methane explosion early
Monday morning, said Nguyen Van Thuan of the Khe Cham Coal company. Fifteen miners were being treated for burns, while 103 others escaped unhurt, he said.
Authorities believe the miners died from severe burns. Investigators were trying to determine what started the blast, Thuan said. Quang Ninh, about 120 miles (190
kilometers) east of capital Hanoi, is Vietnam's main coal mining region.
JAPAN: A fire broke out at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan and a worker was sickened by smoke inhalation, but there was no release of radioactivity, the
plant operator said Monday. A small fire broke out at a turbine facility at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex during welding of pipes aimed at enhancing quake
resistance, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said in a statement. A worker was sickened from inhaling smoke, but not seriously, said the company, known as TEPCO. The
fire was extinguished within one hour and there was no radiation leak from the incident, the company said. The cause of the fire was under investigation, TEPCO
said. The nuclear power complex, which suffered extensive damage in an earthquake last year, has been out of service and undergoing repairs.
BRAZIL: Brazilian authorities said Monday they have identified a mysterious disease that killed a visiting South African businessman last week as spotted fever, a tick-
borne malady. The diagnosis capped a health scare triggered by the death Tuesday of the 53-year-old man, who is believed to have contracted the illness in his home
country. Initially, it was feared he might have succumbed to an arenavirus, a highly contagious, often deadly group of hemorrhagic diseases endemic to parts of
Subject: Around the World Today - Sunday 7th December
SOUTH KOREA: Yellow dust spiked to unhealthy levels in South Korea last week, the first of what could be many unseasonal storms this winter, Korea
Meteorological Administration officials said. Yellow dust storms usually hit South Korea in the spring, covering the country in a yellowish haze and causing
respiratory problems in some people. But KMA researcher Im Jae-chul said global warming is increasing the amount of desert in Asia, and in turn, increasing the
number of sandstorms that blow from central Asia to South Korea.
INDONESIA: An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude hit off Timor Leste's coast Saturday, with no reports of injuries or damage, the U.S. geological agency said. The U.S.
Geological Survey said the earthquake struck 160 km northwest of the capital, Dili at a depth of 408.3 km beneath the Banda Sea at 6:55 pm (1055 GMT).
IRELAND: All Irish pork products have been recalled from stores after the discovery of a toxic substance in slaughtered pigs. Animal feed contaminated with harmful
toxins is understood to have infected pig products, including foods sold across Ireland and exported to the UK. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland revealed pork
products on a number of farms were found to have up to 200 times more dioxins than the recognised safety limit. The recall affects all products produced since
September 1. Consumers and retailers have been warned to destroy all Irish pork and bacon products bought since that date. It is feared the recall could cripple the
country's 400 pig farmers in the run up to Christmas. Pig farming is the fourth biggest sector in Irish agriculture and is worth around 400 million euro to the Irish
economy which is already in the midst of a recession. A government spokeswoman said laboratory results of animal feed and pork at samples confirmed the presence
IRAN: A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit an island off Iran's southern coast on Sunday, injuring five people and damaging buildings. The tremor struck an area around
the town of Dargahan on Qeshm island, at the entrance to the Gulf through which 40 percent of the world's traded oil passes. "So far only the collapse of walls of
houses in the villages of Zainabieh and Koohi has been reported," said Qeshm Governor Mehdi Irannejad. The governor saying five people had received treatment
after being injured by the quake, which struck seven km (4 miles) east of Dargahan. The governor told Iranian media that 2,000 tents were ready in case they were
needed, and medical teams with supplies and rescue equipment had been sent to check villages near Dargahan.
Subject: Around the World Today - Saturday 6th December
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: As many as 40 people are missing in Papua New Guinea after a landslide hit in the vicinity of a gold mine, the Australia Broadcasting Corp
said on Saturday, and an Australian rescue team was on its way to help in the search. The bodies of 10 dead, including those of three children, had been recovered
from the site already, an Australian government official who declined to be identified said. The Australian rescue team of around five including dog handlers was sent
at the request of the PNG government, a spokesman for Emergency Management Australia said by telephone.
MALATSIA: Four people, including a mother, her two-month-old baby and maid, have been confirmed dead in a massive landslide that has trapped hundreds of
residents in Bukit Antarabangsa early today. Police also said seven others are missing and 15 injured in the 4am landslide that swept and buried 14 houses in Jalan
Bukit Mewah and Jalan Mewah Utama. Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said police will evacuate nearly 5,000 residents from the vicinity of the landslide
which has also cut off access from the main road to housing estates in Bukit Antarabangsa. Rescue officials said 93 residents have been saved from the tonnes of
earth, mud and rubble in the landslide believed to be triggered by heavy rains in the Klang Valley in the past few weeks.
USA: California - 5.5 Earthquake shakes state
Subject: Around the World Today - Friday 5th December
ZIMBABWE: Cholera oubreak declared a National Emergency and outside assistance requested by Health Minister, meanwhile police attack Doctors and Nurses
protesting for better conditions.
UGANDA: Over 100 pigs have died of African swine fever. The veterinary officer, Dr Nelson Yesho, said 5000 pigs could die if the disease, that struck Sipi and
Kamoko sub-counties, is not contained. "The disease came through the neighbouring district of Sironko. There has been a quarantine put in place to check the pig
movement," Yesho said. He called upon the residents to abide by animal health regulations to help contain the disease.
NETHERLANDS: A fire broke out at Royal Dutch Shell's Pernis oil refinery, Europe's biggest, on Thursday but was quickly brought under control, police and Shell
said. A Shell spokesman said the 412,000 barrels-per-day plant was still running, and had not been entirely shut down. He would not comment on the status of
individual units. He said the fire broke out at around 1220 GMT at a pipeline carrying heavy diesel oil.
ETHIOPIA / HORN OF AFRICA: The food crisis in Ethiopia and other countries in the Horn of Africa region is severe and could rapidly turn into famine, the head of
the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warned Thursday.
RUSSIA: About 30 kilograms of chlorine have leaked at a chemical factory in the Siberian region of Irkutsk but there were no immediate reports of casualties,
Russia's Interfax news agency said Thursday. "On Wednesday, as a result of a faulty compressor in the Usoliekhim factory some 30 kilograms of chlorine leaked," a
local official from the emergency ministry said, according to Interfax.
GREECE: Firefighters struggled in their attempts Thursday to contain a blaze that started a day earlier in the Kamiros region of Greece, authorities said. Fire crews
have been battling the fire on the island of Rhodes since Wednesday, but firefighting aircraft have been limited in their efforts by strong winds in the area. The area is
under a state of emergency ordered by the civil protection general secretariat. Authorities told the news agency the fire had already consumed nearly 6 square miles of
brushland and forest.
USA: Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn on Wednesday slammed a proposed strategy that's supposed to help the Port of Los Angeles recover from a
catastrophic terrorist attack or natural disaster. The plan, developed by port executives, was decried by Hahn as too vague and incomplete in detailing how to resume
business the day after disaster strikes the nation's busiest port. http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_11133562
MACEDONIA: Floods hit Radovis today amid torrential rains and strong winds sweeping across Macedonia. About 150 workers of the textile production facility
Stipjanka from Radovis had been trapped in the factory for hours. They were evacuated later on. The level of rivers around and in Radovis rose rapidly as a result of
torrential rains, flooding a number of streets in the town. Radovis and Konche municipalities have been cut from the power supply system. The crews dispatched on
the terrain said that the problem would be removed soon. Broken power lines caused disruption in electricity supply in Strumica region, too. Elsewhere, in Prilep,
strong wind gusts caused collapsing of a building roof. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported. The wind also ripped off a part of the roof of Prilep City
Hospital and blew away a half of the roof of a local primary school.
ARGENTINA / ANTARCTIC:
More than 80 passengers and some crew members were evacuated on Friday from a luxury Antarctic cruise ship that ran aground the previous day during a trip to
observe seals, penguins and whales in the area. They boarded a Chilean navy ship that was to take them to Chile's Frei Base in Antarctica, which has an airstrip from
which they can be flown out of the area, the Chilean navy said in a statement. The tourists on the Ushuaia cruise ship included 14 Danes, 12 Americans, 11
Australians and six Chinese, among others from around the world, the navy said. Chile said 82 passengers and five crew were evacuated, but that most of the crew
stayed on board to try to free the ship.
BRAZIL: The body of a South African businessman who died of a mysterious hemhorragic disease days after arriving in Brazil has been cremated by a special
decontamination team in Rio de Janeiro, officials said Friday. The incineration took place late Thursday. The 75 people who had been in contact with the deceased
South African were being monitored but so far had shown no symptoms of infection.
BULGARIA: In Bulgaria, daytime temperatures on Thursday shot above 20 degrees. It was warmest in Veliko Tarnovo, in central Bulgaria, with an incredible 28.6
degrees celsius. The storms came in the night, hitting the southern Kardzali region the hardest. Dozens of villages were left without power. Houses were damaged
nationwide. In Sofia the gale-force wind damaged a terminal at the airport.
Subject: Around the World Today - Thursday 4th December
GLOBAL: Climate change is overwhelming the capacity of relief agencies to cope with people made sick or homeless by natural disasters, humanitarian groups
warned here on Wednesday. Speaking on the sidelines of the UN climate talks, the heads of three leading agencies said catastrophic droughts and floods were already
becoming more frequent, fuelling demands to help those in need. The problem will amplify in the coming decades as the expected impacts of global warming bite
hard, they said.
EU: The European Union (EU) decided on Wednesday to extend restrictions on Chinese food imports after high levels of the toxic chemical melamine were found in
soya products. After banning Chinese milk products in September, the 27-nation bloc has now decided to prohibit imports of Chinese food containing soya that is
destined for infants or small children, the European Commission said.
AUSTRALIA: WA - Health authorities have warned thousands of students who attended school leavers' celebrations in Dunsborough last week to watch for
symptoms of the potentially deadly meningococcal infection, after confirming a girl had contracted the disease. The Health Department said it had traced the close
contacts of the female student, who was now in a stable condition in Royal Perth Hospital, and offered them precautionary antibiotic treatment.
VIETNAM: Bird flu has appeared in the southernmost province of Ca Mau and central Nghe An province, but no new cases of humans contracting avian influenza A
(H5N1) have so far been reported.
MONSERRAT: The Soufriere Hills Volcano has erupted, hurling hot rocks more than half a mile in the air, and setting buildings ablaze in the abandoned capital
Plymouth. Roderick Stewart Director of the volcano observatory in Montserrat, said buildings burned for several hours but no one was injured or evacuated.
CHINA: Eleven Chinese workers were killed by a fire in their company dormitory on Thursday near the coastal city of Qingdao. Ten were injured, it said. An
investigation at the food-processing company was under way. Fires at dormitories can be especially dangerous in China, because companies often lock exits to
prevent thieves from entering or workers from leaving!
Subject: Around the World Today - Wednesday 3rd December
CHINA: Eleven girls died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a school in northern China's Shaanxi province, an education official said Tuesday evening. The girls had lit
a fire to keep warm. A dozen girls were found poisoned Tuesday morning at the Duiziliang Middle School in Yulin city, said an official with the Yulin Education
SOUTH AFRICA: The Limpopo River has tested positive for cholera, said a provincial health department spokesperson. The tests were run on Monday, departmental
spokesperson Phuti Seloba told the radio station. It was not yet known the river had been contaminated. However, Musina residents were expressing concerns about
possible contamination nearly two weeks ago as sewage seeped into the river from Beitbridge. On Tuesday, the North West's health department was placed on alert
for a cholera outbreak, said spokesperson Nthabiseng Makhongoana. She said that to date all cholera cases reported in South Africa had been linked to the Zimbabwe
UGANDA: AT least 14 people have died of bubonic plague in Nebbi and Arua districts, local health authorities have said. The Arua health officer, Dr. Patrick Anguzu,
said at least 68 cases of the disease had been registered since the beginning of the year.
AUSTRALIA: Victoria - Motorists have been warned to take care in northern Victoria where a locust plague is expected to blanket the area over coming weeks.
Australian Plague Locusts have emerged at almost 600 locations on both sides of the New South Wales border, the Department of Primary Industries said.
ASIA: UN officials meeting in the Malaysian capital Tuesday warned Asian countries not to cut funding for disaster preparations, despite the global economic
downturn. Philippine senator Loren Legarda, the UN's newly-appointed "champion" for disaster risk reduction said countries in the region must spend to reduce risks
in a natural disaster.
CANARY ISLANDS: 172 passengers have been rescued from a Fred Olsen catamaran fast ferry which ran aground last night at 8,10pm close to the port of Los
Cristianos, in Arona, Tenerife. There were about 172 people on the vessel at the time of the incident and they were taken off some three and a half hours later. There
are no reported injuries in the incident, although several of the passengers suffered slight symptoms of shock.
SPAIN: A gas explosion ripped through an apartment building in northeastern Spain before dawn Wednesday, injuring at least 28 people, authorities said. The blast left
gaping holes in the front, sides and roof of the three-story building in Gava, an industrial and farming town southwest of the Catalan capital of Barcelona.
NORWAY: There has been a gas explosion at a fertilizer plant owned by Norway's Yara at Heroya south in Norway, public broadcaster NRK reported on Wednesday.
It said the fire was now under control. Two people were sent to hospital and one person was missing.
FINLAND: Water levels in lakes and rivers in many areas are at near-flood levels due to heavy rains and melting snow. The Kymi River has overflowed its banks and
caused flooding along its lower reaches. The Environmental Centre of Southeast Finland on Wednesday received reports of flooded fields and basements, as well as
streets in parts of Kotka cut off by high waters. In the west, the Kokem?ki River has also flooded hundreds of hectares of farmland. In southern parts of the country
the mass of water flowing in rivers is at a seasonal high with some local flooding.
BRAZIL: Brazilian health officials were monitoring people in Rio de Janeiro for possible infections on Wednesday, after a South African man on a business trip died of
a suspected hemorrhagic virus. The body of the 53-year-old man, who arrived in Brazil on Nov. 23 and began showing symptoms two days later, was being
repatriated to South Africa in a zinc-sealed coffin, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. Brazilian media reported officials as saying he may have been infected
when he was a patient at a hospital in South Africa where four people died from a new strain of arenavirus, which also includes the germ that causes Lassa fever.
Subject: Around the World Today - Tuesday 2nd December
AUSTRIA: Parts of Carinthia in southern Austria were cut off Monday because of a high risk of avalanche following heavy snowfall over the weekend, the Austria
Press Agency reported. The road leading to the small village of Bad Bleiberg was shut and some eight houses located in the danger zone were evacuated. It was
unclear how long the closure would last.
ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe has cut water supplies to the nation's capital Harare, state media reported Monday, leaving most of the city dry as authorities struggle to
contain a cholera epidemic. Since the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) had failed to find chemicals to treat the water supply, the state-run utility on
Sunday stopped pumping water in the capital.
CHINA: China said Monday that a total of 294,000 children had fallen ill from consuming dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, with 154 of
them still in serious condition.
CHINA: Fifteen workers died after an explosion at a coal mine in northeast China, state media reported on Monday. The blast occurred on Sunday afternoon at a
legally run mine in Qitaihe city, Heilongjiang province, according to the Xinhua news agency, which said the cause of the accident was still being investigated.
BANGLADESH: Bangladesh's climate refugees search for higher ground. In the mountainous village of Hoaikong in southeastern Bangladesh, villagers are used to
welcoming new residents on a weekly basis. The once-sparsely populated jungle, home to only a handful of tribal families, houses some 2,000 people who have
sought higher ground as the island where they once lived becomes increasingly submerged by the sea.
CROATIA: Two-metre waves have flooded the centre of Rijeka and the area near the city market, Rijeka web site reports on Monday. Sea level is significantly higher
than usual. Karolina Rijecka pier was also flooded. The locals in Bakarac cannot remember such stormy weather in the past 20 to 30 years.
SLOVENIA: Several Slovenian coastal towns, including Piran, Izola and Koper, were hit by a tide on Monday, which took water levels to heights last seen 40 years
ago. The main square in Piran was covered with more than half a meter of water.
TURKEY: At least three people were killed and 17 others injured in a gas leak explosion in northwestern Turkey. The blast was a result of a leak in the heating system
of the municipal council of Izmit. Extensive damage was reported to the council building itself as well as several other nearby. KUNA said it was unclear how many
people were inside the building at the time of the explosion and firefighters and rescue teams are searching for survivors.
GUATEMALA: In Chiquimula, an outbreak of malaria has been reported. 200 cases have been identified with a clinical picture of headache, body aches, fever, nausea
and dizziness. According to Raul Espina Ruana, Director of the Public Health Center, the villages affected by this disease are: Santa Barbara, Colonia El Maestro, the
hamlet of El Jurgallon, and the colonias Lomas, among others. Health employees sprayed houses, courtyards and places where there are presumed accumulations of
water, where the mosquito vector proliferates.
USA: New Mexico - A 22-year-old woman from Otero County had died from Hantavirus. The state's health department announced Monday that the unidentified
woman is the second person in New Mexico to die from the disease. The first fatal case occurred in March, when a Taos County man was inflicted with the ailment.
Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in airborne
particles of the virus.
USA: Colorado - The U.S. Forest Service says an outbreak of the plague is killing black-tailed prairie dogs in the Comanche National Grassland in southeastern
Colorado. The agency said Monday that prairie dog colonies at the grassland decreased from 16,000 acres in 2005 to just 3,607 this year.
TAIWAN: A 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Taiwan on Tuesday about 31 kilometres off southeastern Taitung County at a depth of 30 kilometres. There were no
immediate reports of damage, casualties or tsunamis.
Subject: Around the World Today - Monday 1st December
BULGARIA: The Director General of the Civic Protection service in Bulgaria Andrey Ivanov was disciplinary dismissed from his post for failing to carry out his
duties, the Ministry of Extraordinary Situations announced. According to Ivanov, he refused to be forced to evaluate employees with lower marks so that they could
be dismissed easier and replaced with people with connections to someone. Ivanov noted that appointing new workers is carried out by the Minister of Extraordinary
PORTUGAL: The earthquake simulation in Greater Lisbon last weekend generated criticisms of the Civil Protection Authorityâ€™s ability to manage a major
catastrophe. Lack of communication and management of information were the biggest faults noted. FULL STORY: http://www.the-news.net/cgi-bin/google.pl?
AUSTRALIA: Tasmania - A group of about 150 whales stranded on a remote coastline in southern Australia were battered to death on rocks before rescuers could
reach them. Officials from Tasmania state's Parks and Wildlife Service rushed Sunday in four-wheel-drive vehicles to the remote site at Sandy Cape after the long-
finned pilot whales were spotted by air a day earlier.
GERMANY: Police say a firefighter has been killed and seven rescue workers injured when a malt silo exploded in western Germany.Police spokesman Klaus
Weinmann says firefighters responded early Sunday to a raging fire at a malt factory in Worms, a town southwest of Frankfurt. While they were fighting the fire the
ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic is surging ahead unchecked according to official figures released Sunday. They show the number of reported cases has
almost doubled in the last week, to over 11,000. Quoted in the state-controlled media, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said 11,071 cases had been reported since
the epidemic began seven weeks ago. However, the death toll from the deadly diarrhoeal disease is rising more slowly. There were 425 deaths reported November
28, up from 295 reported a week before that.
RUSSIA: Physicians in the Ryazanskaya Oblast are concerned about an outbreak of meningitis in children. At the moment, 7 cases of serous [aseptic] meningitis have
been reported, which is equivalent to the number cases reported during the whole of last year . Children, including newborns, are the group at greatest risk of
serous [aseptic] meningitis. So far in 2008, a total of 60 cases of serous [aseptic] meningitis has been recorded in the Ryazanskaya Oblast.
RUSSIA: A rupture of a natural gas pipeline Sunday morning has left nearly 10,000 residents of central Russia without any heat services, an emergency center says.
The regional emergencies center said specialists have already found the ruptured portion of the pipeline in the city of Kursk and are working to resume heating
services to 16 residential homes and nearly 10,000 area residents, RIA Novosti reported. 33F / 0C at time!
IRAN: Twelve people in southern Iran have died after drinking homemade alcohol and dozens more have been blinded or are in a serious condition, according to
health workers there. Alcohol is banned in the Islamic Republic, which has enforced Islamic sharia law since its 1979 Islamic revolution. The tiny minority of Iran's
Christians, who mainly live in northern Iran, are permitted to make alcohol for personal consumption.
SOUTH AFRICA: Another killer storm has struck the Durban area, leaving seven people dead and eight critically injured. Three weeks after nine people were killed in
a storm in Molweni, outside Hillcrest, which left a trail of destruction, the latest storm on Saturday night wrecked hundreds of houses, community centres and
schools in areas south of Durban. It left 400 homeless.
ZIMBABWE: A deadly outbreak of anthrax has killed two children and one adult and is threatening to wipe out at least 60,000 livestock in Zimbabwe's northern
Zambezi Valley, Save the Children warned today.
ITALY: Venice has been put on flood alert, with Italian officials warning the sea could rise 1.6m above its normal level - the highest in almost 30 years. Many of
Venice's streets, including the famous St Mark's Square, were already under water on Monday morning.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Brucellosis is continuing to spread across Bosnia and Herzegovina and is reaching epidemic proportions, the country's leading
epidemiologist warns. A total of 757 infections in people have been registered in 2008 just in the bigger Bosnian entity of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim)-Croat federation.
GHANA: Ashanti - Ten people have been confirmed dead and two are hospitalised following an outbreak of meningitis in the Yaw Bronya farming community in the
Ashanti Region, 250km north of the capital Accra. Local authorities have closed down schools and banned all public gatherings.
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