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Disaster

Cyclone Bulbul: 8 dead, 4.65 lakh affected in Bengal

The deaths were caused by trawler capsize, house collapse, trees and electric poles falling on the victims as also electrocution.

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cyclonic storm Bulbul

Kolkata, Nov 11 : Cyclone Bulbul has left behind a trail of destruction in West Bengal, taking away eight lives in three districts, affecting 4.65 lakh people and damaging around 60,000 houses, officials said on Sunday.

The storm also uprooted hundreds of trees and affected power supply in parts of the state.

Five loss of lives were reported from Basirhat sub-division in North 24 Parganas district, while South 24 Parganas recorded two deaths and another succumbed in East Midnapore as Bulbul ploughed through the Bengal coast close to Sundarban Dhanchi forest between 8.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. on Saturday before going off to Bangladesh as a weakened cyclonic storm.

The deaths were caused by trawler capsize, house collapse, trees and electric poles falling on the victims as also electrocution.

In Gosaba of South 24 Parganas, a woman perished when she slipped and fell while rushing to take shelter in a neighbouring house during the cyclone.

Official sources in Nabanna secretariat said 4.65 lakh people were affected, while 1.78 lakh persons were sheltered in 471 relief camps.

“The number of houses fully, partially or severely damaged is 60,000,” the sources said.

In the worst-hit Basirhat sub-division alone, 3,100 houses suffered damages, said state food and supplies minister Jyotipriyo Mullick.

Mullick, who toured the Bulbul-hit areas in Basirhat on Sunday, said the condition of Sandeshkhali was “very bad”.

“There has been massive damage to agricultural land. We have to meet the crisis on a war footing,” he said.

Six teams of National Disaster Response Force and four State Disaster Response Force teams alongside 15,000 volunteers were carrying out relief and rescue operations in the affected areas, Khan said.

So far, 46,000 tarpauline sheets have been distributed, and 373 group kitchens were operating .

“We are still awaiting information from some of the remote areas. Only then we will be able to collate the total damage,” said the minister.

According to the Regional Meteorological Centre here, Canning in South 24 Parganas recorded 20 cm rainfall in the 24-hour period till 8.30 a.m. on Sunday. Contai and Digha in East Mindapore district received 16 cm and 10 cm rains respectively during the same period.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take stock of the situation.

In the telephonic conversation, Modi assured Banerjee of all possible assistance from the Central government.

Banerjee, who led from the front by stationing herself in the special control room set up at the Nabanna secretariat till the wee hours on Sunday, announced she would make an aerial survey of the Bulbul hit areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas district on Monday and review relief and rehabilitation measures in Kakdwip with the district administration.

She plans to visit Basirhat on Wednesday.

A Kolkata Port Trust official said its personnel rescued 200 persons from Sagar Island and housed them in a safe building.

The tourist resort of Bakkhali was virtually in ruins, with rows of damaged shops, collapsed houses, and uprooted trees and electric poles.

Two jetties collapsed in Namkhana, where the station also sustained damage, with a part of the asbestos roof giving way. Two jetties were damaged too.

A number of villages were inundated in Kultali following the erosion of the Matla river triggered by Bulbul. Lot of houses collapsed, and a large number of people were rendered homeless.

Disaster

Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake hits Turkey

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Earthquake Turkey

At least fourteen people were killed when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook eastern part of the country on Friday.

Govt’s disaster & emergency management agency said, the quake shook the Sivrice district in th eastern province of Elazig at around 8.55 pm

Eight people were killed in Elazig and six more in the neighbouring province of Malatya, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said. Regional governors said hundreds of people were injured.

State broadcaster TRT showed footage of police and emergency workers searching a partly collapsed building in Elazig. Windows were smashed and balconies had crashed to the ground.

At another collapsed building, teams worked with their hands to remove bricks and plaster from the ruins.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu described the earthquake as a “Level 3” incident according to the country’s emergency response plan. This means it requires assistance at the national level but is one stage short of needing international help.

The quake struck in a remote, relatively sparsely populated area and it could take some time for authorities to establish the full extent of damage.

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Business

Global markets under pressure over fear of coronavirus spread

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Stock Market Down

Mumbai, Jan 24 : Fears that the outbreak of coronavirus in China may disrupt economic activity and global growth has sent the stock markets tumbling.

Chinese health authorities on Friday said that 830 cases of pneumonia caused by coronavirus were confirmed in 29 provincial-level regions in the country. The pneumonia has so far claimed 25 lives.

A sharp adverse reaction from Asian, US and European markets was witnessed because China is entering one of its busiest travel periods on account of its Lunar New Year holiday. The virus outbreak could hurt demand.

On Thursday, Chinese stock markets logged its biggest slide in eight months. However, Indian markets closed higher as the oil prices plunged significantly. The global oil benchmark, Brent slipped to $62 a barrel as the virus outbreak in China may dent fuel demand.

Meanwhile official sources told IANS that though over 500 Indian students study in Wuhan city’s medical colleges and universities, most of them had left for home for the Chinese New Year holidays.

Deaths due to the virus have revived memories of the SARS epidemic, caused by a coronavirus, which killed nearly 800 people and infected more than 8,000 others across the world in 2002-2003.

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Disaster

6.2 magnitude quake hits west of Port Hardy, Canada

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Earthquake

Ottawa, Dec 25 An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 jolted 183km west of Port Hardy, Canada on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quake.

The epicentre, with a depth of 1.0 km, was initially determined to be at 50.573 degrees north latitude and 130.001 degrees west longitude, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, there is no current tsunami warning in effect, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

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