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Disaster

Over 1,900 tourists evacuated from Andaman and Nicobar islands

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New Delhi/Port Blair, Dec 9 : Over 1,900 tourists were taken to safety by air and sea from Andaman and Nicobar islands till Friday evening, the Defence Ministry said.

The sudden evacuation was necessitated over fears of a cyclonic storm.

While 1,614 people were taken to safety from Havelock Island, 289 were evacuated from Neil island by Indian Air Force helicopters, Indian Navy, Coast Guard, DSS and private ships, according to a Defence Ministry spokesperson.

Six Indian Navy ships, three Coast Guard vessels and three MI-17 V5 choppers took part in the rescue mission that started on Friday morning despite rain and strong winds.

The army and the Andaman administration also joined the rescue operations.

The six navy ships that took part in the mission are Karmukh, Kumbhir, Bitra, Baratang, LCU 27 and LCU 38.

The three IAF choppers carried out 14 sorties — 11 from Havelock, and three from Neil island.

“Six Indian Navy ships and three Indian Coast Guard ships sailed out at 9.30 a.m. from Port Blair for rescue operations. Three Indian Air Force helicopters are also taking part in IN, ICG, Army, State administration joint operation for evacuation of stranded tourists in the Havelock Island,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The sudden evacuation mission was initiated at the request of the Andaman and Nicobar Disaster Management, which speculates that a “cyclonic storm” might strike Havelock, an island about 36 km from capital Port Blair.

The navy on Wednesday made its first attempt to rescue the tourists stranded on Havelock.

However, due to extreme weather conditions, the tourists could not reach the jetty to board the ships.

Four navy ships had to return in a failed rescue attempt, the officials from A&N Disaster Management informed.

“Now the weather conditions have improved. It’s only moderate rain and winds,” an official from A&N Disaster Management told IANS.

The official said the sudden evacuation was called for as they did not want to take any risk given that a deep depression (in the sea) developed about 310 km from Port Blair.

Disaster

Mount Sinabung volcano erupts, spewing a 5,000-metre ash into sky

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Jakarta, Feb 19: The Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island erupted on Monday, spewing columns of ash as high as five km into the sky. 

Head of National Volcanology Agency Kasbani stated the hot ash slides were 4.9 km to the southeast of the crater and 3.5 km to the east.

“This is the highest eruption for this year,” he told Xinhua news agency.

However, Kasbani said the ash from the volcano does not disturb flights.

“The ash does not head to Medan city and compounds of Kualanamu international airport,” he further added.

Mount Sinabung volcano had been quiet for four centuries before erupting in 2010. The volcano had also erupted in 2014 and 2016.

WeForNews 

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Major 7.5 magnitude earthquake hits Mexico

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Mexico eathquake
People react after an earthquake shook buildings in Mexico City, Mexico on February 16, 2018. (PC- Reuters)

Mexico City, Feb 17: A powerful earthquake shook southern Mexico on Saturday as people fled out of buildings in capital Mexico City when the ground was shaking.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake was measured 7.5 on the Richter scale 4 km south of Pinotepa de Don Luis with the epicenter at a depth of 10 km, Xinhua reported.

Strong tremors were felt in Mexico City and quake alarms were triggered in the city.

In a major street near the capital’s Chinatown, the traffic was temporarily halted as crowds of people are gathering outside, checking updates about the earthquake through cellphones.

IANS

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Disaster

Six people confirmed dead in 6.5-magnitude Taiwan earthquake

A power outage affected 1,900 households and 40,000 households are without water, according to Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center.

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taiwan-earthquake

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake jolted waters near Taiwan’s east coast on Tuesday night, killing at least six people and injuring over 200.

The death toll stood at six as of 8:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday with at least 258 others injured in the strong, 6.5-magnitude earthquake, Taiwan’s emergency operation center said in a statement.

The statement said 67 people were still unaccounted for.

The head of Hualien Tzu Chi General Hospital said that six injured tourists from the Chinese mainland are being treated in the hospital, one of whom suffered a severe foot injury while the other is in critical condition.

Local media said that a 45-year-old woman from the Chinese mainland, who was seriously injured in the earthquake, died at 9:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday. However, authorities have yet to confirm the news.

After the earthquake, Director of Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council Zhang Zhijun had a telephone conversation with the head of Hualien, promising to provide emergency assistance and rescue teams.

An emergency response mechanism has also been initiated by the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC), the earthquake struck waters near Hualien County at around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday at a depth of 11 kilometers.

Photos and videos circulating on social media show collapsed buildings, tilted structures and damaged roads and bridges.

Local media said four buildings including the Marshal Hotel, Yun Tsui building and two residential buildings were among the damaged structures.

The earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks including several measuring over 5-magnitude.

VCG Photo

A power outage affected 1,900 households and 40,000 households are without water, according to Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center.

About 40 roads have been damaged and two bridges, including Qixing Tan, sealed off.

Train service to the city center is still available in Hualien but at a slower speed, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Source : CGTN

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