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PM visits Assam, announces Rs 2,000 cr to combat floods in northeast

After arriving at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport around 10 a.m., Modi took an Indian Air Force chopper to go to Khanapara area where he met the chief ministers.

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Guwahati/New Delhi, Aug 1 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced Rs 2,000 crore for northeastern states to deal with the damage caused by floods that have killed 76 persons in Assam and affected millions.

The Prime Minister, who arrived in Assam on Tuesday morning on a day-long visit to review the flood situation and relief works in the state, held meetings with Assam ministers as also alliance partners of the BJP-led government in the state.

He also met Chief Ministers of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. A memorandum was received from the Chief Minister of Mizoram, who could not make it to the meeting.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Prime Minister also announced an additional Rs 100 crore to institute a high-powered group, including scientists, technocrats and bureaucrats from central and state governments, to study the course of the Brahmaputra river for a permanent solution to the floods in the region.

Sarma said the Prime Minister also announced Rs 250 crore for immediate flood relief in Assam. He said the amount would likely be released on Tuesday itself.

Modi has already released Rs 300 crore for flood relief operations in Assam.

After arriving at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport around 10 a.m., Modi took an Indian Air Force chopper to go to Khanapara area where he met the chief ministers.

An official release later said that over Rs 1,200 crore will be for repair, maintenance, and strengthening of roads, highways, bridges, and other damaged infrastructure in the region.

The statement said that Rs 400 crore will be provided for improving the water holding capacity of the Brahmaputra river, which will assist in flood control.

The release said an ex-gratia assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to each of those seriously injured due to the floods has been sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

The government has also decided to constitute a high level committee, with representation from central ministries and states for proper management of the region’s vast water resources which are about one third of the country’s total resources.

The release said that the central government has approved Rs 600 crore as central share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in the current year. “Of this, Rs 345 crore has already been released and the remaining will be released immediately to assist the states in relief and rehabilitation work,” the release added.

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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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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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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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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