|AROUND THE WORLD TODAY
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Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 23rd March 2011
JAPAN: For the survivors of the tsunami that struck Japan earlier this month, the daily struggle to keep warm and find enough food continues. In the town of
Tagajo on the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, the Sen-en Hospital has been without electricity, gas or running water for nearly two weeks. There are shortages
of basic medicines. Several elderly patients have died because of the freezing temperatures in the wards. A 90-year-old patient at the Tagajo Sen-en hospital
screams out that she is cold. The temperature inside is a few degrees above freezing. On some nights, it drops below zero Celsius. There is no electricity, gas
or water. The cold and the shortage of medicine have claimed the lives of 12 elderly patients since the waves roared through the lower floors of this hospital.
Deputy Head Doctor Yoichi Hashiguchi tucks more blankets around one of the 50 patients still under his care. He says conditions are very tough. Radiation
levels in Tokyo's tap water make it unfit for babies to drink, Japanese officials warn as efforts to stabilise a quake-stricken nuclear plant continue
USA: Gulf of Mexico - The US Coast Guard is currently investigating reports of a potentially massive oil sheen 20 miles north of the Deepwater Horizon oil
rig explosion from last April. According to Paul Barnard, operations controller for the USCG in Louisiana, a helicopter crew has been dispatched to the site
of the Matterhorn SeaStar oil rig, owned by W&T Offshore, Inc. Multiple reports have come in of a sheen nearly 100 miles long and 12 miles wide
originating near the site. Independent pilots, including John Wathen of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and Bonnie Schumaker with Wings of Care, are currently
flying out to investigate the spill. Schumaker reports having seen the sheen on Friday, March 18, and confirms that it is rapidly expanding. A Louisiana
fisherman, who has chosen to remain anonymous at this time, also reports fresh oil coming ashore near South Pass, LA, and that cleanup crews are laying
new boom near the beach. The origination point of the sheen, near Mississippi Canyon 243, lies 30 miles southeast of the Louisiana coastline, and extends to
Barataria Bay. The Matterhorn oil field, at a depth of 2,789 feet (850 meters) of water, was discovered in 1999, leased and permitted in July 2001, and
came into production in November 2003. According to W&T, the field has produced an average rate of 5,200 barrels of oil per day, and has production
capacities of 35,000 barrels of oil per day.
AUSTRALIA: Victoria - Emergency services were monitoring camp grounds in Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory last night, following heavy rain, and the
town of Mallacoota in eastern Victoria was cut off. SES units responded to calls for help after flash flooding and heavy showers and thunderstorms battered
East and West Gippsland yesterday and motorists were warned to take care. Flood warnings were issued for the Genoa, Snowy and Cann rivers.
Mallacoota received 123 millimetres of rain and the only road into town was closed. The SES responded to 40 calls for aid in Moe as a result of flash
flooding and three people were rescued from their vehicles.
USA: Kentucky - Governor Sam Brownback declared a State of Disaster Emergency Declaration today because of a large wildfire in Stanton County which
has burned an area of approximately 60 square miles or 38,400 acres and was threatening Johnson City and the City of Manter. The Stanton County
Emergency Management director notified the Kansas Division of Emergency Management that mutual aid had been requested and received from several
nearby counties including Grant, Hamilton, Morton, and Stevens as well as counties in Colorado. 40 mph winds from the southwest fueled the fire.
NORWAY: Two persons missing after their home was swept to sea by a major avalanche in Balestrand in the county of Sogn og Fjordane late Monday
evening, were found dead Tuesday afternoon. 10 persons have been evacuated. The couple's home was swept off its foundations and completely crushed by
the masses of snow, NRK reports. Due to the danger of further snow slides, rescue personnel are not able to move in by road. The two were found after
crews from the police and municipality as well as a vessel from the Coast Guard had carried out an extensive search all Tuesday below the avalanche site at
Flesje, four kilometres west of Balestrand.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 22nd March 2011
JAPAN: Work to connect power cables to all six reactors at Japan's stricken nuclear plant is completed but further testing is needed before the electricity
can be switched on.
CONGO: At least 16 people are killed as a cargo plane crashes in a residential area of Congo's economic capital, Pointe-Noire.
ITALY: More North African migrants arrive on the tiny Italian isle of Lampedusa, where the migrant influx this year has doubled the population.
NEW ZEALAND: Towns around the Coromandel Peninsula have been cut off from each other as flooding from heavy rain sweeps across the North Island.
Flooding has closed State Highway 2 at Opoutere, Hikuai/Settlement Rd, Hot Water Beach Rd, Wades Culvert, Te Rerenga and Manaia. At Opoutere,
forestry logs have also been washed down the hills onto SH25. As of 9.30am, residents cannot travel from Thames to Tairua, Pauanui or Whangamata, from
Thames to Coromandel township, Tairua to Whitianga, and from Whitianga to Coromandel township, the Thames Coromandel District Council said. There
is flooding across the fords in the Kauaeranga Valley and Victoria Street in Thames, and minor slips on Kennedy Bay Rd.
USA: Colarado - Evacuation orders have been issued for about 100 homes in the mountains west of Denver, as two separate wildfires have burned more
than 700 acres on steep, rugged terrain. Strong winds and warm, dry weather on Monday were hindering firefighters trying to keep flames from a subdivision
containing about 250 homes west of Golden. A small grass fire burning in the mountains roughly 20 miles southwest of Golden and near Evergreen is
threatening 25 homes. Officials have asked people there to leave their homes. Officials say winds gusting to 25 mph were causing firefighters to retreat off
and on. The Jefferson County sheriff's office says more homes might have to be evacuated and have told people in up to 700 houses to be ready to leave.
It's not known how the fires started.
AUSTRALIA: NSW - The State Emergency Service says up to 20 properties at Ungarie in central-western New South Wales could be inundated this
afternoon. Residents in the village, south-west of Parkes, have been issued an evacuation warning as the local creek continues to rise. Lachlan SES regional
controller Nicole Richardson says the water could rise as high as it did in the 1984 flood. "The main street of Ungarie did become inundated during that
time," she said. It's uncertain at this stage but we're taking all precautions. "We will provide assistance to property owners." Torrential rain also caused flash
flooding in West Wyalong yesterday afternoon, where 15 homes were affected.
AUSTRALIA: Queensland - In northern Queensland, onshore flow and the atmospheric instability combined to produce heavy downpours, with 238.6mm
of rain falling at Rollingstone in 24 hours last Wednesday. In western Australia's Kimberly region, severe floods destroyed 45 homes and forced 217 people
to evacuate. The Fitzroy River rose to a record level at Fitzroy Crossing on Wednesday, topping that of 2002.
UK OVERSEAS TERRITORY OF TRISTAN DA CUNHA: A wrecked ship is threatening to cause an environmental disaster on an island which is home
to endangered penguins, conservationists have warned. The vessel has grounded on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in
the South Atlantic, causing an oil slick around the island which is home to nearly half the world's population of northern rockhopper penguins. Some 1,500
tonnes of heavy crude oil from the MS Olivia, which was shipping soya beans between Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, is leaking into the sea. According to
the RSPB, oil now surrounds Nightingale Island and extends into a slick eight-miles offshore, threatening the endangered penguins and the economically
important rock lobster fishery. Hundreds of penguins have already been seen coming ashore covered in oil, said the wildlife charity. The shipwreck could
also lead to any rats onboard colonising the island and posing a huge risk to the native seabird populations - whose chicks and eggs could be eaten by the
invasive rodents. The Tristan da Cunha islands, in particular Nightingale and its neighbour Middle Island, are home to millions of nesting seabirds and there
are more than 200,000 northern rockhopper penguins on the island.
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 21st March 2011
JAPAN: Tragic story from the devastation - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12801085
The situation at Japan's quake-damaged nuclear plant remains very serious but the crisis will be "effectively overcome", says the head of the UN atomic
agency. Japan may need up to five years to rebuild from the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that has caused up to $235bn (£145bn) of damage, the
World Bank said in a report. It also estimates that 0.5 percentage points will be shaved from the country's economic growth this year. However, it expects
growth to pick up again in the second half of the year.
PAKISTAN: A series of methane gas explosions at a mine in Pakistan's Balochistan province have killed at least 24 workers, officials say. Rescue workers
are trying to reach about 30 other miners who are trapped. Hopes of rescuing the survivors were fading because of a lack of oxygen, one official told the
NEW ZEALAND: Buildings in central Christchurch will be inspected for damage today after a 5.1 magnitude aftershock rattled the city last night. It was the
second largest aftershock since the February 22 6.3 magnitude quake and was one of three in about 25 minutes. The 5.1 aftershock struck at 9.47pm,
10km east of Christchurch at a depth of 10km. The largest aftershock remains the 5.5 magnitude which struck at 2.50pm, just under two hours after the
February 22 quake. The one confirmed report of damage received by Civil Defence last night was to a small dairy, though dozens of reports have been
posted on the GeoNet website in the 'slightly damaging' category. Civil Defence said a quick inspection of buildings in the inner city had shown that loose
masonry had fallen but that a full assessment would be made in daylight. There have been no reports of injuries.
USA: Georgia - Firefighters are still trying to extinguish a fire at a warehouse in northwest Atlanta. Sgt. Bobby Stewart of the Atlanta fire department says
more than 100 firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out Sunday night. He says some firefighters were still pouring water on hot spots early Monday.
Stewart says the building, which houses a paper and plastic recycling center, caught fire around 8:30 p.m. and firefighters contained the blaze late Sunday
night. Stewart says one firefighter was injured and is in stable condition after being hospitalized for treatment for dehydration and heat exhaustion. He says
firefighters are expected to remain at the scene for several hours. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 20th March 2011
JAPAN / TAIWAN: Japanese police say 15,000 people may have died in one prefecture alone, as efforts to tackle the Fukushima nuclear crisis go on.
Radiation has been detected on fava beans imported from Japan to Taiwan, Taiwanese officials said Sunday, in what appears to be the first case of
contamination in Japanese exports. The disclosure came a day after Japanese officials said radiation in low amounts had been detected in spinach and milk
produced near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power complex in northeast Japan that has been leaking radiation since being damaged by an earthquake
and tsunami March 11.
GUYANA: Parts of Bartica experienced flooding after heavy rain early yesterday morning coupled with an unusually high tide, leaving members of the
business community counting significant losses and damage to goods. The Guyana Power and Light Inc at First Avenue near the river was forced to halt
operations after the compound was flooded, but by midday electricity was restored to the community. Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday afternoon
Regional Chairman Holbert Knights explained that around 04:00 hrs the community was hit by heavy rainfall.
PAKISTAN: Methane gas sparked an explosion inside a coal mine in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, trapping around 30 miners on
Sunday, a government official said. The blast occurred in a mine run by the state-owned Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) in Surran
range, some 35 km (22 miles) east of the provincial capital, Quetta. "We don't know about casualties right now. Rescue workers are busy in their work.
Some 30 workers were inside the mine at the time of the blast," a senior PMDC official told Reuters. Such explosions are not uncommon in coal mines in
Pakistan, most of which are located in Baluchistan and neighbouring Sindh province, where safety measures can be lax. The country has huge coal reserves
estimated at more than 184 billion tonnes. It produces 4 million tonnes of coal annually, most of which is consumed by brick-making kilns.
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 19th March 2011
JAPAN: Airline tickets sold out Thursday and firms hired private jets to move staff out as foreign governments told their nationals to get out of Tokyo,
fearing the nuclear crisis could escalate. The United States, Australia and several European nations urged their citizens in the sprawling capital and the quake-
hit area northeast of there to leave. The official number of dead and missing after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened Japan's northeast
coast a week ago has topped 16,600, with 6,405 confirmed dead, police said Friday.
INDONESIA: Indonesia issued a red alert Friday after Mount Karangetang on the island of Sulawesi erupted, sending lava and searing gas clouds down its
slopes, a volcanologist said. "We raised the volcano's status to the highest red alert level today at 5:45 pm (1045GMT) and ordered an evacuation in three
villages on the slopes," government volcanologist Surono told AFP.
PAKISTAN: At least 15 people were killed and 30 others injured when a fierce thunderstorm hit the city of Sialkot in east Pakistan Saturday afternoon. As
most of the cable TV operators in the country are currently on a one-day strike against the country's Supreme Court decision to grant the broadcasting right
of the on-going world cup cricket matches to a single local TV channel Geo, details about the thunderstorm are very scarce at this point. Sialkot is a city
located some 100 kilometers north of Lahore in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab.
INDIA: In one of the worst infernos in northeastern India, more than 14 persons have been burnt to death and many were believed to be still buried under
debris in a Reang refugee camp at Gachhirampara-Naisingpara in Tripura on Saturday. Eyewitness put the death figure at 19. More than 100 persons were
injured. Most of the deceased were children. The devastating fire completely gutted Gachhirampara-Naisingpara Bru refugee camp in North Tripura on
Saturday at around 12.10 pm.The camp is located about 185 kms from Agartala, adjoining Mizoram and 17 kms from Kanchanpur subdivision. There were
3700 inmates in the camp.
USA: Maine - Strong winds have uprooted trees, brought down power lines and left more than 30,000 homes and business without power across Maine.
The National Weather Service says downed trees have been reported around the state Friday as sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph blew throughout much of
the day. The strongest wind gust, 57 mph, was recorded in Otisfield in southwestern Maine.
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 18th March 2011
JAPAN: Japan is risking to be overtaken by a new misery resulting from the current disaster. Japanese Seismic Service has reported a threat of its symbol
Mount Fujiyama' the Volcano is rumbling. The reasons for these assessments are recent 5-6 magnitude earthquakes on the volcano. The last time the
volcano erupted was in 1707 when a new crater appeared on it and Tokyo streets were covered with 15cm of ash.
JAPAN: Japan has raised the alert level at its quake-damaged nuclear plant from four to five on a seven-point international scale of atomic incidents. The
crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi site, previously rated as a local problem, is now regarded as having "wider consequences". The UN says the battle to stabilise
the plant is a race against time. The crisis was prompted by last week's huge quake and tsunami, which has left at least 17,000 people dead or missing.
Japanese nuclear officials said core damage to reactors 2 and 3 had prompted the raising of the severity grade.
The 1979 incident at Three Mile Island in the US was also rated at five on the scale, whereas the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was rated at seven.
PHILIPPINES: An estimated 60 houses were damaged when a whirlwind hit the coastal village of Mucas here around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, officials said.
Lanao del Norte Representative Imelda Dimaporo said there have been no report of injuries and that a relief team has been sent to the affected village.
Lieutenant Ricky Rosalejos, civil military operations chief of the 35th Infantry Battalion, said the village was in total disarray when troops arrived there shortly
after the whirlwind.
USA: MINNESOTA - Eleven teenagers and young adults were hospitalized Thursday and one of them died after apparently overdosing on an unregulated
hallucinogenic drug while celebrating spring break at a house party in the Minneapolis suburbs, authorities said. The drug, which is called 2C-E and is also
known as "Europa," has no medical use and was bought legally over the Internet for the party in Blaine, said Paul Sommer, a commander in the Anoka
County Sheriff's Office. Officers called to the home because of a reported overdose found several people already sickened when they arrived shortly after
midnight. Others who fled the house were later found to be suffering the effects of an overdose, investigators said. Eleven people ranging in age from 16 to
21 were taken to area hospitals. A 19-year-old man from Coon Rapids died, and two others were in critical condition late Thursday afternoon.
Lest we forget: 18th March 1967 - ENGLAND - Supertanker Torrey Canyon hits rocks. The supertanker Torrey Canyon has run aground between Land's
End and the Scilly Isles, leaking oil into the sea.
The crew of the Liberian-registered Torrey Canyon were rescued by helicopters and lifeboats although the captain and three of his crew initially stayed on
board. In the weeks that followed the accident, oil escaped and spread along the shores of the south coast of England and the Normandy coast of France.
Worst hit were the Cornish beaches of Marazion and Prah Sands, where sludge was up to a foot deep. Up to 70 miles (113km) of beaches were seriously
contaminated. More than 20,000 sea birds were contaminated by the oil as a result of the disaster. Maurice Foley, Under Secretary for the Navy, said that it
was the biggest problem of its kind ever faced by any nation and announced the Government would spend Â£500,000 on the south-west and Scilly Isles.
The vessel was bombed for two days until it finally sank on 30 March 1967 and the oil slick was eventually dispersed by favourable weather.
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 17th March 2011
JAPAN: The number of confirmed dead (5,400) and missing now stands at nearly 15,000 while some 450,000 people have been staying in temporary
shelters amid sub-zero night-time temperatures. Japan says it is stepping up efforts to cool overheating fuel at the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Helicopters dumped tonnes of sea water to try to prevent a meltdown of fuel rods, and media reports said water cannon had now joined in the operation on
the ground. Two New Zealand and two Australian search-and- rescue workers were decontaminated after they were found to have been exposed to low-
level radiation at Japan's Fukushima airport, Prime Minister John Key said Wednesday. He told reporters the workers were on a Blackhawk helicopter
which was forced to land at the airport, 20 kilometres outside the exclusion zone mandated following damage to a nuclear power plant, because of ice on the
chopper blades. Key said they then had to use ground transportation, and levels of radiation were picked up on the New Zealanders' boots. After returning
to the joint Australia-New Zealand base about 100 kilometres from the exclusion zone, they were tested for radiation exposure and "very low levels" were
found on the two New Zealanders and two of the four Australians on the aircraft. "They went through a decontamination process," Key said. "We do not
believe they are suffering any health risks, nor do we believe they are at any risk." They would stay in Japan on the assignment. Key said the New Zealand
government was in constant contact with experts at its National Radiation Laboratory and "we are quite comfortable with their position. Nevertheless, we
have taken every cautionary step you would expect us to." He said the men were flying to scan the area in which they expected to be working as part of the
rescue effort. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was reported to have told reporters that the Australian workers were not expected to be at any risk.
"The clear advice to me is that these two personnel are safe and well," she said. Gillard said the International Atomic Energy Agency had advised her that
health risks from exposure to the radiation were low to negligible
CANADA: Ottawa - Firefighters were battling a major fivealarm fire which claimed two businesses and two apartments on Wednesday, trying to keep the
flames from spreading further down the block to other homes and shops. Residents of the nearby New Edinburgh seniors' residence were told to leave
Wednesday afternoon because of potentially toxic smoke that was spewing from the burning Home Hardware store where the fire started. They were to be
bused to another residence. The fire broke out just before 10 a.m. Nearly four hours later, the fire was blanketing the area with thick smoke. Chemicals and
pesticides were stored in the hardware store basement and police were advising anyone in smoky areas to stay indoors and safely out of the haze. At its
peak, more than 100 firefighters and 35 fire vehicles were at the scene.
PHILIPPINES: Twelve people were reported killed in separate landslide incidents in Tacloban City. A radio report said the first landslide took place in
Barangay Cabalawan, burying a whole house occupied by a family of seven. Five more people were also reported killed in a landslide in Barangay Nulatula.
Benito Ramos, chief of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said he has yet to confirm if there were fatalities in the
landslides. The radio report said that it has been raining in Tacloban City for two days straight. The continuous raining has also caused flooding, isolating
some areas in the city. Ramos, meanwhile, said that members of the Philippine Army's 13th Infantry Battalion and the local police have been dispatched to
conduct rescue and retrieval operations. The local government's disaster risk reduction and management council has also deployed backhoes to augment the
CANADA: Ontario Power Generation has notified Canada's federal nuclear regulator about the release of 73,000 litres of demineralized water at the
Pickering A nuclear generating station. The leak occurred at 11: 30 p.m. ET on Monday and was caused by a pump seal failure. The radiological risk to the
environment and people's health is negligible, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said in a statement. The nuclear regulator and Environment Canada are
monitoring the situation, the statement said.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 16th March 2011
PACIFIC / NEW ZEALAND / JAPAN: Tsunami waves triggered by Japan's Magnitude 9.0 quake touched all of New Zealand's coasts, scientists report.
A 86cm wave was recorded in the port of Lyttelton, the NZ township closest to the epicentre of the country's own catastrophic 6.3 tremor in February. And
a gauge at Scott Base, in Antarctica, even registered a 10cm wave, says the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). NZ is some
8,000km from Japan. The first waves arrived in about 12 hours. The biggest were seen in Whitianga, in North Island, and Kaingaroa, on the Chatham
Islands east of the NZ mainland, where heights (from crest to the trough) of 1.6m were measured.
JAPAN: Engineers are racing to avert a nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, 220km (140 miles) from Tokyo. Helicopters deployed to
dump water on the facility on Wednesday have been pulled out amid concerns over radiation. Earlier, the plant's operators evacuated its skeleton crew of 50
workers for about an hour as ground-level radiation spiked. And yet another fire broke out in a reactor, while smoke or steam billowed from another one.
Winds from the facility are currently blowing north-west out into the Pacific Ocean.
HAITI: The cholera epidemic affecting Haiti looks set to be far worse than officials had thought, experts fear. Rather than affecting a predicted 400,000
people, the diarrhoeal disease could strike nearly twice as many as this, latest estimates suggest. Aid efforts will need ramping up, US researchers told The
Lancet journal. The World Health Organization says everything possible is being done to contain the disease and warns that modelling estimates can be
AUSTRALIA: More than 100 people have been evacuated from a severely flooded town in the Kimberley region, where 45 homes have been destroyed
and another 20 remain uninhabitable. The Department for Child Protection says 103 people have been evacuated by helicopter and bus from Warmun to
Kununurra. Another 100 people were housed at Turkey Creek overnight and will be evacuated today, the DCP says. The residents will stay at Garrjang
Village, a fly in fly out workers camp, which is equipped with units, a first aid post and a commercial kitchen. Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls
said it was expected that the evacuees would remain at the village for up to three weeks, while recovery works take place at Warmun.
INDIA: More than 200 people have been infected by scrub typhus in villages of Jogindernagar in Mandi district of Himachal with few of them in a critical
condition, said an official. According to Jogindernagar SMO Dr Jitender Kaul, there may be many patients in the villages around the town but only around
40 patients were getting treatment in the hospital while a few were admitted to primary health centers (PHC) in villages.
INDONESIA: The Sarawak Medical Department has launched a detection campaign in Limbang to contain a cholera outbreak, which has affected more
than 100 people. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said a health team was going from door to door to take swabs and find ways to control the
spread of the disease.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 15th March 2011
JAPAN: Radiation leaked from a crippled nuclear plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan after a third reactor was rocked by an explosion Tuesday
and a fourth caught fire in a dramatic escalation of the 4-day-old catastrophe. The government warned anyone nearby to stay indoors to avoid exposure.
Tokyo reported slightly elevated radiation levels but officials said the increase was too small to threaten anyone in the capital. In a nationally televised
statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation has spread from four reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima province, one of the
hardest-hit in Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that has killed more than 10,000 people.
JAPAN: 5.8 Earthquake shakes Tokyo, it was one of 25 earthquakes that have registered above 4.8 in Japan today.
ITALY: Italy has prevented a ferry carrying 1,800 people, mainly Moroccans fleeing the fighting in Libya, from docking in Sicily. The ship had sailed from
Tripoli and asked for permission to refuel on the island after being refused entry to Malta, Italian media said. Meanwhile, 41 people are feared drowned after
a boat carrying migrants capsized off Tunisia, UN officials say.
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 14th March 2011
JAPAN: JAPAN: Engineers battle to cool a third reactor at a Japanese nuclear plant after a second blast in three days, although the IAEA says there are no signs of a
JAPAN: Seventeen U.S. Navy crew members have been contaminated with low-levels of radiation during disaster relief missions in Japan, military officials said
Monday. The radioactivity was detected when the service members returned to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan aboard three helicopters. They were treated with
soap and water and their clothes were discarded. "No further contamination was detected," the military said. The helicopters were also decontaminated. The U.S. 7th
Fleet, positioned about 100 miles northeast of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to deliver aid to Japan's coastal region, moved its ships further away due to
"airborne radioactivity" and contamination found on its planes.
USA: A strong late winter storm has caused power outages for about 50,000 Pacific Power customers in the Northwest, stretching from the northern Willamette
Valley to Crescent City, Calif. Crews are at work assessing and repairing damage in more than a dozen communities. At peak, after the storm as many as 74,000
customers were without power due to more than 2,000 individual outages. By 7 p.m., local repair crews, augmented by contract crews had cut that total by a third
so that now about 50,000 customers, derived from 1,600 separate outages, remain without power.
CHINA: The Chinese embassy in New Zealand has requested that extra compensation be paid to parents of Chinese students lost in the Christchurch earthquake. An
embassy official, Cheng Lee, said China's one-child policy made those lost lives more valuable. More than 60 foreign students died out of a total toll of at least 166
people. [I've heard it all now!]
BRAZIL: At least 10 people have been killed in floods in southern Brazilian states and over 21,000 evacuated, civil defense officials reported. Torrential rains caused
floods and landslides and destroyed roads in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana. Two people are missing. Overall, up to 60,000 residents of
the South American country's south have been affected.
USA: Massachusetts - Emergency officials have responded to Bostik Chemical Plant in Middleton after an explosion occurred. We're being told that 4 people have
been transported to Beverly Hospital because of the blast. State Police released the following statement: "Massachusetts State Police Troop A patrol units are assisting
with an explosion at Bostik Chemical Plant, a manufacturer of plastics and adhesives in Middleton. Middleton Fire is on scene. Rt. 62 and Russell St. in Middleton are
currently closed." At least 2 Bostik buildings were damaged in the blast. So far it's not clear what caused the explosion. In a press conference, officials said that there
are no environmental or airborne concerns for area residents.
AZERBAIJAN: A mud volcano erupted in Gobustan region of Azerbaijan on March 13. Witnesses heard explosion before the eruption, mud breccia erupted and then
fire blazed up in the territory of Shikhzayirli mud volcano, reported the website of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The fire had an altitude above 50 m. Experts
and rescuers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations immediately arrived at the site to prevent any emergency situation.
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 13th March 2011
JAPAN: A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted on Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to four kilometres (two and a half
miles) into the air, a local official said. It was not immediately clear if the eruption was a direct result of the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked northern
areas on Friday, unleashing a fierce tsunami and sparking fears that more than 10,000 may have been killed. The 1,421-metre (4,689-feet) Shinmoedake volcano in
the Kirishima range saw its first major eruption for 52 years in January. There had not been any major activity at the site since March 1. Authorities have maintained a
volcano warning at a level of three out of five, restricting access to the entire mountain. In April last year, the eruption of the Eyjafjoell volcano in Iceland dispersed a
vast cloud of ash, triggering a huge shutdown of airspace that affected more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers.
CHINA: Yunnan - Casualties were reported after an earthquake jolted Yingjiang County in southwest China's Yunnan Province Thursday noon, local authorities said.
Many houses collapsed in the 5.8-magnitude quake that hit the county at 12:58 p.m. Beijing Time, county officials said. China Central Television reported that the
quake had left seven people dead as of 2 p.m., citing Li Zhiren, deputy head of the county, as saying. The exact number of casualties are being verified. The tremor
has triggered power outage across Yingjiang. Witnesses reportedly said people were buried under debris and part of a supermarket and a hotel caved in. The
epicenter, with a depth of 10 kilometers, was monitored at 24.7 degrees north latitude and 97.9 degrees east longitude, according to the China Earthquake Networks
Center. The epicenter is in Shiming village, about 2 kilometers away from the county seat. Three aftershocks, measuring up to 4.7 degrees on the Richter Scale,
jolted the county within 10 minutes.
USA: Oregon - A tsunami wreaked havoc Friday at a Southwest Oregon harbor, prompted thousands of the state's coastal residents to head for higher ground, and
swept four people out to sea, though they were soon rescued. The harbor at Brookings, just north of the California border, saw the most destruction from the waves
that reached Oregon following a giant earthquake off Japan. "The port is in total disarray," Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said. He said the half of the harbor that
shelters commercial fishing boats was extensively damaged and up to 10 vessels sank.
USA: Mississippi - A State of Emergency has been declared for over a dozen Mississippi counties following a significant severe weather event that produced
confirmed tornadoes and widespread flooding in the state. The counties affected include Adams, Clarke, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones,
Lauderdale, Lee, Lincoln, Lowndes, Newton, Rankin, Stone, Panola, Pike, Wayne, Wilkinson and Yazoo. Widespread heavy rainfall amounts over two inches were
reported across much of the state with excessive rainfall amounts near or over five inches across parts of Southern Mississippi from Tuesday into Wednesday. The
excessive rainfall resulted in widespread damaging flooding in the state.
USA: North Dakota - Around 800 people had to be rescued from their cars after a blizzard in North Dakota made roads impassable. Motorists were yesterday forced
to abandon their vehicles after 60mph winds created whiteouts and plunging temperatures turned roads to ice rinks throughout the state. Traffic came to a grinding
halt and there were multiple pileups that caused more delay. Miraculously there were reports of only minor injuries. Rescue workers, including around 70 soldiers,
had to use military lorries and other heavy vehicles that could plough through huge snow drifts to pluck people from more than 500 cars abandoned along major
Lest we forget: 13th March 1996 - SCOTLAND - Massacre in Dunblane school gym. A lone gunman has gone on a shooting spree at a school in Dunblane, Scotland,
killing 16 children and their teacher.
The killer sprayed shots at random around the school gym in an attack that lasted just three minutes, but caused carnage in a class of five and six year olds. He then
turned the gun on himself.
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 12th March 2011
JAPAN: A massive explosion has hit a Japanese nuclear power plant where a meltdown is feared as a huge relief operation continues after Friday's devastating
earthquake and tsunami. The 8.9 quake was the country's biggest ever and the seventh largest on record, says US Geological Survey data.
JAPAN: A major explosion hit a petrochemical complex in the northeast Japan city of Sendai hours after the biggest earthquake in Japanese history triggered a
devastating tsunami, media reports said. TV images showed huge orange balls of flame rolling up into the night sky as fires raged around the complex.
NEW ZEALAND: A Japanese search team working in the earthquake-devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch made hasty preparations to return home Saturday
to deal with the crisis in their own country. An advance party of New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue staff would also be sent to Japan immediately to help with
earthquake recovery efforts, Prime Minister John Key said.
RUSSIA: In the Russian Far East, there has been a strong volcanic eruption. The air got a great cloud of volcanic dust, which can pose a threat to air traffic in the
region. Local experts warn that, dust can rise up to a height of seven kilometers. Explosions were accompanied by minor earthquakes. Russian service monitoring the
activity of cones, however, ensure that the implemented measures guarantee the safety of residents of neighboring towns. According to Russian media reports, the
first cloud of dust covered the city of Ust-Kamczatsk. Over five thousand people are forced to stay at home. The authorities have recommended the strict ban on
opening windows. The population, however, was not evacuated, and experts say that the dust does not constitute a great danger.
PACIFIC COAST: Tsunami reports have come in from around the Pacific Ocean varying 0.99-1.77 metres. Full reports of damage to low lying Pacific Islands are
still not available.
IVORY COAST: Nearly 450,000 people have fled their homes because of the crisis in Ivory Coast, the UN refugee agency says.
CHINA: Safety officials say a gas explosion from a coal mine in southwest China has killed 16 miners with three more missing. The State Administration of Work
Safety reports on its website that the blast occurred after midnight Friday in Guizhou province's Liupanshui city. It says 15 workers managed to escape. An
investigation into the cause of the explosion is under way. Rescuers have retrieved the bodies and are continuing their search for the missing. China's coal mines are
the world's deadliest with thousands of miners killed every year. Demand for coal induces many producers to sidestep safety regulations. In recent years, fatalities
have decreased through improved safety and the closure of small, illegal mines.
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 11th March 2011
Of course today has been dominated by the 8.9 earthquake that has impacted Japan and the sub sequent tsunami that is still ongoing around the Pacific coastline. As
always I'm sure all EM professionals stand in admiration of the work done in Japan for prevention and mitigation; and our thoughts are with our colleagues as their
preparedness is tested and they respond to this catastrophic event.
JAPAN: Japan's most powerful earthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami. Cars, ships and buildings were swept
away by a wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude quake, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. A state of emergency has been declared at a
nuclear power plant but officials said there were no radiation leaks. The death toll is unclear, but police say 200 to 300 bodies have been found in the port city of
Sendai. At least 90 other people are reported to have died, and many more are unaccounted for. Measured at 8.9 by the US Geological Survey, the tremor struck at
1446 local time (0546 GMT) at a depth of about 24km. The first waves from the tsunami have reached the US mainland at Oregon, and people have been evacuated
from coastal areas of that state and in California and Washington. Some of the biggest waves of between 6-7ft (about 2m) would hit near California's Crescent City,
predicted the US National Weather Service. The waves earlier passed Hawaii, but there were no reports of major damage. A tsunami warning was extended across
the Pacific to North and South America, where many other coastal regions were evacuated, but the alert has since been lifted in most parts, including the Philippines,
Australia, China and Indonesia. In other developments:
Fire is engulfing swathes of coastland, including homes and buildings, at Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture
A major explosion hit a petrochemical plant in Sendai; further south a huge blaze swept through an oil refinery in Ichihara city, Chiba prefecture
A dam burst in north-eastern Fukushima prefecture, sweeping away homes, Kyodo news agency reports
There were reports of about 20 people injured in Tokyo after the roof of a hall collapsed on to a graduation ceremony
Nearly 3,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from near the Fukushima power plant, where a state of emergency has been declared. The cooling system
failed in one of its reactors when it shut down automatically because of the earthquake.
USA: Hawaii - A tsunami has struck Hawaii hours after the devastating earthquake off Japan, but with little damage reported. Thousands of people were evacuated
from the outlying US state's coastal areas ahead of the waves' arrival at about 0307 local time (1307 GMT).
INDONESIA: Flash floods on Thursday evening killed nine people and swept away 13 others, and seriously damaged 160 houses in Pidie district of Aceh in northern
tip of Sumatra Island, local disaster management agency official said on Friday. The floods took place at about 21:30 a.m. Jakarta time (1430 GMT) at the district
located at the slope of a mountain in Aceh, Said Ibnu Sa'dan head of operational unit of the agency in Aceh.
USA: Alaska - An estimated 23,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked out of a storage tank near Aniak this week, possibly through a partially open valve, according to the state
Department of Environmental Conservation, which is overseeing the cleanup. "It is a very large spill. There is no question about that," said Bob Carlson, a Bethel-
based environmental specialist with the DEC. The spill at a tank farm owned by Crowley Petroleum Services occurred sometime between noon Monday and 12:15 p.
m. Tuesday, when it was discovered, according to a DEC situation report. Aniak is on the south bank of the Kuskokwim River about 320 miles west of Anchorage.
The tank farm is about a mile west of the village near the Kuskokwim River. A worker making a routine inspection noticed fuel pooling outside the tank within a lined,
secondary containment area, said Mark Miller, Crowley's Jacksonville, Fla.-based communications director. Crowley has hired two contractors to clean up the spill.
SYRIA: In northern areas, snow fell at 900 meters, while in Hasbaya, the snowfall was reported as low as 500 meters. Teams from the Transport and Public Works
Ministry deployed bulldozers to open main roads, while many side roads remain closed, with schools and shops closing amid an electricity blackout. Farmers voiced
fears that the sudden drop in temperatures would damage greenhouse agriculture.
Lest we forget:
11th March 2004 Madrid Train Bombings - 191 people were killed and 1,800 injured in terrorist bomb attacks on three commuter stations on Madrid rail network. 10
bombs were used in what turned out to be an al-Qaeda based plot. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/11/newsid_4273000/4273817.stm
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 10th March 2011
CHINA: 5.8 earthquake in Yunnan provinceAt least 24 people were killed and 207 others injured in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted Yingjiang County in
Southwest China's Yunnan province around noon on Thursday. The earthquake has toppled 1,264 houses or apartments and left 17,658 others seriously damaged,
mainly in the county seat near the border with Myanmar, said Zhao Yunshan, director with the county government's press office. More than 127,100 people have
been evacuated to nearby shelters, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said late Thursday. Over 80 percent of the homes in Lameng Village, the epicenter,
collapsed during the quake, but no serious casualties but only a few slight injuries were reported in the village, Zhao said.
AUSTRALIA: Queensland - Parts of northeastern Australia badly hit by Cyclone Yasi have been hit by new heavy rainfall. Residents of Cardwell, one of Queensland's
worst-hit towns, are thigh-deep in water. Rising waters have cut off Cardwell, Mission Beach, Tully Heads and Hull Heads; supplies of food and water are running
short. More rain is expected in areas that were only just beginning to recover from the storm, which hit in February.
CHINA: Zhejiang - About 20 tonnes of toxic hydrofluoric acid leaked from a chemical company in east China's Zhejiang Province, local government authorities said
Thursday. The incident occurred at around 2:30 p.m. at the factory compound of the Zhejiang Hailan Chemical Co., Ltd. located in the High-tech Development Zone
in Quzhou City. Company workers and nearby residents have been ordered to evacuate, and no casualties have been reported, according to fire authorities. Local
police, fire fighters and environmental protection personnel have rushed to the site to control and clean up the leak. The cause of the leakage has not been found yet.
Hydrogen fluoride is a chemical compound used mainly for industrial purposes, such as etching glass, and is extremely corrosive. Inhaling the hydrofluoric acid gas
can cause severe health damage and even death.
PORTUGAL - DENMARK: A plane from Portugal was held in isolation for hours after landing at Copenhagen's main Kastrup airport Wednesday after a passenger
revealed she might be suffering from meningitis, police said. A 62-year-old Swedish woman had during the flight from Lisbon informed co-passengers that she had
left a Portuguese hospital where she had been held under surveillance due to suspicion she was suffering from meningitis. "They were a bit nervous. We called the
doctors, and when the plane landed we didn't take it to the gate but to another part of the airport," Arne Aabeck, the Copenhagen chief inspector in charge of the
case. The Air Portugal flight, carrying 59 passengers and four crew members, landed around 2:30 pm (1330 GMT) and the passengers were not allowed off the
Airbus 319 plane until 5:00 pm, he said. "The doctors said you have to be together with the person with meningitis for at least eight hours (before being infected).
That is why we are no longer worried," he said, adding that the sick passenger had been taken to a Danish hospital by ambulance. "The passengers have been
informed by a doctor what symptoms to look for in case," Aabeck said, adding it was unclear how the Swedish woman had left the hospital in Portugal. "She just
left. I don't know if she escaped," he said. Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the central nervous system. While some forms are
mild, meningitis is a serious condition if the inflammation is close to the brain and spinal cord. It can be very contagious and can lead to death if untreated
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 9th March 2011
USA: Gulf of Mexico - Two men were taken to a hospital after an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire Sunday morning, officials said. The fire broke out on
the GI 102A oil production rig owned by Arena that is about 50 miles off Grand Isle at about 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the Coast Guard. Coast Guard officials said
the men were taken to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, La. Their names, injuries and conditions were not released. A Coast Guard helicopter crew had
hoisted the men from the deck of a ship, the HDS Stormridge, after they were plucked from the water as they floated in a life capsule they had clamored aboard to
the escape the platform fire, officials said. Coast Guard officials said Arena reported the platform had been shut in two weeks ago and was not producing product at
the time of the blaze. The fire was out by at least 1:30 p.m.. No pollution was detected at the rig because of the fire, officials said. Officials are trying to determine
what caused the blaze.
CANADA: Alberta - A 24-year-old man suffered critical burn wounds and 11 others were hurt in a flash fire at the Husky Energy site south of Edson, Alta. Three of
the victims -- including the man in critical - were transported to burn units in Edmonton after the 11:45 a.m. blast. An air ambulance transported the 24-year-old man
to University hospital. "The patient sustained very serious injuries," Said Cam Heke, STARS Air Ambulance spokesman. "He was in critical condition en route to the
hospital." Graham White, spokesman for Husky Energy, says the fire occurred while crews were working with propane gas. "The well is shut down and that's part
of securing the site," says White. "We are offering support to the contractors and the contract companies to provide employee assistance and whatever they need."
Occupational Health and Safety inspectors were heading to the scene Monday night. "We'll want to go over their records and processes to determine what happened
in the incident, and ensure this doesn't happen again," say Barrie Harrison, OHS spokesman. This is the fourth oil and gas related fire in Alberta in the past few
months. Edson is 200 km west of Edmonton.
YEMEN: Many people who live on the Saudi-Yemen border fear that a fatal disease that has been responsible for dozens of deaths in Yemen's western coastal area
could cross into the Kingdom. At least 65 deaths have been reported in Yemen's western coastal province of Hodeidah. The disease is thought to be chikungunya,
though some medical officers dispute it. Symptoms of chikungunya include kidney failure, high temperature, diarrhea and vomiting. Yemen's President Ali Abdullah
Saleh has formed a committee to monitor the spread of the disease and the country's authorities are working hard to keep it in check. Dr. Mohsen Al-Tobaiki,
director of health in Jazan, said the Saudi authorities have been following developments across the border. Dr. Khaled Al-Mirghalani, spokesman for the Ministry of
Health, and Dr. Ziyad Mishmish, undersecretary for preventive medicine, were unavailable for comment. A number of medical and environmental experts in Jazan
said there is a possibility of the disease entering the Kingdom through unregistered migrants who do not carry health certificates proving they have taken necessary
INDIA: At least 350 people, including women and children, received medical treatment in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu Monday night after liquid bromine leaked
in a factory and, reacting with the husk kept around it, produced noxious fumes, officials said. 'All of them are in stable condition with their vital organs functioning
well. The patients were complaining of nausea, eye irritation, heart burn and cough,' a doctor at the Government Head Quarters Hospital told IANS on phone Tuesday
from Cuddalore, around 160 km from here. He said a total of 122 persons have been hospitalised, including 14 children and 70 women. The hospital also treated
around 100 outpatients. Medical camps have also been set up in the villages near the factory of Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd and around 150 people were being treated
there. Located inside the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (SIPCOT) industrial estate in Cuddalore, the Rs.530 crore-turnover company
manufactures formulations for finished dosage products for some global drug companies.
JAPAN: Around 33,000 broiler chickens were culled Sunday at a poultry farm in the town of Kadogawa, Miyazaki Prefecture, after the 13th case of bird flu in the
prefecture was confirmed the previous day, prefectural officials said. Sunday's cull brought the total number of chickens slaughtered at poultry farms in the
prefecture to around 990,000 since the first case of infection was confirmed in the city of Miyazaki on Jan. 22. In total, 22 cases of avian influenza infection have
been confirmed at poultry farms across Japan including the 13 cases in Miyazaki Prefecture.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 8th March 2011
No Information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 7th March 2011
No Information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 6th March 2011
TAIWAN: Nine people have been killed and 11 more injured after a fire broke out in a bar in the Taiwanese city of Taichung, officials say. The cause of the blaze was
linked to a performance in the bar that involved the discharge of sparks.
CHINA: A wildfire in southwestern China was completely subdued by Saturday morning but not before nine firefighters perished, a local fire official said. It took
1,140 firefighters to put out the deadly blaze on Jianchuan Mountain in Yunnan province. Wan Yong, deputy commander of the provincial forest fire prevention
authority, said some firefighters were still monitoring the situation to guard against flare-ups. Local authorities said the doomed firefighters became trapped Thursday
when winds reignited an area that had been smoldering. Several others were injured. The fire started accidentally started Wednesday by a woman from Jinchang
village, who was burning corn stalks on some uncultivated land surrounded by weeds when gusting winds pushed the flames out of control. [Our thoughts are of
course with the families, friends and colleagues of our fellow Emergency Management professional]
AUSTRALIA: Queensland - Much of regional Queensland has been put on flood alert after widespread rain blocked roads and isolated towns. There is a severe
weather warning for flash flooding for the Channel Country, the Peninsula, north tropical coast and the Herbert and Lower Burdekin. Flood warnings are also current
for western Queensland and Gulf rivers, while Bedourie and Windorah have already been cut off. In the Diamantina Shire falls of up to 200 millimetres have been
recorded and roads are closed.
USA: North Carolina - eavy rain is causing flooding in parts of Western North Carolina this morning, and scattered downed trees and power outages have been
reported. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Macon, Jackson, Transylvania, Henderson, Polk and Rutherford counties this morning.
A warning means flooding is already under way. In addition, a winter weather advisory is in effect through 6 p.m. for elevations above 3,500 feet in Swain,
Haywood, Madison, Yancey, Mitchell and Avery counties. Those areas could get 1-2 inches of snow as cold air rushes in as the rain system begins to move away.
Up to 8 inches of rain have been reported in some locations since Saturday, according to the Weather Service.
Lest we forget: 6th March 1987 - BELGIUM - Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes. The final death toll was 193. The disaster had unfolded in just 90 seconds, in calm
conditions and shallow water, only 100 yards (91m) from the shore. The turnaround time for loading and unloading at Zeebrugge was longer than at most other ports
because there was only room for access to a single ramp onto the car deck. Water had to be pumped into the ballast tanks to lower the level of the ferry. It appears
the ferry then left port with her bow doors open and the extra ballast still in her tanks. Water began flowing onto the car deck and the vessel quickly became unstable.
A formal investigation blamed company management for failing to give clear instructions about safety procedures. New safety measures were finally brought into
effect in 1999 following a second ferry disaster. The Estonia sank in 1994 with the loss of 850 lives. Passenger details now have to be recorded before a ship sails so
the harbour authorities know who is on board. Cameras have also been fitted to the front of ships so the crew can see from the bridge whether or not the doors have
been closed before sailing.
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 5th March 2011
BRAZIL: At least 22 people have died and 23 seriously injured in a major accident between a bus and a truck along the motorway in Santa Catarina, south of Brazil.
The driver of the truck was killed instantly, as the vehicle crashed head on head with the passenger bus. The truck had been carrying wooden planks, which may
have had an impact toward causing more damage in a crash that caused the death of 21 passengers, informed local police. There were more than fourty people
aboard the Nyland bus when it crashed at 3AM local time, along federal motorway BR282, close to Descanso, west of Santa Catarina state. The wounded were taken
to the Regional Hospital in Sao Miguel West, to be treated.
CHILE: This past Tuesday - 1 Mar 2011, a new possible case of a hantavirus infection was detected. This is a student of about 20 years of age, who was admitted to
the Cochrane Hospital with a clinical picture consistent with a hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. He was later sent to the Coyhaique Regional Hospital.
According to statements by the Health SEREMI [Regional Ministerial Secretariat], the young man from Osorno was in serious condition in the intensive care unit
where he remains on a a respirator, but giving signs of favorable developments. Epidemiological personnel are going to Guadal to carry out an investigation in the
terrain in the area where the young man had become infected, carrying out cleaning efforts of a cabin. The Health SERAMI stated that this could be the 2nd case of a
hanta virus infection so far this summer season, indicating that the risk of infection exists throughout the year, although increases during summer due to recreational
activities and to cleaning of closed buildings that are not inhabited throughout the year.
USA: Louisianna - A suspected tornado hit the southwestern Louisiana town of Rayne on Saturday, injuring at least nine people, leveling homes and causing natural
gas leaks that prompted evacuations. Donald Jones, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, said Saturday that a crew is headed to the
scene to determine if the high winds were a tornado. The destruction hit the Acadia Parish town of about 8,500 around 10 a.m. as a line of violent thunderstorms
moved through the area. State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons said several houses have been destroyed or damaged, and the area has been evacuated because of
natural gas leaks.
INDIA: At least 21 people were injured and over 2,000 people, including Slumdog Millionaire child actor Rubina Ali, rendered homeless in the big fire which was
controlled in the wee hours of Saturday at suburban Bandra in Mumbai. A total of 21 persons including 4 firemen were injured while fighting the flames which broke
out last night.
Lest we forget: 5th March 1966 - JAPAN - A BOAC Boeing 707 crashes into Mount Fuji in Japan killing all 124 people on board, just 25 minutes after take-off.
5th March 1973 - France - Sixty-eight passengers and crew die when two Spanish aircraft collide in mid-air over France
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 4th March 2011
NORWAY: Three Norwegian snowmobilers, all aged 18 or 19 and from the same town, have died in a snowstorm while on a tour in the far northern region of
Finnmark. A helicopter sighted the bodies of two men after seven survivors were rescued, one of whom died in hospital of injuries from the cold. It is believed the
two found later had frozen to death after getting lost. All three were from the town of Hammerfest.
PHILIPPINES: A magnitude-5.7 quake hit the Surigao area in Mindanao before midnight Thursday, causing a power blackout in at least two towns and prompting the
preemptive evacuation of residents in coastal areas. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said damage and aftershocks were expected
from the quake, which was recorded at 11:11 p.m. and was tectonic in origin. "Many people are frightened; many run outdoors. Some people lose their balance.
motorists feel like driving on flat tires. Heavy objects or furniture move or may be shifted. Small church bells may ring. Wall plaster may crack. Very old or poorly
built houses and man-made structures are slightly damaged though well-built structures are not affected. Limited rockfalls and rolling boulders occur in hilly to
mountainous areas and escarpments. Trees are noticeably shaken," it said.
USA: Pennsylvania - Operators at the nuclear power plant near Berwick shut down Reactor Unit No. 1 Thursday night after discovering a suspected steam leak,
according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The nuclear power plant in Salem Township. Neil Sheehan, NRC public affairs director for Region 1, said PPL, the
operator of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, last night notified the agency that the shutdown occurred at about 11 p.m. after the leak was discovered.
Lest we forget: 5th March 1989 - ENGLAND - Six people die and 80 are injured, some of them seriously, in a train crash at Purley in Surrey. The Littlehampton train
careered down the embankment into gardens below. Several people were trapped for hours on board, unable to get out because the doors were blocked.
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 3rd March 2011
NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand earthquake relief officials say there is no longer any hope of findings survivors in Christchurch, as the first foreign victims are named.
CANADA: British Columbia - Canexus Chemical plant was the scene of a chlorine leak this morning. Canexus manufactures chlorine and ships it primarily to the U.S.
Details of how much chlorine gas was released in the accident are not clear yet. Chlorine is one of the most deadly chemicals. A leak early this morning at Canexus
Chemical Plant in North Vancouver left four workers injured. The workers have been hospitalized; one of the injured is reported to be in serious condition.
Throughout the day, the Vancouver Observer attempted unsuccessfully to contact the plant's officials, the North Vancouver Fire Department, and other officials who
might comment on the chlorine leak. VO received an anonymous report from someone who said they lived in the vicinity of the plant and that there were no warning
blasts given from the plant's warning system, when the leak occurred.
USA: Nebraska - Eight workers at a processing plant in Lincoln have been taken to area hospitals following a brief gas leak. Deputy Fire Chief Pat Borer said the leak
happened Wednesday afternoon at the Archer Daniels Midland Co. plant. The company's website says the facility is a wheat flour mill. Borer says toxic chlorine gas
leaked from a tank in the plant, but nearby workers were able to quickly shut off a tank valve to stop the leak. Borer says nine workers exposed to the gas were
evaluated by fire rescue workers, and eight were taken and admitted to local hospitals for evaluation. Borer says none of the workers were believed to have suffered
serious injury from the leak. Borer says the plant was operating by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
NEW ZEALAND: Passengers say there was pandemonium when a big wave shattered windows and swamped the East by West Ferry in Wellington Harbour,
sparking a rescue operation. Forty-four people, including two crew, were on the 8.05am Dominion Post ferry from Days Bay to Seatoun yesterday when it was
struck by what is believed to be a rogue wave as it rounded Scorching Bay.
PAKISTAN: Major loss of property has been reported in Naushki, Chagai and Quetta following the torrential rains which were accompanied by a hailstorm. Quetta
Division Commissioner, Naseem Lehri, confirmed that more than 50 houses had been swept away due to the rains and floodwater in Naushki, while 12 more
collapsed in Chagai, close to the Afghan border. The land route between Karachi to Quetta and Khuzdar to Shadat Kot remained disrupted for several hours due to
landsliding and floods. Quetta and the adjoining areas received about 30 millimetres of rain on Tuesday night, an official of the Met Office said on Wednesday,
forecasting more rains across Balochistan during the next 24 hours. The heavy rains have wrecked havoc in the province by leaving dozens of people homeless.
NORTH SEA: Danish Maersk Oil on Wednesday shut down a North Sea rig after oil was observed on the surrounding water. Production will resume when the
technicians have located the source of the leak and made the necessary repairs, the company said, adding that a later surveillance sweep by a helicopter showed that
"the leakage has stopped". Early in the day another helicopter crew first noticed the leak.
Lest we forget: 3rd March 1974 - A Turkish Airlines DC10 crashes near Paris, en route to London, killing all 346 people on board. British trade union leader James
Conway, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, an Olympic silver medallist and four leading London models were among those killed
in the crash. The Paris crash was the worst in aviation history up to this date and the first involving a fully-loaded wide-bodied jet since they had entered passenger
service four years before. The accident was probably caused by a cargo door coming open during the flight, leading to a sudden loss of pressure inside the cabin and
causing part of the flooring to collapse which damaged the controls and made it impossible for the crew to regain control. An almost identical accident had happened
in June 1972 when a DC10 lost its rear cargo door, causing the floor to buckle and jam some of the controls. Safety recommendations made following that crash had
not been implemented.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 2nd March 2011
USA: Massachusetts - According to Boston Police, one person is dead after exposure to cyanide in Boston. Several first responders were taken to the hospital. Those
transported were taken as a precaution, and did not show signs of exposure to cyanide. The Boston Fire Department put the emergency room at St. Elizabeth's
Hospital on Code Black, because they received the patient who had ingested cyanide. According to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, a total of 14 patients were admitted as a
result of the incident. Five EMS personnel, four fire personnel, three police officers, and two civilians. Police believe the woman is in her 70s and may have gotten
the cyanide at her job. Click here to listen to police, fire officials after incident.
ZAMBIA: Four Zambian police officers have been charged with murder after allegedly causing the death of two people watching the Chelsea v Manchester United
football match in a bar. Police say the bar was staying open late illegally to show the crunch English Premier League game. Patrons refused to leave the bar and police
threw a tear gas canister in the southern town of Mazabuka. This led to a stampede in which a woman of 21 and a man of 23 died, police say.
NEW ZEALAND: Strong winds and dust storms hamper recovery work as the search for the bodies of those killed by last week's devastating Christchurch quake
ITALY: Two people are missing near Fermo, following two days of continuous torrential rains. Their car was washed out by a torrent flood, near Casette d'Ete. At
this time the missing people's identities are still unknown. Farther south, last night, the river Tronto flooded as expected its banks near Ascoli Piceno's industrial area.
Several floods and mudslides took place during the night in the central and southern sections of the region. The Raffaello Sanzio airport in Ancona-Falconara is closed
due to a runway flooding.
ZAMBIA: Nearly 40 fisherman are feared dead in Zambia after a boat capsized in a heavy storm on a northern lake bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, a
local official said Wednesday. "They were in total 42 fishermen on lake Mweru and the area experienced a storm in the night," Besa Chimbaka, provincial minister for
Zambia's Luapula province said. "Owing to the storm, the fishermen sought protection in a vessel but the storm was severe and so the vessel capsized and the 38 are
feared dead as only four managed to come out."
AUSTRALIA: Queensland - Five thousand lightning strikes danced across southeast Queensland skies overnight but the thunderstorms were not as severe or
damaging as the weather bureau expected. The thunderstorms produced 5000 lightning strikes since 11pm (AEST) on Tuesday, with more than 16,000 homes losing
power, electricity company Energex said. The worst hit suburbs were in Brisbane's north and around Logan.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 1st March 2011
USA: Indianna - A gas leak has led to the evacuations of about 70 people from their homes in the northern Indiana city of Plymouth. Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter
says a law enforcement officer on routine patrol reported smelling natural gas just after 2 a.m. Tuesday. WSBT-TV and WNDU-TV report Northern Indiana Public
Service Co. crews found a leak in a vacant building and requested the evacuations of about 70 residents from a roughly 3-block area. Many of the evacuees have
gone to a church for temporary shelter. Some are staying with friends or relatives. There's no word yet on what caused the gas leak.
AUSTRALIA: More than 20,000 residents in Perth's north and east remain without power after a severe thunderstorm brought down powerlines and trees, and tore
off roofs. The brief but fierce storm hit the Swan Valley and Perth Hills about 3.15pm (WST) on Monday, leaving about 55,000 customers without power. The Fire
and Emergency Services Authority said the State Emergency Service answered more than 170 calls for help, including about 20 jobs where roofs had been
completely or partially torn off. Heavy rain caused localised flooding of roads and homes, while lightning sparked several grass fires.
USA: Texas - Wildfires spread on Monday across Texas, scorching about 35,630 hectares, destroying scores of homes and forcing the evacuation of the town of
Matador, 420 kilometres northeast of Fort Worth. Heavy smoke was also blamed for an eight-vehicle accident that killed a five-year-old girl. The Texas Forest
Service said the largest fire burned about 12 hectares northeast of Amarillo, destroying 27 homes. The only injury reported was a firefighter who suffered second-
degree burns during a blaze near Colorado City, about 380 kilometres west of Dallas. The entire town of Matador had been evacuated, and all school classes were
cancelled for Monday, NBC reported. Firefighters had worked overnight to extinguish the fire, but high winds limited containment to about 50 per cent The flames
also forced the closing of an interstate highway. Fires were also reported to have been started in Lubbock and Amarillo.
EGYPT: As of Mon 28 Feb 2011, the Ministry of Health of Egypt has announced 3 new confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.
The 1st case is a 26 year-old female from Dakahlia Governorate. She developed symptoms on 18 Jan 2011 and was hospitalized on 23 Jan 2011. She has recovered
and was discharged on 7 Feb 2011. The 2nd case is a 45 year-old male from Menofia Governorate. He developed symptoms on 20 Jan 2011 and was hospitalized on
26 Jan 2011. He died on 5 Feb 2011. The 3rd case is a 4 year-old male from Damiata Governorate. He developed symptoms on 14 Feb 2011 and was hospitalized on
16 Feb 2011. He is in a stable condition. Investigations into the source of infection indicate that the 3 cases had exposure to poultry suspected to have avian influenza.
The cases were confirmed by the Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratories, a National Influenza Center of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network. Of the
125 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 41 have been fatal.
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