| AROUND THE WORLD: DECEMBER 2009
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Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 31st December 2009
BRAZIL: At least 11 people have died in Rio after 24 hours of heavy rains caused flooding and landslides. Civil defence commander Sergio Simoes said five
family members, including one infant and two adolescents, were among the dead. In Baixada Fuminense, northern Rio, three rivers burst their banks, forcing
200 people to flee from their homes. Meteorologists forecast downpours to continue throughout the day, threatening New Year's Eve celebrations at the
city's famed Copacabana Beach and elsewhere. The authorities have called for residents in at-risk areas to move to safety, even if it means abandoning their
IRELAND: High winds, heavy rains and freezing overnight temperatures are causing problems in many parts of the country today. Severe weather conditions
are set to continue across the country with temperature lows of -10C forecast for tomorrow night. The National Roads Authority has meanwhile expressed
concern that supplies of rock salt road grit are running very low in some areas. Today, there are reports of flooding in counties Cork, Dublin, Kildare,
Kilkenny, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.
USA: Michigan - Thousands of fish are killed in the waters near Chicago. Biologists began scooping up the dead fish this morning after 2,000 gallons of
poison were dumped in a canal near Lockport. Officials hope the measure will prevent the spread of Asian carp. The fish have been spreading up the
Mississippi River since escaping from fish farms in 1993. The fear is that the carp will soon invade the great lakes - and destroy the eco-system. Officials
expect to have about 200,000 pounds of dead fish removed to landfills by Sunday night.
CANADA: The Cypress Health Region has initiated visiting restrictions at the Shaunavon Hospital following an unknown enteric outbreak. The outbreak
status was initiated on Tuesday in response to an outbreak of an unknown virus. The Gull Lake Special Care Centre has been under outbreak status since
Dec. 23 as the result of a norovirus outbreak. Visitations to both facilities are restricted in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 30th December 2009
POLAND: Rescuers say an avalanche has killed two hikers and injured three others in Poland's Tatra Mountains. A spokesman for the Tatra Voluntary
Rescue Service, Marcin Witek, said Wednesday the avalanche hit five people who were trekking at the foot of the Rysy mountain, some 8,200 feet (2,500
meters) high. Two were killed and three were hospitalized with injuries.
AUSTRALIA: WA - Australian authorities declared a natural disaster on Wednesday after a raging wildfire destroyed nearly 40 homes in the country's
worst blaze since 173 died in February's Black Saturday tragedy. Hundreds of firefighters battled the inferno at the wheat-farming town of Toodyay, about
80km from the Western Australian capital Perth, after searing heat and windy weather fuelled fires in the state.
USA: Wisconsin - One firefighter from the Saint Anna Fire Department is dead and six others are injured after an explosion at a factory. Crews were called
to the scene of a dumpster fire at Bremer Manufacturing in St. Anna after a patrol man noticed a fire around 7:30 Tuesday night. Something in the dumpster
exploded while firefighters were working to put out the fire. The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time. (Our thoughts are with the family, friends
and colleagues of our EM colleagues)
PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology recorded an ash explosion in Mayon Volcano early Wednesday, which caused ash
fall in Albay towns located southwest and northwest of the volcano.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 29th December 2009
TURKEY: A six-story building collapsed Tuesday in Istanbul, injuring several people. The private Dogan news agency reported that several ambulances and
firefighters have been sent to the scene, in the low-income Sancaktepe neighborhood, on the Asian side of the city. At least one person was trapped under
the debris waiting to be rescued.
INDIA: An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook India's northeast Tuesday, damaging property in some parts, including in Assam's main city
Guwahati. The tremor shook the region at 2.30 pm with the epicentre plotted near the India-Myanmar border, according to the US Geological Survey.
COT D'IVOIRE: A total of 21 people had died in an outbreak of yellow fever since the disease was detected in November in Cote d'Ivoire's northern
province of Ordienne, local media reported Monday. A total of 37 suspected cases were also reported in the province, media reports said. Health
authorities said the disease is transmitted by the mosquito and vaccination is the most effective way to prevent it. The government has already allocated 1
million U.S. dollars for vaccines for some 290,000 people. Medical teams have been sent to the affected regions to help with the vaccination.
INDIA: A fire broke out in a chemical lab at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in suburban Trombay today leaving two persons dead but there
was no threat of any radioactive leak. The process of identification of the victims is on and it is suspected that they could be students, sources at the BARC
said. "The fire broke out in the chemical lab on the third floor of the Modular lab at the BARC," director and AEC chairman Sreekumar Banerjee said. The
Fire Brigade and police are yet to ascertain the cause of the blaze which broke out this afternoon. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the blaze was
doused within 45 minutes. Usually, seven people worked in the lab but today only two were there.
USA: Mississippi - Nine people have been killed in a fire at an apartment block in the US state of Mississippi, say officials. At least six children were among
the dead, state fire marshal Mike Chaney told the Associated Press news agency. The blaze was reported to have broken out before dawn at the building in
Starkville, Oktibbeha County.
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 28th December 2009
ITALY: I reported yesterday the 7 deaths in an avalanche in the Italian Alps, at the time I wasn't aware that 4 of the dead were part of the EM Rescue
Team. I'm sure all our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.
CHINA: Twelve people died when a gas pocket ignited in a coal mine in north China's Shanxi Province, local officials said Monday. The accident occurred
at 11:30 p.m. Sunday when 16 miners were working in a shaft in the Donggou Colliery in Jiexiu City, said a spokesman with the Shanxi Provincial Work
RUSSIA: Fears of contact with a rabies-stricken dog have left 41 people hospitalized in Moscow, said Russian officials quotes by the Interfax news agency.
The patients, three of them children, are being treated for rabies, reported Russian chief sanitary inspector Gennadi Onishchenko, according to the agency.
None of the victims have shown signs of rabies so far. Local media reported on Monday that the dog had bitten numerous people in mid December, while
others had had contact with the dog's saliva. The animal died a few days ago of rabies.
AUSTRALIA: NSW - Flood warnings have been issued for several rivers in northwestern NSW and on the state's north coast as a low pressure weather
system continues to bring heavy rain. Unsealed roads in the northwest are closed and the SES is recommending that non-essential travel in the west of the
state be delayed until conditions improve. The freight railway line near Gilgandra has been partially washed away by floodwaters, the SES says on its
website. Flood warnings are current for the Castlereagh, Paroo, Culgoa/Bokhara, Hastings and Tweed rivers. The SES says the exact location and extent of
the expected flooding can't be predicted and the situation will be reviewed on Tuesday morning.
BRAZIL: Residential houses are submerged in floodwater in San Antonio de Areco in the Buenos Aires Province. Rising of the water level of the rivers
resulted in flood in this area, some 3000 local residents were evacuated.
CHILE: Authorities are still on alert in the Chilean port of Valparaiso as forest fires destroy at least 20 homes, forcing people to flee.
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 27th December 2009
ITALY: Italian news reports say six people have been killed by an avalanche in northern Italy. The victims were two tourists who had gone missing in the
Italian Alps and four rescuers who had been looking for them. The two had gone missing Saturday afternoon while mountain climbing in the Trentino Alto
Adige region, in northern Italy. ANSA said the bodies of the six victims were recovered Sunday morning.
SAUDI ARABIA: Strong aftershocks were felt in the village of Harrah Al-Shaqah and its adjoining settlements in the Al-Ais area yesterday with the Civil
Defense declaring emergency in the region and ordering complete evacuation. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the strongest of the
aftershocks measured 5.6 on the Richter scale at 8:10 p.m. yesterday. Earlier, a Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) statement said: "The magnitude of the
earthquake has been rising notably from 3 to 4.81 on the Richter scale with a total of 46 earthquakes recorded between 2 p.m. Monday and 2 p.m. today.
The strongest tremor occurred 7.7 km beneath Harrah Al-Shaqah and its adjoining villages." Aftershocks were felt in Umlaj, Wajh and Ula.
BANGLADESH: Four workers were killed and 20 others injured in a big explosion at a ship-breaking yard at Madamdibir Haat in Sitakunda Upazila
yesterday morning. Three entrapped workers are yet to be rescued from the ship. Those seriously injured were taken to Chittagong Medical College
Hospital, while others injured were taken to Sitakunda upazila health complex and different clinics, eye-witnesses said. The death toll "may rise further", as a
number of workers were fighting for life, hospital sources said.
USA: Florida - Oswaldo Juarez, a 19-year-old Peruvian visiting to study English. Country's first case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant
form of tuberculosis. The Associated Press learned of this case, which until now has not been made public, as part of a six-month look at the soaring global
challenge of drug resistance. So-called extremely drug-resistant (XXDR) TB has never before been seen in the U.S., according to Dr. David Ashkin, one of
the nation's leading experts on tuberculosis. XXDR tuberculosis is so rare that only a handful of other people in the world are thought to have had it. Forty
years ago, the world thought it had conquered TB and any number of other diseases through the new wonder drugs: Antibiotics. U.S. Surgeon General
William H. Stewart announced it was "time to close the book on infectious diseases and declare the war against pestilence won." Today, all the leading killer
infectious diseases on the planet, TB, malaria and HIV among them are mutating at an alarming rate, hitchhiking their way in and out of countries. The reason:
Overuse and misuse of the very drugs that were supposed to save us. This April, the World Health Organization sounded alarms by holding its first drug-
resistant TB conference in Beijing. The message was clear, the disease has already spread to all continents and is increasing rapidly. Even worse, WHO
estimates only 1 percent of resistant patients received appropriate treatment last year.
PHILIPPINERS: At least three people have died and 22 remain missing after a ferry sank in waters south of the Philippines capital, Manila, the coast guard
says. The vessel was carrying 88 passengers and crew when it went down near Batangas City. Ships in the area rescued more than 60 people.
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 26th December 2009
INDIA: The collapse of a bridge being built in western India is feared to have left some 40 people dead, local police say. Dozens of labourers working on
the bridge are thought to have fallen into the river Chambal when it collapsed late on Thursday.
VENEZUELA: A fire on board a Greek cargo ship off the Caribbean coast of Venezuela has killed nine members of the crew. ZIMBABWEThe blaze
reportedly broke out early on Friday in an engine room of the Aegean Wind and spread upwards.
ZIMBABWE: One person and 25 cattle died last week following an outbreak of the deadly anthrax disease in Chegutu and Seke. As part of measures to
curb the spread of the disease, the Veterinary Field Services in the Ministry of Agriculture promptly launched a programme to vaccinate more than 100 000
head of cattle in the affected areas, which also include Selous and Mhondoro.
USA: Kentucky - The Kentucky Public Service Commission reports more than 14,000 power outages remain after a snowstorm in eastern Kentucky a
week ago. That number, reported Friday, was down from a high of more than 100,000 that occurred after a winter storm Dec. 19 and 20 blanketed far
eastern Kentucky with 8 to 12 inches of heavy snow, toppling trees and knocking down power lines. The outage numbers from the PSC do not include
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 25th December 2009
No Information available
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 24th December 2009
ENGLAND: Three people have been sent to hospital after a viral outbreak at a Nottinghamshire residential centre. Skylarks in West Bridgford provides
short breaks for people with disabilities and their carers. It has now been closed as a precaution. Fifteen people at the centre have had the unknown virus,
the symptoms of which include sickness and diarrhoea.
USA: Midwest - A major winter storm makes its way across the US Midwest, killing 12 people, snarling holiday travel and cutting power.
EUROPE: More than 90 people have died across Europe, 79 of them in Poland, as freezing weather conditions continue. Many of those who have died in
Poland were said to be homeless and the authorities are urging people to help out if they come across people in difficulty. Snow and rain have also caused
travel problems in Portugal and Italy in the last 24 hours.
SOMALIA: Pirates claim to have captured a large red sleigh and are demanding a ransom of US$5 Million, or there will be some unhappy kids this month.
The crew of one elderly gentleman, 3 elfs and 12 reindeer are believed to be safe and well. Experts believe that one of the crew colluded with the pirates to
allow the vessel to be hijacked whilst delivering presents to a UN Aid mission. Special Forces are on full alert for reported heat sources from the hot nose
seeking Predator launched to track down the pirates.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 23rd December 2009
PHILIPPINES: The Philippines' most active volcano belched out choking ash Tuesday as authorities, fearing a major eruption, struggled to deal with
thousands of evacuees crammed into shelters. The ash spread over a wide terrain by Mount Mayon, about 330 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Manila,
raised new health fears for locals already braced for an eruption that scientists say could come any day.
POLAND: people have died of cold in Poland over the past day, taking the toll since winter set in earlier this month to 79, police said Tuesday. A national
police spokeswoman told AFP that 10 people had been found dead since Monday. The majority of the victims were homeless men who died while drunk,
CANADA: Ontario - Workers at the Darlington nuclear station filled the wrong tank with a cocktail of water and a radioactive isotope Monday, spilling
more than 200,000 litres into Lake Ontario. Ontario Power Generation is investigating how the accident happened and officials say hourly tests of the lake
water show that the level of tritium “the radioactive isotope of hydrogen“ poses no harm to nearby residents. The spilled water contained 0.1 per cent of the
plant's allowable monthly release of tritium, said OPG spokesman Ted Gruetzner.
INDONESIA: Indonesian rescue workers used a thermal detector to search for victims trapped under rubble after two people died and 12 were injured
when a building collapsed near a busy textile market in Jakarta, police said on Wednesday.
RUSSIA: An explosion has killed six miners in a Russian iron ore mine owned by Evraz Group, the company is saying, in the latest disaster to afflict Russia's
mining industry in recent years. Seven more miners are missing after the blast near the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Ural mountains, which occurred when
explosives detonated unexpectedly as they were being transported 180 metres below the surface of the Yestyuninskaya mine.
ITALY: An unusually high tide flooded most of Venice early Wednesday, forcing tourists and residents to wade through knee-high waters or take to
improvised, elevated boardwalks set up in St. Mark's Square and other landmarks. The waters came in before dawn and reached a peak of 56.6 inches
(144 centimeters) above average sea level. City authorities said that put around 60 percent of Venice's streets and piazzas under water. Wednesday's level
was still far from last year's record 63 inches (160 centimeters), Venice's worst flooding in more than two decades.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 22nd December 2009
EUROPE: The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose to at least 80 on Monday as transport chaos spread amid mounting anger over the three-
day failure of Eurostar high-speed trains. With tens of thousands stranded by the cancellation of London-to-Paris trains and hundreds of flights across the
continent, new accidents and mass power cuts added to the big freeze tumult.
AUSTRALIA: WA - Tropical Cyclone Laurence tore into Western Australia overnight, with winds of up to 215 kilometres (133 miles) an hour damaging
some buildings but causing no injuries, officials said Tuesday. The storm had been at the highest rating of Category 5 when it ripped inland onto Eighty Mile
Beach late Monday but has since been downgraded to a Category 3.
PAKISTAN: At least 12 people died after drinking locally brewed liquor apparently tainted with lethal chemicals in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab,
reported on Monday. The deaths occurred overnight in two neighbourhoods of Multan town, located 340 kilometers south-west of the provincial capital,
Lahore. Three more people were admitted to a local state-run hospital, where doctors described their condition as critical. Police arrested one suspected
bootlegger and seized eights drums of alcohol. Alcohol is banned in Pakistan and only a few licensed outlets operate to cater to non-Muslims. However,
smuggled and locally brewed liquor is easily available, and its consumption increases around customary festivals and the New Year.
MALAYSIA: The number of flood evacuees in Kelantan remained at 440, all in Rantau Panjang, as at 8.30am Tuesday. A state flood operations control
room spokesman said they were housed in two relief centres. He said the water level of Sungai Golok in Rantau Panjang was at 9.72m, down from 10m
yesterday but still above the danger level of 9m. Jalan Rantau Panjang-Panglima Bayu at KM11 Kampung Kubang Rambutan remained closed to light
vehicles, he said.
ENGLAND: A cruise liner stranded in Portsmouth last week after 180 passengers were struck down by a sickness bug is set to return again after a second
suspected outbreak. The Fred Olsen cruise ship Boudicca, which is based at Portsmouth ferry port, was stranded in Portsmouth on Friday because of a
gastro-enteritis outbreak onboard. But after a deep clean of all the cabins, the ship was sent back out to sea Friday evening. Now 50 passengers aboard the
900 capacity ship are again thought to be showing sickness symptoms and, reportedly, the cruise liner has been forced to turn back. Fred Olsen were due to
release a statement later today. The cruise liner firm has a bad record of passenger sickness - this bug would be the sixth time in the past three years one of
its fleet has been hit with illnesses.
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 21st December 2009
On this day the winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere) I wish all my friends health, wealth and happiness as the new sun is born and the adys begin to
USA: Americans pining for a white Christmas got more than they bargained for as a record-breaking snowstorm closed airports and roadways across the
northeastern United States, putting a damper on the holiday's biggest shopping weekend. Just days before the December 25 holiday, the eastern seaboard
from North Carolina to New England was digging out Sunday from the worst blizzard in years.
SWINE FLU: Senior World Health Organisation official Keiji Fukuda said Thursday that it was too early to declare the swine flu pandemic over, as it
continues at "high levels" in parts of Europe and central Asia.
MALAWI: Three people were killed and about 300 injured Sunday when an earthquake measuring at least 6.0 on the Richter Scale struck northern Malawi,
the second in under two weeks, authorities said.
SAUDI ARABIA: Weeks after a devastating flash flood, residents of Jeddah fear that further heavy rainfall could bring a huge, brimming reservoir of raw
sewage cascading onto Saudi Arabia's Red Sea capital. Until the November 25 flood submerged homes and roads, killing at least 120 people, every day a
line of tanker trucks made their way from Jeddah, a city of 2.6 million with almost no municipal sewerage.
ENGLAND / FRANCE: Eurostar train services between Britain and Europe were suspended indefinitely Sunday due to the freezing weather, throwing the
Christmas holiday plans of tens of thousands of people into chaos. More than 24,000 people have already been affected, but the operator of the Channel
Tunnel passenger trains said there would be no services for a third day Monday.
INDIA: Farmers across several villages in Aurangabad district have faced substantial losses after a sudden hailstorm damaged their crops. Papaya, bananas,
onion, pomegranate and cotton were some of the crops which were completely destroyed in the hailstorm.
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 20th December 2009
No information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 19th December 2009
ITALY: A swarm of earthquakes occurred at Mt Etna volcano on 19th December 2009. More than 30 earthquakes occurred in the swarm, with the largest
being magnitude 4.6. The swarm was located under the northwest side of the volcano.
USA: Arizona - A strong metallic odor at the Scottsdale Galleria Corporate Center forced the evacuation of about 1,200 office workers and sent 21 people
to the hospital with breathing difficulties Friday afternoon. As of late Friday, Scottsdale Fire Department investigators had not yet identified the source or
cause of the odor, but industrial hygienists and building engineers were scheduled to enter the building during the evening, said fire spokeswoman Patti Jo
Angelini. Thirteen people were transported to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn as a precaution after complaining of feeling ill, Angelini said.
TAIWAN: An earthquake rocked parts of Taiwan on Saturday and local television reported that one building had collapsed. The U.S. Geological Survey
said the quake had a magnitude of 6.5 and was centred just off east coast of Taiwan, 20 miles (12 km) south-southeast of Hua-lien. The time of the quake
was 9.02 pm local time (1302 GMT) and it was centred 46 km (28 miles) below the earth's surface, local TV said, adding that one building had collapsed
TURKEY: Harsh wind turned into a tornado in the city of Izmir. Tornado threw away the security cottage of a settlement unit. It crashed to Mustafa Kose
who is a shepherd and was working around the environment in which the bad event occurred. Kose died and the security guard injured. The Asian Sea
overflowed in Izmir becaused of the tornado and the heavy rain and blocked routes between villages.
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 18th December 2009
LIBYA: A major rescue operation is under way after a ship carrying 83 passengers and crew and a cargo of livestock sank off the north Lebanese coast in a
storm. The Panamanian-flagged Danny F II capsized 11 nautical miles off Tripoli after sending a distress signal.
UKRAINE: A heavy snowstorm has wreaked havoc on many Ukrainian regions Thursday leaving thousands of cars and trucks stuck on highways between
cities for hours with authorities sending emergency crews to save lives. Snowstorms, strong winds and freezing temperatures will probably persist in most of
Ukrainian regions over the next three days, according to the forecast by the national weather center. The city of Odessa, which appears to be one of the
worst hit by the snowstorm, declared an emergency Thursday by asking its residents to stay at home when possible to let the authorities remove snow.
SRI LANKA: The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday that three people were killed while 302,835 people of over 83,000 families marooned by floods
in the east. Pradeep Kodippily, assistant director of the Disaster Management Center, told reporters that Ampara and Batticaloa districts in the Eastern
Province were the worst affected. Kodippily said heavy rains lashed the area on Monday and Tuesday and the deaths were caused by lightning and the
collapse of a wall.
JAPAN: At least seven people were injured and more than 20 buildings damaged on Friday when a moderate earthquake hit central Japan and more than
100 aftershocks jolted the region. The 5.2 magnitude quake struck at 8:45 am (2345 GMT Thursday), with the epicentre located off the Izu Peninsula in the
Pacific Ocean about 90 kilometres (55 miles) southwest of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. The tremor shattered windows and cracked some roads
and sidewalks, toppled over tombstones in a cemetery, caused the collapse of a hotel wall and damaged more than 20 other buildings in Ito City, eastern Izu.
USA: Florida - Buckets of rain - more than 10 inches in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties - flooded homes, stranded drivers and even left a
firetruck dead in the water as it answered a call. Flood warnings issued Thursday evening were reissued later that night as the water backed up, leaving some
streets impassable and water reportedly up the the windows of some Southeast Broward homes. More than 2,000 residents - 1,100 in Broward and 900 in
Miami-Dade - had lost power by 10 p.m., Florida Power & Light reported.
AUSTRALIA: NSW - Wildfires have destroyed 10 homes and hundreds of livestock in eastern Australia, officials said Friday, as residents recounted the
trauma of facing the infernos. Blistering heat and windy conditions fanned 100 fires across New South Wales on Thursday, including one in Sydney, and left
1,000 sheep and 200 cattle dead in their wake, the Rural Fire Service said.
USA: Wisconsin - At least 12 people were injured after a ski lift malfunctioned at Devil's Head Resort in Merrimac. It happened shortly after 7 p.m.
Thursday night. "The ski lift was in operation, was full of skiers," said Sauk Co. Chief Deputy Chip Meister. "The ski lift stopped and then started coming
back rapidly. They were unable to stop it at that time." "There was a loud bang and it smelled like burned rubber," said Brent Cashore of Evansville.
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 17th December 2009
RUSSIA: Bezymyanny volcano's eruption started on the Kamchatka Peninsula on Thursday. Ashfall has been registered in the Kozyrevsk settlement (30 km
from the volcano). The local population has been advised to cut their time outdoors. The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) told Itar-
Tass that the eruption started at 09:45, local time (00:45, Moscow time). There was an explosion on the volcano and ash blowouts started. Half an hour
after the beginning of the eruption the ash spewed by the giant mount reached Kozyrevsk.
CYPRUS: Severe rain and strong winds battered the south east of Cyprus last night, with forecasters warning more bad weather was still to come. The
storms cut electric and phones, downed trees and closed roads in some coastal areas. The brunt of the bad weather was felt in Larnaca Bay, Pervolia and
along the coast to Ayia Thekla and Sotira, where several long power-cuts kept residents in the dark for nearly two hours. In Larnaca, a mini tornado hit the
area and firefighters were called just after 9.30pm when tiles were ripped off roofs and garages and homes left damaged.
WALES: A landmark seafront building is in danger of being destroyed tonight as 100 firefighters tackle a major fire at the Afan Lido leisure centre at
Aberavon Beach in Port Talbot. A large plume of smoke can be seen coming from the building from across Swansea Bay. The Mid and West Wales Fire
Service were first called to the leisure centre just before 5pm. There were reports a fire had broken out in the area around the pool in the Aquadome, the
centre's water park. Roads including Princess Margaret Way in front of the building were closed off to traffic and some families living close the scene of the
fire at Channel View were evacuated because of the volume of smoke. There was also a concern chemicals used in the pool could have been affected by the
heat. A total of 17 fire vehicles including three aerial appliances were rushed at the scene.
ITALY: Italian authorities evacuated hundreds of people from their homes after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake shook the Umbria region of central Italy on
Tuesday, causing slight damage to buildings but no injuries. The civil protection agency said the quake was strongest around the town of Perugia. In the
commune of Marsciano, civil protection agents evacuated about 500 residents after the old buildings in which they lived were damaged by the tremor. They
will be housed in a gym while the extent of the damage is assessed. In April, a strong earthquake struck the Abruzzo region of central Italy, killing about 300
people and making tens of thousands homeless.
SPAIN: 46 provinces in 13 autonomous communities are on alert today as temperatures as low as minus 11º are expected in some inland areas, with snow
at low altitude. Heavy snowfall in the mountainous regions of Cadiz, Cardoba and Jaan have put these areas on yellow alert, and there have been warnings of
heavy rain on the islands of El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma and Tenerife. Aragan, Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel
are also on either yellow/orange alert due to both the snow and the sub-zero temperatures, with lows of minus 11º anticipated.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 16th December 2009
No information available
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 15th December 2009
FIJI: At least three people are dead as Cyclone Mick rips through Fiji's main island, before heading for Tonga.
REUNION: Piton de la Fournaise volcano erupted Monday, December 14, 2009 at 18:45 (local time GMT +4). The eruption was preceded by a seismic
crisis and a raise of the summit area deformations, which started at 17:30 (GMT +4). The eruptive tremor began at 18:30 (GMT+4). A system of sub-
parallel fractures along the summit of Dolomieu crater fed lava flows on the southern slope of the Piton de la Fournaise, inside the Enclos Fouqu. A second
fissures system opened on the eastern flank of the Dolomieu summit crater at 20:25 (GMT +4). Then lava flows were spent towards the eastern slope.
GDACS: There are currently 28 erupting volcanoes around the World.
VIETNAM: Bird flu reappeared in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen, killing 405 poultry, the Animal Health Department under the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development said on its website on Tuesday. The disease broke out in two communes of Thai Nguyen province from Dec. 9 to 11,
according to the department. To prevent the spread of bird flu, local authorities have taken prevention measures including the destruction of 4,100 ducks,
102 chickens and 17,750 poultry eggs in the affected communes.
VIETNAM: The Ministry of Health has reported a new confirmed case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case has been confirmed
at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE). The case is a man from Dien Bien Phu city, Dien Bien Province, Vietnam. He developed
symptoms on 18 November, was hospitalized at Dien Bien general hospital and died on 28 November 2009.
SPAIN: The forecast of heavy rain and snowfall led some villages in the LAlcoiÃ -Comtat district of Alicante province to close schools on Monday, with
classes suspended in Banyeres de Mariola, Agres, Alfafara, Alcoleja and Benillova as a precaution. All three villages are more than 500 metres above sea
level, and El PaÃs reports that the bad weather also closed schools in Dnia and Xbia. In Calpe and DÃ©nia, the rain which had been falling since Sunday
afternoon and the high winds expected for Monday forced the majority of the local fishing fleets to remain in port.
INDIA: Scrub typhus, a disease caused by the bites of ticks or mites, has claimed five lives in Meghalaya in the past week and affected more than 80
people, particularly in the rural areas of the state. The medical superintendent of KJP Hospital at Jaiaw in Shillong, Dr David Tariang, said five deaths were
reported in the private hospital and nearly 60 others were undergoing treatment.
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 14th December 2009
No information available
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 13th December 2009
AUSTRALIA: A wild storm battered Darwin overnight, giving the city a month's worth of rain in less than a day. The Weather Bureau's Graeme King says a
tropical low that is now heading west dumped hundreds of millimetres of water into Darwin and Batchelor.
USA: Mississippi - Heavy rains have caused more flooding in South Mississippi. WLOX has picked up over 3.00" of rain in the past 24 hours. The received
reports of flooding in low lying areas in Gulfport.
CHINA: Hong Kong - Police said Sunday they were investigating a fifth acid attack in a year after six people were injured by a bottle of corrosive liquid in a
bustling shopping district. The plastic bottle was hurled in Causeway Bay, one of the city's busiest areas, around 10:00 pm (1400 GMT) Saturday, a police
spokeswoman said. Five women and a man suffered burns and were sent to hospital for treatment.
THAILAND: Hundreds of construction workers were evacuated and four hospitalised after a gas leak at Map Ta Phut industrial estate - the second such
incident in a week. The leak was reported at 11am yesterday by workers at the construction site of Glow Energy power plant. All workers were ordered to
leave the area. The four who inhaled the gas suffered dizziness and nausea and began vomiting.
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 12th December 2009
No information available
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 11th December 2009
No information available
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 10th December 2009
No information available
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 10th December 2009
USA: Multi State - A massive storm buried much of the central United States in dangerous ice and snow Wednesday, stranding scores of motorists with
massive drifts that shut down major roads and defeated plows. Strong winds created drifts as high as 15 feet (4.6 meters) as the storm dropped as much as
four feet of snow (1.2 meters) in some areas.
CHINA: Massive mitigation - China will resettle at least 440,000 people to make way for a massive and much-delayed project aimed at diverting water to
meet growing demand in the parched north, state media said Wednesday. Authorities will move around 100,000 residents a year to allow construction of the
South-to-North Water Diversion project.
NORTH KOREA: North Korea announced for the first time Wednesday that it has several cases of swine flu, confirming overseas reports of an outbreak in
the secretive and impoverished communist state. The health ministry has reported a total of nine cases of (A)H1N1 in the capital Pyongyang and the city of
Sinuiju on the Chinese border, the official Korean Central News Agency said.
NIGERIA: Ecological nightmare - About 61,000 barrels of crude of oil were spilled in Nigeria last year, mostly due to the activities of Niger Delta armed
militants, giant Anglo-Dutch Shell said on Wednesday.
USA: Nebraska - A huge fire is burning at a closed manufacturing plant in northeast Nebraska, and officials are evacuating the area because they're worried
a propane tank could explode. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the Thursday morning blaze. Norfolk City administrator Al Roder says
firefighters are working furiously to keep the 30,000 tank at the former Protient plant from exploding. It had been filled on Wednesday. Emergency workers
are evacuating homes and businesses within a 1-mile radius. Protient manufactured and marketed dairy-based ingredients for dairy products. It closed in
October 2008. Norfolk is 90 miles northwest of Omaha.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 9th December 2009
BRAZIL: Heavy rain brought Brazil's biggest city of Sao Paulo grinding to a halt on Tuesday and reportedly claimed the lives of six people in landslides.
CHINA: Eight students were killed and 26 others injured in a stampede down a narrow stairway at a middle school in central China, state media reported on
Tuesday. The incident occurred Monday night in the city of Xiangxiang in Hunan province as students at Yucai Middle School, a private boarding school,
rushed down stairs after an evening study session.
NETHERLANDS: third patient in the Netherlands infected by a mutant strain of the swine flu virus has died, the country's health and environment institute
said Tuesday. The Netherlands has seen eight cases of the mutated A(H1N1) virus, including the three fatalities, but the strain is not spreading, the institute
SAMOA: The International Monetary Fund announced Monday it would provide a 9.3-million-dollar lifeline to Samoa to help the country recover from a
September earthquake and tsunami disaster.
MALAWI: A one-year-old child has died in Malawi after a house collapsed in a series of earthquakes and aftershocks in the northern Karonga district,
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 8th December 2009
No Information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Monday 7th December 2009
No Information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Sunday 6th December 2009
No Information posted
Subject: Around the World Today: Saturday 5th December 2009
RUSSIA: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared a national day of mourning on 7 December after a fire at a nightclub killed at least 109 people.
Officials say fireworks inside the club caused Friday's blaze and that most victims died from smoke inhalation. More than 140 people were reported injured
at the Lame Horse club in Perm.
INDONESIA: At least 20 people have been killed after a fire broke out in a building in Medan, in the north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, police said.
The fire engulfed a karaoke bar situated on the third floor of a commercial building in the city, Indonesia's third largest.
EGYPT: Two passenger ferries have collided on the Nile river in northern Egypt, triggering a large-scale rescue. But after initial fears that many people were
missing, officials later said it appeared that nobody was still unaccounted for. One of the ferries reportedly broke in half and sank after the collision while the
other overturned, near the northern city of Rashid.
BANGLADESH: A river ferry has capsized and sunk in Bangladesh, killing at least 46 people - the second such incident in a week. Half of the victims of
the latest accident were children, and most of the rest were women. The boat they were travelling on collided with another vessel on the Daira river, about
100km (62 miles) north of the capital Dhaka.
USA: Texas - One person was killed and at least two injured after an explosion at the Valero refinery in Texas City on Friday night. Valero spokesman Fred
Newhouse said he could not confirm which unit had the explosion, which happened about 9 p.m. Emergency management officials confirmed that the
explosion happened at a boiler within the refinery.
Subject: Around the World Today: Friday 4th December 2009
NETHERLANDS / SWINE FLU: Dutch authorities said Thursday a patient infected by a mutant strain of the swine flu virus had died, but added that this
was not the cause of death. Harald Wychgel, spokesman for the Dutch Institute for Health and the Environment, told AFP that there had been a "minor
change in the virus to make it resistant to Tamiflu," a key treatment for influenza.
AUSTRALIA: The rotting carcasses of thousands of wild camels who have died of thirst in Australia's desert Outback are polluting vital waterholes and
sacred sites, a report said Thursday. Authorities were trucking water into drought-hit Australian towns Thursday, with supply in some places trickling to as
little as eight hours, officials said. Severe water restrictions were declared across much of south-eastern Queensland state, with critical shortages in the
hinterland towns of Blackwater and Maleny.
PHILIPPINES: Deadly tropical storms Ketsana and Parma caused well over four billion dollars worth of damage in the Philippines, or nearly three percent
of its annual economic output, the government said Wednesday. Floods, landslides and disease caused by the storms in late September and early October
left more than 1,000 people dead and affected nearly 10 percent of the population, according to officials.
BRAZIL: At least 20 people have died in mudslides triggered by heavy rains across southern Brazil as rivers rose to rooftops and thousands were left
homeless Friday. Streets in South America's largest city, Sao Paulo, flooded with chest-high waters, paralyzing late afternoon traffic and shutting down
airports Thursday, when the rains started. At least six deaths â€” including four children â€” were reported in Sao Paulo's Metropolitan area, all caused
when mudslides descended on the rickety shacks in shantytowns. A statement from Sao Paulo's civil defense department said two people were still missing
in the city.
Subject: Around the World Today: Thursday 3rd December 2009
INDIA: People in the Indian city of Bhopal have been marking 25 years since a leak at a gas plant killed thousands and left many more seriously ill. Activists
and survivors marched through the city, chanting slogans against the government and Union Carbide - the US firm that owned the plant at the time. The
incident was the worst industrial disaster in history.
UGANDA: Uganda's minister of health has announced that the nation's government has raised a full alert through its national disease surveillance network for
any possible biological or chemical terrorist attack. The full alert follows recent threats by al Shaabab rebels in Somalia that they would hit back at the people
Kampala and Bujumbura for their alleged role in the killing of civilians in Somalia.
RUSSIA: Some 200 tons (1,460 barrels) of oil have spilled from a pipeline in central Russia's Lipetsk Region, the Emergencies Ministry said on Thursday. A
section of the Druzhba pipeline network burst at around 03:20 p.m. (12:20 GMT) on Wednesday, some 90 kilometers southwest of the city of Lipetsk, the
ministry said in a statement.
IRELAND: Roads in Fermanagh were under water yesterday as torrential rainfall brought renewed flooding chaos to the county. Heavy downpours have left
vast areas saturated, and yesterday three main roads remained impassable by car after more downpours. At Lough Erne, which was at its highest recorded
level last Friday, the water has dropped by less than a foot in the last five days. People are still using tractors and jeeps to commute to work and take
children to school.
Subject: Around the World Today: Wednesday 2nd December 2009
JAPAN: Chubu Electric Power Co., Japan's third-biggest power producer, said 23 workers were exposed to radiation yesterday after tainted water leaked
at its Hamaoka nuclear plant. No radiation reached the environment. The workers were exposed to 0.05 millisievert of radiation or less, about the same as
an X-ray and not enough to sicken them, Toshimitsu Shibata, a company spokesman, said by phone from Tokyo today. Fifty-three liters of water containing
300 times more radiation than allowed by government regulations leaked from a storage tank for the No. 3 reactor at the Hamaoka plant, southwest of
Tokyo, Shibata said.
FRANCE: One of four reactors at the Cruas nuclear power station in southern France was shut down late on Tuesday following a lapse in the cooling
system, France's nuclear safety agency said. French energy company EDF reported the incident at 2250 GMT and followed its emergency procedures to
shut down the reactor, it added. The agency said it was still evaluating the seriousness of the incident. The cooling system for the reactors use water from the
Rhone River and the incident was due to a high level of plant debris in the river blocking intake, it added.
MALAYSIA: Hundreds of motorists and tourists travelling along the east and west coasts of Sabah were stranded in a massive traffic jam caused by a
landslide yesterday. It is believed that heavy rain in the early hours of the morning caused the landslide at Km60, near Kampung Kiau, of the Kota Kinabalu-
Ranau road. A 100m stretch of the road was affected by the avalanche of earth and stones, cutting off the main road connecting the east and west coasts of
DRC: Ten students at Maikazo Institute in Tshopo district in Kisangani, the main town in Orientale province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
died in one week from an unknown disease, with meningitis-like symptoms, reported on Tuesday. The last case of death came on Tuesday morning at the
Mangobo general hospital, where three of these students had been admitted since Saturday, when nine others died a few hours after they had been taken to
the hospital, Dr. Cecile Edambulu, chief medical doctor in Tshopo zone.
Subject: Around the World Today: Tuesday 1st December 2009
ITALY: Much of Venice, Italy, including St. Mark's Square, has been flooded by waters rising more than 4 feet above normal, officials said. The Venetian
"acqua alta" (or "high water") swamped the city Monday, with as much as 43 percent of the lagoon city's surface below water. Meteorologists said the
phenomenon was set to return with Monday's evening high tide and last the rest of the week, with water levels expected to top out at 3.8 feet above normal.
But, they warned, with heavy rains in December, Venetian water levels could be pushed to nearly 5 feet above average. The record acqua alta for Venice
came in 1966 when flood waters rose to 6.4 feet above normal, causing huge amounts of damage.
VIETNAM / AVIAN FLU: Bird flu has killed a Vietnamese man, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday, following warnings from the World Health
Organization about a potential combination of the bird flu and swine flu viruses. The 23-year-old man died last week, two days after being admitted to a
hospital in the northern province of Dien Bien, some 310 miles (500 kilometers) north of Hanoi, the ministry said in a statement on its Web site. Test results
confirmed he was infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. He fell sick after eating duck blood pudding. Last week, the WHO warned that with fresh H5N1
bird flu cases reported in poultry in Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, the risk of bird flu and the H1N1 pandemic swine flu virus mixing was
heightened. Egypt also has recently reported human cases.
USA: 12 States - More than 860 horses in the United States have so far been tested for the tick-borne disease, equine piroplasmosis, as authorities work to
eliminate an outbreak centred on Texas. The disease, which can be carried by certain species of ticks, has been confirmed in 334 horses, according to the
US Department of Agriculture's latest report to the World Organisation for Animal Health. "To date," said spokesman Dr John Clifford, "even though
Theileria equi positive horses have been identified in 12 states, all positive horses are directly epidemiologically linked to the index premises".
SCOTLAND: Scotland is under threat of being besieged by a horde of exotic killer jellyfish. Sightings of the mauve stinger which devastated salmon farms
on the west coast in 2007 have led experts to believe that the Mediterranean natives have returned to Scotland's coasts. The jellyfish which travel in massive
swarms, or "blooms", numbering billions have recently been spotted off the coasts of Orkney, Lewis and Fair Isle.
AUSTRALIA: NSW - A woman has died and six people, including four paramedics, are being treated in hospital after being exposed to an unknown
chemical on a farm south-west of Sydney, the NSW Ambulance Service says.
USA: Kansas - A tanker truck carrying hydrochloric acid flipped Monday morning, spilling some of its load and sending a cloud of hazardous gas blowing
into the air. The accident snarled rush hour traffic on a major artery into downtown Kansas City. The tanker, which was carrying an estimated 45,000
pounds of hydrochloric acid as it traveled on Interstate 35, ruptured and sent gas blowing to the east. The city opened its Emergency Operations Center.
Kansas City Fire Department Chief Smokey Dyer said about 250 gallons of the acid spilled from the tanker, reports CBS affiliate KCTV in Kansas City.
The cloud mainly threatened the nearby Isle of Capri casino. It was not evacuated, but those inside were asked to stay inside until the cloud dispersed.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Melting Antarctic ice is likely to contribute to a sea level rise of about 1.4m by 2100, a major review of climate change says
|AROUND THE WORLD TODAY