Thursday, 9 April 2015

Four bodies found from last week's Taiwan sinking, 9 still missing

Four bodies have been retrieved a week after a cargo ship capsized in the Taiwan Strait on 30 March, while nine other crew members are still missing, China's Fujian Maritime Safety Administration announced on 7 April.

The 6,426 gt cargo carrier Zhen He 168 from the mainland sank west off Xiquan Island at around 04:40 h local time on 30 March, leaving all 13 crew members missing.

The ship's AIS was turned off in the evening of 29 March when it was passing the strait from north to south, and its radio echo suddenly reduced in the early morning of 30 March, which was believed to be the time of the accident, according to the shipowner and maritime safety administration.

However, the shipowner did not report the accident until late in the afternoon of 30 March. The capsized ship was found on the same evening, but no floating items were found.

During the seven days of search and rescue, three bodies were found at the ship's cabin between 4 April and 6 April, while another was retrieved by authorities from Taiwan on 5 April.

The shipowner modified the cabin along with other parts of the ship, and did not register or undergo inspection, and most of the crew on board did not hold competency certificates, according to the maritime safety administration.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Thursday 9 April 2015

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25 killed in Faridpur road crash

At least 25 people were killed and 23 injured when a bus veered off the road as the driver lost control over the steering in Bhanga upazila of Faridpur early today.

Rescue teams rushed the spot and shifted the injured and the bodies to nearby hospitals.

A Barisal-bound bus of Sonartari Paribahan from Dhaka skidded of the road and plunged into a ditch after hitting a tree in Kaidubi area around 1:30am as the driver lost control over the steering, our Faridpur correspondent reports quoting Jamil Hasan, superintendent of police in Faridpur.

The bodies of 20 persons who died on the spot have been kept at Bhanga Highway Police Station premise while those who died at Faridpur Medical College Hospital were kept at the hospital morgue.

Families and relatives started rushing to the scene and morgue to identify the bodies.

So far, 11 bodies were identified till 11:10am when the report was filed.

The cause of the accident wasn’t clear yet but passengers said the driver apparently lost control. It was not known yet if the driver was among the dead.

Meanwhile, the district administration has been distributing Tk 10,000 to each of dead victim’s family, the local upazila nirbahi officer said.

Thursday 9 April 2015

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44 dead, 25 injured in recent floods: Jammu and Kashmir Govt

Over 40 people were killed and 25 others injured in the recent landslides and flash floods in the state, Jammu and Kashmir government today said.

Minister for Revenue Javaid Mustafa Mir said this while replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Ali Mohammad Sagar in Legislative Assembly.

"As many as 44 persons lost their lives and 25 got injured. 12,565 structures have been damaged fully, severely and partially, and 680 cowshed also got damaged. Besides, 862 cattle also perished," Mir said.

He said that due to unprecedented rainfall and snowfall followed by flash floods, landslides and avalanches last year, severe loss to life and property took place in the state.

The Minister said many areas in villages have become unsafe for living due to landslides and land sinking.

He said 211 camps have been established in the state and 2,907 families evacuated, 1,474 tents built, 3287 blankets have been provided to the affected families who have become homeless.

The minister said in District Srinagar, 893 structures have been damaged, out of which 18 houses have been fully damaged, 245 severely and 630 partially damaged.

He said in Khanyar constituency, 103 houses have been damaged, out of which 03 houses are fully, 20 severally and 80 houses have been partially damaged.

Mir said that an amount of Rs 35 cr has been released to Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir for providing ex gratia and for temporary restoration of critical public utilities on a war-footing.

He said the ex gratia has been provided to the affected families as per the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms. He said the assessment of loss and damages is in progress throughout the state by inter-departmental teams and relief is being and will be provided to the affected families throughout the state including Khanyar constituency as per the norms.

Meanwhile, the government today also said that a Rs 401-cr detailed project report (DPR) for urgent work was submitted to the Centre in the month of February and an approval is awaited.

"In order to avoid the re-occurrence of such floods in future, a detailed project report with an estimated cost of Rs 401 crore for urgent works carved out of the main project stands submitted to the government of India in the month of February," Minister for Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control Sukhnandan Kumar told the Legislative Assembly.

"This has been put for approval of the Ministry of Water resources through their technical approval committee," Minister Sukhnandan Kumar told the Legislative Assembly.

The reply came in response to the question of M Y Tarigami, who wanted to know whether a study was conducted to understand the cause of September 2014 floods that ravaged the state.

The minister said that the final comprehensive project will take about eight to ten months for its submission to the Government of India where in the observations raised by the Central Water Commission (CWC) as far as Indus Water Treaty are to be clarified in detail including the effect of flood discharge on Wullar Lake and downstream.

He said that the temporary restoration of all the breaches and cuts was almost completed under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and the measures taken for their permanent restoration have been taken up in a planned and prioritised manner under the Prime Minister's package.

"Besides a committee was constituted by the Government of India to understand the cause of the floods in the state but the findings and recommendations made by the said committee are awaited," he said.

He however said that as per the study undertaken by the department, it was found that the "unprecedented heavy rainfall" resulted in the flood discharge of 1,20,000 cusecs of water at Sangam and 1,30,000 cusecs in Srinagar, which was three times the safe carrying capacity of the existing channels.

The minister said that his department has already completed the temporary restoration of all the breaches and cuts on River Jehlum and the permanent restoration work for strengthening the banks of river was in progress to prevent any further damage to the adjacent areas due to any flood situations in the future.

On a question regarding the removal of encroachments from the water bodies, Kumar said, "22,415 illegally-planted trees have been cut along river Jehlum, 49,738 from other water bodies and streams and 80,208 from irrigation lands and canals."

He said that more than 90 illegally-constructed houses and 218 tin sheds and 246 boundary walls have been demolished from the water ways.

Thursday 9 April 2015

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