Sunday, 23 September 2012

Flash floods and landslides kill 21 in Sikkim

GANGTOK: At least 21 bodies, including those of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel, have so far been found while eight persons are still missing due to flash flood and landslides in remote areas of North Sikkim, official sources said on Sunday.

The dead include four from the ITBP, two of their family members, and 12 junior officers from the BRO. Other victims were casual labourers, officials said.

Karma Zyatso, chief secretary of Sikkim state, says the workers, who lived in camps, were swept away by the swirling waters of a flooded river Friday in Chungthan, a small town in the mountainous region.

Most of the casualties are reported from Rangma range. Landslides were caused by heavy rains since September 19, deputy commissioner north district T W Khangsherpa said.

There were about nine landslides blocking the main road between Chungthang and Mangan in the district, he said.

Army and IAF personnel have started rescue operations in full swing.

Several landslides blocked the main roads between Chungthang and Pegong. Houses along Lachen river between Rangma and Chungthang were washed away in flash floods along Lachen river.

The state government has declared a state of alert along the establishments on the river banks right from Lachen, Lachung, Chungthang, Mangan, Dikchu, Singtam and Rangpo, a government press release said.

Earlier on Sunday, another landslide was reported from a place 1 km away from Mangan, the district headquarter town of North Sikkim.

As a result of which, official reports said NH31-A has been blocked leaving the northern side of the Himalayan state cut off.

Sunday 23 September 2012

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9 climbers killed, 6 missing in Nepal avalanche

KATMANDU, Nepal - An avalanche swept away climbers on a Himalayan peak in Nepal on Sunday, leaving at least nine dead and six others missing, officials said.

Police official Basanta Bahadur Kuwar said the bodies of a Nepalese guide and German man were recovered and that rescue pilots have spotted seven other bodies on the slopes of Mount Manaslu in northern Nepal. The mountain is the eighth highest in the world.

Ten other members of the team survived the avalanche but many were injured and are being flown to hospitals by rescue helicopters, he said.

Weather conditions were deteriorating and it was not possible to continue air searches of the mountain on Sunday, Kuwar said.

The identities of the victims were still being confirmed.

The avalanche hit the climbers at a camp at 7,000 meters (22,960 feet) as they were preparing to head toward the summit, which is 8,156 meters (26,760 feet) high.

It is currently the beginning of Nepal's autumn mountaineering season.

Sunday 23 September 2012

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Remains of Russia fire victims handed to families

Families of fourteen Vietnamese workers who had died almost two weeks ago in a fire erupting about 114 kilometers from Russia’s capital Moscow received Sunday the victims’ bodies and ashes at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

The remains were sent home Saturday on a Vietnam Airlines flight after the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia together with a few Vietnamese associations had carried out a moaning ceremony for all of them one day earlier.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Pham Xuan Son offered condolences to the unfortunate families and thanked Vietnamese individuals, organizations, and competent authorities in the European country for their help at the reception of the bodies and ashes this morning.

On September 11, a fire swept through a garment factory outside Moscow, killing the fourteen Vietnamese.

Firefighters sent to put out the blaze found their bodies in the factory in the town of Yegoryevsk, southeast of the Russian capital, and four other victims were hospitalized with burns, Reuters reported then, citing the Moscow region emergencies department.

Many migrant workers from Asian countries work in Russian factories in cramped conditions that are often at risk from fires, the UK-based news agency said.

Reuters added death rates from fires are far higher in Russia than in Western countries such as Britain and the United States, pointing out another fire in April on Moscow's outskirts that killed 17 migrant workers living in makeshift quarters at a market warehouse.

Sunday 23 September 2012

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