Spreading floods in Pakistan worsen, at least 1600 dead

Friday, August 6, 2010

Since last reported, the flooding in Pakistan has spread and has now struck more than four million people. The UN reports it has left at least 1,600 people dead. The floods have been confirmed as the worst in eighty years.

Heavy monsoon rains led to the flooding of the huge Indus River, destroying homes in the north of the country and causing a large amount of damage in the north-west frontier province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Manuel Bessler of the United Nations said: “What we are facing now is a major catastrophe. We are afraid it will get worse.”

Army and government forces have rushed to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people from parts of the Punjab province of Pakistan, where the disaster spread to yesterday, and from Sindh province, where the flood is expected to reach by the weekend.

The flooding is now in its second week and the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon, especially since in many parts of the country there is still torrential rain, with more forecast. In other parts of Pakistan the water has receded, but this leaves a layer of mud and slime and this covers very large areas. For those affected by the floods, disease is the biggest problem now. The insanitary conditions have already caused diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Cholera and other water-borne diseases may appear if sanitary conditions for those displaced by the calamity are not established. Medical supplies are desperately needed for doctors to keep a pandemic or epidemic of a water-borne disease from infecting the victims of the flooding.

Relief has been hardest to provide in the north-west where many bridges and roads have been washed away. Whole towns have been cut off and this makes providing aid to those areas a very difficult task.

Air force pilots have been volunteering to fly aid missions to badly hit areas, transporting medical supplies, clean water and food to where it is needed. The transport planes carry enough foodstuffs to feed one hundred families for a month. Motivation for the missions among pilots is very high, as is the tension in the transport planes as they fly at 36,000 feet over the flood-hit country. Only from the air is the full extent of the damage visible. Pilots have been flying the maximum number of hours allowed and pushing the limits of their endurance to give the victims of the flood food, water and everything they need to survive.

Many foreign governments and aid agencies are contributing to the disaster relief effort. The U.S. Army has been flying relief missions, airlifting people from areas where they are stranded. The first mission involved four U.S. Chinook helicopters landing in the tourist town of Kalam in the Swat Valley, north-west Pakistan. The resort had been cut off for more than a week, according to a reporter there. The Chinooks flew hundreds of people to safer areas lower down. A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said that 800 people had been evacuated and relief goods had been distributed.

The U.S. government pledged 10 million dollars in assistance following the first reports of the disaster. Yesterday the country promised a further 25 million dollars in aid. A spokesperson from the Embassy said: “The U.S. is making a new contribution of 25 million dollars in assistance to flood-affected populations, bringing its total commitment to date to more than 35 million dollars.” The money will go to international aid organisations and established Pakistani aid groups to provide food, health care and shelter to people displaced by the floods.

Malaysia has also decided to contribute US$1 million for relief efforts in the form of humanitarian aid. The Foreign Ministry said the aid was a manifestation of the government and the people’s concern and sympathy. “The government of Malaysia hopes the contribution will help alleviate the suffering of flood victims in Pakistan.”

In Britain, the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organisation representing 13 of the leading UK humanitarian agencies, has been coordinating relief efforts and has launched an emergency appeal for public donations to help the victims of the crisis. Charities and aid agencies have been quick to respond to the disaster, sending aid and response teams to the worst hit areas. Food, water, shelter and medical supplies have been provided but much more is needed.

Patrick Fuller of the Red Cross (the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), who has been based in the country for a few days, described the situation on the ground as “desperate” and said the worst hit areas are “totally dependent” on outside help. He said the Red Cross movement is working with local partners to get aid packages, containing cooking tools and shelter such as tents and blankets, to 35,000 families.

The Red Cross alone has distributed 10,000 food packs and 1000 tents across the affected areas so far. However, figures for the amount of aid distributed are constantly changing as this is an ongoing relief effort.

Fuller reported that in Nowshera, which is in the north-west of the country close to the Indus River, “80% of homes have been badly damaged or destroyed, all the mud-brick houses have been washed away.

“In the most remote areas – where roads are cut off – donkeys are making eight-hour hikes to reach people.

“We are trying to move people into temporary camps – giving them timber, roofing sheets and basic shelter – but there is the added complication that many are reluctant to leave whatever homes they have left.”This has also been a problem in the south of the country in Sindh province, where the flood is expected to reach by the weekend. Evacuations have been going on to move people out of the path of the flood but many will not join the mass exodus and have chosen to brave the waters.

“Many people rely on open wells, which have been contaminated, so access to clean water is a problem. We are worried about communicable diseases, like respiratory infections, skin diseases, diarrhoea,” Mr Fuller said.

The charity have been setting up mobile medical teams to better combat disease and infection.

Though the relief effort at the moment is focused on the survival of those hit by the catastrophe, on those who “had their lives swept away in seconds”, the relief effort is expected to last a full six months.

Those who will be most affected in the long term by this disaster will be the poorest. They will have had everything washed away from them so they will have to start from scratch. Sadly, for those living in the poorest areas in the north and centre of Pakistan, the fight for survival is only just beginning and though they may feel they are enduring much at the moment, getting their lives back together after the first stages of this calamity are over is going to be even harder.

The Disasters Emergency Committee has said it has managed to give aid to 300,000 people so far. Many UK charities have been distributing food and medicine, as well as water purification tablets, cooking tools, shelter and hygiene kits. They have been using rafts, boats and donkeys. Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the DEC, said: “These devastating floods have left millions fighting to survive with little food, clean water or shelter.”

The DEC has appealed for donations from the public of the UK to help the victims of this crisis. The appeal is to allow the charities to continue relief work in the worst hit areas of the country.

Following a television appeal by the DEC, £2.5 million was raised and this has enabled the 13 charities the committee represents to reach 300,000 people with emergency supplies.

September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Curfew in Haryana as protesters demand reservation for Jat quota

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A growing number of cities in the Indian state Haryana have been under curfew since Friday. At least eight people are reported dead, with government offices, property, dozens of buses, and eight railway stations burned after protests over job quotas for the Jat caste turned violent in several cities including Rohtak, Bhiwani, and Jhajjar. Reportedly some protesters broke into an armory in Rohtak, stealing arms and ammunition.

I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.

Shoot-at-sight was ordered for Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Jind and Hisar. Shops, hotels, and restaurants were set afire by protesters. Thirteen national army columns were called, and helicopters were used to reach various places in the state. Internet was disabled in affected districts, and the state government ordered blocks of all social networking websites.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting to decide if Jats should also gain the reservation rights for government jobs and colleges by classifying them under Other Backwards Castes.

Burning of stations and uprooting of tracks affected 810 scheduled trains, according to The Indian Express. Police said protesters torched Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house. The state might face water crises. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was to hold the Haryana Central Teacher Eligibility Test today, but cited “administrative difficulties” for suspending it.

Back in 2014, the UPA government appealed for a Jat quota which was rejected by the Supreme Court. This morning, Manohar Khattar tweeted “I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.”

Last year, similar protest took place in Gujarat as Patels protested for reservation led by Hardik Patel.

September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Three hostages return home to Florida

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three American hostages – Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell – that were being held in Colombia by FARC are now free. They are safely in Florida after their rescue by Colombian forces; 12 other hostages were rescued at the same time. They received care from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio before being sent home to their families. The men were taken captive when their drug surveillance plane went down in the jungles of Colombia in 2003 – more than 5 years ago. All three of the men were working for a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation at the time.

Keith Stansell emphasized that while he was grateful to be home, no one should “forget the people that are still there”. “Because of our rescue, there are fellow hostages that are still there,” Stansell said. He reminded those listening that some of the remaining hostages have already been in captivity for 10 years, in squalid conditions. “You wait for a day like yesterday and today, you know, for the end, you… you want it to end,” added Marc Gonsalves.

September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

Ivory Coast fined US$47,000 by FIFA over March stampede

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association or International Federation of Association Football, has fined the Ivorian Football Federation $47,000 over the stadium disaster on March 29. Between 20 and 22 football fans died and over 130 were injured as 36,000 fans packed into the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium to see the Ivory Coast face Malawi in a qualifying match for the FIFA World Cup. The stadium’s capacity is 34,600 fans. The stampede took place after a wall collapsed as thousands of fans massed outside the stadium, trying to get in. The game was played despite the accident, and the Ivory Coast won 5&ndasp0.

FIFA imposed a sanction of 50,000 Swiss francs, approximately US$46,800. They also set a 20,000 attendance limit on the next qualifier, against Burkina Faso. In addition, they have called for a mandatory traffic control cordon. FIFA has donated US$96,000 to a fund which supports the families of those who lost their lives in the disaster.

“In the event of any similar incidents, FIFA would have no choice but to impose more severe sanctions on the Ivorian Football Association,” read a statement released by FIFA.

The government of the Ivory Coast has opened its own investigation into the disaster.

September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

Suspect in Oklahoma girl’s murder blogged about depression, “dangerously weird” fantasies

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kevin Ray Underwood, the suspect in the murder of 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin of Purcell, Oklahoma, reportedly kept a weblog in which he joked about cannibalism, discussed the effects of not taking his prescribed medicine, and talked about “dangerously weird” fantasies.

Underwood was arrested Friday after investigators searched his apartment and found Jamie’s body in a plastic bin in his bedroom closet. Also reportedly found in his apartment were barbecue skewers and meat tenderizer, which law enforcement officials believe he intended to use to eat the girl’s flesh.

People who knew Underwood reported that he was a relatively unassuming man, seemingly trustworthy. His mother described him as “a wonderful boy” and said of Jamie, “I would like to be able to tell her family how sorry we are. I just feel so terrible.”

In the profile of his blog, entitled “Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K” ([1]), Underwood described himself as “Single, bored, and lonely, but other than that, pretty happy.” Also on his profile page, he poses the question, “If you were a cannibal, what would you wear to dinner?” and answers, “The skin of last night’s main course.”

In an entry dated September 8, 2005, Underwood reportedly described 1998 as “the year that a large part of me died” and “the longest year of my life.” He reported losing contact with most of his friends, making an online acquaintance only to lose her again, and suffering panic attacks from being around people at college. Two of his friends also were involved in a car accident, one fatally injured.

He reported in that entry that in the last year he found himself becoming more and more detached from the world, never leaving his apartment except to go to work or his parents’ apartment. In an entry dated September 24, 2004, he reported that his fantasies were “just getting weirder and weirder. Dangerously weird. If people knew the kinds of things I think about anymore, I’d probably be locked away. No probably about it, I know I would be.”

In an entry dated February 4, 2006, he said that he had hardly left the apartment in almost two months, and that “a week or so ago, I spent my day off sitting here at the computer, barely moving from the chair, for 14 hours.”

His last blog entry was dated Thursday, April 13, 2006, one day after authorities believe Underwood killed Jamie Bolin.

September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

How To Jump Commence A Vehicle

Submitted by: Marty Hong

Battery failure is usually due to alternator failure otherwise you left your headlights on for your whole day or night time. To jump start off an auto, you need to have a set of jumper cables. That is a extremely standard instrument that every auto operator should keep a set within their car, since you can by no means guess when and where your battery will probably die. And it is just vital that you just know how to use the jumper cables effectively.

To start with, you need another automobile with a great battery to help you out. You can!|t try this with the vehicle by yourself. So two vehicles, and one excellent battery, one dead. And don’t forget, only approach to leap cars that happen to be much like your one. Or else, the distinctions in the voltage techniques could trigger explosion or electrical system hurt. Park both cars as close as possible, although not side by side. Each cars needs to be parked in a very way so that the batteries are close enough for the jumper cables to connect them. Flip off both vehicles’ engines, and other accessories that happen to be jogging, such as A/C, headlines, or radios.

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Now, ahead of jump commencing, be sure you know which facet from the battery is constructive (+) and which aspect is unfavorable (-). It is risky if the terminals are related about the mistaken aspect. Most vehicles’ batteries have red and black colors marked to differentiate the opposite sides. Whilst red is the positive terminal, black is adverse. However , you really should often examine the markings to be sure in order to be protected. If you find out or you suspect that your battery is ruined or perhaps leaking, you may need to alter it to a new battery very first. Do not try to leap start off your vehicle on this case.

Firstly, link one in the good (+) ends in the jumper cables to the constructive (+) terminal in the failed battery. Secondly, link one other positive (+) finish from the jumper cables for the good (+) terminal from the very good battery. Thirdly, link one with the damaging (-) ends from the jumper cables to your adverse (-) terminal from the great battery. Fourthly, link the other conclude from the adverse (-) jumper cable to any non-painted steel part in the motor block around the lifeless battery’s automobile. If you are uncertain whether you’re doing this appropriately, verify the dome mild inside your automobile (the one with a lifeless battery). It should be on if each of the cables are attached appropriately as well as the circuit is total.

Start the motor with the resource motor vehicle and let it operate for a number of minutes. Turn it off, crank the automobile with the lifeless battery, and permit the source vehicle charge the lifeless automobile for at the very least 30 seconds. This could work. Disconnect the cables very carefully as soon as the process is accomplished, together with the black clip from your source motor vehicle removed initial, up coming the red clip in the resource motor vehicle, after which ultimately the red and black clips out of your automobile. Operate your vehicle for approximately an hour to recharge the battery. But when you see the battery light will come on or even a zero cost charge, you should take the car to an automobile fix store and find assist from a licensed mechanic.

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September 18, 2018 in Cabling

Three die in Cornwall, UK caravan park of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning

Monday, February 25, 2013

Carbon monoxide poisoning is thought to have been the cause of the deaths of three people and one Jack Russell dog in a caravan park in Cornwall in South West England. Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) were alerted to the incident in Tremarle Home Park in the town of Camborne at 12:56 UTC on Saturday.

We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years

Inspector David Eldridge said Devon and Cornwall Police were alerted to the caravan park incident after “a helper had been unable to get a reply from an elderly couple who lived in the caravan”. He said that upon their arrival, “We were able to see that there was a figure sat in a chair but they were unresponsive to knocks at the door.” CFRS workers called to the area “forced entry into the property and found that the three occupants were all dead”, Inspector Eldridge said. A hazardous material advisor was also present at the scene in North Roskear. The Health and Safety Executive is now investigating the incident but the deaths are not considered as being of a suspicious nature.

The three fatalities have been identified as Audrey Cook, aged 86, her husband Alfred, aged 90, and Maureen, their 46-year-old daughter. David Biggs, a member of Camborne Town Council, said the incident came as “a shock” to him; Tremarle Home Park is “a well established facility and is very well run”, according to him. Biggs described the loss of three lives as an “appalling tragedy”.

The incident came five days after Cornwall Council announced its Family Placement Service would launch a joint venture with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to place carbon monoxide detectors in the houses of foster carers. The programme, entitled ‘Be Gas Safe’, has seen 200 carbon monoxide detectors and 2000 leaflets to raise awareness about carbon monoxide being given to CFRS. Mark Blatchford, Group Manager of CFRS, said: “We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years”. He described carbon monoxide detectors as being “as important as a smoke alarm as it provides a valuable early warning”.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colourless, tasteless and odourless gas which is created when such carbon-based fuels as oil, gas, coal and wood are not completely incinerated. The human body’s capacity to hold oxygen in the blood can be reduced by inhalation of the gas, which in turn may cause death. The Gas Safe Register has said dizziness, headaches, queasiness, lack of ability to breathe, fainting and losing consciousness are all symptoms of a person experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning.

September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

Amsterdam pet shop owner creates beer for dogs

Thursday, January 25, 2007

 Correction — February 8, 2007 Terrie Berenden’s pet shop is located in the town of Zelhem, not Amsterdam as stated in the article & title. Zelhem is approximately 135 km (85 miles) from Amsterdam 

A woman in The Netherlands who uses her dogs to hunt in Austria has decided to give her dogs a new kind of treat: beer.

Terrie Berenden, a woman who owns a pet shop in Amsterdam, created a non-alcoholic beer for her dogs which is made from malt and a beef extract. The beer is called Kwispelbier (‘kwispelen’ means “wagging of a [dog’s] tail” in Dutch), and was put onto shelves just last week.

“Once a year we go to Austria to hunt with our dogs, and at the end of the day we sit on the verandah and drink a beer. So we thought, my dog also has earned it,” said Berenden.

According to Berenden, owners can enjoy the new beer as well, but she also stated that it will cost owners about four times as much to drink the beer than to buy a ‘human beer.’ A bottle of the dog beer sells at about $2.14.

The slogan for the new dog beer is “a beer for your best friend” and Brenden hopes that the product will grab international attention. Requests for the beer are already coming from the United States, England and Japan.

“We are overwhelmed with it. From America, England and Japan we have (received) mail and we are just going to think about it, how we can bring it on the market there,” said Brenden.

September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

US automakers GM and Chrysler seek more government aid

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The United States auto manufacturer Chrysler, which has been badly affected by the ongoing recession, has asked the US government for an additional US$5 billion in aid on top of the four billion it has already received, saying that it plans to fire three thousand employees. At the end of last year, the auto maker had just over 54,000 employees, meaning that the layoffs will equal about six percent of its total workforce.

In addition, Chrysler will cut the Chrysler Aspen, PT Cruiser, and Durango from production.

Another automaker, General Motors (GM), announced that it seeks $16.6 billion in loans from the government, in addition to the $13.4 billion that it has already received. GM plans to lay off 47,000 employees and close five factories. GM says that it might need as much as $30 billion from the US Treasury Department, an increase over their previous estimate of $18 billion. The company has warned that it might run out of money by March if more aid was not given.

Rick Wagoner, GM’s chief executive, described the firm’s plan as “comprehensive, responsive, achievable, and flexible”. “We have a lot of work in front of us, but I am confident it will result in a profitable General Motors,” he said, adding that “today’s plan is significantly more aggressive because it has to be.” GM says that it could be profitable in two years’ time, and might be able to repay all its loans by 2017.

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A third US car manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, has said that it can make it through this year without any government aid.

The US Treasury Department will review the car makers’ survival plans for several weeks before a decision is made on whether or not to extend the loans. That decision is due by the end of next month.

September 17, 2018 in Uncategorized