News Flash – 12 November 2018

National News



Boat capsizes off Vasai coast; 6 saved, 1 missing



Mumbai: Six men were rescued after their fishing boat hit a tug towing platform capsized around 15 nautical miles off the Vasai coast early Sunday. One crew member is missing. Vasai Tehsildar Kiran Survase told TOI that a search is on for the missing crew member, identified as Baban Pal (42). Rescue operations have been launched with the Coast Guard sending an interceptor vessel Charlie, a Chetak helicopter and an inboard patrol vessel. On Saturday, the boat, Morning Star, set off from Madh Island in Malad. The seven men, who were hired on a contract basis by the boat owner, had thrown the fishing net in the waters and were waiting for the catch when around 3.50am, the boat hit a tug towing platform, Triton Liberty, said officials. The boat capsized and those on board fell into the sea. Fishing boats in the vicinity rushed to their aid even as an SOS was send to the Palghar district control room. The district administration immediately alerted the Coast Guard. The six men, who are from Uttar Pradesh, were rescued by the other fishing boats. By then the Coast Guard reached the spot and assessed the damage. Coast Guard personnel provided first aid to the rescued men. The men reached the shore at Arnala in Virar by Sunday evening. The men then informed the Coast Guard about Pal missing. Pal was not found till late on Sunday. Sources said the damaged boat will be towed away to Madh Island. Fishermen who own boats often hire labourers during fishing season. These labourers return to their hometown when fishing is not banned during monsoon from June to August.



Cracks in homes as mild tremors shake Palghar


Mumbai: At 6.25pm on Sunday, an earthquake of magnitude 3.2 on the Richter scale hit Palghar district. The earthquake had a depth of 10km and no major damage was reported. Some houses in the village of Dhundalwadi at Dahanu noticed cracks on their walls after the earthquake. On January 1 too, an earthquake with its epicenter in Vikramgad taluka in Palghar district was experienced. This quake was of 3.2 magnitude on the Richter scale. District officials said that areas of Palghar district have been experiencing mild tremors since December last year. On December 30 last year, villagers of Valvanda, located 15 km from Jawahar, had felt tremors. In July, another earthquake hit Maharashtra and its magnitude was 2.8 on the Richter scale. This quake had its epicenter somewhere in Raigad district and the tremors were felt in parts of Kalyan and Dombivli. Officials of the National Centre for Seismology in New Delhi said that all the earthquakes in Maharashtra this year have been mild tremors.



H1N1 stings 41-60 age group with 201 fatalities


Mumbai: Of the 376 H1N1deaths in Maharashtra this year, 201 of the victims were aged between 41 and 60. “Even in the past we have seen deaths in this age group, which is working and therefore mobile,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, Maharashtra’s epidemiologist. Next was the age bracket of 26 to 40 that witnessed 84 deaths. Unlike the West, where the majority of deaths are seen in the 60-plus age group, here around 16% deaths were in the senior citizen category. The high incidence of H1N1 deaths without comorbid conditions, like hypertension, diabetes or both, became the centre of discussion at a recent meeting between state public health officials and private physicians. “We have always seen 60-70% deaths in people with pre-existing conditions and rarely the other way around. It’s a matter of concern and we are trying to understand why it has happened,” said Dr Awate. “We have also looked into whether the virus has undergone any change, but experts at the National Institute of Virology in Pune have noticed nothing unusual so far,” he said, adding that discussions are revolving around the body’s immune response. Infectious disease expert Dr Om Srivastava concurred that some of the answers perhaps lie there. He explained that when a virus attacks an person, there are two to three explanations why one might succumb rapidly.


“First and most talked about is cytokine storm, which refers to a state where the body’s own immune response to the attack is overwhelming so much so that it can damage organs, particularly lungs and kidneys, and even lead to death,” he said. He added that in several cases this season, the involvement of kidney was little more than usual. Dr Srivastava said that co-infection with another pathogen could complicate matters even for healthy individuals. “Combined with that if there is a delay in seeking care, it could deal a serious blow,” he said. Numbers suggest that a little over 1.3 lakh people were vaccinated against H1N1. “At any given point only around 10% of our population is immunized, including pregnant women. We are not covering the entire risk population, so lack of vaccination seems to be an unlikely cause,” he added. Among the deceased were 13 pregnant women. Gender didn’t seem to be a factor in the influenza activity as the ratio of male-female casualties was almost the same. But 81% of the deaths were seen in private hospitals, raising questions about timely detection and treatment.



Duo beats up Security Guard for objecting to parking bike



Navi Mumbai: The Rabale police have lodged an FIR against two youths from Airoli for allegedly assaulting the security guard of a hotel. The incident occurred on Friday when the guard objected to the youths parking a bike at the entrance of the hotel. According to the police, the accused had come to a wine shop next to the hotel and the guard, Suresh Dev Singh (49), was there to get change for Rs 2,000. It was then that the guard objected to the bike being parked there. The pillion rider got into an altercation with the complainant and started assaulting the guard with a stick. The biker joined his friend in hitting Singh. As the hotel staffers rushed to Singh’s rescue, the duo sped away on the bike. They have been booked under Sections 324, 306 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.



Cyclone Gaja likely to hit TN-Andhra coast by November 15



Visakhapatnam: Coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh are bracing for another cyclone, barely a month after Cyclone Titli wreaked havoc along north-coastal Andhra and neighbouring Odisha in October. Cyclone Gaja, named by Thailand, is the latest system to have formed over Bay of Bengal and is expected to cause heavy to very heavy rainfall on November 14 and 15 in south-coastal districts of Andhra. IMD on Sunday put district machineries on high alert in anticipation of the cyclone making landfall. Gaja is expected to intensify into a severe cyclone over the sea by Monday. It might make landfall between the coasts of Sriharikota in Nellore district and Cuddalore in TN by November 15. The cyclone is currently located 850km off Nellore coast and 800km off Chennai coast. This is the second cyclone over Bay of Bengal to form this northeast monsoon season after recent Cyclone Titli, which ravaged Srikakulam district on October 11.



India has highest burden of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea child deaths, says study


New Delhi: Even as vaccine coverage has significantly improved in India, other interventions against pneumonia and diarrhoea, the two major causes of child deaths in the country, declined in past one year, a new report assessing the global situation shows. The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018 shows ORS coverage dropped by 13 percentage points, exclusive breastfeeding by 10 percentage points, whereas access to pneumonia care decreased by four percentage points in one year. With a total of 2,60,990 deaths of children under 5 years of age due to pneumonia and diarrhoea, India continues to top the list of 15 countries with the most casualties. While 1,58,176 children under 5 died of pneumonia, diarrhoea accounted for 1,02,813 deaths in 2016. The report released by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — also shows female children in India lose out on vaccination despite improvements in full immunisation coverage. Only 78 females were fully immunised for every 100 males fully immunised in poor areas of Delhi, according to the report.


Addressing these disparities can help reduce pneumonia and diarrhoea burden, the report added. The report, released ahead of the 10th annual World Pneumonia Day, on November 12, reviews progress and gaps in coverage of interventions to “protect against, prevent and treat” pneumonia and diarrhoea. Globally, pneumonia and diarrhoea cause 1.36 million deaths in kids in the same category in 2016. Over two-thirds of the global burden of pneumonia and diarrhoea mortality occurs in just 15 nations. Despite significant reductions of disease in recent years with improvements in access to and use of health interventions, nearly half a million Pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths still occurred in just India and Nigeria. The report lists exclusive breastfeeding, vaccination, access to care and use of antibiotics, oral rehydration solution, and zinc supplementation as key interventions to help prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea.



Test run: 300 CCTV’s to be set up in pilot project



New Delhi: Delhi government, in a pilot project, will be installing 300 CCTV cameras in 3-4 assembly constituencies in the next few days. Their working will be monitored before 1.4 lakh cameras are installed across the city. The cameras will have infrared and day/night vision facility. A senior government official said the locations being identified include residential colonies, commercial areas and arterial roads. “The pilot project will help us oversee how the CCTVs work before the entire city is covered. Though the locations have not been finalised, we will choose areas where the movement of people, especially women, is high. The live feed will be monitored and the recording will be preserved for at least a month,” the official added. PWD has already awarded the contract to install 1.4 lakh CCTVs (2,000 in each of the 70 assembly segments) to Bharat Electronics Limited. Senior government officials said the equipment would be imported from China.


The entire cost and five-year maintenance is estimated at Rs 571 crore out which Rs 322 crore would be spent on fitting the cameras and setting up the monitoring centres, a senior official said. Installation of CCTV cameras was one of the biggest poll promises made by Aam Aadmi Party before it formed the government in 2015. The project had been a bone of contention between the government and the LG’s office after the latter formed a committee to finalise a standard operating procedure calling it a law and order subject. The elected government, however, had strongly objected to the formation of the committee and had accused the LG’s office of stalling the project. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had torn the draft report of the panel, which had made getting police permission before installing the CCTVs mandatory.



Security Guard killed for mobile phone



New Delhi: A 50-year-old security guard was stabbed to death by his neighbour after the latter suspected him of stealing his phone while they were drinking together in central Delhi’s Anand Parbat on Saturday night. Cops said that the accused fled after attacking him. The accused has been identified, police said. “It seemed that accused had suspected that his mobile phone was stolen by the victim. However, he forgot his phone at home,” said a senior police officer. Police said that the victim and the accused often drank together and on Saturday night, they had an argument after which the accused stabbed him with a knife.



Most schools & hospitals in city violate fire safety norms: GHMC



Hyderabad: The most vulnerable locations in the city, including schools and hospitals, do not abide by the mandatory fire safety measures, said civic officials. According to rough estimates, around 90 per cent schools, 70 per cent of all hospitals and 80 per cent of others buildings in the blatantly flout these norms, which often lead to serious consequences. Out of the 5,800 schools within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area, only 800 have a fire no objection certificate (NOC). Even the top schools are on the offenders list, reveal records. And a quick scan on the ground, further reiterates this. It shows how most schools do not have a six metre set back (periphery area between the building and the compound wall) that is compulsory for a no objection certificate to be issued. While some prominent schools have fire extinguishers installed on their premises, all the other precautionary measures have been ignored. As per norm, schools must have a wall as well as sufficient means of escape like multiple staircases (each at least 150m wide), to tackle fire mishaps.


The condition of hospitals is no better. In fact, several reputed hospitals in the city are found operating with labs, receptions and diagnostic centres in their cellars — a clear violation of norms. Admitting to these serious loopholes, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation officials said that they will soon crackdown on such establishments and penalise the offenders. “I have already written a letter to district education authorities regarding schools flouting fire safety norms. In phase one, pubs and bars which do not meet the fire safety norms will be closed. In the second phase, we will crackdown on hospitals and schools,” said Vishwajit Kampati, director of enforcement, vigilance and disaster management (GHMC). Even school authorities have now decided to deal with the issue, with an iron hand. “We have rejected 300 applications from schools — sent for renewal — as they did not have a fire no objection certificate. Henceforth, this will be a priority for renewal of recognition,” said B Venkata Narasamma, district education officer, Hyderabad.



Red Alert issued as ‘Gaja’ may batter city on Wed, Thursday

GAJA IS COMING: May make landfall between Chennai and Nagapattinam on Thursday.



Chennai: The Met department on Sunday issued a red alert to coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, for Thursday as the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal, which intensified into cyclonic storm Gaja, may turn into a severe cyclone in the next 24 hours. The cyclone, which may move towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast, is likely to make landfall between Chennai and Nagapattinam on November 15. The cyclonic storm Gaja, named by Thailand, was currently located 840km off Chennai coast and 980km away from Sriharikota. According to IMD deputy director S Balachandran, the system may bring “heavy rain to Chennai and coastal areas.” However, it may weaken as it nears the coast and makes landfall on Thursday afternoon, said the forecast. The storm had moved west northwest at 13km speed over the past six hours. “While heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over north coastal TN and Puducherry on Wednesday, heavy to very heavy rain with isolated extremely heavy rain is likely at a few places over north TN and Puducherry on Thursday,” said the forecast issued by the IMD. The city, meanwhile, may not get rain on Monday and Tuesday. “The sky condition is likely to be cloudy with the maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 32°C and 24°C,” says the forecast. Private weather forecaster Skymet says the distance across the Bay of Bengal, warm sea surface temperature and low vertical wind shear may provide more strength to the system.



Two held for bid to rob ATM



Chennai: Police arrested two men for breaking an ATM machine and attempting to steal cash at Villivakkam on Sunday. Two personnel from Villivakkam police station who were on patrol, entered an ATM at Reddy street at 1.30am to sign the log book, when they noticed the ATM of the private bank broken and CCTV cameras damaged. Police scoured the surveillance footage and identified Vinoth Kumar, 28, and Manivannan, 26, from Royapuram to have attempted the burglary and arrested them.



Fire disrupts 13k BSNL telephone connections



Chennai: The telephones connections of at least 13,000 BSNL mobile customers were disrupted after an EB transformer burst due to voltage surge and caused fire. The accident took place around 5 pm on Saturday inside the power plant room of the BSNL office in Kellys. It took around two hours for the Fire and Rescue services to extinguish it. However, because of the excessive heat around the room, the engine alternator inside could not be accessed and switched on immediately. This led to the temporary shutdown of the telephone exchange services serving nearly 13,000 working lines. The mobile base switching centers serving Avadi and Ambattur area mobile customers, was also affected due to the fire. All mobile services in these areas was down for four hours. Services were restored by 3 am on Sunday.



International News



‘Paradise is gone’: US wildfires destroy town, claim 25 lives



Paradise: Authorities called in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify the dead as the search went on for victims of the most destructive wildfire in California history. The overall death toll from the outbreak of fires at both ends of the state stood at 25 on Sunday and appeared likely to rise. The worst of the blazes was in Northern California, where flames reduced the town of Paradise, population 27,000, to a smoking ruin days ago and continued to rage in surrounding communities. The number of people killed in that fire alone, at least 23, made it the third-deadliest on record in the state. Paradise is gone,” Rex Stewart, a resident of the town told NYT. “There’s nothing to go back to”. The sheriff’s department compiled a list of 110 people unaccounted for, but officials held out hope that many were safe but had no cellphones or some other way to contact loved ones. Firefighters gained modest ground overnight against the blaze, which grew slightly to 440sqkmfrom the day before and was 25% contained, up from 20 percent, said David Clark, a spokesman for the state fire agency, Cal Fire. Clark said Sunday that high winds and dry conditions were expected over the next 24 hours: “We’re at a pivotal point now”. The blaze destroyed more than 6,700 buildings. Two people were also found dead in a wildfire in Southern California, where flames tore through Malibu mansions. Among celebrities forced out of their homes were Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian & Martin Sheen.

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