News Flash – 26 June 2018

National News



Land caves in at Wadala building site, buries 8 cars in adjoining parking lot

Several cars struck in debris after a landslide following heavy monsoon rain showers.



MUMBAI: A major disaster was averted when a landslide buried eight cars parked in the open compound of the 32-storey Lloyd Estate in Wadala (east) in a large construction pit on the adjoining plot early Monday morning. Residents blamed Dosti Realty, which is constructing three skyscrapers, each believed to be over 40-storeys high, on the plot kissing Lloyd Estate. Witnesses claimed the structural support of the neighbouring plot, where construction work is under way, first caved in. As a result, the boundary wall of Lloyd Estate too collapsed. Groggy residents who were quickly asked to step out of their apartments and move their vehicles shortly after 4.15 am were shocked to see the damaged cars, some hanging on the cliff while others tumbled down into the deep cavity in the earth. Several families moved out temporarily, fearing for their lives. A makeshift room on the builder’s plot was buried. Fire brigade with the help of NDRF removed the rubble and searched for people, if any, buried inside. No labourer working at the site was found missing.


Residents of Lloyd Estate have been concerned about safety since last year when they approached the city civil court on finding their parking and stilt areas sinking due to digging work by Dosti. However, a court appointed structural expert gave a clean chit and declared the building “safe”. On Monday, the builder blamed heavy rains last night for the incident. A Dosti Realty spokesperson said, “It happened on account of heavy rains last night. The matter is sub-judice. On our request the court commissioner, Shantilal Jain, visited the site and suggested remedial measures. We have already started to work on the remedial measures suggested by him”. The Antop Hill police registered a negligence case against Dosti Reality director Deepak Garodia, chairman Kisan Garodia and director Ramesh Shah along with BMC’s building proposal department officials. In a press release, the Lloyd Estate society said, “The society had witnessed significant sinking of its stilt area since the past more than a year (owing to the adjoining piling work) and had held multiple conversations with the representatives of Dosti Realty from May 2017… During the pendency of these hearings, Dosti Realty did undertake, temporary ongoing repairs”.



Heavy rains lash Mumbai; lead to waterlogging, traffic disruptions

Waterlogged roads on the parallel Mori Road right up to the junction with the arterial LJ Road, Mahim.



MUMBAI: Mumbai woke up to some extremely heavy rains on Monday morning leading to waterlogging and traffic disruptions at many places in the city. The India Meteorological Department, Mumbai (IMD) has forecast very heavy rains to continue in Mumbai all throughout Monday. The IMD Santacruz observatory has recorded extremely heavy rains in the past 24 hours (up to 8.30am today) of 231.4 mm while IMD Colaba observatory has recorded 99 mm of rainfall which falls in the heavy rain category. In case of the suburbs rainfall recorded of over 200 mm makes it the wettest monsoon day of the season so far.



K S Hosalikar, IMD deputy director-general (western region), said that there are three weather systems which are giving Mumbai these intermittent heavy rains. “There is an offshore trough extending from south Gujarat to Kerala, an upper air cyclonic circulation and the strengthening of the westerlies. Such heavy showers will continue throughout the day,” he said. Meanwhile, there have been no flight diversions or cancellations because of rain at the Mumbai airport. Departures are late by an average of 20 minutes while arrivals on time. No visibility problems so far. In case of BEST, the buses have been diverted on 47 routes in eight waterlogged areas in island city and suburbs. Meanwhile, there was a landslide at Wadala area with at least four cars having slid inside the cave in. No person has been injured in the incident so far. The exit of the adjoining building is flooded with fire brigade vehicles it the spot since early morning. Owing to the continuous downpour, traffic has been hit at Khar subway, Andheri subway and Malad subway. While Western Railway suburban trains are running with no disruption for now, there is slight delay due to low visibility in some areas due to rains. Meanwhile, between Virar and Surat, all mail and express trains arriving at Bandra Terminus, Dadar Terminus and Mumbai central are expected to be coming in late.



Malaria spreading faster than dengue in Delhi; 40 cases so far this season



NEW DELHI: Dengue and chikungunya aren’t the only mosquito-borne diseases people in Delhi need to be wary of. Malaria, which is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes that can breed in dirty water, is spreading fast too. In the past week, a municipal report released on Monday stated, there were 11 new cases of the mosquito-borne disease. This takes the total number of malaria cases this season to 40, higher than the number of cases of dengue and chikungunya for the corresponding period that stands at 28 and 14 respectively. Of the total 40 malaria cases, 19 were reported in June, 17 in May, one each in April and March, and two in February, said officials. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India accounts for 75% of all malaria cases in Southeast Asia. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, chills and vomiting, and usually appear 10 to 15 days after the mosquito bite.


“If left untreated for more than 24 hours, malaria can lead to severe illness, and even result in death. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines,” the WHO said. Last year, Delhi reported 577 cases of malaria. In 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, it affected 454, 359, 201 and 514 people respectively, as per municipal data. Epidemiologists said the official numbers may represent only a fraction of the actual incidence. “The corporations report cases from select government hospitals and private facilities that choose to send relevant data. Many patients who are treated at primary levels, by private physicians or at nursing homes, aren’t covered under the existing surveillance mechanism,” said an expert. With monsoon approaching, doctors suggest scaling up of information campaigns and actions such as desilting of the drain to check the breeding of aedes aegypti mosquitoes that cause dengue and chikungunya. Delhi LG Anil Baijal last month asked officials to spread awareness and sensitise people to prevent vector-borne diseases.



Heavy rainfall warning in 5 Bengal districts


KOLKATA: The meteorological department on Monday warned of “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in five northern districts of West Bengal for five consecutive days till June 29. “Heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-20 cm) will occur in most places of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar districts from June 25-June 29, caused by an upper-air cyclonic circulation over West Assam and sub-Himalayan West Bengal,” a bulletin from the Met department said. It said several south Bengal districts would also be affected by incessant rainfall over the next three days and issued an alert for North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore. “Rainfall in most places likely over south Bengal districts due to a cyclonic circulation that lies over northwest Bay of Bengal,” the bulletin added.



International News



12 children trapped in Thailand cave after storms

Stalactites hang at the entrance to a large cave where a group of boys went missing in Chang Rai, northern Thailand.



BANGKOK: A dramatic underwater rescue mission to find a children’s football team who have been trapped in a flooded cave for two days was underway in northern Thailand, officials said Monday. Divers have reached a large chamber of the vast cave inside which the 12 boys and their coach are believed to be stuck, said the deputy governor of Chiang Rai province. “We think they are in this part of the cave, which continues for another three kilometres (two miles),” Pasakorn Boonyalug said. “They haven’t eaten anything since Saturday, so we have brought them food and drink,” he added. The children aged between 11 and 16 entered Tham Luang cave, in a national park near the Myanmar and Laos borders, with their coach on Saturday. One of their mothers raised the alarm when her son did not return from football training that evening. Heavy monsoon rains have hit the region in recent days, causing the cave to rapidly fill with water, and bicycles and shoes belonging to the boys were found soon afterwards at the cave’s entrance. The rescue operation started on Saturday night but was suspended overnight, during which time water levels inside the cave rose dramatically, requiring divers to pass through muddy and flooded sections of the cave. Diving equipment has been prepared to facilitate the children’s evacuation, Pasakorn said.



EU condemns attack on Roma in Ukraine that left 1 dead



KIEV, (UKRAINE): A top European Union official is condemning an attack on a Roma camp in western Ukraine that left one person dead and four others injured, including a 10-year-old boy. A group of teenagers burst into a small Roma camp Saturday night on the outskirts of the city of Lviv, tearing down tents, destroying property and charging at residents with knives. Authorities are referring to the perpetrators as “radically-minded,” a euphemism for ultra-right. Police have arrested seven men aged 16 and 17 suspected of carrying out the attack and a 20-year-old man suspected of organizing it. The incident was the third attack on Ukraine’s minority Roma community in recent months. Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, says Monday on Facebook that “we cannot allow impunity for hate crimes to prevail”.



86 killed in central Nigeria as farmers, herders clash

Police attempt to restore calm in Jos, Nigeria.



LAGOS: Scores are dead after vicious weekend clashes in central Nigeria between mostly Muslim herders and Christian farmers, with one report citing police saying 86 people were killed. The growing conflict by some accounts has become deadlier than Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist insurgency. Nigeria’s president in a statement Monday accused unnamed politicians of taking advantage of the chaos ahead of next year’s elections, calling it “incredibly unfortunate”. Dramatic footage from Jos showed angry people waving machetes and sticks and shouting at passing security forces as they weaved around overturned and burning vehicles. Smoke rose in the distance. Women and children clutching overstuffed bags piled into the back of trucks, seeking a way out. President Muhammadu Buhari warned against reprisal attacks after the “deeply unfortunate killings across a number of communities” in central Plateau State as the military, police and counterterror units were sent to end the bloodshed. “No efforts will be spared” to find the attackers, Buhari said. Nigeria’s government said “scores” were killed but did not announce a death toll. The independent Channels Television cited a Plateau State police spokesman, Mathias Tyopev, as saying 86 people had been killed, with at least 50 houses destroyed. Mass burials began Monday amid fears that the death toll was even higher. “Please remain calm,” said the Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, as a helicopter whirred overhead. “It is very, very, unfortunate that an incident is happening again like this”.


The deadly clashes between herders and farmers in central Nigeria are a growing security concern in Africa’s most populous country, which is roughly split between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south. The threat from Boko Haram, which continues to carry out attacks in the northeast, has been cited as one cause of the growing tensions as herders also feeling the effects of climate change are forced south into more populated farming communities in search of safe grazing. The widespread security issues pose a major challenge to Buhari, a Muslim former military ruler who won office in a democratic transfer of power in 2015, as elections approach next year. The latest clashes began when about 100 cattle were rustled and some herders were killed, the statement from Buhari’s office said. “Less than 24 hours later, violence broke out. Some thugs then took advantage of the situation, turning it into an opportunity to extort the public, and to attack people from rival political parties”. Some people were dragged from their cars and attacked if they said they supported certain politicians, the statement said. The Plateau State governor announced a 6pm to 6am curfew in the communities of Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi until further notice. “Observe the curfew, observe the curfew, and I will still remind them to observe the curfew,” he said.

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