News Flash – 5 November 2019

National News



Maha Effect: Yellow Alert for Thane & Palghar Tomorrow



Mumbai: Thane and Palghar are among the five districts in Maharashtra that have been put on yellow alert (heavy rain at isolated places) for Wednesday owing to cyclonic storm Maha, which is likely to intensify further till Tuesday morning and weaken gradually thereafter. “Light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy falls very likely over North Konkan (Palghar and Thane districts) and northern-most districts of Madhya Maharashtra (Nashik, Dhule and Nandurbar districts) on November 6,” said India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials. Weathermen said Maha is likely to slowly move west-north-westwards in the next 24 hours, re-curve east-northeastwards and move rapidly thereafter. It is likely to cross Gujarat coast between Diu and Porbandar as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 100-110kmph, gusting to 120kmph around Wednesday midnight and the wee hours of Thursday.



For the first time in a decade, in November, the city recorded significant rain activity—in the 12-hour period ending 8.30pm on Friday, 35.3mm rain was recorded. Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD Pune, said it is rare to see such rainy spells in November, but this year has been a one-off case. “The number of systems, including cyclones and low pressures, has been much more this time, while their severity has also been stronger as compared to those in the recent years,” he said. Both Thane and Palghar district administrations are on high alert. On Monday, Thane district collector Rajesh Narvekar held a meeting with various agencies, and Palghar district collector Kailash Shinde directed the education department to keep all institutions shut from Wednesday to Friday though most are closed for Diwali.



3 Nigerians among 5 held for Stealing Cash from ATM’s using Fake Cards



Bengaluru: Ramanagara police arrested five men from Bengaluru, including three Nigerians, on charges of stealing cash from ATMs using duplicate debit cards. Investigation revealed the accused would fix skimming machines and cameras at ATMs in isolated places and steal information whenever customers withdrew cash. The accused Nigerians are Eremhen Smart alias Baba, 33 and Udo Vbindudo Christian, 26, both residents of Hegdenagar, and Mathias A Shawa, 32, of Judicial Layout in Yelahanka. The other accused are Prashanth Suresh Savanth, 30 and Avinash Vasanth Ransure, 33, residents of Judicial Layout, Yelahanka and natives of Yeravada town, Pune. Police recovered Rs 1.6 lakh cash and two cars along with tools for skimming, a duplicate card holder, grilling machines used to install cameras, laptops, empty debit cards and mobile phones. The gang came under the scanner after a farmer lost Rs 24,000 in a single day, police said. Victim M Manjunath of Pattareddi Palya village in Kaggalipura approached cops on October 10 saying miscreants had withdrawn cash from his account using a duplicate card. “I had gone to an ATM near my house on October 8. The next night, I received a text message on my cellphone saying Rs 24,000 had been withdrawn from my account. I realised miscreants stole information of my card using a skimming machine,” he said. Police scanned CCTV footage of the ATM, which had no security guard, and identified the accused.



ATM Break-in Attempt in Kasba, Kolkata



Kolkata: A break-in attempt was made at an ATM in the Rajdanga Main Road area in Kasba on Sunday night. “Locals found the shutter of the ATM down for a long time in the morning and the bank was alerted. Later, they came and broke the lock to find that an attempt to steal money from it was made,” said a local.



North Chennai City’s Dengue Hotspot, One-Third Cases Reported from 2 Zones

ACTION TIME: Corporation officials remove empty drums and Tyres from roofs of huts in North Chennai.


Chennai: Thickly populated North Chennai is more vulnerable to dengue than the rest of the city. Data from Greater Chennai Corporation shows that a third of the cases in October were reported from Tondiarpet and Royapuram. Add Thiru-vi-ka Nagar, a part of Central Chennai, and the three zones accounted for almost 50% of the cases. Sources said around 600 dengue cases were reported across the city and its suburbs last month. Of these, Tondiarpet (zone 4), which includes MKB Nagar, Vyasarpadi, Choolai and Perambur, reported around 120 cases. Royapuram (zone 5), which covers areas such as Old Washermenpet, Kondithope, Seven Wells, Sowcarpet and Chintadripet, reported 91 cases. Thiru-vi-ka Nagar, which includes Kolathur, Villivakkam and Pulianthope, had 89 cases. There were 44 cases in Thiruvottiyur (zone 1). These are areas near Tiruvallur district where there have been 200 dengue cases in October. “Many people travel between Tiruvallur and North Chennai. This may have led to the transmission,” said a corporation official. Fear of contracting dengue led to a church in Otteri discuss prevention measures at a Sunday congregation last week, said the official. In comparison, areas in south Chennai such as Alandur, Shollinganallur and Perungudi registered a handful of cases.



Government officials said continuing rain year has led to a spike in Zone 11 fever cases. Compared to last year, there were 2,000 more cases this year. Zone Officials said the absence of piped water supply in many areas has led to a spike in dengue cases. Residents store water in large drums for a long period of time allowing the dengue causing aedes mosquitoes to breed. In addition, these are areas with common water tanks which are either not covered or are covered by a cloth. “People regularly open these tanks to check the water level. Since the outlet valve is at a height, the water level below it is never flushed out,” the official said. During inspections, corporation officials found inaccessible dengue sources such as tall water tanks that don’t have a ladder. Director of public health K Kolandaswamy said that houses belonging to those from low income-groups, had Tyres kept on top of the asbestos roof to prevent it from flying away during strong winds. “These places were found to breed dengue-causing mosquitoes,” he said. Despite the high prevalence, officials said penalising residents was challenging. Some residents in Triplicane did not allow officials to enter their house citing religious restrictions. On Arcot Road, a builder refused to pay fines despite repeated violations of insanitary conditions, an official said.



International News



Robbers Ram-Raid Car into French Cathedral, Steal Treasures

The cathedral in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France.



Oloron-Sainte-Marie: Robbers rammed their car into a mediaeval cathedral in southwest France early on Monday, sawing through metal bars to grab silver chalices and other irreplaceable church treasures, local authorities said. Initial investigations suggested the gang tied a tree trunk to the front of the car used to smash through a door of the cathedral in the town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, town official Laurent Paris said. The edifice was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998. Once inside, the thieves helped themselves to chalices and other ceremonial objects, much of it gold, as well as a 17th-century nativity scene and a collection of clothes. The treasures had been kept in a chapel, behind a steel grid whose “bars were sawn through”, said Paris.



Oloron-Sainte-Marie is a favourite stopover for Catholic pilgrims headed for the Cathedral of Santiago de Compo stela in Spain. It lies 50km from the Spanish border. “The mayor was informed at about 2 am after locals woken by the noise and the cathedral alarm alerted the police,” said Paris. Witnesses saw three individuals take part in the heist, he added. This was the first time that the cathedral had been attacked, the official said. Experts will take stock of the loot taken, but Paris described the loss as “considerable”. “Residents now find themselves cut off from their history and their heritage,” he said.

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