Strong earthquake rattles Indonesia’s Java island; 2 dead

1 / 2
Motorists are stuck in traffic as they try to reach higher ground amid fears of a tsunami, following an earthquake in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, on Saturday. (AP)
2 / 2
People ride on their motorbikes as they try to reach higher ground amid fears of tsunami, following an earthquake in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, on Saturday. (AP)
Updated 16 December 2017
0

Strong earthquake rattles Indonesia’s Java island; 2 dead

JAKARTA, Indonesia: A strong earthquake shook Indonesia’s densely populated Java island on Friday night, killing two people and severely damaging dozens of homes near the epicenter.
The magnitude 6.5 quake struck at 11:47 p.m. and was felt across the island, including about 200 kilometers (124 miles) away in the capital Jakarta, where office towers and apartment buildings swayed. Powerful tremors lasted as much as 30 seconds in places.
Panicking people ran out of buildings in many areas and roads were clogged with motorbikes, cars and trucks as people fled coastal areas in fear of a tsunami.
Ahmad Solihin, a food vendor in a coastal area of the Sukabumi region, said his village was jolted by a 20-second tremor that cracked walls in his home. He fled on his motorbike with his wife and two children after neighbors shouted that water was coming, he said.
“People suddenly started running so I joined them,” said Solihin. More than 1,000 villagers in his area evacuated to higher ground and didn’t return until Saturday morning after authorities convinced them it was safe, he said.
A 62-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman were killed in building collapses, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
Damage was heaviest in the Tasikmalaya, Pangandaran and Ciamis regions of West Java Province near the epicenter.
More than 40 houses collapsed and about 65 suffered severe damage, said Nugroho.
The earthquake was about 91 kilometers (56 miles) deep and located just inland, the US Geological Survey said. It triggered a tsunami warning for parts of Java’s coastline that was lifted about two hours later. No significant waves were reported.
Several hospitals were damaged by the shaking and patients evacuated.
Indonesia sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire” and has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


“No-deal” Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 47 min 48 sec ago
0

“No-deal” Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.