Two dead, thousands flee in storm-weary Philippines

An aerial image shows damaged Daligdigan Bridge, washed out and drifted some 600 meters from its original position, at the height of Tropical Storm Vinta that hit Salvador town, Lanao del Norte, southern Philippines on Dec. 31, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Two dead, thousands flee in storm-weary Philippines

MANILA: Two people were killed and thousands fled strong winds and floods as a tropical depression hit the central Philippines on Tuesday, following deadly back-to-back storms during the Christmas season.
The deaths were reported on Cebu island, where an elderly woman was killed in a landslide while a man died after he hit his head on the pavement as the storm cut off electricity in the area.
Tropical Storm Kai-Tak killed 47 people in the central Philippines last month, while Tropical Storm Tembin killed 240 on the southern island of Mindanao.
The state weather service warned the new disturbance was poised to hit the western tourist island of Palawan with gusts of 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour later on Tuesday.
“The residents are really sad. It is tough that we have three storms coming one after another. People have lost their livelihood and have had no rest since Christmas,” Gil Acosta, information officer of the island, told AFP.
Palawan accounted for 37 of the recorded Tembin deaths, with 60 other people still missing, Acosta added.
About 4,000 people across the central Philippines had moved to safer ground to escape high winds and flooding, the national disaster agency in Manila said.
“There is continuous flooding in some towns where the floodwater from the previous storm has yet to subside,” provincial disaster information officer Julius Regner told AFP by telephone from Cebu City.
The Philippines is battered by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly.


China admits reporting two major quakes which never happened

Updated 20 April 2018
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China admits reporting two major quakes which never happened

  • Earthquake monitor reported that two 6.5 magnitude quakes happened just 10 seconds apart at opposite ends of the country on April 19, 2018
  • Administration says they were holding an emergency response exercise and mock quakes were accidentally leaked 

BEIJING: China’s earthquake administration said on Friday that it had accidentally reported two major quakes which in fact had never happened, saying they were drills which had been unintentionally released to the public.
Late on Thursday, the administration said on its website there had been two 6.5 magnitude quakes just 10 seconds apart at opposite ends of the country — in the far western region of Xinjiang and in the southwestern province of Yunnan.
The information stayed on its website for at least an hour, though did not appear on its microblog, which is how many people in China first learn of quakes.
In a statement on its website, the administration said they had in fact been holding an emergency response exercise.
“An accidental leak of the quake drill was picked up by the media and caused a misunderstanding,” it said. “After this happened, our administration immediately organized relevant departments to delete the inaccurate information.”
China is a seismically active country frequently hit by major earthquakes.
A decade ago a 7.9 magnitude quake rocked the southwestern province of Sichuan, killing almost 70,000 people.