Three dead after refugee boat capsizes near Turkey-Greece border

A boat that carried refugees lies semi-submerged off Samos Island, Greece. Three refugees died when a boat capsized on the Maritsa River, which flows between Turkey and Greece. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
0

Three dead after refugee boat capsizes near Turkey-Greece border

ISTANBUL: Three people died and four were missing on Tuesday after a refugee boat carrying eight people capsized in a river that flows between Turkey and Greece, a spokeswoman for Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Organization (AFAD) said.
The eighth refugee had made it into Greece, it said.
The boat was traveling along the Maritsa River, in Turkey’s northwestern province of Edirne, when it capsized early on Tuesday, the first aid organization said. Nearby residents heard yells and informed the local gendarmarie forces.
Searchers recovered three bodies, it said, adding that two of them were children — one around 12 years old and the other around four. The causes of death were not yet determined.
AFAD was still looking for the four others on the boat but said the cold temperatures and the strong currents in the water was impeding operations.
A 2016 deal between Turkey and the European Union sharply reduced the flow of refugees into the bloc, many of whom had made the short but dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to Greek islands a few miles offshore.
Overall Mediterranean arrivals to the European Union, including refugees making the longer and more perilous crossing from north Africa to Italy, stood at 172,301 in 2017, down from 362,753 in 2016 and 1,015,078 in 2015, according to UN data.


Indonesia flood, landslide death toll rises to 30

Updated 44 min 25 sec ago
0

Indonesia flood, landslide death toll rises to 30

  • More than 3,000 people have been evacuated and at least 46 are being treated at local hospitals and health clinics
  • In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island

MAKASSAR, Indonesia: The death toll from flash floods and landslides in Indonesia has risen to 30, as rescuers raced to find two dozen still missing, the disaster agency said Thursday.
Thousands have been evacuated from their homes as heavy rain and strong winds pounded the southern part of Sulawesi island, swelling rivers that burst their banks and inundating dozens of communities in nine southern districts.
Parts of the provincial capital Makassar have also been affected.
Rescuers and residents waded through streets filled with waist-deep water, some carrying their belongings above their heads.
“We urge people to always be aware of the possibility of floods and landslides,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
Landslides and flooding are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rain lashes the vast Southeast Asian archipelago.
In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island.
On Thursday, the disaster agency said that while flooding in South Sulawesi province was receding “the search and evacuation process is still ongoing.”
The death toll had stood at 26 on Thursday morning.
More than 3,000 people have been evacuated and at least 46 are being treated at local hospitals and health clinics.
The floods also damaged houses, government buildings, schools and bridges.