Death toll from quake that hit Indonesian island passes 430

An earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has killed 387 people, authorities said on August 11, adding hundreds of thousands of displaced people were still short of clean water, food and medicine nearly a week on. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2018

Death toll from quake that hit Indonesian island passes 430

  • The national disaster agency said Monday the Aug. 5 quake killed 436 people, most of whom died in collapsing buildings
  • Lombok, a popular but less developed tourist destination than neighboring Bali, was hit by three strong quakes in little over a week

JAKARTA, Indonesia: The death toll from the earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok a week ago has passed 430 and the government is estimating economic losses will exceed several hundred million dollars.
The national disaster agency said Monday the Aug. 5 quake killed 436 people, most of whom died in collapsing buildings.
It said damage to homes, infrastructure and other property is at least 5 trillion rupiah ($342 million), calling that a temporary figure that will rise as more assessments are made. The agency said rebuilding will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
The magnitude 7.0 quake flattened thousands of homes and according to the disaster agency’s latest estimate has displaced about 350,000 people.
“The damage and losses are very large,” said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
“When all data has been collected later, the amount will be greater. It needs trillions of rupiah (hundreds of millions of dollars) for rehabilitation and reconstruction. It will take time to restore community life and economic development,” he said.
Nugroho said damaged roads were hindering access to isolated mountainous areas and helicopters had been deployed by the disaster agency, the military and the search and rescue agency to distribute aid.
Lombok, a popular but less developed tourist destination than neighboring Bali, was hit by three strong quakes in little over a week and has endured more than 500 aftershocks.
A July 29 quake killed 16 people. An aftershock measuring magnitude 5.9 on Thursday caused panic, more damage and more than two dozen injuries.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.


Bolsonaro takes on Norway for whaling, but bungles it

Updated 24 min 15 sec ago

Bolsonaro takes on Norway for whaling, but bungles it

  • Bolsonaro took to Twitter to criticize the Scandinavian country for its whaling practice and post spectacular — albeit misleading — images
  • Bolsonaro has been taking digs at Norway since the country announced that it was blocking €30 million of subsidies to Brazil, accusing it of turning its back on the fight against deforestation

OSLO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday responded to Norway’s decision to halt its forest protection subsidies, taking to Twitter to criticize the Scandinavian country for its whaling practice and post spectacular — albeit misleading — images.
“Look at the killing of whales sponsored by Norway,” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.
The post includes a video and photographs of a spectacular whale hunt, where mammals in the shallow waters of a bay are slaughtered by people wading on shore, armed with hooked knives. The whales’ blood turns the waters red.
However, the images, reportedly taken on May 29 in Norway, illustrate a “grind,” a type of pilot whale hunt practiced exclusively in the Faroe Islands — a Danish territory in the North Atlantic.
Norway is one of the few countries in the world that authorizes commercial whaling, but the whales are hunted individually, at sea from a ship, and with grenade-mounted harpoons.
“We can confirm that the video/the photos are not from Norway,” the Norwegian fisheries ministry told AFP in an email.
“Our whale hunt takes place from ships at sea,” he said, arguing that the Norwegian practice was “sustainable.”
Bolsonaro was ridiculed on social media for the mix-up.
“Haha what a stupid president Brazil has! This is NOT from Norway! We don’t kill whales like that. Do your homework to get respected! ‘Fake news’ as Trump would have said,” wrote one Twitter user.
“False information is a crime Mr.President,” wrote another.
Bolsonaro has been taking digs at Norway since the country announced last week that it, like Germany, was blocking 30 million euros ($33 million) of subsidies to Brazil, accusing it of turning its back on the fight against deforestation.
Norway has been the single largest donor to the Amazon Fund for forest protection, giving almost 830 million euros since its creation 11 years ago.
Oslo said Brazil, under Bolsonaro’s leadership, “no longer wishes to stop deforestation” and said it unilaterally “broke the agreement” it had on the Amazon Fund.
Bolsonaro reacted immediately and angrily.
“Norway, isn’t that the country that kills whales up there, at the North Pole? And that produces oil too? That is not at all a role model to us. Let them keep their money and let them help Angela Merkel reforest Germany,” he said.