Indonesia landslides leave 12 dead, 14 missing

Updated 28 January 2013
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Indonesia landslides leave 12 dead, 14 missing

JAKARTA, Indonesia: The death toll has risen to 12 in two separate landslides triggered by torrential rain in western Indonesia, including five geothermal workers, and buried more than a dozen others, officials said yesterday.
The worst landslides happened in Tanjung Sani of Agam district in West Sumatra province, where 20 houses were buried when mud and rocks fell from surrounding hills at dawn on yesterday, killing seven villagers, said disaster official Ade Edward.
He said five injured villagers were being treated at a hospital, including one in critical condition. The bodies of the dead have been evacuated and rescuers using heavy digging equipment are searching for 14 people who reportedly were buried under the mud.
Hundreds of terrified survivors fled their hillside homes for tents on safer ground, fearing more of the mountainside would collapse under continuing rain, Edward said.
In the neighboring province of Jambi, days of heavy rains triggered a landslide in a drilling field owned by PT. Pertamina Geothermal Energy, a state-run company, late Saturday. The death toll there rose to five after searchers pulled out the body of another worker from the mud on Sunday, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
Company official Adiatma Sardjito said 60 workers survived Saturday’s landslide.
“The workers were having dinner when the landslide suddenly ocurred,” Sardjito said, adding the disaster left five others hurt.
He said the landslide did not impact their production.
Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and flashfloods each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.


With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

Routine day at Dubai International Airport. AN photo
Updated 23 May 2018
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With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

  • The ruler of Dubai changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies
  • The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals

NEW DELHI: Indians are likely to “flood” the UAE once its recently announced residency visa rules for students and highly qualified professionals come into place, experts said Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and the prime minister of the UAE, announced on Sunday a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as their families.
 As part of the changes, students will get five-year visas and “exceptional” graduates will be eligible for a 10-year visa.  Students currently have to apply to renew their visa each year.
The ruler of Dubai also changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies. So far companies have been required to have a local partner who would hold the majority stake.
 The changes are expected to kick in during the third quarter of this year.
 “The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted as he announced the new rules.
 The UAE, with its proximity to India, high salaries and low taxes, has always been a magnet for Indians. It is home to about 2.6 million Indians who make up roughly 30 percent of the country’s population, according to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. These numbers are expected to shoot up once the new rules apply.
 “Indians are always looking at new work opportunities anywhere in the world,” said Aradhana Mahna, managing director of Manya Education, a study abroad solutions provider in Delhi.  While the US and the UK have historically been avenues for Indian students looking to study abroad, the number of students applying to those countries have undergone a “sharp decline” since the election of US President Donald Trump — who made protectionist comments during his campaign days and since taking office — and since the UK decided to split with the European Union, Mahna said.
 “Dubai is close to home and that has always made it a preferred destination for Indians. Especially now with the US going down, it will be flooded by Indians,” she added.
Mukesh Bhasin, partner at Career Connect, an executive search firm that focuses on banking, financial services and the insurance sector (BFSI), agreed that the new rules would go a long way in attracting Indian talent.
 “The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals,” he said. “The encouraging visa regime will lead to a lot of interest from Indian BFSI professionals toward Middle East opportunities given the already-existing tax benefits and international-quality lifestyle.”
 Since the collapse in 2008 of Lehman Brothers, most developed markets, including neighboring Singapore and Hong Kong, have cut back on the number of people they are hiring from abroad for their domestic operations. This includes a slowdown in foreign transfers for Indian employees of multinational banks, said Bhasin.