At least 15 dead in mudslide at hotel in Peru: Authorities

In this photo provide by Abancay police, officers and firefighters stand by a collapsed area of the Alhambra hotel in the city in Peru. (AP)
Updated 27 January 2019
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At least 15 dead in mudslide at hotel in Peru: Authorities

  • An avalanche of mud and rocks crashed into a hotel during a wedding celebration in southeastern Peru
  • People searching for missing relatives were urged to visit surrounding health centers

LIMA: An avalanche of mud and rocks crashed into a hotel during a wedding celebration in southeastern Peru, killing at least 15 people, authorities said Sunday.
“The avalanche broke through the walls of the hotel, entering it with force,” the mayor of the city of Abancay, where the hotel is located, told RPP radio.
The mayor, Evaristo Ramos, said about 100 guests had been invited to the wedding party Saturday and “there are 15 dead and 34 injured.”
Firefighters, police and residents worked through the night to rescue people still trapped under rubble.
Authorities said the Alhambra hotel was built very close to a hillside. A retaining wall collapsed, and the mudslide brought the hotel roof down on the party-goers below, they said.
People searching for missing relatives were urged to visit surrounding health centers to find and identify their loved ones.


North Korea faces lowest crop harvest in 5 years, widespread food shortages -UN

Updated 41 min 50 sec ago

North Korea faces lowest crop harvest in 5 years, widespread food shortages -UN

  • South Korea has pledged to provide 50,000 tons of rice aid to its northern neighbor through the UN World Food Programme
  • Sporadic famines are common in North Korea, although a severe nationwide famine in the 1990s killed as many as a million people

SEOUL: North Korea’s crop production this year is expected to drop to its lowest level in five years, bringing serious shortages for 40 percent of the population, as a dry spell and poor irrigation hit an economy already reeling from sanctions over its weapons programs, the United Nations said on Thursday.
In its latest quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the poor harvest of the country’s main crops, rice and maize, means 10.1 million people are in urgent need of assistance.
“Below-average rains and low irrigation availability between mid-April and mid-July, a critical period for crop development, mainly affected the main season rice and maize crops,” the FAO said. The report, which covers cereal supply and demand around the world and identifies countries that need external food aid, didn’t disclose detailed estimates of production by volume.
North Korea has long struggled with food shortages and a dysfunctional state rationing system, and state media has in recent months warned of drought and other “persisting abnormal phenomena.”
The crops shortfall comes as the country bids to contain the spread of African swine fever in its pig herd, following confirmation of a first case in May.
The disease, fatal to pigs though not harmful to humans, has spread into Asia — including South Korea — since first being detected in China last year, resulting in large-scale culls and reduced production of pork, a staple meat across the region including in North Korea.
The FAO report followed earlier UN assessments this year that the isolated country’s food production last year fell to its lowest level in more than a decade amid a prolonged heatwave, typhoon and floods.
South Korea has pledged to provide 50,000 tons of rice aid to its northern neighbor through the UN World Food Programme (WFP). But its delivery has been delayed by Pyongyang’s lukewarm response amid stalled inter-Korean dialogue and denuclearization talks with the United States, Seoul officials said.
In July, the North’s official KCNA news agency said a campaign to mitigate the effects of drought was under way by digging canals and wells, installing pumps, and using people and vehicles to transport water.
But North Korea has told the United Nations to cut the number of its staff it deploys in the country for aid programs. citing the “politicization of UN assistance by hostile forces.”
Sporadic famines are common in North Korea, but observers said a severe nationwide famine in the 1990s killed as many as a million people.