Archive | April 23, 2014

Scores killed in DR Congo train crash

A government spokesman says at least 57 people have died in a rail accident in the country’s southeast

Breaking News

At least 57 people have died in a train crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s southeast, according to a government spokesman.

The accident on Tuesday involved a goods train that was also carrying people near Likasi, a mining town located between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi.

“Thirty-seven people have died, but the police fear that there will be more,” Lambert Mende, a government spokesman, told the AFP news agency.

He added that it appeared that engine failure had caused the train to speed out of control.

The Reuters news agency reported that Dikanga Kazadi, Katanga’s interior minister, said 63 people were killed and another 80 people were seriously injured in the crash. Reuters also reported that 50 people were trapped inside the train after 12 of its carriages flipped off the track.

“Evidently the train was going too fast, the driver came to a curve and had to break suddenly leading to the accident,” Kazadi said.

An investigation is currently under way to determine the cause of Tuesday’s crash, but Kazadi said the priority is to rescue those still trapped.

The country’s infrastructure is in poor condition due to decades of neglect and conflict.

The World Bank is currently funding a refurbishment of the train network, which has received few upgrades since the country gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

More than 100 people were killed in a 2007 accident involving a goods train in the province of Kasai Occidential.


Strongest sandstorm in decades sweeps China

Sand envelopes Gansu Province in northwest China reducing visibility to less than 65ft, in the strongest sandstorm since 1996

Embedded image permalink

A strong sandstorm swept Gansu Province in northwest China on Wednesday, reducing visibility to less than 65ft, according to the provincial meteorological center.

The sandstorm, the strongest since 1996 according to reports, started in the early afternoon in Dunhuang County.

“Suddenly it became dark and I can’t tell whether it’s day or night,” said one resident.

“My nose hurts and I can’t open my eyes,” another resident said.

The Jiuquan City Meteorological Center, which includes Dunhuang, issued a sandstorm red alert, the highest level alert, forecasting that visibility would be reduced to less than 164ft throughout Jiuquan on Wednesday evening.

As well as Dunhuang, neighbouring counties were also affected, with Guazhou, Subei, Yumen and Jinta counties also issuing sandstorm red alerts.

The provincial meteorological center forecast that the sandstorm will die down on Thursday.


Subject to change

Depth: 9 km

Distances: Latitude, Longitude  63.777  -22.871 
(5.9 km NE of Eldeyi)

Earthquake location   23 Apr 22:40 GMT

Map of earthquake epicentres

Time and magnitude of earthquake   23 Apr 22:40 GMT

Graph showing earthquake timing and magnitude


***BE ALERT***
Magnetogram 23.04.14  21.48 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 533 km

Distances: 365km (227mi) SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
559km (347mi) WSW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

648km (403mi) SSE of Suva, Fiji
720km (447mi) SSE of Nadi, Fiji

818km (508mi) S of Lambasa, Fiji

Global view


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 1355 km NE of Cayenne, French Guiana / pop: 61,550 / local time: 15:21:10.0 2014-04-23
1484 km NE of Paramaribo, Suriname / pop: 223,757 / local time: 15:21:10.0 2014-04-23
1576 km E of Bridgetown, Barbados / pop: 98,511 / local time: 14:21:10.0 2014-04-23

Global viewRegional view


Subject To Change

Depth: 16 km

Distances: 7km (4mi) ESE of Lincoln, Montana
55km (34mi) NW of Helena, Montana

101km (63mi) N of Butte, Montana
107km (66mi) E of Missoula, Montana

117km (73mi) WSW of Great Falls, Montana

Global view

Major landslide has struck the Italian Alps

Landslide Alert

Landslides over the Easter holiday weekend in the Italian Alps have been followed by a fresh fall of 20,000 cubic metres of rock and mud, forcing the Mont Blanc tunnel linking France and Italy to close briefly.

It is still not safe for dozens of people evacuated from the village of La Palud near the Courmayeur ski resort to return home.

Guatemala remains on alert for intense activity of Fuego volcano

The Fuego volcano increased its eruptive activity from Monday and generated alarm in the population living in areas near the crater, located 50 kilometers west of the capital.

The National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) reported that giant increased its moderate to heavy explosions in the past hour and throws ash 4000 500 meters above sea level moving west and southwest crater, and falls into the villages Panimaché, Morelia, Santa Sofia, mainly.

The institute reported that the explosive rumblings can be felt 30 miles away and the shock waves vibrate windows and roofs of houses and towns Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango, and Escuintla.

The director of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conrad) Alejandro Maldonado, said that while the call remains prevention, no evacuation alert. The recommended Insivumeh maintain yellow alert and authorities remain pending developments.

The volcano, 3 thousand 763 meters altitude caused a national emergency in September 2012 when an explosion by which evacuated more than 10,000 people from nearby towns.

On Monday, Conrad issued a bulletin which reported that increased volcanic activity affected villages and hamlets near colossus with small earthquakes that “vibrate ceilings and windows” of homes, but there was no reason to start the evacuation.

Sudbury man rescued after plane crashes in Lake Winnipesaukee, USA

Plane Crash Alert

A Sudbury man’s plane crashed into Lake Winnipesaukee Tuesday, April 22. The pilot, Vadim Gayshan, was treated for cold water immersion.

The New Hampshire Marine Patrol rescued a 59-year-old Sudbury man Tuesday afternoon after his plane crashed into the cold waters of Lake Winnipesaukee, according to New Hampshire State Police.

The pilot, Vadim Gayshan, was found clinging to his plane around 12:50 p.m., about 20 minutes after authorities first received reports of the crash, police said. Rescuers threw a flotation ring to Gayshan and hauled him aboard a patrol boat.

He was on the only person aboard the plane, police said.

Gayshan was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, N.H., to be treated for cold water immersion.

He told investigators that he had been examining ice conditions on the lake’s surface, flying between 300 and 400 feet above the water.

His plane was equipped with pontoons, which allow for water landings, police said.

During an attempted “touch and go” landing, meaning the aircraft touches down and takes off again before coming to a stop, one of the pontoons caught the water and caused the plane to crash nose-first, Gayshan told investigators.

On Tuesday evening, the plane remained submerged beneath 105 feet of water in the lake, which is about an hour’s drive north of Concord, N.H.

State Police said Gayshan has 13 years of piloting experience, including two years with seaplanes.