At least a dozen workers including Chinese technicians have been trapped by a landslide inside the tunnel of a hydroelectric power project in Nepal, a project official said on Friday.
A few Chinese technicians were working with about 12 Nepali workers inside the tunnel of the Upper Madi Hydroelectric Project in Kaski district, 125 km (80 miles) west of Kathmandu, when falling earth and rocks blocked its entrance.
“Excavators are removing the debris and we are trying to rescue those trapped inside,” said Ram Raj Koirala, a Nepali official at the power station being built by a Chinese firm.
“We have been able to send drinking water and air inside the tunnel and we are hopeful of rescuing them in three to four hours,” Koirala told Reuters from the site. He said the workers were safe but declined to elaborate.
The project would generate 25 megawatts of power in the energy-starved country. The China International Water and Electric Corporation owns 80 percent in the $650 million plant while the project’s Nepali backers own the rest.
Nepal has the potential to generate up to 83,000 megawatts of hydro-power from rivers cascading down from the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range.
But due to a lack of funds and technical know-how, just one percent of that potential has been tapped. Nepal’s 27 million people typically endure 12 hours of power cuts a day.
China is a major donor, business partner and investor in Nepal, a strategically located buffer state between China and India. Many Chinese companies are involved in infrastructure projects that include hydroelectric power.
The patient, who is now in a hospital in the capital city, Cairo, had arrived recently in the country from Saudi Arabia, RT reported.
92 people have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia, the country’s Health Ministry said on its website Friday.
The virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia has a higher than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases.
Less than 24 hours after St Vincent and the Grenadines confirmed an outbreak of the chikungunya virus, another Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country is reporting its first case of the mosquito-borne disease.
Antigua and Barbuda health officials Friday held a news conference to confirm that an individual in his mid 60s had become the island’s first case.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Orita Zachariah told reporters that the case had been detected on April 22 and the victim between the ages 60 and 65 works in the capital, St John’s.
The health authorities say they are also awaiting results of four other suspected cases from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
Chikungunya is a viral disease, carried mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and causes a dengue-like sickness.
Symptoms include a sudden high fever, severe pain in the wrists, ankles or knuckles, muscle pain, headache, nausea, and rash. Joint pain and stiffness are more common with chikungunya than with dengue.
The symptoms appear between four to seven days after the bite of an infected mosquito. The majority of clinical signs and symptoms last three to 10 days, but joint pain may persist longer. Severe cases requiring hospitalisation are rare.
Dr Zachariah said that persons should remain home if they suspect they have the disease while Chief health Inspector Lionel Michael said the Department of Health would increase vector control in a bid to prevent a spread of the disease.
In January, CARPHA said it had received notification of 10 confirmed cases of locally acquired chikungunya virus infection on the French side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. But since then Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines have reported cases of the disease.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health in St Vincent and the Grenadines declared an outbreak of the virus after three cases were confirmed on the northern Grenadine island of Bequia.
Russia’s Urals region has been hit with freak winter weather, with severe snowstorms causing massive traffic jams, flight delays, power blackouts and school closures.
Those would later be used in “before and after” collages with “goodbye summer” hashtags.
The sun erupted with a massive solar flare late Thursday (April 24), triggering a temporary communications blackout on some parts of Earth.
The powerful flare peaked at 8:27 p.m. EDT Thursday (0027 April 25 GMT), and ranked as an X1.3-class solar storm, one of the strongest types of flares the sun can experience, according to a report from the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center. NASA’s sun-watching Solar Dynamics Observatory captured video of the intense solar flare in several difference wavelengths.
Subject To Change
Depth: 130 km
Distances: 322km (200mi) SW of Severo-Kuril’sk, Russia
615km (382mi) SW of Vilyuchinsk, Russia
635km (395mi) SW of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
637km (396mi) SW of Yelizovo, Russia
1803km (1120mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan