Archive | April 2014


Subject To Change

Depth: 100 km

Distances: 3224 km SE of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 12:05:13.0 2014-04-30
3358 km SE of Buenos Aires, Argentina / pop: 13,076,300 / local time: 12:05:13.0 2014-04-30
4144 km SE of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 11:05:13.0 2014-04-30
Global viewRegional view


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 324 km SE of San José, Costa Rica / pop: 335,007 / local time: 03:52:14.0 2014-04-30
123 km S of David, Panama / pop: 82,859 / local time: 04:52:14.0 2014-04-30
78 km S of Punta de Burica / pop: 1,360 / local time: 04:52:00.0 2014-04-30
Global viewRegional view



***BE ALERT***
Magnetogram 30.04.14  19.29 hrs UTC

Trains collide head-on in Sri Lanka; 68 injured

Breaking News

Two trains have collided head-on in northwestern Sri Lanka, injuring 68 people. 
Police spokesman Ajith Rohana says the crash took place on Wednesday at the railroad station in Pothuhera, about 90 kilometres (56 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. 
He says a train from Colombo traveling to Pallai in the north crashed into a southbound train that was stopped at the station. The cause of the crash is under investigation. 
Rohana says four of the injured passengers are in serious condition. 
Trains are a popular mode of transport in the island nation, and are generally considered safe.

Plane crash lands at ‘Eua, Tonga

Plane Emergency Landing

News of a crash landing of a small aircraft at ‘Eua airport this morning is coming out as horrified ‘Eua residents witnessed a plane land without its landing gear down.

REAL Tonga has confirmed this afternoon that the seven passengers and one crew member are safe, after a “belly landing” of the Queen Air.

Reporting on her Facebook page Naite Ma’ake-Hausia from the Hideaway Resort in ‘Eua, said, ” I will never forget the feeling of watching the aircraft crash land this morning. Landing gear wasn’t working? Thankfully everyone is ok. Thumbs up to the pilot.”

“While we were waiting at the terminal worrying about the passengers, we watched them get off and walk towards us. And then we heard them laugh…wth?! There were Japanese volunteers and Tongans on the flight.. and in true Tongan spirit, they said they’re ok and it could’ve been worse, and they have to go to work. lol! Mani ee, fai atu e worry ki a nautolu ka nau kata. They were more worried about the pilot and how he’s handling it. They thanked him and told him not to worry, everyone is fine and the plane is replaceable and just look on the positive side.”

The CEO of Real Tonga, Tevita Palu, could not be reached for comment immediately.

It is understood that a second aircraft that went to ‘Eua today is now in the air returning to Tongatapu.

The CEO for Tonga Civil Aviation was not available for comment at lunchtime today. It is understood that he travelled to ‘Eua to investigate the incident.

Updated, 1:47pm Wednesday 20 April 2014:

REAL Tonga Ltd. airlines issued the following Press Statement entitled “Aircraft Incident in ‘Eua”-

“This morning at approximately 0700, Real Tonga’s aircraft was involved in an incident on landing at ‘Eua airport.  

Initial reports from the Captain, indicate that the nose landing gear failed to deploy and the Captain was required to perform a “belly” landing.

The flight was a scheduled service between Tongatapu and ‘Eua. There were 7 (seven) passengers on board and one crew member. There were no injuries to either passengers or crew.

Real Tonga’s Chief Executive has expressed his gratitude that nobody was hurt and he advised that a team, consisting of senior management and engineering personnel have been dispatched to ‘Eua to make a proper assessment.

Police and the Ministry of Transport have been notified. The aircraft was scheduled to operate a flight to Niuafo’ou later today and this service has had to be cancelled.

All other Real Tonga flights are operating as normal. There are no other details available at this time and an update of the situation will be provided once the necessary reports have been submitted from the evaluation team.”


The plane a Beech Queen Air A3-CIA has a New Zealand history. According to a blog written by aircraft enthusiast Steve Lowe, the A3-CIA  operated for Port Hutt Air as ZKWKA from February 2002 until 2004. He reported that after languishing in Palmerston North for a few years,  in 2010 the aircraft was brought up to flyable standard and was registered as A3-CIA for Chathams Pacific’s Tongan operation.

“Chathams Pacific ceased operations on the 2 March 2013 but the Queen Air was leased by the new Tongan airline, Real Tonga. Subsequently A3-CIA was sold to Real Tonga and repainted in their colours,” Steve stated.

‘WHO’ holds emergency meeting on cross-border spread of polio


The WHO has repeatedly warned that as long as any single child remains infected with polio, children everywhere are at risk.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) began an emergency meeting with experts on Monday on how to halt the spread of the crippling polio virus across international borders in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Polio passes easily from person to person and can spread rapidly among children, especially in the kind of unsanitary conditions endured by displaced people in war-torn regions, refugee camps and areas where healthcare is limited.

“Wild polio virus continues to spread internationally from both endemic and re-infected countries,” the United Nations health agency said in a statement, adding that the meeting in Geneva would last several days.

Health experts from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East will be asked “to advise on whether the current developments on the spread of polio virus constitute a public health emergency of international concern”, it said.

Polio re-emerged in Syria in 2013 for the first time in 14 years, fanning fears of a wider international proliferation and prompting a vast regional emergency vaccination campaign.

The virus invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours. The WHO has repeatedly warned that as long as any single child remains infected with polio, children everywhere are at risk.

There is no cure for the disease but it can be prevented by immunisation. The polio vaccine, administered multiple times, can protect a child for life.


Although transmission of indigenous polio has been declining substantially in endemic areas since 2012, a total of 10 countries are currently considered to have active polio transmission. Three of these – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria – are still endemic for the disease and seven are countries that were once polio-free but have been re-infected.

Between January and April 2014, in what is usually the low season for polio transmission, three new cases of the virus crossing international borders have occurred – from Pakistan into Afghanistan, from Syria into Iraq and from Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea in central Africa.

“The Emergency Committee will provide advice … as to whether this increasing international spread of polio is a public health emergency of international concern and, if so, whether temporary recommendations are needed to reduce the risk and consequences of international spread,” the WHO said.

It gave no details on what those measures might be, but said it would update its advice at the end of the Geneva meeting.


Train Crash kills 3 in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The wreckage of a Gazipur-bound bus hit by a train at the TT Parha level crossing at Dhaka’s Kamalapur. Photo:
A collision between a train coming from Narayanganj and a Gazipur-bound bus at the TT Parha level crossing at Dhaka’s Kamalapur has left at least three people including the wife of a journalist dead.
The accident took place around 10:30pm on Tuesday, Kamalapur Police Station OC Abdul Mazid told
Dead bodies of two men were sent to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) to be autopsied, he said. One of them was identified as ‘Sohag’, 24, a labourer from Chadpur. The other could not be identified.
He said at least 20 people were also injured and six of them were sent to DMCH.
One of them, identified as Nazmus Saba Nazu, 24, wife of Daily Janakantha Sub-Editor Obaidur Rahman, died there soon afterwards.
The other five are – Al Amin, 25, ‘Saju’, 26, ‘Doly’, 25, Shah Alam, 38, and ‘Iqbal’, 38. Of them, doctors said Al Amin’s condition was critical.
Obaidur Rahman, who was with his wife on the bus, was also injured. He received first aid.
The wreckage of a Gazipur-bound bus hit by a train at the TT Parha level crossing at Dhaka’s Kamalapur. Photo:
He told reporters at the hospital that there was no bar on the level crossing which left the bus driver unaware of the approaching train.
Al Amin was taken from DMCH to the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR), better known as Pongu Hospital.
Railway Police Sub-Inspector Rafiqul Islam, who witnessed the incident, told the bus fell into the accident because it was taking the wrong side.


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 70km (43mi) ENE of Hami, China
415km (258mi) E of Turpan, China

457km (284mi) NW of Laojunmiao, China
490km (304mi) NW of Jiayuguan, China

1125km (699mi) WSW of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Global view


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 1074 km NE of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 381,900 / local time: 17:21:15.0 2014-04-30
663 km NE of Whakatane, New Zealand / pop: 18,602 / local time: 17:21:15.0 2014-04-30
Global viewRegional view


Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 127 km E of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 07:03:31.0 2014-04-30
89 km N of Ermoúpolis, Greece / pop: 11,351 / local time: 07:03:31.0 2014-04-30
47 km N of Andros, Greece / pop: 1,556 / local time: 07:03:31.0 2014-04-30
Global viewRegional view