7.5-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Ecuador

Ecuador’s flag

 

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit Ecuador Friday but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The quake struck before dawn in Ecuador’s eastern Amazon region 17 kilometers (10 miles) from the town of Montalvo near the border with Peru, the US Geological Survey said.

It hit at a depth of 132 kilometers. Most major earthquakes in South America are at shallow depths of 70 kilometers or less, the USGS said.

There were two aftershocks, one in the same area and with a magnitude of just over 6.0, Ecuador’s Geophysics Institute said. It gave the same 7.5 magnitude for the big quake.

“We have no reports of injuries so far, just some broken windows,” said Tarcisio Ojeda, mayor of the town of Macas, in Morona Santiago province where the quake hit.

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Emergency rescue teams were activated.

The other aftershock hit the Pacific coast region of Guayas but it did not do any harm either, President Lenin Moreno said on Twitter.

None of three tremors had the right features to trigger a tsunami alert, the Navy’s Oceanographic Institute said.

In 2016 a quake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit the western provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, killing 673 people and causing an estimated $3 billion in damage.

AFP

Dozens Of Casualties In Blast At Afghan Voter Registration Centre

An Afghan wounded man lays on a stretcher as others rush him to a hospital following a blast at a voter registration centre in Khost Province on May 6, 2018. PHOTO: FARID ZAHIR / AFP

 

A blast at a voter registration centre in Afghanistan’s restive east on Sunday killed or wounded at least 30 people, officials said, capping a bloody week in the war-torn country.

The bomb had been placed in a tent being used to register voters on the grounds of a mosque, marking the latest attack on preparations for the long-delayed legislative elections.

“A crowd of people who had come out of the mosque had gathered to register” when the blast took place, Khost provincial police chief Abdul Hanan Zadran told AFP.

Zadran said the casualty toll stood at “about 30”.

But provincial deputy director of public health Gul Mohammad Mangal told AFP at least 12 people had been killed and 33 wounded in the explosion.

Mangal warned the toll could rise, with several of the wounded in a critical condition.

“Ambulances are still bringing more people,” he added.

It was the latest attack on election preparations and comes almost a week after 25 people were killed in a double bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Nine journalists including AFP chief photographer Shah Marai were among the dead. BBC reporter Ahmad Shah was killed in a separate attack in Khost province.

The latest assault on a voter registration centre is likely to deter more people from signing up for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections scheduled for October 20.

On April 22 a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding more than 100.

That was among a series of attacks across the country on places where people were signing up to vote.

Low turnout fears

The Taliban and IS have made clear their intentions to disrupt the elections.

Officials are concerned that a low voter turnout will undermine the credibility of the poll.

Just over 1.2 million adults had registered by Saturday, three weeks after the two-month long process began, data compiled by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) showed.

The IEC, which is overseeing preparations for the vote, hopes to register up to 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centres.

But if the current trend were to continue, fewer than three million people would be registered by the mid-June deadline.

Authorities have deployed planes to drop leaflets in a number of provinces raising awareness about the elections, which are seen as a test run for next year’s presidential poll.

A radio and television campaign is also under way and civil servants have been granted a day off to sign up.

The IEC has placed many of the voter registration centres inside schools and mosques, triggering concerns that students and worshippers could be at risk.

Another hurdle to voter registration is a sticker placed on national identification certificates showing the holder has signed up for the poll.

There are concerns that the stickers could put voters in restive districts at risk of being targeted by Taliban or Islamic State militants.

AFP

Governor Wike Assures ONELGA People Of Enhanced Security

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has assured the people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) that the State Government will continue to build the security infrastructure in the area to enforce peace.

He stated that the younger brother of slain cultist, Don Wanny, Mr Oluchi Igwedibia will soon be tracked down alongside other fleeing members of the Don Wanny clan for the greater peace of ONELGA.

Governor Wike spoke during a security meeting at the ONELGA Council Secretariat Pavilion. The governor was accompanied by service commanders.

Governor Wike revealed that Rivers APC leaders have approached the 32 cultists declared wanted, asking them to join their political platform ahead of the electioneering period.

He stated that his administration will not be deterred by the political antics of Rivers APC, saying that the deadly cultists will be traced and brought to justice.

“Nobody should play politics with the security of lives. Since we declared these cultists wanted, they have approached them to work with them. Whether or not they work with APC, they will meet their Waterloo,” he said.

He urged the people of ONELGA to work with the Rivers State Government to ensure that the area remains peaceful so that the people can recover from the devastation of the past.

The governor said everyone must work together to build the peace of ONELGA to avoid a repeat of the New Year tragedy.

He said: “I am here today to further express my condolences to the families that lost loved ones and also express my sympathy to the injured. Like I said before, the Rivers State Government will foot the hospital bills of the injured and support the families of the deceased “.

The governor particularly announced that the State Government will take up the training of a one-year girl, Purity Anthony orphaned by the Don Wanny attack. He stated that the State Government will set aside N50million for her education.

Governor Wike said the manner that Don Wanny met his untimely end, indicates that nobody will escape the long arm of the law, irrespective of the charms they possess.

While thanking the local vigilante group, OSPAC, for their contributions to the restoration of peace and the dislodgement of Donny Wanny, he warned them against following the criminal route, as they will suffer the Don Wanny fate.

He said that Don Wanny reign of terror lasted throughout the leadership of Amaechi, pointing out that he was eliminated as a result of the commitment of his administration.

Commenting on the politicisation of Rivers Security by the Minister of Transportation, the governor regretted that the Minister has devoted his days at the Federal Executive Council to creating a crisis in the state.

He listed several projects that he attracted to the state as a Minister of State for Education and wondered why the Minister of Transportation has failed alongside his godson, the Director General of NIMASA.

He informed ONELGA people that he has reached agreements with Agip and Total on their corporate social responsibility to the host communities. He said that the State Service Commanders and the Secretary to the Rivers State Government met with Agip and Total on Tuesday to finalise the process for the implementation of agreements reached.

Governor Wike announced that all projects started in ONELGA will be completed and more projects will be initiated for the people.

Earlier, Chairman of ONELGA, Mr Osi Olisa said that the people of the area will continue to work with the Rivers State Governor to entrench peace in the area.

He said that ONELGA remains loyal to the Rivers State Governor beyond 2019 because of his achievements.

Boko Haram Has Killed 223 Civilians In North East Since April – Amnesty

Amnesty International Declares Interest In Death Of Desmond Nunugwo

Amnesty International says Boko Haram attacks and suicide bombings in Cameroon and Nigeria have left at least 381 civilians dead in five months since the start of April 2017, with casualties more than double the previous five months.

A statement signed by its Media Manager in Nigeria, Mr. Isa Sanusi quoted the organisation’s Director for West and Central Africa, Alioune Tine, as saying Boko Haram committed war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people.

“Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can.

“This wave of shocking Boko Haram violence, propelled by a sharp rise in suicide bombings, highlights the urgent need for protection and assistance for millions of civilians in the Lake Chad region. Governments in Nigeria, Cameroon and beyond must take swift action to protect them from this campaign of terror.”

In Cameroon, according to Mr Sanusi, Boko Haram succeeded in 158 civilians since April – four times more than in the preceding five months. The recent spike in casualties being driven by increased suicide attacks, with 30 – more than one per week – carried out since the beginning of April.

“In Cameroon, Boko Haram have killed at least 158 civilians since April – four times more than in the preceding five months. The recent spike in casualties has been driven by increased suicide attacks, with 30 – more than one per week – carried out since the beginning of April.

The deadliest attack took place in Waza on 12 July, when 16 civilians were killed and at least 34 injured after a young girl was forced to carry and detonate a bomb in a crowded video game centre.

The town of Kolofata, in the Mayo-Sava district, has been especially targeted with nine attacks since April. Mora, the second largest urban centre in the Far North region, has also been hit three times.

“The displacement of Boko Haram fighters from the Sambisa Forest in Nigeria to the Mandara Mountains in Cameroon, following operations conducted by the Nigerian military, may explain some of the increase in attacks in Cameroon.”

Fire Engulfs Nigerian Breweries In Lagos

Fire, Nigerian Breweries, LagosA massive fire outbreak has occurred at the premises of the Nigerian Breweries Plc in the Iganmu area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

The blaze is said to have engulfed the factory section of the company.

At the time Channels Television senior correspondent, Ambrose Okoh, was at the scene, the fire service was battling the inferno.

According to officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the fire started at about 5:30AM on Sunday.

No death has been reported in the incident and the cause of the blaze has not yet been established.

However, about three victims have been taken away by NEMA officials for treatment due to the fire outbreak, although it is not known if they are staff of the Nigerian Breweries or emergency agency workers.

Situation Under Control

In the meantime, the company, in a statement signed by its Adviser on Corporate Affairs, Mr Kufre Ekanem, said the fire has been brought under control.

Mr Ekanem confirmed that no life was lost, but only the plastic crates used in storing the liquid content were destroyed by the fire.

Fire disasters such as this are very common during festive seasons as an eyewitness told Channels Television crew that the fire began from the generator room.

Incorporated in November 1946, the Nigerian Breweries Plc boasts of 10 operational breweries from which its products are distributed to all parts of Nigeria, in addition to the malting plants in Aba and Kaduna.

The company also supports operations in Champion Breweries Plc, Uyo.