30 Killed As Dorian Storms Bahamas

This satellite image obtained from NOAA/RAMMB, shows Tropical Storm Dorian as it approaching the Bahamas and Florida at 13:430UTC on August 31, 2019. HO / NOAA/RAMMB / AFP

 

The death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 30 in the Bahamas, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told American network CNN on Thursday.

Authorities had previously reported 20 dead, but have warned that the final figure is sure to be far higher.

Minnis has said that the storm caused “generational devastation.”

READ ALSO: 33 Bodies Recovered After California Dive Boat Disaster

The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas were in “immediate need” of aid.

Dorian, currently a Category 2 storm, was pounding the US states of North and South Carolina Thursday night with strong winds and driving rain, bringing dangerous storm surge.

 

33 Bodies Recovered After California Dive Boat Disaster

FBI personnel stand on a jetty in front of the ships Vision (L) and Truth, sister vessels of the diving ship Conception, in Santa Barbara Harbor on September 4, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Rescue workers have recovered a total of 33 bodies from a scuba-diving boat disaster off the coast of California, authorities said Wednesday, adding that one person remains missing.

Search operations for survivors were suspended Tuesday morning, and rescuers have begun an operation to free remains still trapped in the wreckage, which sank 66 feet (20 meters), and to determine the cause of the catastrophe.

The remains of 11 women and nine men were found after the 75-foot Conception caught fire and sank early Monday, trapping passengers below deck beneath the roaring blaze.

Divers have since recovered 13 other bodies, according to the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s department, which is in charge of the investigation.

All the remains have been transported to coroner offices for DNA identification. Authorities have not released details on any victims’ identities.

The boat had been on a diving excursion around Santa Cruz Island, just west of Santa Barbara in southern California.

A total of 39 people — six crew members and 33 passengers — were on board, officials said.

Five crew members were awake and jumped into the water when flames burst out around 3:15 am Monday. They were rescued by a nearby pleasure craft.

The remaining 34 people on board, who were sleeping below deck, appear to have been trapped by the flames.

The fire was so intense that firefighters were unable to board the boat, which sank as they tried to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the disaster is currently unknown.

The website for Truth Aquatics, which owned the Conception, said the ship was scheduled to return Monday from a three-day trip after visiting several diving spots around Santa Cruz Island.

Built in 1981 and with bunks for up to 46 people, the Conception was just 20 yards (meters) off the island’s northern shore when disaster struck.

The area is popular for a variety of water and outdoor sports.

Deadliest Attacks On Kabul

Bomb Blast In Kabul
Bomb Blast In Kabul

 

Saturday’s suicide attack targeting wedding celebrations in Kabul is one of the deadliest in Afghanistan’s nearly 18-year-old war against the Taliban.

Here is a look at some of the worst incidents in the capital since 2008:

– 2019 –
– August 17: An Islamic State suicide bombing at a packed wedding hall kills at least 80 and wounds more than 100.

– 2018 –
– December 24: An hours-long bomb and gun attack on a Kabul government compound kills at least 43 people. The Taliban denies responsibility.

– November 20: A suicide bomber blows himself up among religious scholars inside a wedding hall in the capital, killing at least 55 people. The attack is unclaimed.

– April 22: An Islamic State bomber kills 57 people, all civilians, outside a voter registration centre amid preparations for legislative elections.

– January 27: An ambulance packed with explosives detonates in a crowded street in the heart of the city, killing 103 people, according to an official toll. The attack, which kills many police officers, is claimed by the Taliban.

– 2017 –
– October 20: A suicide attack during Friday evening prayers at a Kabul Shiite mosque sees 56 people killed and 55 wounded. The IS claims responsibility.

– May 31: More than 150 are killed and 400 wounded when a massive truck bomb rips through the city’s diplomatic quarter during rush hour. The attack, which is not claimed, is the deadliest in the capital since 2001.

– March 8: Gunmen disguised as doctors storm Afghanistan’s largest military hospital in a six-hour attack. The official death toll is 50 but security sources and survivors say it exceeded 100. The attack is claimed by the IS.

– 2016 –
– July 23: Twin explosions rip through crowds of Shiite Hazaras, killing at least 84 people. It marks the first major IS assault on the capital.

– April 19: A truck bomb followed by a shootout leaves 64 people dead and nearly 350 injured in central Kabul in a Taliban-claimed attack.

– 2011 –
– December 6: An attack targeting the Shiite minority on the holy day of Ashura kills 80 people. The Taliban denies responsibility.

– 2008 –
– July 7: 60 people, including two diplomats and two Indian guards are killed in a suicide car bombing on the Indian embassy in the capital. The Taliban say they were not involved.

Numerous attacks have been carried out in the rest of Afghanistan. In the most deadly, 140 people, including more than 50 auxiliary police officers, are killed in the southern city of Kandahar in February 2008.

Two US Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

 

Two US soldiers were killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO announced — the latest international military casualties as Washington seeks a way out of America’s longest war.

“The name of the service members killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

The death brings to 12 the number of members of the US military to be killed in action in Afghanistan this year.

READ ALSO: Libya Buries Bodies Of 46 Migrants After Deadly Shipwreck

For the past year, the United States has been negotiating with the Taliban to reach a peace agreement ending the 18-year war.

Washington seems eager to speed up the talks as Afghanistan prepares for a presidential election in September and America gears up for the 2020 presidential election.

US President Donald Trump says he wants to begin withdrawing troops before the 2020 vote, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

“He’s been unambiguous: end the endless wars, draw down,” said Pompeo.

Since the US-led invasion to oust the Taliban was launched in late 2001, some 2,300 American soldiers have died and more than 20,400 have been wounded.

The number of deaths fell sharply after 2014, when the NATO mission was no longer a combat operation.

The US now has some 14,000 troops in Afghanistan — down from a peak of around 100,000 — most of them deployed to train and advise Afghan counterparts.

AFP

Colombia Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 28

Rescue workers carry a corpse after a landslide in Rosas, Cauca department, in southwestern Colombia, on April 21, 2019.  Luis ROBAYO / AFP

 

The number of dead from a mudslide that buried houses in southwestern Colombia has risen to at least 28, rescue authorities said on Monday.

Eleven more bodies were found during a rescue operation in Rosas, in the department of Cauca, where 17 people were pronounced dead on Sunday when the mudslide occurred, Colombia’s risk and disaster agency (UNGRD) said on its Twitter account.

At least two other people are still unaccounted for and hopes of finding them alive are waning, a UNGRD source told AFP.

READ ALSO: Myanmar’s Supreme Court Rejects Appeal By Reuters Journalists

Local fire brigade chief Juan Carlos Ganan said the force of the mudslide meant finding survivors was highly unlikely.

He added that heavy rains meant there was the risk of another mudslide. The country has been battered by downpours for weeks.

AFP

 

Indonesia Flood: Baby, Father Reunite Amidst Increasing Death Toll

A soldier cradles a rescued five-month-old baby, who was trapped for hours under rubble, following flash floods in Sentani. Handout / INDONESIAN MILITARY / AFP

 

A baby trapped under rubble after flash flooding destroyed his home in Indonesia has been reunited with his father after the disaster killed the rest of their family, officials said Monday, as the death toll hit 77.

The five-month-old was plucked Sunday from debris inside a house where his mother and siblings were found dead in the hard-hit northeastern town of Sentani.

The tot has since been returned to his surviving father.

“We took the baby to the hospital and had him treated,” Papua military spokesman Muhammad Aidi told AFP.

READ ALSO: New Zealand Pledges Gun Control As Mosque ‘Gunman’ Sacks Lawyer

“He was in stable condition and has been released. The father was distressed but happy to be reunited with his baby.”

The news came as Indonesia’s disaster agency raised the official death toll from 58, with more than three dozen people still missing.

Scores have been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain and landslides on Saturday.

“The death toll could still go up with 43 people unaccounted for,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Rescuers battled mud, rocks and fallen trees in the hunt for survivors, as medical personnel treated the wounded in makeshift tents.

The military said 5,700 people have been evacuated from the hard-hit area.

“We have over 1,000 personnel searching for more victims,” Aidi said.

Indonesia has issued a 14-day state of emergency in response to the floods.

Papua shares a border with independent Papua New Guinea on an island just north of Australia.

Flooding is common in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season which runs from October to April.

In January, floods and landslides killed at least 70 people on Sulawesi island, while earlier this month hundreds in West Java province were forced to evacuate when torrential rains triggered severe flooding.

Meanwhile, three people were killed — including two Malaysian tourists — and some 182 were injured after an earthquake Sunday triggered a landslide on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, next to Bali.

The 5.5-magnitude quake is thought to have caused the landslide at the Tiu Kelep waterfall in the north of the island.

Lombok was rocked by several earthquakes last summer, killing more than 500 people and leaving over 150,000 homeless.

Last September, the country was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island which killed around 2,200 people.

The Southeast Asian archipelago of some 17,000 islands is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth, straddling the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common.

AFP

Philippine Storm Death Toll Rises To 22

The Philippines on the map

 

At least 22 people died from a storm that swept through the central Philippine islands at the weekend, authorities said Sunday, with rescue operations underway in flood-inundated communities. 

The death toll rose from four a day after the storm brought heavy rain to the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions, causing massive flooding and landslides, the government’s office of civil defence said.

Many of the deaths were due to landslides and drowning, it added, saying floods had yet to recede even as the weather disturbance known locally as “Usman” weakened into a low-pressure area.

“Most of the (affected) areas are underwater. We are sending troops and rubber boats to rescue families. In some areas the floods have reached the roofs of homes,” Claudio Yucot, head of the Bicol region’s office of civil defence, told AFP.

At least 16 people died in Bicol while six others were killed in Eastern Visayas, civil defence officials said.

More than 22,000 people fled their homes ahead of the storm, which destroyed rice and corn crops and left some roads and bridges inaccessible, according to regional disaster officials.

Government forecasters said Sunday that heavy rain would continue over the next 24 hours in the northern Philippines.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The most powerful was Super Typhoon Haiyan which left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in 2013.

AFP