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7.3 magnitude earthquake along Iran-Iraq border kills 407, injures 6,700 more

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TEHRAN: The 7.3 magnitude earthquake, that rocked northern border region between Iran and Iraq at 9.20 pm local time yesterday (Sunday, 12th of November), killed at least 400 people and left 6,700 more injured on Sunday (12th of November).

Thirty Red Cross teams had been sent to quake zone and rescue operations continued throughout the Sunday night to salvage people stuck under the debris. 

But the earthquake in this mountainous region had triggered landslides that is hindering the aid assistance. 

Iran’s emergency services chief Pir Hossein Koolivand said it was difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads had been cut off due to landslides.

According to US Geological Survey, the magnitude of earthquake was 7.3, while an Iraqi meteorology official stated it to be 6.5 with the epicenter in Penjwin in Sulaimaniyah province near Iran border.

Electricity was cut off in many cities of Iran and Iraq after the earthquake. Despite cold weather, people fearing aftershocks refused to go back to their damaged buildings. Tremors were also felt in southeastern Turkey where people fled their homes.

 

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Monsoon Plantation: PTC to give free saplings!

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PESHAWAR: To increase forests cover and trees in the country, Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) has announced giving out trees for free to people intending to plant at their homes or workplaces.

According to details  PTC has set up four nurseries in Pakistan for distribution of free trees among people. The tree species which will be given for free to people include pine, Sukh Chain, kachnar, arjun, bakain etc.

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Loss of Earth’s intact forests speeds up

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PARIS: Earth’s intact forests shrank annually by nearly 90,000 square kilometres – an area the size of Austria – from 2014 to 2016, 20 per cent faster than during the previous 13 years, according to findings presented at a conference in Oxford this week.

Despite UN-led efforts to halt deforestation, nearly ten per cent of undisturbed forests have been fragmented, degraded or simply chopped down since 2000, according to the analysis of satellite imagery. Average daily loss over the first 17 years of this century was more than 200 sq km (75 sq miles)

“Degradation of intact forest represents a global tragedy, as we are systematically destroying a crucial foundation of climate stability,” said Frances Seymour, a senior distinguished fellow at the World Resources Institute, and a contributor to the research. “Forests are the only safe, natural, proven and affordable infrastructure we have for capturing and storing carbon.”

The last forest frontiers also play a critical role in maintaining biodiversity, weather stability, clean air, and water quality. Some 500 million people worldwide depend directly on forests for their livelihood.

So-called “intact forest landscapes” – which can include wetlands and natural grass pastures – are defined as areas of at least 500 sq km (200 sq miles) with no visible evidence in satellite images of large-scale human use.

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Floods kill 18 in Ivory Coast

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ABIDjAN: Flooding caused by overnight torrential rain killed 18 people in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The downpour which started at 11:00 pm on Monday continued until 6:00 am on Tuesday, causing flash floods up to 2.5 metres (more than eight feet) deep. Rescue teams saved 136 people, two people were hospitalised, and searches were under way for other casualties, he said, adding that emergency medical centres had been set up across the seaside city. A city of five million, Abidjan suffers from infrastructure problems and many homes are built in flood-prone areas.

The affected areas ranged from the posh Cocody neighbourhood, where many embassies and the presidential palace are located, to the teeming working-class Yopougon neighbourhood. “Many residents are perched on the roofs of their homes,” Fiacre Kili, the head of the civil protection agency said.

In Cocody and neighbouring Riviera, several homes were flooded and boundary walls toppled, with many cars washed away from driveways, an AFP correspondent said. “I have never seen anything like this in my life,” said a resident, whose car was swept 600 metres from the house.

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