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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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Tiger population nearly doubles in Nepal

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KATHMANDU: Nepal’s wild tiger population has nearly doubled over the last nine years, officials said today, in a victory for the impoverished country’s drive to save the endangered big cats.
Wildlife groups have welcomed the news as a sign that political involvement and innovative conservation strategies can reverse the decline of the majestic Royal Bengal tiger.
A survey carried out earlier this year counted 235 tigers in Nepal, up from around 121 in 2009. Conservationists and wildlife experts used more than 4,000 cameras and around  600 elephants, trawling a 2,700-kilometre (1,700-mile) route across Nepal’s southern plains where the big cats roam.
“This is a result of concentrated unified efforts by the government along with the local community and other stakeholders to protect the tiger’s habitat and fight against poaching,” Man Bahadur Khadka, director general of Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation told the Media. 

 

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Environment

Australia kills four sharks after tourist attacks

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SYDNEY: Fourth large sharks have been killed in Australia after a woman and a 12-year-old girl were attacked at a popular Great Barrier Reef tourist spot.

Both were still in hospital Sunday after being mauled in separate incidents just a day apart last week at the Whitsunday Islands. Drum lines, which use baited hooks to catch the predators, ensnared four tiger sharks, one 3.7 metres (12 feet) long and the others each between two to three metres, a Fisheries Queensland spokesman said Sunday. “While sharks of this size are potentially very dangerous to humans, it is unclear if they were responsible for injuries caused to two swimmers,” he said. The latest shark to be caught “has been humanely euthanised and will be taken further out to sea for disposal.”
The spokesman said it was clear “there are a significant number of active sharks in local waters and people are urged not to swim”. The drumlines were to remain in place over the next week. Shark attacks are very rare in the Whitsundays – a collection of spectacular tropical islands at the heart of the Barrier Reef – with the last encounter reported to be eight years ago, according to national broadcaster ABC. The attacks have revived debate about how best to reduce the risk of encounters between sharks and the growing number of people using the ocean for leisure.
Many conservationists and marine scientists object to killing sharks, and insist that drum lines are a blunt instrument because they often catch other creatures. New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, has trialled non-lethal measures such as aerial drones to track sharks’ movements and “smart” drum lines that alert authorities to their presence.

 

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Environment

CM issues directions to cope with flood threats

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LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that keeping in view predictions of heavy rainfall and floods, all arrangements should be completed in order to cope with the threats.
He said that provincial and federal institutions concerned should work in an integrated manner to ensure the best arrangements for any emergency-like situation.
The CM said that all departments should perform their duties under the best coordination and keep close contact with the Meteorological Committee for Floods.
Information on climate situation should be received on a daily basis, he said and further directed the officials to devise an emergency plan regarding rain and expected floods. He said that he would personally supervise the arrangements and would not tolerate any laxity in this regard.

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