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Earthquake kills more than 100 in north-west China

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(picture BBC)

At least 111 people died and another 220 were injured following an earthquake in north-west China on Monday, state media report.

The quake struck in Gansu province around midnight (16:00 GMT), damaging buildings both there and in the neighbouring province of Qinghai. Rescue efforts were under way early on Tuesday morning.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake had a magnitude of 5.9 and a depth of 10km (six miles).

In a statement issued to officials, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said “all efforts should be made to carry out search and rescue, treat the injured in a timely manner, and minimise casualties”.

The central government has dispatched teams of rescue workers to assist local emergency personnel.

State media agency Xinhua says 100 people were killed and 96 were injured in Gansu, while 11 more were killed and 124 were injured in Qinghai.

Footage from the region showed rescuers searching through the rubble of collapsed buildings and debris on the floor of rooms whose ceilings had partially collapsed. Power and water supplies have also been disrupted in parts of the region.

China sits in a region where a number of tectonic plates – notably the Eurasian, Indian and Pacific plates – meet, and is particularly prone to earthquakes.

Last September, more than 60 people were killed when a 6.6-magnitude quake hit the southwestern Sichuan province.

(BBC)



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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US restricts travel for employees in Israel amid fears of Iran attack

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A view of the Tel Aviv skyline (BBC)

The United States has restricted travel for its employees in Israel amid fears of an attack by Iran.

The US embassy said staff had been told not to travel outside the greater Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Beersheba areas “out of an abundance of caution”.

Iran has vowed to retaliate, blaming Israel for a strike on its consulate in Syria 11 days ago, killing 13 people.

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has phoned his Iranian counterpart to urge against further escalation.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the consulate attack but is widely considered to have been behind it.

(BBC)

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