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Floods kill 37 in China’s northeast: media

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 7:18 am

The death toll from floods sweeping through northeastern China has risen to 37, state media said Saturday, as the country continues to battle the worst floods in a decade.

Torrential rains in Jilin province have left a further 35 missing as more than 364,000 people were evacuated from waterlogged areas, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The weather bureau has predicted more heavy rain for the central and eastern parts of the hard-hit province, with experts warning of further flooding and landslides.

Water, electricity and telecommunications services were cut in parts of the province, while train services in the town of Kouqian were suspended after the railway station was surrounded by flood waters, previous reports said.

More than 95,500 buildings have been damaged in the floods, with 25,400 destroyed, Xinhua said.

A general view shows the town of Kouqian in China’s Jilin province, on July 28

Floods up to three metres (10 feet) deep in some places submerged factories and houses, reports said earlier this week, before the waters receded to about one metre.

Elsewhere in Jilin, hundreds of workers scrambled to recover 3,000 barrels full of explosive chemicals that were washed by flood waters into the Songhua River, a major waterway.

Water supplies to the nearby city of Jilin were temporarily cut after the incident on Wednesday, leaving 4.3 million people dependent on bottled water.

A total of 7,000 barrels were washed into the river, with 2,500 containing the chemical trimethyl chloro silicane — a highly explosive, colorless liquid — while 500 contained the compound hexamethyl disilazane, Xinhua said.

About 3,700 barrels had been recovered by Friday afternoon, the report said, but it was not clear how many of them contained the chemicals.

Jilin is the latest province to have been hit by recent deadly floods that have killed more than 300 people since July 14 and left another 300 missing, according to the latest official figures.

Until now, torrential rains have mostly hit China’s south, swelling the Yangtze River — the nation’s longest waterway — and some of its tributaries to dangerous levels.

In the far-western Xinjiang region, rescuers were trying to reach 700 residents, construction workers and tourists trapped by floods.

Floodwaters have damaged three bridges and a dozen buildings in Kuqa county in the central part of the region, with more than 13,000 people from the area preparing to reinforce dykes to contain floods.

The worst floods in a decade have left 991 dead and 558 missing since the beginning of the year and caused more than 28 billion dollars in damage, latest official figures show, and authorities have warned of more to come.

Source: SGGP

Huu Loc, comedian and impresario, dead at 37

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

Popular comedian and impresario Huu Loc died on May 17 in a traffic accident on 12 in Ho Chi Minh City at the age of 37.  

(File) Comedian Huu Loc (L) performs at Nu Cuoi Moi Theater

Born in the southern metropolis in 1973, Loc graduated from the Ho Chi Minh City College of Stage Arts (the former name of the HCMC University of Stage and Cinema).

Loc, who was most famous for his work at the Nu Cuoi Moi (New Smile) Theater, was the younger brother of famous stage actor Huu Chau of Idecaf Theater.

He was also the nephew of famed veteran comedian Bao Quoc and the late resounding cai luong actress Thanh Nga.

He founded the Nu Cuoi Moi Theater in 2005 and has created opportunities for young artists in a series of comedies that attracted tens thousands of viewers over the last several years.

Fans were shocked at Loc’s untimely death. They have gathered at his house to express their gratitude and condolences to Loc’s wife and two children, only at 9 and 5.

His body is being kept at his house C59 Nguyen Trai in District 1. The coffin will leave the house at 6 am on May 20 for cremation.

Source: SGGP

UK donates £37 mln for education, fighting poverty

In Vietnam Education on October 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

Britain will provide Vietnam £37 million (US$59 million) to reduce poverty and enhance quality schooling through its Department for International Development, an official said on September 30.

Sue Wardell, the DFID’s regional director for Northeast Asia, said £20 million would go towards the Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) and the rest for the School Education Quality Assurance Program (SEQAP), a full-day schooling program in Vietnam.

The latter aims to improve the quality of primary education and help children from disadvantaged groups access quality education through 2013. It is a joint program with the World Bank and Belgium.

The Poverty Reduction Support Credit will be transferred to the Government, enabling it to tackle pressing needs like mitigating the impact of the global economic crisis.

Source: SGGP

37 killed in fire at Kazakh drug rehab clinic

In World on September 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Fire roared through a drug treatment center in Kazakhstan with a history of safety violations, killing 37 people Sunday as patients tried to escape through barred windows, officials said.

The blaze broke out around 5:30 a.m. (2330 GMT, 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday) and quickly spread through the single-story Soviet-era building. About 40 people were evacuated from the building, emergency officials said.

“I heard them screaming for 20 minutes. They were screaming ‘Save us, save us,” said a woman who lives across the street, who gave her name only as Fatima.

The cause of the fire about 120 miles (200 kilometers) north of Almaty, the country’s largest city, was not immediately known. Locked doors on wards and bars on the windows blocked some potential escape routes, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Bozhko said.

He said inspectors had found a number of violations in the 7,000-square-foot (650-square-meter) building during a visit in May and that the building had no alarm system. Some of the violations had been fixed, but work on installing an alarm system hadn’t begun, he said.

At the city morgue, a sister of one of the victims berated police.

“They came and took him away because he was drinking too much. They said they were taking him away for six months to cure him of alcoholism but now he’s dead,” she wailed.

Prime Minister Karim Masimov ordered the creation of a commission to investigate the incident, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

Violations of safety regulations are common in much of the former Soviet Union and fatal fires are frequent. A 2006 fire at a drug treatment facility in Moscow killed 45 women.

There have been almost 10,000 fires in Kazakhstan in the first eight months of 2009, according to government statistics.

Source: SGGP