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Posts Tagged ‘emergency’

American jet makes emergency landing in Chile

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 5:22 am

A380 with blown engine in Singapore emergency landing

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 10:56 am

Russia declares emergency in battle to stop wildfires

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

MOSCOW, Aug 2, 2010 (AFP) – President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday declared a state of emergency in seven Russian regions over the worst wildfires in a generation as the death toll rose to 40.

Amid unusual public criticism that the authorities were slow to react to the spreading fires last week, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered regional governors at an urgent meeting to present a detailed reconstruction plan.

A Russian woman stands near the remains of her burnt out home in Voronezh on August 2, 2010. AFP

Medvedev declared the emergency in seven regions in European Russia — Mairi El, Mordovia, Vladimir, Voronezh, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Ryazan.

The decree allows the authorities to restrict public access to areas where their presence could pose a fire hazard, and to call on the armed forces to put out and prevent fires, according to a summary posted on the Kremlin website.

“Remember that any tossed away match can lead to an irreparable disaster. That is the way things are,” said Medvedev in a televised address.

“Our main task today is to help the victims return to normal life,” he added.

Putin also raised the possibility of calling in volunteers to reinforce the firefighters.

“Everyone and all our equipment are working to the limit…. If necessary, we could mobilise volunteers and personnel from businesses,” he said.

The health ministry said Monday that 40 people had died in the fires, raising the toll from 34.

The worst hit region has been Nizhny Novgorod with 19 deaths, but raging fires have also claimed lives in the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Moscow and Ryazan regions, the ministry added.

Russia’s Orthdox Patriarch Kirill I led a ceremony broadcast on television from Nizhny Novgorod, in which crowds of faithful prayed for rain.

At least 1,875 houses have been destroyed in fires, leaving more than 2,000 people homeless, the regional development ministry said Sunday, with around 128,000 hectares (316,000 acres) of land on fire.

On Monday alone, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said that wildfires in the southern Lipetsk region destroyed 50 homes after strong winds sent flames ripping through a village.

The emergencies ministry said that it had 155,000 people and more than 25,000 pieces of equipment on hand to fight what Medvedev has described as a once-in-a-generation catastrophe.

But the authorities have insisted they have the situation under control.

“Out of 1,200 fires, 620 have been extinguished, leaving 580” still burning, said Shoigu.

The Nizhny Novgorod branch of the emergency services said the fires were no longer spreading from the countryside to inhabited areas and the threat to towns and villages had been lifted.

Moscow itself was again blanketed Monday in a heavy smog generated from peat fires burning in the countryside, with the city centre permeated by a smell of smoke and the tops of skyscrapers invisible in the early morning.

Shoigu lashed out at residents for creating the conditions for fires with barbecues and camp fires during their weekend leisure activities.

“People need to understand… all the rules if they go into the forest. Our coming week of work depends on how they spent their days off.”

Putin, who has led the response to the disaster and visited some of the affected areas, issued stern instructions at a meeting with governors of the worst hit regions.

“I want plans of reconstruction for every region, every district, every house,” he said. “I want a list of all the injured signed by you — the governors,” he added.

The strongman, rarely criticised in Russia, found himself harangued by angry victims of the fires when he visited the Nizhny Novgorod region and later slammed local officials for their slack response.

A country notorious for its bitterly cold winters, Russia is enduring its severest heatwave for decades which has seen all-time temperature records tumble throughout July.

Forecasters have warned there is no chance of the heatwave relenting for the moment, with temperatures of between 35-42 degrees Celsius (95-107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) expected in Moscow and central Russia over the next days.

Source: SGGP

Bangkok to stay under emergency rule after blast: PM

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 at 3:18 am

BANGKOK, July 27, 2010 (AFP) – Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Tuesday that the authorities would maintain emergency rule in the capital following a deadly bombing over the weekend.

“I think Bangkok will remain under the state of emergency while the government will gradually lift the law in other provinces,” he told reporters after meeting security officials.

The bomb, which killed one person and wounded 10, exploded at a bus stop in the same commercial district occupied by anti-government “Red Shirt” protesters during a two-month-long rally that ended with an army crackdown in May.

The main opposition Puea Thai party accused government supporters of setting off the bomb, which shattered an uneasy calm in the capital since the army crushed the Red Shirts’ mass protests.

The government has come under pressure from the United States and rights groups to end a state of emergency still in place across one-fifth of the country.

Authorities have used the powers — introduced in Bangkok on April 7 — to arrest hundreds of Red Shirt suspects and silence anti-government media.

The protests by the Reds, many of whom back fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, attracted up to 100,000 people demanding immediate elections.

Ninety people died and about 1,900 were injured in a series of street clashes between armed troops and demonstrators.

Source: SGGP

Thailand lifts emergency rule in three provinces

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

BANGKOK, July 20, 2010 (AFP) – Thailand said Tuesday that it was lifting a state of emergency in three northern provinces but not in Bangkok, two months after the end of anti-government protests in the capital that turned deadly.

The emergency law, which bans public gatherings of more than five people and gives security forces the right to detain suspects for 30 days without charge, will remain in place in 16 other provinces.

Earlier this month Thailand extended the emergency powers across about one quarter of the country by three months, prompting concern among rights groups and key allies including the United States.

The cabinet decided Tuesday to revoke the state of emergency in Lampang, Roi Et and Sakon Nakhon provinces, in addition to five areas where the decree was recently lifted, said deputy government spokesman Supachai Jaismut.

“There are no political movements in those three provinces and local officials are confident that they can handle the situation,” he said.

In the 16 other provinces, security officials report continued political activities such as using community radio to incite unrest, as well as fears of sabotage and assassination attempts on important people, he added.

Two months of mass rallies by the Red Shirts, who were seeking immediate elections, sparked outbreaks of violence that left 90 people dead, mostly civilians, and nearly 1,900 injured, ending in a bloody army crackdown in May.

Critics say the government may be fanning the crisis as it clamps down and censors the protest movement — which broadly supports fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra — rather than addressing its grievances.

A visiting senior US envoy last week called for the state of emergency to be lifted “as soon as possible”.

William Burns, the State Department’s number three, said that to retain these powers indefinitely was “not healthy for a democratic system”.

The authorities have used the powers to arrest hundreds of suspects — including most of the top leaders of the “Red Shirt” protest movement — and shut down anti-government TV channels, radio stations and websites.

New York-based group Human Rights Watch said earlier this month the government was “systematically using” the emergency decree to hold suspects without charge for up to 30 days in unofficial places of detention.

Many detainees have been held at military camps but their exact numbers and whereabouts are unknown to their families, it said.

According to Human Rights Watch, putting detainees in the hands of security personnel who often lack training and experience in civilian law enforcement increases the risk of serious abuses.

The government has rejected calls from the opposition for the decree to be lifted in Bangkok for a parliamentary by-election in the capital on July 25 in which a Red Shirt leader detained on terrorism charges is running.

A separate state of emergency has been in place since 2005 in three Muslim-majority southern provinces where a separatist insurgency has left more than 4,100 people dead in six years, with no end in sight to the violence.

Source: SGGP

US hopes for quick end to Thai state of emergency

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

BANGKOK, July 16, 2010 (AFP) – A senior US envoy expressed hope Friday that a state of emergency imposed in parts of Thailand since April in response to violent street protests would be lifted “as soon as possible”.

But William Burns, the State Department’s number three, stressed that Thailand was able to find its own way out of the political crisis, reiterating US calls for a democratic and peaceful solution.

“Clearly the US hopes that the state of emergency … can be lifted as soon as possible,” Burns told reporters after discussions with Thai officials.

He said Americans had been “deeply saddened” by the violence and deaths suffered during the two months of opposition demonstrations in Bangkok that ended with a bloody army crackdown in May.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjaiva (R) shakes hand with William Burns at Government House in Bangkok on July 16, 2010. AFP

Ninety people, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 1,900 were injured in violence sparked by the anti-government “Red Shirt” rally.

The emergency powers — enabling authorities to detain suspects without charge for up to 30 days and shut down anti-government media — were extended last week for three more months in Bangkok and 18 other provinces.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has set out a five-point reconciliation plan, which the US Congress has said should form the basis of efforts by all parties in Thailand to resolve their differences.

The next stop on Burns’ regional tour will be Phnom Penh on Saturday for events marking the 60th anniversary of relations between Cambodia and the United States.

He is then set to head to Indonesia, with which President Barack Obama has been seeking stronger ties, and will round off his trip on Monday and Tuesday in the Philippines, another close US ally, for talks with the new administration of President Benigno Aquino.

Source: SGGP

Mobile emergency aid groups established

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Long Ho District’s Red Cross Association in the Mekong Delta Province of Vinh Long has established 13 roving emergency aid teams to take patients to health clinics for treatment.

Each of the teams, that will work free of charge, includes 10-15 volunteers.

The association has organized to train the volunteers in first aid to help patients when necessary.

Source: SGGP

Thailand prolongs emergency rule over swathes of country

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

BANGKOK, July 6, 2010 (AFP) – Thailand on Tuesday extended by three months a state of emergency across about one quarter of the country, including Bangkok, due to lingering fears of unrest following deadly protests.

AFP/File – A Thai soldier stands guard in front of a portrait of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in central Bangkok

The move comes despite warnings from human rights campaigners that the authorities’ use of the sweeping emergency powers lacks transparency and suppresses freedom of expression.

The emergency decree, imposed in April after a mass opposition rally began in the capital, will be maintained for three more months in 19 provinces — out of a total of 76 — but lifted in five others, officials said.

“The cabinet endorsed the lifting of the state of emergency in five provinces,” deputy government spokesman Supachai Jaismut said. “Emergency rule will still be imposed in the rest.”

The strict laws ban public gatherings of more than five people and give security forces the right to detain suspects for 30 days without charge.

Two months of mass anti-government protests by the “Red Shirt” movement, pushing for immediate elections, sparked outbreaks of violence that left 90 people dead, mostly civilians, and nearly 1,900 injured.

The government rejected a call from the opposition for the emergency decree to be revoked for a parliamentary by-election in Bangkok on July 25.

A Red Shirt leader detained on charges of terrorism is running in the vote as a candidate for the opposition Puea Thai Party.

Security officials on Monday proposed extending the state of emergency, warning that some weapons seized during the anti-government protests were still missing.

But a leading think-tank, International Crisis Group, voiced concern Monday that the emergency laws had empowered authorities to stifle the anti-government movement and should be lifted at once.

“While the Red Shirts have no opportunity for open and peaceful expression because of draconian laws, their legitimate frustrations are being forced underground and possibly towards illegal and violent actions,” ICG said.

Thailand should lift the law “or risk further damaging its democracy, hindering much needed reconciliation, and sowing the seeds of future deadly conflict,” the Brussels-based group said in a report.

Enraged protesters went on a rampage of arson after a deadly army crackdown ended their rally on May 19. The unrest also spread outside the capital, particularly in the Reds’ stronghold in Thailand’s impoverished northeast.

The five provinces where emergency rule will be lifted are Si Sa Ket, Kalasin, Nan, Nakhon Sawan and Nakhon Pathom, scattered around north, northeast and central Thailand.

Source: SGGP

Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency in Jalalabad

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

BISHKEK, May 19, 2010 (AFP) – The Kyrgyz interim government on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the southern city of Jalalabad following clashes between rival ethnic groups and police that left two people dead.

People walk near burnout house of Kyrgyz’s President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in village Teyit, near Jalalabad on May 15, 2010. AFP photo

“To ensure the security of citizens, the quickest possible normalisation of the situation and a return to public order, the decision has been taken to establish a state of emergency from today to June 1,” it said in a statement.

The decree, signed by interim government head Roza Otunbayeva, will establish a curfew from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am local time.

Two people were killed in fresh clashes between rival ethnic groups in south Kyrgyzstan earlier Wednesday, as the interim government struggled to impose order after a revolt that ousted former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in the Central Asian state last month.

Source: SGGP

Thai cabinet holds emergency meeting on crisis

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thailand‘s cabinet held an emergency meeting Sunday after a warning that its long-running standoff with anti-government “Red Shirts” in Bangkok could deteriorate into an “undeclared civil war.”

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in his weekly television address that the meeting at a military base would focus on rules of engagement for security forces, but sought to reassure the public he had a plan to defuse the crisis.

“I have already decided what steps to take, but I need to make sure it will be successful and have the least negative effect as possible,” Abhisit said.

“I have to make sure that it will be a sustainable solution. It will take time, but there will be effective measures,” he added.

“After I do all of this, I will announce what I have decided to do about demands for parliament’s dissolution.”

A Thai Red Shirt anti-government protester monitors police movement from a fortyfied camp in the financial central district of Silom in downtown Bangkok on May 2, 2010.

The Red Shirts have occupied sections of Bangkok since mid-March in their bid to force snap elections, with 27 people killed and nearly 1,000 injured, in the capital’s worst political violence in almost two decades.

Amid the simmering tensions, top think-tank the International Crisis Group (ICG) said Thailand must consider mediation from other countries to avoid a slide into further violence, a step which Abhisit rejected.

“The Thai political system has broken down and seems incapable of pulling the country back from the brink of widespread conflict,” said the ICG in a report released Friday.

“The stand-off in the streets of Bangkok between the government and Red Shirt protesters is worsening and could deteriorate into an undeclared civil war,” it added.

The report suggested forming a neutral negotiation committee with help from international figures such as East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta, a Nobel laureate who recently met Abhisit in Bangkok.

“Many countries are confused and ask why there is no negotiation. I talked to the premier of Timor and I listened to his advice that we need two ways to solve the problem,” Abhisit said in his television address.

“The first is that the government must stop anyone who acts against the law. The second one is the government must not ignore the needs of the people.”

The demonstrations are the latest chapter in years of turmoil pitting the ruling elite against the Reds, who say the government came to power illegitimately in 2008.

Many of the Reds come from Thailand’s rural poor and urban working classes and support former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and now lives overseas to avoid a jail term for corruption.

The Reds have faced heavy criticism after about 100 supporters raided Bangkok‘s Chulalongkorn hospital Thursday evening in the mistaken belief it sheltered security forces preparing a crackdown.

The Reds claim the hospital was used in an April 22 grenade attack, during a standoff between pro- and anti-government supporters, that killed one person and wounded dozens.

The government said the grenades were fired from inside the Reds’ camp — an accusation the movement has denied.

Protest leaders on Saturday slammed management at Chulalongkorn hospital, saying its chaotic evacuation of patients after it was stormed by Red Shirts was a ploy to make the protesters look bad.

Abhisit said Sunday that his government had asked authorities to keep the hospital running, even if it sparked violence.

“We know that operation brings a risk of clashes and losses but the government knows what we have to,” he said.

About 70 bomb and grenade attacks have been carried out by unknown parties in Bangkok since the Reds began the street protests in mid-March, according New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Source: SGGP