Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 10th 2014 Contents SRINAGAR---After nearly a week of
incessant rains and flooding that have
left hundreds of people dead in Pakistan
and the Indian state of Jammu and Kash-
mir, rescue operations have been strained
by the scale of the disaster and a collapse
in some areas of the communications
In the Kashmir Valley, people have been
stranded in homes, hospitals, hotels and
houseboats, at schools and on highways,
many going for days without food. Res-
idents have built rafts using planks of wood
with tires attached in an effort to evacuate
flooded neighbourhoods. Indian soldiers
who would otherwise be deployed for relief
work have instead stayed huddled on the
second floor of an army garrison, stranded
by water six feet deep.
Perhaps one of the most daunting devel-
opments in the relief effort has been the
collapse of communication systems, which
has hampered emergency medical workers
and separated families.
"The lack of communication is a major
setback because the commanding officer
cannot communicate with his own team,"
said Jaydeep Singh, a commanding officer
with India s National Disaster Response
He estimated that in Srinagar, the sum-
mer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, 70
per cent of the population of nearly 1.2
million had been affected by the floods.
In India, the death toll from the flooding
has risen above 150. In Pakistan, the death
toll rose to 231 on Tuesday, according to
government officials, as rescue efforts were
stepped up to reach stranded people across
dozens of districts.
At least 2,100 villages have been badly
affected by the flooding.
Thousands of villagers in central parts
of Punjab are depending on boats and res-
cue operations to save their lives and live-
stock. The floodwater is moving down-
stream and is expected to reach the
southern part of Sindh Province and the
south-western part of Baluchistan Province
by the end of the week, officials said.
Social media has been filled with frantic
posts about the location of trapped people.
"URGENT! Recvd v desperate call from
uncle at Jawaharnagar, near Gurudwara
Chowk. 3rd day w/o food, no help gone
there at all," read one message on Twitter.
The scale of the disaster has left many
frustrated and many people were turning
angry and agitated after being trapped for
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Dutch experts say Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
broke up in mid-air after being hit by "objects" that
"pierced the plane at high velocity" in July.
The new report also said there was "no evidence of
technical or human error." Correspondents say this
matches claims that MH17 was hit by missile shrapnel.
Investigators relied on cockpit data, air traffic control
and images, as the crash site in eastern Ukraine
remains too dangerous to access amid fighting
between government troops and rebels.
The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala
Lumpur when it crashed in rebel-held territory in
All 298 people on board, most of them from the
Netherlands, died when the plane came down, amid
reports it was shot down by pro-Russian rebels.
The report made no comment who might have fired
the missile. Both sides in this conflict use the same
weapon and to find out who was responsible
investigators would need to determine where the
missile was launched.
MH17 'hit by high-velocity objects, broke up in air'
The death toll from floods in India and Pakistan has passed 400 as authorities continue
efforts to rescue hundreds of thousands of stranded people. In India-administered Kashmir
some 175 people have been killed, many of them swept away by surging rivers. BBC PHOTO
Scale of flooding
UNITED NATIONS---The top UN envoy in Liberia
says at least 160 health workers have contracted
Ebola and 80 have died in the epidemic.
Karin Landgren called the outbreak a "latter-day
plague" that is growing exponentially. She told the
UN Security Council yesterday that most health
workers have gone for long stretches without proper
protective equipment, training or pay.
She said "local funeral rites that involve touching
and washing of the dead have led to countless new
deaths, and will need to be replaced with safer rituals,
requiring the commitment of religious and traditional
Liberia s Defence Minister Brownie Samukai told
the council that "Liberia is facing a serious threat to
its national existence."
He said "continued denial, traditional practices,
religious rituals, fear, and community resistance still
constitute obstacles to progress." (AP)
UN: Ebola has
killed 80 Liberian
NIGERIA---Fleeing residents say Boko Haram fight-
ers are patrolling 32 miles of the main road between
two of several towns the Islamic extremists have
seized in a 200-mile arc running alongside north-
east Nigeria s border with Cameroon.
A long-silent spokesman of Boko Haram called
reporters to say fighters have seized the village of
Mararaban Mubi, just outside Mubi town in Adamawa
state. Mubi became a centre for refugees who fled
fighting in the past year. Spokesman Abu Zinnira also
denied military claims that soldiers have retaken the
city of Bama, 45 miles from Maiduguri, birthplace of
Boko Haram and capital of Borno state.
The United States said it is launching a major border
security programme for Nigeria and its neighbours.
Fighting recently spilled over into Cameroon. (AP)
militants in Nigeria
the "Yes" and
the battle for
argue on the
Britain s left-leaning Labour
Party would be the biggest polit-
ical victim if the Scots declare
independence next week---it is
often joked there are more pandas
in Edinburgh s zoo than there are
Conservative Party lawmakers in
Scotland. Scottish voters elected
41 Labour members of Parlia-
ment in the 2010 election and
only one Conservative. There are
two pandas in the zoo.
If the next general election due
in May were held today, eliminat-
ing Scottish votes would give Prime
Minister David Cameron s Con-
servatives a 37-seat majority win.
That could drag Britain toward
yet another high-stakes vote---on
whether the country as a whole
should leave the EU. Cameron has
promised a referendum to appease
voters concerned about immigra-
tion and meddling by bureaucrats
in Brussels. Scotland has been very
pro-EU, so losing its votes would
weaken the camp that wants
Britain to stay.
Leaving the EU could have huge
consequences for Britain. The EU
guarantees freedom of movement
for people, goods and money, a
big advantage for companies that
want to do business across the
bloc, which with its 500 million
people is the world s largest com-
bined economy. If Britain were to
leave the bloc, multinational com-
panies that have their EU head-
quarters in London may seek to
relocate, taking money and jobs
Crucial times' in UK ahead of Scots vote
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