|Friday, 23 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 05-01-03
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- Eight days after a giant tsunami struck Asia, relief workers faced "absolute chaos" in Indonesia's Aceh province today as a 2 billion dollar operation to help disaster victims fought to get off the ground.
-- The death toll from the Asian tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia on Dec. 26, stood at 144,887 people, government and health officials said.
-- A suicide bomber posing as a taxi driver killed three people near the headquarters of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's party in Baghdad today as insurgents pressed a bloody campaign to disrupt a Jan. 30 election.
-- The government abruptly raised the price of fuel today by up to four cents a litre.
 QUAKE DEVELOPEight days after a giant tsunami struck Asia, relief workers faced "absolute chaos" in Indonesia's Aceh province today as a 2 billion dollar operation to help disaster victims fought to get off the ground.
Aid workers struggled to help thousands huddled in makeshift camps in the province in northern Sumatra where two thirds of the 144,000 killed across the region died, and to reach remote areas after roads and airstrips were washed away.
U.S. helicopters began shuttling injured refugees, many of them children, out of some of the worst hit parts of Aceh.
The pilots skimmed low over flattened villages and jungle looking for signs of life, touching down briefly to collect the badly injured and fling out packages of food and water.
Across southern Asia logjams began to ease at airports bursting with hundreds of tonnes of emergency supplies but relief workers faced a logistical nightmare in distributing them.
The same bleak picture faced aid workers in Sri Lanka, the second worst-hit nation with nearly 30,000 dead, said Margareta Wahlstrom, United Nations special envoy for tsunami relief.
The U.N. said 1.8 million survivors needed food in tsunami-hit areas but the world's response in money and resources gave grounds for hope as dehydration, disease and hunger threatened to add to the already huge death toll.
World Bank president James Wolfensohn said his agency could double or triple the 250 million dollar it has promised for regional reconstruction, and would also be looking at debt relief for the poor nations worst affected by the disaster.
"The international system is working," U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland said in New York.
Hundreds of fresh foreign troops poured into Aceh in a race to stop the outbreak of killer diseases among survivors of the tsunami, triggered by a huge earthquake off Sumatra on Dec. 26.
UNICEF said it had reports of children dying of pneumonia in Aceh. Many in refugee camps were sick from a variety of ailments, as well as terrible wounds sustained when the tsunami hit.
In Banda Aceh and other towns, thousands of rotten corpses still lay in the streets. A Health Ministry official said he had no reports of a cholera outbreak, but the risk was very high.
More than 100,000 people are living in temporary shelters and camps in Indonesia alone, many suffering from diarrhoea, fever, respiratory infections, headaches and stomach problems.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Jeb Bush, the American president's brother, headed to the region to help assess reconstruction needs.
An aid conference called in Jakarta for Thursday was starting to draw leaders from around the world including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was expected to appeal for more relief.
In Thailand, where the known death toll is close to 5,000, teams searching for bodies zeroed in on the hardest hit areas as Thai and Japanese navy ships scoured the seas for more dead.
Nearly 4,000 people are still missing in Thailand, including more than 1,600 foreigners, many of them Scandinavians.
 QUAKE TOLLThe death toll from the Asian tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia on Dec. 26, stood at 144,887 people, government and health officials said.
Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India were the hardest hit. Indonesia's health minister said the toll in his country was likely to be more than 100,000.
The Indian government said there are 15,160 dead or presumed dead.
Numbers of injured were not available for all countries affected, but are expected to exceed the number of dead.
 SECOND MISSIONA second mission by the Cypriot section of the international organisation "Doctors of the World" arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka today, carrying two and a half tonnes of humanitarian aid to assist the victims of the quake stricken areas.
Accompanying the doctors are also representatives of the Kykkos Monastery who are also carrying with them humanitarian aid offered by the monastery.
Doctor Yiannis Taliotis who is already in Sri Lanka with in the first mission told CyBC that they continue examinations and vaccinations. He also said things are slowly returning to normal and rejected information that there has been an outbreak of cholera and yellow fever. Dr. Taliotis stressed that the people need food, water and medicine.
 IRAQA suicide bomber posing as a taxi driver killed three people near the headquarters of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's party in Baghdad today as insurgents pressed a bloody campaign to disrupt a Jan. 30 election.
The bomber tried to ram his car through a checkpoint on a road leading to the party's offices in western Baghdad but collided with a police pick-up truck and exploded, setting nearby vehicles ablaze and sending up plumes of black smoke.
The blast, which killed two policemen and a bystander and wounded 25 people, came a day after insurgents exposed the vulnerability of Iraq's fledgling security forces with a suicide bombing that killed 25 National Guards north of Baghdad.
The attacks were the latest in a spree of bombings and assassinations by Sunni rebels seeking to drive out U.S.-led forces, cripple the American-backed interim government and scare voters away from the polls.
 FUEL UPThe government abruptly raised the price of fuel today by up to four cents a litre.
The increase will go to the Cypriot organisation to handle fuel reserves. President of the Petrol station owners association Bambinos Charalambous said the increase was announced last night and went into effect today.
 ROBBERY BANKPolice has launched a manhunt for the culprits of a bank robbery this morning at the Co-Op Bank of Aridiou village.
According to information, two persons, believed to be Cypriots, entered the bank and bearing guns, took around 25 thousand pounds from the cashiers and pushed a female auditor who was in the bank at the time, slightly injuring her.
Residents of the area who were alerted were outside the bank and tried to stop the robbers who shot at one of them, slightly injuring him on the thigh.
They boarded a mitsubishi vehicle driven by a third person and abandoned it on the side of a river before setting it alight.
They abandoned the scene on a green Nissan Patrol vehicle and headed towards Paliomeho village.
 KIOSKKiosk owner Fivos Michaelides from Limassol, is in critical condition and on a respirator after being bludgeoned last night by a stranger at his kiosk in Limassol who tried to rob him.
His wife told Police that Michaelides was hit by an unknown hooded assailant around one thirty in the morning when he went to the back of the kiosk before closing time. The assailant left without any money since Michaelides did not have any at the time.
 ERDOGAN COMMENTSTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Turks not to listen to comments that Turkey will lose Cyprus with its accession to the EU.
Speaking at a gathering of his Justice and Development Party, Mr. Erdogan said no one has the right to make any assumptions on the EU's decision on Turkey.
He said the aim is Turkey's full accession to the EU and no one has the right to deviate from this aim, adding that Ankara will solve the Cyprus problem through the UN.
 WEATHERThis afternoon the weather will be clear with passing cloud which will give some light rain. Winds will be south-westerly to westerly moderate, force three to four and the sea slight to moderate in windward areas. Tonight it will remain clear with cloud and some rain over the coasts. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, force three and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to five degrees inland, nine on the coasts and three over the mountains.