|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-05-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 8.500 Dead - 10.000 InjuredMassive Quake Struck China
12 May 2008 14:44:00
By Anna Kourti
Sources: Reuters, BBC, ÁNA-ÌPA
A massive earthquake, measuring 7.8 struck Sichuan province in central China killing over 8.500 people and injuring over 10.000. At least 900 students are trapped under the rubble of their school which collapsed in Juyuan town, in Chongqing region, 100km from the quakes epicenter. Two chemical plants are among the buildings collapsed in Shifang city, to the northeast of the quakes epicenter, burying hundreds of people and sending more than 80 tons of toxic liquid ammonia leaking from the site while 6.000 people fled the region, New China news agency reported. The temblor was felt as far away as Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Bangkok and Hanoi.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who flew to Chengdu immediately, said China needed "calm, confidence, courage and strong leadership"."We will definitely overcome this major disaster," he promised and urged for an all-out rescue effort. In Beijing, the spokesman of the Olympic games Orginizing Committee said that none of the Olympic venues was damaged. EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid said that the EU Commission was ready to help China if there is need.
According to a competent source the giant Three Gorges Dam across Chinas mighty Yangtze River was not affected although the earthquake was felt in the region of the 185m high cement wall holding 39 billion cubic meters of water.
Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis
 Environment Ministry AnnouncedMeasures against Pollution
12 May 2008 16:55:00
Sources: ÍÅÔ-ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA/ÌPA
Environment, Public Works and City Planning Minister, George Souflias among measures within the National Plan to Combat Environmental Pollution announced at noon today, he proposed economic incentives for the withdrawal of old technology cars, calculation of road taxes on the basis of environmental criteria, establishment of green ring, permission to local administration to impose tolls for the entrance of vehicles to central regions as well as measures concerning industries and central heating. Mr. Souflias, however, clarified that the Economics Ministry is competent to decided on the measure of economic incentives for the renewal of the vehicles fleet depending on the countrys financial capacity, while all other measures can be implemented till 2009 -2010 following talks with competent sectors
Green Road Tax
According to the study to combat pollution, cars over 15 years old must be withdrawn. Among measures is also change in calculation of road tax. Specifically, vehicles will be classified in 4 groups depending on level of emissions. Class A vehicles with no emissions will not pay road tax while for other vehicles there will rise in road tax with vehicles with higher level of emissions paying higher road tax. Each group of vehicles will have a different color road tax stamp to facilitate inspection.
In parallel, municipalities could proceed to implementation of green zone, that is a system to limit circulation of vehicles in central regions on the basis of gas emissions. The implementation of the same measure in Athens from 2010 is also being examined.
With regards green zone measure, group B, C and catalytic cars after 1993 will continue to run in the green zone according to the even and odd numbers system while group D vehicles could enter the green zone only at weekends. There will be no restrictions to enter green zone for group A vehicles.
Also the study allows a municipality to impose entrance tolls to central areas if it considers it necessary.
Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis