Morocco earthquake is region's strongest and 'exceptional'

News Network
September 9, 2023

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A rare, powerful earthquake that struck Morocco late Friday night, killing hundreds of people and damaging historic buildings, was "exceptional", according to an expert. According to latest reports at least 632 people died and 329 were injured in the quake.

Residents of Marrakech, the nearest big city to the epicentre, said some buildings had collapsed in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and local television showed pictures of a fallen mosque minaret with rubble lying on smashed cars.

Earthquakes are relatively rare in North Africa. Speaking to Moroccan news network 2M TV, Lahcen Mhanni, Head of the Seismic Monitoring and Warning Department at the National Institute of Geophysics, said, "Mountainous regions in general do not produce earthquakes of this size,” he said. "It is the strongest earthquake recorded in the region.”

In 1960, a magnitude 5.8 tremor struck near the Moroccan city of Agadir and caused thousands of deaths. The Agadir quake prompted changes in construction rules in Morocco, but many buildings, especially rural homes, are not built to withstand such tremors.

Shallow quakes more dangerous

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 when it hit at 11.11pm (3.11am UAE time), with shaking that lasted several seconds. The US agency reported a magnitude-4.9 aftershock hit 19 minutes later.

The USGS said the epicentre was 18 kilometres below the Earth’s surface, while Morocco’s seismic agency put it at 8 kilometres down. In either case, such shallow quakes are more dangerous.

The epicentre of Friday's tremor was high in the Atlas Mountains, roughly 70 kilometres south of Marrakech. It was also near Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa and Oukaimeden, a popular Moroccan ski resort.

The quake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria, according to the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere and Algeria's Civil Defense agency, which oversees emergency response.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 20,2024

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Mangaluru, June 20: In a remarkable display of quick thinking, a young girl saved her classmate from electrocution in Ira village, near Mudipu, on the outskirts of Mangaluru.

Sharafiya, a fifth-grade student at the government primary school in Ira, received an electric shock while turning off a fan during lunch break. 

Her classmate, Fatimatul Ashfiya, noticed her leaning motionless against the wall and immediately took action. Fatimatul flung her lunch plate at Sharafiya's hand, breaking the electric contact and preventing further harm. Sharafiya sustained only a minor bruise on her hand.

Sonika, the school's headmistress, praised the girl’s quick response, saying, “When Sharafiya experienced an electric shock, Fatimatul Ashfiya displayed bravery and prevented a potentially fatal incident.”

Fatimatul's father, Mujib Rehman, expressed immense pride in his daughter’s courageous act, acknowledging her life-saving intervention.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Shocking details have emerged from the probe into the murder of a man who allegedly made derogatory comments against the friend and co-star of leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy (33) drew the wrath of Darshan for making lewd comments against Pavithra Gowda on her social media posts.

"It was Pavithra who instigated Darshan to punish Renukaswamy. Accordingly, the plan was hatched," they said.

Renukaswamy hailed from Lakshmi Venkateshwara Layout in Chitradurga and worked with a pharmacy company.

"Darshan engaged the Chitradurga unit of Darshan Fan Club Convenor Raghavendra alias Raghu, who obtained all information about Renukaswamy." Renukaswamy's wife Sahana said Raghavendra picked up her husband on Friday night from near their house.

The victim was abducted and taken to a shed in Kamakshipalya area in Bengaluru, the sources said.

"Darshan beat up Renukaswamy with a belt. After he fell unconscious, his accomplices thrashed him with sticks. Further, they threw him against a wall, which proved fatal," they said adding there were multiple bone fractures all over his body.

After he died, his body was dumped in a stormwater drain.

A food delivery boy who noticed dogs eating a human body alerted the police.

When the police were working on the case, two accused approached Kamakshipalya police and "confessed" to having killed Renukaswamy over a financial dispute.

As the investigation progressed, police found out Darshan and Pavithra's involvement.

Darshan, his friend and film actress Pavithra Gowda, and 11 others were arrested in connection with Renukaswamy's murder on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old actor has been remanded to six days' police custody by a court. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 18,2024

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Mangaluru, June 18: A much-needed move towards digitisation in the private bus sector in Dakshina Kannada district will likely be witnessed.

In an initiative spearheaded by the Dakshina Kannada Bus Owners’ Association (DKBOA), private buses will soon accept UPI payments from passengers, aiming to enhance convenience and efficiency of bus travel in the coastal region.

This is the second transport system after KSRTC to digitise ticketing system in Karnataka.

As part of an upgrade, private buses will also be equipped with GPS systems, allowing for real-time tracking and improved service management. The introduction of UPI payment options will enable passengers to purchase tickets online during their journey, streamlining the ticketing process.

Previously, private bus operators introduced the 'Chalo Cashless Cards', which has been well received by commuters for offering significant discounts.

In a media interaction, Association president Aziz Parthipady noted the success of 'Chalo Cards', which offer a 60 per cent fare discount to students and are distributed free of charge to those with valid identification.

'Chalo Cards' are prepaid bus travel cards available from designated offices throughout Mangaluru, making it easy for students to benefit from discounted fares.

According to the new update with the UPI option being introduced, the 'Chalo Cards' held by students would be continued as DKBOA Student Cards.

With this upgrade on the cards, the Dakshina Kannada District Bus Owners' Association is trying to improve the overall travel experience while ensuring the highest standards of passenger safety across all its operations. 

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