A day of death, disease and disaster

Aug 25, 2016 08.30AM |

MORE than 70 people are dead in two earthquakes that struck in central Italy and Myanmar yesterday (Aug 24). In Italy, the 6.2-magnitude quake was the strongest since 2009, during which more than 300 people in the city of L’Aquila were killed.

Hardest hit this time was the town of Amatrice, home of the popular pasta sauce amatriciana. Said its mayor: “Half the village has disappeared.”

In Myanmar, at least three people were killed by a separate quake incident which also damaged about 100 ancient Buddhist pagodas in Bagan. The former capital of Myanmar is also a major tourist site.

Meanwhile in India, heavy monsoon rains have caused the Ganges river to burst its banks, flooding villages and claiming at least 300 lives. About 6 million people have been affected after the floods destroyed power and phone lines, roads, crops and left villages submerged in water, officials said.

Closer to home, we’re worrying about deaths at work. Workplace fatality rate is expected to rise this year from 1.9 to 2.2 per 100,000 workers, with already 48 deaths recorded so far, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say at a workplace safety conference yesterday.

Most of the deaths were related to unsafe practices by workers and a lack of safety measures by companies.

Moving on to disease: A pre-school in Bukit Batok began screening its pupils and staff yesterday after a teacher was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) last week.

The Little Greenhouse located in Bukit Batok St 31 has 104 children – from 18 months to six years old. Screening began only yesterday because the assessment by Tan Tock Seng’s TB Control Unit took time, and permission was needed from the children’s parents, said an executive of the school’s parent company, Global EduHub.

From 10am to 10pm today, members of the public may pay their last respects to Mr S R Nathan at Parliament House, where his body will remain before the State Funeral tomorrow.

The funeral tomorrow will be held at the University Cultural Centre from 3pm to 5pm.

If you have time to read only one tribute to the former president today, make it the one by Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan, who spoke at his wake yesterday. Read it here.


Featured image from TMG file.

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