And in the Rest of the World: Natural Disasters

Aug 27, 2016 11.00AM |

NEVER mind terrorists. Mother Nature can pack a hefty punch too. In Asia, she made the earth move and turned parts of India and Myanmar into a pile of rubble. She didn’t spare historic sites such as the centuries-old Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar’s ancient capital Bagan.  She did the same for Italy, unleashing a 6.2 magnitude earthquake.

In the United States, she’s flooded wide stretches of southern Louisiana with more than two feet of water.

Use the map below to track Mother Nature’s work this week. Our selection of quotes shows the destruction that Man can do too.

Frenchman charged with murder of British backpacker at Australia hostel

“There’s no one that can view that CCTV that doesn’t come away feeling sick to the stomach. It’s absolutely horrific.”

— Superintendent Ray Rohweder, regional crime co-ordinator in Australia’s Northern Region

On Thursday (Aug 25), Frenchman Smail Ayad, 29, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, 12 counts of serious assault and one count of serious animal cruelty. He stabbed British backpacker Miss Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, to death on Tuesday night (Aug 23) at a hostel in Home Hill in Townsville, Queensland. One other backpacker, Mr Chris Porter, said to The Telegraph that the alleged knifeman, Miss Ayliffe-Chung, and himself had been staying in the same room. Authorities have played down any links to terrorism while they investigate whether Mr Ayad had an obsession or was infatuated with Miss Ayliffe-Chung.

Would-be child suicide bomber in Iraq caught

“They tell them if they do this, they will go to heaven and have a good time and get everything that they ever wanted”

— Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk Governorate, on how ISIS brainwashed the child

On Sunday (Aug 21), Iraqi police stopped Hussein, 15, a would-be child suicide bomber for ISIS in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. The child was on his way to the Shia mosque when he was nabbed by security guards who noticed something off with him and were on the alert for suspicious behaviour after a suicide bomb attack occurred just an hour before. Recently, ISIS has been increasingly deploying child suicide bombers to stage attacks in Iraq and Syria.

16 dead in Kabul raid on a university

“Everyone looked around the room looking for an escape… We have an emergency exit area in the corner of the campus. It’s like a gate that opens when people need to get out of campus. Everyone was running out of there.”

—An anonymous student at the scene, on what happened when they heard the first blast during a lecture

A nearly ten-hour long attack on the American University in Kabul which began Wednesday evening (Aug 24) has left at least 16 dead, including eight students and injuring 53 others. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack where gunmen detonated explosives and fired guns, causing students to flee or find a safe place to hide in the university. The attack comes after the abduction of two university employees – an American and an Australian – at gunpoint near the institution a few weeks ago. Kabul police have since described the attack as “complex”.

Truck driver playing Pokemon Go kills woman in Japan 

“The driver is still in custody. No decision has been made yet on whether to proceed with a prosecution”

— A spokesman for the Tokushima prefectural police

A 39-year-old truck driver hit two elderly female pedestrians in the Japanese city of Tokushima on Wednesday (Aug 24) at around 7.35pm, killing the older one and seriously injuring the other. Farmer Mr Keiji Goo told police he was distracted by Pokemon Go and was not paying attention to the wheel when he hit Ms Sachiko Nakanishi, 72, and Ms Kayoko Ikawa, 60 . This is the first Pokemon Go related death in Japan. Niantic and Nintendo, the companies behind the game, expressed condolences to the victim’s families and said they were working to “create an environment where people can play the game safely.”

North Korea’s successful missile tests

“This poses a grave threat to Japan’s security, and is an unforgivable act that damages regional peace and stability markedly” 

— Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

On Wednesday (Aug 24), at around 5.30am local time, North Korea launched a ballistic missile off a submarine from the coastal city of Sinpo. The missile is believed to have flown around 500 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan, marking the first time a North Korean missile has entered Japan’s air defence identification zone. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un considered the missile test to be the “greatest success and victory” according to the state-run news agency. The country’s alarming development in missile technology has shook the foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea, and China, who came together in Tokyo to condemn North Korea’s missile launch earlier in the day.

Featured image planet-earth-space by Flickr user Adamo CorazzaCC BY-ND 2.0. 

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