Archive for Saturday, May 4, 2002

World Briefs

May 4, 2002


Switzerland: Torrential rains cut road, rail links

Torrential rains caused floods and mudslides Friday in Switzerland and northern Italy, forcing the evacuation of some schools and homes and prompting an avalanche alert in the Alps.

Southern Switzerland, which has suffered a long drought and had a fire warning in its forests in place until a few days ago, got nearly 15 inches of rain during a 24-hour period more for this time of year than any other time since records began 50 years ago.

The key A2 highway, which passes through the Gotthard Tunnel in central Switzerland and is a major transit route between northern and southern Europe, was shut after four lanes were submerged by a mudslide. Nobody was hurt, but the closure was expected to last at least until today.

Nepal : Government kills 90 Maoist rebels

Security forces killed at least 90 Maoist guerrillas in western Nepal overnight, the government said Friday, days before the prime minister visits Washington to seek help in fighting the rebels.

The fighting represented one of the largest death tolls since King Gyanendra imposed a state of emergency Nov. 26 and ordered the army to clamp down on the rebels after they withdrew from peace talks and attacked government troops and offices.

The rebels want an end to the constitutional monarchy and sweeping reforms in land ownership. Their insurgency, inspired by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, has claimed more than 3,000 lives since it began in 1996.

Mexico City: 10 die in bus plunge

A bus plunged off a mountain highway south of Mexico City, killing 10 people, state officials said Friday.

Television images showed the battered Pullman de Morelos bus some 200 yards from the Mexico City-Cuernavaca toll road, with bits of metal scattered across the mountainside.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash, which happened at 11:30 p.m. Thursday as the bus was traveling toward Cuernavaca.

The Morelos state Attorney General's Office said that 10 people had died and 10 were injured in the crash. The identities and nationalities of those killed had not been released.

Bangladesh: Storms, lightning deadly

A week of tropical storms and lightning has killed at least 59 people and injured dozens more in Bangladesh, news reports said Friday.

The storms sweeping the Southeast Asian nation have left more than 5,000 people homeless since March 27, the United News of Bangladesh news agency reported.

Officials in the affected region could not be reached for comment, as telephone lines were knocked out.

The dead included 15 farmers killed by lightning while working in rice fields in pouring rain on Thursday in Brahmmanbaria, Sylhet and Sunamganj towns in a farming region 110 miles northeast of Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.