Three persons missing in lethal mudslides in California

In recent developments in the deadly California mudslides, three people were reported as missing. Searchers looked through the rubble and debris in Montecito. 20 people have been reported to be killed by the onslaught of these mudslides.
Among these people were John Cantin, 17 and Faviola Benitez, 28. A child of two years of age, Lydia Sutthithepa was also missing. The young girl’s  father Pinit Sutthithepa was killed on Saturday. The sheriff narrowed down the people from a list of about 100 missing people.
This is the worst number of deaths that a mudslide has caused in California in the past 13 years. The fallen trees, power lines and debris made it harder for searchers to dig through. Montecito, the affected area is a rich neighbourhood 137 kilometres away from Los Angeles.
Post intimation, the White House released a conciliatory statement on behalf of President Trump and the First Lady.
The destruction affected close to 78 square kilometres and razed 65 homes to the ground while damaging 450 others. The residents from this side, the southeastern corner have been evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Sources – Reuters, CNN

‘Oh Happy Day’ fame Gospel Star, Edwin Hawkins dies, aged 74

The face of contemporary inspirational music and the American gospel star Edwin Hawkins, 74 died on Monday at his apartment in California. He was suffering from Pancreatic Cancer as said by his publicist, Bill Carpenter to the Associated Press. 
Hawkins was a composer, keyboardist, arranger and choir master and one of the eight siblings. He has also been a part of various church groups along with his family since childhood and in his 20’s he formed the Northern California State Youth Choir. Hawkins along with Andrae Crouch, James Cleveland and few others, was considered as a founder of modern gospel music. Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and numerous are other known singers who had become mainstream stars by adapting gospel sounds to pop lyrics. He enjoyed utmost commercial success while he continued performing music that celebrated religious faith openly.
Even though his first album was Let Us Go into the House of the Lord that catered to local audience, he is known for his 1969 hit ‘Oh Happy Day’. Edwin Hawkins will continue to lead the gospel music community in American history and has a large audience to cherish his memories, music and beliefs.
Source: USA Today, BBC

Mudslides in California kill 13

BBC informed that mudslides due to heavy rains and flooding kill 13 people in California, USA. 163 people have been hospitalized. 20 complained of storm-related injuries, while four others were critically wounded. 300 people have been trapped at Romero Canyon in Santa Barbara.

Police sources described the scene as a First World War battlefield. “This has weakened the foundation of houses and caused major property devastation due to the mudflow,” mentioned Mike Eliason, a spokesman at County fire department in Santa Barbara.

CNN reported that 101 freeways in Santa Barbara and Montecito will be closed in the next 48 hours as a safety measure. Mandatory evacuations for 26,000 have been conducted in Goleta, Carpentaria, Montecito and other parts of the region. The area was also affected recently by Thomas Fire, a wildfire. Gina De Pinto, a spokeswoman for the country mentioned.

A 14-year-old girl was rescued from her Montecito home by firefighters. She was trapped for hours around wooden debris. It is impossible to trace any roads or housing in the locality due to the mud and debris. The storm happened around 3 am early morning. The sheriff received 600 rescue plea telephone calls from the area.

Sources – BBC, CNN

Fire breaks out in Bengaluru bar, five killed

A deadly fire at a bar and restaurant in Bengaluru has led to the demise of five people. The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning at around 2.30 am. The accident took place at Kailash Bar and Restaurant, an establishment in Kumbaara Sangha building in Kalasipalya.

The deceased were employees at the restaurant and were asleep on the premises when the fire started.

The fire and emergency services were notified by passers-by when they saw smoke coming out of the restaurant. A fire rescue vehicle and two fire tenders were immediately sent to the location where they doused the fire and recovered the five dead bodies.

Officials have reported that the possible cause of the deaths was asphyxiation. The deceased have been identified as Prasad, 20, Swami, 23, Mahesh, 35, (all three natives of Tumakuru),  Keerthi, 24, a native of Mandya and Manjunath, 45 a native of Hassan. 

The cause of the fire is still undetermined. Police official MN Anucheth gave a statement saying that the fire department is still in the process of assessing the damage caused to the building. Only after the inspection is complete will an official cause be revealed.

He also stated that the department is speaking to witnesses to gather more information. The police have filed a case of criminal negligence against the owner of the bar who is currently absconding.

LET Chief killed in Pulwama encounter

Abu Dujana, a 27 year old Laskar-e-Taiba commander was slewed in a combat with security forces and militants on Tuesday. He was shot in Hakripora village, Pulwama district of Kashmir.

The Hindustan Times reported that he is a native of Gilgit-Baltistan locality, situated in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He has been the militant of foreign origin who had the most prolonged living period. He also had been awarded 15 Lakhs, as prize money for the 12 militant attacks. The internet services of the region have been disconnected as a defensive directive. “He has been in the forefront for many attacks in the region and the most wanted militant,” informed SP Vaid, the Director General of Police.

CNN-News 18 stated that the operation began as early as 4:30 am, Tuesday morning. The firing between the two groups sustained till 9:30 am. Dujana and his aide, Arif were killed after security forces set their house on fire. Dujana is listed as a terrorist in the A++ category. He killed eight CRPF personnel in Pampore and two policemen in Anantnag this June.

Intelligence agencies were alerted when Dujana was in the district to meet his wife. He attended the funeral of Burhan Wani, the then Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.  Abu Ismail, his close associate, has been named as his successor.

News Source: Hindustan Times, CNN News18

Image Source: PTI

Swine Flu death toll reaches 833

Swine flu claimed the lives of 21 more people as the death toll reached 833, while the number of persons affected by H1N1 virus breached the 14,000 mark.
As per Health Ministry figures, the aggregate number of persons who have died of the infection till February 22 is 833 while a sum of 14,484 persons has been affected by it the country over.
Health Ministry data on Sunday had demonstrated that 812 people had died because of the illness while 13,688 individuals had been affected with the H1N1 virus.
The maximum death toll was reported from Rajasthan with 214 deaths till 22nd February out of 4,549 people who were affected by it while 207 people have died in Gujarat where the number of affected people remained at 3,107.
In a stormy beginning to the Gujarat assembly plan session on Monday, state governor O P Kohli had to cut short his address to the House owing to continuous protests and slogan shouting by the opposition Congress members requesting discussion on the swine flu outbreak.
Information accessible with the Health Ministry demonstrated that in Madhya Pradesh, 112 people have died because of the disease while 99 have died in Maharashtra, where 1,013 people were affected.
In Telangana, 51 people have died while the number of affected people was 1,316. Health Ministry information demonstrated that eight persons have died in Delhi while 2,241 individuals are affected by the illness.
The government said that all the measures were being taken while there was no dearth of medicines. “We are on the job “, said a senior Health Ministry official.
In the mean time, Tamil Nadu has recorded eight swine flu deaths so far but the state is prepared to handle the virus with proper medicines and immunizations in stock, the government informed the Assembly today.


Former MLA Sitaram Chamaria passes away

Social worker and former Congress leader Sitaram Chamaria died today after suffering from prolonged illness.
The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar condoled the death of the party leader and announced a state funeral for him, the Chief Minister’s Office said in Patna.
Ex-MLA Sitaram Chamaria (86) died at a private hospital in Siliguri in West Bengal, his son Anil Chamaria said.
He was a member of Bihar Legislative Council from 1972-78 and was elected as a member of the legislative assembly from Katihar on a Congress ticket in 1980.
He would be cremated at Manihari ghat this evening with full state respects.