Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - Page 4 News List

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Agencies

MADAGASCAR

Cyclone kills at least 38

At least 38 people have been killed by Cyclone Enawo this week, a National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management official said. “The damage is enormous wherever the cyclone has gone,” bureau Executive Secretary Thierry Venty said late on Friday on national TV. He said 38 people had been killed nationwide by the cyclone, including a family who died in a landslide, while an estimated 153,000 people have been displaced by storm waters. Enawo hit the nation’s vanilla producing northeastern coast on Tuesday morning, destroying roads and cutting off communications with Antalaha District, which has a population of 230,000 people. More than 116,000 people have been directly affected by the cyclone, but Venty did not say how many of those were displaced or had their property damaged. Late on Thursday, the meteorological office said the cyclone’s power had “significantly weakened,” with the storm moving at speeds of 45-50kph.

MEXICO

At least 242 bodies found

Authorities have found at least 242 bodies in hidden graves in eastern Veracruz state that were discovered by mothers searching for their missing children, officials said on Friday. The bodies were found over a six-month period, with the first discovered in August last year near the city of Veracruz by the volunteer collective known as El Solecito, formed by relatives of those who have disappeared. The collective turns over the digging of the graves to forensic experts. A total of 124 graves have been located, and after combing through nearly all of them, 242 skulls were found, a senior official of the prosecutor’s office told reporters on condition of anonymity. Another person close to the investigation, who also asked not to be identified, said the graves contained “a lot of young women’s clothes, credentials, shoes and garments that look like they belong to inner-city kids.” Veracruz, one of the nation’s most violent states, is the scene of bloody disputes between the Los Zetas and Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartels. According to a military source involved in the work with El Solecito, the victims “probably were buried by criminals in league with the local authorities.” The source also asked to remain anonymous. Elsewhere, hidden graves have been found containing hundreds of bodies. In January, 56 bodies were found in a grave in northern Nuevo Leon state, where drug cartels vie for control of the routes toward the US.

UNITED STATES

Herbal tea leaves two sick

Two people in San Francisco were left critically sick after drinking tea from the same Chinatown herbalist. The tea leaves bought at Sun Wing Wo Trading Co contained the plant-based toxin aconite, the California Department of Public Health said on Friday. A man in his 50s last month and a woman in her 30s this month became critically ill within an hour of drinking the tea, and both remain hospitalized, health officials said. Each person grew weak then had life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms that required resuscitation and intensive care. Aconite — also known as monkshood, helmet flower and wolfsbane — is used in Asian herbal medicines, but it must be processed properly to be safe. Health officials are working to find the original source of the tea leaves, and they are warning others to stop consuming it. “Anyone who has purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately,” said Tomas Aragon, health officer for the city and county of San Francisco. “Aconite poisoning attacks the heart and can be lethal.”

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