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.
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.
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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A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic