BREAKING NEWS: Ship with 600 migrants sinks off Libyan coast

UNHCR: Witness report ship with 600 migrants sunk off Libyan coast, passengers fate unknown

Washington Post World Section
By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, May 9, 5:05 PM GMT

MILAN — A ship carrying up to 600 migrants trying to flee Libya has sunk just off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. Refugee Agency said Monday, citing witness accounts.

The agency is trying to confirm what happened to the passengers when the vessel broke apart at sea shortly after leaving a port near Libya’s capital Tripoli on Friday, spokeswoman Laura Boldrini said.

There was no information on how many people might have died, and the uprising in Libya makes any official accounting unlikely.

Witnesses who departed on another boat shortly after reported seeing the ship broken apart and bodies floating in the sea, Boldrini said. The second boat with witnesses aboard arrived later in Italy, she said.

The number of migrants fleeing North Africa’s shores have increased since the region has been engulfed in a series of uprisings.

At least three other boats that departed Libya in late March have disappeared, with hundreds feared dead, Boldrini said.

She said that the UNHCR advised the Italian Coast Guard at the time that boats carrying 120 and 360 migrants respectively had departed Libya in late March but never arrived in Italy.

The Italian Coast guard later told the UNHCR that they were not able to come up with any information, she said.

The fate of those migrants is also not clear, but their relatives fear they are dead since they have lost contact with them. In both cases, the ships had satellite communications before going missing.

Boldrini said the incidence of deaths and disappearances among seafaring migrants fleeing unrest and repressive regimes in Africa is increasing as smugglers begin to use bigger boats that they are not capable of controlling.

Another aid group, the International Organization for Migration, said it is impossible to know how many people have drowned while trying to reach Europe.

“There’s been no way of charting for sure how many boats have left, how many people never made it. Some of them we will never know about,” said IOM spokeswoman Jemini Pandya.

In another case, relayed by an Eritrean priest in Rome to Boldrini, a boat with more than 70 people on board ran into trouble in the seas, she said. Only a handful survived, making their way back to Libya, according to the priest.

London’s Guardian newspaper reported on Monday that 61 African migrants died of hunger and thirst on that ship after being ignored by a NATO warship and helicopter in March around the time the alliance was readying for military strikes against the Gadhafi regime.

NATO denied the accusation, saying in a statement that the only vessel operating on the specified dates — March 29 or 30 — in that area was the Italian ship Garibaldi, and that it was 100 nautical miles out to sea, while the ship is believed to have floundered closer to shore.

“Therefore, any claims that a NATO aircraft carrier spotted and then ignored the vessel in distress are wrong,” the military alliance said.

UNHCR’s Boldrini, meanwhile, called for an improvement in communication between coast guards, military and commercial ships.

“We need take heed of a situation that is very much evolving. We have to cooperate much more closely,” she said.

In some instances, she said, ships in the heavily trafficked Mediterranean might see the boats but not intervene if there isn’t an obvious mechanical problem or emergency.

“Rescue should be automatic, without waiting for the boat to break apart or the engine to stop running,” Boldrini said.


AP’s Frank Jordans contributed from Geneva and Slobodan Lekic from Brussels.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

XINHUA | 40 feared dead in S. Philippines landslide: military

REPRINTED FROM XINHUA   2011-04-22 11:08:38

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, April 22 (Xinhua) — At least 40 people were missing and believed dead following a landslide in southern Philippines early Friday, military officials said.

Six people were rescued by soldiers, policemen and civilians after a part of a mountain collapsed in Panganason, Kingking village, Pantukan town, in Mindanao’s Compostela Valley province around 2:30 a.m., according to Camilo Ligayo, commander of an army brigade in the area.

Three helicopters from the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command were already dispatched to the site to help ferry possible survivors while sniffer dogs from the army were also sent in to help rescuers locate survivors, Ligayo told Xinhua by phone.

“Our rescue efforts are concentrated on a collapsed mine in the area where five miners were reportedly trapped as voices were reportedly heard from the shaft. It is possible that the victims are still alive,” Ligayo said, adding they were bracing for the worst.

The military official said intermittent rains in past few days may have loosened the soil in the tunnel-saturated village, causing the landslide.

The site of Friday’s disaster, which sits in a gold-rich mountain, was also the site of some previous landslides, with the most recent one in 2010 which killed 26 people.

Editor: Chen Zhi
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


— J.E. Clark | 1 April 2011

FoxNews has broken the story that Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Unit 2 reactor is leaking highly radioactive water into the sea. For the full story, click on the link below.


Radioactive Water Leaks from Japan Nuclear Plant Into Pacific Ocean




Beginning with Hurricane Jeanne in September 2004, it has been my privilege to track major natural disasters which require a national and international response. During that time, we have seen the historic 2005 and 2006 hurricane seasons in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico basin as well as five of the largest earthquakes in modern history.

In doing the back story research on each disaster, the one thing that became clearer over time was that there was no single resource that pulled together information across the spectrum. Certainly ReliefWeb, CIDI, UN OCHA, UNHCR and IFRC, along with dozens of others are tremendous resources for information. But no one location ties the reporting agencies, humanitarian organisations, governments and governmental agencies, scientific bodies, media  and others related links together. This is the mission of GH Cameron International.

Currently, many of our pages are under construction. However, due to the earthquake in Japan on 11 March 2011, we need to have a permanent forum for updates and background information.

So, effective Friday, 1 April 2011, all updates on the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima Dai-ichi will be posted to GH Cameron International. We will continue to develop the information pages for each country and  post new pages for each disaster as it occurs.

If you do not see the information you are searching for, please send us an email at

Thank you for your interest in reaching out to others in their time of need. Together, let’s go touch the world.

— J. E. Clark | 1 April 2011

Posted in ADMINISTRATION | Leave a comment

2011/03/24 | MYANMAR — M6.8 Earthquake



ReliefWeb: Myanmar Country Page | UN OCHA: Myanmar Country Page |

UN: Permanent Mission |

Posted in DISASTERS | NATURAL, EARTHQUAKES | Leave a comment


Since 1989, Myanmar has been under military rule following the coup d’état staged by General Saw Maung. There has been, however, an ongoing resistance movement and efforts to maintain a free press.


DEMOCRATIC VOICE OF BURMA — An independent Burmese media organisation committed to responsible journalism. More information can be found at the following links.

Wikipedia |


DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI — More information can be found at the following links.

Wikipedia | Nobel Peace Prize 1991 | Facebook |

NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR DEMOCRACY — More information can be found at the following links.

Wikipedia |


2010/01/12 | HAITI — Earthquake


ReliefWeb | CIDI | UN OCHA | UNHCR | MINUSTAH | Wikipedia |


CIA World Factbook | Wikipedia |


Who is reporting?

Posted in DISASTERS | NATURAL, EARTHQUAKES | Leave a comment



UN Sudan Information Gateway (UNSIG)

UN OCHA — Sudan Website

Save Darfur

Posted in CRISES | Leave a comment




Association of Southeast Asian Nations

European Commission – Joint Research Centre

Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

International Atomic Energy Agency

International Organization for Migration

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Integrated Regional Information Networks

International Telecommunication Union

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

United Nations Country Team in Ecuador

United Nations Institute for Training and Research

United Nations Global Compact

United Nations News Service

United Nations

United Nations World Food Programme

World Health Organization

The World Bank Group





American Red Cross

International Committee of the Red Cross

International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment