Indonesia: Death toll from earthquake, tsunami climbs to 1,234

Reuters Tsunami in Indonesia


Indonesia: Death toll from earthquake, tsunami climbs to 1,234

Number of dead from earthquake and tsunami on Friday continues to rise, and more quakes continue to hit the region.

The number of people killed in the earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Friday reached 1,234.

Meanwhile, two more earthquakes have been reported near the southern shore of the island of Sumba, home to about 750,000 people.

The first quake was measured at 5.9 intensity and the second at 6.0. There were no reports of significant damage. Read more……

UNRWA evacuates most international staff from Gaza to Israel amid death threats

A Palestinian woman walks past a closed health center that run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) during a strike of all UNRWA institutions in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on September 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

Officials of UN’s Palestinian refugee agency rushed to safety through a closed checkpoint after harassment from employees

The Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA evacuated most of its international senior officials from the Gaza Strip Monday due to fears for their safety.

The overseas staffers had received death threats and threats of violence after the announcement of cuts and planned layoffs by the organization in the wake of the US decision that it would no longer fund the agency.

The officials were said to have been harassed by employees of the agency.

An UNRWA source said a protest was held Monday outside a Gaza City hotel where agency officials were meeting.

The officials were taken out of the coastal enclave via the Erez Crossing, despite the fact that the checkpoint was officially closed for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

A source with knowledge of the situation said only six foreign staffers remained out of the 19 who are usually there.

The Israeli Defense Ministry unit that oversees the crossing said a number of foreign employees from the agency known as UNRWA “were evacuated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.” Read more……