#Halifax; #NovaScotia; #PortersLakeBushFire; #DepartmentOfLandsAndForestry
Nova Scotia, May 23 (Canadian-Media): A large brush fire east of Halifax being battled by fire crews on Saturday resulted in more than 1,000 residents in the Porters Lake area of Nova Scotia being asked to leave their homes, media reports said.
Bush fire. Image credit: Pixaby
Jim Rudderham acting manager for forest protection in Nova Scotia said when they responded to the brush fire, which began just north of Highway 107, around 12:30 p.m. AT, the fire was out of control due to dry and windy conditions.
Three helicopters from the Department of Lands and Forestry were called to pour water on the blaze, which had grown to about 40 hectares. Fifteen provincial staff and crews from eight Halifax Fire detachments were also helping put off the fire.
The fire impacted more than 1,000 residents including residents on Candy Mountain Road in nearby Mineville, N.S. who are being asked to be ready to leave
Halifax Fire district Chief Brad Connors said RCMP will be going door to door this afternoon to alert residents. The RCMP said anyone who needs to leave will be contacted directly.
Drivers are asked to use an alternate route.
A special air quality statement was put out by Environment Canada just after 2 p.m. local time for those in Halifax Metro and Halifax County West due to smoke in the area.
This is the second large fire crews had to fight in Nova Scotia on Saturday.
Friday evening a forest fire erupted near Chester Grant, N.S., and covered about 27 hectares and at least two buildings were razed.
#Karachi; #Pakistan; #AirbusA320; #PIAPassengerPlaneCrash; #JinnahInternationalAirport
Karachi (Pakistan), May 22 (Canadian-Media): Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane belonging to state-run airline crashed near the southern port city of Karachi, the country's civil aviation authority, spokesperson Abdul Sattar Kokhar said, media reports said.
Pakistan International Airlines. Image credit: Twitter handle
The aircraft was arriving from the eastern city of Lahore.
99 passengers and 8 crew members aboard the aircraft were confirmed dead after crash.
It takes typically an hour and a half for the flight to travel from the northeastern city of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's most populous Punjab province, to Karachi.
After two or three attempts to land, said the witnesses, the Airbus A320 crashed in a poor and heavily congested residential area, known as Model Colony, near Jinnah International Airport.
According to Mansoor Ali Khan, the program host and a journalist, the pilot of the Airbus A320 airliner had made a call saying he was experiencing technical problems and was told both landing strips were available for his use but he preferred the go around landing route.
Khan added that an emergency response protocol has been activated.
The area had been cordoned off by the police and military.
A phased reopening of its nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was started by Pakistan on May 9.
International flights are not expected to resume until June 1.
#RoyalCanadianArmedForces; #OperationINSPIRATION; #CFSnowbirds
Ottawa, May 18 (Canadian-Media): One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Captain Jennifer Casey, was killed on Sunday May 17, 2020 while another member Captain Richard MacDougall injured in an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CT-114 Tutor aircraft in the neighborhood of Kamloops, British Columbia, media reports said.
Captain Jennifer Casey. Image credit: Twitter Handle
Casey, the team’s Public Affairs Officer was originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia and MacDougall was one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft.
It was during Operation INSPIRATION deployed by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds on a cross-Canada tour to lift the spirits of Canadians and salute front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CAF are providing our members and their families with as much support as possible to help them through this difficult time.
At the time of the accident, the CF Snowbirds were taking off from the airport in Kamloops, British Columbia.
An investigate into the circumstances of the accident would be done by RCAF Flight Safety team from Ottawa would proceed to the site of the accident in B.C. and will begin their work immediately upon arrival.
#UN; #Philippines; #TyphoonRecovery; #Coronavirus; #OCHA; #IOM: #UNHCR
Families in Santo Domingo town take temporary shelter at a local church before Typhoon Tisoy struck the Bicol region in of the Philippines last year. Image credit: © UNICEF
After making landfall on the eastern island of Samar, the eye of the Category 3 typhoon, known locally as Ambo, continued with maximum sustained winds of 125 km/h, with gusts of up to 165 km/h, to the island of Masbate before wreaking havoc northwest towards mainland Luzon – where some 60 million people are under extended COVID-19 quarantine.
The heavy winds and rain destroyed hundreds of buildings along with crops and fishing boats, while physical distancing rules have complicated the rescue of some 200,000 people who are at risk from flooding or landslides.
Pandemic compounds natural disaster With large parts of the country under movement restrictions and lockdowns, UN humanitarians are worried that the pandemic could impede emergency response efforts.
“The storm is also expected to affect Metro Manila and Laguna province, both areas declared as COVID-19 hotspots with a high number of confirmed cases”, OCHA said.
And with over 7,600 cases, the National Capital Region has almost 65 per cent of all confirmed occurrences in the country, raising concerns of accelerated transmission should residents need to be evacuated from these densely populated, flood-prone areas.
The Government is leading Typhoon Vongfong preparedness and response efforts, but local officials are pointing to the double challenge of keeping their residents safe from both the typhoon and COVID-19, while noting the difficulty in maintaining physical distancing throughout temporary shelters.
A spokesperson for the Office of Civil Defense in Manila, Mark Timbal, called it “a unique situation” because it is the first time the country is facing a natural hazard while dealing with a health pandemic.
Several local governments have ordered that evacuation centres be filled only to half capacity, to stem the virus from spreading.
And the Catholic Church has offered the use of its churches and chapels as additional shelters, while some shopping malls have offered their spaces as well.
Meanwhile, the UN Humanitarian Country Team has initiated measures, based on its protocols, and continues to monitor the situation.
OCHA, meanwhile, is in touch with national authorities and partners in the affected areas to make impact and needs assessments.
So far, the most pressing requirements are for food relief items, face masks, sanitation supplies in evacuation centers and livelihood support for affected farmers.
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, averaging some 22 tropical cyclones a year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Typhoon Vongfong situation overview in the Philippines. Image credit: OCHA