Kenya dam burst, killing at least 41

admin   •   May 11, 2018   •   2517

A child walks in his house, which was partly destroyed by flooding water after a dam burst, in Solio town near Nakuru, Kenya. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

At least 41 people have died after heavy rains caused a dam to burst in Kenya, sweeping away homes across a vast area of farmland.

The breach happened on Wednesday near the town of Solai, 190km north-west of the capital, Nairobi.

The dead are thought to include children and women trapped in mud. The Kenyan Red Cross said it has rescued about 40 people so far.

More than 2,000 people are said to have been left homeless.

Local officials said the full extent of the damage is not yet clear. There are fears the death toll could rise as the search-and-rescue operation continues. — Reuters

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Fishermen rescued in sea waters off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

Five fishermen were rescued on Monday (September 14) by navy troops in the sea waters off San Mateo Point, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City.

The navy troops, onboard BA492, noticed four fishermen standing on a boat that capsized due to bad weather.

After rescuing the four, the troops were informed that the boat master was still inside the capsized boat.

The boat master was recovered and rushed to the Zamboanga City Medical Center. He was declared dead on arrival due to Asphyxiation secondary to accidental drowning.

“We provided the necessary assistance to the victims of the sea mishap and communicated with their respective families,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Commander, Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

The Philippine Navy extends their sympathy to the family of the boat master identified as 55-year-old Enricky Brocka. The Navy also assured they will provide assistance to victims of the accident. -AAC

Balloon internet service flying high over Kenya

UNTV News   •   July 9, 2020

Alphabet Inc began offering the world’s first commercial high-speed internet using balloons to villagers in remote regions of Kenya’s Rift Valley on Wednesday (July 8).

The technology has been used before, but not commercially. U.S. telecom operators used balloons to connect more than 250,000 people in Puerto Rico after a 2017 hurricane.

The project aims to provide affordable fourth generation (4G) internet to under-covered or uncovered rural communities and has been more than a decade in development.

The service is run by Loon, a unit of Google’s parent Alphabet, and Telkom Kenya, the East African nation’s third largest telecoms operator.

“Kenya is the first country… to have base stations high up in the sky. Now we will be able to cover the whole country in a very short span of time,” said Information Minister Joe Mucheru after launching the service.

According to Loon, the airborne base stations have a much wider coverage, about a hundred times the area of a traditional cell phone tower. The large balloons carry a solar panel and battery, and float in the upper atmosphere, high above planes and weather.

They are launched from facilities in California and Puerto Rico and controlled via computers in Loon’s flight station in Silicon Valley, using helium and pressure to steer.

They also have software equipped with artificial intelligence to navigate flight paths without much human intervention.

During the launch of the service in the vast, semi-arid county of Baringo in the heart of the Rift Valley, Mucheru placed a video call to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Locals used to travel more than 60 km (40 miles) to the nearest towns for an internet connection.

Details of the commercial agreement between Loon and Telkom Kenya have not been made public. (Reuters)

(Jackson Njehia, Duncan Mriri)

More than gold: Pinoy surfer rescues Indonesian competitor in SEA Games

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 6, 2019

The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games was able to witness the true spirit of sportsmanship and heroism.

Pinoy surfer Roger Casugay and Indonesia’s Arip Nurhidayat were about to battling gold medal for the men’s longboard open competition for surfing in La Union on Friday (December 6).

In an unfortunate incident, Nurhidayat broke his leash and was swept by the huge waves. Without having any second thoughts, Casugay immediately came to his aid.

According to a post of Jefferson Ganuelas, Casugay was able to rescue Nurhidayat.

“Indonesian longboard sensation @mencosss broke his leash and swept away and being pounded by triple overhead bomb waves at Monaliza Point. Local surfer @roger_casugay rescued him not minding the ongoing race for gold medal,” according to his post.

According to United Philippine Surfing Association, the competition is currently on hold.—AAC

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