Sumatra in Indonesia hit by a 6.2 earthquake
Sumatra in Indonesia hit by a 6.2 earthquake
PASAMAN, Indonesia – A powerful, shallow earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Friday, killing seven people and injuring 85 others, while spreading panic across the island as well as neighboring Malaysia and Singapore.
The magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck about 41 miles north of Bukittinggi, a hill town in West Sumatra province, according to the US Geological Survey. It was centered about 7.4 miles below the Earth’s surface.
At least four people, including two children, were killed in Pasaman district and three people died in neighboring West Pasaman district. At least 410 homes and buildings were damaged, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said.
More than 5,000 people have fled their homes to temporary shelters, mostly in the devastated areas of Pasaman and West Pasaman districts, agency spokesman Abdul Muhari said in a statement.
Authorities were still investigating the extent of the damage.
People ran out of their homes in search of safer places when the earthquake hit, said Ahmad Nur, a resident of Talamau village in West Pasaman district. He said he and other survivors had set up makeshift tents near the government office and were awaiting help from the government or volunteers.
Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, said there was no danger of a tsunami but warned of possible aftershocks.
Residents of neighboring Malaysia and Singapore also felt the tremors.
Canada 1st to OK herbal covid shot
Canada has become the first country to authorize the use of a plant-based covid-19 vaccine.
Canadian regulators said Thursday that Medicago’s two-dose vaccine can be given to adults aged 18 to 64, but said there was too little data on injections in people 65 and older.
The decision was based on a study of 24,000 adults which found the vaccine to be 71% effective in preventing covid-19 – although this was before the omicron variant emerged. Side effects were mild, including fever and fatigue.
Medicago uses plants as living factories to grow virus-like particles, which mimic the spike protein that coats the coronavirus. The particles are removed from the leaves of the plants and purified. Another ingredient, an immune-boosting chemical called an adjuvant made by UK partner GlaxoSmithKline, is added to the injections.
As many covid-19 vaccines have been rolled out around the world, global health authorities are looking for other candidates in hopes of increasing global supply.
Quebec-based Medicago is developing plant-based vaccines against multiple other diseases, and the covid-19 vaccine could help spark more interest in this new method of medical manufacturing.
Greeks find 6 more bodies on burnt ferry
ATHENS, Greece — Rescuers from West Greece Fire Brigade discovered six more bodies on a ferry badly damaged by fire en route to Italy last week, bringing the death toll to eight.
Authorities said the bodies were found Thursday and Friday on the Euroferry Olympia during a thorough search of the vessel which is currently anchored off the western port of Astakos. Three other people, all believed to be truckers, are still missing.
The February 18 fire started after the ferry with 292 people on board left the Greek port of Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece for Brindisi, Italy. Most were rescued by a nearby Italian customs vessel and a Greek coastguard patrol boat which arrived later.
Two men trapped below deck were rescued by helicopter and a third managed to reach the deck and alert rescuers on his own after being missing for two days.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The ship’s Italian operators said it started in a vehicle hold.
Covid cases jump by 10,010 in Hong Kong
HONG KONG — Hong Kong on Friday reported another sharp rise in the number of new covid-19 cases to more than 10,000 in the past 24-hour period as it battles its worst outbreak of the pandemic.
The new number of daily cases reached 10,010, health officials said, after surpassing 6,000 last week and 8,000 earlier this week during a spiraling outbreak. The city has reported around 50 deaths a day, many of them among unvaccinated seniors.
The government has announced its intention to test everyone in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of 7.4 million next month as it tries to adhere to a zero covid policy modeled on the strict approach of the Mainland China.
Experts and builders on the mainland are setting up temporary testing facilities and building isolation centers to handle the growing number of cases. The zero covid approach requires the isolation of anyone who tests positive, even without symptoms, to prevent the spread.
Hong Kong launched a vaccine pass system this week, requiring people entering shopping malls, restaurants, gyms and other premises to get vaccinated. The requirement prompted many people who were unvaccinated to get vaccinated.