3 Indians wounded in air strike; 4 naval warships near Beirut
Beirut/New Delhi, July 19
Three Indian nationals were wounded in an air strike on a glass factory in the eastern Bekaa Valley in Lebanon even as the Indian Government prepared to evacuate another 1000 people from the war zone and deployed four ships to bring them back home.
Lebanese-born Swedish nationals and tourists board a ship in Beirut to be evacuated due to the Israeli military offensive on Lebanon on Wednesday. — AFP photo
Fresh tsunami fear sparks scramble in Java
Pangandaran (Indonesia), July 19
An aftershock in Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged region today sent hundreds scrambling for high ground as the toll from Monday's disaster climbed to 550.
Rescuers pulled out bodies from the debris and aid trickled into worst-hit Pangandaran town while a search continued for about 275 people still missing after the tsunami smashed into a 300-km stretch of coast along southern Java.
A light aftershock that shook Pangandaran beach sent some people running, while others headed inland on motorcycles and cars as rumours circulated of a fresh tsunami.
Indonesian media questioned why there was no warning ahead of Monday's killer waves despite regional efforts to set up early alert systems after the massive Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
The Jakarta Post said in an editorial the disaster agency had done ''nothing of note to increase people's preparedness for disasters''.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters the government would build an early warning system in Java and other areas in Indonesia in three years. Along the coastline, heavy equipment was deployed to help in the search for bodies left under the rubble when the waves rolled in after a 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake.
Government officials said as many as 54,000 people were displaced from wrecked fishing villages, farms and beach resorts, adding to the rehabilitation headache for authorities after an earthquake that killed more than 5,700 people in central Java less than two months earlier. More than a dozen corpses in yellow body bags lay in a makeshift morgue near the devastated Pangandaran beach, a popular tourist spot known for its black-sand shore and barbecue seafood. — Reuters