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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-09

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] The Day After
  • [02] River Evros Overflowed
  • [03] Sharon Breathing on His Own
  • [04] Bird Flu Cases in Istanbul
  • [05] Review at Presidential Mansion
  • [06] Zarqawi Message

  • [01] "The Quake That Rocked Greece" The Day After

    09 Jan 2006 09:06:00 (Last updated: 09 Jan 2006 12:41:42)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    On the day following the strong quake, which started at 13:34 and lasted for many seconds, rocking Greece from one end to the other, seismologists reassured there is no eventuality of a new major earthquake, while the state remains on alert. The great focal depth of 70km proved life saving, since it absorbed the quakes magnitude and thus only minor damages were caused. Seismologists back their estimation with data from the post seismic activity, which evolved normally with aftershocks not exceeding 5 on the Richter scale. In the meantime, a panel of engineers arrived on Kythira yesterday and started listing damages. Some 80 houses, mostly abandoned, sustained damages from the strong quake on Kythira, Crete and the Peloponnese. Schools on Kythira and Chania, Crete, remained closed today for precautionary reasons, while School Buildings Organisation panels are on alert to locate possible problems in school units.

    Great Depth Excludes Strong Aftershocks

    According to the Thessaloniki Aristoteleio University, the seismologic telemetric network did not record any strong aftershocks. No seismic stimulation has been recorded since yesterday noon and the strongest aftershock occurred this morning at 07:34', measuring 4 on the Richter scale.

    "Yesterday's major quake was of intermediate depth and hence there will be no strong aftershocks," reassured seismologist Manolis Skordilis. As he explained, in case the quake was generated on the surface, then strong aftershocks would follow from the same epicentre. "Even if aftershocks do occur, they will be of minor magnitude and come from the same epicentre, ie the sea area between Kythira and Crete. Therefore, inhabitants should not worry," stressed Mr Skordilis.

    What is more, Mr Skordilis reassured there would be no new strong quakes in Greece, since it is unlikely yesterday's quake activated neighbouring faults in Southern Aegean. "Intermediate depth quakes are felt in a great distance, but do not cause major damages at the epicentre and do not stimulate neighbouring faults," he stressed.

    Surface quakes, which mostly occur in Greece, have focal depths from 20 to 60km from the Earth's crust. Intermediate depth quakes come from a focal depth of 60 to 180km, while deep quakes could reach up to 700km.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Damages from the Quake

    Quake Rattles Greece

    Strong Earthquake

    [02] Water Exceeded Safety Limit River Evros Overflowed

    09 Jan 2006 10:57:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NEď - NEď 105.8 - ┴NA

    The authorities of the Prefecture of Evros, the Region Eastern Macedonia-Thrace and the local municipalities are on alert, as the water level of the River Evros exceeded the safety limit of 5.70m, reaching 6.10m this morning. In an emergency announcement, the Prefectures Civil Protection Dept advised the residents living close to the river, as well as local farmers, hunters and fishermen, to keep away from the river and the levees. Due to the increased volumes of water on the River Evros, the levee at Psarades, Didymoticho, broke, creating a 40m rift and flooding some 200 hectares of cultivable land. In total, 4,400 hectares of cultivable land have been flooded (1,350 ha in Lavara and Kissario; 650 ha in Lagyna; 1,200 ha in Tychero and Thymaria; and 1,000 ha in other areas close to the River Evros).

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Reduction of Anaesthetics Successful Sharon Breathing on His Own

    09 Jan 2006 10:50:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Israeli PM Ariel Sharon started breathing on his own, after his doctors started gradually reducing the amount of anaesthetic, in an effort to bring him out of the induced coma. Sharons condition remains critical, but stable. "The Prime Minister started to breathe independently, although he is still hooked up to a respirator," said Hadassah hospital director Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef. The Israeli PMs attending physicians started to gradually bring Ariel Sharon out of the induced coma he has been in since Thursday, after suffering a brain haemorrhage on Wednesday night, commencing an experimental reduction of anaesthetics two days ago. However, they have not clarified when the process will be concluded, stressing that it could last for hours or even days.

    Doctors Are Optimistic

    This has been the first time, though, since his admission to hospital, that one of the doctors attending to Ariel Sharon declared that the situation could even be reversible. In addition, it is the first time that the doctors witnessed signs of a positive reaction from Sharon, as they successfully stopped the respirator more than once, for small periods of time, and Ariel Sharon was able to breathe independently.

    The doctors continue to have reservations, but the fact that he can breathe on his own demonstrates that the results might be positive if they lift the anaesthesia. What the doctors want to assess once they bring him out of the coma is the extent of the damage to Sharons brain and nervous system. They point out, though, that this should be done gradually, since a sudden awakening could jeopardise the patients life.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Israeli PM able to breathe alone

    CNN: Sharon breathing on his own, doctors say

    Reuters: Sharon breathing independently: hospital

    Jerusalem Post: Doctors emphasize PM's condition is still serious

    Related News:

    Sharon in Coma Until Monday

    Small Improvement for Sharon

    Worry Over Sharon

    Battling for his Life

    [04] Infected Poultry Located Bird Flu Cases in Istanbul

    09 Jan 2006 08:27:00 (Last updated: 09 Jan 2006 13:01:00)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Messages coming from Turkey regarding the spread of bird flu to the west are alarming. After three people died from the deadly H5N1 strain, local health authorities announced on Sunday the virus was detected on dead chickens in Istanbul, at the district of Kucukcekmece at the European part of the city. However, according to Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Faruk Demirel, it has not been yet ascertain if it is the H5N1 strain of the virus. Istanbul is Turkeys westernmost area where the virus appeared last month, when the disease spread some 1500km from Istanbul. The first case was detected last October at a farm southwest of the country. As per the Turkish Agriculture Ministry, bird flu has been traced in 10 of the countrys 81 provinces.

    Concern Over 21, Confirmation on 5

    Concern is increased by the fact that 21 people are hospitalised in Istanbul probably infected with bird flu.

    According to Milliyet newspaper, competent authorities should receive test results performed on the 21 patients today.

    The Star released the same story, citing statements from Istanbul province deputy health director Mehmet Bakar, who confirmed the facts.

    He stressed that initial tests on two dead chickens in the Istanbul district of Kucukcekmece indicated they were infected by the bird flu virus.

    What is more, Health Ministry official Turan Buzgan confirmed that five more people have been infected with bird flu and according to state-run Anatolia news agency, these people were located in the Black Sea provinces of Kastamonu, Corum and Samsun and the eastern province of Van.

    After the announcement of the new results, the number of people that have been infected by the bird flu virus reach 14.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Papoulias-Karamanlis Meeting Review at Presidential Mansion

    09 Jan 2006 07:03:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The review of the Constitution will top todays meeting at 11:00 between the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister at the Presidential Mansion. Mr Karamanlis is expected to inform Mr Papoulias on all the details of the Government proposals on the matter, which would officially open after 6 April. Karolos Papoulias will then meet with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who will elaborate on the Governments proposals. The Government is expected to release its proposals in March. These include establishing non-government non-profit universities and changing the article, which defines forested areas.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Over Iraqi Elections and Israel Zarqawi Message

    09 Jan 2006 07:11:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA, MNA, AFP, Reuters

    According to an audio recorded message posted on a website normally used by Islamists, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq Abu Musab al Zarqawi criticised moderate Sunnis for taking part in electoral politics and called on them to join a holy war. He also referred to the rocket hit against Israel from Lebanese ground last December, stressing, "All that was on the instructions of Osama bin Laden." The message has not been authenticated, but the particular website is often used by insurgent groups in Iraq and the speaker did sound like Zarqawi.

    Elections and Israel

    In his recording, the Jordanian terrorist criticised the moderate Iraqi Islamic Party, which is considered the largest Sunni Arab party, for endorsing a new Constitution, a move which boosted the Shia and Kurdish-led government.

    "We call on the Islamic Party to leave this path ... which leads to the destruction of the Sunnis," the speaker said, urging it to abandon the electoral "game."

    At the same time, Zarqawi reminded that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has described the US-led invasion in Iraq as "a new Crusade against the Islamic world" and called on Muslims to join the insurgents.

    He also criticised all Arab countries that took part in the Arab League conference in November, which tried to reconcile Iraqi political factions. "The countries that met in Cairo ... were involved in destroying Iraq and cooperated with America by opening their land, air space and waters and offering intelligence to it," said Zarqawi on the audio tape.

    Lastly, he claimed responsibility for the rockets launched against Israel from Lebanese ground on 29 December, speaking of "the start of a blessed in-depth strike against the Zionist enemy," which was on the instruction of the sheikh of the mujahedeen, Osama bin Laden.

    The leader of Al Qaeda has repeatedly said he would not let the Israelis get a taste of security, as long as the Muslims could not either.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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