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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-05-13

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Nightmare with Thousands Dead
  • [02] Strike at Crucial Stage

  • [01] Appeal for Aid and Blood

    Nightmare with Thousands Dead

    13 May 2008 08:37:00

    Sources: Reuters, French, NA-PA

    The most powerful earthquake to hit China in 32 years has killed at least 10,000 people in south-western Sichuan province, with thousands more trapped. Latest reports said that 10,000 people were thought to be buried in one town alone near the epicentre of the earthquake in Wenchuan County. Thousands of children and workers were killed in schools and factories that collapsed. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck on Monday at 1428 local time (0628 GMT) and was felt as far away as Beijing and the Thai capital, Bangkok which is 3.300km away from its epicenter. The Protection of the Environment Ministry said that experts are already on their way to worst hit regions to inspect safety of nuclear and chemical plants. Rescue workers access to worst hit areas is extremely difficult as landslides boulders and downed trees have blocked roads while bad weather conditions had not made it possible to land helicopters. The Red Cross and Chinas Health Ministry appealed for economic aid and blood.

    Schools, Chemical Plants Collapsed

    State media said that a large number of people are still trapped in the city of Mianzhu, near the quakes epicentre and access is impossible. Among the missing people is a group 15 British tourists. Two chemical plants are among the buildings that collapsed in Shifang city burying hundreds of people working at the time of the quake and sending more than 80 tones of toxic liquid ammonia leaking from the site while at least 6.000 people had to be evacuated from the area. Many Japanese plants, among them Toyota and Hitachi car companies suspended operation of their plants.

    China Red Cross appealed for urgent economic aid, blankets, tents food and medicine while Health Ministry appealed for blood donation.

    The first rescue workers arrived in Wenchuan region, the epicenter of the quake. New China news agency says that a group of doctors accompanied by 1.300 troops arrived in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao will visit the quake hit areas today. In Beijing, Olympic Games Organizing Committee spokesman said that none of the Olympic venues was damaged.

    The US, EU and Greece have sent condolescense telegrams to China authorities.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Death toll rises in China quake

    [02] Market Supply at Marginal Point

    Strike at Crucial Stage

    13 May 2008 08:39:00

    Sources: , 105.8

    Yesterdays long meeting between representatives of truck and fuel truck owners with Economic Ministry officials ended without significant results as they decided to continue mobilizations although the government agreed to meet many of their demands. They insist on 10%-13% rises for their services while the Economic Ministry agrees with 5% rises.

    Economics undersecretary, Antonis Bezas rejected to meet their demand for flexibility regarding determination of adulterated petrol with a provision that it is not considered petrol smuggling. He said that such a decision is not legal and will annul efforts to combat fuel smuggling. They also discussed a request concerning prosecution of driver and not truck owner in case of smuggling and taxation violations, however, no relevant decision was reached. Earlier during their meeting with Employment Minister, truck owners asked pensions to rise to TEBE level while Mrs. Fani Petralia said that it was not of immediate priority, proposing the setting up of a work group to draw a new study on their pension demands.

    Fuel truck owners will have new meetings with government officials today while they are expected to reach final decisions during their general meeting tomorrow.

    Some 200 company owned fuel trucks are the only means to supply petrol stations. According to reports 250 petrol stations are open in Attika and 30 in Thessaloniki. However, strikers in Thessaloniki prevented petrol companies owned trucks to supply petrol stations, creating a grave problem in Thessaloniki. Specifically, there was tension outside Jet-Oil installations in Sindos, Thessaloniki where strikers allowed only three trucks to transport petrol.

    There are no problems with mass transport and school buses as well as ambulances as they are being supplied by police and the army petrol reserves.

    The president of Rendi central produce market said that quantities of produce reaching the market have dropped by 30%. However, 15 lorries with perishable products, which left Crete last night heading to Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports, will give a break to consumers.

    Problems have also emerged in sea lines with the cancellation of services by "Ierapetra" and "Daliana" ships suspending services.

    Translated by Chrisanthi Sarantis

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