Connect with us
Advertisement

New Zealand earthquake: Warships head to Kaikoura

Australian, Canadian and US warships are heading to the New Zealand town of Kaikoura to help with evacuations after a series of powerful earthquakes.

Two people were killed when two simultaneous quakes hit near Christchurch on Monday morning, followed by thousands of aftershocks. Thousands were cut off in Kaikoura after roads and infrastructure were badly damaged.

Many were tourists visiting the popular whale-watching destination.

  •     CCTV shows moment NZ quake strikes
  •     Stranded NZ cows rescued after quake
  •     Radio presenter calm as quake hits while on air
  •     New Zealand vs Pakistan cricket match to go ahead


The country has been hit by at least 1,823 earthquakes since the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Monday, according to GeoNet, New Zealand's government-funded earthquake monitoring service. Tonkin and Taylor, an earthquake engineering consulting firm which was employed by the New Zealand government to assess damage to Kaikoura, told the BBC that the damage in the area was "catastrophic".

"There have been 100,000 landslides, over 50 covering State Highway 1," the main road which runs the length of the country, it said. But the company said damage to residential housing was "not too bad". Helicopters began airlifting people from Kaikoura on Tuesday, after landslides cut off road and rail links. Power and water supplies have also been disrupted.

More than 400 people have already been evacuated by air or sea, and the defence force aims to get all people who want to leave out by the end of Wednesday, the New Zealand Herald reported. The HMNZS Canterbury in already in the area, while HMNZS Wellington has begun surveying the seabed. The ships will be joined later on Wednesday by Canada's HMC Vancouver, Australia's HMAS Darwin and the US destroyer USS Sampson.

The USS Sampson is the first US warship to visit New Zealand in 30 years. The foreign warships had been destined for Auckland to take part in 75th anniversary celebrations for the New Zealand navy but diverted to help with the recovery effort. New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said the offer of assistance was "heartening", and that Japan and Singapore had also offered help.


Meanwhile, the cleanup is continuing in Christchurch and the capital, Wellington. Some streets remain cordoned off while safety checks are carried out. Some buildings have been evacuated because of "structural concerns", TVNZ reported. One eight-storey office building in central Wellington is expected to be demolished.

"The building is at significant risk of collapse so currently police and fire are conducting operation to seal off the area," Fire Service regional commander Brendan Nally told commercial radio. Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said the full extent of damage would become clear later, but that the city had "resilience to cope" and the focus should be on "the worst affected areas".


Geonet initially gave Monday's quake – actually two at the same time – a magnitude of 7.5, but has now raised it to 7.8. It was the largest tremor in the quake-prone country since 2009, it said, while early assessments of the geological changes indicate it was one of the "most complex earthquakes ever recorded on land".


New Zealand lies on the Ring of Fire, the fault line that circles virtually the entire Pacific Rim bringing frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions. Christchurch is still recovering from a 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people and destroyed the city centre.

BBC

Continue Reading

News

Over 2 000 civil servants interdicted

6th December 2022

Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.

According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reaching WeekendPost shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.

In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.

This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publication’s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, “as you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,” she said.

She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.

Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.

Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.

Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.

“It is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,” he told WeekendPost, adding that “when a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolved”.

Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.

Continue Reading

News

Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

Continue Reading