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7.5 magnitude earthquake triggers tsunami warning for Russia



A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Russia’s far eastern Kuril Islands on Wednesday, prompting a tsunami warning for the closest shores.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 136 miles south-southeast of Severo on the Kuril chain north of Japan. It was 37 miles deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 620 miles of the quake’s epicenter.

It said earthquakes of this strength in the past have caused tsunamis far from the epicentre, and the US National Tsunami Warning Centre was analysing the event to determine the level of danger.

The US National Tsunami Warning Centre also still was analyzing the event to determine the level of danger for Alaska and the US West Coast.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was a stronger 7.8 magnitude and may cause a slight change of sea levels around Japanese coasts.





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Coronavirus warning: UK told ‘distinct possibility’ HALF of Brits could be affected | World | News


The UK Government is working on the assumption that up to 50 percent of the country’s population – or 33 million people – could be hit by coronavirus (covid-19) if China is unable to bring the deadly disease under control. John Edmunds, a professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned this worrying projection is a “distinct possibility”. He added: “It doesn’t mean to say that everybody is going to be seriously ill. The vast majority would have mild illness, a cough and a cold, then recover and be perfectly well.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS is “well prepared” for coronavirus but warned it still poses a “serious and imminent” threat to the UK population.

Last night, the NHS revealed eight of the nine patients who tested positive for coronavirus in the UK have been discharged from hospital. All 94 people in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral have also been released.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Sunday that 3,109 tests have been carried out in the UK so far, with nine positive results. This is an increase of 117 tests on the 2,992 reported on Saturday.

But the global coronavirus death roll has surged past 1,500, with the number of confirmed cases now standing at more than 67,000.

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Coronavirus: The UK has been warned over the rapid spread of the virus (Image: EMPICS)

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Coronavirus: The deadly disease poses a ‘serious and imminent’ threat to the UK (Image: PA)

A report from one of the world’s top catastrophe risk-modelling companies has warned the next two weeks will be “critical” in detaining whether China can bring its epidemic “under control”, and that effort “will shape the global scale” of the crisis.

Gordon Woo, a catastrophist with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), which compiled the 26-page briefing, said: “The worst-case scenario would involve failure of containment measures in China, with the virus spreading quickly, first to southeast Asia and then progressively to the rest of the world.”

The paper added: “Approximately 75 percent of all covid-19 cases leaving China would reach their destination within the incubation period and therefore not be detected by questionnaires or scanning.”

RMS has estimated the average time before symptoms develop is five days, but can range from two to 12 days.

READ MORE: Coronavirus LIVE: China cover-up fears grow

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Coronavirus: A tourist wearing a surgical mask walks through London (Image: GETTY)

The report added outside of China, “there are likely to be very many mild infections, which are unreported”.

Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at Nottingham University, said: “This report needs serious consideration by the authorities.

“The only chance we have — a chance that seems to be fading by the day — to stop this virus appearing in the UK in larger numbers is to ensure that anyone turning up here with the virus is identified quickly and isolated.

“There are some worrying features of how this virus seems to be spreading in places outside China, in Singapore for example, that suggests there might already be undetected transmission of the virus.

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Coronavirus: Tiyrists protect themselves against catching the deadly disease (Image: GETTY)

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Coronavirus: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged governments to ramp up their efforts (Image: GETTY)

“That’s what the virus will need to do if it were to take hold here.

“It might be too late, and our boundaries too leaky, to stop this from happening.”

The latest warnings come as the UK’s hospitals have been ordered to take a raft of new measures to stop the coronavirus spreading across Britain.

Health officials are prepared to use 24 NHS hospital to treat patients if there is a rapid spread of infections, and are considering expanding NHS 111 series to cope with increased demand.

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Coronavirus: Several patients have been treated throughout the UK (Image: EXPRESS)

Hospitals have also been told to prepare airtight rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities in a bid to isolate cases; and establish teams responsible for “rapidly decontaminating” areas where patients have been.

The have also been ordered to avoid using agency staff for suspected patients to stop the virus spreading cross hospitals, care homes and schools, but an NHS Trust executive warned that would be “practically impossible” because of the already huge NHS recruitment crisis.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged governments to ramp up their efforts and intensify our preparedness.

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Coronavirus: The US is preparing to evacuate hundreds of citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship (Image: GETTY)

The latest warnings and contingency plans come after the US vowed to evacuate hundreds of American citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is docked in Yokohama, Japan.

Some 400 US citizens have so far not been allowed to leave the ship after an 80-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus.

The cruise ship has now reported 355 infection cases among the 3,900 passengers and crew members on board.

Donald Trump’s government is set to send a charter plane on Sunday evening to evacuate its citizens and immediate place them in quarantine back home.



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Met Eireann issues weather warning as ‘wintry falls’ forecast this weekend



Warming and relaxing near fireplace. Stock photo
Warming and relaxing near fireplace. Stock photo

Met Eireann has issued a weather warning as ‘wintry falls’ and temperatures as low as -2C are forecast for this weekend.

A status yellow wind warning has been issued for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Kerry and will be valid from 6pm on Thursday to 9am on Friday. Mean wind speeds of 50 to 65km/h and gusts of 80 to 110km/h are expected.

Met Eireann has also warned that temperatures are forecast to drop to zero degrees on Friday night with wintry showers and frost.

On Saturday, temperatures are expected to further drop to -2C with brisk westerly winds and wintry showers. This will lead to a frosty start on Sunday morning with lingering ice in places.

Tom Cuddy, of Irish Water’s asset operations, said prolonged frost could lead to more water shortages in the Dublin area.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Cuddy appealed to people and businesses in the capital to conserve water coming up to the festive period.

It comes after 600,000 people were last month left with a boil water notice, on two separate occasions, resulting from problems with water quality at the plant.

While the semi-State works to address the issues at the plant, its capacity has been reduced, causing serious problems for the network.

“Essentially in the Greater Dublin area the supply and demand balance for drinking water is on the line.

“Our production capacity has reduced somewhat and there’s an inexorable increase in demand from households and from businesses as we come through the winter,” he said.

“This is a narrowing gap – the headroom between what we can produce and what’s demanded – and that has narrowed even further this year.

“In particular our production capacity has been reduced because we have constrictions at some of our treatment plants, in particular Leixlip.”

He said the semi-State was keen to raise people’s awareness about the issue.

“It’s very important that people are aware that they conserve water where they can, that they check their plumbing and that they report leaks,” he said.

The works at the Leixlip plant are not scheduled to be completed until next year.

Mr Cuddy said it was a rolling issue, “an enduring situation” that will go on for a number of months.

He said the other plants were at their maximum capacity to make up for the shortfall, while Irish Water was also repairing 1,500 leaks a month.

“There are the obvious winter challenges of cold weather. There’s also an increase in demand in customer use, particularly in businesses,” he said. He added the situation was “right on the line” but “stable” at the moment with no headroom in the event of sharp and prolonged frost.

According to Irish Water the current increase in demand is higher than any previous year and is 10 million litres a day, which, it said, was enough water to fill Liberty Hall and higher than this time last year.

It has appealed to people to conserve water through measures like turning off the tap while brushing teeth and shaving, which can save up to six litres of water per minute.

Irish Water has been upgrading the Vartry Water Supply Scheme by building a new treatment plant,

It has also upgraded the treated water reservoir at Stillorgan, representing an investment of approximately €200m.

“These upgrades are due to be completed in 2020,” it said, adding that at Leixlip Water Treatment Plant the old section of the plant is currently being upgraded on a phased basis.

The last boil water notice affected people in Dublin, Kildare and Meath for eight days.

It resulted from heavy rainfall washing amounts of organic matter into reservoirs.

This increased the turbidity (cloudiness) of the source water above acceptable levels.

Online Editors





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