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UN chief extends condolences to families of China landslide casualties

UN chief extends condolences to families of China landslide casualties

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 30 Jul 2019, 04:19 am

New York, July 30 (IBNS): United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has extended his condolences to the families of those killed in Sunday’s landslides, in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, following heavy rains.

In a statement released on Sunday, Guterres said that he was “saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property caused by the landslides”.

According to media reports, at least 36 are believed to have died in the landslides, which occurred on Tuesday, in the village of Pingdi, Shuicheng County.

Since then, rescue teams have reportedly been trying to find survivors by digging through a large mound of earth, using excavators.

The reports say that some 40 people have been rescued, but another 15 people are still missing since the mud buried more than 20 houses.

Guterres went on to commend the search and rescue operations being conducted by the Government of China, as the rains continue to fall, and offered the assistance of the United Nations, if needed, to assist in these efforts.

Landslides are not uncommon in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rains: the country has experienced severe flooding this year.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm