Skip to main content

At least 48 migrants dead after boat sinks off Tunisian coast



At least 48 migrants were killed when their boat sank off Tunisia’s coast and 67 others were rescued by the coast guard, officials said on Sunday, one of the worst migrant boat accidents in recent years.

The boat went down near the southern island of Kerkenna, a tourist spot, in the night to Sunday, the defense ministry said in a statement. 

The victims were Tunisians and other nationalities, it said, without giving details.

The rescue operation was suspended late on Sunday but will resume on Monday morning, officials said.

Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as Libya’s coast guard, aided by armed groups, has tightened controls.

Security officials said the boat was packed with about 180 migrants, including 80 from other African countries.

A survivor said the captain had abandoned the boat after it started sinking to escape arrest by the coast guard.

“I survived by clinging to wood for nine hours,” he said at a hospital in the southern city of Sfax where dozens of people gathered to look for survivors and identify dead relatives.

Unemployed Tunisians and other Africans often try to depart in makeshift boats from Tunisia to Sicily in Italy.

The North African country is in the middle of a deep economic crisis since the toppling of autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 threw Tunisia into turmoil with unemployment and inflation shooting up.

Separately, nine people including six children died on Sunday after a speedboat carrying 15 refugees sank off the coast of Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, the Turkish coast guard said in a statement.

Reducing the flow of migrants into Italy is one of the aims of the anti-immigrant League party in Italy and its leader Matteo Salvini who was sworn in as the country’s new interior minister on Friday.

Salvini and his party have promised to block the arrival of boat migrants from Africa and to deport up to 100,000 illegal immigrants per year.

“The objective is to save lives. And this is done by preventing the departures of the boats of death that are a business for some and a disgrace for the rest of the world,” Salvini said in a statement, commenting on both the incidents.

“I will work to ensure that all the international organizations commit to stop departures, landings and deaths.”

As of May 30, 32,080 people had reached Europe by sea so far this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on its website. Some 660 had died attempting the crossing, it said.

In October, a boat full of migrants sank after colliding with a Tunisian navy ship, killing at least 44.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Armenian protesters block traffic, railways & airport as protest leader loses PM bid

Anti-government protesters disrupted traffic in Armenia’s capital, blocking railways and roads leading to Yerevan International Airport, after the parliament voted against opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid for interim PM.
Protesters managed to block streets connecting downtown Yerevan to residential districts, disrupting transportation in Armenia’s capital, footage from the scene shows. 
Yerevan’s metro system has also been paralyzed as demonstrators sit on the tracks, preventing trains from passing.
Meanwhile, protesters disrupted traffic on a road leading to Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, located just 12km from the center of the city. 
Consequently, some passengers had to go the rest of the way on foot in order to catch their flights, according to Sputnik news agency.
Railway services have also been disrupted all across the country amid the demonstrations, a spokesman for South Caucasus Railways confirmed to Interfax. 
Some other highways, including the one connecting th…

Strange phenomenon under Africa threatens to flip Earth’s magnetic field

Earth’s magnetic field is decaying at such a rapid rate that scientists think the poles may flip. 
New research shows the most significant weakening is happening under Africa, in an area called the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’
As well as giving us our north and south poles, the magnetic field blankets the Earth, protecting it from solar winds and cosmic radiation. 
Without it there would likely be no life on our planet today. 
However, the forcefield has weakened significantly in the past 160 years and scientists have suggested that it could be in the process of flipping. 
Effectively this means a switch in magnetic polarity and would see compasses point south instead of north.
Strangely, this has actually happened several times in the history of the planet, occurring roughly every 200,000 to 300,000 years. 
Approximately 40,000 years ago, it attempted to switch before snapping back into place. 
This NASA illustration captures the enormous disruption to the fields during a reversal:




The birthplac…

Professor Stephen Hawking Says Knows What Existed Before The Big Bang

According to the latest comments made by Professor Stephen Hawking, Before the Big Bang, time existed in a bent state that was distorted along another dimension.
The famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has an answer to the enigma of what existed before the Big Bang, the beginning of the Universe, 13,800 million years ago.
In an interview with his colleague Neil deGrasse Tyson in the TV show ‘Star Talk‘ broadcasted on the National Geographic Channel, Hawking explained what existed before the universe.
“The boundary condition of the universe…is that it has no boundary,” Hawking said.
According to this theory, the history of the universe is not a flat line but a four-dimensional, curved object, “just as the surface of the Earth, but with two more dimensions,” Hawking said. 
As explained by Professor Hawking, the Big Bang was practically the formation as we today understand as ‘time,’ since this event, 13,800 million years ago, broke the known laws of physics. 
It also means that anyth…