TIME Accident

See These Dramatic Rescues of the Past

Rescuers freed two workers whose scaffolding was dangling off 1 World Trade Center in New York City on Wednesday. See how these other daring rescues unfolded

TIME Sri Lanka

10 Dead, Over 250 Missing in Sri Lanka Mudslide

Most of Sri Lanka has seen heavy rain over the past few weeks, and the Disaster Management Center had issued warnings for mudslides and falling rocks

(COLOMBO, SRI LANKA) — A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers’ houses at a tea estate in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, officials said.

The mudslide struck at around 7:30 a.m. and wiped out 120 workers’ homes at the Meeriabedda tea estate in Badulla district, 218 kilometers (135 miles) east of the capital, Colombo, said Lal Sarath Kumara, an official from the Disaster Management Center.

By early afternoon, rescue workers had pulled out 10 bodies that had been buried by the mudslide, Kumara said. More than 250 other people were missing, he said.

The military mobilized troops to help in the rescue operations.

Most of Sri Lanka has seen heavy rain over the past few weeks, and the Disaster Management Center had issued warnings for mudslides and falling rocks.

The current monsoon season in the Indian Ocean island nation runs from October through December.

Sri Lanka’s famous Ceylon tea is produced mainly in the country’s central hills.

TIME Nepal

Death Toll in Nepal Blizzards Rises to 40 as Authorities Wind Down Search

The body of a victim is moved from an ambulance to the morgue after it was brought back from Annapurna Region in Kathmandu
The body of a victim is moved from an ambulance to the morgue after it was brought back from Annapurna Region in Kathmandu October 17, 2014. Navesh Chitrakar—Reuters

More than 600 people have been rescued, but a few locals are still reportedly missing

Nepalese authorities are being thwarted in their hunt for more survivors of the Himalayan snowstorms that have killed at least 40 people over the past week.

After minor avalanches hampered the search for stranded climbers Monday, Keshav Pandey, of the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, admitted, “After this we can only hope that those who are missing will establish contact with us or their families,” Reuters reports.

Some 600 people have been rescued so far by the Nepalese army and other groups. Pandey believes it unlikely any more tourists are missing but said that some local porters and guides had not yet been traced.

Casualties from the blizzards, which took place unexpectedly during peak trekking season and are said to have been triggered by a cyclone that hit eastern India the previous week, included trekkers from Israel, Japan, Canada, Poland and Slovakia along with several locals.

Baburam Bhandari, chief of Nepal’s Mustang district on the Annapurna mountain circuit where the blizzards hit, told Reuters that army rescuers dug out the body of another Israeli tourist on Monday.

This is the second major disaster this year in Nepal, which is home to eight of the world’s 10 highest mountains. (Annapurna ranks in 10th place.) Sixteen local guides lost their lives this April in an avalanche on the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.

Nepalese Tourism Minister Dipak Amatya said he would do everything possible to ensure that the country never again encountered a tragedy of this nature. “There is no point blaming the hostile weather for the disaster,” Amatya said.

[Reuters]

TIME animals

Stop What You’re Doing And Watch This Live Rescue Mission of a Baby Bear

This is a developing story

You need to stop what you’re doing and watch this live-streaming video of a small baby bear who escaped from a dumpster in Pasadena, Calif. and is now being pursued—along with its mother—by animal rescue officers, and a helicopter news crew:

You’re welcome.

TIME People

Missing Hiker Rescued After 3 Days in Washington Mountains

Paula Reuter was rescued after she was missing for 3 days in the Washington Mountains.
Paula Reuter seen here in this undated photo was rescued after she was missing for 3 days in the Washington Mountains. AP

Paula Reuter had set out for an 11-mile hike near but lost track of the trail

A stranded hiker survived on mushrooms and bark for three days until smoke signals led to her rescue in a Washington state mountain range late Thursday.

Paula Reuter had set out for an 11-mile hike near Snoqualmie Pass with her two dogs Monday morning but lost track of the trail, she told NBC News affiliate King 5. The King’s County Sheriff’s Office began searching for Reuter on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old hiker said she spent two days trying to rediscover the trail, but on Wednesday decided to stay put and ignite a smoke signal. “I had seen the helicopter and I…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME India

Floods Have Killed 73 in India’s Northeast

People use cycle rickshaws to commute through a flooded road after heavy rains in Guwahati
People use rickshaws to commute through a flooded road after heavy rains in the northeastern Indian city of Guwahati on Sept. 23, 2014 Utpal Baruah—Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes

Around 73 people have been killed in India’s northeast, after flash floods and landslides hit two states in the region.

A senior government official in Meghalaya told the Associated Press on Wednesday that 35 bodies had been recovered over the past two days with 15 people still missing. Police in neighboring Assam said the floods had claimed 38 lives there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in both states mere weeks after flash floods in Kashmir killed over 400 people, about half of them in Pakistan. Local news channel NDTV reported that the army and disaster-response forces have been evacuating people, with authorities setting up 162 relief camps in the worst-affected areas.

The Assam-Meghalaya floods have so far not seen the kind of backlash against alleged government inaction that marked the Kashmir floods.

“We are taking all relief and rescue measures in the flood-hit districts,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

TIME India

Kashmir Floods Hampered Emergency Services, Says Chief Minister

Jammu And Kashmir Flood
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah arrives at the airport to inspect the rescue and relief operations following flooding on September 9, 2014 in Srinagar, India. Nitin Kanotra —Hindustan Times / Getty Images

State leader cites lack of communication lines and submerging of infrastructure as reasons why government couldn't respond

Responding to widespread public anger at his government’s handling of the recent Kashmir floods, chief minister Omar Abdullah said floodwaters paralyzed emergency services.

“My government couldn’t respond in the first 24 hours as we didn’t have a government,” Abdullah said in an interview with Indian news channel NDTV. “My secretariat, the police headquarters, the control room, fire services, hospitals, all the infrastructure was underwater,” he said, adding that he was only now able to get in touch with his ministers.

The New York Times had earlier reported widespread anger against the government as the floodwaters receded, with multiple instances of attacks on rescue services being reported.

More than 200 people have been killed over the past week in the worst floods the Kashmir region has seen in five decades, with an equal number perishing in neighboring parts of Pakistan. The Indian army and disaster response forces have collectively transported nearly 100,000 people to safety, but thousands more remain stranded on rooftops waiting for help.

In the state capital, Srinagar, meanwhile, people began taking advantage of receding water levels by looting abandoned homes, according to the Times of India.

More than 700,000 villagers in India and Pakistan have been forced to flee their homes as record flooding sweeps through their neighborhoods.

TIME India

Hundreds Now Dead in India, Pakistan Floods as Rescue Efforts Slammed

India's Central Water Commission in charge of issuing flood advisories has come under fire for not warning the state

Updated: 3:06 a.m. EST

The devastating floods resulting from Kashmir’s worst rains in half a century claimed more lives on Tuesday, with the total death toll now breaching 400 and local people decrying officials for failing to adequately deal with the catastrophe.

Several thousand people are still trapped on rooftops in the restive Himalayan region waiting to be rescued, reports Reuters, and local residents have criticized both the Indian and Pakistani authorities for a lackluster response to the crisis. Indian news channel NDTV reported that some rescue workers were even attacked by furious locals.

Although India’s metrological department had forecast heavy rains in Kashmir last week, the Central Water Commission in charge of issuing flood advisories apparently did not warn the local authorities.

“We were all caught off guard because there was not a single warning issued by the weather office. The flash floods took us by surprise,” an official from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told Reuters in New Delhi on the condition of anonymity.

Mohammad Irfan Dar, a New Delhi-based independent filmmaker who originally hails from Srinagar, tells TIME that efforts to organize private relief donations have been thwarted by the authorities.

“In Delhi, most of us are focused on raising awareness, organizing relief and gathering supplies,” he said. “The biggest challenge we are facing is the lack of communication from the state.”

Dar’s says he knows of between 300 and 500 relief volunteers across the Indian capital, some of whom have been dispatched to Kashmir to coordinate efforts there. Air India has offered to take essential supplies for free but only has limited capacity. “Drinking water, especially, is a huge problem right now,” he adds.

India’s armed forces and the NDRF have commissioned 61 aircraft and helicopters along with 170 boats, 40 of which were flown to the affected area on Tuesday. Across the border, the Pakistani army and navy have 12 helicopters and more than 250 boats performing rescue and relief operations, according to local newspaper Dawn.

At least 217 Indians have been killed and more than 47,000 evacuated, say officials, while the Pakistani authorities report at least 231 fatalities.

Srinagar, the capital of both Kashmir and the north Indian state of Jammu, remains mostly submerged along with over 2,000 surrounding villages, although the Times of India has reported a few breakthroughs, such as the restoration of landline communications near the city’s airport and the clearing of the first road link since the floods began.

Several people are rescued from the high floodwaters in Srinagar, northern India.

TIME Military

Pilot Still Missing After Fighter Jet Crashes in Virginia

Preparations Ahead Of The Farnborough International Airshow 2014
Military personnel talk as they stand beside an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet, left, prior to the opening of the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, U.K., on Sunday, July 13, 2014. Bloomberg — Getty Images

Authorities have not yet confirmed if the pilot had ejected from the plane before it crashed Wednesday morning

The pilot of a fighter jet that crashed into the mountains of western Virginia Wednesday morning is still missing hours later, officials say.

Col. James Keefe, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Air National Guard, said that rescue crews were still searching for the pilot Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press reports. It’s unclear whether the pilot ejected from the single-seat F-15C. The pilot reported an inflight emergency while flying the plane to New Orleans for routine maintenance and lost radio contact shortly thereafter.

Residents near the crash site reported hearing a loud explosion and feeling the ground shake from the force of the impact.

[AP]

TIME animals

You Will Barely Recognize This Abandoned Dog After His Much Needed Haircut

Ziggy the dog's road to recovery

When a clearly neglected Shih Tzu was dropped off at a Long Island animal shelter, rescuers were shocked. More than 25% of his body was covered in thick, matted fur — which inspired his new name: Ziggy.

Suffolk County SPCA

 

“I’ve only seen one worse in my 30 year career,” says Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA. “Even the fleas could get through the fur, that’s how bad it was.”

The 5 or 6-year-old pup could barely walk, and it took rescuers 3.5 hours to shave 4 pounds of hair from the now 11 pound dog. The change is jaw dropping:

Suffolk County SPCA

“He will be up for adoption, but not now,” Gross says. “He has a long road to recovery.”

Ziggy will have to undergo extensive physical therapy to retrain his walking muscle memory.

“There’s also a criminal investigation, and the dog could serve as evidence,” Gross says. “This is another horrible case of animal cruelty.”

A $2,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information about the dog’s owner if it leads to arrest and conviction. Call the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722.

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