News in brief

JAKARTA: An earthquake damaged houses in Indonesia's West Sumatra yesterday morning, a seismologist said. 

The quake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck at 8.55am and was centred in the Mentawai Strait about 50km west of Padang, the provincial capital, said Heru, of the meteorology and geophysics bureau.  

“In Padang it was felt quite strongly,” Heru said, adding that after the quake there were reports of cracked houses in the city. – AFP

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HANOI: One man was killed and four others injured when a powerful explosion ripped through a military arsenal in southern Vietnam, officials said yesterday.  

The blast occurred on Wednesday at the K6 depot in Dong Nai province, they said. 

The Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper said the blast destroyed several explosives warehouses as well as a part of the garrison. It also damaged a number of houses nearby, the paper said. – AFP

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TAIPEI: A moderate earthquake shook eastern Taiwan yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported. 

The 4.8-magnitude quake was centred close to the island's east coast, about 7kminland from Hsincheng, the weather bureau said. 

Hsincheng is a coastal town about 110km southeast of the capital, Taipei. – AP 


DHAKA: Three young children died after eating poisoned rice that their parents had placed in their home to kill rats in northwestern Bangladesh, news reports said yesterday.  

The two sisters and a brother, aged between five and nine years old, found the pesticide-laced rice hidden in a corner of their mud-walled house on Thursday when their parents were away, the Ittefaq and Jugantor daily newspapers reported. – AP  


JAKARTA: Two speeding public buses slammed into each other on Indonesia's Sumatra island, killing 11 people, state news agency Antara reported yesterday.  

The two vehicles were coming from opposite directions when the accident occurred late Thursday close to the north Sumatran city of Medan, Antara reported. – AP

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