South America

Venezuela to ration electricity in power crisis

CARACAS,Venezuela (AFP) — Recession-wracked Venezuela is to ration electricity in 10 of its most populous and industrialized states, including metropolitan Caracas, the socialist government said Wednesday. It is the latest drastic measure to alleviate a severe electricity crisis which President Nicolas Maduro and his government blame on the El Nino weather phenomenon that causes drought. Critics say it’s the result of years of economic mismanagement. Luis Motta Dominguez, minister for electric power, made the announcement […]

Coffins pile up in Ecuador stadium-turned-morgue

by Santiago Piedra Silva Pedernales, Ecuador (AFP) — A hodgepodge of donated coffins in various shapes, sizes and colors is piled in a corner of the football stadium in the Ecuadoran resort town of Pedernales. The stadium has taken on an eerie new identity as a morgue in the aftermath of the country’s devastating earthquake, which killed more than 500 people. Medical examiners in white uniforms criss-cross the makeshift facility, working to identify decomposing bodies pulled […]

South American floods kill 12, force mass evacuations

BUENOS Aires, Argentina (AFP) — Severe storms and flooding across South America’s “southern cone” have killed at least 12 people and forced thousands to evacuate, with more bad weather on the way. Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have all been hit by the deluge, which has inundated towns, taken out bridges, blocked roads and cut off water supplies in recent days. In Uruguay, the bad weather culminated Friday in a tornado that killed five people in the […]

BREAKING NEWS: Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes off Ecuador coast: USGS

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A 6.1-magnitude earthquake has struck near the coast of Ecuador, just days after the South American country was devastated by a deadly 7.8-magnitude quake, US experts said Wednesday. The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 8:33 GMT at a depth of 15.7 kilometers (9.8 miles), was located 25 kilometers west of Muisne and 73 kilometers west-southwest of Propicia, the US Geological Survey said. No tsunami warning has been issued. The […]

U.S. and Cuban architects collaborate to save Old Havana

More than 150 American architects arrived in Havana this week as part of joint efforts with their Cuban counterparts to restore the glory and grandeur of Old Havana’s architectural heritage. The U.S. architects are from the prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) and their visit to Havana coincides with the Cuban capital being chosen for 47th Conference by the Design Committee of the AIA. The honour means that American architectural expertise will be used to […]

Anger erupts as 1,700 still missing in Ecuador quake

by Florence PANOUSSIAN PEDERNALES,Ecuador (AFP) –The death toll from Ecuador’s earthquake was feared to rise sharply as authorities warned Tuesday that 1,700 people were still missing and anger gripped families of victims trapped in the rubble. Three days after the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast in a zone popular with tourists, 480 people are known to have died, the government said. Sniffer dogs and mechanical diggers were busy at work in the wreckage […]

Hopes dim for Ecuador quake survivors; death toll hits 443

(Reuters) PEDERNALES/CANOA, Ecuador Rescuers in Ecuador were losing hope of finding more survivors on Tuesday from an earthquake which killed more than 400 people and dealt a shattering blow to the South American OPEC nation’s already fragile economy. Praying for miracles, distraught family members beseeched rescue teams to find missing loved ones as they used dogs, bare hands and excavators to hunt through debris of flattened homes, hotels and stores in the hardest-hit Pacific coastal […]

Brazilians on edge as Congressional vote moves Rousseff closer to impeachment

Brazilians on Monday (April 18) said they were anxious to move beyond a deepening political crisis, the day after leftist President Dilma Rousseff suffered a humiliating loss when the lower house of Congress voted to impeach her on Sunday (April 17). In a vote late on Sunday that sparked jubilation among Rousseff’s foes, the opposition comfortably surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to send the leftist president for trial in the Senate on charges she manipulated […]

Brazil’s Rousseff vows to fight on after impeachment defeat

  (REUTERS) — Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff vowed on Monday to fight impeachment tooth-and-nail in the Senate after a heavy defeat in the lower house of Congress raised the likelihood of an end to 13 years of leftist rule in Latin America’s largest economy. In a raucous vote late on Sunday that sparked jubilation among Rousseff’s foes, the opposition comfortably surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to send Brazil’s first female president for trial in the Senate […]

Ecuador earthquake death toll climbs to 413: authorities

  QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — The death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck Ecuador over the weekend has risen to at least 413, government officials reported Monday. “We are counting 413 people dead at present,” the country’s security ministry said. The new toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador on Saturday evening updates an earlier count of 350. pld/bfm/acb © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

Ecuador quake toll at 272, ‘certain to rise’

by Santiago Piedra Silva with Florence Panoussian in Manta Portoviejo, Ecuador  (AFP) — The biggest earthquake in Ecuador in decades has killed 272 people — but that toll will ‘certainly’ rise even further, the president said on Sunday as overwhelmed rescuers struggled to pull survivors out of the destruction. The 7.8-magnitude quake struck the small, oil-producing South American nation late Saturday, shattering hotels and homes along its Pacific coast popular with tourists and reducing several […]