Nepal earthquake: In brief

Todt, Michelle Yeoh stranded

MALAYSIAN actress Michelle Yeoh and her husband, Mr Jean Todt, are reportedly stranded in Nepal, following an earthquake that shook the country last Saturday.

On Sunday, world motor sport governing body International Automobile Federation (FIA) released a statement to say that it held its inaugural Asia-Pacific Sport Regional Congress in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, and that members who attended include Mr Todt, its president, and Ms Yeoh, its road safety ambassador.

News site Malaysian Digest, quoting a Chinese entertainment blog, said the Hollywood actress and her husband were attending an official function in a hotel when the quake struck. They fled the hotel with other guests and are believed to have escaped uninjured.

The actress is famous for her co-starring roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997 and in the successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000.

The statement added that all members of the FIA party and Congress delegates are safe and accounted for.


Israel saves surrogate babies

JERUSALEM - Israel has begun evacuating infants born to surrogate mothers and their Israeli parents from Nepal, on the return leg of flights sent to provide earthquake relief.

Many Israeli male couples have fathered children with the help of surrogate mothers in Nepal. In Israel, the procedure is limited by law to heterosexual partners.

Three newborn babies were ferried yesterday to Israel on a small military aircraft that had delivered an advance team of doctors to Nepal to boost rescue efforts after last Saturday's devastating earthquake.

The plane flew home with 11 passengers, and Israel's Foreign Ministry said preparations were under way to bring another 22 infants, the parents who had travelled to Nepal before the disaster to collect them, and four surrogate mothers to Israel on other return flights.


Social media pitches in

MANY people have turned to social media to send their prayers and to locate their loved ones in Nepal, as the effects of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake last Saturday are felt in the Himalayan region.

The Nepalese have also been updating the world on their situation at home, combined with appeals for help.

A site for Nepal was set up on Google Person Finder, which helps people reconnect with friends and loved ones in the aftermath of natural and humanitarian disasters.

Facebook has set up a "safety check" feature that allows people in Nepal to inform their friends if they are safe.

On Twitter, the hashtags #Nepalearthquake, #NepalQuake, #Nepal and #PrayForNepal are a window to the many voices and appeals.

The Google Person Finder service had previously been used after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011.


Tremors in north-east India

PATNA - Tremors shook north-east India yesterday, two days after a severe earthquake caused devastation in neighbouring Nepal, sending residents rushing out of their homes fearing for their safety.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake was centred in the Indian state of West Bengal and had a magnitude of 5.1, less severe than last Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake in Nepal that has been followed by dozens of aftershocks.

"It was just now, everything was shaking. People began to come out of their homes," a Reuters reporter in the north Indian city of Patna said.


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