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World Watch

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Storms in Switzerland, Italy cause flood, landslides
Berlin, June 30: Storms in Switzerland and northern Italy caused extensive flooding and landslides, leaving at least four people dead, authorities said on Sunday. The bodies of three people were recovered following a landslide in the Fontana area of the Maggia valley in the Italian-speaking Ticino canton (state) on the southern side of the Alps. Storms and heavy rain pounded southern and western Switzerland on Saturday and overnight. Camping sites along the Maggia River were evacuated, and part of the small Visletto road bridge collapsed. One person was missing in the nearby Lavizzara valley. Farther north, the Rhone River burst its banks in several areas of Valais canton, flooding a highway and a railway line. Floods, thunderstorms and landslides also hit various regions in northern Italy. Firefighters said they carried out about 80 rescue operations, evacuating dozens of people in the northern Piedmont region. (AP)

China issues red alert for mountain torrents
Beijing, June 30: China’s meteorological and water resources authorities on Sunday evening renewed a red alert – their highest-level alert – for mountain torrents as rainstorms continue to soak parts of the country. From 8 p.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday, mountain torrents are very likely to occur in parts of Hunan and Guizhou, according to the Ministry of Water Resources and the China Meteorological Administration, Xinhua news agency reported. The two departments also issued an orange alert for mountain torrents in the northeast of Guangxi. Mountain torrents could also be triggered by temporary heavy downpours in other areas, the authorities said. Localities have been advised to strengthen real-time monitoring and flood warning procedures, prepare for possible evacuation, and take precautionary measures to minimize risks. In a separate update, the National Meteorological Center on Sunday evening issued an orange alert for rainstorms. (IANS)

Paramilitary forces attack city under military control in Sudan
Cairo, June 30: Fighting raged between Sudan’s military and a notorious paramilitary group in a city in a central province, officials said on Sunday, opening another front in a 14-month war that has pushed the African country to the brink of famine. The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began its offensive on Sennar province earlier this week, attacking the village of Jebal Moya before moving to the provincial capital of Singa, where fresh battles have erupted. RSF fighters in pickup trucks mounting automatic rifles rampaged through Singa, about 350 kilometres southeast of the capital, Khartoum, over the weekend, according to residents and a local rights group. The group claimed in a statement on Saturday it had seized the military’s main facility, the 17th Infantry Division Headquarters, in Singa. However, Brig. Nabil Abdalla, a spokesperson for the Sudanese armed forces, said the military regained control of the facility, and that fighting was still underway. (AP)

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