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World News April 19, 2024

Asia News Wrap: Unseasonal rains kill 22 in Arabian Gulf, and more

Heavy Rains in Arabian Gulf: Record-breaking rains caused fatalities and extensive damage in Oman and Dubai, with at least 20 casualties reported. Oman faced tragic losses, including nine schoolchildren and their driver. The UAE experienced historic rainfall, leading to flooded streets and disrupted flights in Dubai. Efforts to clear debris and maintain safety were underway, with schools shifting to online classes in Dubai.

Leadership Transition in Singapore: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced his successor, Lawrence Wong, who will assume office on May 15. Wong, known for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as co-head of the task force, will take over from Lee, marking a significant moment in Singaporean leadership.

Volcanic Eruption in Indonesia: The eruption of Mount Ruang in North Sulawesi prompted the evacuation of over 1,500 individuals, affecting nearly 12,000 others. The volcanic activity led to explosive plumes of lava, rock, and ash, damaging homes and necessitating the closure of nearby airports. Authorities declared the highest alert level and initiated evacuations to ensure public safety.

Tourism Growth in Japan: Japan is on track to surpass its pre-pandemic tourism figures, with the January-March quarter of 2024 seeing a record 8.56 million foreign visitors. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed optimism about exceeding the government’s target of 32 million annual foreign visitors by 2025, indicating a positive trajectory for the country’s tourism industry.

Source – CGTN

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