Thursday, December 27, 2018

Volcanic activity of Mount Anak Krakatoa increase

By Ludya Arica Bakti
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The volcanic activity of Mount Anak Krakatoa located in the Sunda Strait has continued to increase. To that end, the PVMBG of the ESDM Ministry of Geology has upgraded the status of Gunung Anak Krakatau from Alert (Level II) to Standby (Level III), with the danger zone extended from 2 kilometers to 5 kilometers exclusion zone.

People and tourists are prohibited from carrying out activities within a 5 kilometer radius of the crater peak of Mount Anak Krakatau. 

This increase in Standby status (Level III) was valid starting from 6 am local time on December 27. 

There was an eruption on December 22 but it was recorded as a small scale, compared to the eruption in the period September-October 2018. 

The results of the analysis of satellite images were known as the west-southwest slope flank collapse and avalanches entered the sea. This was the possibility that triggered the tsunami. 

Since December 22 a Surtseyan type eruption was observed, namely magma which came out of direct contact with sea water which meant that the volume discharge of magma released was increased and the crater hole enlarged. There may be a new crater hole that is close to the sea level. Since then the eruption took place without a pause. Sounds of eruption sound are heard several times per minute.

At present the eruption activity was still ongoing, namely in the form of Strombolian eruptions accompanied by throws of incandescent lava and hot clouds. 

On December 26 an eruption of hot clouds was observed. This hot cloud has resulted in rain of ash. Dominant winds lead to the southwest so that volcanic ash spreads southwest to the sea. 

The presence of several layers of wind at certain elevations leading to the east caused rain of thin volcanic ash to fall in the city of Cilegon and partly in attack at around 5.15 pm December 26. This was not deemed dangerous as volcanic ash actually fertilized the soil. 

The community anticipated using masks and goggles when moving outside when it rained ash. According to another observation, the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatoa eruption was still ongoing, continuous tremor with an amplitude of 8-32 millimeters (dominant 25 millimeters), and a banging sound was heard.

Until now, the Emergency Response Team has continued to monitor the visual activities of Mount Anak Krakatoa at the Pasuruan monitoring post, Cinangka, Serang Regency. 

"All flights are diverted because Krakatoa's ash on red alert," the air traffic control agency, AirNav, said in a release. The civil aviation authority said there are no airports affected. 

The PVMBG recommended that people and tourists be prohibited from carrying out activities within a 5 km radius of the crater peak because they are dangerously affected by eruptions in the form of incandescent rocks, hot clouds and thick volcanic ash. 

Meanwhile the Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Council (BMKG) recommended that the community not carry out activities on the coast at a 500 meter radius to 1 kilometer from the coast in anticipation of a subsequent tsunami. 

The tsunami that was raised underwater landslides due to the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatoa. People were encouraged to remain calm and increase their awareness and they were advised to use information from PVMBG for volcano early warning and BMKG regarding tsunami early warning as an official institution. 

**The writer is a freelancer based in Indonesia

AMOUBA elections suspended, enquiry ordered

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The elections of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), due to be held on December 29, have been suspended by the Government of Sindh.

“All the activities connected to forthcoming elections of Executive Committee of the association scheduled to be held on December 29, 2018, are hereby kept in abeyance till submission of the report by the enquiry officer,” Abdul Haleem Shaikh, Secretary to Government of Sindh, notified on December 24. 

“With the approval of the competent authority, Muhammad Ali Soomro, Deputy Director (Development Wing), Director of Industries, Government of Sindh, is hereby appointed as Enquiry Officer under Section 16-A of Societies Registration Act 1816 to conduct enquiry into the affairs of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association,” the notification said. 

The term of reference of the enquiry includes the determination whether the governing body of the AMUOBA is unable to discharge or persistently discharge its duties or whether the management committee of the Association is acting in a manner contrary to the public interest of its members. 

Meanwhile Akbar Ali Khan, the founder and chairman of the Zakir Ali Khan Panel of AMUOBA, has congratulated the members at the action of the provincial government 

“Following to the efforts put by Zakir Ali Khan Panel to regain the rights of vote for AMUOBA’s members in the upcoming elections, it is hereby informed that we have successfully managed to draw attention of the of the Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Sindh,” he stated in his message to the members. 

“I would like to congratulate you all on raising your voices against the wrongdoing of the existing management and stood beside us in this movement of truth and together we will regain the pride of Aligarians and AMUOBA,” he added.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ishfaq Khattak appointed KPOGCL chairman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has appointed Muhammad Ishfaq Khattak as the Chairman of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL).

Ishfaq Khattak will be heading the 12-member board of the KPOGCL which will provide guidelines and directives for the operation of the entity. 

The other Directors of the KPOGCL include Shumail Butt, Muhammad Riaz Khan, Muhammad Arif and Tahir Azizuddin. The provincial Secretaries of Engery & Power, Finance, Home & Tribal Affairs and Planning & Development besides the Commissioner of Kohat Division will be the ex-officio members of the board. 

The notification in this regard has been issued by Muhammad Salim, Secretary, Energy & Power, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in pursuance of the cabinet division’s decision taken on November 22, 2018. 

The KPOGCL board has also been empowered to approve and supervise exploration and production activities of the company besides approving its structuring. It has been authorized to provide guidelines for entering into bidding process of offshore and onshore blocks. 

The KPOGCL Chairman, Ishfaq Khattak, brings with him vast experience of management and administration, having headed Pakistan Railways with distinction for quite some time. 

Having done Masters of Public Administration from the renowned Harvard Kennedy School, he has also served as Dean and Director of Institute of Public Policy at the Riphah International University, Islamabad.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Earthquake, tsunami rock Indonesia again

By Ludya Arica Bakti
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The joint teams continue to sweep, evacuate, search and rescue tsunami victims along the tsunami-affected areas in the Sunda Strait, Indonesia. Some of the areas that were previously difficult to access because of damaged road and covered by tsunami-washed material have been reached by the officers, vehicles and heavy equipments. 

The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) has warned that the potential of the Sunda Strait tsunami could still occur. This is because of the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano which continues to occur and can re-create underwater landslides that have caused the tsunami.

"The potential for aftershocks caused by underwater avalanches is still potential because eruption activities are still ongoing," the BNPB Head of Information and Public Relations Centre, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, was quoted as saying. 

The tsunami in the Sunda Strait occurred on December 22. This disaster affected the west coast of Banten and South Lampung. According to the BNPB release on December 25, the death toll had increased to 481. In addition, 1,485 people were injured, 154 were still missing, and 16,082 were displaced.

According to Sutopo, the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano has been going on since last June. 

He disclosed that this volcanic eruption is of the strombolian type, which constantly throws incandescent lava and volcanic ash. 

"The type is like that and a two kilometer radius from the top of the crater is declared a dangerous zone," he said. 

The tsunami affected five districts, Pandeglang and Serang in Banten Province, as well as South Lampung Regency, Pesawaran and Tanggamus in Lampung Province.

The scientists, including those from Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics agency, have reckoned that tsunami could have been caused by landslides, either above ground or under water, on the steep slope of the erupting volcano. 

A powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August while the tsunami and earthquake that hit Sulawesi in September killed more than 2100 people and thousands of people are still believed to be buried in neighborhood swallowed by a quake phenomenon known as liquefaction. 

The tsunami on December 22, 2018 reminded many of the massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake that had hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004. It had spawned a giant tsunami off Sumatra Island, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, the majority in Indonesia. 

Meanwhile in a separate place Acehnese held remembrance and prayer together at the Aceh Government Liaison Agency office in Jakarta early on December 26 to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of the Indian Ocean and devastated around 200 thousand lives in Aceh on December 26, 2004.

**The writer is a freelancer based in Indonesia

Hectic campaigning underway for AMOUBA elections

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Hectic campaigning is going on in connection with the election-2018 of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) due to be held on December 29.

At present the AMUOBA is running the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and its affiliate Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT).  

Presently the two institutions are being run by AMUOBA's President and Chancellor Jawaid Anwar who had emerged victorious in the last elections as a candidate of the Zakir Ali Khan Panel. 

However, this time during the upcoming Elections 2018, he has joined hands with the Nizami Group. 

The Zakir Ali Khan group is being headed by its founder and chairman, Akbar Ali Khan, who has formed a panel and is likely to give tough time to their opponents.

The Zakir Ali Khan group's supporters held a meeting at which Akbar Ali Khan announced his group's manifesto committing a better future for the university through far reaching reforms. 

On the occasion the names of the panel candidates for Election-2018 were also announced. 

Dr Jafar Usmani will be the Presidential Candidate while Iqbal Siddiqui, Asif Siddiqui and Tariq Sabzwari have been nominated for the slots of Vice President.

Mohsin Khan (General Secretary), Wasif Nazar (Honorary Joint Secretary), Adil Masood (Honorary Joint Secretary Sports), Hamil Jalil Zuberi (Honorary Joint Secretary Publicity), Masood Alam (Hononrary Joint Secretary Academic) and Ahsan Ghazi (Honorary Treasurer) are the other nominees of the panel. 

The manifesto of the Zakir Ali Khan group for Elections-2018, unveiled on the occasion, contained its policies for recognition plans for Aligarians and AMUOBA members, Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association Cooperative Housing Society (AMUOBACHS), 200-acre Education City having campuses of SSUET and AIT, and new projects.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Imrana Maqsood’s cookbook launched gracefully

Pakistan News & Features Services

Anwar Maqsood, a legend in his own lifetime, hosted the launching ceremony of his wife Imrana Maqsood’s newly published cook book titled ‘Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai’ at their residence in Karachi on December 20. 

It was in the fitness of things that the cookbook, published by Paramount Books (Pvt) Ltd, was launched on the eve of the 14th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) 2018 which opened at the Expo Centre the following day. 

With so much buzz going around its launch allied with its accurate timing, Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai, gem of a cookbook, is expected to be one of the hot cakes in the ongoing KIBF which will continue until December 25.

Imrana Maqsood, coming out of the shadows of her celebrated life partner, herself has become a writer of note and, after having authored so many books for children, she now seems more inclined towards penning high quality books on the subject of cooking. 

The launching ceremony of Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai, interestingly, was held over a sumptuous dinner rather than breakfast or afternoon tea. 

Besides the distinguished speakers, family and friends of the author were in attendance alongwith a few media persons. 

The great Anwar Maqsood, as usual, stole the limelight with the inimitable style of his. Dressed in a purple kurta, he mesmerized the audience in the manner only he could do.

Iqbal Saleh Muhammad, Managing Director, Paramount Books, delivered a brief but crisp speech which reflected his high intellect and sporting nature. 

Instead of taking the credit for publishing such an outstanding book, he mentioned the names of his associates, Ramsha Abid and Sana Shahid, for having worked diligently for having done it. 

Javed Jabbar, a former Senator, commended author Imrana Maqsood for coming up with yet another book, which he admitted not having read yet, but found enough indications for it to become another success story.

A prolific speaker and writer himself, he showered Imrana Maqsood with praise for her active involvement in social work and described her as a role model for women in Pakistan. 

Former Test cricketer and also acclaimed as the longest serving cricket selector, Salahuddin Ahmed, was equally generous in appreciating the writing skills of the author whom he expected to write many more books. 

Seasoned journalist Asif Noorani, who was credited to have motivated Imrana Maqsood for devoting her energies in writing books, felt proud by the good works of the author. 

In her brief address, author Imrana Maqsood thanked the audience for having turned up to make the evening memorable. She expressed the hope that the book, Subha Ka Naashta Shaam Ki Chai, will be useful for people in improving their cooking skills.

Friday, December 14, 2018

AKU inaugurates anatomy, surgery learning studio

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aga Khan University (AKU) Medical College cut the ribbon on its new anatomy and surgical skills lab, introducing the latest available learning aids in an enlarged space for students to learn about the human body structure, and enable residents and practicing physicians and surgeons to rehearse difficult and complicated surgical procedures before performing them on real patients.

The opening of the Anatomy and Surgery Learning Studio, which coincided with the AKU’s 35th anniversary, took place as a new cohort of students prepares to join the university renowned for preparing its graduates to be innovative thinkers, collaborative clinicians and critical problem solvers. Anatomy is a cornerstone of medical education. 

The renovation of the old Anatomy Lab and adjacent spaces to create additional teaching and learning spaces has integrated state-of-the-art technology and interactive learning with the classic anatomy dissection experience to better prepare students to become great clinicians. 

Medical, nursing, dental students and other disciplines allied to medicine will all learn about human anatomy in the new Learning Studio using different approaches including didactic lectures, practical sessions based on models, prosected materials, radiological images, cadaveric dissection as well as newer methods using interactive computer-based software.

The Learning Studio also features BodyViz, the latest in anatomy software that will allow students, both undergraduate and graduate, to explore and better understand anatomical concepts. 

The software fuses advances in visualisation technology with the accuracy of radiology, as it renders interactive 3D visualisations directly from MRI and CT data on a laptop, PC and iPads. 

It integrates easily into all levels of anatomy curriculum and medical training; supplements anatomical study done through cadaver and can support preoperative planning. 

“Our Anatomy and Surgery Learning Studio is the most advanced educational environment to learn and teach anatomy as well as surgical skills in Pakistan; it will forever change the way we educate about the human body at the Aga Khan University," the outgoing Dean of the Medical College, Dr Farhat Abbas, remarked at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The new Sstudio was initiated by ideas from our faculty and made possible by a generous gift from a long-standing supporter of education at AKU. 

In recognising the donors, Dr Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University said: “Excellent academic programmes, such as ours, are dependent on excellent educational resources, including people, learning spaces and technology. While honouring our past accomplishments, we are also looking to the needs of our students who are learning in an ever-changing environment for education and medicine to produce the highest qualified professionals.” 

Facility tours and demonstrations were provided to highlight the technology and resources available to medical students who will learn hands-on about anatomy and pathology.