UN aid efforts under way in quakehit northern Afghanistan

The quake hit the mountainous Samangan province, northwest of the capital, Kabul, on Monday.Aid workers are on the scene trying to assess the extent of the casualties and the destruction in the districts of Dara-i-Sufi Bala, Dara-i-Sufi Payin and Ruyi du Ab, but some access had been blocked due to the damage.An estimated 2,000 houses are damaged or destroyed, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Livestock and goods were also lost. In addition to emergency shelter, water and sanitation and food, aid workers are assembling non-food items, including quilts, tarpaulins, jerry cans, household kits and clothes.Veterinary support for injured animals is another concern, as are transport and warehousing capacities and communications support.More details are expected once the assessment teams have completed the preliminary visits. 20 April 2010The United Nations humanitarian wing is coordinating emergency aid and assessing the damage in northern Afghanistan following a 5.3-magnitude earthquake that reportedly killed at least seven people and injured dozens of others. read more

20th largest ever rough diamond recovered

first_imgGem Diamonds, in partnership with the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, has just announced the recovery on Monday September 8of a historic diamond from the Let­eng mine in Lesotho. Subsequent to its recovery, the diamond was transferred to Antwerp where it underwent acidisation and provisional analysis. Weighing 478 ct, it was determined to be a type II D colour diamond, the highest colour grading available for a white diamond. Furthermore the diamond is of outstanding clarity with no inclusions visible in its rough form. It has the potential to yield one of the largest flawless D colour round polished diamonds in history.  The diamond, which is yet to be named, ranks as the 20th largest rough diamond ever to be recovered. It is the third significant recovery from the Let­eng mine in as many years, following the 603 ct Lesotho Promise and the 493 ct Let­eng Legacy recovered in 2006 and 2007 respectively.  Including the 601 carat Lesotho Brown, recovered in 1960, the Let­eng mine has now produced four of the world’s 20 largest rough diamonds and the three largest diamonds recovered this century.Commenting on the recovery, Minister Monyane Moleleki, the Minister of Natural Resources for Lesotho said: “Once again Let­eng has proved its ability to produce extraordinary diamonds and continues to place Lesotho at the forefront of diamond producing countries.  We will continue to proudly develop this asset and the rare diamonds that it produces to their maximum value for the benefit of the people of Lesotho.”Clifford Elphick, Chief Executive Officer of Gem Diamonds, added: “Preliminary examination of this remarkable diamond indicates that it will yield a record breaking polished stone of the very best colour and clarity. Let­eng continues to reward with the production of these significant diamonds and to confirm its position as one of the great mines in the diamond industry.  With a further 45 years of life remaining, we expect Let­eng to make history for many years to come.”last_img read more