Strong quake hits off Mauritius SINGAPORE – A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck off the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius yesterday, the United States Geological Survey said. The quake was centred 212 miles (341 km) northeast of Rodrigues island and at a depth of 20.5 miles (30 km). The USGS initially put the magnitude at 6.7.
Madagascar rivals to meet again
VICTORIA – Madagascan rivals are due to meet again in a “few days” after their first direct talks ended in the Seychelles without finalising an agreement, the island’s ruler Andry Rajoelina said yesterday.
Leaders meet around table.
“There will be another meeting in a few days,” he told reporters on return from the Seychelles where he met the man he toppled in 2009, Marc Ravalomanana, in talks brokered by the regional bloc SADC.
He said they met twice for several hours over the two days they spent on Desroches Island, a private beach paradise some 230 kilometres from Mahe, the Indian Ocean archipelago’s main island.
The first was between the two of them and the second included South African President Jacob Zuma, who has been the mediator in the crisis, along with Seychelles President James Michel.
Three charged in ferry tragedy
ZANZIBAR – Zanzibari authorities on Wednesday charged three people with manslaughter for the sinking of a ferry last week in which at least 104 people drowned, including the ship’s owner and captain.
At least 146 of the 290 passengers on the MV Skagit were rescued when it sank last week in choppy waters as it crossed from mainland Tanzania to the island of Zanzibar.
Police said last week that there is no hope of the missing passengers being found alive, raising the prospect that as many as 144 passengers may have died.
Owner Said Abdulrahman Juma, 46, captain Mussa Makame Mussa, 49, and company manager Omar Hassan Mkoje, 50, were charged at Zanzibar’s High Court with manslaughter.
They were not required to enter any plea, were released on bail, and are due to appear in court again on August 7.