Over 400,000 advised to evacuate as storm bears down on Japan

A man makes his way amid strong wind by typhoon Krosa in Miyazaki in this photo taken by Kyodo August 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 August 2019

Over 400,000 advised to evacuate as storm bears down on Japan

  • More than 600 domestic flights were canceled to and from cities in western Japan and bullet train services were either scrapped or sharply reduced

TOKYO: A powerful tropical storm lashed Japan Thursday, bringing strong winds and torrential rain that prompted warnings of landslides and flooding, and sparked evacuation adviseries and travel chaos at a peak holiday period.
Severe Tropical Storm Krosa — one notch below a typhoon — was churning slowly just off the southwestern coast of Japan, packing wind gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour.
Authorities issued a voluntary evacuation advisory to around 550,000 people in the storm’s path and Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said four people had sustained minor injuries with one person more seriously hurt.
The agency also said that a party of 18 people including children got stranded during a barbeque in a valley when the river rose rapidly. They have since been evacuated to higher ground and should be rescued later Thursday.
Krosa also sparked travel chaos as people returned to major cities following the Obon holiday.
More than 600 domestic flights were canceled to and from cities in western Japan and bullet train services were either scrapped or sharply reduced.
Ferries connecting the southern Shikoku island and other parts of Japan were also canceled as high waves lashed the coast.
Krosa weakened significantly from earlier in the week as it stalled in the Pacific Ocean but it boasts an unusually large eye, meaning it is likely to dump rain over a wide area.
It is also moving very slowly — 20 kilometers per hour — so the rain is expected to last for an extended period.


10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

Updated 20 January 2020

10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

  • “I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app”: Ayman Al-Anam

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi fifth-grader’s new communication app — Lita Free Video Calls and Chat — has created a huge buzz among local internet users. Already, 10,500 people have downloaded the app from the Google Play Store since Saturday.

Ayman Al-Anam submitted the app to Google on Dec. 27. After scrutiny and manual verification, Google uploaded the app on its Play Store on Dec. 31.

 “Currently, Bangladeshi internet users are mostly dependent on apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Imo for communication overseas,” Al-Anam told Arab News.

“I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app.”

It took the 10-year-old 10 months to create the app, which he said he accomplished by himself, without the help of any mentor. “I learned the process through different YouTube tutorials. The rest was just trial and error,” he added.

 The app provides better-quality, high-definition video calls to its users. It also works for transferring big data in a shorter amount of time compared to similar apps.

Al-Anam’s success at such an early age has surprised his parents. “From a very early age, my son had a knack for technology, and I encouraged him to pursue it. He used to spend his free time in front of computers, smartphones and other devices,” said proud father Tauhedush Salam Nishad. “I always supported him, but I never dreamed that he’d see this sort of success so young.”

Recalling the first successful test run of the new app, Nishad said: “One night, I returned home from work and Ayman took my smartphone and installed the raw file of the app. Later, he did the same with his mother’s phone and connected the two devices with a video call. It was the best moment in his life. He shouted with joy, ‘I did it!’” 

Al-Anam named the app after his mother Lita. The young inventor is currently studying at South Point School and College in Chattogram, 248 km from the capital. He dreams of becoming a software engineer and wants to work at
Google headquarters.

His creation has drawn much attention from local experts. “We should nurture this sort of extraordinary talent very carefully,” Prof. Mohammad Kaikobad of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology told Arab News.

 “This new generation will lead the technology world of tomorrow if they’re guided and
encouraged properly.”