Nov. 18 Samoa: The Samoan government announced it would be implementing a new mandatory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination program amid the measles outbreak that has killed at least 16 people. Measles is typically characterized by a rash and fever but can also lead to brain damage, blindness and death. According to The New York Times, over 1,000 cases of measles have been reported throughout Samoa, and health officials are “anticipating the worst to come.” Officials closed down all schools across the country and declared a state of emergency on Nov. 15.
Nov. 18 Mirepoix-Sur-Tarn, France: A 510-foot long suspension bridge collapsed into the Tarn River, killing a 15-year-old girl and a truck driver. The 15-year-old was in a car with her mother when the bridge collapsed; onlookers were able to rescue the mother from the water. Authorities deployed approximately 60 emergency service members, including divers and helicopters, to the scene of the incident, according to The Guardian. Several of the emergency officials were injured during the recovery process and are currently receiving treatment at a local hospital. Authorities believe at least one person remains missing and have not yet determined what caused the suspension bridge to collapse.
Nov. 19 Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish authorities announced they would not be pursuing rape and sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange due to how much time has passed since the allegation originally surfaced in 2010. Officials believe the complainant’s memory of the assault has become distorted in the nine years since the event. “Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed, however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation,” Swedish Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Eva-Marie Persson said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera. Assange faces 18 unrelated charges in the United States and is currently awaiting his extradition hearing in a British jail.
Nov. 20 Thailand-Laos border: A 6.1 earthquake affected more than 100 miles of Thailand and Laos on Nov. 20. The night before, the same area felt several earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 4.6 to 5.7. The 6.1 magnitude earthquake was felt in Bangkok, Thailand, which is approximately 175 miles away from the epicenter of the quake. In Laos, the Honga Thermal Power Plant temporarily suspended operations soon after the earthquake, but no immediate damage has been reported.
Nov. 23 Western Kenya: Mudslides and flooding followed heavy rainfall throughout western Kenya, resulting in the deaths of at least 34 people. Officials believe 29 died from the mudslides. Five of the 34 died when two rivers overflowed and washed their car away. The Kenyan government sent military and police to the affected areas. “While rescue and recovery efforts remain the priority, a full assessment into the extent of damage caused continues to be a challenge due to harsh weather conditions,” Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said in a statement, according to AP News.
Nov. 24 Goma, Congo: A small passenger plane crashed into a residential neighborhood and killed at least 26 people, including some who were not passengers on the plane. TIME reported the plane was carrying 17 people at the time of the crash, according to the plane’s manifest. Two people were rescued from the crash site, including one crew member, and are now receiving treatment at a nearby hospital for severe injuries. Authorities have reported the crash was caused by a malfunction with the plane’s engine which had recently been replaced. “I was at a restaurant with my family when I saw the plane spinning three times in the air and emitting a lot of smoke,” eyewitness Djemo Medar told Al Jazeera. “After that, we saw the plane crash into this house.”