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World Tour - Cyclone batters COVID-weary India

WORLD Radio - World Tour - Cyclone batters COVID-weary India

Plus: migrants storm Spanish enclave in Morocco, Tokyo residents protest Olympics, and Europe eases travel restrictions


Two men help a motorist to wade through a waterlogged street in Ahmedabad, India, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Ajit Solanki/Associated Press Photo

REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with our reporter in Africa, Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Migrants storm Spanish enclave—We start today here in Africa.

AUDIO: SIRENS, VOICES

A record number of migrants stormed the beaches of Ceuta earlier this week. The Spanish enclave in Morocco is one of only two slivers of Europe in Africa.

An estimated 6,000 people swam or walked at low tide from Moroccan territory. Spanish security forces have so far returned about one-fourth of them.

MAN: SPEAKING SPANISH

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned Morocco to secure its borders or face strained relations with the European Union.

Moroccan border guards stood by and watched Monday as a group of migrants attempted to cross. Their inaction prompted thousands of others to follow suit.

The border dispute may be linked to a brewing diplomatic crisis between the two countries. The Moroccan government condemned Spain’s decision in April to give medical treatment to a Western Sahara independence movement leader sick with COVIID-19.

Cyclone batters India—Next we go to Central Asia.

SOUND: WIND, WAVES

A massive cyclone battered the Western coast of India on Monday, multiplying the country’s misery.

Heavy rains drenched Mumbai, causing widespread street flooding. Strong winds tore roofs off buildings and prompted officials to close the city’s airport.

MAN: SPEAKING THROUGH LOUDSPEAKER

Ahead of the storm’s landfall, members of India's National Disaster Response Force urged people in coastal communities to evacuate. Several hundred thousand people did.

So far, more than a dozen people have died due to the storm.

Officials were scrambling to ensure the area’s hospitals didn’t lose power so COVID patients wouldn’t have their oxygen supplies cut off.

India continues to suffer from a virulent coronavirus outbreak that has pushed the country’s healthcare system to the breaking point. The official case count now tops 20 million, and an average of 4,000 people are dying every day.

Tokyo residents protest upcoming Olympic games—Next we’ll head east to Japan.

SOUND: PROTEST

Dozens of Tokyo residents protested near a busy train station on Monday. They are demanding their government postpone the Olympics again.

The games are set to start in less than 10 weeks. But the country is suffering its fourth wave of coronavirus infections. The government expanded the state of emergency on Friday, and doctors are worried about the strain on hospitals.

MAN: SPEAKING JAPANESE

This man says Japan cannot afford to host the Olympics when it must defeat the coronavirus. A recent poll showed nearly half the country agrees.

The summer games were supposed to take place last year, but they were postponed due to the pandemic.

Europeans resume international travel—And finally, we end today in Europe.

SOUND: AIRPORT

Portugal welcomed its first international travelers in months this week. Flights carrying British tourists touched down on Monday.

SOT: The hotel was booked five weeks ago, hoping that we might get away, and then the flight was booked a week ago.

Portugal and Britain currently have two of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in Europe. British travelers can now visit Portugal as long as they test negative for the virus.

Other European countries are also welcoming back international travelers, including Americans. Popular tourist destinations like Italy and Greece are eager to open their borders to visitors, who contribute significantly to their local and national economies.

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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