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Earthquakes demolished scores of schools, homes and office buildings in El Salvador, reportedly killing more than 1,400 people and trapping residents in the rubble of the devastated capital. The eight-storey Bloon Children’s Hospital in the capital of San Salavador collapsed during the earthquakes and killed about 50 children and buried an undetermined number of people. The earthquakes knocked down the 10-storey Ruben Dario commercial building with 1,000 people inside. It has been reported that 150 bodies were pulled from the wreckage. It was not clear whether others were still trapped. President Jose Napoleon Duarte returned to the capital from the countryside and declared a state of national emergency.

Other important events:

1842 Britain proclaims victory as second Afghan War ends.

1859 Civil war breaks out in Argentina.

1901 American automaker Henry Ford enters his first and last automobile race and wins.

1911 Revolutionaries under Sun Yat-sen overthrow China’s Manchu dynasty.

1913 Atlantic and Pacific oceans are united when the Gamboa Dam in the Panama Canal is blown up.

1933 A United Airlines Boeing 247 is destroyed by an explosive device while flying from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago.

1938 The Blue Water Bridge opens on the St Clair River, linking Port Huron, US and Sarnia, Canada.

1943 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek becomes President of China.

1963 High dam collapses near Belluno, Italy, and resulting flood kills an estimated 1,800 people.

1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, the first held in Asia, begin.

1970 Fiji becomes independent after a century of British rule.

1973 US Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigns after his conviction for income tax evasion.

1980 Thousands of casualties are reported following earthquake in Al Asnan, Algeria.

1985 US jet fighters force an Egyptian airliner carrying hijackers of cruise ship ‘Achille Lauro’ to land in Italy, where the hijackers are arrested.

1987 India suspends trade and technical cooperation with Fiji.

1993 Socialist Andreas Papandreou returns to power in Greek elections.

1994 Haitian leader Lieutenant-General Raoul Cedras resigns, paving the way for the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

1998 Rebels use a missile to shoot down a jetliner carrying 40 civilians in eastern Congo.

2000 Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world’s first woman prime minister, dies in Sri Lanka.

2003 Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi becomes the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2004 Australian Prime Minister John Howard wins fourth term.

2005 Angela Merkel becomes the first woman to serve as Germany’s Chancellor.

2006 Two bombs explode in insurgency-torn southern Philippines, killing six people.

2009 Turkey and Armenia sign a landmark agreement to establish diplomatic relations and open their sealed border.

2013 Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar announces retirement from Test cricket after playing his 200th match.

2014 Pakistani education activist Malala Yousufzai and Indian children rights activist Kailash Satyarthi jointly win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2015 Two suspected suicide bombers hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and labour activists near Ankara’s main train station, killing at least 95 people.