fox-news/world/environment

Flash floods and mudslides triggered by downpours tore through mountainside villages in Indonesia’s easternmost province, killing at least 58 people, disaster officials said. An earthquake triggered a landslide that hit a popular waterfall on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing at least two and damaging hundreds of homes.

Floodwaters and landslides destroyed roads and bridges in several areas of Papua province’s Jayapura district following days of torrential rains, hampering rescue efforts, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman, said Sunday.

The dead included three children who drowned after the floods began just after midnight Saturday.

Nugroho said 58 bodies had been pulled from the mud and wreckage of crumpled homes by Sunday. Another 74 people were hospitalized, many with broken bones and head wounds.

Nugroho said the number of dead and injured would likely increase since many affected areas had not been reached.

"We are overwhelmed by too many injuries," said Haerul Lee, the head of the Jayapura health office, adding that some medical facilities had been hit by power outages. "We can’t handle it alone."

Papua military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi said rescuers saved two injured infants who had been trapped for more than six hours. The parents of one of the babies were washed away and died.

Worst hit was Sentani subdistrict, where a landslide early Sunday was followed minutes later by a river that burst its banks, sweeping away residents in a fast-moving deluge of water, heavy logs and debris, said the local disaster mitigation agency head, Martono.

Martono, who goes by a single name, said rescuers evacuated more than 4,000 people to temporary shelters as more than 300 houses were damaged.

Television footage showed hundreds of rescuers and members of the police and military evacuating residents to shelters at a government office. Others were carrying bodies in black and orange body bags. Ambulances and vehicles were seen carrying victims on muddy roads to several clinics and hospitals.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods and kill dozens each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.

Meanwhile, a moderately strong earthquake triggered a landslide on Lombok island on Sunday. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 5.5 and struck at a depth of 23 kilometers (15 miles).

The earthquake was felt across the island, located next to Bali, panicking residents still recovering from a major quake last August that killed more than 300 people and left thousands homeless.

Sunday’s quake triggered a landslide from Mount Rinjani and hit dozens of tourists at the Tiu Kelep waterfall located in the foothills of the active volcano, said Nugroho, the disaster agency spokesman.

Two Malaysians, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in the landslide, Nugroho said.

He said rescuers managed to evacuate 22 Malaysians and 14 Indonesians from the waterfall site, and 50 others — mostly local surveyors from government institutions, the military and the police — from the mountainous area.

Forty-four people were injured in the quake, including eight Malaysians, Nugroho said. About 500 homes were damaged, including 32 that were flattened.

Indonesia sits on the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the United Nations was ready to help Indonesia cope with the disasters.

"The United Nations expresses its solidarity with the Indonesian authorities and stands ready to work with them as they respond to the humanitarian needs resulting from both natural disasters," the spokesman for the secretary-general said in a statement.

___

Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

Officials say a moderately strong earthquake has triggered a landslide that hit a popular waterfall on Indonesia’s Lombok island, killing at least two people and injuring dozens.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 5.5 quake struck at a depth of 23 kilometers (15 miles) on Sunday and was felt across the island.

Mujjadid Muhas, the spokesman for the North Lombok district administration, says the quake triggered a landslide from Mount Rinjani and hit the Tiu Kelep waterfall located on the active volcano.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman, says two Malaysian tourists were killed in the landslide and 44 other people were injured, including eight Malaysians.

Source: Fox News World

A floating island of solar panels is being tested in Chile as a way to generate clean energy and reduce water loss at mine operations, a cornerstone of the Andean country’s economy that uses huge amounts of electricity and water.

The experimental "Las Tortolas" power-generating island is being run by the giant Anglo American mining company at its Los Bronces mine, and the initiative comes as the government pushes to put Chile at the forefront of renewable energy use in Latin America and the world.

The 1,200-square-foot array of solar panels was inaugurated Thursday by Chilean Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica. Officials said that if the test is successful, the $250,000 plant could be expanded to cover 40 hectares, or nearly 100 acres.

The array floats in the middle of a pond that is used to contain the refuse from mining, known as tailings, and it is expected that its shadow will lower the water temperature and reduce evaporation by 80 percent. Thus, the mine would retain more of that water for its operations and could reduce the amount of fresh water it pumps in the dry mountainous region where water is a scarce commodity.

"With this system, we can make our fresh water consumption more efficient, in line with our goal of re-imagining mining and reducing Anglo American’s fresh water consumption by 50 percent by 2030, as well as the CO2 emissions by producing non-polluting energy," said Patricio Chacana, Los Bronces’ vice president of operations.

If the yearlong experiment works as planned, the solar panel island could be expanded and new ones could be installed at other mining ponds. Experts say there are approximately 800 such ponds in Chile.

"It is an excellent idea for the traceability of the mining industry and especially in terms of more efficient use of water. This is a company that recycles 76 percent of the water it uses in its processes," the mining minister said at the unveiling and he encouraged other mining companies to follow suit.

In addition, Prokurica said the Mining Ministry is working on a plan to improve the safety of the mine holding ponds, to guard against failures such as one at an iron ore mine recently in Brazil that unleashed a wall of mud that killed at least 186 people and polluted hundreds of miles of river. Many of the tailing ponds in the north of the country are near urban centers.

Los Bronces is about 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) above sea level and is 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the country’s capital, Santiago. In 2018, the mine produced 370,000 tons of fine copper and 2,421 tons of molybdenum.

Almost 20 percent of the energy currently produced and used in Chile comes from renewable sources, up from 6 percent in 2013.

Source: Fox News World

The environmentalist group Sea Shepherd says it found the badly decomposed body of what appeared to be a vaquita porpoise, one of perhaps only 10 that remain in the world.

The group said Thursday the remains were too badly decomposed for immediate identification, but had been turned over to authorities for further study.

Two Sea Shepherd patrol boats found the animal in a net Tuesday in the Gulf of California, the only place the critically endangered vaquita marina lives.

The vaquitas get caught in nets set illegally for totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China.

An international commission of experts estimated this month that only 10 Vaquita remain, and almost certainly no more than 22.

Source: Fox News World

More than 6 million people have been affected by a water shortage in large areas of the Philippine capital and a nearby province, with long lines forming for rationed water.

A spokesman for Manila Water Co. Inc., Jeric Sevilla, said Thursday that water supplies will be cut for several hours a day for 6.8 million people in more than a million households until the rainy season fills dams and reservoirs in May or June.

The company says a spike in demand and reduced water levels in a dam in the sweltering summer are the culprits, exacerbated by El Nino weather conditions.

Congress is to hold inquiries next week into the cause of the crisis.

Source: Fox News World

Leaders and experts say Africa must find its own solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that energy resources, like coal, that fueled industrialization in the developed world are no longer viable because they create pollution.

Macron, officially opened the One Planet Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations Environmental Assembly, said green energy is the way forward and the world should follow the example of Kenya, which gets 75 percent of its power from renewable resources.

Macron said Africa is key for this fight because the first impacts of climate change are visible on the continent.

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development, said Africa must stop importing scientists and develop its own through education.

Source: Fox News World

French authorities are working to contain an oil spill off the Atlantic Coast after an Italian tanker sank following a fire.

French and British rescue teams saved all 27 people aboard the Grande America after it sank Tuesday, according to a French government statement.

Images released Thursday by the French navy showed flames and plumes of black smoke spewing from the ship as it listed sharply.

The regional maritime authority says the ship has since leaked oil over an area of about 10 kilometers (6 miles) long and one kilometer wide.

A French cleanup ship was expected in the area Thursday. France has also reached out to the European Maritime Security Agency for help.

The ship sank about 330 kilometers (200 miles) west of the French city of La Rochelle.

Source: Fox News World

Top officials are warning that the crisis in Syria is not over and are calling for large-scale support for people in need on the eve of a major donors’ conference.

U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said Wednesday that "without an immediate and substantial injection of funds, lifesaving provisions of food, water, health care, shelter and protection services will likely be interrupted."

The U.N. says $3.3 billion is required to help meet Syria’s aid needs, plus $5.5 billion to support Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, where most Syrians take refuge.

Around 55 countries and 80 delegations are expected to attend Thursday’s donor conference in Brussels.

As the conflict enters its ninth year, about 11.7 million Syrians still depend on aid. Almost as many have fled or been displaced inside the country.

Source: Fox News World

Researchers in Ecuador say they have discovered a "nursery" of hammerhead sharks off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, a find that may help them track and protect the endangered predators.

The head of the project, Eduardo Espinosa, said the group had found 20 hammerheads in the area along Santa Cruz island, and was able to attach monitors to five of them.

"That site, where the babies spent two or three years, is important not only for the Galapagos but on a world scale because it gives hope for the protection and conservation of a species," he said.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists hammerhead sharks as endangered species that have suffered sharply declining numbers in recent years around the world. They are vulnerable partly because they breed relatively few times, their schools are sometimes caught in fishing nets and their fins are prized in Asian markets.

Marine biologist Alex Hearn of San Francisco University in Quito said researchers had believed that the hammerheads gave birth along continental coasts, so the discovery of the island nursery opens new lines of study.

The hammerheads are an attraction for divers visiting the Galapagos, about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) west of the mainland, and an image of a hammerhead is part of the Galapagos National Park’s emblem.

Source: Fox News World

Police in Scotland say an avalanche has killed two people on Britain’s highest mountain.

Britain’s Press Association reported that a group of climbers were on Ben Nevis mountain when the avalanche came down shortly before noon on Tuesday.

Police Scotland told the news outlet that besides the climbers who died, two more were injured. The police agency says an air ambulance, a coast guard helicopter and mountain rescue volunteers are continuing a search and rescue operation.

Ben Nevis, located in the Scottish highlands, stands nearly 1,344 meters (4,409 feet) above sea level.

Source: Fox News World


Current track

Title

Artist