2 Neg Occ towns under state of calamity due to drought

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2019   •   1233

Hectares of dried-up rice fields affected by 2019 El Niño

A state of calamity was declared in Murcia and Isabela, Negros Occidental because of the severe effects of El Niño phenomenon.

80% of the rice field of A and G Esteban Farmers Association in Barangay San Miguel, Murcia, Negros Occidental is affected by El Niño phenomenon.

The president of the association Rosie Alit said they had no choice but to feed the affected crops to their buffaloes because they no longer have a use for it.

“Hindi na iyan namin mapapakinabangan basta nasa booting stage at milking ang matamaan sa palay wala nang pag-asa, hindi na iyan maka-recover, (We no longer have any use of it. As long as booting stage and milking [stage] were affected in the crops, there is no hope to save it.)” she said.

In the country, around 30 areas, which include 5 provinces and 25 cities/municipalities, are under a state of calamity due to the effects of El Niño.

READ: Albay under state of calamity due to El Niño

Agricultural damage brought by the severe drought reached to over P5 billion with more than 164,000 farmers affected.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) already began their cloud seeding operation in affected areas.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

Japan PM officially declares state of emergency

UNTV News   •   April 7, 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe | Image courtesy of Reuters Connect

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday (April 7) declared a state of emergency to fight new coronavirus infections in major population centres and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world’s biggest to soften the economic blow.

The state of emergency, giving authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close, will last through May 6 and be imposed in the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures – accounting for about 44% of Japan’s population.

“The most important thing is to change people’s actions,” Abe said in televised comments made at a meeting of a government task force.

Abe will speak at a news conference later tonight to explain to the citizens what the emergency declaration means for the people to get consent from the public. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

Philippines declares state of calamity over coronavirus threat

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of calamity due to the rapidly growing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the country.

In Proclamation No. 929, signed on Monday, Duterte said the declaration would afford the national government as well as local government units ample latitude to use appropriate funds to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The funds will also be used to continue to provide basic services to the affected population, the proclamation said.

The state of calamity will last for six months unless lifted or extended by the President “as circumstances may warrant,” the proclamation stated.

“Despite government interventions, the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise,” it said.

The Philippine Health Department on Tuesday reported 45 new cases, bringing the total coronavirus infections to 187.

Under the state of calamity, all government agencies and local government units are enjoined “to render full assistance to, and cooperation with each other, and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of COVID-19.”

Law enforcement agencies, with the support of the military, are also directed to take necessary measures to ensure peace and order in the affected areas.

The declaration comes after Duterte imposed a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine starting Tuesday.

Australia to cull thousands of wild camels as they search for water

UNTV News   •   January 8, 2020

Sydney — Australian authorities began culling at least 10,000 wild camels Wednesday whose overwhelming population has endangered communities in the desert region as they try to access water amid one of the worst droughts in the country’s history.

Aboriginal areas of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) reserve, “have been unable to manage the scale and number of camels that congregate in dry conditions,” according to a statement from the Department for Environment and Water of South Australia.

An APY executive committee statement said professional snipers teams would shoot the animals in an operation set to last at least five days.

Some 10,000 wild camels approach water sources used by the area’s aboriginal population and damage their infrastructure, endangering families and communities, as well as competing with cattle.

Many of these camels die of thirst or trample each other to access water, according to the statement from the South Australia environmental department.

“The dead animals have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites (which are important for the aboriginal community, as their spirituality is deeply linked to their sacred places),” it added.

APY Lands Manager Richard King told national broadcaster ABC that they would try to kill the camels when they approach water sources.

“It gives us an opportunity to get them while they’re all together, because generally they’ll go and move around the desert in smaller herds. So while they’re all together, it’s a great time to have a cull and clean out some of the animals that are destroying some of our native vegetation,” King said.

According to tracking portal CamelScan, there are about 1.2 million wild camels in Australia, and their population doubles every nine years. According to the portal, these animals live in a area spanning 3.3 million square kilometers and cause more than AU$10 million ($6.8 million) in yearly damages.

It is not the first time Australia kills animals such as camels and horses that aren’t endemic to the country and are often a threat to the ecosystem and native species, generally composed of smaller populations that include few carnivorous animals. EFE-EPA

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