DOTr expects to install new MRT-3 rails starting November

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2019   •   838

Courtesy: DOTr MRT-3 Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – More than 4,000 pieces of brand new rails for the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) have been delivered to the Philippines, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, the DOTr said the rails, each measuring 18 meters long, have arrived on Tuesday at the Port of Manila from Japan. The delivery was made months ahead of the expected delivery date, the agency added.

TALAGANG GOOD ANG MORNING!DUMATING NA sa Pilipinas ang buong shipment ng mga BAGONG RILES para sa MRT-3! Dumaong ang…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Tuesday, 9 July 2019

From the Port of Manila, the Japan-made rails were transported to the Tracks Laydown Yard near the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

The DOTr said its installation onto the MRT-3 mainline is scheduled to begin in November if the rest of tracks are delivered in October as expected.

To avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service, the agency said, rail replacement works will only take place during non-operating hours.

The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component, and later leads to glitches or train breakdown.

The procurement of new rails is part of the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation of the MRT-3 to bring back the railway’s high-grade design condition, according to the DOTr.

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Court orders suspension of Japan nuclear reactor over safety concerns

UNTV News   •   January 17, 2020

Tokyo – A Japanese court on Friday ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor at the Ikata plant in western Japan on safety grounds, revoking an earlier decision that had green lighted its operation.

The Hiroshima High Court said the operators of the plant Shikoku Electric and the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority underestimated the risk posed to residents by a possible eruption of the Aso volcano, located about 130 km (nearly 80 miles) from the Ikata plant, public broadcaster NHK reported.

In December 2017, the court had ordered the suspension of reactor no. 3 at the plant for the same reason, and became the first Japanese high court to question the new safety requirements implemented in the country in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

However, in September 2018, the court accepted the operator’s appeal because the risk of volcanic eruption was very low, thus allowing the company to restart operations in October of that year.

This time, the court took into account the allegations made by a group of citizens from Yamaguchi Prefecture – located adjacent to the plant – who again highlighted the risks arising from a possible eruption of Mount Aso.

Reactor no. 3 at the Ikata plant was one of the few in the country that had received permission to operate under post-Fukushima regulations, although it was temporarily shut down on account of an inspection by the operator.

Shikoku Electric said it would appeal against the court’s decision that has dealt another legal setback to the plans of the Japanese operators and the government to gradually reactivate the reactors that meet the new safety requirements.

The Fukushima disaster triggered a massive review operation of all the nuclear plants and set off new and stricter security regulations in Japan.

Tokyo estimates 20 to 22 percent of electricity in the country will be generated from atomic plants by 2030, slightly lower than the 30 percent before the 2011 tragedy, the worst nuclear accidents after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Radioactive emissions and spills from the Fukushima disaster left around 110,000 people displaced and has severely affected agriculture, livestock, and fishing in the region.

The disaster was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, leaving over 15,000 people dead and more than 3,000 others missing. EFE-EPA


Japan confirms 1st case of new coronavirus infection

UNTV News   •   January 16, 2020

Japan confirms first cases of swine flu infection epa01724429 Air travelers wearing protective masks arrive at an arrival gate at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan, 09 May 2009. According to the government’s announcement on 09 May, three Japanese male, a 46-year-old teacher and two 16-year-old highschool students who visited Canada for a school trip and arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport from the US city of Detroit on 07 May, have tested positive for swine flu as the first confirmed cases of the virus in the country. Japanese authorities have quarantined 49 others who were aboard the same flight. The country is on high alert this week as the ‘Golden Week’, one of the busiest holidays of the year where tens of millions of people are traveling overseas and domestically is coming to an end. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA

Tokyo – The first case of a pneumonia-like illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus has been detected in Japan, the country’s health ministry confirmed on Thursday.

The virus was recently first detected in China, where there have been more than 40 cases and one death reported.

The affected patient is a Chinese citizen in his 30s living in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo. Earlier this month he visited Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak originated, Japan’s Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Tests conducted by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases were positive for the new type of coronavirus Wednesday night.

The patient said he didn’t visit Wuhan’s fish and seafood market, where the outbreak is thought to have originated, but he may have been in contact with some of the affected patients.

Wuhan health officials said on Wednesday that, although it has not yet been proven, they haven’t ruled out the possibility of human-to-human transmission following a case in which a fish market worker contracted the illness before his wife, who denied going to the market.

The Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed in the statement that they will conduct preventive epidemiological studies and collaborate with relevant organizations, such as the WHO, to assess the risks.

The alert about the spread of the virus was raised after the first case outside China was reported in Thailand earlier this week.

A 61-year-old Chinese woman living in Wuhan traveled on Jan. 8 to Bangkok with five family members in a tour group of 16, according to the World Health Organization, which added she was detected by thermal surveillance at Suvarnabhumi Airport and admitted to hospital.

In a statement on Tuesday, Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the patient had improved and will be able to return home when she tests negative for the virus.

South Korea also reported a suspicious case last week, and Vietnam’s health ministry said that two citizens from Wuhan City were detected with high fever at Da Nang airport on Tuesday.

The authorities, who recently installed body temperature scanning systems at international airports, are awaiting the results of tests to find out if the two are infected with the new coronavirus.

Japan has urged its residents to practice good hygiene and go to a medical center as soon as possible if suspicious symptoms develop.

Coronaviruses usually cause common cold-type symptoms and are spread through sneezing, coughing or direct contact.

However, some types lead to more serious, sometimes deadly respiratory diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). EFE-EFE


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LRT-2 shuts off air conditioning system due to volcanic ash

Marje Pelayo   •   January 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transport (LRT) Line 2 management has temporarily shut down the train’s air conditioning system to prevent damage to the trains due to ash fall as a result of the recent eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas.

On its Twitter account, LRT-2 added that windows will remain closed to prevent the riding public from exposure to volcanic ash that is harmful to health due to its sulfur content.

Train service remains on normal operation at LRT2 as well as at LRT Line 1 and MRT-3.

Meanwhile, the number coding scheme has already been suspended on Monday.

This means vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2 are allowed to travel in Metro Manila streets throughout the day.

Also, all flights have already been cancelled at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as early as Sunday (January 12).

Cancellations remain in effect “until further notice,” according to authorities.

READ: DOTr, CAAP, MIAA: Flight suspension in effect until further notice


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