Floating solar panel farm catches fire following typhoon Faxai

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2019   •   1248

Courtesy: @gtsnafkin / Twitter

One of the strongest typhoons to hit eastern Japan in recent years caused a fire at a solar power plant when it struck on Monday (September 9),

Video shared with Reuters showed flames and heavy smoke billowing at a floating solar panel farm at Yamakura Dam, southeast of Tokyo.

Local fire department believes that the panels piled on top of one another during strong winds and the stacked panels accumulated enough heat to cause a fire to break out. NHK reported that around 50 solar panels out of 50,000 were affected by the fire.

More than 900,000 homes lost power as Typhoon Faxai killed one woman, with record-breaking winds and stinging rain damaging buildings and disrupting transport. (Reuters)

(Production: Nur-Azna Sanusi)

PH swimmer Gawilan qualifies for Tokyo Paralympic Games

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 21, 2020

Asian Games gold medalist swimmer Ernie Gawilan will compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

28-year-old Gawilan is the first Filipino qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games which will be held from August 25 to September 6.

The International Paralympic Committee has given Gawilan a slot for his qualifying points from the 2018 Asian Para Games and the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.—AAC

British TV presenter Flack died by hanging — inquest hears

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Caroline Flack

British television presenter Caroline Flack was found hanged in her London flat on Saturday (February 15) and paramedics were unable to revive her, an inquest into her death heard.

The suicide of the 40-year-old former presenter of the hugely popular “Love Island” dating show has reignited a debate in Britain about the conduct of the tabloid press and social media trolls.

Coroner’s Officer Sandra Polson told the court that police had been flagged down on the street by an unidentified person who had led them to a residential address. There, a woman was found lying on her back.

An ambulance arrived and paramedics attempted CPR but were unable to revive her. She was pronounced dead at 1436 GMT on Saturday.

An autopsy determined that the cause of death was suspension by ligature. The coroner adjourned the rest of the inquest until Aug. 5. (Reuters)

(Production: Marissa Davison)

Global warming causing ‘irreversible’ mass melting in Antarctica says scientist

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Global warming was leading to an “irreversible” mass melting of the Antarctic ice and purging carbon from the atmosphere was the only solution to slow the process, an Australian climate scientist told Reuters on Wednesday (February 19).

Recent human activity has intensified global warming, which could result in a mass melting of Antarctica, said Zoe Thomas, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales who was part of an international team of scientists that recently published a paper on Antarctic ice melting.

The study showed the world could lose most of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which rests on the seabed and is fringed by floating ice, in a warmer world.

“What we’re seeing with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is that this starting of the melt, once we reach a certain threshold, will continue despite our efforts to stop it,” she told Reuters.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.94 degrees Fahrenheit) was taken at a research base there on Feb. 6. If hotter temperatures were to sustain they could cause an extreme global sea level rise.

“This will gradually displace people as it goes,” Thomas said. “We know this is already happening in small island communities and this will just continue to happen gradually as more and more houses are being inundated at high tide, then at normal tide and then even at low tide.”

Thomas said that the only thing that would slow down the ice melting was if economies across the world began de-carbonising themselves.

Many advanced economies have pledged to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 though Australia is largely seen as dragging its feet on the issue despite recently suffering one of its worst bushfire seasons ever. (Reuters)

(Production: Cordelia Hsu)

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