Forest fire burns Cristo Rey monument area in Colombia

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 11, 2019   •   492

Emergency officials stepped in after massive fire burns near tourist spots in Colombia on Tuesday (September 10)

Video shared with Reuters showed the fire burning mass areas of the hill holding Cristo Rey, or Christ the King monument in Cali, about 450 kilometres southeast of Bogota.

Local media said that the fire department deployed crews to control the blaze first reported at 1:40pm local time (1740GMT).

No injuries were reported after the fires died down at 10pm (0200GMT), however the inferno threatened several areas in Cali including the Cali zoo. (REUTERS)

Haze triggers health issues for Indonesian orangutans, rehab center swings into treatment mode

UNTV News   •   September 18, 2019

More than thirty orangutans in Kalimantan on Tuesday (September 17) were being treated at a rehabilitation center suffering from respiratory issues triggered by smokey forest fires in Indonesia.

Officials from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) reported that 31 orangutans were suffering from various breathing-related ailments and were being treated with nebulizers and antibiotics.

They said the fires were barely 300 meters from one of the rehabilitation centers in Nyaru Menteng.

The air pollution index in Palangka Raya, the capital of Central Kalimantan province on Borneo, has been at a “dangerous” level for days. Schools in Palangka Raya and another city in Central Kalimantan, Sampit, have been closed this week.

Fires have ripped through more than 328,000 hectares of forests and peatlands in Indonesia since January, causing a choking haze to envelop some cities in Borneo and the island of Sumatra, according to the country’s disaster mitigation agency. (REUTERS)

(Production: Heru Asprihanto, Yuddy Cahya)

Bolivia mourns losses as wildfire fight rages on

UNTV News   •   September 18, 2019

Bolivia’s battle against wildfires rages on as the country uses any resource it can, from a 747 Supertanker to the humble shovels and machetes of volunteer fire-fighters, to bring a halt to the blazes.

The 747 Supertanker could be seen flying over the dry hills near Tarija, Bolivia on Monday (September 16) dousing fires with thousands of gallons of water.

Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz, family members of fire-fighters who lost their lives while on duty laid them to rest at funerals.

Local media report that two fire-fighters died of cardiac arrest in recent days.

Blazes have burned largely unabated across vast swaths of hilly forest and savannah near Bolivia’s border with Paraguay and Brazil.

At least 1 million hectares, or approximately 3,800 square miles, have been impacted by the fires, officials have said.

Some 2,000 fire-fighters have been mobilized. But the country is amongst the poorest in the region, forcing many in the fire brigade to battle flames with whatever resources they can muster. (REUTERS)

(Production: Monica Machicao)

Seven die in Colombia plane crash

UNTV News   •   September 16, 2019

A small plane crashed near the southwestern Colombian city of Popayan on Sunday (September 15), killing seven of the nine passengers aboard, the city’s mayor and the country’s civil aviation authority said.

The incident occurred just a few minutes after the aircraft, owned by a small local company, took off from the airport in Popayan, a city of about 270,000 surrounded by mountains. The other two passengers were injured and were being treated at a hospital, Police Chief Fabian Cardenas told the media.

Video footage showed parts of the airplane scattered on top of houses in the area. Colombia’s civil aviation authority said in a statement it was investigating the cause. (REUTERS)

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