Ukraine fighting threatens water supply to four million: OSCE

admin   •   June 17, 2014   •   2127

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard at a checkpoint near the town of Amvrosievka, in Donetsk region June 5, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/MAXIM ZMEYEV

(Reuters) – Fighting in eastern Ukraine threatens water supplies to the city of Donetsk and could have serious consequences for 4 million people, monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said on Monday.

The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in eastern Ukraine quoted local officials as saying a water pumping station and a section of pipeline near the town of Semyonovka, close to the bitterly contested city of Slaviansk, had been damaged in fighting between government forces and separatists.

“This pumping station and pipeline constitute the main water supply for Donetsk city’s population of 1 million, and a further 3 million inhabitants of the region,” it said in a statement following talks with Donetsk mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko.

The OSCE mission quoted the mayor on its Facebook page as saying that the water supply to Donetsk had not been affected yet, but that this was set to change “in a very short while”.

Repair work was under way but help was needed to prevent it being interrupted by shooting, it said.

Semyonovka lies about 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Slaviansk and 110 km (70 miles) north of Donetsk, the main city in the Donbass coal mining region.

The statement is the latest sign of a growing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Water, food and electricity supplies have been affected in some areas and thousands of people have fled their homes for safe areas, including some who have taken refuge in Russia.

The separatists rose up in the Russian-speaking east in April to press for annexation by Moscow after Ukraine’s pro-Russian president was toppled in February and Russia annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine in March.

(Reporting by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Discrimination towards QC residents amid UK variant reports, result of fake news

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 29, 2021

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Quezon City Government has called out the ‘discrimination’ towards its residents after UK COVID-19 variant reports in the city, reiterating that such is a mere result of fake news.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the first new variant case in the country did not have the chance to go to Quezon City upon his arrival from the UAE.

She reiterated that the mention of Barangay Kamuning as the individual’s residential address had somehow gone out of proportion.

“Ang residential address lang niya ang Barangay Kamuning but he never set foot in Kamuning or talk to anyone in Kamuning or went home. He was in a quarantine facility,” she said.

Belmonte also mentioned the travel restriction imposed by Arayat Mayor Emmanuel Alejandrino on Quezon City residents, saying that it has no basis.

“The news, while it is true that the residence of this man is Kamuning in a sense, it’s false news. When news is incomplete I believe it’s also false news because it is subject to misunderstanding and misinterpretation,” Belmonte added.

Alejandrino has yet to respond Mayor Belmonte’s appeal.

Meanwhile, the QC local government entered into a third-party agreement with Zuellig Pharmaceutical Company for COVID-19 vaccine storage.

Belmonte said the local government has insufficient budget to build its own facility and procure low-temperature freezers.

In the said agreement, Zuellig will provide enough storage to accommodate the COVID-19 vaccines amounting to billions of pesos. -AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

Maynilad announces water supply interruption in 4 areas from September 17-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 11, 2020

Maynilad Water Services Inc. has announced that several areas in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, and Cavite will experience weak water pressure or no water supply between 10:00 p.m. on September 17 and 7:00 a.m. of September 19.

Maynilad said they will temporarily close the Putatan Water Treatment Plant 1 in Muntinlupa City to conduct maintenance and upgrades for the said facility. The water concessionaire will also conduct several enhancement activities in the pipe network in Cavite.

Pansamantalang isasara ng Maynilad ang Putatan Water Treatment Plant 1 sa Muntinlupa City upang magsagawa ng maintenance…

Posted by Maynilad Water Services, Inc. on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Maynilad Water Supply Operations head Ronald Padua assured that water tanks will be available to supply water to affected residents.

“Makakakuha po sila ng tubig para sa pangangailangan nila sa mag-hapon at the same time kaya po ngayon pa lang ay nag-aanunsyo na kami para magkaroon ng pagkakataon mga customers namin na makapagipon,” he said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Fire raging near Ukraine’s Chernobyl poses radiation risk, say activists

UNTV News   •   April 14, 2020

A huge forest fire in Ukraine that has been raging for more than a week is now just one kilometer from the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant and poses a radiation risk, Greenpeace Russia warned on Monday (April 13), citing satellite images.

Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Service said it was still fighting the fires, but that the situation was under control.

Aerial images of the 30 km (19 mile) exclusion zone around the plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, showed scorched, blackened earth and the charred stumps of still smouldering trees.

The Emergency Situations Service said radiation levels in the exclusion zone had not changed and those in nearby Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, “did not exceed natural background levels.”

Greenpeace Russia said the situation is much worse than Ukrainian authorities believe, and that the fires cover an area one thousand times bigger than they claim.

On April 4 Ukrainian authorities said the blaze covered an area of 20 hectares, but Greenpeace cited satellite images showing it was around 12,000 hectares in size at that time.

“According to satellite images taken on Monday, the area of the largest fire has reached 34,400 hectares,” it said, adding that a second fire, stretching across 12,600 hectares, was just one kilometre away from the defunct plant.

Ukrainian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on those claims.

Rashid Alimov, head of energy projects at Greenpeace Russia, said the fires, fanned by the wind, could disperse radionuclides, atoms that emit radiation.

“A fire approaching a nuclear or hazardous radiation facility is always a risk,” Alimov said. “In this case we’re hoping for rain tomorrow.”

Chernobyl tour operator Yaroslav Yemelianenko, writing on Facebook, described the situation as critical.

He said the fire was rapidly expanding and had reached the abandoned city of Pripyat, two kilometres from where “the most highly active radiation waste of the whole Chernobyl zone is located.” He called on officials to warn people of the danger.

Satellite images taken by NASA Worldview and seen by Reuters showed the two fires had extended far into the exclusion zone.

The fires, which follow unusually dry weather, began on April 3 in the western part of the exclusion zone and spread to nearby forests.

Police say they have identified a 27-year old local resident who they accuse of deliberately starting the blaze.

It remains unclear if the person, who has reportedly confessed to starting a number of fires “for fun,” is partly or fully responsible. (Reuters)

(Production: Sergiy Karazy, Dmitriy Turlyun, Margaryta Chornokondratenko)

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