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8,000 evacuated from menacing Taal volcano, south of Manila, Philippines

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8,000 evacuated from menacing Taal volcano, south of Manila, Philippines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Associated Press/Aaron Favila
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A volcano, not far south of Manila in The Philippines, has been spewing volcanic ash along with rumbling sounds and tremors most of yesterday. Philippine authorities have raised the alert level and ordered the evacuation of about 8,000 residents and suspended flights at Manila’s civil airports. The highest alert is level 5, when a volcano is actually erupting. At this stage the danger level has been raised to level 3. 8,000 residents were at direct risk and were being immediately evacuated.

The country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is telling reporters that an evacuation of the area has begun. The volcano spewed ash generating a 1 kilometre high cloud that later dropped its ash all over local communities.

Heavy ash has been falling on the nearby province of Cavite, prompting authorities to suspend classes today and urging residents to stay indoors. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says the volcanic activity could lead to a “hazardous eruption in weeks”.

Authorities are strongly recommending that people evacuate the area around the Taal volcano, which is on an island in the middle of Taal lake, as well as two nearby “high-risk” areas in the Batangas province.

“Possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.”

The volcanic eruptions of ash and the plume reaching into the sky were visible from the nearby city of Tagaytay, a popular spot for viewing the volcano..

Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the main airport in Manila, says it’s “temporarily suspended” flight operations as a precaution.

SOURCE: Reuters via Bangkok Post

VIDEO: Taal Volcano spews ash column 100 metres high yesterday, January 12. This is what Taal Volcano looks like from Quiling, Talisay, Batangas

8,000 evacuated from menacing Taal volcano, south of Manila, Philippines | News by The Thaiger

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Environment

Greenpeace Thailand names 5 local companies “top plastic polluters”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Greenpeace Thailand names 5 local companies “top plastic polluters” | The Thaiger

After collecting thousands of pieces of plastic waste, Greenpeace Thailand found that the majority of the trash comes from 5 Thai Companies, naming them the “top plastic polluters.”

Volunteers from Greenpeace collected plastic waste from Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai and Wonnapa beach in Chon Buri. Out of the 13,001 pieces of plastic was collected, they say most of the waste traced back to 5 Thai companies: CP Group (which operates Thailand’s 7-Eleven convenience stores), Dutch Mill Company, Osotspa (which produces M-150 drinks), TCP Group and Lactasoy.

This is the third year that Greenpeace Thailand and each year they find the same types of plastic from the same companies, according to leader of the organisation’s “Plastic Project” Pichmol Rugrod. The CP Group was named the top polluter for the second year in a row.

“Single-use plastic has devastating effects not only to nature but to frontline communities as well. There will be no solutions to the plastic crisis unless there is a plan to urgently reduce plastic production and consumption.”

“In addition, corporations must take full responsibility for the pollution they have caused, taking into account the externalised cost of their single-use plastic products- such as the cost of waste collection treatment, their continued contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the irreparable environmental damage that will continue to harm people and biodiversity for years to come.”

Director of Thailand’s Ecological Alert and Recovery, Penchom Saetang, says the Thai government needs to step up plastic waste management and motivate companies to reduce single-use plastic products.

SOURCE: Greenpeace Thailand

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Thailand

Tigers and tiger body parts seized from Thai zoo investigated for alleged wildlife smuggling

Caitlin Ashworth

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Tigers and tiger body parts seized from Thai zoo investigated for alleged wildlife smuggling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Esan Daily Online

In a crackdown on suspected wildlife trafficking, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation seized 5 tigers from a private zoo in the Isaan province Mukdahan. DNA tests confirmed that at least 3 of the 5 tiger cubs are not related to the tigers in the Mudka Tiger Park & Farm, leading officials to believe the wildcats were smuggled in, according to DNP director general Prakit Wongsriwattanakul.

Thai media reports say that some of the tigers seized were not alive and photos of a severed tiger head apparently have been posted by various Thai news websites.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time the Mukda Tiger Park & Farm has been investigated. In January 2018, DNP officials seized protected species from the park including red pandas, grey-shanked douc monkeys and elongated tortoises.

Officials are conducting DNA tests on another 20 tigers and the results will be released by the end of the month. If found guilty of wildlife smuggling, the park owner could face up to 5 years in prison.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Protected hornbill dies from gunshot wound, 2 suspects in police custody

Caitlin Ashworth

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Protected hornbill dies from gunshot wound, 2 suspects in police custody | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: เผด็จ ศิริดำรง

A protected great hornbill died after 5 days of medical treatment for a severe gunshot wound. 2 suspects are now in police custody and officers have seized a .22 calibre rifle, according to Thai PBS.

A tourist found the injured bird near the Khiriphet waterfall on Koh Chang. The hornbill, known in Thai as a nok nguek, was treated at the Nuern Plub Wan animal hospital in Chon Buri. The great hornbill’s condition rapidly deteriorated and veterinarian Phadet Siriadmrong says the hornbill suffered brain stem death.

The great hornbill, Buceros Bicornis, is listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. According to IUCN, hunting his substantial threat to the great hornbill.

Hunting poses a substantial threat to the species. Because of its predictable behaviour when regularly visiting the same feeding sites, it is easily targeted by local hunters.

Thailand’s Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act prohibits hunting preserved or protected wild animals. Those found guilty of violating the act could face up to 4 years in prison and a fine up 40,000 baht.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Bangkok Post | IUCN

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