South East Asia has seen the most penetration with China, unsurprisingly, leading the way. In nearly two decades China has grown tremendously by providing internet from 22 million people to 772 million people. China’s internet availability rate has reached 55.8 per cent, exceeding the world average by 4.1 percentage points.
Thailand has made internet available to 57 million people over the same period.
In India, internet penetration has jumped from five million to 462 million by 2017. It is expected to grow up to 500 million in this year. However, there is a rural urban divide in the country in terms of internet penetration.
In the last decade internet penetration in Indonesia has grown from 2 million to 143 million. It is followed by Japan with 118 million. Japan although has been far ahead of other countries ten years back with the internet penetration at 47 million in the year 2000.
In Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam 80 million, 67 million and 64 million people respectively have access to internet.
South Korea was second to Japan in the year 2000 with internet availability to 19 million people. The internet has now reached 47 million people by last year end but there was already a strong internet presence in those countries in 2000.
Pakistan has improved considerably from providing access to 0.13 million people a decade ago to 44 million by the end of last year. Malaysia, Nepal and Myanmar have made internet available to 25 million, 18 million and 16 million people respectively by 2017.
By the end of last year 8 million people in Cambodia had access to internet followed by Sri Lanka and Singapore with internet availability to 6 million and 4 million people respectively. Laos and Mongolia have provided internet availability to 2 million people. The smaller countries like Brunei and Bhutan have made internet available to more than 400 thousand and 300 thousand people.
Even with these impressive numbers, level of connectivity still has to improve considerably especially in South Asia. There are many challenges in terms of infrastructure, affordable devices, data plans and digital literacy that need to be overcome.
Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew
The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.
Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.
Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!
“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.
The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).
“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.
The airport, which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.
Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.
The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
SOURCE: The Nation
East Sulawesi rocked by 6.8 magnitude tremor – tsunami warning
A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Indonesia yesterday triggering a tsunami warning, soon retracted, sending panicked residents fleeing to higher ground.
The quake struck off the east coast of Sulawesi island near where a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami around the city of Palu killed more than 4,300 people in September last year.
Indonesia’s disaster agency issued a tsunami warning for coastal communities in the island’s Morowali district, east Sulawesi, where residents were advised to move to elevated grounds. The warning was later lifted.
The tremor off the eastern coast of Sulawesi is on the other side of the island from last year’s disaster-hit Palu, where residents still felt the quake despite being hundreds of kilometres away.
The force of last year’s quake saw entire neighbourhoods levelled by liquefaction, a process where the ground starts behaving like a liquid and swallows up the earth like quicksand.
The sprawling Indonesian archipelago is dotted with more than 100 volcanoes, including one in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that erupted in late 2018 and unleashed a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.
SOURCE: The Nation | AFP
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