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Dengue alert declared in The Philippines

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Dengue alert declared in The Philippines | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Philippine Star

Dengue cases have doubled in Thailand this year. And in The Philippines a similar situation is unfolding. Health authorities in The Philippines are declaring a national dengue alert after a spike in cases leaving more than 450 people dead since the start of 2019.

Around 100,000 dengue cases were reported across The Philippines in the first six months of 2019, an increase of 85% on the same period last year. This surge in dengue cases comes as the country is grappling with a nationwide measles outbreak, which authorities say has killed more people so far this year than all of 2018 and puts 2.6 million children at risk.

Epidemics of dengue have been declared in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao, areas that contain about 20 million people – 20% of The Philippines population. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 106,630 dengue cases had been reported from January 1 to June 29, 2019 – 85% more than the 57,564 cases reported from the same period in 2018.

While it is most common in tropical and sub-tropical climates such as Te Philippines, India and Brazil, a recent study shows that global rising temperatures caused by the climate change are likely to see mosquitoes which carry dengue – along with other diseases such as chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika – move further north (in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere), affecting states in the southern US, inland Australia and coastal areas of China and Japan.

Dengue cases in the Philippines have historically surged every three to four years, and the sharp increase this year is in line with expectations after a spike in cases nationwide in 2016.

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Environment

Koh Phi Phi marine park dive site closed off for the next 2 years after karst island collapse

Caitlin Ashworth

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Koh Phi Phi marine park dive site closed off for the next 2 years after karst island collapse | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau

A popular dive site in the Koh Phi Phi National Park will be closed off for the next 2 years after 30,000 tonnes of rock broke off of a karst island, falling into sea and onto a coral reef.

Koh Mae Urai is a karst formation between Koh Phi Phi and the Krabi mainland. A large chunk of the rock formation collapsed last week and broke into 2 pieces, damaging the coral reef at a popular dive site known for its 2 underwater tunnels lined with soft and hard corals.

Chief of the national park, Prayoon Phongphan, says 300 square metres of the reef is damaged. A project is in the works to help recover the reef.

“These include staghorn coral, big star corals, ring corals, floral corals and brain corals, among others.”

The area was recently inspected by divers and national park officers as well as geologists from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Prayoon says they’ll close off the area for the next 2 years.

“The area where the island collapsed will be sealed off for 2 years for the safety of local fishermen and tourists. It is possible that more of the island will break off… Officials have already installed buoys and red flags to make sure no one enters the area. Park officers will also regularly patrol the area.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Environment

Large “chunk” breaks off Krabi island, damaging coral reef at popular dive site

Caitlin Ashworth

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Large “chunk” breaks off Krabi island, damaging coral reef at popular dive site | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau

A large chunk of an island near Koh Phi Phi in southern Thailand has broken off and collapsed on top of a coral reef at a popular dive site. No one was around when the cliffsides sheered off and collapsed into the sea, but national park officers on a routine patrol noticed a section of the island had broken off and saw two large sections of rock above the water.

There has been considerable rain in the region over the past 2 months.

A section of Koh Mae Urai, located between Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, broke off in 2 large pieces estimated to weigh around 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes. Divers headed down to examine the site to see how much damage has been done to the coral reef. The water has been murky, so it’s hard to tell how much damage was done, but Koh Phi Phi National Park chief, Prayoon Phongphan, says he thinks 20% of the coral around the island was damaged.

“At this stage, we do not know how much of the reef was damaged, but the reef is home to important coral, including staghorn coral, and was a popular dive site for tourists.”

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PHOTO: Wikipedia

Koh Mae Urai is a unique local dive spot with 2 tunnels lined with soft and hard corals, according to Lonely Planet. When the current isn’t too strong and the visibility is good, Koh Mae Urai is “the most beautiful dive site in the Ao Nang area with number soft coral as well as seahorses”, according to Krabi Magazine.

For now, the area around the island is closed off and boat operators are warned not to approach the site until marine officials can inspect the island’s structure and be sure of the safety for divers and visitors.

“Please be careful. Boat operators must not approach the site. It can be dangerous… Park officers will mark off the area with buoys with a sign clearly explaining no entry to the sealed-off area.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Environment

New delivery application focuses on reducing Thailand’s food waste

Caitlin Ashworth

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New delivery application focuses on reducing Thailand’s food waste | The Thaiger

The following story was sent to The Thaiger from the Yindii, a business focused on sustainability and reducing waste produced from the food industry.

Yindii, a Thai anti-food-waste startup, launches a mobile application designed to match hungry, deal-seeking Bangkok residents with environmentally-conscious restaurants, grocery stores and cafes offering delicious food that could otherwise go to waste. Through its discounted “flash sales,” Yindii helps battle an escalating societal problem while enabling restaurants to gain potentially lost revenue.

Yindii’s mobile application is designed to be a direct-to-consumer platform created for restaurants and cafes who can create exclusive and immediate “Happy Hour Deals” offers regularly, with up to discount from 50 to 70%. Once a Yindii box offer is published, Yindii users can then purchase the Yindii box before heading to the restaurant to collect their items or getting them delivered. Transactions are completed electronically.

Consumers can discover what is inside when they open their surprise gift box. Aside from the savings – and committing to the reduction of food waste – consumers benefit from the app by connecting with their favourite food joints to easily find highly discounted items.

“33% of all food produced globally is wasted or lost every year. That is close to a billion and a half tons which is never consumed, accounting for 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions around the globe, 4 times more polluting than the airline industry. All this is an ecological disaster!”

“The growing problem of food waste is challenging to solve for endless reasons including logistics, the complexities of short-lived items and the lack of a set market, which is what we are working to help solve – with a simple system for people and restaurants of surplus food to connect and enact.” – Yindii founder and tech entrepreneur Louis-Alban Batard-Dupre

“All the food available on Yindii is delicious and untouched, coming from premium places, that just cannot wait for tomorrow to be eaten. Think about pastries in coffee shops or fresh meals in restaurants. Our community, the Food Waste Fighters, can rescue the food and provide access to quality meals at an affordable price.”

For the first 100 users who download the app, Yindii is offering free delivery up to 5km from any store with the code: SAVETHEPLANET.

Available for download on Apple’s app store for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices, the Yindii app features an initial group of restaurants and cafes including: Sofitel Sukhumvit, Veganerie, Ohana Poke, Broccoli Revolution, Delifrance, Sunshine Market, Banana Warrior, among others.

New delivery application focuses on reducing Thailand's food waste | News by The Thaiger

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