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Climate Change Linked to Historic Antarctic Sea Ice Loss, Study Finds

Climate Change Linked to Historic Antarctic Sea Ice Loss, Study Finds London, 20 May (ONA) --- A new study by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has linked record-low levels of Antarctic sea ice in 2023 to climate change. Researchers found that such an extreme event would be expected once in 2,000 years without climate change, but its likelihood increases fourfold due to climate effects. By analyzing 18 climate models, the BAS team determined that the significant ice loss witnessed in 2023 was a "very rare event." They concluded that without climate change, ...

Heavy Rains Set off Flash Floods in Northern Afghanistan, Killing at Least 47 People

Heavy Rains Set off Flash Floods in Northern Afghanistan, Killing at Least 47 People Kabul, 19 May (ONA) --- More heavy rains in Afghanistan have triggered flash floods, raising the death toll to 47 in the country’s north following weeks of devastating torrents that had already left hundreds dead and missing. The new round of heavy rains and floods hit three districts in Faryab province last night, destroying houses and farmlands. Earlier reports from Faryab put the death toll at 18 but officials said those were still preliminary figures. Afghanistan has ...

Eruption of Indonesia's Mt. Ibu Forces Villages to Evacuate in Maluku Island

Eruption of Indonesia's Mt. Ibu Forces Villages to Evacuate inMaluku Island Jakarta, 19 May (ONA) --- Mount Ibu volcano has spectacularly erupted, spewing a grey ash cloud into the sky, and people from seven nearby villages have been evacuated, Indonesian authorities said today. A four-kilometer-high volcanic ash cloud formed by the eruption of Mount Ibu last night triggered flashes of lightning that illuminated the volcano's peak, said Indonesian news agency Antara. "The sound of rumbling and roaring was heard up to the Mount Ibu observation post with lightning seen in the ...

Meta Faces EU Investigation Over Child Safety Risks

Meta Faces EU Investigation Over Child Safety Risks Brussels, 16 May (ONA)---European Union (EU) regulators have initiated a formal investigation into Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, over potential breaches of online content rules concerning child safety. The European Commission expressed concerns about algorithmic systems on these platforms that could exploit children's vulnerabilities and stimulate addictive behavior. Investigators will scrutinize whether these systems contribute to a "rabbit hole" effect, leading users to increasingly ...

Scientists Solve Mystery of Ancient 'Tree of Life'

Scientists Solve Mystery of Ancient 'Tree of Life' London, 16 May (ONA)--- Scientists have unlocked the ancient mystery surrounding the origins of baobab trees, the iconic giants native to Madagascar. The migration of these trees from Madagascar to mainland Africa and Australia has long puzzled scientists. Through DNA studies, researchers have traced the baobab lineage back to Madagascar around 21 million years ago. Known for their distinctive swollen trunks and ability to thrive in arid climates, baobabs have played crucial roles in their ecosystems for ...

Thunderstorm Leaves 14 Killed, Dozens Injured in India

Thunderstorm Leaves 14 Killed, Dozens Injured in India New Delhi, 14 May (ONA) --- At least 14 people were killed and dozens injured after a huge billboard fell on them during a thunderstorm in Mumbai, India. Local authorities said in a statement that at least 74 people were taken to hospital due to injuries following the accident, before 31 of them were released. Ambulance teams recovered eight bodies from under the rubble while other bodies still need to be recovered. The billboard fell due to the wind near a gas station east of the city, and its fall led to the detention ...

Floods Death Toll Rises to 143 in Brazil

FloodsDeath Toll Rises to 143 in Brazil Brasilia, 13 May (ONA) --- Brazilian authorities announced that the death toll of Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul State's floods, south of the country, soared to 143 people, with 125 others still missing. The devastating floods that swept Rio Grande do Sul also injured 806 people, while around 618,000 other people were forced to leave their homes, the state's Civil Defense Department said. Brazilian news agency indicated that about 90 percent of all cities in the state were damaged as a result of the floods. Brazilian President Luiz ...

Death Toll from Afghanistan Floods Exceeds 330

Death Toll from Afghanistan Floods Exceeds 330 Kabul, 12 May (ONA) --- More than 330 died as rainstorms and flash floods hit major parts of the provinces of Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan and Ghor of Afghanistan, according to the Afghanistan office of the World Food Programme and local Afghan officials. The UN agency said on social media that more than 300 people died in northern Baghlan province alone, with more than 1,000 houses destroyed. In an earlier report, 160 people were reported dead and 117 others injured as rainstorms and flash floods hit major parts of ...

At least 28 Dead in Indonesia Flash Floods

At least 28 dead in Indonesia flash floods Jakarta, 12 May (ONA)--- Heavy rain brought floods and landslides to Indonesia's province of West Sumatra, killing at least 28, with four still missing, authorities said today. "There are 28 people killed, and we are still searching for four others who are missing," Abdul Malik, the chief of the provincial rescue team said. The national disaster management agency BNPB said in a statement that flooding since last night had brought mud to the Tanah Datar regency, affecting five sub-districts. ---Ends/Thuraiya/AG ...

Sponges, Brittle Stars Likely Affected by Deep-Sea Mining: Study

Sponges, Brittle Stars Likely Affected by Deep-Sea Mining: StudyAmsterdam, 9 May (ONA) --- New research suggested that deep-sea mining operations may have grave consequences for deep-sea fauna.Scientists from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands and the University of Bergen in Norway simulated mining plumes' effects on the common deep-sea sponge Geodia barretti and its associated brittle star species.By exposing them to suspended particles from crushed seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) deposits, they found alarming results.The sponges experienced a tenfold increase ...

World's Largest Plant to Extract CO2 from Air Opened in Iceland

World's Largest Plant to Extract CO2 from Air Opened in Iceland London, 9 May (ONA) --- Climeworks has opened the world’s largest operational direct air capture (DAC) plant to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, with its Mammoth plant in Iceland almost ten times larger than the current record holder. Worsening climate change and inadequate efforts to cut emissions have led U.N. scientists to estimate billions of tons of carbon must be removed from the atmosphere annually to meet global climate goals, Reuters reported. DAC works by using a technical process to ...

Floods in Kenya Raise Fears of Disease Outbreaks

Floods in Kenya Raise Fears of Disease Outbreaks Nairobi, 9 May (ONA) --- The consequences from severe flooding in Kenya could last beyond the current heavy rains, with environmental damage raising the risks of contamination and disease. Many water sources are polluted and the risk of epidemics spreading throughout the country is increasing. The floods are currently causing a fourth cholera outbreak, she said. As of Wednesday, 257 people had died in Kenya during the rainy season storms alone while the search continues for more than 70 missing persons. Kenyan ...

Floods Death Toll Rises to 95 in Brazil

Floods Death Toll Rises to 95 in BrazilBrasilia, 8 May (ONA) --- The death toll from the floods taking place in Brazil rose to 95, as heavy rains continue to fall on the country, with dozens of people still missing. The death toll from flooding and landslides caused by massive rainfalls over the weekend in Brazil's southern state of Sao Paulo reached 44 as search continued for dozens still missing. Local sources reported that flood waters caused a power outage for several days for tens of thousands of people in the city of Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio ...

Volcano Erupts In Mount Ibu Island of Eastern Indonesia

Volcano Erupts In Mount Ibu Island of Eastern IndonesiaJakarta, 8 May (ONA)--- Mount Ibu on Halmahera Island, North Maluku, experienced an eruption today, spewing ash nearly 2,000 meters above its peak, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) stated.Based on reports on the Magma Indonesia page, the ash column was observed to be gray to black in color with thick intensity towards the east and southeast.The eruption was recorded on a seismograph, with a maximum amplitude of 28 mm for 127 seconds.Mount Ibu, with a height of 1,325 meters above sea ...

Death Toll Rises to 90 In Brazil Floods

Death Toll Rises to 90 In Brazil FloodsBrasília, 8 May (ONA) --- Five more people died amid storms ravaging south Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 90, Brazil’s civil defence agency has said.In the state bordering Uruguay and Argentina, record rainfall, flooding and mudslides have left 132 people missing and 361 injured and forced over 200,000 residents to evacuate their homes over the past eight days.According to the state's civil defence agency, over 1.4 million people in 388 of the state's 497 towns, including the capital city ...

Brazil Floods Death Toll Rises to 78

Brazil Floods Death Toll Rises to 78 Brasilia, 6 May (ONA) --- Brazilian authorities announced that the number of victims of torrential rains that caused floods in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in the south of the country rose to at least 78 people, with tens of thousands displaced. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva held a press conference in the state, accompanied by a group of ministers, about rescue and reconstruction work. Bureaucracy will not prevent restoring the greatness of the state, he said. In turn, Governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, ...

Landslides and Massive Flooding Kill Dozens in Brazil

Landslides and Massive Flooding Kill Dozens in Brazil Brasilia, 5 May (ONA) --- Massive flooding and landslides triggered by days of heavy rains in Brazil's southernmost state have killed 55 people, according to local authorities. Local officials said another 74 people are missing in Rio Grande do Sul. Nearly 25,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes since the storms began last Saturday, BBC news reported. At least half a million were without power and clean water, with further rainfall expected. Rio Grande do Sul's civil defence said 55 ...

5-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes South-eastern Peru

5-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes South-eastern Peru Lima, 5 May (ONA) --- An earthquake measuring five magnitude on the Richter scale struck the Cusco Province in south-eastern Peru today. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said that the earthquake occurred three km from Caicay District at a depth of 10 km. There have been no reports of casualties or material damage as a result of the earthquake so far. Peru is exposed to at least 400 earthquakes every year due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. --- Ends/Khalid ...

Study Sheds New Light on Relation Between Beavers, Deer

Study Sheds New Light on Relation Between Beavers, DeerEdinburgh, 30 Apr (ONA) --- A recent study conducted by the University of Stirling delves into the indirect interactions between beavers and deer in Scotland, shedding light on the implications for shared woodlands.The research reveals that nearly two-thirds of trees felled by beavers sprout new shoots, which are more abundant and nutritious, potentially diversifying woodland structure and boosting biodiversity.This finding is significant as beavers, previously extinct in Scotland, have gradually returned, coexisting with deer ...

Flood Death Toll Rises in Kenya

Flood Death Toll Rises in KenyaNairobi, 30 Apr (ONA) --- Floods and mudslides in Kenya resulted in the death of at least 169 people, and the toll is expected to rise with torrential downpours caused by El Niño weather conditions forecasted to continue in East Africa.The worst incident was recorded in the Mai Mahiu region, about 60 kilometers north of the capital, Nairobi, where 45 people died and 73 were injured when a village was flooded today, Isaac Mwaura, a government spokesman said in a virtual briefing. --- Ends/Thuraiya/AG ...

Over 12,000 People Evacuated Amid Volcano Eruption in Indonesia

Over 12,000 People Evacuated Amid Volcano Eruption in IndonesiaJakarta, 30 Apr (ONA) --- Indonesia's Ruang volcano erupted today, spewing lava as lightning flashes lit up its crater, prompting authorities to raise the alert status and evacuate more than 12,000 people living on a nearby island.The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) had warned the residents of Tagulandang island that a tsunami could be triggered by volcanic material collapsing into the ocean.The agency raised the alert status of Ruang to the highest level following the early morning ...

35 Killed in Dam Failure in Southern Kenya

35 Killed in Dam Failure in Southern Kenya Nairobi, 29 Apr (ONA) --- At least 35 people were killed in a dam failure in southern Kenya, following weeks of heavy rains and devastating floods which caused homes and vehicles to wash away and damage to infrastructure. Rescue teams are digging through the mud and debris, in an attempt to find survivors near the Mai Mahiu area, warning that the death toll may rise significantly. Reaching the Mai Mahiu area, located 20 miles north of the capital, Nairobi, was difficult because part of the road was cut off due to heavy rains. Rescue ...

Bangladesh Faces Longest-ever Heatwave

Bangladesh Faces Longest-ever Heatwave Dhaka, 28 Apr (ONA) --- The authorities in Bangladesh have issued another heatwave alert for three more days beginning today as the South Asian country is facing its longest heatwave in 75 years. Bangladesh reported the season's highest temperature at 42.7 degrees Celcius last Friday in the south-western district of Chuadanga. Dhaka's maximum temperature was 38.2 degrees that day, according to meteorological data. The blistering heat has forced the government to shut schools for a week, with hospitals preparing to receive higher ...

5 Died, 33 Injured by Strong Tornado in China's Guangzhou

5 Died, 33 Injured by Strong Tornado in China's Guangzhou Beijing, April 28 (ONA) --- Five people died and 33 others injured by a strong tornado that hit Guangzhou, the capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, local authorities said. The tornado hit Zhongluotan Town in the city's Baiyun District. A preliminary investigation by the provincial meteorological bureau has determined that the tornado had a level-three intensity. Rescuers from the city's emergency management have been sent to the site immediately. Authorities said 141 factory buildings were ...

Earthquake of 5.5 Magnitude Strikes Kermadec Islands off New Zealand Coast

Earthquake of 5.5 Magnitude Strikes Kermadec Islands off New ZealandCoast Wellington, 25 Apr (ONA) --- An earthquake measuring 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale today struck the Kermadec Islands off the coast of New Zealand. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 179 km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported. There have been no reports of casualties or material losses due to the earthquake so far. It is noteworthy that an earthquake measuring 4.8 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Wednesday the Kermadec Islands. --- Ends/Khalid ...

EU Parliament Votes in Favour of Stricter Air Pollution Limits

EU Parliament Votes in Favour of Stricter Air Pollution Limits Strasbourg, 24 Apr (ONA) --- The European Parliament gave the green light today for stricter limits on air pollution. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in the French city of Strasbourg in favour of new upper limits to apply for particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), among other pollutants. Representatives of the EU member states and the European Parliament had reached a provisional agreement in February. The new rules are intended to ensure that air pollution in ...

Asia Tops Climate Disaster Impact: UN Report

Asia Tops Climate Disaster Impact: UN Report Geneva, 23 Apr (ONA) --- Asia experienced the highest impact from climate-related disasters globally last year (2023), according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Floods and storms were the primary culprits, resulting in the greatest number of casualties in the continent. In a report published today, WMO said that 79 disasters linked to hydro-meteorological events had been reported in Asia in 2023. More than 80% of these were related to floods and storms that caused more than 2,000 deaths. "Many ...

Health-Harming Heat Stress Rising in Europe

Health-Harming Heat Stress Rising in Europe Brussels, 22 Apr (ONA) --- Europe is increasingly facing bouts of heat so intense that the human body cannot cope, as climate change continues to raise temperatures, the EU's Copernicus climate monitoring service and the World Meteorological Organization said today. In a report on Europe's climate, Copernicus and the WMO noted last year's extreme conditions, including a July heatwave which pushed 41% of southern Europe into strong, very strong or extreme heat stress, the biggest area of Europe under such conditions in any day on ...

Intense Rains Batter Southern China, Trigger Massive Floods, Landslides

Intense Rains Batter Southern China, Trigger Massive Floods, LandslidesBeijing, 22 Apr (ONA) --- Heavy rains hammered southern China on the weekend, flooding homes, streets and farmland and threatening to upend the lives of tens of millions of people as rescuers rushed to evacuate residents trapped by rising waters. At least 11 people are missing, six of whom are from the town of Jiangwan near Shaoguan city in the province’s mountainous north, where heavy downpours have triggered landslides that injured six people, state-run news agency Xinhua said today. Days of ...

58 Died after Boat Capsizes in Central African Republic

58 Died after Boat Capsizes in Central African Republic Bangui, 21 Apr (ONA) --- At least 58 people were killed and others were missing after an overloaded river boat capsized in Lake Mboko, in the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui. Media reported that the 20 meters long and three meters wide boat was carrying more than 300 people on their way to attend a funeral, adding that it may have capsized due to overloading. According to civil defense reports, rescue workers did not arrive at the scene until 40 minutes after the boat capsized. River transport is ...