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Caribbean islands handle water, food shortages after volcanic eruptions | Instant News


KINGSTOWN, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Reuters) – The tiny island in the eastern Caribbean of Saint Vincent was rocked by a fifth-day eruption of La Soufriere volcano on Tuesday as leaders warned about water shortages and the potential needs of hundreds of millions of people. dollars to rebuild.

The explosion occurred around 6 a.m., causing smoke and other billowing ash and pyroclastic currents of ash and rock to slide down the flanks of the volcano. Officials have warned it could continue to be active for months.

Ash covered much of the island, 8 inches (20 cm) thick in parts. It has destroyed crops, contaminated water, killed animals and destroyed infrastructure, as well as rendered some roads impassable, complicating search and rescue efforts.

So far there have been no reports of casualties or injuries. Damage from the 1979 eruption was $ 100 million. But residents are struggling to overcome supply shortages.

“We are still looking for drinking water and food,” said Jenetta Young Mason, 43, who fled her home in a dangerous area to live with relatives.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said some supplies from neighboring countries had started pouring into the island nation of more than 100,000 people during a press conference broadcast on local stations. But more help is needed.

The Central Water and Sewage Authority has been unable to extract water from water sources since the volcano erupted, said government spokesman Sehon Marshall, resulting in more than 50% depletion of water storage.

Several Caribbean islands have shipped cots, food, masks and breathing tanks, and the World Bank says it intends to funnel $ 20 million to the government through an interest-free disaster financing program.

Inactive for decades, the volcano first erupted on Friday, prompting between 16,000 and 20,000 people to flee from surrounding areas, with many living in shelters near the capital Kingstown.

Government efforts to protect people are complicated by protocols to limit the spread of COVID, including restrictions on the number of people and requirements for testing and vaccination.

One of them is the reluctance of residents to take vaccines. Kitron Sam, 34, who fled after the eruption, said officials visited his shelter near Kingstown and offered the vaccine, but no one chose to take it.

Reporting by Robertson S. Henry in Kingstown and Kate Chappell in Kingston; Edited by Sarah Marsh and Lisa Shumaker

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Caribbean islands handle water, food shortages after volcanic eruptions | Instant News


KINGSTOWN, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Reuters) – The tiny island in the eastern Caribbean of Saint Vincent was rocked by a fifth-day eruption of La Soufriere volcano on Tuesday as leaders warned about water shortages and the potential needs of hundreds of millions of people. dollars to rebuild.

The explosion occurred around 6 a.m., causing smoke and other billowing ash and pyroclastic currents of ash and rock to slide down the flanks of the volcano. Officials have warned it could continue to be active for months.

Ash covered much of the island, 8 inches (20 cm) thick in parts. It has destroyed crops, contaminated water, killed animals and destroyed infrastructure, as well as rendered some roads impassable, complicating search and rescue efforts.

So far there have been no reports of casualties or injuries. Damage from the 1979 eruption was $ 100 million. But residents are struggling to overcome supply shortages.

“We are still looking for drinking water and food,” said Jenetta Young Mason, 43, who fled her home in a dangerous area to live with relatives.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said some supplies from neighboring countries had started pouring into the island nation of more than 100,000 people during a press conference broadcast on local stations. But more help is needed.

The Central Water and Sewage Authority has been unable to extract water from water sources since the volcano erupted, said government spokesman Sehon Marshall, resulting in more than 50% depletion of water storage.

Several Caribbean islands have shipped cots, food, masks and breathing tanks, and the World Bank says it intends to funnel $ 20 million to the government through an interest-free disaster financing program.

Inactive for decades, the volcano first erupted on Friday, prompting between 16,000 and 20,000 people to flee from surrounding areas, with many living in shelters near the capital Kingstown.

Government efforts to protect people are complicated by protocols to limit the spread of COVID, including restrictions on the number of people and requirements for testing and vaccination.

One of them is the reluctance of residents to take vaccines. Kitron Sam, 34, who fled after the eruption, said officials visited his shelter near Kingstown and offered the vaccine, but no one chose to take it.

Reporting by Robertson S. Henry in Kingstown and Kate Chappell in Kingston; Edited by Sarah Marsh and Lisa Shumaker

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The typhoon destroyed homes, cutting off electricity on Australia’s west coast | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – A tropical storm off Australia’s west coast destroyed several homes and cut electricity to tens of thousands of people overnight before power ran out early Monday.

Officials said about 70% of buildings in the coastal city of Kalbarri, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of the state capital Perth, were damaged when the category three storm hit on Sunday night.

About 30% of the damage was “significant”, WA Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“The situation in Western Australia remains very serious,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison posted on his official Facebook page, adding the federal government’s disaster response plan had been activated.

Tropical cyclone Seroja was downgraded after hitting a category two system and is expected to continue to weaken throughout the day, although officials warned it would still bring potential damaging winds and heavy rain.

Photos on social media and local broadcasts showed downed power lines, debris and houses with roofs and walls torn off. The state authorities of Western Australia have opened three evacuation centers for displaced residents.

The region is particularly vigilant against hurricanes, given that houses and other buildings are not built to withstand tropical cyclones, which usually don’t push too far south.

“This is a rare weather event for people in southern and eastern WA,” said the Bureau of Meteorology.

Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Edited by Jane Wardell

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Clowns are serious business for doctors to the homeless in Brazil’s crackland | Instant News


SAO PAULO (Reuters) – In his white doctor coat, psychiatrist Flavio Falcone can’t get the homeless drug addicts to talk.

Flavio Falcone, a psychiatrist, speaks to homeless people in an area known as “cracolandia,” or crackland, a dangerous desert about eight blocks in the historic center of Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 9, 2021. Dressed as a comedian with a bright red nose, Falcone has become an icon. in Brazilian crackland. Falcone’s patients knew him as The Clown, not as a doctor. “This character represents exposure to error, the fragility of what is in the shadow. Exposure to failure,” said Falcone. REUTERS / Amanda Perobelli

But dressed as a comedian with a bright red nose, he has become an icon in Brazil’s “cracolandia,” or crackland: a treacherous eight-block desert in Sao Paulo’s historic center where addicts twitch and shove.

Falcone’s patients knew him as The Clown, not as a doctor.

He is caring for a growing number of Brazilians, pushed onto the streets by the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated the country’s economy. Initial government support, which was the source of many people’s livelihoods, was also shaky.

“This character represents the disclosure of error, the fragility of what is in the shadow. “Failure exposure,” said Falcone.

“What makes you laugh is a clown who stumbles, not a clown walking straight. The people on the street are truly the failures of capitalist society. “

Falcone is no ordinary carnival clown.

Infused with hip-hop street culture, he sports gold chains and a flat-brimmed hat and walks the streets followed by blaring rap talkers.

Working with actress Andrea Macera, Falcone uses costumes and music to break the ice with the homeless as a first step towards providing the mental health and addiction care they need. During Falcone and Macera’s “radio” time, homeless people in crackland could request songs and even join in the rapping. Around the public square, addicts gathered and openly lit thin cracked pipes.

Her work in the neighborhood since 2012 has earned her a loyal following. One man who received addiction assistance from Falcone had the word “clown” in Portuguese tattooed on his wrist.

With crackland’s dwindling government support, Falcone has tried to fill the void.

In April 2020, one month after the first pandemic hit Brazil, the government closed homeless shelters here as part of efforts to clean up urban centers to make way for development. The nearest shelter is about 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) away.

Falcone and Macera helped find housing for about 20 refugees and distributed 200 tents provided by Brazilian non-governmental organizations. At the end of 2020, they launched a new program called “Roofing, Work and Care” to offer support to the homeless, with funding from the local labor prosecutor’s office.

The homeless population soared after 600 reais ($ 106.16) per month, government emergency assistance payments to the poor were reduced and finally exhausted by the end of 2020. After postponing congressional approval, payments will resume this month at an even lower price. rate.

For many, it was too little, too late. Millions of people have been drowning in poverty since the beginning of the year.

For Jonatha de David Sousa Reis and Bruna Kelly Simoes, it meant losing home. The couple moved to a makeshift tent, hung between two trees, in a public square in a cracked area this year.

“As long as there are no jobs, emergency payments must be maintained as before,” said Reis, 34 years old. “This is difficult, very difficult.”

They arrived on the streets just as COVID-19 reached the deadliest point on record in Brazil. Each week since the end of February has seen new daily records for deaths from the coronavirus.

As soon as next week, Brazil may overtake the US record of 3,285 deaths per day, based on a seven-day average, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

Reis said he hopes to get a job back at the shipping company he used to work for after the pandemic has died down, although that doesn’t seem likely to happen soon. Epidemiologists predict that the outbreak will worsen in the coming months. Brazil is second only to the United States in terms of deaths and cases.

For Jailson Antonio de Oliveira, 51, Falcone was his ultimate savior. The clown’s philanthropic efforts pay for a room for himself and his girlfriend, even if he can no longer afford to buy meat once the emergency payments run out.

“Today I have a better life because of Flavio Falcone, the clown,” said Oliveira, with a clown tattoo on his wrist. “He’s my right hand, he helps with everything he can.”

($ 1 = 5.6516 reais)

Reporting by Amanda Perobelli; Written by Jake Spring; Edited by Richard Chang

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Australia asked the Myanmar military to release Australia’s economic adviser | Instant News


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia on Friday asked Myanmar’s ruling military to immediately release an Australian economic adviser to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention for two months.

Sean Turnell, a professor of economics at Macquarie University in Sydney who has advised Suu Kyi for years, was reportedly charged a week ago under Myanmar’s official secrets law, along with Suu Kyi and several of her ministers.

Describing it as “arbitrary detention”, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement that Turnell had been detained with limited consular access.

“Australia continues to seek immediate release and official information on the reasons for his detention both in Myanmar and through the embassy in Australia,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement. We call on the military regime to allow Professor Turnell to return to his family in Australia.

Turnell is the first foreign national to be arrested after a February 1 military coup overthrew Suu Kyi’s government.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly. Edited by Gerry Doyle

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