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Amazon fires: Our house is burning, says Macron

Earlier on Thursday, Bolsonaro had said that the country was not equipped to fight the fires, reports the BBC.

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Amazon fires

Paris, Aug 23 (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an “international crisis” that needs to be on the top of the agenda at the upcoming G7 summit, the media reported on Friday.

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20 per cent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days,” Macron, the host of this weekend’s G7 summit of some of the world’s most advanced economies, tweeted on Thursday night.

Satellite data published by the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) has shown an increase of 85 per cent this year in fires across Brazil, most of them in the Amazon region, the BBC reported.

The figures and satellite images showing most of the state of Roraima, in northern Brazil, covered by smoke have shocked many Brazilians and triggered a global Twitter trend under the hashtag #prayforamazonia.

The figures suggest that there have been more than 75,000 fires so far this year for the whole of Brazil, compared with just over 40,000 over the same period in 2018.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responded to Macron’s tweet saying that the French leader was using the issue for “political gain”.

Bolsonaro, who has been blamed by conservationists for the Amazon’s plight, saying that he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land, added that he was open to dialogue about the fires if it was “based on objective data and mutual respect”, but hit out at the calls for it to be discussed at the G7 summit, which Brazil is not participating in.

“The French President’s suggestion that Amazonian issues be discussed at the G7 without the participation of the countries of the region evokes a misplaced colonialist mindset, which does not belong in the 21st century,” he wrote on social media.

Earlier on Thursday, Bolsonaro had said that the country was not equipped to fight the fires, reports the BBC.

“The Amazon is bigger than Europe, how will you fight criminal fires in such an area?,” he asked reporters as he left the presidential residence on Thursday. “We do not have the resources for that.”

The President has suggested that NGOs might have started fires as revenge for his government slashing their funding.

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Delhi air ‘very poor’ for 3rd day, AQI crosses 400 mark

The SAFAR model forecast suggests calm surface winds and a decrease in ventilation coefficient for the coming days and the condition was conducive for the pollutant accumulation.

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Delhi Pollution Air Quality

New Delhi, Dec 6 : The air quality of the national capital remains ‘very poor’ for the third consecutive day on Friday and was likely to further deteriorate to the ‘severe’ category in some parts of the city on Saturday.

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 410 on Friday, against Thursday’s 334.

The SAFAR model forecast suggests calm surface winds and a decrease in ventilation coefficient for the coming days and the condition was conducive for the pollutant accumulation.

“AQI is forecasted to stay at the border of very poor to the severe category until Saturday,” SAFAR said.

It said the overall Delhi AQI was in the lower end of the very poor category on Wednesday.

The city had witnessed drastic improvement in the air quality last week as the AQI was recorded in double digits at the ‘satisfactory’ category, after being seeing few of the worst air quality days in November.

The air in the national capital was so toxic after Diwali that the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had declared a public health emergency in Delhi-NCR and had advised people, especially children and the aged, to limit their exposure to the environment.

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Thunderstorm forecast for parts of Karnataka

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IMD heavy rains predict

Bengaluru, Dec 2 : The Met Department on Monday issued a thunderstorm warning for coastal and south interior Karnataka.

In addition to the thunderstorm, isolated heavy rain was also expected in the areas.

Coastal Karnataka comprises the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.

The south interior region comprises Ballari, Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru Urban, Chamaraja Nagar, Chikkaballapura, Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Hassan, Kodagu, Kolar, Mandya, Mysuru, Ramanagara, Shivamogga and Tumkur.

Following three days of isolated rainfall, the two regions were expected to experience dry weather on Friday and Saturday, the official said.

However, north interior Karnataka, comprising 11 districts, has been forecast to receive scattered rainfall on Monday, to be followed by isolated downpours and dry weather on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In Bengaluru, Monday and Tuesday have been forecast to be generally cloudy with a few spells of rain, accompanied by fog and mist in the morning.

The city is expected to record a minimum temperature of 19.9 degrees Celsius and a maximum temperature of 23.3 degrees Celsius on Monday, with an expected rainfall of 6.9 mm, a Met official said.

On Sunday, no rainfall was recorded in coastal Karnataka while only 0.2 mm downpour was registered in Koppal district in north interior Karnataka.

Except Mysuru in south interior Karnataka, all other districts received rainfall on Sunday. Kolar recorded the highest rainfall at 9.6 mm.

Bengaluru registered 5.5 mm rainfall on Sunday.

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5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Nepal

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to the property as a result of the earthquake.

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Earthquake Strong

KATHMANDU: An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck Nepal on Tuesday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.

The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at around 7:30 pm (local time), was located at a shallow depth of 14 kilometers, about 87 kilometers northwest of Dailekh district, the EMSC said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to the property as a result of the quake.

Meanwhile, tremors were felt in parts of Delhi-NCR.

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