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Earth’s crust is shaking less as people stay home

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The COVID-19 lockdowns globally have not only made air breathable or rivers clean but have also resulted in the way our Earth moves, as researchers now report a drop in seismic noise (the hum of vibrations in the planets crust) because transport networks, real estate and other human activities have been shut down.

According an article in the journal Nature, efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus mean that the planet itself is moving a little less, which could “allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events”.

Vibrations caused by moving vehicles and industrial machinery produce background noise, which reduces seismologists’ ability to detect other signals occurring at the same frequency.

“A noise reduction of this magnitude is usually only experienced briefly around Christmas,” said Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist with the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels which has observed the drop in seismic noise.

Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced seismic noise to fall by about one-third.

In Belgium, scientists report at least a 30 per cent reduction in that amount of ambient human noise since lockdown began there.

The current drop has boosted the sensitivity of the observatory’s equipment, improving its ability to detect waves in the same high frequency range as the noise, said the Nature article.

However, not all seismic monitoring stations will see an effect as pronounced as the one observed in Brussels.

According to Emily Wolin, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico, many stations are purposefully located in remote areas to avoid human noise.

“These should see a smaller decrease, or no change at all, in the level of high-frequency noise they record,” she was quoted as saying.The fall in noise could also benefit seismologists who use naturally occurring background vibrations, such as those from crashing ocean waves, to probe Earth’s crust.

A fall in human-induced noise could boost the sensitivity of detectors to natural waves at similar frequencies. There’s a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements,” said Lecocq.

The reduction in seismic activity, like reduction in air pollution, also show that people are adhering to social distancing guidelines.

“From the seismological point of view, we can motivate people to say, ‘OK look, people. You feel like you’re alone at home, but we can tell you that everyone is home. Everyone is doing the same. Everyone is respecting the rules,'” Lecocq told CNN.

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Disaster

Music symbolises collective strength during crisis: PM Modi

Lauding SPIC MACAYA for adding elements like literature, holistic food, nature walk and ”Naad Yoga” in its programmes for the ”Anubhav” series, Modi said that both Yoga and music boast of a power of motivation.

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Modi PM

New Delhi, June 1 : Stressing that in trying times, music has always symbolised the collective strength of the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that when the world is fighting an invisible enemy like the Covid-19 pandemic, writers, singers and musicians are playing their part to infuse confidence among the people.

“History and age-old tales are a witness to the fact that during wars, poets and writers would write literature that boosted the morale of the general population,” he said.

Speaking via video-conference during his inaugural keynote message for SPIC MACAY”s week-long special series ”Anubhav” that started on Monday, the Prime Minister added that just like music, which required a synchronisation of discipline and harmony, the same was needed for the fight against the pandemic.

“Every Indian is doing his bit in times of this crisis, and so are the artistes. We are witnessing classical artistes adopting newer technologies to reach the people, which is the need of the hour. With this, all barriers of region and language are being crossed, something which is empowering the idea of ”Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said that in the Indian civilisation, music has always gone beyond personal happiness and has been a means to serve others. “We have witnessed some major musicians who have devoted their entire lives to serve humanity,” he said.

Lauding SPIC MACAYA for adding elements like literature, holistic food, nature walk and ”Naad Yoga” in its programmes for the ”Anubhav” series, Modi said that both Yoga and music boast of a power of motivation.

Recalling how during the initial days of the lockdown, the population came together to clap to motivate the country as one unit against the pandemic, the Prime Minister added, “As the population came together with similar emotions, what emerged was also music.”

During the week-long series, the participants, while sitting at home, will experience performances and workshops through virtual online platforms by leading exponents of Indian classical music, Carnatic and Hindustani, classical dance performances, folk performances by prominent artistes, theatre performances, lectures and interactions, cinema screening with discussions, a virtual heritage walk, virtual workshops in classical music, dance, crafts, and online Yoga sessions.

On the concluding day, a classical overnight concert beginning at 8 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. will be organised.

Artistes who will be part of the series include Karan Singh, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Vidwan Umayalpuram, K. Sivaraman, Vidushi Teejan Bai, Pandit Rajan and Pandit Sajan Mishra, Shyam Benegal, Ghulam Md. Sheikh, T.N. Krishnan, Prabha Atre, N. Rajam, L. Subramanium, Uma Sharma, Saroja Vaidyanathan, Padma Subramanyam, Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi.

–IANS

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India

Furore over woman doc’s video lambasting Jamaatis, ex-MP seeks action

She argued that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should issue an order that no state manpower or resources should be used on the treatment of Jamaat members.

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Corona India Tablighi Jamaat

Kanpur, June 1 : Even as a video clip showing Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College Principal referring to Tablighi Jamaat members as “terrorists” went viral, a former Kanpur MP has demanded the woman doctor be removed from the post and a case be registered against her.

On the other hand, Dr Aarti Lalchandani said that she did make the remarks in the initial days of the coronavirus outbreak, but claimed that the video clip was “tampered” with and that she did not refer to any community or target the Muslims as a whole.

“We should not say this, but they are terrorists. And we are providing them VIP treatment, providing them food… exhausting our resources on them,” she allegedly said in the video clip, adding that the hospital was “wasting” PPE kits on the Jamaat members.

CPI (M) leader Subhashini Ali, who had earlier been an MP, demanded a probe into the video clip by the district administration. “If found guilty, the Principal should be immediately removed from the post and a FIR lodged against her,” said the leader.

In the video clip, Dr Lalchandani can also be seen and heard saying that instead of keeping such patients (Tablighi) in isolation wards and exhausting resources on them, they should be put in solitary confinement in jails or sent to the jungles and locked up in dungeons.

While the authenticity or timing of the undated video clip could not be independently verified, it appears that it was shot secretly by someone and showed Dr Lalchandani making unsavoury remarks seated in a room along with several persons.

She is also heard accusing the BJP government of “appeasement” and criticising it for “exhausting” the state”s manpower and resources on treating infected Jamaat members.

She argued that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should issue an order that no state manpower or resources should be used on the treatment of Jamaat members.

“Those who should be in jail, you are bringing them here for treatment, feeding them, getting others infected, wasting manpower and kits,” she is heard saying.

“They should be kept in solitary confinement in jail. You are keeping them in isolation ward,” Dr Lalchandani remarks in the clip.

“I said it in anger and frustration. I did not issue any statement. I said this but in those circumstances,” she said.

Dr Lalchandani said she was referring to the initial rush of patients to the hospital, including those of Jamaat members in March.

She said she would file a FIR against a reporter who allegedly leaked the conversation videotaped in a sting to “blackmail” her.

She alleged a local journalist had demanded issuance of tenders in his favour and outsourcing of hospital contracts from her.

“He is trying to instigate Muslims and disturb peace in society. Maybe, he is provoking riots,” she said.

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Cities

Lockdown 5.0: Delhi bars metro, malls, gyms, religious places

Also, it said, “all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and large congregations” will remain prohibited.

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Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, June 1 : Starting Monday, the Delhi government gave some more relaxations in the lockdown 5.0, however, the educational institutes, malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, metro and places of worship will continue to be barred in the city.

In an order, signed by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority extended the lockdown period in the Containment Zones in the national capital up to June 30, while allowing some more relaxations across the city outside Containment Zones.

Dev, in his capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee, said a number of activities will continue to remain prohibited throughout the city, including the Metro Rail Services.

“All schools, colleges, educational training, coaching institutions etc will remain closed. Online and distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged,” the June 1 order said.

It said hotels and other hospitality services will also remain shut, except “those meant for housing health, police, government officials, healthcare workers or stranded persons, including tourists and those used for quarantine facilities, and running of canteens at bus depots, railway stations and airports.”

A large number of hotels in the city are currently being used as quarantine facilities for common man as well as for the frontline workers. Also, hotels in the city are being used as extended hospitals to deal with the rising coronavirus cases.

All spas, cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will also remain shut in the city, the order added.

Also, it said, “all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and large congregations” will remain prohibited.

“All religious places, places of Worship shall be closed for the public. Religious congregations are strictly prohibited,” it added.

The Central government last week adopted an exit step towards 67-day long nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restriction will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30.

However, certain activities were barred even outside the containment zones to check the spread of coronavirus infection.

The coronavirus cases in the national capital are approaching 20,000 mark.

–IANS

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