The Stream, January 8, 2020: Puerto Rico Earthquakes Cut a Third of the Island’s Water Supplies

The Global Rundown

A wave of earthquakes rocks Puerto Rico, disrupting water and power supplies. India’s national weather service says the past decade was the hottest on record. Environmental groups claim Jakarta, Indonesia, can buffer against future flooding by protecting its natural resources. Australian bushfires sweep through the country’s key dairy regions. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha urges residents to minimize tap water use and showers amid drought in northern and central Thailand

“In 102 years, Puerto Rico had not experienced anything like this.” –Wanda Vázquez, governor of Puerto Rico, in reference to ongoing seismic activity shaking the island this week. Vázquez declared a state of emergency in the wake of a 6.4-magnitude tremor early Tuesday morning. Damage to a key power plant has left nearly a third of the island without power or running water. The New York Times 

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By The Numbers

4,000 Estimated number of livestock that have been killed by bushfires raging in Australia. The blazes have now reached the country’s key dairy regions. Analysts and farmers warn that the impact to the dairy industry could be devastating as flames damage farms and production facilities. Reuters

In context: Circle of Blue reporting on Australia

14 Provinces in Thailand’s central, northern, and northeastern farming regions where drought has been declared. On Tuesday, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha urged residents to monitor tap water use and shower less. The country’s dry season began in November and typically runs through April, but may last longer this year, authorities warn. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

The past decade was India’s hottest on record, according to the country’s meteorological department. From 2010 to 2019, the average temperatures were 0.36 degrees Celsius (0.65 degrees Fahrenheit) above the long-term average. The country began keeping records in 1901.

On the Radar

Environmental groups are urging officials in Jakarta, Indonesia, to invest in the city’s natural resources to help mitigate future flood damages. Activists say protecting groundwater, planting trees, and focusing on long-term prevention can help avert more flooding disasters in the city. Jakarta has been experiencing record-breaking rainfall for the past week, which has displaced 175,000 people and killed dozens. Reuters

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