TEGUCIGALPA, Jan 16 (Tierramérica).- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has joined forces with the local beneficiary population to build the first earthquake shelter in Honduras.
The shelter is located in the southern region of Matapalos Arriba, in the municipality El Triunfo, Choluteca province, one of the most vulnerable regions in Honduras.
Lisandro Rosales of the Permanent Commission for Contingencies (COPECO) told Tierramérica that the shelter is a pilot initiative aimed at training local communities to better cope with unforeseen disasters, while offering them a safe place to take shelter if needed.
The area around El Triunfo is classified as a high-risk area due to constant landslides and building collapses caused by seismic faults, noted Rosales, adding that some 500 local families will benefit from the initiative.
The construction of the shelter cost 16,000 dollars and took seven months.
Sea Level Rising More Rapidly Near São Paulo
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 16 (Tierramérica).- The sea level of the Atlantic Ocean is rising increasingly rapidly on the northern coast of the southern Brazilian state of São Paulo, according to a new university research study.
"We estimated a rise of 74 centimeters over the past century, but the increase was more marked during the last two decades," said professor Paolo Alfredini, coordinator of the research at the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering of the University of São Paulo. The study analyzed measurements taken between 1944 and 2007.
The acceleration is due to an increase in global temperatures during the period studied. "We predict that the sea level will rise by close to a meter this century, which will mean the loss of 100 meters of beachfront in gradually sloping coastal areas," Alfredini told Tierramérica
This phenomenon poses a threat to buildings constructed on the Atlantic coast and could lead to problems with the supply of drinking water in coastal cities, due to growing salinization of rivers, the research study warns.
Air Pollution Standards Demanded
MEXICO CITY, Jan 16 (Tierramérica).- The poor air quality in the Mexican capital points to the urgent need for regulations on the use of clean fuel and the control of motor vehicle emissions, warned a non-governmental organization.
"The increase in concentrations of PM10 particulates (10 micrometers or less in diameter) has combined with an increase in PM2.5 particulates, which are one of the most harmful pollutants for human health, and one of their main sources is diesel engine vehicles that run on fuel with a high sulfur content," Gustavo Alanis, general director of the Mexican Environmental Law Center, told Tierramérica.
These particulates are produced by the burning of fossil fuels and pose serious health risks.
Air pollution is responsible for 38,000 deaths from lung cancer, cardiopulmonary disease and respiratory infections in Mexico annually, according to the Fourth Almanac of Air Quality Data and Trends in 20 Mexican Cities (2000-2009), published by the National Institute of Ecology. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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