Sunday, June 1, 2008

A strong 6.4quake rocks Philippines,Taiwan

2008-06-01 09:52:08 - US Geological Survey said that a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the northern Philippines and southern Taiwan on Sunday.

Philippine Taiwan"s Central Weather Bureau said the magnitude 6.8 quake hit at around 9:57 a.m. (0157 GMT). It was faintly felt in Taiwan.

The bureau said the epicenter was located in the Pacific Ocean about 340 miles (560 kilometers) southeast of Taiwan"s capital of Taipei, near the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan and the Philippines.

The epicenter was as deep as 29
miles (46 kilometers) below the ocean surface.

In Manila, Renato Solidum Jr., head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, gave the quake magnitude at 6.3.

He said the tremor was felt in the Philippines" northernmost province of Batanes but was too deep to cause any major damage or casualties.

Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake had a magnitude of 6.3 with an epicentre about 76 kilometres west of the Batan town of Basco.

The quake was felt strongly in Basco but was barely noticeable in the northern provinces of the Philippines" main island of Luzon, the institute said, adding that aftershocks were expected.

It was also felt in southern counties of Taiwan.

There is still no reports of damage or loss of life from the tremblor affect but its epicentre being in the low sea bed its adevrse impact may have diluted.
The intensitymore than 6 can bring down temporary structures.

India on record farm production

2008-06-01 08:30:46 - More than two dozen countries fear for food crisis in their country and causing riots due to increase in price of food articles.India emerges chief farm producers in the world.

The three-day Food Security Summit beginning in Rome,Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will share the country's experience at the summit, being organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to draw a common strategy for tackling the global food crisis and impact of climate change on availability of food grains.

In the summit, which among others will be attended by UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, is being held at a time when global food prices have soared to a 10-year high hitting the poor the hardest.

India's voice will be important as the country has managed to increase agriculture output to a record level of 227 million tons, "as a result of various measures taken by the government to revitalise agriculture."

Procurement of food grains for the public distribution system has touched 47 million tons, said an official release pointing out that the country "has been able to manage food security both in terms of availability and price level in a satisfactory manner."

Besides Pawar, India will be represented by Agriculture Secretary P K Mishra, country's newly-appointed Ambassador to Italy Arif Khan and representatives of Ministries of Environment and Forest and New and Renewable Energy.

In his statement at the summit, Pawar is likely to stress that while prices of food grains globally went up by 76 to 161 per cent, the increase has been moderate in India.

He is also slated to hold bilateral discussions on issues of common and global concerns at the sidelines of the summit with his counterparts from the US, Japan and the Philippines.

Although the FAO invited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to participate at the global summit, Singh deputed Pawar to lead the Indian delegation.

The FAO summit, which will also focus on climate change, will discuss the challenges facing the world food security and issue a declaration on "required actions" at the end of the three-day meeting.
The declaration, among other things, will focus on steps which could be taken collectively by the global community for taming food prices.

According to FAO estimates, about 85 crore people in the world suffer from hunger and of these about 82 crore will be worst hit by the adverse impact of climate change.

Food riots caused by rising prices have been reported from as many as 37 countries, from Haiti to Mexico.

"Governments, international organisations, civil society, the private sector and other sectors, must work together to address these challenges and to devise appropriate strategies and responses", the FAO said in an appeal to the global community on the eve of the summit.