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Drought-hit Australian towns prepare for ‘unimaginable’ water crisis
The little town of Guyra in eastern Australia lies next to a freshwater lagoon just half a day’s drive from Sydney, but its drinking water is due to run dry in 400 days’ time. The local authorities have been trucking in fresh water, built a pipeline to a local dam and will soon start drilling in the hope of finding new supplies. For Mayor Simon Murray, the biggest worry is that Guyra is not alone.
“A lot of towns are forecast to run out at the same time – and then where do you get the water from?” he said, referring to an area that is home to some 180,000 people.
It is part of a much bigger problem in a country unused to widespread financial hardship; Australia has enjoyed growth for a generation yet livelihoods are now at risk from drought worsened by climate change, a predicament more familiar to developing countries…
Death toll in east Indonesia quake rises to 30, many still in shelters
The death toll from a strong earthquake in Indonesia’s eastern province of Maluku has risen to 30 people, the national disaster mitigation agency (BNBP) said on Sunday, and hundreds of thousands of people remain in evacuation shelters. The 6.5 magnitude quake hit early on Thursday, damaging hundreds of houses and dozens of public facilities and infrastructure, including the main bridge in the city of Ambon. Officials on Thursday had put the death toll at 20 people. Many were killed by falling rubble. More than 150 people were injured, BNBP spokesman Agus Wibowo said in a statement on Sunday, and over 200,000 remain in shelters.
Those whose houses were destroyed have set up tents as shelters in near hospitals or school yards. People living near the ocean have evacuated to higher ground following the quake, fearing a tsunami, despite authorities have ruled out the possibility of a giant wave…