Continued heatwave threatens drinking water, fisheries

On Sunday, Seoul recorded its hottest day
yet for the summer, and the heat is taking its toll in many ways. The nation’s rivers have seen a sudden growth
of algae, potentially contaminating a main source of drinking water. And fishermen on the coast can do little but
watch as warmer sea waters kill off their stock. Lee Minyoung tells us more. The Korea Meteorological Administration said
Sunday’s high in Seoul reached 36-point-6 degrees Celsius,… marking the hottest day
so far this year,… and coming within two degrees of the hottest day on record. As the heatwave continues, the nation’s rivers
are seeing some worrying signs — they’re turning green… due to blooms of algae, which
thrive in the warmer waters. Earlier this month, algae warnings were issued
for three of the country’s major waterways: the Nakdonggang, Geumgang and Yeongsangang
rivers,… which Koreans rely on as a main source of drinking water. Local environmental authorities have taken
emergency measures to ensure the safety of tap water. Algae not only causes tap water to smell and
taste different, but can also release poisonous substances such as microcystin, which can
cause liver problems. Water purification plants in the Nakdonggang
River basin have added equipment to filter out the blue-green algae and installed an
extra layer of filtering to block finer impurities. It’s not only drinking water…. The warmer seas around the Korean Peninsula
are endangering business at major fisheries. The sea temperatures have risen to their highest
in 26 years,… killing millions of fish. “I can’t express in words how devastated I
am. The whole world is crashing down around me. The fish I had raised for so long are all
dying.” This summer the sea temperature has risen
as high as 27 to 31 degrees,… which is five degrees higher than normal. The reported losses are mounting: nearly 2
million fish and shellfish… worth some 3 billion won or around 2-point-7 million dollars,…
the worst damage in three years. On the ground… the heat hasn’t spared farmers’
livestock either. Nearly four million farm animals have died
in the heat,… the worst loss in five years. With the hot weather expected to continue,
those figures are expected to rise. Lee Minyoung, Arirang News.

local_offerevent_note November 10, 2019

account_box Gilbert Heid


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