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Transport in Venice negatively impacted as canals run dry

Transport in Venice negatively impacted as canals run dry
Feb 24 2023 Share

Scientists and environmental groups in Italy are raising concerns about the possibility of another drought after weeks of dry winter weather. 

Last summer, Italy faced an emergency due to drought, and now the Alps have received less than half of their normal snowfall. 

This has resulted in Italian rivers and lakes suffering from a severe lack of water, according to Legambiente environmental group, with the focus on the north of the country. 

The Po, which runs from the Alps in the northwest to the Adriatic, has 61% less water than normal at this time of year. In fact, the river’s low levels last July led Italy to declare a state of emergency in the areas surrounding the Po, which accounts for roughly a third of the country’s agricultural production.

Climate expert Massimiliano Pasqui from the Italian scientific research institute CNR was quoted as saying that the country is in a water deficit situation that has been building up since the winter of 2020-2021. He added that the northwestern regions of Italy need to recover 500mm of water and that the country needs 50 days of rain.

The situation in Venice is also worrying. Unusually low tides are making it impossible for gondolas, water taxis, and ambulances to navigate some of its famous canals. 

A combination of factors is being blamed for this, including the lack of rain, a high-pressure system, a full moon, and sea currents. Meanwhile, water levels on Lake Garda in northern Italy have fallen to record lows, making it possible to reach the small island of San Biagio on the lake via an exposed pathway.

An anticyclone has been dominating the weather in western Europe for 15 days, bringing mild temperatures more normally seen in late spring. However, the latest weather forecasts indicate the arrival of much-needed precipitation and snow in the Alps in the coming days. While this is welcome news, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to avert another drought in Italy.

#MaltaDaily

New pedestrian street with recreational space in Ħamrun centre

New pedestrian street with recreational space in Ħamrun centre
Feb 24 2023 Share

On the initiative of the Ħamrun local council, a secondary road next to Pjazza San Pawl was closed to traffic and turned into a pedestrian road with a recreational space. 

This space was inaugurated this morning by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Alison Zerafa Civelli in the presence of the local council. 

This project was financed by Transport Malta through the ‘European Mobility Week’ scheme and by the Local Government Division through the scheme ‘Financing for the Development and Improvement of Playing Fields Conditions in Localities in Malta and Gozo’. 

The total investment for this project amounts to approximately €60,000. 

“It is satisfying to see projects of this nature come to life especially in highly urbanized areas such as Ħamrun. I look forward to seeing this project being enjoyed and more projects of this nature being carried out in more areas around the country,” stated Minister Aaron Farrugia. 

To change this road from a busy one to a pedestrian one, a new pavement and iron gates were installed around the recreational space to make it a safe space for the public. The playground contains different and inclusive equipment that can also be used by people with special needs. 

“The local councils know best the needs of their localities and their respective residents, therefore I commend the initiative of the Ħamrun Local Council to create a pedestrian area with a recreational space to be enjoyed by residents,” stated the parliamentary secretary. 

Hamrun Mayor Christian Sammut explained that this project was one of a series of regeneration projects in various roads in Hamrun. “The main objective behind these projects is to attract more families to our centres,” stated Mr Sammut. 

The Director for Strategy and Policy Implementation within the Local Government Division, representatives from Transport Malta and several members of the Ħamrun Local Council were also present for this event.

#MaltaDaily

PwC Malta organises international food festivals to celebrate workplace diversity

PwC Malta organises international food festivals to celebrate workplace diversity
Feb 24 2023 Share

PwC Malta organises International Food Festivals to celebrate diversity at the workplace. The latest festival was a resounding success, attracting a mix of employees from over 30 countries showcasing their nation’s rich cultural heritage. This culinary feast is just one of many initiatives that PwC’s Diversity, Culture and Values committee organises, and as fun as savouring delicious cultural dishes sounds, so are other initiatives such as their ‘Il-Malti’ sessions. Meant mainly for international employees, but open to all PwCers, these enjoyable lunchtime sessions focus on the local culture and history, whilst exploring the beloved Maltese language.

PwC Malta organises international food festivals to celebrate workplace diversityPwC Malta recognises that diversity is not just a buzzword, but a core value that drives the firm’s success. The firm recognises the importance of embracing differences, whether these are based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, or any other aspect of personal identity.

By fostering an inclusive culture, PwC Malta creates a positive and inclusive environment that enables all employees to reach their full potential at the workplace.Kudos PwC Malta!

#MaltaDaily

Death toll from Turkey & Syria earthquake reaches 47,000

Death toll from Turkey & Syria earthquake reaches 47,000
Feb 24 2023 Share

On February 6, a massive earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria, and the death toll continues to rise as more bodies are recovered from the rubble. 

The already battered province of Hatay, Turkey was hit again this week by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake, causing even more damage to the area.

As of Thursday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu reported the number of fatalities in Turkey has reached 43,556 due to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, bringing the combined death toll in Turkey and Syria to 47,244.

Soylu stated that teams are searching two buildings in the heavily affected Hatay province for further bodies, but search operations have ended elsewhere.

In addition to the loss of life, at least 164,000 buildings have either collapsed or require demolition due to damage from the earthquakes, according to Turkey’s Minister for the Environment and Urbanization, Murat Kurum.

The White Helmets, a local civil defense group in northwestern Syria, reported on Thursday that thousands of children and tens of thousands of families have taken shelter in cars and tents due to fear of another earthquake.

This disaster has caused immense devastation and has left countless families grieving for their loved ones. The recovery process will be long and difficult, and the affected areas will require substantial aid and support to rebuild and recover.

#MaltaDaily