Earthquake Yun Nan 3 Aug 2014

More than 367 people died and nearly 2,000 were injured when a strong earthquake hit southwest China's mountainous Yunnan province on Sunday (August 3) - note the short term responses - setting up the relief team. Though the magnitude of the earthquake is only 6.1, it struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres, many buildings collapsed resulting in more casualties.

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For my Geography students.. read the article from the link above and note the epicenter of the quake, the magnitude, the tsunamis, the aftershock, breakwater, evacuation and contaminated water... Revise on the cause, impacts and management of tectonic hazards

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Impact of hotspots and volcanic eruption on Singapore

Maps are very useful in illustrating the geographical concepts of Place, Space, Scale and Environment. You can see how the hotspots in Indonesia has affected Singapore and the region in June 2013.

The maps also showed how the haze was not only due to the hotspots but also affected by the wind direction.  The 2nd map showed the hotspots for the region on 3 Feb 2014.
Volcanic eruptions could have also affected Singapore as ashes are thrown out during the eruption. However due to the wind direction and the distance of the volcanoes from Singapore, we are not affected by the recent eruption of the volcanoes in Indonesia.
An eruption of Indonesia's Mount Sinabung on 4 February resulted in an ash plume of 3.6km. Based on dispersion model simulations by the Meteorological Service Singapore as well as Australia's Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, the volcanic ash is expected to move southeast, and be confined to the northern half of Sumatra for the next 48 hours. The NEA added that three other volcanoes - Mount Karangatang, Mount Lokon and Mount Paluwah are likely to erupt but pose little threats

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Warmer and Wetter Singapore

Scientists projected average surface temperatures across the world will increase by at least 0.3°C – 1.7°C and at most between 2.6°C and 4.8°C, by the years 2081 to 2100, sad the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change report.Applied to the Southeast Asian region, this could translate to between 0.5 to 1°C, or 3 to 4°C, according to estimates from Singapore's Centre for Climate Research (CCRS). Taking the most severe scenario of 3°C, Singapore will see daily maximum temperatures of 34°C more often, and rainfall will increase by 25 per cent every 20 years. As it is, Singapore's temperatures have increased by more than double the rate of the rest of the world — 0.26°C over the past 60 years as compared to 0.12°C. Rainfall intensity has also increased to 107mm from 80mm per hour over the past 30 years, but not necessarily due to global warming, said the CCRS in a statement released by the National Environment Agency. Another key measurement scientists are watching is sea levels, which they project will also increase, depending on the level of greenhouse gas emissions the world produces.The report also cites the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which it predicts will take over a millennium at least to liquidate completely, but when it does, average global sea levels will rise by up to 7m.

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Singapore's Total Fertility Rate up from 1.2 to 1.29

Why was the Marriage and Parenthood package introduced?
Do you think it was effective?
What will be the impacts of declining fertility rate?

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Tuaspring Desalination Plant

Singapore took a major step towards being self-sufficient in its water supply on 18 Sept 2013 with the opening of the Tuaspring Desalination Plant. It is Asia's largest seawater reverse-osmosis desalination plant and the second for Singapore.The new plant adds 70 million gallons of desalinated water daily to Singapore's water supply, tripling the supply from the country's fourth "national tap". The other three "taps" are local water catchments, imported water and NEWater. 1. How does the desalination plant convert seawater to potable water? 2. What are the four national taps of Singapore? 3. Why is water supply important to Singapore?

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Volcanic Eruption - Mount Sakurajima in Japan

Japan's most active volcanoes, Mount Sakurajima, erupted for the 500th time this year. At 5000m, this is the highest plume of ash recorded from the mountain since 1955, and caused darkness and ash falls over the centre of nearby Kagoshima city. Read more about this on

You would have studied in Geography that Japan lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Points to Ponder:
What is an active volcano?
Why are many volcanoes found at the Pacific Ring of Fire?
What are the hazards caused by volcanic eruptions?
Why do people continue to live in areas threatened by volcanic eruptions?

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Using Google Earth to understand PlateTectonics

Kmz file on Tectonic Plates - please ensure you have already downloaded Google Earth. Click and expand Places on the side menu on your left. You should see the placemarks 1 to 6 classified under the 3 types of plate boundaries. Double click on each placemark to find out more about the landforms formed at the respective plate boundaries.
Animation on labeling parts of a composite volcano: - this will help you understand the parts of a composite volcano better.

 The worksheet for the lesson :You might want to also check out the following animations on how volcano and crater lake are formed. 
Crater Lake

You can also access the following to better understand types of volcano and damage from earthquakes.
Interesting flash on making your own volcano - understand the difference between a composite and a shield volcano 

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Earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia 2 July 2013

An earthquake struck Aceh Indonesia again yesterday (2 July) with a magnitude of 6.1 and it has caused 22 deaths so far. Read more about it @ It was mentioned in the article that "Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity." Can you explain how the movement of the plates cause earthquake and vulcanicity?
Source Channel News Asia 3 July 2013

Compared this with the one that struck Aceh last year 11 April 2012. The magnitude was higher at 8.7 but less casualty was reported. Look at the epicentre of the quake. Explain what is a epicentre and show how it can determine the amount of damage to a place.

Source: Stomp 12 April 2012

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Haze in Singapore

Singaporeans have suffered the haze over the last week - a results of forest fires (clearance of land for plantations) in Sumatra, Indonesia. PSI even rose to above 400! It has definitely affected the health of the people as well as our economy - esp  tourism. Look at the map below showing the extent of the haze and how we are affected because of the proximity of our country to Indonesia and the SW monsoon in June.

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