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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shipping service resumes in south China strait

HAIKOU, Shipping services across south China's Qiongzhou strait resumed Saturday afternoon as tropical storm Goni churned southward.

The maritime affairs bureau of island province Hainan ordered the resumption at 1:30 p.m. About 1,000 passengers stranded on the island by the storm are leaving.

Ferry and passenger liner services were suspended in the strait separating Hainan island and the mainland of China at 11 p.m. Thursday.

Goni, the seventh storm to hit China this year, was 19.2 degrees north and 108.3 degrees east at 10 a.m. Saturday, 30 kilometers from Dongfang City in the west of Hainan.

Packing winds of 65 kilometers per hour, it was moving southwestward at a speed of five kilometers an hour and was likely to land on the island within 10 hours, said the island's meteorological station.

Goni has already brought heavy rain to the island, affecting more than a million people and inflicting a direct economic loss of 185.7 million yuan (about 27.3 million U.S. dollars).

One thousand, two hundred people were evacuated in the island's Lingao county while rescuers are trying to help a further 5,000 surrounded by floodwaters in Haiwei township, Changjiang county.

A drowned fisherman's body has been found while nearly 100 crew members of ships from Cambodia, Vietnam and China are missing in heavy seas around the island.

Xie Chunfu, an official with the Hainan Province's bureau of maritime affairs, said 21 people from foreign-registered ships had been rescued.
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ASEAN commemorates 42nd anniversary with environment issue

JAKARTA (Xinhua) - The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) commemorated its 42nd anniversary with theme of "Green Asia" to reflect its care about environment that has been deteriorated by climate change, the association's chief said here yesterday.

"Today, we commemorate our 42nd anniversary, to commemorate achievements of we made to our people and the world's, just what our founding fathers wanted," said Surin Pitsuwan, the association's secretary general in his opening speech.

He said that climate change has been the top agenda of many countries, governmental bodies, inter-governmental summits et cetera.

"That's why we choose the topic for our commemorations' theme today," he said.

According to Surin, ASEAN is the home for so many species of flora and fauna that do not exist in other part of the world.

"ASEAN is just 3 percent part of the Earth but we have 20 percent of plants, animals, and marine species of the world's total," Surin said, adding that ASEAN contributed so much oxygen even though it emits much carbon dioxide too.

He said that making more comfortable and more livable Earth is the world's responsibility by preserving green environment.

According to Surin, all across ASEAN and the world that have ASEAN committee is commemorating the anniversary on Saturday.

"In London, Tokyo, Beijing, Brazil, for example, they are commemorating this anniversary. In fact, I just received messages from Moscow and Washington that they are commemorating this event, even though it's still early there," he said.

ASEAN consists of countries located in the Southeast Asia region, namely Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the association's data in 2007, ASEAN has 576 million populations who lived on 4.5 million square meters. The countries have combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 1,282 trillion U.S. dollars with total trade of 1.616 trillion dollars.

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