Indian army soldiers fight fire from highly polluted lake

Indian firefighters try to douse a fire at Bellandur Lake in Bangalore on January 20, 2017. Bellandur Lake which is among the highly polluted lakes in the city caught fire due to suspected effluents. (AFP)
Updated 20 January 2018

Indian army soldiers fight fire from highly polluted lake

BANGALORE: Thousands of Indian troops battled for hours a huge fire emanating from a highly polluted lake, causing panic among thousands of people in the southern city of Bangalore, the army said Saturday.
Nearly 5,000 soldiers swung into action on Friday after the fire threatened a military area with huge clouds of smoke billowing from the lake filled with sewage, chemical effluents and construction debris and choked with water hyacinth, an army statement said.
The army said the efforts prevented the fire from engulfing civilian areas of Banagalore, one of India’s key information technology hubs.
Fire engines and water bowsers from nearby civilian areas also assisted in controlling the fire. A huge smoke was still rising from the area on Saturday morning with firefighters trying to douse it completely.
In 2015, a toxic froth spilled over to some of Bangalore’s streets due to extreme levels of pollution in the Bellandur Lake. Tests found extremely high amounts of phosphorous and other inorganic chemical compounds in the lake.
Authorities have been trying to repair a barrier that was supposed to keep sewage from flowing into the lake, depleting its oxygen.
Another Bangalore lake caught fire in May last year when garbage was set ablaze on its bed.


World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

Updated 25 February 2020

World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

  • Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home
  • The news came less than two weeks after Watanabe was officially recognized by Guinness World Records

TOKYO: A Japanese man recently named the world’s oldest living male has died aged 112, a local official said Tuesday.

Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home in the same prefecture, the official said.

The news came less than two weeks after he was officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

Watanabe, who had five children, said the secret to longevity was to “not get angry and keep a smile on your face.”

He admitted a penchant for sweets such as custard pudding and ice cream.

The oldest man in Japan is now Issaku Tomoe, who is 110 years old, according to Jiji Press, although it was not clear if Tomoe holds the title globally.

The oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old woman.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognized as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person — Jeanne Louise Calment of France — died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.