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每日跟讀#696: About Philippines - Sinking feeling: Philippine cities facing ’slow-motion disaster’


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#696: About Philippines - Sinking feeling: Philippine cities facing ’slow-motion disaster’

When Mary Ann San Jose moved to Sitio Pariahan more than two decades ago, she could walk to the local chapel. Today, reaching it requires a swim.


The main culprit is catastrophic subsidence caused by groundwater being pumped out from below, often via unregulated wells for homes, factories, and farms catering to a booming population and growing economy.


The steady sinking of coastal towns in the northern Philippines has caused Manila Bay’s water to pour inland and displace thousands, posing a greater threat than rising sea levels due to climate change.


The provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan have sunk between four and six centimeters annually since 2003, according to satellite monitoring. By comparison, the UN estimates average sea level rise globally is about three millimeters per year.


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Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech 菲律賓杜特蒂又被糾纏 因壁虎打斷演說

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just keeps getting bugged during his public speeches.


A noisy gecko was the latest wildlife contributor to an address by Duterte, interrupting the leader on Thursday evening just as he launched another tirade at human rights groups critical of his bloody war on drugs.


The reptile’s persistence caused laughter in the crowd of mostly soldiers, causing Duterte stop mid-sentence, turn to his left and pause for a while to see what the off-camera commotion was.


"You brought a gecko here?" he asked an official sitting behind him, drawing laughs.


While activists accuse Duterte of cowing his opponents into silence, reptiles and insects have no qualms about pestering him during his often hours-long, televised addresses.


A big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt during a speech in May when he was lambasting an opposition party ahead of a national election. He joked the cockroach was its supporter.


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