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Significant Digits For Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


1 million people without power

After a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on Tuesday, the country is still struggling to restore power to the island. About one million people still had no power of Wednesday, partly because the island’s major power plant Costa Sur power plant, was seriously damaged in the quake. Thousands of people have slept outside their homes due to concerns further tremors could cause other buildings to collapse. [New York Times]


6,000 dead from measles

The World Health Organization says more than 6,000 people have died from a measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and there have been approximately 310,000 suspected measles cases reported since the beginning of last year. BBC News reports an emergency vaccination program was launched by the Congolese government and WHO last September, but the epidemic is currently the world’s largest. More than 18 million children under the age of 5 have been vaccinated, but the WHO says it would cost an extra $40 million to also vaccinate Congolese children between the ages of six and 14 to strengthen response to the out break. [BBC News]


63 Canadians killed

Of the 176 passengers and crew who died in the crash of Flight PS752, which left Iran early Wednesday morning, 63 people were Canadians and almost half of them were from the city of Edmonton. A large number of the Canadian victims were doctors, scientists, researchers, and graduate students. The Ukraine International Airlines flight was on its way to Kyiv when it crashed only a few minutes after taking off from Tehran’s main airport. [CBC News]


800 million animals

The ecological damage of the Australian bushfires in Victoria and New South Wales is now estimated to be at least 800 million animals, as well as “hundreds of billions of insects.” The Sydney Morning Herald reports more than 6 million hectares have been destroyed so far, “including rainforest normally considered too wet to burn.” The damage is so extensive that “at least one species is feared extinct.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]



SigDigs: Jan. 9, 2020

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