Places in News Current Affairs - 2019

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2019.

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Australia clears plan to protect Murray-Darling Basin

Australia approved a plan aimed at saving vital Murray-Darling Basin river water sytem.

About Murray-Darling Basin:

The Murray–Darling Basin is a river network sprawling for one million square kilometres (400,000 square miles) across five Australian states (New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland South Australia) in the interior of south-eastern Australia. The two main rivers in this basin are the Murray River and the Darling River.

How it is important to Australia?

  • The basin drains around 1/7th of the Australian land mass, and is one of the most important agricultural areas in Australia.

What are the dangers faced by the basin?

The major threat to the basin is overexploitation and draught which has caused increase in concentration of salt and depletion of water.

What is the Plan?

As per the plan:

  • Around 2,750 gigalitres of water will be returned annually as environmental flows to the system.
  • 2 million tonnes of salt will also be flushed out each year.

“Sandy Island” a pacific island shown on world map does not exist: Scientists

As per Australian scientists who went searching for the mystery island, named Sandy Island during a geological expedition to South Pacific, the  island identified on Google Earth, marine charts and world maps actually in real does not exist.

The sizeable phantom island in the Coral Sea is shown as Sandy Island on Google Earth and Google maps and allegedly sits b/w Australia and New Caledonia in the Coral Sea in the south Pacific.

Sandy Island is actually a phantom island.

  • Phantom islands: Islands that were believed to exist, and appeared on maps for a period of time (sometimes centuries) during recorded history, but were later removed after they were proved to be nonexistent.
  • Lost Islands: Islands or continents believed by some to have existed during prehistory, often linked with ancient myths and legends; and
  • Vanishing Islands: Islands that are submerged during high tide.
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