UNESCO World Heritage Site Current Affairs - 2019
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Italy’s Mount Etna volcano erupted on 24th December 2018 resulting in more than 130 earthquakes of up to 4.3 in magnitude. The volcanic lava and ash spewed from a new fracture near its south-eastern crater for the first time in a decade and was visible for miles.
Etna’s eruptions are relatively frequent and there has been a gradual increase in activity on the volcano over the last month as reported by the according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology,
The volcanic eruption and the subsequent earthquakes have resulted in the closure of Sicily’s Catania Airport and the Hikers were told to come down to lower elevations to avoid the noxious fumes.
Mount Etna Volcano
Mount Etna is Europe’s highest and most active volcano outside the Caucasus. Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. The last major eruption was in 1992.
The volcano lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Mount Etna is in an almost constant state of activity. United Nations has designated Mount Etna has a Decade Volcano by the United Nations and it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A study by the UK lead team reveals that the whole structure of Europe’s premier volcano was edging towards the sea at a rate of 14mm per year.
Two building clusters of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles in Mumbai, Maharashtra were jointly inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision was taken during 42nd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Manama, Bahrain. This recognition will push country’s financial capital high on global cultural map.
Recognised Structures are
This is first world heritage site that flaunts combination of 19th Century Victorian Gothic structures and 20th Century Art Deco buildings. The ensemble of two building clusters recognized from Mumbai consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture.
Victorian buildings of Mumbai that have earned recognition, forms part of larger Fort precinct and are situated to east of Oval Maidan. These public buildings, include Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), Bombay High Court (1878), Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870), Elphinstone College (1888), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Maharashtra Police Headquarters, and NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art). The buildings of Art Deco structures that have earned recognition includes building of first row of Marine Drive, Regal and Eros Cinemas, Ram Mahal along Dinshaw Wacha Road, Cricket Club of India and Buildings of Backbay Reclamation scheme.
This is third such honour for Mumbai after Elephanta Caves and majestic Victoria Terminus (rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station) which had earned coveted tag in 1987 and 2004 respectively. With this, Mumbai has equal number of World Heritage sites as Delhi, which has three — Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.
With this, the count of World Heritage Sites in India has now risen to 37, of which 29 are cultural, seven natural and one mixed site. It makes India sixth ranked country in the list of world heritage properties. With five sites, Maharashtra has maximum number of world heritage sites in India, including Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad and Mumbai has three.