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220,000 more Poultry culled in Japan due to an outbreak of bird flu that has reappeared since the end of 2016

Regional authorities on Friday began slaughtering all the birds on the farm with help from the Japan Self-Defence Forces, a process that will continue until Sunday

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Health workers in full protective gear collect dead chickens killed by using carbon dioxide at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Authorities in Hong Kong have begun destroying 15,000 chickens at a poultry market and suspended imports from mainland China after bird flu was found in some birds. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung), VOA

Tokyo, March 24, 2017: Japanese authorities announced on Friday that some 220,000 more poultry were culled due to an outbreak of bird flu that has reappeared since the end of 2016.

The latest outbreak was detected on a farm in Miyagi prefecture after hundreds of dead chickens were analysed throughout the week and were subsequently found that they were infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5, Efe news reported.

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Regional authorities on Friday began slaughtering all the birds on the farm with help from the Japan Self-Defence Forces, a process that will continue until Sunday.

In addition, the transport of birds and eggs within a radius of 10 km around the three affected farms has been prohibited.

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According to state broadcaster NHK, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai said at a press conference that this is the first outbreak of bird flu detected on a farm in this prefecture.

The number of poultry slaughtered in Japan has reached around 1.39 million so far since the bird flu was again detected in the country in November 2016 after the 2014 outbreak, prompting the Environment Ministry to raise the alert to the highest level. (IANS)

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Japan to Drop Explosive to Make Crater on Asteroid to Collect Samples from Inside

Hayabusa2 made history on Feb. 22 when it successfully touched down on the boulder-rich asteroid, where it also collected some surface fragments

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FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2019, file photo, this image released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the shadow, center above, of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft after its successful touchdown on the asteroid Ryugu. VOA

Japan’s space agency said Monday that its Hayabusa2 spacecraft will follow up last month’s touchdown on a distant asteroid with another risky mission — to drop an explosive to make a crater and collect underground samples to get possible clues to the origin of the solar system.

Hayabusa2 made history on Feb. 22 when it successfully touched down on the boulder-rich asteroid, where it also collected some surface fragments.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Hayabusa2 is to drop a copper impactor the size of a baseball and weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) on the asteroid on April 5 to collect samples from deeper underground where they had not been exposed to the sun or space rays.

The new mission will require an immediate evacuation of the spacecraft to the other side of the asteroid so it won’t get hit by flying shards from the blast, JAXA said. While moving away, Hayabusa2 will leave a camera to capture the outcome.

Japan
JAXA has previously planned to have Hayabusa2 briefly touchdown in a crater, but an agency researcher, Takashi Kubota, said they may not force it to prioritize safety for the spacecraft. VOA

The mission will allow JAXA scientists to analyze details of a crater to find out the history of the asteroid, said Koji Wada, who is in charge of the project.

Hayabusa2 will start descending toward the asteroid the day before to carry out the mission from its home position of 20 kilometers (12 miles) above. It will drop a cone-shaped piece of equipment containing explosives that will blast off a copper plate on the bottom. It will turn into a ball and slam into the asteroid at the speed of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) per second.

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JAXA has previously planned to have Hayabusa2 briefly touchdown in a crater, but an agency researcher, Takashi Kubota, said they may not force it to prioritize safety for the spacecraft. Kubota said it would be the first time a spacecraft would take materials from underground a space object.

The asteroid, named Ryugu after an undersea palace in a Japanese folktale, is about 900 meters (3,000 feet) in diameter and about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth. (VOA)