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Amid lockdown, dolphins and swans appear in Venice canals


Venice is enjoying crystal clear waters since the coronavirus lockdown (AFP Photo/ANDREA PATTARO)

Venice is enjoying crystal clear waters since the coronavirus lockdown (AFP Photo/ANDREA PATTARO)

Now may not be the best time to ponder on what the world looks like without humans over hundreds of cases succumbing to COVID-19 but, as the world quarantines, the earth seems to be taking its much-needed break from population traffic and carbon footprint.

This speaks volumes for major tourist spots like Italy, which has gone into total lockdown after being accounted as Europe’s epicenter of the virus for its alarming rise in cases and death toll.

Usually teeming with tourists and gondolas ferrying above the surface of its waters all year round, Venice canal, for the time being, flows amid the quiet and residents of the city have been noticing clearer water—and dolphins, swans, and fishes beckoning from canals and ports.

Netizens share personal photos and videos of the unexpected side effect of the pandemic, with eye-opening captions such as “Nature hit the reset button on us.”

Although this phenomenon may signify an improvement in the ecosystem, it does not necessarily mean there is less water pollution. The mayor of Venice told CNN that the less traffic on the canal “allowed sediments to stay at the bottom,” which are usually the culprit behind muddied waterways.

Ever since motorboats and waterbus paused operations and restricted residents from using public transport, however, the European Space Agency noticed a significant reduction in nitrogen dioxide, a noxious air pollutant naturally produced by diesel motors, power plants, and humans’ movements. According to ESA, the lockdown may have coincided with the recorded drop in NO2 concentrations from January to March due to less industrial activities.

The Italians and the rest of the world try to look at this as a small silver lining after the country was hit by an “apocalyptic” flooding months prior and is dealing with an ongoing outbreak.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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