Monthly archives: May 2016

May

29
2016

Deadly droughts and floods.

Jodde     Blog     0

Drought is driving up the cost of staples and exports in several regions of the world. Maize is ballooning throughout Africa. Rice is in trouble in Thailand. Prices for two different species have risen around $20 per ton. Coffee is in trouble in Brazil. While the arabica strain is actually doing well, the robusta strain is down about 16%. A rash of fires and suicides in India has only recently been relieved with the very late but very deadly monsoon rains. The almost non-existent snowpack over the winter is part of the reason then Fort McMurray fire is raging out of control. The weather has been very wet in most of Alberta, but unfortunately, Fort McMurray didn’t get much of that rain.

Drought in Zimbabwe is heart-wrenchingly devastating, with millions of starving people and little to no rain expected for months. In fact, more than a quarter of their population is on the brink of starvation. The government there is seeking $1.5 billion in aid to feed those at risk. Damages in the billions tend to be in relation to infrastructure, not food.

Meanwhile, parts of the world are inundated with deadly flood waters. Recent flooding in Sri Lanka has left at least 37 dead, and 150 missing. A further 28 people were discovered buried in mud, wounded. Massive rains triggered flooding and horrific mudslides. The region affected received 100mm of rain in just one day. The death toll could have been a lot worse were it not for heroic troops using boats and helicopters to rescue 200 trapped people. The government has forced 137,000 people to evacuate, and many of those will have nowhere to return. The Red Cross was unable to access many people who needed rescue as roads were blocked by mud and trees. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, Thailand, a four-year-old girl is dead after a massive storm caused her home to collapse. A cupboard fell on her head. Two other people were seriously injured, and 62 homes were obliterated. This drastic amount of devastation happened in a mere two hours. In Indonesia, major flooding has killed at least 17 people, with another three possibly dead.  


May

29
2016

Zimbabwe drought: Five million face food shortage – AJE News

Jodde     red, Weather Events     0

Aljazeera.com reports that...

Nearly five million people in Zimbabwe – half of the country’s rural population – will need assistance by next year as a result of the ongoing drought in southern Africa, the United Nations has said.

Read more at www.aljazeera.com


May

19
2016

Sri Lanka landslides and rain kill 37 people with over 150 still missing | World news | The Guardian

Jodde     Fatalities, red, Weather Events     0

Theguardian.com reports that...

“A total of 37 people have been killed, 28 wounded … in weather-related incidents in the past three days,” the DMC spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said.

Read more at www.theguardian.com


May

19
2016

Rice Prices Surge as Thailand’s Drought Worsens

Jodde     Weather Events, yellow     0

Thailand’s rice prices have hit a two-year high following anticipation of lower supply due to increasing drought conditions that have plagued Thailand this year. Honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Chookiat Ophaswongse, stated, “Prices for all types of rice have risen.”


May

17
2016

Search Continues for Missing in Indonesia Flash Flood

Jodde     Fatalities, red, Severe Events, Weather Events     0

Voanews.com reports that...

Indonesian officials say at least 17 people have been killed and 3 more remain missing following a flash flood near a popular tourist destination.

Read more at www.voanews.com


May

15
2016

Girl, 4, killed as storm demolishes home | Bangkok Post: news

Jodde     Fatalities, Weather Events, yellow     0

Bangkokpost.com reports that...

A large fallen tree blocks the road in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district as storms battered Ayutthaya province on Sunday night. Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao

Read more at www.bangkokpost.com


May

11
2016

Everything lost, two North American tragedies

Jodde     Blog     0

Up to 20 tornados ripped through Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado yesterday, obliterating several houses and tragically cutting short the lives of at least two people.  At least ten people were injured in the storm system which dropped large hail in addition to the tornados.

Meanwhile, an important town that houses people working on the oil rigs in northern Alberta is up in smoke.  Damage to the town, Fort McMurray.  Albertans know it as Fort Mac, they have all heard the name dozens of times as the place their friends and family go to make great money, or at least this was so during the boom oil times in Alberta, a province which is now reeling from low oil prices as it formed the backbone of the economy for years.  Fort Mac is all but destroyed in some regions.  News anchors said evacuation efforts looked like what one would see in apocalyptic movies, and it is hard to disagree.  Two people died in a fatal car accident trying to escape.  It is a virtual ghost town but for firefighters and military personnel.   90,000 people of the 125,000 people accounted for by the latest census were forced to evacuate.  That’s almost three-quarters of the population!   An additional 25,000 are awaiting evacuation from camps north of Fort Mac.  

The fire was expected to double in size, but thankfully that did not happen because it is already 85,000 hectares (328.19 square miles).  With a town all but lost, countless people have lost everything, and while there is a great deal of generosity to help those who have, one cannot help but feel some portion of their loss.  True, empathy is in part a function of proximity, and as an Albertan, this author has such proximity, but I hope we all can spare a thought for them as well as those in Oklahoma,Kansas and Colorado.  Like most fires, this one seems to have been human caused, but it is so severe because of tinderbox conditions.  It has been dry and hot, and there has been very little snow over the unusually mild winter.  It has been so hot in some places in Alberta that some cities, Calgary for instance, have broken heat records three days running.  


May

10
2016

10 Injured as Large Tornadoes Range Across Western Kentucky – NBC News

Jodde     Uncategorized     0

Nbcnews.com reports that...

A large tornado injured 10 people and damaged homes and businesses as it roared through western Kentucky on Tuesday, part of a severe spring storm that spun off more twisters and dropped hail across the state.

Read more at www.nbcnews.com


May

06
2016

‘Air tankers won’€™t stop Alberta fire’€™: Massive Canadian blaze spreads to 85,000 hectares

Natalie     Damage over $1B, Data, green, Records, Reports & Findings, Severe Events, Weather Events     0

Rt.com reports that...

Canadian fire officials battling wildfires in Alberta warned the only thing that could stop the blaze was a lot of rain. The latest damage estimates indicate that the Fort McMurray fire could cost insurance companies around C$9 billion ($7 billion).
On Thursday, the enormous fire that had already destroyed hundreds of homes and encircled a city and several communities was picked up by 70 kilometer-per-hour (44mph) winds and spread to 85,000 hectares.
The most severe part of the roaring front moved south of Fort McMurray, with no signs of stopping.

Read more at www.rt.com


May

05
2016

UK sees hottest day of 2016 as temperatures hit 21C

Natalie     Data, green, Records, Reports & Findings, Weather Events     0

Home.bt.com reports that...

The UK saw the hottest day of the year on Thursday as temperatures soared to 21C (70F) in London.

But the mercury looks set to keep on rising over the weekend, with parts of the country predicted to be hotter than Spain and Los Angeles.

Read more at home.bt.com