Last week we have heard reports of flooding across the globe. In Saudi Arabia, a huge flash flood carrying golf ball sized hail claimed at least six lives. Meteorologists have predicted eight years worth of rain in only two days, which would certainly account for the devastating deluge. Meanwhile in Austin, Texas, three people lost their lives to raging flood waters. Atlanta, Georgia saw major flash flooding this week. We have no word of any injuries from that flooding, but parts of the city were under four feet of water. While there is no estimated damage at this time, it could easily be in the millions with many homes and businesses suffering water intrusion. “This is the most water I’ve ever seen in a 25-hour period,” said resident Scott Plageman. Meanwhile, Early last week, a Buda, Texas torrent seriously damaged a fire station, taking it out of commission for at least three months. The estimated damage to the fire station alone is $150,000. In Masai Mara, Kenya, no damages are reported, but a longstanding drought ended with flooding; downpours having lasted most of the week. A wildlife photographer and guide, Paul Goldstein commented “this was the most intense rain I have ever experienced in 25 years of guiding here. “
In other news, more records were broken this week. South Africa experienced the hottest October day in recorded history; a scorching 119ºF (48.4ºC). It is the third highest temperature ever recorded in South Africa. In Indonesia, the largest wild fire on record is burning out of control. It has already claimed the lives of 19 firefighters. Over 500,000 Indonesians (and according to comments, denizens of other nearby islands) are having breathing difficulties and respiratory inflammation due to the thick smoke. The wildfire has consumed thousands of square miles, and is spreading quickly. President Joko Widodo has declared a state of emergency. The firestorm has raged on since June and is showing no signs of slowing.. The fires have burned 7,700 square miles (20,000 square kilometers). These fires are not only affecting human health, but also the lives of endangered species inhabiting Indonesia.
In other news, China’s drought will result in a 6% decline in corn production. Farmers had been optimistic before the drought hit, expecting a record harvest up 4.4% from the previous year. The situation would been a lot worse had they not switched to more pest and drought resistant crops. A price shock is unlikely, as China has stockpiled corn at above-market value to protect farmers, there is enough available to protect prices for awhile.
Unfortunately, the tragic events we reported on are in no way a full reflection of what has been going on in the world. If you would like to see all of our headlines from the past week, please click here.