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Disease outbreak fears in Solomons flood clean-up

Flooding swept way settlements along the Matanikau River that runs through Honiara. (Photo credit: Jay Liofasi)

Flooding swept way settlements along the Matanikau River that runs through Honiara. (Photo credit: Jay Liofasi)

It is a natural disaster on a scale never before witnessed in the Solomon Islands. Flash flooding on the main island of Guadalcanal caught people living in settlements and squatter camps on the river banks of the capital Honiara by surprise. The Mataniko River swept villages out to sea and destroyed one of the main commercial districts, Chinatown. Ben Afuga is the CEO of civil society group Forum Solomon Islands International who began relief operations before help from aid organisations and the national government arrived…


Cape York communities brace for Cyclone Ita

Tropical Cyclone Ita

Tropical Cyclone Ita

Communities in far north Queensland are preparing for Tropical Cyclone Ita that is expected to cross the coast later this week. Cyclone Ita has intensified into a category two system and is about 1,000 kilometres north-east of Cairns. It is expected to intensify into a category three system as it moves closer to the coast. Weather forecaster Greg Connor says it is likely to cross the coast between Cooktown and the Torres Strait as a category three cyclone by Friday…


Singapore proposes regional crisis centre

Singapore has proposed hosting a regional crisis command centre that would help coordinate governments’ efforts after major natural disasters, the city-state’s defence minister said Thursday.”We were obviously struck over the last decade by how many disasters there were” in the region, said Ng Eng Hen, citing earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons that have cut a swathe of destruction from the Philippines to Japan. “We recognized in the first critical 24, 48 hours, it is actually very difficult for the affected country to be able to set up a C2 (command and control) centre, for the very reason they’re the ones hit,” said the minister…


Recovering from a natural disaster is tough. Is it sustainable?

As southern Alberta knows all too well, disasters can strike very quickly – altering lives in a hurry – but rebuilding communities can take many years. Julie Drolet, an associate professor at the Faculty of Social Work’s Edmonton campus, is studying how disasters affect different people in six countries – Canada (in B.C.), U.S., Australia, India, Pakistan and Taiwan – and how to incorporate sustainable development in disaster recovery and long-term rebuilding…


Are Mangroves the Answer Against Global Warming Vulnerability to Disaster?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. Alfredo Quarto is executive director of the Mangrove Action Project. He said today: “Mangroves typify the important role that coastal wetlands play in protecting coastlines from erosion and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, one of the main reasons the hurricane turned so deadly and destructive was the earlier loss of natural coastal wetlands because of reduced sedimentation resulting from the dike system which was itself set up to prevent seasonal flooding…

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