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Floods and droughts in many parts of the world are getting ever more frequent and intense. Photo credit Fred Pearce

Floods and droughts in many parts of the world are getting ever more frequent and intense. Photo credit Fred Pearce

The Hidden Hand Behind ‘Natural’ Disasters

Floods and droughts in many parts of the world are getting ever more frequent and intense. Scientists have long warned that a changing climate is making such weather events more extreme. What is often neglected in the public debate is that the impacts of climate change on flood and drought disasters are exacerbated by environmental destruction. A new report by Wetlands International argues that “damaged ecosystems are the hidden hand behind many supposedly natural disasters. They can be what turns extreme weather into human calamity.” The new report, Downstream Voices, was authored by the eminent environmental journalist Fred Pearce…

 

Poor planning leaves Australia exposed to climate change and massive damage bills, CSIRO says

Photo: Poor planning puts homes at risk to bushfire and flooding, according to a CSIRO draft paper. (Jules Haddock/John Druery: User submitted)

Photo: Poor planning puts homes at risk to bushfire and flooding, according to a CSIRO draft paper. (Jules Haddock/John Druery: User submitted)

As Sydney and Brisbane clean up from severe storms and the planet heads towards its hottest year on record, the CSIRO is warning the damage caused by extreme weather could cost Australia more than $1 trillion. The ABC has obtained advice from the nation’s premier science agency warning climate change and poor planning were leaving the nation increasingly exposed to natural disasters. The CSIRO draft discussion paper said the cost of replacing homes and other buildings exposed to bushfires, inland flooding and coastal inundation could almost double by 2100 to $1.38 trillion…

 

UN lauds Philippines handling of Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby)

How does Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) fare in comparison to Super Typhoon Yolanda? Source: http://www.inewmedia.org/typhoonwatch-super-typhoon-ruby-hagupit-updates/11510/

How does Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) fare in comparison to Super Typhoon Yolanda? Source: http://www.inewmedia.org/typhoonwatch-super-typhoon-ruby-hagupit-updates/11510/

As negotiations resume this week in Geneva on a global agreement on disaster risk management, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said the Philippines “zero casualty” approach to managing Typhoon Hagupit was further evidence of Asia’s leadership role in reducing mortality and tackling economic losses from disasters. UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström said: “UNISDR believes that the Philippines government has done an excellent job of putting into action the lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan. All arms of government, including PAGASA and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and municipalities like Tacloban have pulled together to save lives and minimize the damage being inflicted by this disaster event.”…

 

Protect your vehicle engine against natural disasters

carA vehicle is one of the most prized possessions that we purchase during our lifetime. We take utmost care in protecting it from wear & tear and external damages. Though an insurance policy does cover repairs when the vehicle is damaged during an accident, it becomes redundant when the vehicle is submerged in a flood. In this scenario, water can enter the vehicle engine causing it to cease, bringing it to a standstill…

 

Advocate urges U.N. to tap disabled when prepping for disasters

NEW YORK – Akiko Fukuda, secretary-general of the World Federation of the Deafblind, pressed the international community at the United Nations this week to include the perspectives of the disabled when devising disaster-preparedness plans. “Up to this point people with disabilities are the target of programs but from now on I think we need to change our minds,” Fukuda, 37, told Kyodo News on Wednesday, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. “We could be an agent of change with our resource called disability.”…

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