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Malawi floods cause devastation – in pictures

 

A family wait for relief teams in the southern district of Chikwawa, near Blantyre. At least 176 people are confirmed dead because of flooding Photograph: Thoko Chikondi/AP

A family wait for relief teams in the southern district of Chikwawa, near Blantyre. At least 176 people are confirmed dead because of flooding
Photograph: Thoko Chikondi/AP

Torrential rains have wreaked havoc across Malawi, which has reported 176 deaths and many more missing, with 200,000 displaced. The flooding is spreading across southern Africa: 84 people have died in Mozambique and 13 in Madagascar, which has been battered by tropical storm Chedza. Médicins sans Frontières (MSF) has been responding to the crisis in the worst-affected parts, where thousands are cut off without food or healthcare…

 

Malawi: Deadly floods menace tens of thousands

Tens of thousands of people in the southern tip of Malawi have been cut off by deadly floods, leaving them without food, clean water or access to health care, aid organizations have warned, while many others have been displaced. Conflicting accounts from the southeast African nation put the number killed at anywhere from dozens to more than 170. Gift of the Givers, an African nongovernmental organization specializing in disaster response, said Malawi was facing “probably the greatest flood disaster in the history of its existence.” In a Facebook post Saturday, the organization said 173 people were confirmed killed — and warned of worse news to come…

 

Coping with risks for a safer future

Ten years ago this month, representatives from 168 United Nations member states met in Kobe, the capital of Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, to decide how to manage risk better in the wake of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed more than 227,000 lives. Over five days, which included the anniversary of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, they crafted the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), composed of a raft of measures designed to “reduce the losses in lives and social, economic, and environmental assets of communities and countries.”…

 

The Government of Canada Announces Disaster Mitigation Investments and Modernizes Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced the upcoming National Disaster Mitigation Program to begin April 1, 2015. It will reduce flood-related costs for all levels of government and contribute to establishing conditions for the introduction of a residential flood insurance market in Canada. Minister Blaney also re-affirmed the support of the federal government to cover disaster costs that exceed what individual provinces and territories could reasonably be expected to bear on their own. As the Government of Canada shifts towards a proactive disaster relief model that will better protect Canadians and their communities, the new program will help reduce flood-related costs for all levels of government and help protect Canadians in high-risk communities from the costs and heartache associated with reoccurring natural disasters…

 

Enhanced vigilance against natural disasters cannot be overstated

The Great Hanshin Earthquake struck on this day 20 years ago, claiming 6,434 lives in Kobe and surrounding areas. Areas of the city that were devastated have since been rebuilt. The city’s population is now greater than before the quake. Although some areas of the city have not yet regained their former bustle, the people in general appear to have made a fresh start. As memories of what occurred that winter morning continue to fade, there are some worrisome signs of complacency among residents…

 

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