The case for uniform disaster law…and more

If it’s flooded, forget it: Why Queenslanders risk driving through floodwaters

Queenslanders need to be reminded that driving through floodwaters is a form of distraction, similar to using a mobile phone, according to a Brisbane academic. Five people died in early May after three cars were swept away by floodwaters during a storm that hit Caboolture, north of Brisbane. In addition, 58 people were attended to by swift water rescue teams. Ahead of this year’s storm season, Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety (CARRS) spokeswoman Judy Fleiter warned drivers’ perception of risk was lost during emergency situations…


The case for uniform disaster law

Red Cross volunteers in Vanuatu assess people’s needs after cyclone Pam in March.  Photo: IFRC
Red Cross volunteers in Vanuatu assess people’s needs after cyclone Pam in March. Photo: IFRC

There were the high heels sent to Samoa after Cyclone Evan in 2012, the shipment of bathtubs clogging up Tonga Customs after Cyclone Ian last year and the beef masala donated to the Hindu country of Nepal after the devastating earthquake in April. Sending inappropriate, unnecessary aid to a country reeling from a big natural disaster is problem enough. But when life-saving equipment is held up in Customs for months or, in some cases, years, or desperately needed medical staff and engineers can’t obtain visas or have their qualifications recognised quickly, significant resources are wasted and more deaths occur. Lawyer Gabrielle Simm says climate change has increased the intensity and frequency of some weather events, such as cyclones, droughts and floods. When humans are poorly prepared to respond, it becomes a “disaster”. Such catastrophes are worse when…


These Are the American Cities That Could Be Buried Underwater by 2200

Rising sea-levels will someday put several American cities completely, or partially, underwater. Here are the U.S. cities that could be submerged by sea-levels in approximately 200 years—and what you can expect for your own city in the future. A new study published in PNAS looked at what we can expect for our cities if carbon emissions remain unchecked up through 2100. If they do, researchers said to expect an eventual longterm sea-level rise of up to 9.9 meters that would take place in various cities along a timeline ranging from between 200-2,000 years. As a whole, researchers estimated that 20 million people in 21 different cities currently live in areas that would be submerged…


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