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After the Hurricane…and more

After the Hurricane: The Resurrection of a Wild Garden in Maine

Built on Maine’s Mount Desert Island in 1916, three years before Acadia was established as the oldest national park east of the Mississippi, a privately owned Swiss-style chalet and its teahouse sat peacefully inside the park’s boundary for nine decades. Then came the hurricane. In 2008, Hurricane Hanna roared up the East Coast, leaving a swath of destruction and desolation. The storm struck the Mount Desert Island property while a remodel was underway to convert the teahouse into guest quarters. Says landscape architect Matthew Cunningham, who saw the teahouse after the storm, “Only an exposed, depleted, and raw cross-section of earth remained, and it was rapidly eroding into the sea.” Cunningham, whose practice is headquartered in Winchester, Massachusetts (on the northern outskirts of Boston), was the right landscape architect…


Cyclone Megh batters Yemeni island of Socotra

A Dragon's blood tree is seen on the ground after Megh hits Socotra Island on Tuesday (AA)  Image source:

A Dragon’s blood tree is seen on the ground after Megh hits Socotra Island on Tuesday (AA)
Image source:

A second extremely rare and powerful tropical cyclone has hit Yemen’s Socotra island in the space of a week. Two people were reported to have been killed as hurricane-force winds and torrential rains brought by the storm, called Megh, triggered flash floods. The Yemeni government has appealed to the UN and neighbouring Oman to send emergency relief teams to Socotra, which lies far out in the Arabian Sea. Megh is expected to make landfall on Yemen’s coast east of Aden on Tuesday. Last week, Cyclone Chapala killed eight people on the Yemeni mainland…


Jordan’s ‘natural disasters’ are partly man-made

In a country like Jordan, ranked as the world’s second water-poorest country, rainfall should be a blessing. But it has proved to be not always so. Only 40 minutes of non-stop heavy rain has recently caused flooding across Amman, leaving four people dead and dozens homeless and trapped. It was a wild scene in the mountainous capital, resembling massive floods in Bangladesh, Laos and other flat countries in South Asia. That is not at all an exaggeration because four days ago, Amman looked like it had Venice’s water-traffic corridors…



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