Typhoon Melor Hits the Philippines, 750,000 People Evacuated…and more

Typhoon Melor Hits the Philippines, 750,000 People Evacuated

Typhoon Melor made landfall in the central Philippines on Monday, prompting disaster authorities to evacuate about 750,000 people in three provinces as the country prepared to be deluged with torrential rain and high winds. To date, 40 domestic flights have been grounded and dozens of ferries and fishing boats told to remain in port on Samar island, leaving approximately 8,000 people stranded. Twenty provinces remain under a public storm alert, with some schools and offices ordered to temporarily close, reports Reuters. Known locally as Typhoon Nona, the tropical storm was expected to trigger flooding, landslides and storm surges of up…


Drone Bird is a project to map areas hit by natural disasters

Japanese non-profit organization (NPO) Crisis Mappers Japan has started a crowdfunding campaign on Japan’s crowdfunding website ReadyFor for a project called Drone Bird, which aims to reflect the damaged states after disasters to maps rapidly and accurately utilizing drones. The team is led by Aoyama Gakuin University Department of Global Studies and Collaboration Professor Taichi Furuhashi, who is well-known as an expert on Geographic Information System (GIS). Setting its fundraising goal at 40 million yen (about $325,000), it has already raised 2.5 million yen (about $203,000) at this point three days after the launch and will continue the campaign till 2nd February of 2016. Drone Bird was selected out of 139 application entries for a project-collecting campaign on the ReadyFor crowdfunding site last year…


El Niño is set to hurt millions of Africans in early 2016 as rains fail to show

Could the same weather pattern that’s causing the balmy pre-Christmas weather in the East Coast and Midwest of the U.S. also be responsible for a punishing drought in southern Africa on the opposite side of the globe? Scientists say yes—and they are pointing the finger at one of the most potent El Niño systems every recorded in the Pacific Ocean. The large pool of unusually warm water in the Pacific—perhaps the most extreme in 75 years—is forcing changes in normal weather patterns in the US, where it is keeping cold winter air firmly bottled up in the Arctic. El Niño’s reach is also being felt in the sun-baked farmlands…


Storm Desmond flood zone: government criticised over delayed defences

Kendal after flooding caused by Storm Desmond. Photograph: Michael Scott/Demotix/Corbis
Kendal after flooding caused by Storm Desmond. Photograph: Michael Scott/Demotix/Corbis

The government’s spending on flood defences has come under criticism after it emerged that a prevention scheme for the Cumbrian town of Kendal, which was submerged by up to 5ft (1.5 metres) of water after the weekend’s storm, was repeatedly postponed…


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