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US Media Spoke More About Harvey Than Floods Elsewhere – but So Did Media Elsewhere

How disaster resilience has saved lives

The deadly storms that battered the US East Coast, the Caribbean and South Asia are the latest and most emphatic evidence of the worldwide spike in extreme floods and storms.

As climate change aggravates these hydro-meteorological events, countries with long coastlines such as Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines are especially exposed.

The only lasting response is to cut greenhouse gases and contain global warming. Meanwhile, we had better build far greater resilience to the danger.

In Asia-Pacific, climate change is exacerbating storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves. Last year saw the highest temperatures on record and 2017 promises to be even hotter…

 

US Media Spoke More About Harvey Than Floods Elsewhere – but So Did Media Elsewhere

Screen-Shot-2017-10-03-at-08.38.17

For every person dead in Harvey there were over 2750 stories published in global media on the hurricane, compared to the negligible 33 for South Asia. Source: Media Cloud

August was an agonising month for weather disasters around the globe. Relentless floods in South Asia took over 1,200 lives and displaced another 41 million in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Sierra Leone was rocked by its worst natural disaster, with mudslides burying a 1,000, displacing another 2,000, and hundreds still missing. In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that over 110,000 had fled their homes in the state of Benue due to intense flooding. And in Houston, Texas, 70 were killed and 30,000 ousted as Hurricane Harvey swept away homes and devastated the city and its surrounding areas.

Of these four major disasters, the magnitude of devastation in terms of those dead and displaced was highest in South Asia, followed by Nigeria, Houston and then Sierra Leone. The South Asian floods killed more than 17-times the number of people in Houston and displaced more than 1,366 times the population.

However, when looking at media coverage across over 1,500 English-language news publications from different countries around the world, Hurricane Harvey received five-times as much coverage as the…

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This entry was posted on 05/10/2017 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

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