Natural disasters could be far less damaging with better building codes

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Cholera and widespread destruction as second cyclone hits Mozambique

Cyclone Kenneth, which hit Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique just five weeks after Cyclone Idai caused widespread destruction, has brought extensive damage and flooding to towns and villages in the direct path of the storm, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Sunday. A cholera outbreak was officially declared in the region on May 2, and rains are still continuing, with large areas flooded or at risk of flooding.

MSF is supporting the Ministry of Health by providing materials such as tents, water, and sanitation equipment for a cholera treatment center in Pemba and is also preparing to respond to cholera or cholera-like symptoms and support the health infrastructure in Mecufi. MSF will provide tents and medical equipment to build a temporary cholera treatment unit with a 10 to 15 bed capacity, said Danielle Borges, MSF project coordinator in Pemba…


Natural disasters could be far less damaging with better building codes

From the mudslides in Montecito, Calif., to the flash floods in Ellicott City, Md., Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas and the wildfires that swept through Northern California, 2018 saw natural disasters of every type affect communities across the country. In total, the president declared 59 major disasters last year. And these disasters came at a high cost, with more than 200 people killed and countless more injured — and more than $91 billion in property damage.

In fiscal year 2018, FEMA, through its Disaster Relief Fund, invested more than $20 billion to support recovery efforts, providing aid to repair damage and construct new homes, small businesses, schools, hospitals, police stations and community centers. The truth, however, is that many of these newly rebuilt and repaired structures will face new hazards and natural disasters — whether it’s in the next five years or 50 years from now — and they will need to be prepared. Fortunately, there is a highly cost-effective strategy for ensuring that these structures can handle it: building codes….


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