Growing Disasters, Shrinking World
Drought and Deluge Wreaking Havoc Globally
Philippines farmlands are drying up in the intense heat; there’s no rain in sight. The El Niño has affected about 160,000 hectares (ha) of farmland in the country, destroying more than 200,000 MT of crops including palay, rice and corn.
“Below normal rainfall is threatening some 42,000 hectares of rice paddies in the region, with 11,000 already beyond recovery and another 21,250 damaged. The dry spell has also affected corn crops in other areas.” FEWW said.
To ensure food security, for now at any rate, the Philippines National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is buying 2.65 million MT of rice, mostly from Vietnam and Thailand.
Persistent Drought in eastern and northeastern Syria regions has driven about 300,000 families to urban areas in search of work, a worrying massive population displacements in Middle East in recent history. Some villages have lost about half of their population to overcrowding cities. More than 80 percent of livestock on small and medium-sized farms have died as a result of a 75-percent rise in the cost of animal feed.
A dense plume of dust [sand] swept from Syria into Iraq on February 22, 2010. This photo-like image of the dust storm [sand storm] was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite in the early afternoon (12:30 p.m. in Syria, 1:30 in Iraq). Distinct plumes rise from many point sources in the Syrian desert. Within a few kilometers, the plumes blend into a dense cloud that completely obscures eastern Syria and western Iraq. The veil of dust is thick enough that the ground beneath is not visible, which means that people on the ground are probably getting little light from the Sun. Image Credit: NASA/MODIS/Jeff Schmaltz: Caption: Holli Riebeek.
In China’s southwestern provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou, up to 4 million hectares of crops have been damaged by severe drought. Water shortages are affecting about 6 million people and 3.6 million livestock. Several of China’s northern provinces are also affected by the dry spell, with major signs of stress emerging in the farmlands after a 40-day drought.
Island of Madeira (Portuguese Territory)
At least 42 people were killed and 120 others injured when torrential rains ledt to massive mudslides on the Atlantic resort island of Madeira flooding the popular holiday destination and destroying about 240 homes and damaging many more. Roads and other public infrastructure were also damaged by the storm.
Heavy rains which triggered extensive flooding in the country’s southwest province cut off access to the city of Jerez, prompting the authorities to shut down the airport.
In Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spanish Territories), strong winds and violent downpour led to deluge across the island and left at leat ten thousand homes without electricity, according to the officials.
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