Thursday, 21 July 2016

Costliest non-US and US weather disasters

Earth's 5th Costliest Non-U.S. Weather Disaster on Record: China's $22 Billion Flood

By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , 4:14 PM GMT on July 15, 2016 

  A historic flood event continues in China, where torrential monsoon rains along the Yangtze River Valley in central and eastern China since early summer have killed 237 people, left 93 people missing, and caused at least $22 billion in damage, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Thursday. According to the International Disaster database, EM-DAT, this would make the 2016 floods China's second most expensive weather-related natural disaster in history, and Earth's fifth most expensive non-U.S. weather-related disaster ever recorded. Only China's 1998 floods, with a price tag of $44 billion (2016 dollars), were more damaging than the 2016 floods. According to the June 2016 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker Aon Benfield, Earth's only deadlier weather disaster in 2016 was an April heat wave in India that claimed 300 lives. Some 147,200 houses have been destroyed by this summer's floods in China, and over 21,000 square miles of farmland had been inundated--an area the size of Massachusetts and Vermont combined. An additional $1.3 billion in flood damage from Typhoon Nepartak occurred in China in July.



  (1-15) JULY 2016 (पाक्षिक)


                                                     - जलवायु संकट, पारिस्थिकी
                                                    - प्रदूषण                
                                             - आदिवासी विमर्श
                                              - कृषि और किसानी
                                        - जल दर्शन
                                                    - देशज ज्ञान और स्वास्थ्य
                                     - विविध





Arunachal Pradesh: Rivers, Dams and a People’s Movement
Published on 6 Jul 2016

More than 100 large and medium dams are planned in the North Eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Lama Lobsang Gyatso from Tawang Valley talks about the large hydro-electric projects that threaten the very existence of his Monpa community.

Biography: Lama Lobsang Gyatso was attached to the 17th century Tawang Monastery and is the leader of the Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF)

जलवायु संकट

‘We survived on mushrooms, forest produce for three days’
A couple and their two children, who were trapped for six days on a huge boulder on the river Saveri during a flash flood, have been rescued by fire fighters in Boipariguda block of Koraput district in Odisha. According to Boipariguda Block Development Officer (BDO) M. Lehanga, the family, rescued on July 1, is now under observation of doctors at the government hospital.
Skin infections
The condition of Dayaban Harijan and his wife is good but their three-year-old girl and four-year-old boy have developed serious skin infections, for which they are being treated.
They would be kept under medical observation for a few days and then allowed to return to their village Haladikunda.
Dayaban is thankful for the fire fighters who saved them. This poor family had crossed the Saveri river to reach Chhattisgarh on the other side to collect forest produce. They had used a makeshift bridge near Gupteswar to cross the river. During their return, they were collecting forest produce from trees on boulders in the riverbed as water level was low. However, due to rain on the upper reaches of the river, a flash flood occurred in on June 25. The makeshift wooden bridge got washed away. As water level and the current started rising, the family climbed on a large boulder. “In three days our food stock ended and for the next three days we survived on mushrooms and other forest produce we had collected,” Dayaban said.
The fire brigade officials received information about this stranded family but the swift current delayed the rescue operation.
At last on July 1, the fire fighters prepared two floats using long bamboo poles, reached the family and rescue them. On June 26, two tribal youths had also shown extraordinary courage and saved five children from getting drowned in a flash flood in Jhanjabati river near Narayanpatna.

WHO: Climate change may kill 250k yearly
Sushmi Dey | TNN | Jul 11, 2016, 11.53 AM IST
Climate change is likely to kill 250,000 more people each year by 2030, latest assessment by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows. Most of these deaths will be caused from malaria, diarrhoeal disease, heat stress and malnutrition.
India, already having a high burden of these diseases, is expected to contribute significantly to these deaths globally.

A separate study conducted by the University of Oxford, which was published in the international medical journal Lancet earlier this year, projected 130,000 deaths in India from climate change in 2050.

The heaviest burden of such diseases due to climate change will fall on children, women, elderly and the poor, further widening health inequalities between and within populations. It asked countries including India to spend more to protect health from risks linked to climate, such as extreme weather events and outbreaks of infectious disease, and in cleaner energy sources.

The UN agency had set up the agenda and proposed key actions for its implementation during its recent Paris meet. The WHO estimates that climate change is already causing tens of thousands of deaths every year. These deaths arise from more frequent epidemics of diseases like cholera, the vastly expanded geographical distribution of diseases like dengue, and from extreme weather events, like heat waves and floods.

At the same time, nearly 7 million people each year die from diseases caused by air pollution, such as lung cancer and stroke. More than half of these air pollution related deaths are being reported from China and India. India alone contributes 1.59 million deaths to this dismal statistic.

Climatic conditions intensely affect water-borne diseases and diseases transmitted through insects etc. According to WHO's assessment, in the next 15 years,
heat exposure will cause around 38,000 deaths, whereas 48,000 deaths due to diarrhoea, 60,000 due to malaria and 95,000 due to childhood under-nutrition are projected.

Highlighting the benefits of switching to cleaner energy sources, WHO said it will help reduce levels of climate and air pollutants, as well as provide desperately needed power for health facilities in low-income countries.

"The health sector should themselves make a greater effort to promote low-carbon healthcare facilities and technologies; these can simultaneously improve service delivery and reduce costs as well as climate and environmental impacts," it said.

WHO has called for countries to adopt a new approach to link health economics assessment and climate change.


A new theory on how climate impacts rates of violence

A station in Himalayas to study climate change

Environment Ministry withdraws draft forest policy

कृषि और किसानी

देशज ज्ञान और स्वस्थ

‘Almost 30 per cent of our land undergoing degradation’

'Desertification and land degradation are major threats to agricultural productivity in our country'

ISRO-led study analysed satellite imageries of the country over an eight-year period
Nearly 30 per cent per cent of the country’s total geographical area is undergoing degradation, according to a study that analysed satellite imageries of the country over an eight-year period.
The degrading area has increased over 0.5 per cent to 29.3 million hectares during the period, as shown by comparative remote-sensing satellite imageries of the States for the periods 2003-05 and 2011-13. Desertification increased by 1.16 million hectares (m ha) and stood at 82.64 m ha during 2011-13.
Action plan
There was high desertification and degradation in Delhi, Tripura, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh and Mizoram, while Odisha, Telangana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh showed some improvement.
The ongoing study, initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, was led by the Indian Space Research Organisation and involved 19 institutes. ISRO’s Space Applications Centre released the findings last month in the form of a ‘Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas’, combining GIS and remote sensing data.
India has committed itself to the U.N. Convention on Combating Desertification that it would fully stop land degradation by 2030. The atlas, adding 68 vulnerable districts, would form part of the country’s action plan to arrest the phenomenon and also be a status report to the U.N. body, ISRO said. The SAC had undertaken a similar study in 2007.
Just nine States together account for nearly 24 per cent of desertification; the other States have less than one per cent of this land. The culprit States in that order are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
Southern State Kerala figures among northern and northeastern States where less than 10 per cent land is degraded. With it are relatively greener States of Assam, Mizoram, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh.
Water erosion
The bad news is that 3.6 million ha of productive land are getting lost, while on the positive side, some land has been reclaimed and the intensity of degradation has been slowed down in a few other areas. “Desertification and land degradation are major threats to agricultural productivity in our country. Combating them is a thrust area identified [by the MoEF&CC],” ISRO said.
The main culprit is water erosion (26 per cent) followed by degrading vegetation (rising slightly nearly nine per cent) and land or soil erosion due to wind.
Worrisome trend
Rajendra Hegde, head of the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Bengaluru, which partnered ISRO in interpreting the data in three southern States, affirmed that even a marginal increase in degraded land is a cause for concern.
“The definition of desertification implies it is degradation that cannot be reversed in a lifetime (around 60 years).”

Naidu releases water from Pattiseema

Did WHO’s TB care advice cause more MDR-TB cases?

Infant mortality rate: Target set by Millennium Development Goals not met

Human Genome Project: The ‘Write’ track

Radiation processing of honey ensures microbial safety

Khasis lived in Meghalaya since 1200 BCE, says study
Pre-historic megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district indicate that the Khasi tribe had made the State their home since around 1200 BCE. A megalith is a large stone that forms part of a prehistoric monument.
Archaeologist Marco Mitri and a team of academicians from the North Eastern Hills University excavated the archaeological site near Lummawbuh village in the northern slopes of Sohpetbneng (Heaven’s Naval) peak near the NH-40.
Mr. Mitri said they found megalithic structures, and iron implements that date back to the prehistoric period in the ridge spreading over 1.5 k.m.
Neolithic site
The excavation at Lummawbuh is the first one of a Neolithic site in Meghalaya.
“We had sent over 20 tools and implements including grains to Beta Analytic, a Miami-based lab for radiocarbon dating to confirm their age. The tests confirmed that these were dated back to 12{+t}{+h}century BCE,” Mr. Mitri said.
The megalithic structures are used in the traditional mortuary practices that were followed by the tribes till a few decades ago. “These Neolithic structures were first discovered in 2004. It took at least a decade to confirm the existence of a settlement in the area till about 200 years ago,” Mr. Mitri said.
The British Archaeological Reports had in 2009 published Mr. Mitri’s work — ‘Outline of Neolithic Culture of Khasi and Jaintia Hills’.
The archaeologist had also edited a book titled Cultural–Historical Interaction and the Tribes of North East India , which was published in 2010. — PTI

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