Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive – mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin in 2016

Posts Tagged ‘Drought’

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Global Drought Conditions

Posted by feww on December 4, 2016

Current Drought Conditions

201609_gpcc_spi03-sm

GPCC based 1-month SPI

gpcc-based-1-month-spi

For the second month in a row, the European Union’s crop monitoring service lowered the corn yield forecast for this year. In Asia, drought continues throughout central Russia and a ring from the Indian sub-Continent around eastern China and Mongolia. In China, drought in the northwestern Gansu Province led to implementation of the government’s level-IV emergency response plan. In Africa, short-term drought eased slightly in the western part of the continent while continuing to strongly impact South Africa. In South Africa, there has been a culling of hippo and buffalo herds due to the poor condition of vegetation. In North America, drought remains entrenched along the western coast as well as through New England and the US Southeast. In the US Northeast, the apple crop has suffered due to the drought with noticeably smaller fruit produced this year. In South America, drought continues in Brazil as well as from the equator down along the Andes. Irrigation water for farms was restricted in Espirito Santo, where rivers were largely dry. In Oceania, drought continued nearly unchanged.  [Images and text sourced from NOAA]

North America
http://www.drought.gov/nadm

Europe
http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/php/index.php?id=1120

Africa
http://drought.icpac.net/
http://hydrology.princeton.edu/~justin/research/project_global_monitor/

Australia
http://www.daff.gov.au/abares/monitor
http://www.bom.gov.au/

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: Deadly Wildfires Force Mass Evacuation in TN

Posted by feww on November 30, 2016

US Wildfires Consume Forest, Damage or Destroy Hundreds of Buildings, Force Mass Evacuation in Tennessee

  • Details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

 

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: CLDT

Posted by feww on November 19, 2016

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Drought Kills 102 Million Trees in California

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California’s drought-stricken forests.

Drought has killed at least 62 million trees in 2016 alone, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years.

droughgt-kills-102million-gtrees-in-california-usfs

Drought kills more than 102 million trees in California, including 62 million this year alone. US Forest Service.

“These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California,” said Agriculture Secretary. “USDA has made restoration work and the removal of excess fuels a top priority, but until Congress passes a permanent fix to the fire budget, we can’t break this cycle of diverting funds away from restoration work  to fight the immediate threat of the large unpredictable fires caused by the fuel buildups themselves.”

This year, California had a record setting wildfire season, with the Blue Cut fire alone scorching over 30,000 acres and triggering the evacuation of 80,000 people. In the southeastern United States wildfires have burned more than 120,000 acres this fall. The southeast region of the Forest Service is operating at the highest preparedness level, PL 5, reflecting the high level of physical resources and funding devoted to the region.  Extreme drought conditions persist, and many areas have not seen rain for as many as 95 days.

  • Details of Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: VTNM

Posted by feww on November 8, 2016

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: State of Emergency Continues in Vietnam amid Drought and Deluge

  • More than 2 million people in Vietnam are experiencing acute water shortages and 18 of 63 provinces have been in a state of emergency since May.
  • Meanwhile, several rounds of flooding since last month have destroyed or severely damaged at least 200,000 homes, destroying roads and other public infrastructure across 15 provinces, authorities said.
  • Floodwaters have destroyed up to 20,000 hectares of crops, killing about 60,000 cattle and poultry.
  • Details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: HFRC

Posted by feww on October 27, 2016

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: Horn of Africa – Convergence of Climatic, Conflict and Economic Shocks

  • The number of food insecure people in the region facing Crisis and Emergency has more than doubled in the 12 months to September from 11.0 million to 23.4 million people. The worst affected countries are Ethiopia (9.7 million people), South Sudan (4.79 million people), and Sudan (4.42 million people).
  • Full details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: MGSR

Posted by feww on October 27, 2016

CJ Members

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Madagascar Drought Disaster

  • Details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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Drought Destroys Crops in Wyoming, Montana

Posted by feww on June 4, 2016

Drought Disaster Declared for Multiple Counties across Two U.S. States

Drought Disaster Emergency Designations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 13 counties across two states—Wyoming and Montana—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought. Those areas are:

Wyoming. Big Horn, Campbell, Converse, Fremont, Hot Springs, Johnson, Natrona, Park,  Sheridan and Washakie counties.

Montana. Big Horn, Carbon and Powder River counties.

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on one or more crops.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

Crop Disaster Designations – 2016

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Nearly 3M People in Central America Rely on Food Aid to Survive

Posted by feww on May 29, 2016

2.8 Million people Need Food Aid in Drought-Hit Central America: UN

At least  2.8 million people in three Central American countries—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—need food aid after two consecutive years of severe drought decimated crops and exacerbated hunger among the poor, said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“People are and have been selling their assets to survive, selling land and seeds, reducing the number of meals a day and reducing their amount of protein intake,” said a disaster response coordinator for Central America at the U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA).

“Right now the situation is very serious, and it’s fragile.”

Losses as of September 2015 (FAO)

At an estimated 3 million tonnes across the subregion, this year’s maize harvest is expected to be far below average and some 8 percent below last year’s already compromised harvest.

Production declines are expected to be particularly sharp in El Salvador and Honduras, which both saw 60 percent of their maize crops destroyed by the irregular rainfall earlier this year. In El Salvador alone, losses are estimated at $28 million in seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and land preparation. Honduras additionally saw 80 percent of its beans perish.

In Guatemala’s most affected areas, some 80 percent of crops are estimated to have been lost, including 55,000 tonnes of maize and 11,500 tonnes of beans, affecting over 150,000 families.

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Drought Severely Affects Malawi and Zimbabwe

Posted by feww on May 25, 2016

Severe food shortages in southern Africa worsening dramatically

Severe drought said to be related to El Nino weather pattern is affecting southern and eastern Africa. Drought follows extreme rain events and severe flooding that had previously inundated parts of the region.

“The crisis has affected some 32 million people in Southern Africa alone, and experts say they expect new assessments to rise to nearly 50 million people in early June.”

Africa’s breadbasket is empty

The UN World Food Program estimates that 16 million people in southern Africa are affected by the El Nino phenomenon, and that’s not counting the drastic increase of numbers in South Africa. Seven of the country’s nine provinces have been declared disaster areas. The government has channeled the equivalent of 55 million euros towards emergency aid. A country which normally produces so much corn that it can provide for the needs in neighboring Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland is now forced to import huge quantities.

Hunger in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe declared a state of emergency back in February. Owing to the drought, today almost one out of three Zimbabweans is dependent on aid. In the past twelve months, rain precipitation was about half that of the previous year.

The situation is particularly dire in the Mudzi district in northeastern Zimbabwe, on the border with Mozambique. Over 85 percent of the population there is dependent on food aid.

Malawi plagued by extreme drought

Malawi is also suffering from extreme drought. Prices for staple foods like corn, beans and rice, have risen steeply. People this year have less than five percent of the amount produced in recent years at their disposal. More than half of the country’s population of 15 million is now dependent on aid. Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika declared a state of emergency in April and called on the world to help.

Mozambique: Drought in the south, floods in the north

Most water sources in the country have dried up. Much of the water that can still be found is salty. Animals are dying and the harvest will be even more meager than last year. A total of 600,000 Mozambicans are dependent on emergency aid. Authorities expect the number to increase significantly in the next couple of weeks. Rita Namucho, spokesperson for the country’s national water utilities, is very worried about the situation in Combumune: “For the last few months it has been possible to cross the river on foot. This is unusual because we are still in the rainy season.”

Meanwhile, recent rains in the north have destroyed 3,500 houses. “Many people drowned in the floods,” director of the Mozambican Center for Civil Protection told DW. Mozambique is one of the ten countries of the world hardest hit by climate change.

Angola’s government ‘is looking away

In Angola, the areas most affected by drought are the southern provinces of Cunene and Huila. DW correspondents have reported about people dying of hunger in an area inhabited by some three million people.

Read more…

 

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Hyenas Attack Starving Women in Drought-Plagued Somaliland

Posted by feww on May 2, 2016

Somaliland facing wide-spread famine

The worst drought in living memory is killing humans and animals alike across the East African region.

Charity workers report cases of women collapsing from hunger and being attacked by starving hyenas. [Welcome to Planet Earth!]

“They fell down, malnourished, and we understand they were then set on by the animals,” said a charity representative.


Scores of goats, kettle, and even drought-resistant camels have already died in the drought-plagued Somaliland. More images…

“Malnourished mothers are unable to breastfeed their babies, and farmers are feeding cardboard boxes to their animals because there is no grass left for grazing,” said the report.

“I spoke to families who had 500 or more animals three months ago, and now are left with 20 or fewer,” said a British politician.

“For people who rely on their animals for meat, milk and trade, it’s the equivalent of losing your entire life savings.”

Drought conditions that previously hit every seven to 10 years are now an annual occurrence, she said.

A Relief spokeswoman said there was a “terrible sense of deja vu” after a drought killed more than 250,000 people in southern Somalia in 2011.

[Republic of Somaliland (pop: 4.5m) is a self-declared state internationally recognized as an autonomous region of the Federal Republic of Somalia (pop:11.5m).]

Read more…

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Deadly Forest Fires Plague Northern India

Posted by feww on May 2, 2016

Drought, heatwaves intensify forest fires in Uttarakhand, N. Indian

Hundreds of forest fires have killed at least a dozen people and consumed thousands of hectares (acres) of forest in the India’s northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

About 430 separate fires have been burning simultaneously since Friday, according to local reports.

Fires have been widespread this year due multiple factors including record-breaking heatwaves, exceptionally dry forests and minimal rainfall.

National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) reported that 70% of the flames have been put out earlier today, according to satellite imagery.

‘Parched earth, broken promises’

Meanwhile, million of people hit by a third year of “epic drought” across India’s parched districts say the government is not doing nearly enough to help, said a report.

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300,000 Children in Somalia Suffering from Malnutrition

Posted by feww on May 1, 2016

Ongoing drought causing acute food insecurity in Somalia

Four successive seasons of below-average rains in parts of Somaliland and a below-average Deyr rainy season in Puntland have lead to severe drought.

The drought, exacerbated by El Niño conditions, has spread through Puntland and Somaliland, affecting hundreds of thousands of people, and compounding an already challenging humanitarian situation in the region. An estimated 385,000 people face acute food insecurity in Somaliland and Puntland, with an additional 1.3 million people threatened by acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance. (OCHA)

About 300,000 children in Somalia are suffering from malnutrition, with 60,000 under the age of five being in critical condition and in need of urgent therapeutic feeding, said reports.

Conflict and drought: Major drivers of acute food insecurity in East Africa

South Sudan

Conflict areas in Greater Upper Nile in South Sudan remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity through the spring and summer.

“Some smaller populations in central Unity State are expected to be facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Areas in Greater Bahr El Ghazal and Greater Equatoria that were less directly impacted by the Government and Opposition conflict are seeing their food security threatened by very high staple food prices, brought on by restricted trade and the depreciation of the South Sudanese Pound, in addition to sporadic violence/clashes.

Ethiopia

“In Ethiopia, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes continue in agricultural and agropastoral eastern areas of Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR Regions, as well as in pastoral areas of Afar Region and Sitti Zone in the Somali Region. Following the 2015 El Niño-related drought, there has been a slow start to 2016 rains across much of central and eastern Ethiopia. More than 10 million people in central and eastern Ethiopia will be in need of emergency food assistance this year.”

Darfur – Sudan

“Conflict in has displaced approximately 130,000 people since January.Restricted access to humanitarian assistance, markets, and labor opportunities in Central and South Darfur and SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan is contributing to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes for many where availability of and access to food is extremely limited.

Yemen

Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to continue in most areas through September 2016 and beyond.

“Protracted conflict since early 2015 has contributed to eroding livelihoods and restricting market access for many. Household purchasing power will remain weak due to atypically high food prices and livelihood disruptions. While many households will attempt to cope by selling assets and reducing the quantity and diversity of meals, these efforts are not expected to enable households to meet basic food needs.” [http://www.fews.net/]

 

 

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Extreme Heat Kills Hundreds of People across South Asia

Posted by feww on April 30, 2016

Record temperatures reported in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam

Deadly heatwaves have scorched vast swathes of South Asia claiming hundreds of lives, exacerbating the drought and destroying or damaging crops in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The largest number of heat-related deaths have occurred in India, and weather forecasters have warned the recurring heatwave would persist and intensify into May, traditionally the hottest month in the sub-continent.

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Saving Energy: Venezuela Cuts Public Employees’ Work to Only 2 Days a Week

Posted by feww on April 27, 2016

Severe drought pushing water level to new lows at the Venezuela’s largest dam

Venezuela is cutting the workweek for public sector employees to just two days—Monday and Tuesday—to save energy, as a severe drought pushes the water to minimum operating level at the country’s largest hydroelectric dam.

Venezuela is currently experiencing its worst drought since 1969, analysts say. Severe drought is sharply reducing the electricity generating capacity of the hydroelectric dams, especially at the Guri Reservoir on the Caroni River in Bolivar State, the country’s largest dam, which supplies about 70% of the nation’s electricity. [Guri is the second largest hydroelectric plant in the world after the Tree Gorges Dam in China. ]

Rationing Electricity

“Beginning this week, the central government will start to ration electricity nationwide with the exception of Vargas, Nueva Esparta and the Caracas capital district, introducing daily four-hour suspensions of electrical service that will vary according to day and region,” said a report.

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Crop Disasters Declared in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada and Hawaii

Posted by feww on April 22, 2016

Extreme weather and climatic events destroy crops in 39 counties across five U.S. states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated the counties of  Hawaii, Kalawao and Maui in the state of Hawaii as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Two separate designations have been issued since April 13.

USDA has also designated eight counties in two other states—Nevada and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to drought.  Those counties are:

  • Nevada. Elko, Eureka, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine.
  • Utah. Juab, Millard and Tooel.

Excessive rain and moisture destroy or damage crops in Texas, Oklahoma

USDA has designated a total of 28 counties in Texas and Oklahoma as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and moisture that occurred from Oct. 23, 2015, through Jan. 10, 2016. Those counties are:

  • Texas. Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Henderson, Hill, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Montague, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Tarrant, Van Zandt and Wise.
  • Oklahoma. Bryan, Choctaw, Love and Marshall.

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on one or more crops.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

Previous Disaster Designations – 2016:

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Crop Disasters Declared in Montana; Wildfire Emergencies in Kansas, Oklahoma

Posted by feww on April 8, 2016

Drought continues to destroy or damage crops in Montana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated seven counties in Montana as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought that occurred from March 1, 2015, and continues. Those counties are

Montana. Carter, Custer, Fallon, Garfield, Powder River, Prairie and Rosebud counties.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on April 6, 2016.

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on one or more crops.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

Previous Disaster Designations – 2016:

Major Fire Disasters Declared for

Kansas Burr Oak Fire (FM-5121)

Incident period: April 05, 2016
Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on April 05, 2016

Oklahoma 350 Fire Complex (FM-5122)

Incident period: April 05, 2016
Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on April 05, 2016

State of emergency declared at Children’s Hospital

“Severe cases of flu, respiratory distress syndrome and a spike in the number of newborns needing intensive care prompted the Health Sciences Centre to declare a state of emergency this week at Children’s Hospital,” said a report.

 

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Deadly Floods Plague Ethiopia, Fiji, Pakistan

Posted by feww on April 5, 2016

Death toll from Pakistan floods climbs to 71

Flooding in Pakistan’s northwest and in Kashmir has claimed more lives raising the death toll to at least 71 Tuesday, officials said.

“The number known to have died in rains so far in the northwest has now risen to 61 with over 350 houses damaged all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” the local officials said.

Severe flooding kills 28 in Ethiopia: Official media

At least 28 people have been killed in severe flooding in two remote regions of Ethiopia, reported the official news agency.

At least 23 people were killed and 84 others injured after a river that crosses Jigjiga, the regional capital of the Somali region, burst its banks on Sunday.

Extreme rain events flooded the drought-stricken region of Afar, causing severe flooding, and killing five people, AP reported.

Two tropical depressions continue to impact Fiji

The town of Nadi has been submerged under meters of floodwater since Sunday after heavy rain, and people throughout Fiji brace for even more flooding.

More than 3,500 people have fled their homes seeking shelter in about 80 evacuation centers in the north and west of the main island Viti Levu, as a double whammy of tropical depressions continue to impact the country, said a report.

At least one person was killed and another missing in weather related incidents.

Residents of Korociri cross the flooded Nadi Back Road. Photo: Fiji Government

Category 5, Severe Tropical Cyclone WINSTON struck the island nation on 20 and 21 February cutting a path of destruction across the country, wiping out entire communities/villages, and prompting the government to declare a state of disaster.

Drought-stricken Palau could dry up completely this month

Drought-stricken Palau could dry up completely this month, officials warned Monday as the Pacific island appealed for urgent international aid, including shipments of drinking water.

The tiny nation of 18,000 people declared a state of emergency in march, “the latest Pacific island nation to do so as one of the worst ever El Nino-induced droughts in the region worsens.”

“We’re still in the state of emergency, there’s a sense of urgency to address the crisis,” a government spokesman told AFP as the National Emergency Committee (NEC) met to discuss strategy.

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Heavy Fighting Flares in Nagorno-Karabakh

Posted by feww on April 2, 2016

Casualties reported in Karabakh amid escalating conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

“The Armed Forces of Armenia violated the truce along the line of contact 127 times over the past 24 hours,” Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement Saturday.

“Active combat is currently underway. The Armenian Army has launched a counterattack… There are victims on both sides but the opposing side has sustained huge losses in manpower and equipment, a [Azerbaijani] helicopter has been shot down,” the Armenian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson said.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988, after the predominantly Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region announced its secession from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed its independence in 1991, prompting a war that lasted until a Russia-brokered ceasefire was signed in 1994.  http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160402/1037362816/armenia-azerbaijan-karabakh-violent.html

Other Significant Events

Drought Plagues Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam’s, largest and most fertile plain, has been plagued by once-in-a-century drought since late last year, seriously affecting people’s lives. The region extends more than 40,000 square kilometers covering 13 provinces and cities.

“The ongoing serious drought is damaging some 160,000 hectares of paddy rice in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, causing losses of some 5,000 billion Vietnamese dong (222.2 million U.S. dollars), and affecting about 290,000 hectares of fruit trees, local media reported Tuesday.” http://news.xinhuanet.com/

Hunger replaces war in Congo’s Katanga

Some 550,000 people have been affected by extreme rain events and flooding across the DRC between October and March.
http://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/04/01/hunger-replaces-war-congo’s-katanga

South Sudan: Between 20,000 and 50,000 people are now reported to have been displaced in Wau county, Western Bahr el Ghazal, since fighting escalated in February.

Sudan: 24,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Jebel Marra in the last month, bringing the total displaced since mid-January to over 129,000.

An additional 70,000 people are thought to have fled to Central Darfur, but access restrictions have made this impossible to verify.

Côte d’Ivoire: Clashes between Fulani herders and Lobi farmers in the northeastern town of Bouna have led to at least 20 dead and 39 injured. Around 1,200 people reportedly fled to Burkina Faso, while another 2,000 have sought refuge at the UN base in Bouna town.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

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Crop Disasters Declared in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Puerto Rico

Posted by feww on March 26, 2016

Extreme weather and climatic disasters destroy crops in multiple areas across two states and Puerto Rico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 counties in the states of Oklahoma as Arkansas as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by heavy rains, flash flooding and flooding that occurred from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016. 

Those counties are:

  • Oklahoma. Adair, Cherokee, Haskell, LeFlore, Latimer, McCurtain, Muskogee, Pushmataha and Sequoyah counties.
  • Arkansas. Crawford, Polk, Scott and Sebastain counties.

USDA has also designated 27 municipalities in Puerto Rico as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Those municipalities are: 

  • Puerto Rico. Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Barranquitas, Bayamon, Caguas, Canovanas, Carolina, Cayey, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Humacao, Juncos, Las Piedras, Maunabo, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Trujillo Alto, Vieques and Yabucoa municipalities.

All counties and municipalities listed above were designated crop disaster areas on March 23, 2016.

Previous Disaster Designations – 2016:

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Drought and Saltwater Intrusion Devastate Crops in Vietnam

Posted by feww on March 16, 2016

Severe drought plagues Vietnam

Severe drought has impacted all provinces in the Mekong Delta, Southern Central and Central highland regions since the end of 2015.

  • 39 of Vietnam’s 63 provinces have requested support from central government to cope with the most severe drought in 90 years.
  • 10 provinces have declared drought emergencies.

Disasters caused by drought and saltwater intrusion include:

  • Paddy Rice damaged: 159,000 ha (393,000 acres)
  • An additional 500,000 ha of paddy rice is likely to be damaged by mid 2016
  • No. of people lacking water for daily consumption: 976,000
  • Provinces in states of emergency: 10
  • Total affected provinces: 39 [total of 63 provinces]

Since the end of 2015, water levels in the lower Mekong River have been at their lowest since records began about 100 years ago. It is estimated that levels of water shortage in the rivers of the Mekong Delta range from 30 – 50%.

Salt water intrusion in the Mekong Delta extends 20 – 25km further inland than seasonal averages.

Saltwater intrusion now stretches 90 – 93km inland in the Vam Co River; 45 – 65km in the Tien River and 55 – 60km in the Hau River. Saltwater intrusion began two months earlier than average, causing severe damage to crops and livelihoods.

[Excerpts from an internal report by the UNDRMT for the period Oct 2015 to March 2016.]

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Catastrophic Global Water Shortages Affecting Children Mostly —World Vision

Posted by feww on February 22, 2016

Six million people need clean water, sanitation aid: Ethiopian Government

Severe water shortages are putting millions of lives at risk and forcing mass migration as people search for water, says international humanitarian aid agency World Vision.

Life-threatening drought conditions persist globally, including in Central and South America, Southern and Eastern Africa and the Pacific Islands.

“In parts of Ethiopia and Somalia, water is in such short supply that villagers are abandoning their homes and migrating in search of water. Children are absent from school as they search for water or move with their families to find it,” says World Vision.

“Across Africa alone, at least seven million people are without clean water as a result of El Nino weather,” warns World Vision Ethiopia Country Director, who is also a water specialist. “The actual number of people suffering from acute water shortages is probably much higher,” he said. “We have heard a lot about the widespread food shortages, but water shortages caused by El Nino are just as catastrophic. A person can survive for much longer without food than they can without water,” he added.

“If El Nino isn’t causing drought, it is causing floods – either way, the result is unsafe water or no water…  Not only can a lack of water kill, but contaminated water can kill just as quickly. Diarrhea, which is often caused by unclean water and sanitation, can kill small children very quickly. The result is that water shortages hit children harder than anyone else.”

  • Zimbabwe. Water rationing is in effect in every city and town. 15, 000 boreholes have run dry and another 160 need to be drilled.
  • Lesotho. Rains have been delayed by more than two months and some rivers have completely dried up. The Ministry of Health reports that a number of elderly people have died from dehydration as they were less able to cart water from water points.
  • South Africa. Some 2.7 million households are facing water shortages – even hospitals are running out of water. Seven of the nine provinces have declared disasters and some have water rationing in place.
  • Honduras. World Vision staff report that desperate communities are digging wells in an attempt to find water, children are falling ill with diarrhea from drinking dirty water and villagers queue in the middle of the night at waterholes due to demand.
  • Papua New Guinea. Water supplies have been contaminated as people dig wells in order to find water and schools are also closing due to water shortages. An outbreak of typhoid and cholera in one area has killed at least 30 people.

Read more…

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Drought, Rat Infestations to Plague 85% of Philippines

Posted by feww on February 21, 2016

Worst drought in memory spreading across southern Philippines

As of 31 January, about a quarter of the Philippines was experiencing drought, and the authorities forecast that drought would soon plague 85 percent of the country.

State of Calamity

Mindanao, the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines, which supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s food, is the worst affected area, reported the Food and Agriculture Organization, said a report.

The province of Maguindanao declared a “state of calamity” on 29 January, said UNOCHA, adding that 27,300 farmers in Mindanao are affected by drought and a rat infestation.

 

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – Feb. 17, 2016

Posted by feww on February 17, 2016

One million children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa: UNICEF

Two years of erratic rain and drought have left about one million children in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF said today.

Across the region, millions of children are at risk from hunger, water shortages and disease. It is a situation aggravated by rising food prices, forcing families to implement drastic coping mechanisms such as skipping meals and selling off assets.

States of disaster have been declared in Lesotho, Zimbabwe and most provinces in South Africa due to the growing resource shortages.

“In Ethiopia, the number of people in need of food assistance is expected to increase from over 10 million to 18 million.”

UNICEF says:

  • In Ethiopia, two seasons of failed rains mean that near on six million children currently require food assistance, with school absenteeism increasing as children are forced to walk greater distances in search of water;
  • In Somalia, more than two thirds of those in urgent need of assistance are displaced populations;
  • In Kenya, El Niño related heavy rains and floods are aggravating cholera outbreaks;
  • In Lesotho, one quarter of the population are affected. This aggravates grave circumstances for a country in which 34% of children are orphans, 57% of people live below the poverty line, and almost one in four adults live with HIV/Aids;
  • In Zimbabwe, an estimated 2.8 million people are facing food and nutrition insecurity. The drought situation has resulted in reduced water yields from the few functioning boreholes exacerbating the risk to water-borne diseases, especially diarrhea and cholera;
  • Malawi is facing the worst food crisis in nine years, with 2.8 million people (more than 15 per cent of the population) at risk of hunger; cases of severe acute malnutrition have just jumped by 100% in just two months, from December 2015 to January 2016;
  • In Angola, an estimated 1.4 million people are affected by extreme weather conditions and 800,000 people are facing food insecurity, mainly in the semi-arid southern provinces.

Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said up to 49 million people in southern Africa.

“It is estimated that 40 million rural people and 9 million poor urban people who live in drought-affected areas could be exposed,” the WFP said on Monday.

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‘State of Disaster’ Declared in Zimbabwe over Drought

Posted by feww on February 8, 2016

If humans had more time left, they would probably wipe out the population of Africa in 10 – 20 years

Southern Africa: 14 Million people face hunger due to the prolonged drought

A “state of disaster” has been declared in much of Zimbabwe’s rural areas plagued by a severe drought, with more than a quarter of the population facing food shortages, AFP reported.

A regional drought has affected South Africa, Malawi and Zambia and Zimbabwe, killing tens of thousands of cattle, drying up dams and destroying crops.

“Initial indications were that 1.5 million people were food insecure with all the 60 rural districts being affected,” said the Public Works Minister.

“Overall, the food insecure population has since risen to 2.44 million [or 26 percent of the population.]

More than 16,500 cattle have died in Zimbabwe, and 75 percent of crops have been abandoned in the worst-hit areas, said the report.

At least 14 million people across southern Africa face hunger due to the prolonged drought, WFP said.

Horn of Africa – Somali

An estimated 4.7 million people — nearly 40 per cent of the Somali population — are in need of humanitarian assistance. About 950,000 of them are acutely food insecure and struggle every day to meet their food needs, with internally displaced people accounting for 68 per cent of those who are are in dire need of assistance.

“The level of malnutrition, especially among children, is of serious concern, with nearly 305,000 children under the age of five years acutely malnourished. We estimate that 58,300 children face death if they are not treated. The drought could push these numbers higher in the months to come. We must act now. Partners are ready to scale up response, but funding is urgently needed to ensure this is done in a timely manner,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. [What happens to the vast sums of money given to the UN?]

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in decades, leaving 10.2 million people in need of emergency food aid.

Northeast Africa – South Sudan

South Sudan is facing unprecedented levels of food insecurity, as 2.8 million people — nearly 25 percent of the country’s population — remain in urgent need of food assistance, and at least 40,000 people are on the brink of catastrophe, three UN agencies warned today.

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14 Million Face Hunger in Southern Africa

Posted by feww on January 18, 2016

Southern Africa’s planting window closes with little or no prospect of rain

About 14 million people in southern Africa are facing hunger after a poor harvest last year caused by prolonged periods of drought.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says it is increasingly concerned about food security for an estimated 14 million people in southern Africa after prolonged periods of drought led to a poor harvest in 2015.

The window for the planting of cereals is closing rapidly, or already closed in some countries, with little or no rain falling in many areas, and the outlook is alarming, said WFP.

“Driving through southern Zambia, I saw fields of crops severely stressed from lack of water and met farmers who are struggling to cope with a second season of erratic rains,” said WFP Executive Director who recently visited to drought-prone southern Zambia. “Zambia is one of the biggest breadbaskets in the region and what’s happening there gives serious cause for concern not only for Zambia itself but all countries in the region.”

Worst affected in the region by last year’s poor rains are Malawi (2.8 million people facing hunger), Madagascar (nearly 1.9 million people) and Zimbabwe (1.5 million) where last year’s harvest was reduced by half compared to the previous year because of massive crop failure.

In Lesotho, the government last month declared a drought emergency and some 650,000 people – one third of the population – do not have enough food. In Lesotho as elsewhere, water is in extremely short supply for both crops and livestock. Also causing concern are Angola, Mozambique and Swaziland.

Food prices across southern Africa have been rising due to reduced production and availability. The price of maize – the staple for most of the region – is 73 percent higher in Malawi than the three-year average for this time of year.

“One particularly worrying symptom of southern Africa’s vulnerability to food and nutrition security is the alarming rate of chronic malnutrition. Levels of stunting among children in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia are among the worst in the world. This affects children’s physical growth, cognitive development, as well as their future health and productivity,” said the report.

 

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