Feb. 2nd, 2011

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So Australia has been having a bad couple of months. They've been dealing with floods of Biblical proportions recently, brought on by the La Nina phenomenon, which some scientists think was climate changed enhanced:

A series of floods hit Australia, beginning in December 2010, primarily in the state ofQueensland including its capital city, Brisbane. The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities.[2] At least 70 towns and over 200,000 people were affected.[2]Damage initially was estimated at around A$1 billion.[3] The estimated reduction in Australia's GDP is about A$30 billion.[1]


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Holy HELL!
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Climate Change in Australia's cyclone uptick?

Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal -- Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011?

Welcome to our planet, circa 2011--a planet that, like some unruly adolescent, has decided to test the boundaries. For two centuries now we've been burning coal and oil and gas and thus pouring carbon into the atmosphere; for two decades now we've been ignoring the increasingly impassioned pleas of scientists that this is a Bad Idea. And now we're getting pinched.

Oh, there have been snowstorms before, and cyclones--our planet has always produced extreme events. But by definition extreme events are supposed to be rare, and all of a sudden they're not. In 2010 nineteen nations set new all-time temperature records (itself a record!) and when the mercury hit 128 in early June along the Indus, the entire continent of Asia set a new all-time temperature mark. Russia caught on fire; Pakistan drowned. Munich Re, the biggest insurance company on earth, summed up the annus horribilis last month with this clinical phrase: "the high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change."

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Sri Lanka has also been having some BAAADDDDDD issues with flooding in the last several months.

* Over 2,200 people displaced again by floods and landslides in Sri Lanka

Feb 02, Colombo: While Sri Lanka's north central and eastern parts are struggling to return to normalcy after the recent floods that wreaked havoc in the region another round of heavy rains have set back the recovery efforts.

Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) has reported that 2,271 people from 636 families have been displaced due to the adverse weather conditions experienced in the country currently.

A total of 2,862 people from 738 families have been affected by the heavy rains and landslides in several parts of the country.

Two deaths, a child from Vavuniya and another from Ambawaka on the Badulla-Nuwara Eliya road, have also been reported.

Nearly half of the displaced, 1,011 are in Trincomalee District while another 945 have been displaced in Vavuniya district. The displaced have been given shelter in 11 welfare camps set up by the government in the two districts.MORE

This comes after the worst flood in the country's history earlier this year:

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via: [personal profile] ardhra

Palm Island Pulls Through Yasi

UPDATED 4.10PM: New Matilda has been posting regular reports on how Palm Island has fared during Cyclone Yasi. Stay tuned here for updates

Yesterday we reported that the mostly Indigenous community of Palm Island, off the coast of Townsville, was unprepared for the approaching tropical cyclone.

We spoke to residents on the island who told us they feared for their lives and questioned why the entire island hadn’t been evacuated. They said much of the housing on the island was not built to withstand a storm of Yasi’s strength.

Thankfully the island was not as badly hit by the cyclone as expected. Queensland police have told us that all residents are okay, although power has been cut and the phone lines are down.

It’s not yet clear what level of damage has been done to the rest of the island’s infrastructure. As soon as we can get through to others on the island we will post updates here, and will continue to do so for the next 24 hours.


UPDATE 4.10PM THURSDAY: I’ve just had an update on the situation on Palm from Josh Ridgeway at National Indigenous TV, who spoke earlier to Tim Miller, the manager of Bwgcolman radio station on Palm Island.

Miller confirmed to NITV that there had been no injuries or fatalities on the island and said SES crews were heading over from the mainland this afternoon to assess the damage. Power company Ergon was also due to start reconnecting the power supply.

He said most residents are still in evacuation centres and are being advised to stay inside as it’s still raining heavily.

The post office has lost its roof and there has been damage to some other public buildings. Apparently the island’s cliff now looks bare after trees were razed.

He said the major concern on the island now is food spoilage as there is no power and all fresh food gets shipped in from the mainland.

Miller also confirmed that there was no free evacuation service offered on the day before the cyclone hit and that residents were still being charged for this service.Read more about their experience in the live blog


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