Bizarro Earth

Economic losses from global disasters hit low-income countries the hardest

disaster chart natons
Deaths, economic losses and other negative impacts from disasters have caused losses equivalent to 42 million years annually since 1980, a measure that is comparable to the burden of tuberculosis worldwide, the United Nations said.

More than 90 percent of the total "years" lost in disasters between 1980 and 2012 were in low and middle-income countries, representing a serious setback to their development, the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said.

"If these figures show that disaster loss is as much a critical global challenge to economic development and social progress as is disease, they also show that it is a challenge unequally shared," the UNISDR said in a report on Wednesday.

Comment: Low income nations are least likely to have the resources to build infrastructure to withstand the increasingly devastating affects of earth changes. While wealthier nations invest in developing countries, often the focus is on resource-grabbing rather than building to sustain a nation and its inhabitants. And in some cases, even so-called wealthy nations like the US are unrealistically ignoring a crumbling infrastructure in order to fund war and plunder in other nations. The way things are looking on the BBM, it will become increasingly obvious that such policies have been disastrous in themselves.

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Thousands evacuated due to flooding in Cordoba, Argentina

© Gobierno de Córdoba
Floods in Idiazábal, Córdoba, Argentina, March 2015.
José Manuel de la Sota, the governor of Cordoba province in Argentina, today declared a state of emergency throughout the province.

Parts of the province have been under water for the last 5 days. One local observer said the region had seen 18 consecutive days of rain. Six people died in floods in the province in mid February 2015 after 320 mm of rain fell in 12 hours. Further heavy rainfall over the last 2 days has worsened the situation.

WMO report that 75 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 02 and 03 March 2015 in Marcos Juárez in Cordoba.

At least 2,000 people have been forced from their homes after flooding across the province. The worst affected areas are the towns of Idiazabal and Balnearia. Idiazábal has been under water since 27 February 2015, when at least 400 people had to evacuated their homes, according to La Voz.

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38 people killed by flooding in Tanzania

© AFP/Simon Maina
An estimated 3,500 people in Tanzania's northwest have been affected by flooding
Flooding in north-western Tanzania has killed at least 38 people and left hundreds of others homeless, police in the Shinyanga region have told the BBC.

The downpours were accompanied by hail and strong winds meaning many people had no chance of escaping, senior police officer Justus Kamugisha said.

The rains have severely damaged mud houses and blocked roads, making rescue operations difficult, he added.

More than 60 rescued people are being treated for their injuries in hospital.

The BBC's Hassan Mhelela in Tanzania says most people in Shinyanga make their living by subsistence farming.

But the weather has wreaked havoc on the landscape and crops of maize and cotton have been destroyed and livestock killed, he says.

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Flooding in northern Spain as Ebro river breaks its banks

© Ana
Floods in Zaragoza, March 2015.
Levels of the Ebro River have been high for the last 3 to 4 days. By 28 February 2015, the overflowing river had flooded around 20,000 hectares in Aragon, north-eastern Spain.

Since then river levels have continued to rise and have now flooded areas along the river in Zaragoza, the capital of the region and Spain's fifth largest city.

Levels of the Ebro at Zaragoza are now thought to have peaked. Early on Monday 02 March 2015, the river reached 6.10 meters. Several hours later the level had dropped slightly to 6.06 metres. According to Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro, as of 11:00 today 03 March 2015, Ebro levels at Zaragoza now stand at 5.28 metres.

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Madagascar flooding update: 19 dead and 37,000 displaced

Floods in Madagascar
The flood situation in Madagascar is worsening. The latest report from Madagascar's disaster management agency, the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) said that further assessments of the flood disaster that struck on 26 February show that 19 people have been killed, 36,956 have been displaced and over 60,000 affected by the disaster.

517 houses have been destroyed and 1,698 damaged in the floods. BNGRC also report that the floods have damaged 6,339 hectares of rice fields.

Three regions of the country have been affected. Over 2,000 people have been displaced in Alaotra Mangoro region. The worst affected region is Analamanga where 18 of the deaths occurred, many of them around the country's capital, Antananarivo. The remaining fatality occurred in Vakinankaratra region.

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14 killed and 16,000 displaced in Madagascar flooding

© Arif Ali, AFP
Flooding Madagascar
In a statement made earlier today, Madagascar's disaster management agency, the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) said that at least 14 people have died in floods in the capital, Antananarivo, since yesterday, 26 February 2015.

The floods came after a night of torrential rainfall. WMO report that 75 mm of rain fell in Antananarivo in 24 hours between 26 and 27 February.

The heavy rain caused three rivers in the area to overflow and several dams to break. BNGRC's statement called for vigilance. They said that relief and evacuations are ongoing and encouraged people to remain vigilant to the various risks of landslides, building collapse and rising flood water.

Levels of the Ikopa river rose by 70cm in 24 hours in Anosizato. River levels stand at 4.67m at Bevomanga - already 17cm above flood stage.
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An hour of rainfall floods Sao Paulo, Brazil

© Zero Hora
Flooding in Sao Paulo
Just 1 hour of heavy rain was enough to flood the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday 25 February 2015. One man is reported to have died as a result of the severe weather seen across the city.

Brazil's biggest city is currently suffering one of its worst droughts in 80 years.

Yesterday's downpour won't be enough to replenish the city's water supplies. However, it was enough to bring the city's traffic to a standstill, as vehicles were trapped in deep flood water. Some reports claim the flood water was so deep in some areas that vehicles were either submerged or swept away.

The heavy rain was part of a severe thunderstorm and strong winds. A man died after he was electrocuted by falling power cables.

Sao Paulo's authorities have declared a state of alert for some areas of the city.

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Thousands displaced by extreme flooding in northern Bolivia

© Ana Lucia Reis
Flooding in Bolivia
Flooding has forced more thousands from their homes in the department of Pando in the far north of Bolivia. Authorities say that 1,069 families have been affected.

Heavy rainfall over the last few days has forced the river Acre to overflow. In some areas it is 14 metres above normal levels. Some residents living close to the river Acre have been evacuated. Levels of the river Tahuamanu are also said to be extremely high.

Further heavy rainfall has been forecast for the next 24 hours and the situation is expected to worsen. Heavy rain is also expected in southern areas of the country.

So far the worst affected area are thought to be the department capital, Cobija, and the small town of San Pedro de Bolpebra, which sits of the banks of the river Acre, on the border with Peru and Brazil.

The Latin Post reports that the mayor of San Pedro de Bolpebra said that his town had been almost completely swept away by flood waters. Quoted in The Latin Post, Mayor Romulo Terrazas said.
"The river waters rose to 14m [46ft] above their normal level, so between the community and the authorities we have decided to rebuild a new town to avoid more damage"
The video clip below shows an aerial view of the flooding from the River Acre around San Pedro de Bolpebra.

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15,000 evacuated following flooding in the Dominican Republic

Floods in Dominican Republic
Heavy rain and floods have prompted emergency authorities in the Dominican Republic to evacuated over 15,000 people, mostly in the country's north and eastern regions.

Over 70 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 20 and 21 February in Savana de la Mar, a town in the Hato Mayor province of the Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata in the northern province Puerto Plata, saw 53.7 mm during the same period. The following day the Las Americas airport area close to Santo Domnigo saw 58.9mm of rain.

The worst affected districts are Puerto Plata, Espaillat and María Trinidad Sánchez, which as of yesterday were under red flood alert, while Santiago, Duarte, Sanchez Ramirez and Hermanas Mirabal were on yellow flood alert.

The heavy rain caused rivers to overflow. Damage has been reported to crops and roads, as well as one bridge.

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Over 12 inches of rainfall in just 12 hours in Córdoba, Argentina

Streets were turned into raging torrents after a particularly severe rainstorm
Local media in Argentina are reporting that heavy rain has caused deadly flooding in the province of Córdoba, central Argentina.

La Nacion say overflowing rivers caused flooding that has left 6 people dead, 4 missing and forced 400 to evacuate.

La Nacion say that as much as 320 mm of rain fell in just 12 hours in some areas. WMO report that 79 mm of rain fell at Cordoba Airport in 24 hours from 14 to 15 February 2015.

The severe weather has affected several part of the province, including the city of Córdoba, where authorities have declared an "alert and climate emergency" for 72 hours. Power has been cut off to prevent electrocution.