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Sun, 25 Oct 2020
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Cloud Lightning

Philippines, Vietnam brace for dual typhoons

Almost half a million people fled coastal villages in Vietnam and the Philippines on Friday as two separate typhoons roared towards the southeast Asian countries.

Typhoon Mitag, with sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour, is expected to make landfall on the small Philippines island province of Catanduanes on Saturday, the same day Typhoon Hagibis is supposed to strike the Vietnamese coast.

Bell

31 people on bus thought dead after China landslide: official

Thirty-one people, including four children, on a bus that was engulfed by a massive landslide in central China early this week are almost certainly dead, a local official said Friday.

The passengers were on the bus in mountainous Badong county, Hubei province, on Tuesday when the landslide occurred and are feared to have all died, Xinhua news agency said, citing local officials and the bus company.

Gear

US marines join cyclone aid effort in Bangladesh

DHAKA - US marines arrived to bolster relief efforts in Bangladesh on Friday as concerns mounted for survivors of killer Cyclone Sidr which devastated the disaster-prone nation more than a week ago.

Navy personnel from the USS Kearsarge, anchored close to the southern Bangladesh coast, has begun medical evacuations and transportation of water to some of the worst-affected coastal areas, a US embassy spokesman said.


Comment: Sending in the US military in disaster areas is a strategic maneuver as it gives the US army a much needed goodwill and helps to build bridges with the local military forces. The goodwill is then later used as a bargaining chip when needed.


Bizarro Earth

Earthquake hits near Aceh, no reports of damage



©REUTERS/Graphics
A map shows the location of an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 which struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, near Aceh, the country's meteorological agency said on Friday morning.

An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, near Aceh, the country's meteorological agency said on Friday, but officials said there was no damage to nearby energy facilities and a tsunami warning was not issued.

Bizarro Earth

History shows climate changes led to famine and war

A report last week said climate change will put half the world's countries at risk of conflict or serious political instability.

International Alert, a London-based conflict resolution group, identified 46 countries -- home to 2.7 billion people -- where it said the effects of climate change would create a high risk of violent conflict. It identified another 56 states where there was a risk of political instability.

Trawling through history and working out correlative patterns, the team found that temperature declines were followed by wars, famines and population reductions.

Info

New 6.3 magnitude quake off northern Chile

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck offshore northern Chile Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, just a week after the region was rocked by a major 7.7-magnitude earthquake which killed two, injured 15,000 and damaged an estimated 4,000 structures.

Bad Guys

The Last Days of Mexican Corn

The single, spindly seven foot-tall cornstalk spiring up from the planter box outside a prominent downtown hotel here was filling out with new "elotes" (sweet corn) to the admiration of passer-bys, some of whom even paused to pat the swelling ears with affection. Down the centuries most of the population of this megalopolis migrated here from the countryside at one time or another over the course of the past 500 years and inside every "Chilango" (Mexico City resident) lurks an inner campesino.

But the solitary stalk, sewn by an urban coalition of farmers and ecologists under the banner of "No Hay Pais Sin Maiz" ("There Is No Country Without Corn") in planter boxes outside the downtown hotels, museums, government palaces and other historical monuments can just as easily be seen as a signifier for the fragile state of survival of Mexican corn.

Attention

Jellyfish invasion destroys salmon farm



©PA
The jellyfish invasion was spread over 10 miles in the Irish Sea

Cloud Lightning

President orders evacuation as storm heads for Philippines

Tropical storm Mitag bore down on the eastern Philippines on Wednesday, flooding large areas of the region and forcing the government to order large-scale evacuations, days after another killed 10 people in the country's south.

Mitag was gaining strength with winds of up to 85 kilometres (53 miles) an hour and was on course to hit the Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila on Friday, weather forecasters said.

It was tracked 1,020 kilometres northeast of Legaspi, Bicol's largest city, at 11:00am (0300 GMT), and forecast to reach typhoon strength of at least 120 kilometres an hour when its eye passes close to the island of Catanduanes, to Legaspi's northeast.

Clock

Ancient Chinese town on front lines of desertification battle

Towering sand dunes loom over the ancient Chinese city of Dunhuang like giant waves about to break, and they are already lapping at Ma Wangzhen's onion farm.

She points a rough finger at a line of dead trees, half-buried in sand, planted years ago as part of her 20-year losing battle to halt the once-distant dunes which now threaten to spill into her onion crop.

"It moves very fast, much faster than anything I can do to stop it," said Ma, 60.

Ma is on the front lines of a national struggle against a relentless foe: desertification.