Monday, September 17, 2007


Severe flooding hits one million Africans
Flooding in the Teso district of Uganda

Severe flooding across east, central and west Africa has destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, killing at least 250 people, and washing away much of the continent's most fertile farmland. More rain is expected and aid agencies are warning that the need for food, shelter and medicine in the affected regions is urgent.

By last night at least 15 countries across Africa were thought to be affected by the flooding, from Senegal in the west to Kenya in the east. West Africa has suffered most with deaths recorded in Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali and Niger.

Ghana has been hardest hit, with an estimated 400,000 affected, many of whom are now homeless. At least 20 people have died and the floods have also washed away much of the region's crops and livestock. The country's Information Minister, Oboshie-Sai Cofie, said: "It is a humanitarian disaster. People have nowhere to go."

There are fears that the worst is yet to come as those affected by flooding fall prey to water- borne diseases such as cholera. United Nations spokeswoman for humanitarian affairs, Stephanie Bunker, said: "The situation is bad and more rain is likely."

Bangladesh flood death toll crosses 1,000
DHAKA: The death toll from flooding this year in impoverished Bangladesh crossed 1,000 on Saturday with a further 2.5 million people displaced or marooned by rising river waters, officials said.

The Brahmaputra and the Ganges began swelling again early this week, bursting their banks and submerging thousands of villages again in more than a third of the country, the government flood centre said.

The government’s health department said in the last two days 23 people have died in the low-lying nation, mostly drowning in swirling flood water, taking this year’s monsoon death toll to 1,023. More than 2.5 million people have been marooned or displaced by the new flooding, while crops across two million acres (800,000 hectares) of land have been completely or partially damaged, the centre said.

The centre said the flooding situation would improve in the northern districts, but the receding water would submerge more areas in the central and southern region.

Fed by heavy rains and melting glaciers in the Himalayas, the Brahmaputra River and the Ganges were flowing around 100 centimetres (40 inches) above danger levels in the central region, the centre said.

Typhoon Nari Wreaks Havoc in Jeju and Southwest
At least 20 people are presumed dead or missing after Nari pounded southern areas Sunday accompanied by gusts of up to 150 km an hour.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Korea's highest mountain, Halla, saw 556 millimeters of rain on Sunday alone, the highest daily rainfall since Korea began keeping records in 1927.

The storm flooded more than 200 households on the island, swept away hundreds of cars, wiped out roads and wrecked ships at anchor.

With all ferries and flights to and from the island suspended Sunday some 20,000 travelers on Jeju were socked in overnight. Limited air traffic only resumed before noon Monday at Jeju International Airport....

Nari's exit doesn't spell the end to the havoc as authorities are warning of flooding in the southeastern provinces of Gyeongsang with water levels in the lower Nakdong River feared to reach sea level.

Yet another lashing is expected as tropical storm Wipha moves north from Japan's Okinawa. The storm measuring at 975 millibars at its center is churning northwest at 112 km per hour toward China.

Strong winds and rain are expected again in Korea starting Wednesday as the storm passes by Taiwan and hits Shanghai on Thursday.

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