Sunday, November 12, 2017

38.4 - We Are Not Alone: Malaysia, Vietnam, India

We Are Not Alone: Malaysia, Vietnam, India

Next, it's We Are Not Alone, our weekly reminder that just because some event does not affect us, it does not mean it is unworthy of notice. We are not alone on this planet and "It affects us" is not the only measure of importance.

To start this time Malaysia has been hit with unprecedented flooding in the wake of a major storm on November 5 with intense rain that left nearly 80 per cent of Penang state flooded, with some areas under three feet of water.

Authorities have confirmed seven deaths and around 10,000 people have been evacuated in Penang and Kedah states.

The government says it's now prepared to spend the equivalent of over $1 billion on flood mitigation projects over the next few months.

The storms and flooding may have been worsened by an indirect effect from Typhoon Damrey, which smashed into southern Vietnam on December 4. It was the worst storm to hit the area in 16 years.

As of November 7, there were 69 known dead with 30 more missing. More than 100,000 houses were still under water.

The typhoon is the latest in a string of major storms to hit Vietnam this year. In September, Typhoon Doksuri tore through the central part of the country, killing 11 people and last month, more than 70 people we killed in flooding and landslides in the nation's northern and central regions.

Moving on to a non-natural disaster, around this time every year, the city of Delhi, India is covered with smog - thick, acrid fog, a combination of vehicle emissions, smoke from burning of crops in neighboring states and from fireworks from Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

his year has been so bad that on December 7, the Indian Medical Association declared a public health emergency in the city, and people have been advised to avoid any outdoor activity.

To give you an idea of how bad it is, the Air Quality Index goes from "excellent" at a score of 0-50 up through increasing levels up to "severely polluted" at 300. The index in New Delhi on Tuesday was 316.

It's even worse in Punjab, some distance to the north: The index in that state is 462.

Punjab banned crop burning in 2013 in an attempt to alleviate the problem but the law is largely ignored. Even so, Punjab officials insist crop burning and the associated smoke has been cut by 30%. That reduction, however, doesn't seem to be having a major impact on the smog either there or in Delhi - in fact, the trend of recent years has been for it to get worse.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');