By Staff (ELR), GMA News | YouTube. Category 5 Typhoon Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines’ Mindanao area — a region seldom affected by cyclones — with sustained winds of about 160 mph early on Tuesday December 4. The storm, locally called Pablo, has killed dozens, stranded thousands, and displaced tens of thousands of people.
By Wedlyne Jacques, AlterPresse | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. No water from the taps of Cap Haitien residents since early 2012. And they must walk several kilometers to reach a source of water. Some people report that they wake up as early as 2:00 to 5:00 am to queue for half a day to buy water that is not even fit for drinking. (English | French)
By Patricia Grogg, IPS. The impact of Hurricane Isaac in the Caribbean region highlighted both the fragility of some countries in the face of extreme meteorological events, which are expected to become more intense, and the different strategies adopted to mitigate the risk of disasters. (English | Spanish)
By Patricia Grogg, IPS. The Dominican Republic (DR) could lose about one fifth of its territory to rising sea levels. In the DR, where over 43 out of every 100 people are poor, and over 16 out of 100 are abjectly poor, 70 percent of the cities are on riverbanks and other waterways that are covered by impoverished urban settlements. (English | Spanish)
By Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office. According to a study by the Department of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with every 1 degree Celsius rise in Earth’s surface temperature, tropical regions will see 10 percent heavier rainfall extremes, with possible flooding in populous regions.
By James Anderson, Alertnet. About 0.66 million cubic kilometer (0.16 cubic mile) of groundwater — at least 100 times the amount of renewable freshwater in Africa — lies below the continent’s driest country: Namibia. The battle is on for access to the newfound water by the population versus water utilities and Namibia’s growing mining industry.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | News Junkie Post. Like a hulking giant, Isaac has stomped across the Caribbean at practically human speed, for days. Ten miles per hour, 14 mph, and Isaac continues its march northwest and west-northwest, for nearly one week, as if for a rendez-vous. Isaac appears set to revisit Katrina’s old haunts. The timing is identical: midweek, near the end of August.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haitian government officials finally did something about Tropical Storm Isaac. They gathered 32 boats and 1250 temporary shelters as peace offerings to the storm gods. Then they gave a press conference at which they demanded that all those in charge of safety — whoever they might be — do their jobs, whatever these might be.
By Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists | NOAA | Haiti Chery. Scientific evidence links the destructive power of hurricanes to higher ocean temperatures driven by global warming. Expansion of the oceans due to warming, combined with the inflow of water from melting land ice, have raised global sea levels more than one inch over the last decade. In addition, the water vapor content of the atmosphere over the oceans has increased four percent since 1970.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, a hurricane warning is in effect for Haiti — including the populous cities of Port-au-Prince and Jacmel, and the Ile de la Gonave — and the Dominican Republic’s southern coast. Hurricane Isaac should hit the island of Hispaniola the night of Thursday August 23-24 with rainfall of 8 to 12 inches, dangerous waves, and storm surges that might raise the coastal waters 3 to 5 feet above normal. With less than 24 hours left for preparations to save lives and property, the Haitian government had done nothing except issue general safety warnings. Regular UPDATES. (English | French)
By Staff, NIWA, New Zealand | Richard Harris and National Geographic, Vimeo. A diving expedition into New Zealand’s Pease Resurgence — one of the world’s deepest underwater caves, near the city of Nelson — discovered three new-to-science species: a worm, a small snail, a transparent amphipod. The depth explored so far is 194 meters (636 feet), at 6.5 degrees Celsius (44 degrees Farenheit).
By Staff, AlterPresse | Staff, Organization for the Development of Port-Margot (ODEP) | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Residents of the northern beach town of Port-Margot, Haiti, are angry with the government for neglecting their major arteries to the east and west, and for appropriating their most important tourist attraction, Chouchou Bay, for a neighboring city. The town in 35 km (22 miles) from Cap Haitien and is coveted as a place to live by mining personnel moving into northern Haiti. (English | French)