Asian Tsunami

Early morning in submerged Bangkok on Nov. 1, 2011. Credit:  Withit Chanthamarit/CC BY 2.0

ENVIRONMENT-THAILAND: ‘Bangkok Ignored Warnings’

This sinking mega-city’s eight million people are paying the price of ignoring warnings over many years concerning its climate vulnerability and the incapacity of its soggy foundations to handle flooding.

THAILAND: Bangkok Braces for Month of Floods

As the Thai Airways flight descends into Suvarnabhumi International Airport, passengers pull out cameras to snap pictures of flood waters rising inexorably and predicted to inundate the capital city by the end of the week.

JAPAN: Forests Provide Cover for Recovery

In the wake of the massive tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region in March, Japan has witnessed a sharp rise in wood imports for temporary housing units and other recovery projects.

NEPAL: Quake Strategy Needs a Jolt

Though Nepal was relatively unscathed by the earthquake that wreaked havoc in the adjacent areas of India this week, it showed up this Himalayan country’s inadequate disaster preparedness.

Their homes and rice paddies submerged by flood waters these Hindu Bheels await government relief in shelters set up on the main road.  Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

PAKISTAN: Flood Relief by Caste, Creed

With just the clothes on their backs, Moora Sanafdhano, 68, and his family of nine waded through waist-deep flood waters swirling through their village of Allah Ditto Leghari, saving themselves in the nick of time.

Fukushima Clouds Hiroshima Anniversary

Matashichi Oishi, 78, a radiation victim from Bikini Atoll, the site of a U.S. hydrogen bomb test in 1954, will make his annual lone visit this week to commemorate the Aug. 6 anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima 66 years ago.

Villagers in Khairpur district, Sindh, are discovering the joys of green construction using local materials. Credit: Heritage Foundation

PAKISTAN: After the Flood, Green Homes

Subhan Khatoon’s brand new home is nothing like the one that got washed away, along with all her worldly goods, in the 2010 monsoon floods that submerged a fifth of Pakistan and left 2,000 people dead.

JAPAN: Aftershocks Hit Single Fathers

In a matter of minutes on Mar. 11, 33-year-old Hiroshi Yoshida became a widower and a single father, as the massive tsunami swept over his home in Rikuzentakata in northern Japan and took away his wife and younger son.

INDIA: Japan Quake Focuses Anti-Nuclear Message

Anti-nuclear campaigners in India see the earthquake that hit Japan last week, which threatens the meltdown of the Fukushima atomic power facility there, as a wakeup call for this country’s ambitious nuclear power programme.

JAPAN: Anti-Nuclear Groups Sound New Warning

Heightened tension on Saturday after a blast at a nuclear facility in Fukushima, 150 kilometres north of Tokyo, eased off after the government reported that the danger had been overstated.

JAPAN: Explosion at Nuclear Plant Raises New Fears After Destructive Tsunami

Fears of a nuclear meltdown at one of Japan's nuclear installations have gripped the country following a blast at a nuclear installation. Emergency teams were struggling to limit damage following the explosion.

ASIA: ‘Post-Disaster Psychosocial Support a Must for Children’

When disaster strikes, acute stress disorders, especially among children, may follow. Yet the need for early psychosocial interventions is often overlooked, if not ignored.

SRI LANKA: Five Years after Tsunami, Many Still without Shelter

"We have been here for almost five years. So many promises have been made, but very few have been kept," complains Mohideen Nafia, 22, one of the survivors of the 2004 Asian tsunami still living in a temporary facility in the coastal town of Kalmunai, located 300 kilometres east of the capital, Colombo.

INDIA: Rural Communities Turn to Traditional Climate Mitigation

In Tamilnadu, southern India, and Uttar Pradesh, northern India, villagers have revived ancient systems of storing surface and groundwater that are putting them in a good position to contend with today’s changing climate.

CLIMATE CHANGE: India’s Monsoon Predictions More Uncertain

Predicting the monsoons - a risky proposition despite the deployment of satellites and supercomputers - appears to have become iffier thanks to climate change.

EAST TIMOR: UN Helps to Mitigate Disaster Risk

Disasters happen regularly in East Timor, but until now, the institutions called on to deal with them have struggled to effectively react to seasonal events that impact thousands of Timorese lives every year.

A coir worker beats the fibre out of retted coconut husks. Credit: J. Weerasekera/IPS

SRI LANKA: Spinning Livelihoods From Coir Fibre

Sriyawathie wades into a murky, greenish pond in this coastal district and scoops out coconut husks that have been left in the water for retting before being dried and spun into coir rope, matting and brooms.

PAKISTAN: Quake Survivors Await Relief

Poor infrastructure and communications are making it difficult for rescue and relief teams to reach scattered hamlets in the mountainous plateau area affected by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province at dawn on Wednesday.

BURMA: Cyclone Relief – Distrust of Junta Deters Donors

Burma’s military regime is struggling to attract international aid nearly six months after the powerful Cyclone Nargis tore through the country’s Irrawaddy Delta. The financial shortfall has more to do with distrust of the junta than donor fatigue.

VIETNAM: Heeding Climate Change Warnings

With a predicted sea level rise of one metre by 2100, Vietnam may end up being one of the nations worst hit by climate change. Such a rise would affect five percent of the land area, 11 percent of the population and seven percent of the agriculture.

RIGHTS-NEPAL: ‘Inter-Country Child Adoption Policy Weak’

When reports in the Nepali and international media exposed a market in orphans, and the taking away from this country of children without the consent of biological parents, the government responded with a ban on inter-country adoptions.

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