India Takes On Its Biggest Evacuation Plan In History As Super Cyclone Phalin Makes Landfall

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It has been 14 years since India has experienced its strongest cyclone. Cylcone Phalin, of which was compared to a category 4 hurricane, attacked the east coast leaving its mark with only 7 casualties dead.

A ‘zero-casualty approach’ was taken as Cyclone Phalin brought about 8 inches of rainfall flooding low-lying lands and villages. The cyclone generated strong wind speeds of around 140mph which resulted in large waves slamming the coasts. Many houses were run down by floods as several were made out of mud and bamboo. Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneswar was badly hit by floods, however according to Kamal Mishra, state disaster management official, Ganjam was the area worst affected by Cyclone Phalin.

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India has had a strong history of several cyclones emerging upon its land, with several causing extensive damage with a large number of fatalities. In 1999 a Cyclone 05B killed over 10,000 people and so authorities made it their mission to see that history would not be repeated with the super cyclone with Mishra saying, “we have taken a zero-casualty approach…If people do not move, force will be used to evacuate them.” His and the army’s initiative made a positive response as over 900,000 people were evacuated in Odisha alone with many being housed in shelters, strongly built schools, hospitals and temples. Power and transport had been cut off for the safety precautions.

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Aid was in effect by the International Humanitarian Organization World Vision. They offered help to local communities with preparedness programs which involved training the locals on how to act and react, search and rescue, first aid and how to protect livestock.

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Many believe that India tackled the grave situation with a positive manner, quickly and extremely well. History and awareness plays a strong part in how precautions were taken resulting to a low number of fatalities as millions were faced with the deadly hazard. Forecasters warn that as the Cyclone moves northwards it could cause furthermore severe and environmental damage due to the Himalayas, but India’s authorities are prepared to tackle the threat with hopes to continue their ‘zero-casualty approach’.

REFERENCES:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/13/world/asia/india-cyclone-phailin-aftermath/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/12/indians-flee-coast-cyclone-phailin-landfall

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON:

CYCLONE PHALIN

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-24487130

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/13/us-india-cyclone-idUSBRE9990LK20131013

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/12/232631532/more-than-500-000-people-flee-as-cyclone-phailin-hits-india

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LOCAL HERO: The First School in the UAE to Achieve Renewable Energy

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Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangledish Islamiya Private School in Abu Dhabi, is the first educational institution in the UAE to follow the path of sustainability by installing solar panels and by meeting energy needs.
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The prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize was awarded to the school. The award was given by MASDAR with an additional prize of $100,000 [367,000 AED].
1. All lights and fans in the school are now powered by 48 solar panels.
 
2. 700 tube lights and bulbs were replaced by LED lights.
 
3. 3 bins have been placed in every classroom to encourage students and others to recycle
4. Plastic bottles are not allowed on campus
The solar panels are installed by Mulk Renewable Energy.  They can produce 60KwH daily and can meet 30% of the schools needs. Mr. Anisul Hasan, principle of the school, stated that this is just the first phase.
Dr. Anita Saul and Rekha Tushar are teachers in charge of transforming the school in to a green zone. A futuristic mission has been initiated where the school plans to install solar batteries for the storage of solar energy. They also intend on installing Arabian style wind towers for passive cooling.
Principal Hasan concluded saying, “We want to encourage our children to protect and preserve our environment. It is a culture they should imbibe and spread to the rest of the world as envisioned by our visionary leader Shaikh Zayed.”
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Being the first institution in the UAE to follow-up their mission by going green with sustainable energy, creates a clear path behind them for other educational institution to follow with majority of the students wanting to take up sustainability and energy as their future course of study.

REFERENCE:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/environment/abu-dhabis-us-100-000-green-school-is-a-ray-of-sunshine

For more tips on how to Go Green click the following links

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/green-living?gclid=CPbWkobu_LgCFeXMtAodLTcAPQ

http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green

http://simplemom.net/tips-to-go-green-at-home/

http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/807479/52-cheap-ways-to-go-green

New Zealand Earthquake Strikes Coast

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On the 21st of July New Zealand experienced a 6.5 magnitude earthquake. It hit at 17:09 [05:09 GMT] a depth of 6.3 miles and 35 miles [57km] off the coast south of Wellington. The earthquake was primarily reported as a 6.9 magnitude tremor and was eventually re-evaluated by the US Geological Survey.

There were no casualties or fatalities. Train schedules were disrupted, water pipes were burst, Wellington’s parliament building was damaged and power cuts were reported.

 

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Civilians working in the central city were advised to take the day off work. Celia Wade-Brown, Wellington’s mayor’s main aim is to keep the injuries to a minimum. New Zealand being located on the Pacific Ring of Fire makes it a hot spot for earthquakes and volcanic activity to occur. New Zealand experiences more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, where 20 go beyond the point of 5.0 magnitude.

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

“Quake rattles New Zealand, but no deaths reported”

{http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/21/world/asia/new-zealand-earthquake]

“New Zealand earthquake damages Wellington parliament”

[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23394409]

 

For more information about:

NEW ZEALAND EARTHQUAKES

http://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/felt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquakes_in_New_Zealand

http://www.stats.govt.nz/tools_and_services/earthquake-info-portal.aspx

http://mtaspiring.school.nz/Tephra/ThewhereandwhenofNZearthquakes.html

 

6.5 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE [21st JULY 2013]

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/world/story/new-zealand-cleans-after-strong-65-quake-20130722

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1307/S00155/scoop-news-full-coverage-of-the-21-july-earthquake.htm

http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/EmergencyManagement/EmergencyEvents/SeddonEarthquake.aspx

India’s Floods: Not a natural disaster?

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Northern India has experienced a dramatic state of flooding due to record rains in the month of June and July. This resulted to devastating landslides where the state of Uttarakhand became badly inundated as 6,000 people were misplaced and 1 fatality occurred in the Morigaon district. Although many may claim this disaster to be caused by mother nature’s terrible charms, some environmentalists say the great after effects of the flooding is strongly due to anthropogenic reasons.

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100,000 people have been rescued by the air force and security force personnel, however there is no official death toll leaving the missing ‘presumed dead’. The Ganges River and the Brahmaputra River as well as its tributaries, Dhansiri and Jia Bharali, have flown over the danger mark. They have washed villages and roads away due to heavy rain. 100,000 people have been rescued by the air force and security force personnel. The Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have been hit. 7,000 hectares of agriculture was severely destroyed. 30,000 civilians are still affected by the flooding in the Nagaon district with an elephant and antelope lost within the floods.

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1,500 people are being sheltered by 6 relief camps and 24 temporary shelters are now homes to 25,000 people. Vijay Bahuguna, Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister, that the federal government will aid 150,000 rupees [$2,500] to the families in the state besides compensation.

The heavy rainfall further lead to a Himalayan Tsunami, which resulted to the     Indian Air Force carrying out the largest airlift in India’s history as they rescued residents and pilgrims and sent relief material.

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Environmentalists ravaged their opinions on whether mother nature was entirely at fault. Most believe that the over-dramatic impacts of the flooding were due to the modification of the Himalayas’ natural state caused by humans. Devinder Sharma of the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security talked to CNN and said, “ You’ve heard of homicide, well this is eccoside…The hills have been shorn of the forest cover, theres extensive mining taking place in this region and on top of that the roads that are being constructed are haphazard…We are playing with nature but at the same time blaming nature.”

CNN spoke to Souparno Banerjee, from the Indian advocacy group the Center for Science and Environment and she said, “Unregulated development and unregulated tourism is responsible for the scale of the disaster…The Himalayas are the biggest mountain range in the world, but they are also extremely fragile.”

Mayor Vijay Bahuguna responded and contradicted their opinions saying, “This is a very childish argument- that cloudbursts, earthquakes and tsunamis are caused by human factors. In the history of hundreds of years of Kedarnath, no such incident has taken place. In a Himalayan state this catastrophe has come about in 37,000 square miles of area. This cloudburst, 330 mm of rain, cannot be anticipated.”

Since mid-May the commencement of flooding has affected over 1.5 lakh people in over 500 villages across 12 districts in the state. This particular flooding disaster led the number of deaths and casualties fluctuate uncontrollably. Mayor Vijay Bahuguna is devasted at the disaster and fears that this would ruin the state’s economy. They rely on tourism and he fears that this major contribution will decline.

INDIA’S FLOODING

 

SURVIVORS OF THE FLOOD

AN ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPINION

 

Affected districts:

Bongaigaon

Chirang

Dhemaji

Golaghat

Jorhat

Kamrup

Karimganj

Lakhimpur

Morigaon

Nagaon

Tinsukia

Sivasagar

REFERENCE:

‘Indian floods a man-mad disaster, say environmentalists’ [http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/25/world/asia/india-floods-development]

‘Indian Floods: Nearly 6,000 Missing A Month After Devastating Inundation’ [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/15/india-floods-missing-6000_n_3597784.html]

‘Assam flood situation improves, 59 villages still under water’ [http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1861524/report-assam-flood-situation-improves-59-villages-still-under-water]

 

For More Information on:

 

INDIA’S FLOODS

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-23237130

http://www.trust.org/item/20130701122243-nfeut/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324436104578578592033472784.html

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/06/29/311383/india-monsoon-flooding-toll-above-10000/

 

INDIA’S MONSOONS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_India#Monsoon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsoon_of_Indian_subcontinent

http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/monsoon.htm

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/monsoon/html/intro.html

 

ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPINIONS ON THE FLOODING

 http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/06/25/Environmentalists-say-Indias-latest-flooding-disaster-manmade/UPI-61691372159638/

http://article.wn.com/view/2013/06/25/Indian_floods_a_manmade_disaster_say_environmentalists/#/related_news

LOCAL HERO: Mary Crowley

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A Local Hero is

“a person who makes a difference in their community through labour, leadership or the force of their will.” 

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MARY CROWLEY has received the ‘Heart of Green’ Award for her determined actions to promote and clean up plastic marine pollution in the ocean.

In order to spread awareness she created ‘Project Kaisei’.

Project Kaisei’s Mission:

“Project Kaisei is a non-profit organization focused on increasing awareness of the scale of marine debris, its impact on our environment, and the solutions for both prevention and clean-up.” 

She commenced her journey in August 2009 where she uncovered dramatic images of  floating plastic in the Pacific Ocean, which showed how catastrophic the situation currently is.

She works alongside scientists to find ways to turn plastic into fuel.

Back home in San Francisco, Mary is a local hero inspiring other to take action and defend our oceans. She believes that ‘people will protect what they know.’

OCEAN POL

OCEAN POLL

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Plastic marine pollution has been accumulating since WWII, accounting to 80% of marine pollution around the world including Hawaii, South Africa and India. It leaches out toxic additives which in turn kills animals.

Plastic marine pollution has been accumulating since WWII, accounting to 80% of marine pollution around the world including Hawaii, South Africa and India. It leaches out toxic additives which in turn kills animals.

Mary Crowley speaks about plastic marine pollution.

Project Kaisei

REFERENCE:

http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/green-local-heroes-2010

http://www.projectkaisei.org/index.aspx

To know more about:

MARINE POLLUTION

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/pollution/

PLASTIC MARINE POLLUTION

http://plastic-waste-pollution.weebly.com/

http://coastalcare.org/2009/11/plastic-pollution/

http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-marine-pollution/

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/ocean_plastics/index.html

MARY CROWLEY & HER PASSION

http://rewordit.org/mary-crwley-and-her-passion-to-clean-up-the-pacific-ocean-from-plastic/

http://www.oceanvoyagesinstitute.org/mary-crowley-visits-the-harbour-school-hong-kong-2/

http://www.mindfullivingnetwork.com/plastic-patch-in-the-pacific-ocean/

http://theforcesofnature.com/movies/mary-crowley/

PROJECT KAISEI

http://www.projectkaisei.org/index.aspx

GETTING INVOLVED WITH PROJECT KAISEI

http://www.projectkaisei.org/local_clean_up_opportunities.aspx

Southeast Asia Takes A New High on Haze

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Toxic Haze succumbs Southeast Asia

Singapore takes the cake as it hits 401 PSI [Pollutant Standard Index].

Other South Eastern countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have passed the unhealthy rates of PSI of which is 200.

300 is considered hazardous. Malaysia has doubled this rate as it is at around 750 PSI.

Read more HERE.

REFERENCE:

“The Toxic Haze Choking Southeast Asia”

[http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-haze-choking-south-east-asia]

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT:

TOXIC HAZE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haze

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/dangerous-smog-haze-smothers-s/14473343

http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2013/07/hazy-outcome-on-smog-talks/

http://www.demotix.com/node/2192291

HEALTH IMPACTS

http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/can-body-cleanse-itself-small-toxic-haze-particles

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/fit-to-post-health/minimise-health-impact-haze-012847111.html