Monday, July 26, 2010

**Good things come to those who wait.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
7/25/10 -

HAITI - Anger grows as U.N. rates the earthquake response as good. U.N. officials in Haiti are saying that the response given by the international community to the devastating earthquake disaster was good. But six months after the earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people, survivors in makeshift tent cities continue to express growing discontent with aid relief efforts.
An officials said, “I am not saying more could not have been done, but I think the response provided so far, six months after the disaster, was good compared to previous disasters in other parts of the world...Six months after the tsunami in Aceh 700 temporary shelters were built. However in Haiti we have more than 3,700. In Aceh 14,000 people got temporary jobs through high labor intensity programs, while we have more than 200,000 working here." He also mentioned the case of Kobe, in Japan, that was devastated in 1995 by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed 6,400 people and left 300,000 people homeless. He said after 5 years of recovery, it’s only this year Kobe is getting back to the situation it was before the disaster. “And all that occurred in an industrialized country with advanced social and economic infrastructures", showing how difficult it has been for the poorest country in the western hemisphere to cope with the aftermath of the disaster.
Despite all these figures, many homeless survivors, have expressed growing frustration with the lack of access to some of the most basic living conditions. Others complain about the unbearable heat generated by the plastic tents exposed to a burning sun in wide open areas, mostly without any vegetation to provide shade. Survivors also expressed concern about the current rainy and hurricane seasons that could cause another disaster if appropriate precautionary measures are not taken immediately. “Here, it’s like hell. When it rains we are flooded, when it is sunny, the heat is killing us." The international donor community pledged $5.3 billion over the next two years as part of $9.9 billion aid package to help rebuild the country over the next several years. But officials say only about 10 percent of pledged funds have been disbursed and continues to trickle in slowly.


COLUMBIA - Authorities declared a yellow alert for the Machin volcano located in Colombia's central Tolima department, following an increase in registered seismic activity in the area. Registered 68 tremors over the weekend, one measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale which was felt by locals in the zone. An erruption of the Machin volcano could potentially affect close to a million people in the departments of Tolima, Quindio, Valle del Cauca and Cundinamarca. Machin is one of the Colombia's volcanoes that has the most propensity to affect widespread damage on the Andean nation. The volcano has a great potential to explode, due to its chemical composition, the magnitude of its erruptions and extensive deposits to feed those erruptions. The Machin volcano's geographical location means it has the potential to adversely affect an area important to Colombia's economy. (map)

No current tropical cyclones.

Tropical Storm Chanthu killed 11 people and injured four others in Vietnam. Chanthu, which hit the Vietnam-China border on July 23 before weakening into a low-pressure system, brought heavy rainfall, flash floods and landslides, damaging roads, houses and crops in many provinces in northern Vietnam. Among the victims was a 2-year-old child who was killed when a landslide caused the family home to collapse. The three other members of her family suffered injuries but were rescued. More than 100 houses collapsed and some 100 hectares of rice were destroyed. The storm dumped rainfall of between 83 and 382 millimeters in northern areas. Rain was forecast to continue in northern provinces today. 13 fishermen in Quang Ngai province still missing after Tropical Storm Conson hit Vietnam last week.


IOWA - A nine-mile-long Iowa lake has disappeared after heavy rains led a dam holding back its waters to collapse. Lake Delhi in eastern Iowa drained through the breached dam within hours on Saturday, flooding the nearby town of Monticello. Lakeside homes now overlook a stinking, muddy pit. The 92-year-old Lake Delhi dam failed on Saturday, destroyed by rising water from the Maquoketa River. "There was just more water than it was designed for." About 900 homes were built on the lake front. (photo)


RUSSIA - Residents of Moscow were gasping today as the Russian capital was blanketed in a heavy cloud of smoke from forest and peat fires sparked by the MOST SEVERE HEATWAVE FOR DECADES.
The spires of the city's famous Stalin-era skyscrapers were barely visible behind the curtain of fog and smoke in the early morning hours as the authorities sent in water-bombing aircraft to attack the fires in the Moscow region. Over the last 24 hours, firefighters have been battling 60 forest and peat fires covering a total area of 59 hectares.
The concentration of toxic particles in the air exceeded the norm by 5-8 times. Visibility on Moscow's roads in the morning was no more than 500m but airports carried on working normally. Throughout the city centre, the air smelled of smoke. The Russian capital and much of the country from the Baltic to the Pacific coasts have been suffering from the severest heatwave for decades which has DESTROYED 20% OF ALL OF RUSSIA'S ARABLE LAND.
Daytime temperatures in Moscow have been over 35C for days and are nudging closer to the all time temperature record in the capital of 36.8C recorded back in 1920. The heatwave has claimed the lives of hundreds of people who drowned in an attempt to cool off from the record temperatures. The horrific toll has been blamed on drunkenness and the use of poorly-equipped beaches. This weekend alone, 65 people drowned in Russia.

Storms and heat batter and blister U.S. - Large parts of the United States faced another day of extreme weather yesterday, with temperatures in the capital and on the Southeast coast forecast to be near or above 38 degrees Celsius and more storms likely in the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley regions.
Powerful thunderstorms will stretch from the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia region on the Atlantic coast into Kentucky, Accuweather said. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where heavy rains shut the city's main airport on Thursday, local media reported the body of a 19-year-old man who disappeared as flood waters peaked had been recovered from a creek. Many Midwest cities and states were dealing with the aftermath of heavy flooding on Friday and Saturday. Chicago's beaches remained closed for a second day due to possible water contamination after the rains overwhelmed the sewer system, which flowed into Lake Michigan. Half a dozen areas in Illinois, including northern sections of the city, remained under flood warnings. Damage to crops and livestock in Illinois, Iowa and other key agricultural areas of the Midwest Corn Belt was still being assessed but was not expected to be significant.