Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weather impacts today - Japan, N. Korea, Bangladesh, Sudan, Norway

Lots of extreme weather news on the wires.

Record high temps and an extended heatwave are "baking" Japan.
A relentless heatwave scorched Japan on Wednesday as temperatures hit record highs in many regions amid concerns of a possible power shortage in metropolitan Tokyo due to a shutdown of a key nuclear reactor. In Tatebayashi city, 70 km (44 miles) north of the capital, the temperature rose to 40.2 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), just below the historical high of 40.8 C marked in 1933, government's Meteorological Agency said.
Estimated 300,000 homeless in North Korea after floods.
North Korea, which has suffered chronic food shortages for years, said hundreds were dead or missing after flooding over the past several days that washed away thousands of structures and ruined cropland in the country's agricultural bread basket. The North's official KCNA news agency quoted an agricultural ministry official as saying on Wednesday the damage to farm crops was heavier than in previous floods, with more than 11 percent of paddy and maize fields submerged, buried or swept away.
Spreading illness marks aftermath of flooding in Bangladesh and Northeast India
More than 53,000 people have contracted diarrhoea in Bangladesh, mostly caused by eating stale food and drinking impure water. A field hospital has been opened in the capital, Dhaka, to treat diarrhoea patients. "The overall diarrhoea situation is grim. Everyday there is a rush of patients," said Ayesha Khatoon, a senior official at the government's health directorate. "We are trying to cope with it."
Sudan's flooding has led to a cholera outbreak
The death toll from a cholera outbreak spread by devastating floods in east Sudan has risen to 53 with a
total of 763 cases identified, Sudanese health officials said on Wednesday. Sudan's health ministry is distributing chlorine to sterilise water, repairing latrines and spraying insecticides to try to stop the spread of cholera and malaria after the worst floods in living memory.
Flooding is devastating parts of Norway

"This is completely unreal," said Ronald Havsten after watching his home sail down the Lauvnes river in Flatanger and head towards the sea.
Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Administration regional director Einar Sæterbø said that water levels in the region were well over so-called 'five-year flood' norms and were nearing 50-year flood levels, that is, flooding of a type seen only twice a century.

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