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The Cost of Midwest Flooding Rises

Posted by terres on July 2, 2008

Midwest Floodwaters Falling, Costs Rising

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Levees on the cresting Mississippi River held Sunday as the worst US Midwest flooding in 15 years began to ebb, but multibillion-dollar crop losses may boost world food prices for years.


Grain from a silo floats in floodwaters after the Meyer levee broke near Canton, Missouri, June 19, 2008. REUTERS/Frank Polich. Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!

Water levels on the river receded for the second straight day as mostly clear weather gave saturated areas a chance to start draining. Forecasts for similar dry weather in coming days gave further encouragement.

The swollen river was expected to crest Monday in St. Louis at 38.9 feet, 11 feet below the record set in 1993 and a level considered “manageable,” said US Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District spokesman Alan Dooley.

“The crest in the areas up the Mississippi River in the district has passed,” Dooley said. “The water is still up very high and it is up against levees.”

There were no fresh levee breaks reported Sunday. At least three dozen levees, berms and other flood barriers have been overtopped along the Mississippi in the last two weeks as the runoff from torrential rains this month pushed south along the main US inland waterway.

Several flood warnings remained in effect for communities in Missouri and Illinois, but officials said they expected the worst was over, with the focus now shifting to clean-up.

“We’re just mentally and physically exhausted,” said Winfield, Missouri, resident Carol Broseman, who fled her home for a shelter Saturday after flood waters engulfed her neighborhood. “I’ve cried all I can cry.”

The National Weather Service on Sunday forecast windy but mostly dry weather in the western and central Midwest states for the next several days, which will help waters recede further. Many Iowa rivers, which saw record flooding two weeks ago, were back near or below flood stage Sunday.

The Corps of Engineers at Rock Island, Illinois, reopened two locks on the Mississippi River but said four in the district remained closed with water still 3-5 feet above lock walls.

At one point 388 miles of the Mississippi River were closed to commercial traffic, from Clinton, Iowa, to the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, just south of St. Louis. The blockages have cost barge companies and other shippers millions of dollars.

COSTS, RELIEF REQUESTS RISING

The Midwest storms and torrential rains have killed at least 24 people since late May. More than 38,000 people have been driven from their homes, mostly in Iowa where 83 of 99 counties have been declared disaster areas.

Fears that as many as 5 million acres of corn and soybeans have been lost to flooding in the world’s largest grain and food exporter pushed corn and livestock prices to record highs in the last week.

The ripple inflation effect on global food prices as US prices soar has alarmed everyone from central bankers to food aid groups. Fears that livestock herds will be culled because of soaring corn feed prices may push meat prices up for years.

Flood aid and relief issues also poured into the political arena.

Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday that Midwest levee breaks and flood damage were reasons to back his US$60 billion spending proposal to modernize US roads, bridges and waterways. Much of that would be financed by downsizing US commitments in Iraq, he said.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has estimated 45,000 square miles of his state had been hit by tornadoes or flooding, including 340 towns, with extensive damage to road and rail lines at a cost of “tens of billions of dollars.”

Chemicals from farm fields and other toxic substances left behind as waters recede have created a potential health threat. Damaged municipal sewage systems in places like Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were releasing raw sewage into rivers. But drinking water supplies remain unpolluted in most areas, officials said.

In Cedar Rapids, where officials have said 4,000 homes were damaged by this month’s flooding, government buyout plans estimated at US$80 million or more were under discussion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has 43 disaster recovery centers open across the flooded areas of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin, 56,096 registrations for assistance have been received from disaster victims and more than US$115 million approved for housing assistance and other disaster-related needs. More than 5,600 households have filed flood insurance claims. (Writing by Peter Bohan; editing by Vicki Allen)

Story by Carey Gillam – REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

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Posted in bush, climate change, Corporatocracy, corruption, ecosystems, environment, farmers, food, food prices, food riots, GHG Pollution, Global Warming, health, human rights, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

China Quake: Why Was the Girl Removed from Family?

Posted by feww on May 23, 2008

Why was the Wenchuan girl photographed below separated from her parents? Where is she now?


[Why is this girl being taken away?] “A girl waves goodbye to her parents as she is airlifted out of the earthquake-hit city of Wenchuan, Sichuan province May 22, 2008. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause (CHINA)” (Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!)

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Posted in ACTION, china, chinaquake, climate change, communists, corruption, CPC, CPC Central Committee, deathtraps, disaster, disaster relief, environment, food, food prices, foreign policy, free world, health, Hu Jintao, human rights, humanitarian crisis, mainshock, Mianyang city, new zealand, Olympics, pandemics, paratroopers, plague, politics, prostitutes, rescue team, second wives, Sichuan, storm, tourism, travel, water rationing, water shortage, wealth, Wen Jiabao, Zhao Deqin, Zhou Yongkang | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bigger China Disaster Unfolds

Posted by terres on May 22, 2008

We all know that earthquakes are natural disasters. But what happened to our children also has human causes, and they’re even more frightening. —A grieved parent who lost his son.

Zhao Deqin Lost Her 15-year-old Twins, Yajia and Yaqi

JUYUAN, China (Reuters) – Zhao Deqin keeps a kerbside memorial to her twin daughters killed when their school collapsed in China’s earthquake, and a petition-signing site alongside that has become a focus of protest by grieving parents.

The most lamented victims of the quake that shattered parts of Sichuan province in southwest China eight days ago have been the thousands of children killed when school buildings collapsed.

Earthquake survivor, Zhao Deqian, the mother of twins Zhao Yajia and Zhao Yaqi, 15, who were killed when their school building collapsed in the earthquake, cries at their memorial altar in the town of Juyuan in the quake-hit area of Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!)

As the ruling Communist Party seeks to maintain a staunch front of unity and stability after the quake, the incipient protests by parents could be troublesome, for many of them blame official graft and laxity, more than nature, for the deaths.

“How come all the houses didn’t fall down, but the school did? And how come that happened in so many places?” Asked Zhao.

“This was a tofu dregs project and the government should assume responsibility,” said Pu Changxue, whose son Pu Tong died in a classroom.

“To think that I lived and they died,” said an old woman living opposite Zhao’s shrine. “That is just too unfair.” (Source)

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Posted in ACTION, china, chinaquake, climate change, communists, corruption, CPC, CPC Central Committee, deathtraps, disaster, disaster relief, disasters, environment, food, food prices, foreign policy, free world, health, Hu Jintao, human rights, humanitarian crisis, mainshock, new zealand, Olympics, pandemics, paratroopers, plague, politics, prostitutes, rescue team, second wives, Sichuan, storm, tourism, travel, water rationing, water shortage, wealth, Wen Jiabao, Zhao Deqin, Zhou Yongkang | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chinese Leaders Incapable of Handling Quake Aftermath

Posted by terres on May 16, 2008

Clueless Wen Jiabao: Criminally Incompetent!

To climb a tree to catch a fish is talking much and doing nothing.” —Chinese Proverb

Wen Jiaboa, like the rest of the ruling gang in China is a criminally incompetent leader, incapable of protecting the interest of the Chinese people.

“Wen, seen repeatedly on state TV cradling infants and offering hope to earthquake victims, hailed the ‘order the country has maintained for the past 80 hours,’ the report said.”

What if the order does break up? Will the ruling criminal regime send in the special forces to do a Tiananmen Square job?


In the mind of Wen Jiaboa the Olympics comes first, disaster victims second! [Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrives in Yingxiu Town, the quake epicenter in Wenchuan County of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, May 14, 2008. (Xinhua Photo and caption). Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!

  • Premier Wen Jiabao and rest of the Ruling Gang in China (RGC) criminally underestimated the extent of the disaster.
  • Premier Wen and rest of the RGC delayed sending in the rescue troops in the early, crucial hours after the quake had struck.
  • Premier Wen Jiabao and rest of the RGC accepted a miserly ¥500million ($5m) from the government of Japan, which is probably more of an insult to the people of China than an offer of financial aid for disaster relief.
  • By accepting Japanese rescue troops (rather than teams from all other nations), a direct insult to the people of China, Premier WenJiabao and rest of the RGC proved their leadership skills are fatally flawed and that their personal interests supersede the national interest, the welfare of their 1.3billion subjects.
  • Premier Wen Jiabao and rest of the RGC are incapable of protecting the interest of Chinese people!

[ Note, the Ruling Gang in China (RGC) thought no one was watching! They lied even about the quake magnitude. The mainshock was recorded as a 7.9 magnitude earthquake by USGS, but the Chinese authorities reported it as 7.8 Mw.]


A rescuer from Japan receives an interview after arriving at Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, on May 16, 2008. A Japanese rescue team arrive in the quake-hit Sichuan Province in southwest China early on Friday to assist local disaster relief efforts. The Japanese rescue team, comprising 31 members including technical workers and medical stuffs, is the first group of foreign aid personnel to China following the devastating 7.8-magnitude quake which jolted a wide range of areas on Monday. (Xinhua Photo and Text). Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!

More photos: Click here!

Q: Is a corrupt, criminally incompetent regime in China good for the “Free world?”

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Posted in ACTION, capitalist communists, china, disasters, food, food prices, foreign policy, health, human rights, humanitarian crisis, Imperial army, Japan, new zealand, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Warming Affects Poor Children Most

Posted by terres on April 30, 2008

Climate enhanced diseases could claim 20 percent more deaths among poor children

“Those who have contributed least to climate change – the world’s poorest children – are suffering the most,” said the director of Unicef UK.

Bangladeshi Children and adults move through a flood stricken area.
[Photo Credit: University of Alabama]

UNICEF report “Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility” says that increases in floods, droughts and insect-borne disease are affecting health, education and welfare of children in poor countries.

The environmental changes will expand the range and spread of deadly diseases like malaria, which already claims the lives of 800,000 children, and may increase the number of victims by about 20 percent. (Source)

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The Ibdaa Health Committee (IHC)

Posted by terres on October 2, 2007

Connecting Health with Human Rights and Dignity

An update on the Work of the Ibdaa Health Committee and the Situation on the Ground in Occupied Palestine

Speaker: Dr. Lori Rudolph, U.S Coordinator of the Ibdaa Health Committee
When: Saturday, October 6th
Where: Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center
Time: 7-9pm Come earlier for refreshments!!!

The economic, social and health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories has deteriorated to an unprecedented and alarming level, warning of a dangerous humanitarian disaster due to the economic sanctions that was imposed by Israel, the United States and other Western nations. The health situation in particular has been seriously undermined as a result of external funding cuts to the Palestinian Authority (PA), together with Israel’s refusal to transfer tax monies collected on behalf of the PA and the freezing of PA accounts by commercial banks.

The PA employs 57 percent of all health workers, and runs 45 percent of primary health care centers. Its inability to maintain service provision is having a devastating impact on access to healthcare, and is placing an unsustainable burden on non-governmental health care organizations to fill the gap in services. Additionally, the number of people who are no longer able to afford needed medical care due to lack of employment and/or loss of income is alarmingly high.

In light of the burgeoning heath care crisis, the IHC is expanding its services to help minimize the deleterious effects of these sanctions on Palestinian Civil Society. Dr. Rudolph, who recently returned from an eight-month stay at Dheisheh refugee camp, will provide an update on these services and the impact of the current political situation on the health sector in Palestinian Civil Society. Additionally, Lori will highlight other daily human rights abuses including Israeli military incursions, the use of torture, restriction of movement, settlement expansion, and popular resistance against the apartheid wall.

This event is free and open to the public however donations are highly encouraged. All proceeds will go directly to the Ibdaa Health Committee.

The IHC is a community based, non-partisan, and democratic association comprised of local and international volunteers, including nurses, physicians, psychologists, counselors, social workers and other interested persons. It provides critically needed medical and mental health services through health education, prevention, treatment, and professional training for adults and children who reside either in Dheisheh Camp or in the Greater Bethlehem Area.

Lori Rudolph is a visiting professor at NMHU in Las Vegas, NM and a clinical counselor. She is a member of the Middle East Peace and Justice Alliance in Albuquerque and U.S Coordinator for the Ibdaa Health Committee at Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank where she travels to frequently. In addition to her work with the IHC, Lori was a visiting professor in the community mental health program at Al Quds University in Abu Dis, Palestine.

For Further Info Contact Lori Rudolph at
550-9553/lorir@unm.edu

PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS WIDELY

Posted in health, human rights, Israel, palestine, politics | 1 Comment »