» 10/26/2010, 00.00
Floods devastate Thailand: 56 dead, 30 affected provinces
Floods caused by Typhoon Megi are considered, in some provinces, the worst for several decades. Bangkok prepares to tackle the crisis, flooding feared in the capital.
Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The death toll from two weeks of flooding in Thailand in the aftermath of Typhoon Megi has risen to 56 people. About two million and 800 thousand people have been affected by the disaster considered the worst in decades to hit the nation, losing houses, land or livestock.
Rivers have burst their banks in 30 provinces out of 76. In the province of Nakhon Ratchasima, among the hardest hit, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has called the flooding "the worst in 50 years." The association of rice producers - of which Thailand is the largest exporter in the world - has already calculated a possible loss of 20 per cent of production.
The waters of swollen rivers are threatening to cause flooding in the coming days also in Bangkok, built two meters above sea level and where much of the national river system converges.
In recent days hundreds of workers have reinforced the banks of the Chao Praya River and have protected the streets around the channels with 200 thousand sand bags, building temporary pedestrian bridges for residents of areas already affected by minor flooding. A large number of pumps were installed in the most exposed parts of the capital, ready to be put into operation.
The floods have caused widespread damage in the north-east, large parts of which are submerged under a meter of water. In the ancient capital of Ayuttahaya, 92 elephants used as a tourist attraction were led to safety on a march to the nearby hills.
In fact the full force of Typhoon Megi has not yet struck the Indochinese peninsula. Megi is advancing in a south westerly direction at 19 kilometers per hour, with winds up to 260 km / h and should continue its path west, entering the South China Sea on Tuesday.
Torrential rains in Guangdong and Fujian, more than 50 dead and thousands displaced
The bad weather has hit the city located at the foot of mountains. So far there are 14 missing and over 900 thousand people affected. The most serious damage reported in Guangdong. Landslides have devastated the nine cities, including Guangzhou, the provincial capital.
Bangkok, flood emergency: capital’s second airport closed
Authorities have ordered the suspension of flights from Don Meuang; links transferred to Suvarnabhumi international airport, which operates at full capacity. The updated toll speaks of 366 dead since the beginning of July. The capital in danger of collapsing. The government ensures transparency and updated information.
Philippines, PIME superior: Situation after passage of Haiyan increasingly serious
Fr. Giovanni Re says authorities have reopened some airports and some main roads: "Now they will try to move aid by land". Minor damage in Cebu, where the archdiocese has initiated a program of mutual assistance between the parishes still intact and those affected. A sign of hope: A baby girl is born in Tacloban , the worst hit city.
Death toll from Typhoon Haiyan rises to 120. The Church is ready to send aid
The most affected province is Leyte (central Philippines ), where the authorities have recovered at least 100 bodies . Dozens of villages and towns are still isolated due to landslides. Superior General of PIME speaks of the work of the Catholic Church to bring aid to the displaced
Typhoon Koppu death toll now at 22. Fears of new flooding
At least 300 thousand people affected by the cyclone on the island of Luzon, more than 200 villages submerged. Fears for agriculture, entire areas devoted to the cultivation of rice and corn affected. State of calamity declared. Downgraded to a tropical storm, Koppu persists in the region and could strike again in the coming hours.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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