Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Hurricane Sandy. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Hurricane Sandy. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 29, 2013

UN: Marking one year since Hurricane Sandy, UN officials urge focus on Caribbean.

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Nicaro, Mayarí municipality, Cuba. UN Photo/UNDP/AIN FOTO/Juan Pablo Carreras
29 October 2013 – On the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in the United States, United Nations officials are reminding the public not to forget the storm’s less documented Caribbean victims.
Commemoration ceremonies will take place around the northeast United States today, particularly in New York, where the devastating storm caused over $18 billion worth of damage to the city.

In an editorial published yesterday, in Aljazeera, Heraldo Muñoz, Director of UN Development Program (UNDP) Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, called on New Yorkers not to forget that the US was but the last stop on Sandy’s tour of destruction.
“Sandy, one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes on record, rumbled across the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and other countries before finally reaching the eastern seaboard of the US,” Mr. Muñoz wrote in the online editorial.

One year on, UNDP says that recovery efforts from the storm are underway, but some of the agency’s officials say that the suffering of those in developing Caribbean nations may have been underplayed.
“Because of socio-economic vulnerabilities, people in developing countries are often less prepared for a large event and unfortunately are not as quick to bounce back or recover,” said Jo Scheuer, UNDP Coordinator of Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery.
“While the mainland US suffered greater losses in terms of total fatalities and the extent of damage, for the Caribbean nations, Cuba and Haiti in particular, the storm was comparatively more expensive – having a much more profound impact on local livelihoods and the GDP,” Mr. Scheuer said, adding that in Haiti, the storm intensified the humanitarian crisis caused by the 2010 earthquake.

Efforts to help prepare Caribbean nations for disaster minimized the potential loss caused by the storm. 

“In Cuba, UNDP support to the government over the years has made that country particularly good at preventing deaths from hurricanes,” Mr. Scheuer noted.
Over the last 10 years, fewer Cubans die in the hurricane season than in any neighbouring states, according to the UN agency figures.
Likewise in Haiti, earthquake recovery projects set up by the Government and supported by the UN have helped mitigate the impact of storms.
Projects undertaken in Haiti include disaster- resilient construction for homes, sea walls and flood barriers, as well as short term employment to generate income and rebuild better.


Σάββατο, Φεβρουαρίου 23, 2013

Natural disasters: 'for whom the bell tolls'

The recent devastating Winter Storm Nemo caused massive blackouts and numerous casualties in the US Northeast. More than one million households were without electricity. As the US northeastern states are struggling to recover from the unprecedented blizzard, governors have declared a state of emergency in six states.
Nemo walloped the US East Coast shortly after it was hit by yet more devastating Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Hurricane Sandy, the 18th tropical storm that occurred on the territory of the US in 2012, claimed 72 lives and inflicted $50 billion in damage.

After two Japanese cities were wiped out in the hell of a nuclear attack in May 1945, humanity was quick to realize that a nuclear disaster had to be avoided at all costs. The looming threat of a nuclear apocalypse forced people all over the world to join forces and prompted politicians to adopt a wide range of laws and sign a large number of treaties that are still in force and are part and parcel of the international law. Those efforts turn out to be crucial in warding off what scientists describe as ‘nuclear winter’.
The currently looming threat of environmental disaster is as dangerous. However, the international community and political leaders seem unaware of that. Meanwhile, erosion makes 26 million hectares of land infertile every year, desert areas expand by 6 million hectares annually, thousands of rivers and lakes of the industrial North are biologically dead and thousands of others become dead every year. Scientists warn that one fifth of the world’s animal species and plants may disappear in the next 20 years. According to the World Health Organization, six percent of deaths that have occurred in the world over the past few years were related to ‘deadly warming’. At least ten million people will perish because of environmental pollution in the near future, the WHO says.
The US industrial sector is responsible for most pollution-related problems. Up to 60% of noxious emissions come from American manufacturers. The production of shale gas which is designed to make the US less dependent on imported gas, would be OK if it were not for the price the US and the rest of the world are going to pay for this so-called ‘gold vein’. The barbaric method of shale gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, inflicts irreparable damage on the environment.
Even though President Obama pledged to take measures to ensure a cleaner environment in his recent address on the situation in the country, these promises did not lead to action.
The misfortunes that have been plaguing the US should serve as a reminder of what is coming if it remains deaf to nature’s warnings. Not only Washington, but politicians in Europe as well should be alerted to these warnings. This winter Europe was hit by devastating blizzards and was exposed to Arctic temperatures. Natural anomalies pummeled Russia as well.
It’s time to put an end to endless and fruitless talk at international conferences and get down to business. Paper protocols are powerless against the rapidly approaching environmental catastrophe. It’s not words that are needed now but action, the way it was in wake of the atomic bombardments in 1945.
Otherwise, it will be too late!

Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 06, 2013

With disasters on the rise, relief is the problem

The popular perception that natural disasters are on the rise has now been confirmed. Private insurers are preparing for rough weather, and governments would do well to heed calls for more precautionary measures.
Munich Re, the world's largest re-insurer, had little good news to report in its January 3 wrap-up of disasters in 2012. Hurricane Sandy, droughts in the American Midwest, an Italian earthquake, a series of Midwest tornadoes and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines were just five of the more than 900 events worldwide that caused $160 billion-worth of damage (122 billion euros) to the worldwide economy.
Since 2006 it has been rare for worldwide disasters to number under 900 in any given year. This is in stark contrast to the 1980s, when a terrible year might have seen a mere 500 disasters.

Japanese Prime Mister Shinzo Abe with a breathing mask on on a visit to Fukushima looks off camera with concern (Photo: ITSUO INOUYE/AFP/Getty Images)  
The clean-up operation at Fukushima posed unprecedented challenges
The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake which led to the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear reactor became the most expensive disaster in history. So far it has cost $235 billion (180 billion euros). Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which left much of New Orleans under water, comes in at second at $81 billion.
Insurance companies bear a large part of these costs. But of Hurricane Sandy's estimated $60 billion price tag, only $25 billion was actually insured. And on top of their financial losses, those affected may also suffer long-lasting personal and emotional damage.
Around the world, more people than ever are requiring financial assistance - through private insurance, public insurance or government aid - to rebuild their lives. The question is, will they get it?

FEMA's responsibilities
61-year-old Betty Ann Fuller is a case in point when it comes to the complexities of reclaiming losses. Since Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home in October 2012, she has received just two payments of $1,410 dollars for living expenses. Those came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Some of the groceries she purchased then spoiled when her hotel lost power.
She is still waiting for insurance payments from her private insurer: $223,000 for the house, $31,000 for lost rent, and $1,500 for out-of-pocket expenses. "I had to tally every stinkin' thing in my house, including the toilet paper," she says. Her private insurer is based in New Jersey.
A fallen tree lies atop a smashed, white-picket fence in the front yard of a house. (Photo:Kathy Kmonicek/AP/dapd)  
In New York 330,000 homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy
Two weeks after evacuating and moving into a local hotel, she was picked up by a bus and taken back to her property. "The Red Cross was there with a truck to give us some meals," she says. "They were handing out meatloaf dinners. They were very visible and helpful."
As for government assistance, Betty Ann Fuller has nothing but praise. "I am very, very pleased with FEMA - their support groups with regard to insurance, mental issues, any subject related to loss," she says. "They are right there in our town, you can go to them anytime, talk to them, and they help you."
Three individuals in blue FEMA uniforms pass cartons to each other in front of a pink building (Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images) 
FEMA has been providing assistance to local communities devastated by Sandy
That help was recently endangered. While US Congress ultimately approved $9.7 billion in borrowing power for FEMA on Friday (04.01.2013), the congressional bickering left a sense of doubt in New Jersey as to whether the US government can be counted on to provide adequate funding in times of crisis.
"I'm disappointed in the federal government right now - with what's going on in Congress and the Senate," Fuller said.
A FEMA spokesperson told Deutsche Welle that FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program is having difficulty covering costs: "There are more claims than there are premiums coming in."

Preparing for future catastrophes
Dr. Robert P. Hartwig, president of the New-York-based Insurance Information Institute, is keen to reassure desperate homeowners, while also distancing private insurance from its public equivalent.
"It should be known that there is no 'fiscal cliff' in the property-casualty insurance or reinsurance industry," Hartwig says in an online seminar. "The industry makes sure that it has the resources in the bank before a disaster occurs. It is not something to be reckoned with afterwards, and that is a responsibility that insurers and re-insurers around the world take very seriously."
A wrecked house sits inside of a wind tunnel. (Photo: http://ofb.ibhs.org/media/images/gallery?imageGalleryId=4570#dialog= 
The IHBS is particularly interested in how high wind speeds affect the structure of a home.
Another important approach is to find new ways of limiting potential damage. Carl Hedde, head of risk accumulation at the Munich-based Munich Re, hopes to be able to better prepare homeowners - and homes - before events occur.
"Over the last couple of years the Institute for Business and Home Safety has built the world's largest research facility in South Carolina. We're supporting the testing of building codes, and we've also tested building materials."
Measures like these could help to save houses like Betty Ann Fuller's. After being battered by wind and rain, her home was ultimately destroyed by a fire that swept through 30 houses.
"I have no family, so I lost my whole life," she told Deutsche Welle. "When I left the house I took three days' worth of clothing, a picture of my mother and father, and my son's ashes. My son passed away in 2007 at the age of 25. All of his diaries and personal effects were still packed and I never got to put them away, and I am devastated that I lost all that."
Deutsce Welle
Related posts:

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 04, 2013

160 δισ. ευρώ το κόστος φυσικών καταστροφών παγκοσμίως, το 2012/ Natural disasters’ damage reaches $140 bln in 2012

Το συνολικό κόστος των φυσικών καταστροφών στον κόσμο έφτασε το 2012 τα 160 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια (122 δισεκατομμύρια ευρώ), εκτιμά η γερμανική αντασφαλιστική εταιρία Munich Re [1] σε μελέτη της που δόθηκε σήμερα (3-1-13) στη δημοσιότητα.

Οι ασφαλιστικές εταιρίες θα πρέπει να καλύψουν τις απώλειες αυτές στο ύψος των 65 δισεκατομμυρίων δολαρίων, διευκρίνισε η Munich Re σε ανακοίνωσή της. 

Οι μεγαλύτερες ζημιές του έτους 2012 προκλήθηκαν από τον κυκλώνα Σάντι και αναμένεται ότι ο ασφαλιστικός τομέας θα κληθεί να καταβάλει για την κάλυψη ζημιών που προκλήθηκαν απ' αυτόν σχεδόν 25 δισεκατομμύρια ευρώ.
  • Καταστροφή σε όλα τα επίπεδα

    • [1] 2012 Recap. Natural disasters’ damage reaches $140 bln in 2012

    According to the report published by the leading global reinsurer Swiss Re, the damage caused by the natural disasters man caused disasters in 2012 has reached almost $140 billion. For reference in 2011 this figure was $120 billion.

    The report shows that this year was difficult first of all for the US: a draught, several tornadoes and the Sandy hurricane in October caused damage worth $45 billion. By the way the Sandy hurricane that hit the US was not very strong, Vladimir Klimenko, head of the laboratory of the global energy issues at the Moscow Technical University says.

    “Sandy was not even the strongest hurricane this year let alone the history. Though it might seem strange but developed countries turn to be quite unprepared to withstand natural disasters. Such disasters lead to serious material losses. In developing countries material damage is smaller but human losses are much bigger.”

    It is important to remember that the report has been released by the reinsurer and is based on the data provided by insurance companies, Alexei Kokroin, head of the Climate and Energy program of the World Wildlife Fund stresses.

    “The typhoon in the US caused a very serious damage to the property but all this property was insured and the sums of the insurances were quite high. If a similar disaster had hit Bangkok the damage could have been bigger simply most of the property there is not insured. That is why such damage cannot be expressed in monetary terms.”

    Other 2012 natural disasters include floods in Italy, the UK and the countries of the South Asian region, earthquakes in Indonesia, Guatemala, Mexico, volcano eruptions on Kamchatka and in New Zealand.

    In general the number of disasters has not increased this year. It is the number of abnormal weather phenomena that has increased. Heavy rainfalls, snowfalls, frosts, draughts occurred regularly all over the world. Alexei Kokorin attributes it to climate misbalance on our planet.

    “If we study a report of the Russian meteorological service we will see that the precipitation volume was the same as in previous years but precipitation fall has become very lop-sided. Roughly speaking, Moscow now has two heavy snowfalls instead of five small ones. Not only Russia. In Africa dry regions receive two heavy rainfalls which are followed by a long-term draught.”

    However the world has managed to avoid end of the world which was expected December 21 according to the Maya calendar. Luckily, it did not happen.
  • http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_04/2012-Recap-Natural-disasters-damage-reaches-140-bln-in-2012/

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 03, 2013

Καταστροφή σε όλα τα επίπεδα

Πολύ ακριβές αποδεικνύονται οι συνέπειες της κλιματικής αλλαγής - «Κατρίνα» ή «Σάντι» είναι αθώα ονόματα κυκλώνων, που κρύβουν πίσω τους τεράστιες περιβαλλοντικές καταστροφές και οικονομικές ζημιές
ΟΙ ΠΕΡΙΣΣΟΤΕΡΟΙ που πλήρωσαν με τη ζωή τους τις πλημμύρες, τις καταιγίδες και την ξηρασία, ζουν στις πιο φτωχές περιοχές του πλανήτη.

Σχεδόν 1,5 εκ. άνθρωποι έχασαν τη ζωή τους τα τελευταία 30 χρόνια, εξαιτίας των ακραίων καιρικών φαινομένων. Το 60% εκείνων που πλήρωσαν με τη ζωή τους τις πλημμύρες, τις καταιγίδες και την ξηρασία, ζουν στις πιο φτωχές περιοχές του πλανήτη. Όμως μόνο το 10% των οικονομικών ζημιών τους αφορούσε, μιας και η περιουσία που διέθεταν ήταν μηδαμινή. Κάθε δεύτερη οικονομική ζημιά αφορά ανθρώπους που ζουν στις βιομηχανικά αναπτυγμένες χώρες. Εξαιτίας της αλλαγής του κλίματος πυκνώνουν τα ακραία καιρικά φαινόμενα, όπως καταιγίδες, πλημμύρες ή υψηλές θερμοκρασίες. Οι συνέπειες είναι εξαιρετικά σοβαρές.

Η Munich RE, η μεγαλύτερη εταιρεία παγκοσμίως στην αντασφάλιση και την ανάληψη κινδύνων, δηλώνει ότι εξαιτίας των ακραίων καιρικών φαινομένων από το 1980 έως το 2011, το συνολικό ύψος των ζημιών ανήλθε στα 2,6 δισ. δολάρια. Το ένα τρίτο των καταστροφών σχετίζονταν με καταστροφές που προέρχονταν από το νερό. Το 17% των ζημιών σχετίζονταν με την ξηρασία και την υψηλή θερμοκρασία. Στις περιπτώσεις αυτές καλούνται να πληρώσουν οι ασφαλιστικές εταιρείες. Το ολοένα όμως αυξανόμενο κόστος θέτει σε κίνδυνο τις επιχειρηματικές τους δραστηριότητες. 

Ο ρόλος των ασφαλιστικών εταιρειών

Οι ασφαλιστικές εταιρείες σε συνεργασία με επιστημονικά ινστιτούτα και εταιρείες ανατασφάλισης προχωράνε σε έρευνες σχετικά με τα αίτια των κλιματικών αλλαγών. Για παράδειγμα η εταιρεία Munich RE ασχολείται με τις συγκεκριμένες έρευνες από τη δεκαετία του 1970. Από το 1980 έχει συγκεντρώσει σε μια τράπεζα πληροφοριών περίπου 30.000 λήμματα. Πρόκειται για τη μεγαλύτερη τράπεζα δεδομένων στο είδος της. «Στην αρχή ήταν μια υποψία, με τον καιρό όμως διαπιστώσαμε ότι πυκνώνουν οι ενδείξεις ότι οι κλιματικές αλλαγές αυξάνουν τις ζημιές», λέει ο καθηγητής Πέτερ Χέπε από τη Munich RE.

Δεν μπορούν να υπάρξουν προβλέψεις βέβαια για μεγάλες περιβαλλοντικές καταστροφές, αλλά σύμφωνα με τον ερευνητή Φρίντριχ Βίλχελμ Γκέστενγκαμπε, από το Ινστιτούτο Κλιματικών Αλλαγών στο Πότσνταμ, μπορεί να επεξεργαστεί κανείς διάφορα σενάρια αναφορικά με το ερώτημα «πόσο υψηλός είναι ο κίνδυνος όταν ασφαλίζω ένα σπίτι δίπλα στο ποτάμι» και ανάλογα να αντιμετωπίσει την κατάσταση. Για παράδειγμα στη Νότια Αφρική, η οικονομική εκμετάλλευση του ποταμού Orange έχει σχεδόν εξαντλήσει τα αποθέματα νερού του ποταμού.
«Εάν λόγω των κλιματικών αλλαγών μειωθεί ακόμα περισσότερο το νερό, τότε υπάρχει ένα πολύ σοβαρό πρόβλημα», λέει ο Φρίντριχ Βίλχελμ Γκέστενγκαμπε. Για τον λόγο αυτόν το Ινστιτούτο στο οποίο εργάζεται έχει επεξεργαστεί ένα ανάλογο πρόγραμμα σε συνεργασία και με τους ντόπιους, οι οποίοι μπορούν να αποφασίσουν εάν το νερό θα πρέπει να αποθηκευθεί σε δεξαμενές ή να γίνει κάτι άλλο. Οι ασφαλιστικές εταιρείες έχουν κάθε λόγο να περιοριστούν οι συνέπειες των κλιματικών αλλαγών, αφού θίγονται άμεσα τα συμφέροντά τους.
Πηγή: Deutsche Welle


Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 28, 2012

Κλιματική «βόμβα» του Ομπάμα απογοητεύει την E.E.

Στη νικητήρια ομιλία του, λίγες ημέρες μετά το πέρασμα του κυκλώνα Σάντι από την Ανατολική Ακτή των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, αναφέρθηκε στην ανάγκη αντιμετώπισης της κλιματικής αλλαγής.
Επιστήμονες και περιβαλλοντικές οργανώσεις ερμήνευσαν την αναφορά του ως πιθανή αναβάθμιση του ζητήματος στην ατζέντα με τις προτεραιότητες του Μπαράκ Ομπάμα, κατά τη δεύτερη θητεία του.
Η πρώτη απογοήτευση δεν άργησε να έρθει: την Τρίτη, ο Αμερικανός πρόεδρος επικύρωσε νόμο που επισφραγίζει την εξαίρεση των αμερικανικών αερογραμμών από το φόρο άνθρακα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, παρά τις δυνατές φωνές - εντός και εκτός ΗΠΑ- που του ζητούσαν να ασκήσει βέτο σε ένδειξη της βούλησής του να βάλει το δικό του «λιθαράκι» στον περιορισμό των αερίων του θερμοκηπίου.

Προβλέποντας τις αντιδράσεις, ο Λευκός Οίκος εξέδωσε ανακοίνωση, στην οποία αναφέρει ότι ο κ. Ομπάμα εξακολουθεί να αντιμετωπίζει τις κλιματικές μεταβολές ως προτεραιότητα, όμως διαφωνεί με την υπαγωγή των αμερικανικών εταιριών -και άλλων αερομεταφορέων από τρίτες χώρες- στο ευρωπαϊκό σύστημα εμπορίας εκπομπών.
Στην ανακοίνωση διευκρινίζεται ότι η αμερικανική κυβέρνηση θα επιδιώξει διευθέτηση του ζητήματος μέσω του Διεθνούς Οργανισμού Πολιτικής Αεροπορίας (ICAO).
Την απογοήτευσή της εξέφρασε και η επίτροπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για την κλιματική αλλαγή, μέσω του Twitter. «Μέχρι στιγμής, οι πολιτικές του επανεκλεγέντος προέδρου Ομπάμα για το κλίμα είναι ΙΔΙΕΣ με αυτές της πρώτης θητείας του. Αναρωτιέμαι πότε θα δούμε τις αλλαγές που ανακοίνωσε», έγραψε η Κόνι Χέντεγκαρντ.
Πριν από δύο εβδομάδες, η κοινοτική επίτροπος πρότεινε το «πάγωμα» για ένα χρόνο των κανονισμών που εντάσσουν τους ξένους αερομεταφορείς στο σύστημα, υποχρεώνοντάς τους να καταβάλλουν ειδικό φόρο για τις εκπομπές που παράγουν κατά τις πτήσεις τους από και προς ευρωπαϊκά αεροδρόμια. Η κίνηση έγινε προκειμένου να δοθεί πίστωση χρόνου, με απώτερο στόχο τη δημιουργία ενός παγκόσμιου μηχανισμού μείωσης των εκπομπών από τις αερομεταφορές, στο πλαίσιο του ICAO.
Δύο ημέρες αργότερα ωστόσο, η αμερικανική βουλή υιοθέτησε το νομοσχέδιο που «θωρακίζει» τις αμερικανικές εταιρίες και το έστειλε στον Μπαράκ Ομπάμα για επικύρωση.
Το WWF εξέφρασε την απογοήτευσή του για την εξέλιξη, σημειώνοντας ωστόσο πως υπάρχουν ακόμη περιθώρια συμφωνίας: «Η κυβέρνηση [των ΗΠΑ] έχει ορίσει υψηλόβαθμους αντιπροσώπους για να επιδιώξει μία παγκόσμια λύση για την αεροπλοΐα και το κλίμα», σημειώνει η οργάνωση σε ανακοίνωσή της. 

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 01, 2012

Hurricane Sandy = Global Warming

Climate change is now changing the weather.
Hurricane Sandy could have been just some coincidental freak storm. A rare occurrence with impacts few infrastructures are prepared to handle. The same coincidence that caused the East Coast derecho this summer or the simultaneous Midwest drought. But aren't coincidences and freak storms supposed to be rare?

2012 has been packed with extreme weather, and the aftermath of these events has been devastating not only to individuals, but to the operation of our country. Although mum's been the word on climate change during this year's election overshadowed by a debate on which candidate is a better friend to coal, the issue is now at the feet of President Obama and Governor Romney. 

.greenpeace.org (more photos)
video abc newss

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...