Tag Archives: natural disaster
Storm Sandy: New York marathon cancelled after protests
3 November 2012
The BBC’s Mike Wooldridge: “In some places frustration is now boiling over”
This year’s New York City marathon has been cancelled in the aftermath of the super storm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced.
In a statement, he said: “We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it.”
Plans to press ahead with Sunday’s event had prompted widespread anger in cyclone-ravaged parts of the city.
Ninety-six US deaths, 40 of them in New York, have been blamed on Sandy.
The storm had already killed 69 people as it swept across the Caribbean.
Across the US East Coast, some 3.5 million homes and businesses – 1.2 million in New York state alone – still have no electricity, four days after the storm made landfall.
Petrol shortages have also caused forecourt confrontations from New Jersey to Connecticut – one motorist was arrested after pulling a gun during an argument at a petrol queue.
In a bid to ease the fuel crunch on Friday, the US waived a law that normally bans foreign oil tankers from entering its north-eastern ports. Continue reading
Pakistan Floods: From Natural Disaster to Social Catastrophe
By Snehal Shingavi
Snehal Shingavi looks at the political and social factors that have magnified the impact of Pakistan’s catastrophic flooding.
The floods which have devastated huge areas of Pakistan may be an act of nature, but the worsening humanitarian crisis that followed is a direct result of the failures of Pakistan’s venal leaders–and the impact of the U.S. “war on terror.”
According to official estimates, more than 20 million people have been displaced and another 1,600 are dead as a result of one of the worst floods in Pakistani history. In some places, the rains have made the Indus River 15 miles wide, some 25 times broader than normal.
The flooding started when the monsoon rains tore through the mountains in the northwest part of the country (called Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa). As the waters raged through the Sindh and Punjab provinces, they destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and over 1.7 million acres of farmland. Several large cities were also been submerged, like Naushera, Muzaffarabad and Abottabad. The people who have made it out of the flood-ravaged areas are crammed in makeshift shelters or in overcrowded government buildings.
Those who escaped the floods find themselves without access to food, clean drinking water, sanitation and medicine. All of this has exacerbated the crisis, as many more are likely to die as the result of diarrhea, cholera and other diseases. Continue reading