One of the worst monsoon seasons in years has displaced around 85,000 people the BBC reports. The worst flooding has occurred in the southern rice fields and hundreds of thousands of those fields are now completely submerged forcing around 70,000 people to seek shelter in over 200 emergency relief shelters.
The heavy rains have also affected some structures, such as bridges and rail lines, according to the Associated Press. Heavy monsoon rains commonly affect Myanmar, but this year’s rains have caused the most devastation since 2004, said a member of the country’s emergency response team.
There have been no reported casualties as a result of the seasonal rains but the threats to such a massive segment of the population has given officials a heavy task in the last week.
Niger’s Flooding Kills at Least 65
Niger, a country situated in the inland section of West Africa, was facing extreme drought conditions earlier this year before floods hit the country and devastated thousands of people, both in the capital of Niamey and in rural districts.
The BBC reports that at least 14,000 homes and around 7,000 fields of crucial cereal crops have been destroyed by rising flood levels. Those crops were already strained from the preceding drought. Up to around 65 people may have also perished due to the sudden onrush of flooding throughout the country.
Heavy seasonal rainfalls caused the Niger River to burst past its usual levels, sweeping away thousands of homes and structures over the last few weeks. Niger’s leaders have been hoping for increased global aid to help people on the ground in Niger.
The first humanitarian plane arrived on the scene Sunday, bringing with it mosquito nets, tents and food supplies for the population. The plane was chartered by Ireland and Niger’s Interior Minister Abdou Labo sent quick thanks to Dublin for its efforts.
Niger is far from the only West African country to have suffered from heavy rainfall. Sierra Leone had a vicious outbreak of cholera hit the capital, Freetown, throughout the summer months that only increased due to poor drainage.
Typhoon Headed for Okinawa
Japan has had its fair share of natural disasters in the last few years, especially the devastating tsunami and earthquake that started the Fukushima nuclear disaster last March. Now the small island of Okinawa is threatened by the Typhoon Bolaven.
Strong gusts of wind, huge waves and violent rainstorms hit the island and government officials encouraged residents to take shelter at home and stay indoors. One tourist told the BBC that many people were concerned about the water levels in a nearby canal that could overflow if the storm brings as much moisture as forecasters suggested.
Disruption for the RNC?
Even the Republican National Convention has been threatened by severe global weather. RNC organizers called off events in Florida for Monday because of Hurricane Isaac.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Isaac has been much more threatening to populations in the hard-hit Haiti where death toll estimates reached nine on Sunday. Many of those deaths were caused by massive floods that swept people away. More than 13,000 people were evacuated from their homes. The brunt of the storm has passed through Haiti since Saturday, officials have said, but repairing the strained country is a heavy and arduous task.
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy