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Selected Global Extreme Information

RAPID RESPONSE PROJECT: January 1999 - Last Updated January 29th, 1999

UPDATE OF REPORTED CLIMATE-WEATHER IMPACTS

(Courtesy of NOAA Office of Global Programs)


*The information provided in the RRP updates is gathered from a variety of
wire and news sources as well as country and international agency reports.  It
does not necessarily reflect the focus or interest of NOAA's Office of Global
Programs and is meant only as source of condensed information.

** All products of the RRP are archived at:  http://www.ogp.noaa.gov/rrp



ALGERIA (snow storm)
Snowstorms have caused 8 reported fatalities in western Algeria.  Landslides
have also occurred in Greater Algiers. (mid January)

CANADA (snow storm)
400+ Canadian soldiers arrived in Toronto on Thursday to help the city cope
with the latest snowstorms.  The city has already experienced three times its
normal snowfall (early January event).

CANARY ISLANDS (storm)
Wind and rain have caused nearly $415 million USD worth of damage over the
past few days. (early January event).

CHINA (drought)
Low precipitation, combined with high temperatures, has worsened a drought
occurring in China's northern, wheat-growing region.  Rainfall over most of
China was 70% below average the State (China's) Meteorological Bureau
reported.  According to the Xinhua the northern provinces of Shanxi, Henan,
Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, and Shandong are affected by mild to severe drought
in at least some areas.   Some southern provinces are also experiencing
drought -- Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, and Yunnan.  Sugarcane production in
Guangxi is expected to fall 2.0 million tonnes in the 98/99 season.

CHINA (winter conditions)
15% of the 300,000 families made homeless by the summer flooding are still
without shelter or daily necessities the Xinhua reported.  Local authorities
have reportedly distributed 11 million coats and blankets to the displaced.
20,000 medical workers have also spread out to monitor the situation in Hunan.

CHINA (flooding)
The South China Morning Post reported a new survey of damage caused by the
1998 summer flooding increased fatalities from 3,656 to 4,150.  Numbers also
reported 5.6 million homes destroyed and 230 million affected by flooding.

FIJI (cyclone Dani)
Flooding, related to cyclone Dani, has reportedly displaced hundreds of
people.  3 people were missing.  The flooding occurred in the main sugar
growing areas.  Total impact on lives and agriculture has not been assessed,
however 7 deaths have been reported. The towns of Ba, Nadi, and Lautoka were
affected.  Vanuatu was also affected by flooding -- no assessments yet..  On
Friday, Fiji declared a natural disaster for parts of the country.  The
flooding caused by cyclone Dani follows a severe drought which destroyed 60%
of the country's cane crop.  Relief operations for the drought cost 25 million
USD. (mid January)

HONDURAS (hurricane Mitch)
The GOH and private sector groups have agreed to fix prices on 22 basic
consumer goods (at least until June) as inflation has significantly increased
following hurricane Mitch.  Mitch destroyed an estimated 70% of the crops.
The price of beans increased nearly 40 percent this month while the price of
rice increased nearly 1/3.

INDONESIA (landslides)
A landslide occurring in Bali on Jan. 7 has caused 33 fatalities.  The
landslide was located 20 miles north of Denpasar in Pupuan.

ISRAEL (floods)
Flash flooding occurred Dec. 31 after months of droughts.  8 inches reportedly
fell in the Carmel region.  Although it is reported that several thousand were
evacuated, estimates of damage have not been made.

JORDAN (drought)
The GOJ approved aid packages to help its farmers affected by the current
drought.  Rainfall during December and January was reportedly well below
normal -- some reports of only 2% in parts of the country.

KENYA  (El Nino)
The GOK reported a record tea crop for 1998; 33% above 1997 harvests.
Although rains, floods, and landslides associated with the 1997-98 El Nino
caused significant damage throughout the country, the added precipitation
aided the tea crop.

LAOS (drought)
As reported by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), the country
of Laos recently suffered crop damage of nearly 70% in certain provinces.
Delayed rains have led to a drought that has crippled the main rice crop for
this season.  In Sayaboury province an estimated 20,000 people are in need of
assistance.

MALAYSIA (floods)
Floods caused by heavy rains this month are expected to cause palm oil output
to drop sharply.  More than 2,500 people were displaced by the floods. 1,515
people in six districts of Pahang were evacuated.  Flooding also affected
Johor, Terengganu, and Kelantan.

MOZAMBIQUE (flooding)
Heavy rains caused flooding in central and southern Mozambique.  Fatalities
numbered 3.  People have also been displaced and cropland inundated, but the
exact extent of the damage has not been reported.   The road connecting Beira
to Zimbabwe may be cut off by floodwaters.  The GOM has reportedly expressed
concern about flooding along the Pungue.

NETHERLANDS (1998 floods)
From the 19,000 persons making damage claims accrued from the 1998 floods, it
is now estimated that the event caused $470 million in damages.


NEW ZEALAND (drought)
The Ministry of Agriculture (MAF) has warned of another approaching
agricultural drought.  If it occurs, it will be the second summer in a row.
MAF is expected to brief the GONZ in late January.

PAKISTAN (drought)
The GOP is enforcing power cuts as drought has caused a shortage of
electricity produced from thermal and hydro power stations  (early January).

PERU (El Nino)
The ombined effects of El Nino and the Asian economic crisis are now being
blamed for Peru's low 1998 economic growth rate of 1.5 percent.  In 1997
growth was 7.4 percent. (early January).

PHILIPPINES (El Nino and Typhoons)
The Philippine GDP contracted 0.5% in 1998, largely as a result of drops in
agricultural production.  The situation is being blamed on the combined
effect of the Asian economic crisis as well as El Nino and a bout of
typhoons.

SRI LANKA (flooding)
Heavy rains associated with the northeast monsoon have caused flooding in
eastern sections of  the country.  29,288 families have been affected and 2
people were reported dead.  In addition the IFRC noted significant damage to
paddies as irrigation systems/reservoirs were damaged.  As reported by OCHA,
administrative districts affected were Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Batticaloa,
Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Badulla, and Mannar. (early January)

TANZANIA (famine threat)
Frederick Sumaye, Prime Minister of Tanzania, warned that without intervention
300,000 residents of the country's central Dodoma region faced starvation
within the next 5 months.  He went further to state that 12 of 20 regions
within the country also faced acute food shortages. The GOT has blamed the
Tanzanian food shortage on the drought which occurred in 1996-97 followed by
El Nino related flooding in 1997/98, to severe weather and dry conditions
experienced since September.

SRI LANKA (flooding)
Heavy rains associated with the northeast monsoon have caused flooding in
eastern sections of  the country.  29,288 families have been affected and 2
people were reported dead.  In addition the IFRC noted significant damage to
paddies as irrigation systems/reservoirs were damaged.  As reported by OCHA,
administrative districts affected were Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Batticaloa,
Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Badulla, and Mannar. (mid January)

SOMALIA (drought, famine threat, disease)
The UN has warned that 300,000 people are at a very high risk of starvation.
The harvest of food this coming month has already been viewed with pessimism
as late rains and drought conditions weakened this season's crop.  Last year's
harvests were destroyed by El Nino related flooding.  Doctors Without Borders
(Medecins Sans Frontiers) confirmed that water shortages have led to outbreaks
of disease in southern regions of Somalia  --  in particular cholera.

SOUTH AFRICA (storm)
The AP reported that storms hit the villages of Mount Ayliff and Kokstad on
Monday afternoon.  50 houses were destroyed.  21 fatalities occurred.

SOUTH AFRICA (La Nina)
Ministers from the GOSA have blamed the recent severe storms and series of
tornadoes on La Nina.  Since December tornadoes have killed at least 38
people while injuring another 550.

SWITZERLAND (blizzard)
Some of the heaviest snowfall in roughly 15 years fell over Davos last
Thursday.  Aside from local damages, the storm interrupted the annual meeting
of the World Economic Forum.(late January)

TANZANIA (famine threat)
GOT reported a maize deficit of 600,000 tonnes  --  largely from poor weather
in 1998.  GOT says at least 13 of 20 regions have been seriously affected by
the shortage.  8 are said to be vulnerable to famine. (early January)

THAILAND (1997-98 El Nino related water shortage)
Director of Thailand's agriculture ministry's climate division, Narong
Piyabhan, was quoted for blaming the 1997-98 for lower than normal water
reserves.  Water reserviors and dams are down nearly 3.69 billion cubic metres
-- in 1997 for the similar period, reserves were at 7-8 billion cubic metres, while
in 1996 they peaked at 14.5 billion.  GOT surveys show that reserves can only
support 608,000 hectares of paddy -- 704,000 hectares have been reportedly
planted.

UNITED STATES (Florida)(tornadoes)
20 homes were destroyed as 4 tornadoes touched down in Bay County, Florida.
Tornadoes were also reported in three additional counties.  Several thousand
were without power on Jan. 3rd.


UNITED STATES (snow storm)
48 deaths. Hundreds of thousands temporarily without power (450,000 along the
east coast alone) and travel delays.  (early January)

UNITED STATES (tornadoes/severe storms)(Tennessee)
Severe storms and tornadoes affected parts of Tennessee during the evening of
the seventeenth.  Fatalities have been tallied at eight while ~100 people were
reportedly injured.  Damage from the storms included two UH-60 helicopters at
the McKeller-Sipes Airport as well as damage to an estimated 600 homes
throughout the state. (mid January)

VANUATU (flooding, cyclone Dani)
See FIJI


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