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Showing posts from August 25, 2013

Floods Ravage Sudan And The World As We Sit Watching

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As Floods Ravage Sudan Young Volunteers Revive A Tradition Of Aid

By ISMA’IL KUSHKUSH

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Their temporary headquarters are a beehive of young volunteers buzzing in and out of rooms, up and down stairs, carrying bags of donated food, medicine and large packets of plastic sheets.

“What happened to your house?” one volunteer asks on the phone, as others load aid on trucks or create maps and charts on laptops. “And where do you say you are? We’ll have a team out there soon.”

They are the members of Nafeer, a volunteer, youth-led initiative that responded swiftly to the humanitarian crisis caused by heavy rains and flash floods that struck Sudan this month.

The deluge has taken a heavy toll. Beyond the dozens of people killed, more than 300,000 people have been directly affected, with 74,000 homes damaged or destroyed, according to the United Nations. The spread of diseases like malaria is also reported to be on the rise.

The impact of the heavy rains and floods has bee…

Colorado River Releases Slashed To Historic Low

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Feds Slash Colorado River Release To Historic Low

Sally Deneen

for National Geographic

Published August 16, 2013

A "No Fishing" sign sits improbably along a dry desert road in Nevada. The largest man-made reservoir in the U.S., Lake Mead, once extended this far—but the watery destination of anglers and boaters has shrunk so much that the lakeshore now is about a half-mile away. (View an interactive map of the region.)

The recession of the massive lake that straddles Nevada and Arizona is symbolic of a long-standing problem that just got a lot worse: The Colorado River's record-low flows and the shrunken reservoirs of lakes Mead and Powell (pictured above) for the first time have triggered big cuts in the amount of water allowed to flow downstream. The loss has prompted one alarmed official to float the idea that Western states ask for federal aid.

A new report has brought a sense of urgency to the slow-moving disaster represented by the shrinking Colorado River.

For…