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NATURE

Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Global Warming Heat Flood Flood Tropical Storm Tropical Storm Dog Victims Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake High Temperature Extreme Low Temperature Extreme Click on any icon for more information
By Steve Newman - August 30, 1999 - Click any icon

High TemperatureLow Temperature
Temperature Extremes

Dog
Canine War Relief


Temperature Extremes
High TemperatureLow TemperatureHigh temperature extreme:
Timimouh, Algeria 119 degrees.

Low temperature extreme:
Vostok (Russia), Antarctica -105 degrees.

(top)

Tropical Storm
Tropical StormTwo separate storms of tropical origin unleashed wide-spread and destructive flooding across the Korean Peninsula.

Remnants of tropical storm Neil produced flash floods that killed at least seven people and left 7,000 others homeless. Vast tracts of rice fields were also ruined by the inundations. The same area was lashed by high winds and torrential rains from typhoon Olga, which killed at least 63 people in South Korea alone. Some areas received as much as 29 inches of rainfall in a single 24-hour period.

Tropical storm Paul was predicted to bring storm-force winds to China’s port of Shanghai late in the week.

(top)

Asian Floods
FloodsNear-record flash flooding occurred in several areas of Asia from severe weather not directly associated with any tropical storms or typhoons.

Nearly 22 inches of rainfall in parts of Vietnam triggered floods that destroyed 1,500 houses and swamped 40,000 acres of rice fields. Officials said it was the country’s worst natural disaster in 15 years.

Flooding around the Philippine capital of Manila forced the evacuation of 60,000 residents around the inundated city and closed down the country’s main stock exchange. Sixteen people were killed by the flash floods and resulting mudslides around Manila.

The worst flooding to strike Thailand’s Chantaburi River in 80 years affected nearly 60,000 area residents.

(top)

Canine War Relief
DogHelp has arrived for the thousands of stray dogs abandoned in Kosovo when residents took flight from the country’s ethnic conflict.

A disaster relief team from the World Society for the Protection of Animals arrived on August 2 to begin the arduous task of trying to save the sick and starving dogs that were left behind. The team will join with Kosovo veterinarians to stop the spread of disease and provide food and shelter for the strays. The dogs have been roaming city streets in packs, scavenging for food. The relief workers will attempt to find homes for as many of the canines as possible.

(top)

Earthquakes
EarthquakeThe second destructive earthquake to strike Bangladesh’s Maheskhali Island in 11 days leveled more than 200 homes but caused no casualties. The quake occurred near the same epicenter of the earlier temblor, which killed six people.

Earth movements were also felt in Russia’s Lake Baikal region, the Osaka region of Japan, eastern Nepal, Guinea, eastern Romania, eastern Hungary, northwest Spain, central Chile, western Argentina, the Aleutian Islands and between Las Vegas and California’s Death Valley.

(top)

Southeast Asian Blazes
FireForest fires have enshrouded the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo with a haze that reached hazardous levels.

Environmental officials said that the amount of smoke far exceeded acceptable limits. The number of hot spots throughout the islands increased dramatically during the last week of July. The fires have been blamed on plantation owners and small farmers in Indonesia who use slash-and-burn methods to clear their land in preparation for planting. In 1997, more than 4.2 million acres of forest were destroyed in Kalimantan and western Sumatra, causing extensive health and air traffic problems across southeast Asia.

(top)

Beijing Heat
HeatAt least six people were killed and 20 others hospitalized with heatstroke in Beijing during the city’s worst heat wave in a century.

All the victims were elderly, and those sent to hospitals were primarily outdoor vendors. Temperatures reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit on the hottest day as vehicular and pedestrian traffic was reported at half its usual level due to the sultry conditions. Daytime maximum temperatures did not drop below 95 degrees for more than a week.

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Warmer World, More Males
Global WarmingGlobal warming could tip the gender scales in favor of boy babies, according to a German medical researcher.

Alexander Lerchi, of Muenster University, charted births in Germany between 1946 and 1995. He then calculated the average temperature at their probable times of conception. He found that the phenomenon was not just simply a matter of predictable seasonal temperature variations, but that a sudden warm spell in the middle of winter could also have the same effect. Lechi attributes the higher male birth rate to the fact that the Y chromosome, which determines the male sex, is better able to resist heat than the X chromosome, which determines the female sex. The researcher concludes that continued global warming could change the birth ratio by a couple of percentage points in favor of baby boys.

(top)

Additional Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency, U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.
Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

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