Timimouh, Algeria 119 degrees.
Low temperature extreme:
Vostok (Russia), Antarctica -105 degrees.
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.
storm Paul was predicted to bring storm-force winds to China’s port
of Shanghai late in the week.
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.
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.
worst flooding to strike Thailand’s Chantaburi River in 80
years affected nearly 60,000 area residents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
World, More Males
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.