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Algeria’s cereal harvest set to fall due to drought

Drought Emergency Alert_2

Grain importer Algeria expects its cereal production for 2020 to fall 35-40% from last year’s 5 million tonnes because of drought, the head of its farmers’ union told Reuters.

Algeria has in recent years harvested the bulk of its needs for durum wheat and barley while depending on imports of soft wheat, in large part from France.

“Output will drop by 35-40% due to drought,” the farmers’ union chief Mohamed Alioui said. “Drought has hit all provinces in the east and west, mainly those known for high production.”

Movement restrictions linked to the global pandemic contributed to production falling across the country, forcing farmers to revise down expectations, he said.

Lower output means the government will continue to turn to international markets to supply its 45 million people, he said.

Algeria spends around $1.3 billion annually on cereal imports, and wheat, considered a strategic crop, is subsidised.

The harvest is coming to an end in the southern provinces and will start in the north in the next few days, continuing until the end of August.

“We are disappointed. But we hope there will be abundant rain next season,” said farmer Ali Bakali as he visited his two-hectare wheat farm.

Drought hit most crops with farmers waiting for the government to make good on promises to improve irrigation systems.

“We have no other solutions but to find the solutions that allow us to cope with the drought and its impact on agriculture,” Agriculture Minister Abdelhamid Hamdani said last month as reported by state media. Only about 600,000 hectares of the 1.4 million that are irrigated are planted with cereals.

The government said it will offer incentives, including removing some administrative procedures, for farmers to grow cereals.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Sunday called for a “revolution” in the production of grains and seeds, urging his government to increase durum wheat output and cut soft wheat imports by adopting modern methods and involving more agronomic engineers.

Courtesy of brecorder.com

https://tinyurl.com/3pvechuk

Madagascar Has 1.1 Million People on Brink of Famine Due to a Prolonged Drought, UN Says

Drought Emergency Alert_2

About 1.1 million people in the southern part of Madagascar face food insecurity as a prolonged drought and a sandstorm bring subsistence farming to a standstill, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Without rains since December 2019, an increasing number of people are being pushed into famine. The 14,000 people currently in that situation could double by September, Volantiana Raharinaivo, a communications officer for the Antananarivo-based FAO office, said in a phone interview.

The three regions threatened by famine are Anosy, Androy and Atsimo-Andrefana, an area almost the size of New York State. Agriculture, livestock breeding and fishing are the most common activities in the area, which is prone to droughts and suffers from inadequate health and education services.

Courtesy of bloomberg.com

https://tinyurl.com/22mf4kat

California faces worst drought in decades: ‘Economic disaster’

Drought Emergency Alert_2

After two consecutive dry years, the California drought is back.

How bad is it?

“This is the worst drought since 1977,” said Ernest Conant, the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s California regional director.

California melon farmer Joe Del Bosque called it “an economic disaster.”

“We can’t plant crops, we have no jobs, and there will be no food coming from this field this year,” he said.

Pictures and numbers tell the story. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 93% of California and the Southwest are in an extreme or exceptional drought, meaning mandatory cutbacks are not far away.

Two years ago, the figure was 3%. By the end of August, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration expects a persistent drought to extend to 13 Western states. Drought is a measure of precipitation, temperature, soil moisture and available water.

“I can see how bad it’s getting,” said Sean Black of Utah. “Just from the lakes that we’ve been going to and the stories that we’ve seen about how the low water level is. And for the shortage we have of snow. I know it’s going to be a tough year.”

More than 90% of Utah is suffering from drought. Nevada is worse at 95%, the worst in two decades. In neighboring California, there are mandatory cutbacks coming in Santa Clara County, no campfires or grilling in Lake Tahoe and officials near the Oregon border warned they could lose 88% of young Chinook salmon because of low stream levels and rising water temperatures.

In an effort to protect wildlife and protect water supplies for drinking, federal and state officials reduced water deliveries to farmers to near zero. In the Central Valley, fields lie fallow and farmers are dismantling orchards.

Courtesy of news.yahoo.com

https://tinyurl.com/mkm395ck

Severe floods as Amazon rivers reach record highs in Brazil

Severe Flood Warning

The Rio Negro has swollen to levels unseen in over a century of record-keeping. More than 450,000 people have been affected state-wide.

Residents in Manaus, the biggest city in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, were struggling to cope with severe flooding after heavy rain caused nearby rivers to swell.

The Rio Negro reached its highest water level since records began in 1902, with a depth of 29.98 meters (98 feet) at the port’s measuring station on Tuesday.

The nearby Solimoes and Amazon rivers were also nearing all-time highs.

More than 24,000 families and 15 districts of Manaus have been affected and many people had to leave their homes, according to Brazilian online news site G1. Parts of the port area and the historic center of Manaus were underwater.

More than 9,000 meters of wooden bridges — known as marombas — were built in the hardest-hit areas to help residents navigate the city.

The high water levels are not just confined to Manaus. There has been flooding across almost all of Amazonas state and caused damage in nearly 60 of 62 municipalities.

More than 450,000 people have been affected state-wide.

The Amazon River also reached peak levels in cities including Itacoatiara, located in the east of the state.

Higher-than-usual precipitation is associated with the La Nina phenomenon when currents in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean affect global climate patterns.

Environmental experts and organizations including the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say there is strong evidence that human activity and global warming are altering the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including La Nina.

Seven of the 10 biggest floods in the Amazon basin have occurred in the past 13 years, data from Brazil’s state-owned Geological Survey shows.

Meteorologists say Amazon water levels could continue to rise slightly until late June or July, when floods usually peak.

Courtesy of dw.com

https://tinyurl.com/4avcmzy9

Indian state estimates $1.4 billion damage from Cyclone

Cyclone Warning Alert

Cyclone Tauktae caused an estimated 100 billion Indian rupees ($1.4 billion) worth of damage in the Indian state of Gujarat after making landfall on May 17, Times of India reported. Agriculture, energy and housing sectors have recorded the highest losses. The cyclone affected states along the west coast of India.

Courtesy of businessinsurance.com

https://tinyurl.com/4wxe43t9

Tropical storm Chalane lands in Mozambique

Tropical Storm Alert_1

A powerful tropical storm made landfall near the central Mozambique city of Beira early on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and wind to an area devastated by Cyclone Idai nearly two years ago.

Beira, a low-lying coastal city of 500,000 people, is home to Mozambique’s second-largest port, which serves as a gateway to landlocked countries in the region.

The government had asked people living in the path of tropical storm Chalane and near rivers to move to safer areas.

Chalane had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h with gusts exceeding 120 km/h, according to an update issued by the French weather service’s regional cyclone centre in La Reunion.

“The storm is now tracking inland through central Mozambique and is moving towards Zimbabwe. Government and humanitarian partners hope to begin evaluating the first impacts of the storm as soon as this afternoon,” Helvisney Cardoso, United Nations Mozambique Communications Specialist, said in a statement.

International aid agencies say that tens of thousands of people are still displaced from Idai and living in camps.

The Mozambican government was meeting to assess the impact of the storm and how it would respond.

In Zimbabwe, the government had started evacuating people from eastern parts of the country, where thousands were displaced by Cyclone Idai.

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department said there was high risk of flooding in the region.

Courtesy of in.reuters.com

https://tinyurl.com/ybh8qs9y

Major Drought Disaster Areas Named in 17 More Counties in Nebraska, USA

Drought Emergency Alert_2

More than a dozen Nebraska counties have been designated as disaster areas because of drought.

Over the past week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued disaster declarations for 17 counties, mostly in northeast and western Nebraska, the two areas where drought conditions have been the worst.

The counties designated as primary natural disaster areas were: Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Deuel, Dundy, Garden, Hitchcock, Keith, Kimball, Madison, Morrill, Pierce, Perkins, Platte, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Wayne.

Lincoln saw one of its coldest Octobers ever

They join Colfax, Cuming, Dawes, Dodge, Stanton and Thurston counties, which were declared as disaster areas last month.

Counties with a disaster declaration are eligible for emergency loans for losses caused by drought, which can be used for purposes such as paying to replace equipment or livestock or refinancing debts.

That eligibility also extends to more than two dozen counties that are contiguous to the counties with disaster declarations.

6 Nebraska counties named disaster areas because of drought

Nebraska is seeing its worst drought conditions since 2013. As of Thursday, nearly 86% of the state was in some level of drought, with 12% — all in the Panhandle — in extreme drought.

Both severe and extreme drought can lead to lowered crop yields, scarce hay supplies and serious declines in groundwater levels.

The one thing the dry weather has helped with is harvest. As of Monday, the soybean harvest was essentially done in the state, while about 86% of corn had been harvested. That’s well ahead of the five-year average.

Drought tightens grip on Nebraska as hot, dry spell looms.

Courtesy of norfolkdailynews.com

https://tinyurl.com/y5wnab8v

Flood death toll rises to 18 in Cambodia as over 25,000 evacuated

Severe Flood Warning

Flash floods in Cambodia have so far left 18 people dead and forced the evacuation of 25,192 people, Seak Vichet, a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said on Friday.

Tropical storm-triggered rains caused floods in 19 of the kingdom’s 25 cities and provinces since the beginning of the month, he said, adding that 212,676 people have also been affected by the floods.

“By Friday morning, the floods have killed 18 people, including eight children,” Vichet told Xinhua, adding that the worst-hit provinces included Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Kandal as well as southwestern suburb of Phnom Penh.

The floods have also inundated 51,133 houses and 204,650 hectares of rice and other crops, the spokesman said. So far, 12,958 hectares of the affected rice and other crops have been destroyed.

Transportation has also been disrupted, as several major roads in the worst-hit provinces have been closed.

Water Resources and Meteorology Minister Lim Keanhor said on Thursday that further rain, wind and high waves are expected on Oct. 17-19 because the kingdom is suffering from the impact of tropical storm Saudel, which could lead to further flooding.

“People living in plains, along waterways and near mountains, fishermen and sea travelers should be extra-vigilant to avoid any possible dangers,” he said in a press statement.

Floods usually hit Cambodia between August and October. Last year, flash floods claimed 30 lives and storms killed eight people and injured 131 others, according to the NCDM.

Courtesy of xinhuanet.com

https://tinyurl.com/yxl3nvj7

Flooding and heavy rainfall leave over 60 dead in Sudan #Flooding #Rain #Sudan #Africa

Severe Flood Warning

Flash floods have ravaged swaths of Sudan for weeks, leaving at least 60 people dead and destroying thousands of homes since late July, authorities and the U.N. humanitarian agency said Sunday.

The flooding also injured two dozen people, and has destroyed or damaged more than 30,000 houses nationwide, the Interior Ministry said.

More than 185,000 people in all but one of Sudan’s 18 provinces have been affected by the heavy rainfall and flooding, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The floods also damaged at least 14 schools, and some 1,600 water sources have been contaminated or are now non-functional, the report said.

Footage circulated online showed floodwaters cutting off roads and sweeping away houses and people’s belongings in different parts of the northeastern African country.

More than 1,200 livestock were lost and several hectares of crops were affected in the middle of the agricultural season, the U.N. added.

The Bout Dam had collapsed in late July after heavy rains and flooding in the southeastern Blue Nile province, releasing 5 million cubic meters of water (170 million cubic feet) and flooding at least 13 neighborhoods in the town of Bout, the U.N. said.

“The collapse of the dam will likely have serious long-term consequences for over 100,000 people, including (internally displaced persons) and refugees, who rely on it as their primary source of water,” he statement said.

Between July and August last year, flooding killed a total of 78 people in 16 of Sudan’s 18 provinces, according to the U.N.

Courtesy of wtop.com

https://tinyurl.com/yygqszh6