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Bangladesh trials disaster alerts
Tens of thousands of mobile-phone users in Bangladesh are to receive warning of impending natural disasters through an alert on their phones, Reuters reported. The initiative will give people advance notice “that they are likely to face flooding or a cyclone,” allowing them time to evacuate their homes, Syed Ashraf, a communications specialist for the country's disaster management bureau, told the news agency.
据路透社报道, 一位联合国高层援助官员称, 世界正在”梦中“走向可预防的自然灾害。约翰•霍姆斯，联合国人道主义事务副秘书长说：“我们在一定程度上仍处于无意识地走向未来灾害的状态中。我们知道这些灾难将发生，但是没有采取足够的行动来减轻损害。”
World “sleepwalking into disasters”
The world is “sleepwalking” toward preventable natural disasters, according to the top United Nations aid official, Reuters reported. “We’re still to some extent sleepwalking our way into disasters for the future, which we know are going to happen, and not enough is being done to mitigate the damage,” said John Holmes, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.
Climate change “worsens disasters”
Natural disasters will be aggravated by climate change, according to a United Nations-backed study, and people in developing nations are most at risk, Reuters reported. Presented on the sidelines of the UN climate talks in Bonn, the study urged governments to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to reduce the impacts of cyclones, floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Heavy rains still pounding Brazil
Northern Brazil’s worst floods in decades now have driven an estimated 218,000 people from their homes, the Associated Press reported. At least 36 people have been killed in the flooding, caused by unusually heavy rains that have been falling for two months on 10 of Brazil’s 26 states. As officials struggled to distribute aid, people fled to higher ground.
Less dusty air “may spur hurricanes”
A decline in sun-dimming airborne dust has caused a rapid warming of the tropical North Atlantic in recent decades, Reuters reported, citing a study that might help predict hurricanes on the other side of the ocean. About 70% of the warming of the Atlantic since the early 1980s was caused by less dust, American researchers wrote in the journal Science.
Deadliest wildfires strike Australia
Australia's deadliest wildfires have killed at least 130 people in the southern state of Victoria and increased pressure on the government to take firm action on climate change, Reuters reported. "Over the last few days, we Australians have looked our own future in the face," Greens party climate spokeswoman Christine Milne told the news agency.