The Stream, October 26: Natural Disasters, Pollution, and Porpoises

Hurricane Sandy hit the Caribbean islands hard over the past few days, killing 21 people and knocking out power and water supplies in the Bahamas and Cuba, Reuters reported. The storm is expected to move up the United States’ East Coast, where some forecasters predict it could create a “billion-dollar disaster.”

After three years of severe droughts and floods, Pakistan may turn to a national disaster risk insurance plan in order to protect citizens from losses incurred by natural disasters, AlertNet reported. The plan would eventually make it mandatory for every citizen to be insured.

Water, air and soil pollution from industrial waste affects the health of 125 million people, most living in developing countries, found a new report from the Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland. The report aims to document the public health impact of pollutants like lead, mercury and pesticides, the Guardian reported.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will be conducting a population survey of China’s endangered porpoises in the Yangtze River, Xinhua reported. The study is in response to recent porpoise deaths in the river, which may have been caused by pollution or human activities.

Renowned British naturalist David Attenborough has said that politicians in the United States are refusing to acknowledge climate change, even after disasters like floods and droughts. The presidential candidates did not mention climate change in any of the three debates, the Guardian reported.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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