The Stream, August 6: ‘Unusually Heavy’ Rains Trigger Floods in South Asia

Asia Floods
More than 160 people died in Pakistan and Afghanistan during recent flash floods that swept the region, AlertNet reported. Some neighborhoods were flooded waist-deep in Karachi, while farms and homes suffered flood damage in the Afghan provinces of Khost and Nangarhar.

India’s Uttarakhand state is still recovering from massive floods and landslides that claimed more than 1,000 lives in June. Concerns have been raised about the floods’ effects on farm output and this year’s winter harvest—an issue that critics say the Indian government has overlooked, the Guardian reported.

Water Contamination
Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority admitted Monday that an underground barrier meant to keep contaminated groundwater from leaking into the sea is failing at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, Reuters reported. Officials called the situation an “emergency,” and there are now worries that the groundwater could rise to the surface.

Water wells within 1-kilometer (0.6 miles) of active gas operations had higher levels of arsenic than wells farther away, a University of Texas at Arlington study found. Arsenic, however, was found in all of the water samples, and researchers say that the study does not provide a “smoking gun” linking gas operations to water contamination, CBS DFW reported.

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