The Stream, February 24: China’s Natural Disasters Becoming Costlier

Natural Disasters
The annual economic cost of natural disasters in China nearly doubled in 2013, costing the country $US 69 billion, Reuters reported. The most expensive disasters were floods and mudslides, followed by earthquakes and droughts.

An extended period of heavy rainstorms and floods in the United Kingdom has taken a toll on the country’s wildlife, the Guardian reported. Thousands of birds have been killed, while conservationists worry that pollution threats from pesticides, industrial chemicals, and submerged vegetation will affect land animals.

Scientists in Brazil say that the country’s government is not acknowledging climate change as a major factor in the severe drought afflicting major crop-producing areas, NPR reported. Despite studies suggesting that droughts and other extreme weather will become increasing common, the federal Ministry of Agriculture does not include climate change in its long-term crop production forecasts.

An oil spill from a barge on the Mississippi River has shut down 65 miles of the river near New Orleans, prompting communities to close their drinking water intakes to avoid contamination, The Raw Story reported. Officials are still determining how much oil spilled into the water.

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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