The Stream, December 25: Tropical Storm in Philippines Kills Over Two Hundred, Displaces Thousands

The Global Rundown

Officials in Bangkok, Thailand, attempt to move illegal slums, which are worsening the city’s flooding issues. Heavy boat traffic in Panama’s Bocas Del Toro Archipelago threatens the habitat of the area’s bottlenose dolphins. Lab-bred super corals could avert the destruction of the world’s coral reefs, scientists claim. Another tropical storm ravages the Philippines, killing over 200 people and displacing thousands. In the past two years, deforestation and natural disasters have destroyed enough trees to cover Spain.

“What we used to call a one-in-a-hundred-year event is happening more frequently.” –Abhas Jha, a manager of urban development and disaster risk at the World Bank, in reference to flooding in Bangkok, Thailand. Many of the city’s canals are blocked by trash and unregulated slum construction, worsening yearly deluges. In response, local officials are attempting to resettle slum-dwellers away from the canals. Reuters

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By The Numbers

68,000 Number of people displaced by flooding and landslides in the Philippines after Tropical Storm Tembin made landfall on Friday. The storm is one of many that have battered the Pacific archipelago this year. ABC News

493,716 square kilometers Amount of surface of area that could be covered in the trees that have been lost worldwide in the past two years, the equivalent of nearly covering Spain or about four Englands, according to satellite data from the Global Forest Watch (GFW). Drought, deforestation, wildfires, and other disasters have driven the devastation. The Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Increased boat traffic in Panama’s Bocas Del Toro province is threatening the survival of the region’s dolphins, according to a report by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The study found that alterations to the dolphin’s habitat could greatly jeopardize their long-term survival. Science Daily

On The Radar

New super corals, bred in a laboratory by Australian scientists, could play a vital role in preventing global reef wipeout. The super corals, which are bred to withstand heat and other environmental changes, may be tested on the Great Barrier Reef within a year. The Guardian