The Stream, July 25: Hundreds Missing After Under-Construction Dam Collapses in Laos
The Global Rundown
A hydropower dam fails in Laos, sweeping away villages and leaving hundreds missing. India turns to satellites and drones to help expedite the delivery of basic services, like water, to the country’s slums. China’s environment ministry develops a strategy for improving drinking water and sanitation in rural areas. Rivers in the Netherlands fall to critical levels, interrupting shipping routes. In the United States, 40 million people are threatened by excessive heat and 32 million are under a flood watch. A dry winter and heavy winds stoke deadly wildfires in Greece.
“The immediate priority must be to tackle the terrible fires, and to support the people whose homes, lives and livelihoods have been put at risk or devastated.” –Rachel Kennerley, a climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, in reference to the deadly wildfires sweeping through coastal Greece. Poor winter rains, hot summer temperatures, and strong winds are contributing to the blazes, which have left at least 74 people dead. The Guardian
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By The Numbers
5 billion cubic metres (1.3 trillion gallons) Amount of water released after the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam, which was under construction, collapsed in Laos on Monday evening. The torrent of water swept away villages and left hundreds missing. Local authorities are struggling to determine the extent of the disaster. Al Jazeera
30 percent Amount that shipping costs have risen in the Netherlands as drought depletes the country’s rivers. Dry conditions have driven water levels in some rivers to critical conditions, forcing ships to take on less cargo or stop operating altogether. Reuters
Science, Studies, And Reports
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment recently approved a plan to address rural pollution. The broad-reaching initiative aims to improve the quality of land, water, and waste management throughout the Chinese countryside. Reuters
On The Radar
Extreme weather conditions are threatening millions across the United States. In the west, an excessive heat warning or advisory is affecting roughly 40 million people, with temperatures in some areas expected to top 115°F (46°C). Meanwhile, in the Eastern part of the country, more than 30 million people are under flood watches. USA Today
Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.
India is employing drones and satellites to help map out its vast network of slums. The data will help officials issue land titles, as well as determine where basic services, particularly water and sanitation facilities, are most needed. At least 65 million people inhabit India’s slums, and countless lack adequate access to clean water. Reuters
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter
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