The Stream, September 7: Heavy Flooding Hits North Korea, Killing 76 and Displacing Thousands

The Global Rundown

Intense flooding in North Korea leaves dozens of people dead and missing. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits northern Japan, cutting off water to thousands of homes. Iraq closes its Basra seaport as protests over government neglect continue. The Trump administration lifts a ban on mining near the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota. Heavy rains and a rising Ganga River inundate villages in Uttar Pradesh, India. Norsk Hydro, whose alumina refinery dumped untreated wastewater in northern Brazil earlier this year, urges Brazilian authorities to allow the plant to resume full operations.

“It’s the right decision to reopen the facility.” –John Thuestad, Norsk Hydro’s executive vice-president for bauxite and alumina, in reference to the possible reopening of the world’s largest alumina refinery, which was forced to cut back on operations in February after admitting to illegal wastewater dumping during severe rains. This week, Norsk Hydro signed two deals committing to social and environmental action in the region surrounding the plant. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Recovery Begins in Kerala, Where Historic Flooding Killed Hundreds — More than 1 million Kerala residents were displaced by the worst flooding in a century.

Toxic Water, Toxic Crops — India’s Public Health Time Bomb — Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food.

By The Numbers

3 million Households in northern Japan suffering power and water blackouts after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the country’s Hokkaido island. So far, the quake has left 9 people dead, 30 missing, and 350 injured. The New York Times

234,000 acres Land near the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota that became ineligible for mineral leasing in 2016. At the time, the Obama administration said further study was needed to assess the environmental impact of mining near the Boundary Waters. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted the withdrawal, saying recent reviews showed no new scientific information. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

According to a report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, severe flooding has hit parts of North Korea, killing at least 76 and forcing thousands from their homes. Torrential rains, which began on August 28, have also caused several landslides in the country. Reuters

On The Radar

Iraq closed its Basra seaport on Thursday amid ongoing violence between protestors and security forces. Residents have been protesting a lack of basic services for several days. The city’s water supply, which is contaminated with salt and has sickened hundreds, is a main point of contention. Reuters

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

Heavy monsoon rains in Uttar Pradesh, India, are causing the Ganga River to overflow its banks, swamping hundreds of villages. The floods have caused at least 14 deaths since Tuesday night. Hindustan Times

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