Volcanic Eruption in Japan; Drought Conditions Persist in Sri Lanka
No Warning for Hikers as Mount Ontake Unexpectedly Erupts
Mount Ontake in central Japan unexpectedly erupted just before noon (local time) on September 27, sending out clouds of ash and rocks. Nearly 300 people were hiking on the mountain that day and reports indicate that at least 250 were stranded at the top when it erupted (SI,ECHO Daily Flash 9/28). As of October 2, the number of confirmed dead has reached 47 and another 69 people have been reported injured (EC). As the eruption and seismic activity continues, people are advised to stay away from the mountain, and the alert remains at level 3 (out of 5) (JMA).
Year-Long Drought Takes Toll on Sri Lanka’s Agriculture
The severe drought conditions that have been present in Sri Lanka for roughly a year have affected more than 1.5 million people and seriously damaged agricultural production (ReliefWeb,WFP). Rainfall reports (starting in November 2013) show that drought-affected areas have received less than 30 percent of the precipitation expected for this time of year, leading to a 42 percent decrease in crop yields. As drought conditions persist, so do concerns over food security and the supply of water to the hardest hit (and poorest) areas.
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: Honduras, United States (Southwest, Pacific), Sri Lanka
Biomedical: West Africa
Tropical Storm: Phanfone (Pacific)
Wildfire: United States (California, Oregon)
Flood: Thailand, Somalia (Northern), Ethiopia (Central), Argentina (Northeast), United States (Florida)
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