Tag Archives: flood

Aung San Suu Kyi backs Burma dam protesters

11 Aug

Aung San Suu Kyi has urged the Myanmar and Chinese governments to re-examine the project on the Irrawaddy River

Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has joined forces with environmentalists and minority groups with an appeal for a rethink of a large dam project.

Suu Kyi urged the Myanmar and Chinese governments to re-examine the project on the Irrawaddy River in the interest of national and international harmony.

The Nobel peace prize winner called the waterway “the most significant geographical feature of our country.”

Environmental groups, members of the Kachin ethnic minority and other people living along the river say the Myanmar-China Myitsone Hydroelectric Project in northern Kachin state will displace villagers and upset the ecology of the important food source.

The 3.6 billion dollar (£3.1 billion) dam being built by China in the Kachin heartland is expected to flood an area the size of Singapore.

The Burmese government has not said how much of the energy will be sold to China.

In her appeal, Suu Kyi said some 12,000 people from 63 villages have been relocated and it is not clear whether they will be fairly compensated.

The government said only 2,146 people from five villages had been relocated.

For decades, several ethnic groups have waged guerrilla wars for greater autonomy, including more control over resources in their regions. In March, fighting broke out between the 8,000-strong Kachin militia and the government.

That fighting was related to dams and other large projects being built by China.

Cross-posted from here

Army Corp. Deliberatly Floods Rural Louisiana to save New Orleans, Oil Refineries & Chemical Plants

14 May

A steel, 10-ton floodgate was slowly raised Saturday for the first time in nearly four decades, unleashing a torrent of water from the Mississippi River, away from heavily populated areas downstream.

The water spit out slowly at first, then began gushing like a waterfall as it headed to swamp as much as 3,000 square miles of Cajun countryside known for small farms and fish camps. Some places could wind up under as much as 25 feet of water.

“We’re using every flood control tool we have in the system,” Army Corps of Engineers Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh said Saturday from the dry side of the spillway, before the bay was opened. The podium Walsh was standing at was expected to be under several feet of water Sunday.

The Morganza spillway is part of a system of locks and levees built following the great flood of 1927 that killed hundreds. When it opened, it was the first time three flood-control systems have been unlocked at the same time along the Mississippi River.

As many as 25,000 people and 11,000 structures could be in harm’s way. Sheriffs and National Guardsmen warned people in a door-to-door sweep through the area throughout the end of the week, and area shelters said they were ready to accept up to 4,800 evacuees, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

Some people living in the threatened stretch of countryside – an area known for small farms, fish camps and a drawling French dialect – have already started fleeing for higher ground.

“Now’s the time to evacuate,” Jindal said. “Now’s the time for our people to execute their plans. That water’s coming.”

By opening the floodgates on this spillway, the hope is to lessen pressure on the floodwalls down to the Gulf of Mexico and prevent a catastrophe. Officials say the move will ease pressure on levees protecting New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and oil refineries and chemical plants downstream.

News Roundup 5/8

8 May

The Big Oil Spill moves inexorably toward shore. Our friends in Tuscon, the Center for Biological Diversity have recently launched an excellent portal for information about it.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network has an excellent blog about their efforts to mitigate the impacts of the spill on endangered species of the Gulf Coast. They informed us that Google Earth is tracking the spill.

The NY Times also has some great info, featuring interactive graphics and an article on the containment dome, which is an “experimental solution” that is completely bogus.

A good article here about how the feds are collaborating with BP to keep us all in the dark about the extent of the spill and who will pay the costs of cleanup (hint: rhymes with ‘snacksprayers’).

Discover Mag is already thinking about the next big spill.

Here’s a good collection of images from the Nashville Flood.

Comrades at RAN occupied the executive offices at Cargill. Why? Because they’re the nation’s largest importer of palm oil. Photos here.

In vivisection news, mice (and thus, probably other mammals too) can synthesize their own morphine.

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