The Independent (March 28, 2023) – The tiny Pacific island state of Vanuatu was hit by two category-four cyclones and two earthquakes over three days this month, in a devastating onslaught that destroyed homes, cut power, and impacted 80 per cent of the population.
Scientists say global heating is already making major tropical cyclones like those that hit Vanuatu more frequent. Under moderate and worst-case climate scenarios, the country is expected to lose around 20-25 per cent of its GDP from natural disasters each year, according to a recent UN report. Later this month Vanuatu’s proposal for a top international court to clarify the obligations of states to tackle climate change and the consequences of not doing so under international law will be put to a vote at the United Nations.
Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Harborside Port Vila, the nation’s capital and economic center, is on the island of Efate. The city is home to the Vanuatu National Museum, which explores the nation’s Melanesian culture.
March 7, 2023: Almost a month on from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, we unpack the consequences of the disaster and look at the particular impact on refugees. Plus: Imran Khan is banned from Pakistan’s airwaves, the latest business news and episode two of our spy series.
The B1M – TAKE a look at Mexico’s cities and you might spot some similarities.
You’ll see it’s a country that clearly knows a thing or two about urban sprawl, with hardly a skyscraper in sight. But look closely and you’ll find that skyscrapers do exist, just not really in any great numbers.
That’s because it’s one of the toughest places on Earth to build tall and engineers must grapple with the extremes of the elements, unforgiving ground conditions, congestion and the absence of some key resources.
Now though, after decades of building outwards instead of upwards, skyscrapers in Mexico are seriously on the rise and construction crews are managing to meet some immense challenges.
Iwate Prefecture may be known as a place devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, but it’s coming back better and stronger than ever.
Iwate is a large prefecture on the northeastern coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. The southern city of Hiraizumi contains a rich architectural legacy from its period as a political center in the 11th and 12th centuries, including Chūson-ji Temple and the adjacent Mōtsū-ji Temple. Northeast, the city of Tōno was the birthplace of many folk tales, now recounted in traditional surrounds at its Old Tales Village.
Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade talks with host Sarah Crespi about the role of inequality in past pandemics. Evidence from medical records and cemeteries suggests diseases like the 1918 flu, smallpox, and even the Black Death weren’t indiscriminately killing people—instead these infections caused more deaths in those with less money or status.
Also this week, Aaron Wech, a research geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, joins Sarah to talk about recordings of more than 1 million earthquakes from deep under Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, which hasn’t erupted in 4500 years. They discuss how these earthquakes, which have repeated every 7 to 12 minutes for at least 20 years, went undetected for so long.