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Human, not natural, disasters

Smith Dharmasaroja is on the ball, again. He was right in telling Thais to get ready for a tsunami, and he’s right in telling them they have caused the conditions for the floods. Floods are the biggest problem for most Asian countries. Attention must be paid.

As some of Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century bears down on Bangkok — submerging cities, industrial parks and ancient temples as it comes — experts in water management are blaming human activity for turning an unusually heavy monsoon season into a disaster.

The main factors, they say, are deforestation, overbuilding in catchment areas, the damming and diversion of natural waterways, urban sprawl, and the filling-in of canals, combined with bad planning. Warnings to the authorities, they say, have been in vain.

“I have tried to inform them many times, but they tell me I am a crazy man,” said Smith Dharmasaroja, former director general of the Thai Meteorological Department, who is famous here for predicting a major tsunami years before the one that devastated coastal towns in 2004.

Full report.

1 Comment to Human, not natural, disasters

  1. October 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Rapid urbanization has greatly affect South East Asian countries. Even though these countries expects 15-20 typhoons a year, governments fail prioritize disaster preparedness programs.

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