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·        The season’s first storm dumped more than a foot of heavy snow across the Midwest overnight. Chicago received at least 10 to 15 inches.  Reuters, 1/2/99. 

·        From 1991-1998, California experienced a series of emergencies unsurpassed in frequency, severity, complexity and variety.  Earthquakes, fires, severe winter weather, floods and civil unrest.  Disaster costs exceeded $50 billion.  In 1997, the January floods required the largest evacuation in the state’s history.  PR Newswire, 1/3/99. 

·        Nine people were killed and five injured when a wall of snow collapsed on a small town in Northern Quebec.  NewsEdge, 1/3/99. 

·        At least four tornadoes hit the Florida panhandle, damaging 20 homes, tearing down power lines and causing traffic pileups that injured 7 people.  NewsEdge, 1/3/99. 

·        More than 1500 people have been evacuated from their homes in Malaysia to escape the flooding caused by a heavy monsoon.  NewsEdge, 1/3/99. 

·        Rain flooded northern Israel after months of drought, destroying property and forcing thousands to evacuate.  AP, 1/3/99. 

·        Environmentalists oppose legislation that would give credit to companies who voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  NewsEdge, 1/3/99. 

·        Daimler-Chrysler unveiled the first fuel-cell vehicle, which runs on methanol, not gasoline.  NewsEdge, 1/5/99. 

·        In a 24-hour period, 18.6 inches of snow fell in Chicago, the most to hit the area in over 100 years of record keeping.  Temperatures dropped as low as 15 degrees below zero.  Tribune, 1/6/99. 

·        Congerville, Illinois set the record for the lowest recorded temperature as it hit 36 degrees below zero.  Tribune, 1/6/99. 

·        300 of the Chicago Transit agency’s 1100 trains were knocked out by the weekend blizzard; either buried by snow or mechanically damaged.  Recovery efforts and clean up from the devastating blizzard hits the commuters the hardest.  Tribune, 1/6/99. 

·        Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in Indonesia killed seven people and swamped thousands of hectares of rice paddies.  Reuters, 1/6/99. 

·        NASA measurements show that 1998 was the warmest year in 138 years of record keeping.  Researchers noted that a warming trend since the mid-1970 exceeds that of any previous period since about a century ago.  AP, 1/11/99. 

·        Snowstorms swept across northern Spain with winds up to 62mph. The winds and driving rains left thousands of people without electricity and caused extensive damage throughout the area. AP, 1/11/99. 

·        Close to 1.5 million people in Kenya are facing starvation as a result of the drought that has plagued that area.  Xinhua, 1/12/99. 

·        A series of storms in Vietnam killed 397 people in 1998.  Reuters, 1/12/99. 

·        The world’s average temperature jumped last year to 0.34 degrees Fahrenheit to make 1998 the hottest year on record.  AP, 1/12/99. 

·        Natural disasters killed 5,511 people and affected over 350 million others in China in 1998, the majority hit by floods during the summer.  Reuters, 1/13/99. 

·        Record breaking cold in Maine keeps residents indoors with a temperature of minus 48.  Buffalo, NY has already received 53 inches of snow this month. MSNBC, 1/14/99. 

·        The worst disaster in 1998 was Hurricane Mitch which is said to have claimed the lives of 18,000 people in Central America as the torrential rains caused mudslides that swept away entire villages.  BBC, 1/19/99. 

·        The US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration reported that in 35 days over August and September of 1998, about 35 tropical storms formed – that’s a year’s worth of activity in just over a month.  BBC, 1/19/99. 

·        Global warming is happening and its impact will be diverse.  The Alaskan climate is changing the local landscape and there are fears that European ski resorts will lose their snow because the next century is expected to be hotter.  BBC, 1/19/99. 

·        A series of tornadoes raced through western Tennessee destroying homes, killing 8 people and injuring 11 others.  AP, 1/19/99. 

·        Thousands of people fighting hunger in Somalia have fled their homes in search of food.  The drought was caused by El Nino floods in 1998, which ruined the harvest.  Water shortages have led to outbreaks of infectious diseases.  As many as 300,000 Somalis have died in this famine.  Reuters, 1/19/99. 

·        While flooding caused problems in northern England, the capital enjoyed record-breaking temperatures of 15.7C.  BBC, 1/19/99. 

·        Tornadoes and funnel clouds sweep across Arkansas, killing four people and collapsing buildings.  AP, 1/22/99. 

·        More tornadoes hit the south for the second time in less than a week, killing 8 people in 2 states and leaving thousands of people without power.  AP, 1/25/99. 

·        The oil giant BP Amoco will soon start selling a low sulfur gasoline in 40 cities within 2 years as part of an effort to cut vehicle pollution.  AP, 1/26/99. 

·        Japan Storage Battery Co expects to start production of a commercial lithium-ion battery for hybrid cars in the second half of 2000.  Nikkei News, 1/28/99. 

·        Temperatures in Arctic parts of Sweden plunged to near record lows, forcing schools to close.  The mercury dropped to minus 49 degrees, coming close to the record of minus 53 degrees.  MSNBC, 1/30/99. 


·        The Insurance Bureau of Canada has estimated the property damage resulting from this year’s snowstorm to be at $50 million.  NewsEdge, 2/1/99 

·        For the past few days, snowstorms, killing at least 10 people, paralyzing traffic and cutting off power supplies to several towns and villages have ravaged Romania.  Xinhua, 2/2/99. 

·        1998 brought approximately 700 catastrophic natural disasters, which killed 50,000 people – making 1998 the most tragic year on record.  LA Times, 2/7/99. 

·        A landslide in Malaysia kills 17 people by burying them in their homes. Reuters, 2/8/99. 

·        Flooding in Mozambique drives 5000 people from their homes.  AP, 2/8/99. 

·        Tanzania has suffered a loss of 2 billion shillings (2.9 million in US dollars) due to the drought, which grips most of the country.  The lack of seasonal rains has affected 13 out of 20 mainland regions.  Xinhua, 2/8/99. 

·        Thousands of skiers and holiday tourists were trapped in western Austria ski resorts after the heaviest snowfall on record over the weekend.  Reuters, 2/9/99. 

·        January was a record setting month for tornadoes.  A record 163 tornadoes touched down in January, with over 141 affecting Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.  A total of 18 people were killed by twisters in January.  AP, 2/10/99. 

·        Heavy snowfall brought some parts of Europe to a standstill, causing major avalanches that killed four people in the French Alps.  AP, 2/10/99. 

·        Flooding on the eastern coast of Australia claimed 7 lives, while rescuers continued to search for more missing people.  The damage to industry, business and the infrastructure will run into the millions, with the cost to repair road and bridges alone estimated at $1.3 million.  AP, 2/12/99. 

·        Flash floods in southern Thailand leave three people dead and thousands homeless.  This is usually a dry season for Thailand.   Large parts of northern Thailand are suffering from severe drought and officials fear water may have to be rationed.  Reuters, 2/15/99. 

·        Heavy snowfalls in the Ukraine have already left 44 settlements of the Carpathian region without electricity and another 26 without communication. All tourists have been evacuated and rescuers have been digging out houses in villages that were buried under an avalanche.  NewsEdge, 2/16/99. 

·        The Swiss Tourism business has lost more than 30 million francs this year due to heavy snowfall.  AP, 2/19/99. 

·        Melting snow has added to the fresh rainfall that swelled waterways in southern and southwestern Germany, flooding streets and cellars and forcing the suspension of ship traffic on the Rhine.  Reuters, 2/22/99. 

·        Floods have killed at least 29 people and displaced 1000 residents of small villages in the Philippines.  The death toll later rose to 39, many of them children. Many are still missing.  Reuters, 2/24/99. 

·        About 15 people were killed in Peru's Amazon when they were buried alive in an avalanche of mud and boulders.  The avalanche was triggered by a storm soaked hillside that collapsed and tore through a village.  Reuters, 2/26/99. 


·        Metro Atlanta is losing its trees, making room for houses, shopping malls and roads.  With the loss of each tree, Atlanta braces for more heat, more flooding, more air pollution and higher electric bills.  Trees help remove or trap lung damaging dust, ash and pollen.  One acre of trees can produce as much oxygen as 18 people breath annually.  San Francisco Chronicle, 3/2/99. 

·        Farmers who prayed for rain last year say the rain this year is the worst ever for Hungary.  The oldest villagers remember bad floods from the 1940's, but those weren't as bad as these were. Reuters, 3/4/99. 

·        Tanker operators, cruise ship owners and offshore platform operations in the Mexican Gulf and Caribbean Sea face the possibility of significant disruptions as meteorologists predict a violent Atlantic hurricane season.  AP, 3/4/99. 

·        Residents of Sao Paulo Brazil began clean up of the city after 5 inches of torrential rains and flooding.  Much of the city's storm drains were clogged with mud and debris.  AP, 3/4/99. 

·        A section of the Yellow River in China has been dry for 24 days.  The dry up is a result of a reduced water flow and the increased used of water after a long drought in other areas. AP, 3/4/99. 

·        Meteorologists continue to predict a violent hurricane season with up to 29 storms expected.  Hurricane activity is expected to continue through December.  NewsEdge, 3/4/99. 

·        Powerful winds and large waves hit the Pacific Northwest coast on Wednesday cutting off power to thousands of residents and businesses.  One person was reported killed when a tree fell on the car he was driving.  More than 200,000 people are still without electricity.  AP, 3/4/99. 

·        Large areas of the Greenland ice sheet appear to be thinning by as much as one meter per year.  Researchers believe the extremely fast rate could be linked to global warming.  Such rapid thinning could result in either a dramatic drop in snowfall levels or an unusually high level of summertime melting.  Scientists have been keeping tabs on reports of glacier melting. AP, 3/6/99. 

·        Record sea temperatures have caused a tremendous amount of tropical coral to die.  The warm weather of 1998 left many coral reefs dead or damaged.  It is estimated that 70% of the corals died across a wide region of the Indian Ocean, from the coast of Kenya to Southern India.  Washington Post, 3/6/99. 

·        The air that people breathe in Seattle may contain chemicals from a factory in China.  In a study of airborne chemicals from Asia reaching the U.S., researchers measured carbon monoxide, radon, aerosols, hydrocarbons and other chemicals in air arriving at Cheeka peak Observatory in Washington State.  While studying dust crossing the Pacific Ocean, one researcher noted that there was a dust plume stretching across Asia to North America.  MSNBC, 3/6/99. 

·        Nearly 1.4 million Vietnamese in 15 Central Provinces of Vietnam are going hungry due to the floods and drought over the past few months. Five floods hit the area in the November-December period, killing more than 300 people and causing millions in damage. As many as 840,000 are destitute.  AP, 3/9/99. 

·        Soybean farmers in Bolivia are facing losses of $40 million as a result of the severe drought.  AP, 3/11/99. 

·        Drought is causing serious problems in Guangzhou, China and other regions of China's wheat basket.  The drought has lasted for over 7 months, withering crops and causing difficulties in spring planting and in getting drinking water.  NewsEdge, 3/11/99. 

·        An emergency was declared for two-thirds of the State of Texas amid concerns that the unusually dry winter may give way to a summertime drought.  In 1998, the dry weather caused many fires and destroyed more than 1/4 of the cotton crops.  AP, 3/12/99. 

·        1998 was the warmest year on record in 120 years.  Scientists have also dubbed the 1990's as the warmest decade of the millennium.  The American Geophysical Union has called for continued efforts to curb human-made carbon emissions to stop global warming.  Reuters, 3/18/99. 

·        Floods have left 6000 people homeless and 23 dead in central Mozambique. AP, 3/18/99. 

·        Drought in Syria is severely affecting grain crops and livestock and forcing the sale of livestock at low prices.  Reuters, 3/18/99. 

·        Damage caused by El Nino storms and Hurricane Mitch cost El Salvador's coffee growers $160 million over the last two seasons.  AP, 3/18/99. 

·        The State Insurance Commissioner estimated damage from fierce wind storms in Washington to be at $30 million and $20 million for damage in Oregon. PR Newswire, 3/19/99. 

·        Cyclone Vance is a maximum category five tropical storm and more powerful than previous cyclones to hit Australia.  Cyclone Vance is expected to cross Western Australia, cities are prepared to go on "red alert," as sea levels could rise up to 6 meters above normal, high tides could cause severe flooding.  Reuters, 3/22/99. 

·        It is estimated that 2.3 million Vietnamese are suffering from serious hunger.  The drought has hit 34 of Vietnam's 61 provinces and has continued for 18 months.  Rain is not expected anytime soon.  AP, 3/28/99. 

·        Some of the statistics for the worst catastrophes in 1998, in terms of fatalities are as follows:  Hurricane Mitch - 9,000 people died in Honduras & Nicaragua; Earthquake in Afghanistan killed 4,000; flooding in China killed 3,656; Monsoon rains in India, Nepal and Bangladesh killed 3,000; tropical cyclone in India killed 1,150; heatwave in India killed 1,000; Hurricane Georges killed 600 in U.S. & Dominican Republic 

·        China is suffering its worst drought in over 10 years.  The drought has affected 19 million people, leaving them a shortage of drinking water; 21.48 million acres of farmland dry and destroyed half of the winter wheat crops.  AP, 3/31/99.