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November 2012

Snakes and folk tales meet science in disaster warning

28 November 2012

Indigenous knowledge and science often seem poles apart, but meshing them can curb disaster risk, reports Smriti Mallapaty.

Kathmandu - In a poem about an earthquake that killed thousands of people in Nepal and India in 1934, Nepali folk poet Lok Nath Pokharel described the conspicuous and widespread death of snakes, despite the earthquake occurring in the winter when snakes usually hibernate.

Four decades on, in 1975, people living in and around the city of Haicheng, in northeast China, noticed an unseasonal increase in the number of snakes. Three months later, an earthquake struck.

On 26

Before Doha Conference on Climate Change: Natural disasters made history in 2011

28 November 2012

JOHANNESBURG, 27 November 2012 (IRIN) - Many of the worst natural disasters of 2011 were also the most severe the affected countries had ever experienced, revealed the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2013, which was released in Doha on 27 November.

Brazil, Cambodia, El Salvador,Laos and Thailand appear in the CRI’s 10 most-affected countries; all recorded their severest natural hazards-related catastrophes in 2011.

Floods and landslides claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people and caused almost US$5 billion in direct losses in Brazil, said the index, which is produced by the NGO Germanwatch.