Tag Archives: braces

X-Press Pearl: Sri Lanka braces for environmental disaster from sunken ship


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North Carolina braces for ice storm as widespread power outages are expected


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North Carolina braces for ice storm as widespread power outages are expected


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Texas county braces for deaths from winter weather and asks for truck to hold bodies


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Texas county braces for deaths from winter weather and asks for truck to hold bodies


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Texas county braces for deaths from winter weather and asks for truck to hold bodies


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Texas county braces for deaths from winter weather and asks for truck to hold bodies


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Australia braces for second heatwave as wildfires continue to rage

Australia braces for second heatwave as wildfires continue to rageA second heatwave is set to sweep through Australia in coming days, threatening to worsen an already dire wild fire crisis. This fire season more than four million hectares have been burnt in Australia, almost one third the size of England, destroyed nearly 1,000 houses, and has killed at least nine people, with one more missing. Over the past week South Australia endured four days of extreme heatwave conditions, pushing into the high 40s. 84 homes were destroyed since last Thursday and at least 2,700 animals killed as fires wiped out parts of the Adelaide Hills region. In New South Wales, approximately 100 homes were lost to bush fires over the weekend, but weather eased on Monday through to Wednesday, allowing firefighters time to establish desperately needed containment lines. More than 70 fires are still burning in New South Wales alone, with 30 uncontained. The last heatwave saw the record for the hottest average maximum temperature in Australia broken twice in two days, with 40.9 and 41.9 recorded back to back. In addition, record high individual site temperature set twice last Thursday, Eucla in Western Australia with 49.8C, and the South Australian Nullarbor weather station with 49.9C a few hours later. Professor David Karoly, a leading climate scientist at the CSIRO, the Australian government's scientific research agency, said the record spikes were way beyond what had been seen previously, and the cause is climate change. The fires have destroyed an area almost a third the size of England Credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation “We're smashing the extremes by effectively a degree relative to the other cases because that's by how much the Australian temperatures have warmed,” he said. South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales are all expecting severe heat in coming days. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Richard Russell told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the fire danger in Victoria would be very high across the entire state this weekend and was likely to be upgraded to severe on Monday when the heatwave peaked. “On Monday, temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees across the majority of the state, and 44C in the north-west including Mildura and Swan Hill… Very little rainfall is expected and unfortunately, yet again, we are facing that dry lightning risk and are looking at potential gusty winds,” he said. Victorian officials are concerned that three large fires will worsen in the deteriorating conditions. In New South Wales, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rose Barr told SBS that a severe heatwave will start building over the next three days. “Between Thursday and Saturday we are starting to see severe heatwave conditions in the southern parts of the state, extending over a more significant area of New South Wales into the weekend and next week… Some areas are forecast to reach extreme heatwave conditions,” she said. “With the increasing heat and winds, the fire danger will worsen into the new week, with Monday and Tuesday most likely to be the most significant fire weather days.”



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Record rain, darkness: Seattle braces for floods, mudslides

Record rain, darkness: Seattle braces for floods, mudslidesRecord rainfall and darkness has hit Seattle as a major storm begins to lift across western Washington on the first day of winter, though the region is still at risk for flooding, mudslides and avalanches. Friday became the wettest day in Seattle in the past 10 years, and the most rain recorded for Dec. 20 since record-keeping at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport began in 1945. The National Weather Service said the airport recorded 3.25 inches (8.25 centimeters) of rain Friday, making it also the fifth rainiest day in city history.



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Food bank braces for surge in demand after Trump strips 700,000 of benefits

Food bank braces for surge in demand after Trump strips 700,000 of benefitsNew work requirements are set to throw 700,000 people off food stamps, with African Americans to be particularly hard hitAs Kyle Waide visited the Atlanta Community Food Bank recently, where he is CEO, he ran into a woman who had recently lost her administrative job at a university. She was looking for work, she told him, but it was hard to find. She was struggling to get by.Though she had food stamp benefits, she still needed to visit Waide’s food bank until she landed a new job, she added, because she had a home and a child to pay for. With her job gone, she said, she needed all the extra help she could get to feed her family.Thousands in Atlanta like her are already struggling to make ends meet, even before the Trump administration scales back benefits to low-income Americans to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Snap) as food stamps are known. Approximately 700,000 Americans will soon lose their benefits as the government tightens the regulations around stable work requirements for recipients, stretching the already scarce resources of the communities that Waide’s operation helps.Those communities are often African American, raising the prospect that Trump’s move will put extra stress on minority families. Approximately one in three households using Snap benefits are African American. In general, African American households are more likely to experience food insecurity, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In 2016, Snap helped more than 13 million African American households put food on the table, according to data from the US agriculture department’s fiscal year 2016 Snap Households Characteristic data.Waide stresses the importance of Snap even as his food bank provides more than 63m meals to more than 750,000 Georgians annually. Snap, he says, provides 12 times the amount of assistance that food banks do nationwide.“[Snap] is a very important source of nutrition for families, kids and seniors in our community,” he says. Annually, the food bank helps 10,000 residents of the state enroll for or renew Snap benefits.Alex Camardelle, senior policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, says many of the 100,000 Georgians who are thought to be affected by the coming change will be African American.“We’re concerned that high levels of unemployment in certain areas of the state, despite an overall improvement in the unemployment numbers, is going to disproportionately impact black Georgians,” he says.Black Georgians, he adds, have an unemployment rate in the state that could be triple that of white residents, often because of additional barriers they face, like where they live, access to transportation and the difficulty of finding a job in a mandated period of time.Waide echoes the sentiment. “Poverty and hunger disproportionately affect people of color. These are going to be low-income folks in rural communities who are economically vulnerable by definition,” he said. “When they can’t eat, they can’t get over other hurdles.”Rural households experience more struggle with food security, according to the Food Research and Action Center, compared with households in metro areas. Food insecurity is also twice as high among African American households compared with white households, in rural communities or not.The average Georgian on Snap benefits remains approximately eight months before cycling out of the program as they get back to some sort of stability, Waide explains, just as the program intends. The myth of anyone perpetually staying on government benefits just is not true, he says.When the change to the work requirement takes place in April next year, Waide is confident the food bank will see a high demand to try to make up for the shortfall.Last year, he points out, his food bank stepped in when a government shutdown left thousands of federal workers in Atlanta without pay.“We mobilized our network and donors to distribute hundreds of thousands of meals. And we’ll do the same here, this time,” he said.



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