Subject: Viridian Note 00138: Viridian Disaster

Key concepts: torrential rains, Mozambique

Attention Conservation Notice: Three solid weeks of African weather disaster, and the situation is still intensifying.

The March-April 2000 issue of "Artbyte: The Magazine of Digital Culture" has a verbose, profusely illustrated Bruce Sterling article on "Blobjects and Biodesign," which features four lovely, full-color, fake ads for Viridian Imaginary Products. Subscribe today!
Fortune magazine, Special 70th Anniversary Issue March 6, 2000: "The Amazing Future of Business" Bruce Sterling's somewhat jaundiced version of Fortune's "amazing future of business" involves a report from the year 2035 in which "we're having an El Nino from hell. South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and large chunks of Texas are all dry, cracked, dusty and commonly on fire."

(((Meanwhile, in an area of the world where FORTUNE and ARTBYTE don't have many subscribers, those who managed to survive a civil war are facing floods, cholera, dysentery, and starvation.)))


"Bleak night ahead for flood-stranded Mozambicans

"February 28, 2000: Web posted at: 4:31 p.m. EST

(2131 GMT)

"MAPUTO, Mozambique (CNN) == Thousands of people were stranded atop cars, roofs and trees in Mozambique on Monday as rain-fed rivers rose ever higher, engulfing whole villages while rescuers worked frantically to save everyone they could.

"More than 2,000 people were rescued by Monday by five South African defense force helicopters == but a World Food Program (WFP) coordinator said than more than 100,000 were still stranded in the region, many without food or water for up to four days. (...)

"The already-strained helicopters flew back and forth
ferrying stranded villagers to safety, often dangerously overloaded. One pilot said he just closes his eyes, hits the power and hopes they lift off. (...)

"For those who have been rescued, the situation is
only marginally less dire. Little food, water and shelter is available. (...)

"More than half a million have lost their homes in
Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana during three weeks of torrential rains."

(((Painfully correct English from the Mozambican emergency services)))

"It should be noted that in Maputo/Mavalane,
rainfall reached 328mm less than 24 hours on 6th February. According to international measurements, rainfall in the region of 100mm in 24 hours is a disaster indicator, given its devastating impact on people and socio-economic infrastructure." (...)

"19. The rainfall registered over the past days
altered all technical references. The rivers in Maputo province rose so drastically that it was difficult to read the measuring scales."

"41. We are facing a public disaster caused by
rainfall unprecedented in the last 50 years (see Annex 3). We hope that we can rely once again on the solidarity and generous support of all."


"Floods swamp rescue effort as thousands cling to
life in Mozambique: February 28, 2000
"Mozambique's catastrophic flooding still claiming
victims: February 26, 2000
"Cyclone drives heavy rains toward flood-ravaged
Mozambique, Botswana: February 21, 2000
"Torrential rains may slam Mozambique late Sunday:
February 20, 2000
"Cyclone threatens second blow to battered
Mozambique: February 19, 2000
"Rains wreak havoc in South Africa, Mozambique:
February 8, 2000"

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O