Severe flooding, particularly in the eastern districts of Sri Lanka, has displaced 350,000 people who are sheltering in makeshift relief camps without adequate supplies of clean water, food and medicine: here.
This video is called Sri Lanka Flood January 2011.
By Susan Allan in Australia:
Queensland flood chief Major-General Mick Slater issues ominous warning
14 January 2011
Following authorisation by the federal Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, current Australian army Major-General Mick Slater was last week appointed head of the Queensland Flood Recovery Taskforce, after an emergency cabinet meeting of the state Labor government.
The taskforce, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said, would focus on rebuilding homes, regional centres and infrastructure. Within days, however, Major-General Slater, who has served in East Timor, Kuwait and Indonesia, issued an ominous public warning to the media.
Slater’s comments came following a fly-in visit to the flood-ravaged city of Rockhampton, 630 kilometres north of Brisbane. After praising the efforts of local residents and emergency workers, he turned his attention to the media and its response to the unfolding flood disaster.
“All the ingredients for success are there. The people who have been affected, the civic leaders in each of those communities, want success. The state and federal governments are working towards success,” he declared. “There is no reason why we won’t have it, unless we start getting bored with the story and the media start to become divisive within the community and then, if there are areas of failure, I think I could find the reason and track it back to areas of the media.”
Slater’s comments, which were not challenged by any of the assembled journalists, contained a clear, and chilling threat. Translated into plain English, the senior military chief was ordering media representatives to shut their eyes to, and censor any reportage of, the catastrophic lack of government foresight and preparation, the grossly under-funded and inadequate civilian emergency services, and the refusal of state and federal authorities to seriously assist the hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders whose homes have been inundated or destroyed.
Fresh rains began falling again today in mountain towns in Brazil where mudslides and flooding have already killed at least 479 people, hindering rescuers’ efforts to reach survivors: here.