Monday, January 17, 2011

Worldwide floods

There are massive floods occurring worldwide, and they make for some dramatic animal photos. As moving as they are, they shouldn't overshadow the human casualties:

Sri Lanka
The sight of a young elephant in a tree will be a defining image of the country's recent heavy flooding. "I have been working as a journalist for the last 10 years but this is likely to be one of the strangest photos I will ever take in my career," said journalist Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa. While 50 elephants, 48,679 cows, 22,279 goats, and 172,884 chickens have died in the floods, they have also killed 27, displaced 325,000, and affected millions of people.

The strangest story to come out of the flooding in Queensland is a frog riding out of the storm waters on the back of a snake. The sight (2nd image) was captured by computer technician Armin Gerlach, who said, "I felt amazement, I just couldn't believe it." The effect of the flood on abandoned pets and isolated livestock won't be known for weeks. Meanwhile, 25 Queensland residents have been killed and 3,000 have had to seek refuge at evacuation centers.

A dog makes its way through the devastating floodwaters in Brazil (3rd image). "We're just digging around, there is no way of knowing where to look. There are 3 more bodies under the rubble over there. One seems to be a girl, no more than 16, dead, buried under that mud," said Nilson Martins as he held a pet rabbit, the only thing pulled out alive since dawn that morning. The human death toll there has reached 420 and continues to climb.

The floods in Oregon have not taken any lives. "This was not one of the most significant floods that we've had, but slightly above what we'd classify as a nuisance flood," said Gordon McCraw, Tillamook County Emergency Management director. However, the Oregon Community Health Division has posted instructions for disposing of dead livestock if necessary.

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