World Several regions of South America devastated by fires

14:15  22 october  2020
14:15  22 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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The fires have devastated several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing more than 30 people. Tens of thousands of people have been left homeless or have been evacuated, and search teams are continuing to scour the ruins of burned-out homes for the missing.

The fires cloak the heart of South America in gray-white smoke. Spreading north and south along the east side of the Andes Mountains, the smoke August is the height of the dry fire season in the region . In 2010, however, unusually dry weather and winds allowed many land management fires to

amérique, incendie © Provided by Le Point america, fire

The situation is particularly critical. For several months, entire regions on the borders of Argentina , Paraguay , Bolivia and southern Brazil have been facing devastating fires. These fires, favored by a historic drought, devastated forests and wetlands of exceptional biodiversity. “The fires this year are much more numerous. In Argentina, for example, they have increased by around 170%, which is very serious, ”explains Elisabeth Möhle, researcher in environmental policies at the National University of San Martin (UNSM). For her, these fires come "within the framework of a year in which the mega-fireplaces have multiplied in the Amazon, Australia , California? and now the Gran Chaco ”, the second wooded area in South America, after the Amazon, on the border of the four countries.

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Months of devastating fires in Australia left at least 28 people dead, about 3,000 homes destroyed and up to a billion animals affected. On February 13 the fire service said all of the fires in New South Wales had been declared contained for the first time this season.

From December 2016 and continuing until May 2017, much of western and central South America was plagued by persistent heavy rain events. In Peru, one of the most severely impacted nations, it has been referred to as the 2017 Coastal Niño (Spanish: El Niño costero de 2017).

In the first place, the long months of unprecedented drought: unprecedented for 47 years in the Pantanal, the largest wetland in the world, between Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. The Parana River, one of the most powerful on the planet, which originates in Brazil and flows into the Rio de la Plata estuary, had never been so low since 1970. In Rosario, in the east of the Argentina, the level in August was 80 cm, against 3 to 4 meters normally at this time of year. Ditto for the Paraguay River, with a drop "not seen for half a century" in Asuncion, according to the National Directorate of Meteorology.

"Are reptiles dead, migrating birds, small mammals, turtles?" "

An ideal scenario for fires, fueled by strong winds and temperatures exceeding 40 degrees, to spread with extreme ease, especially since the dry season is the period of burning, this practice still very common in the region. region, intended to regenerate the soil. In Paraguay, "the outbreaks (voluntary or involuntary), at the end of September and the beginning of October, broke all records", told Agence France-Presse Eduardo Mingo, of the national meteorological directorate. According to authorities, the number of fires increased by 46% in 2020. Due to the intensity of the fires, Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, as well as several cities in northeastern Argentina and the south from Brazil, have lived for several days, even weeks, in a row under heavy smoke.

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The South American continent is located farther east than North America and is smaller in physical A number of noted island groups are usually affiliated with the physical region of South America . He led several sailing excursions along the west coast of South America . In 1531 CE, he founded the

Start studying South America section B. Learn vocabulary, terms and more with flashcards, games and other study tools. European conquest of South America took a heavy toll on the native population causing today small This earthquake caused a devastating Tsunami felt thousands of miles away.

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Without the usual precipitation that floods the land, wetlands have suffered particularly. In the Brazilian Pantanal, a unique biodiversity sanctuary, images of charred trees, caimans, charred birds and snakes have toured the world. A quarter of the area was devastated by flames between January and September, while the Paraguayan part had already been severely affected in 2019. In the Parana delta, another large wetland and reservoir of biodiversity, fires struck in January , with unprecedented intensity, transforming tens of thousands of hectares over the months into “ash deserts”. "Reptiles died, migrating birds, small mammals, turtles? "Told Agence France-Presse Cesar Massi, naturalist in the province of Santa Fe." I remember that during the previous drought in 2008, there were fires. But this year it was stronger, more intense, and more extensive over time, ”he notes.

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India is more prone to natural disasters than anywhere else in the world. This is mostly due to the warm, humid climate of India that is conducive to cyclones and floods. In the country's mountainous regions , there are dangers of other natural disasters such as avalanches.

Once again, the devastating impacts of drought, flood and earthquake events of the past become clear. Natural disasters not only have devastating impacts in terms of the loss of human life, but can also cause severe destruction with economic costs.

A lack of resources allocated by governments

In addition to drought and uncontrolled burning, in all these regions the responsibility of arson is a leitmotif to deforest and extend agriculture, while agribusiness is a source for these countries incomparable currency entry. In northern Argentina, "despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, between March 15 and September 30, [?] Twice the surface of Buenos Aires were deforested," denounces the organization Greenpeace . Paraguayan side, the international NGO Mighty Earth recalls that the dry forests of Chaco in Paraguay are "one of the main centers of deforestation in the world, mainly for the extension of animal husbandry, and more recently for soybeans". Faced with the disaster in the Parana delta, the Argentinian government itself has pointed the finger at the responsibility of cattle breeders, accused of lighting fires to "extend the breeding areas".

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At the same time, NGOs denounce the lack of financial resources allocated by governments to enforce regulations and set up real large-scale prevention programs. "The provincial government has less and less budget for prevention, there are no monitoring stations, the environmental police have been dismantled", laments to Agence France-Presse Alfredo Leytes, member of Ambiente in Lucha, an environmental collective from Cordoba. In Brazil, “there was a 58% drop in? Brigadistas? Contracts. “, These volunteers trained to be mobilized against fires, notes Alice Thuault, of the NGO Centro de Vida Institute, which points to the responsibility of the anti-environmental positions of the government of Jair Bolsonaro. While the episodes of drought should multiply due to global warming, Elisabeth Möhle pleads above all for "a dialogue between the various actors", farmers, breeders, authorities, environmentalists, in order to "regulate the use of territories and ensure development. more sustainable which currently does not exist ”.

The West’s Best Offense Against Wildfires Is Failing .
Prescribed burns, which create buffers against larger fires, can do only so much.The calls for better management of the lands where fire and human settlement meet are intensifying. Some western landscapes haven’t seen fire at regular, natural intervals since the 19th century, leaving them congested with overgrown brush and bug-ridden trees. Politicians are always happy to talk about “better forest management”—most recently, Mike Pence briefly mentioned it during the vice-presidential debate, as a solution to severe wildfires. Meanwhile, fire managers and ecologists continue to beg for resources to complete more forest-management projects.

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