Asia’s Flood Costs

FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — As Thailand battles to save Bangkok from perhaps the worst natural calamity to ever strike the city, neighbors Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam and Laos are tallying up flood bills that are expected to reach billions of dollars.

The cost in human life, more than 1,000 including flooding in the Philippines, was enormous, but perhaps the biggest tragedy has been the number of children who drowned – more than 200, simply because they were never taught how to swim.

Such tragedies take on another dimension when considerations like the predictability of floods are taken into account. Indeed, the subject dominated a recent three-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei on meteorology, along with the need to implement early warning systems. Read more in The Diplomat.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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