According to the Bible, to punish the Egyptian Pharaoh for enslaving the Israelites and refusing to let them leave, God sent down ten plagues on Egypt. "For the Seventh plague, God sent several storms. Thunder and lightening and hail flashed down on the land of Egypt. It was the worst storm in the land of Egypt since it had become a nation." Reports of hail disasters have become more common. Insurance claims for hail damage have doubled every two years. The storms have devastating results for farms and destroy crops. Some attribute the increase in these events to global warming.
In the Bible, God is said to have sent swarms of flies upon the Egyptians. Nowadays swarms of mosquitoes still descend upon us. The females inject the malaria parasite, plasmodium, which reproduces rapidly in the blood. Recurring bouts of fever weaken the victims until they die. The danger of dying of malaria is particularly high in eastern Africa. At the Kenya Research Institute scientists are trying to establish what it is exactly that attracts mosquitoes.
The bible called them plagues, but we call them natural disasters. They are actually one of the same. And the biblical plagues are coming back. The first episode examines the first biblical plague of Egypt, the Nile waters turning into blood, and how the plague has returned in the form of toxic algal blooms. Each episode of this series analyses the individual biblical plague from a historical and theological perspective, and explains the connection to modern natural events.
In the last hundred years, heatwaves have caused more deaths in Australia than any other natural hazard. This program shows how you can minimise the harmful effects of heatwave by providing practical advice about what to wear, eat and drink and where to go if affected. The program also explains how to keep your environment as cool as possible and the steps you should take if someone is suffering from heat-related illness.
Cyclones are a fact of life throughout tropical Australia. They are multi-hazard, bringing extreme winds, floods, violent seas and storm surges. This program shows how to prepare your family and property, how to access information and warnings as the cyclone is nearing your area and what to do once the cyclone has arrived.
Floods are the most predictable of our natural hazards and can occur far from rivers and creeks. For some types of floods, you may have a relatively long warning period and therefore time to prepare. However, flash floods can occur anywhere and with very little warning. This program explains where you should go for information about the possibility of your property being flooded, what to do when floodwaters approach and once they have receded. It also shows how the design of buildings and fences and the location of access roads can reduce the impact of flooding.
Severe storms can occur with very little warning and with dangerous winds, damaging hail, flooding rains and lightning. They may be short-lived but can leave a path of destruction and can kill. This program shows what you can do to reduce the possibly devastating effects of this natural hazard on your family and property.
Bushfire is a natural part of our bushland environment but can have a devastating effect on people's lives. This program shows how to assess your property's vulnerability to bushfires and how to prepare before the bushfire season. It also explains measures you can take if a fire is approaching, how you should react if caught in a bushfire and what to do once the fire has passed.
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