hurricane frances and storms in sichuan

It’s really cool to have a hurricane with your name on it, even if it has been ‘down-graded’ to a tropical storm. But while Florida is whining about being ‘almost shut-down’ by a bit of a shower and stiff breeze, and we get to see beautiful saturated colour satellite photos of Hurricane Frances swinging over Miami, the big floods and storms in Sichuan show that if you don’t have a catchy name, you don’t get the column inches. A quick search on Google shows 90 deaths and 77 missing from a no-name storm gives 192 news items, but two deaths and many squashed oranges from a hurricane with a name as good as mine gives… oh… i lost count after 4185.

Reuters has this to say about Hurricane Frances:

The hurricane virtually shut down the fourth-largest U.S. state, home to 16 million people, for two days and promised damage not only to buildings but to the state’s economy on the usually busy Labor Day weekend, normally an end-of-summer bonanza for Florida’s $53 billion tourism industry.

The state’s largest population center and big Latin American business hub, Miami, escaped the worst of the storm but the impact on Orlando, the main tourist playground, was uncertain as massive Frances lumbered across central Florida.

The $9.1 billion citrus industry, badly damaged by Hurricane Charley three weeks ago, was likely to take another hard blow as the storm moved across the state’s best growing regions.

And this to say about the storm and floods in Sichuan:

Floods and landslides have killed 76 people in southwest China in the past four days and washed away homes and roads, knocked down power lines and cut off at least one city, state media said on Monday.

“We’ve never seen such heavy flooding,” a government official said.

Heavy rain sparked flash floods and mud and rock flows in the southwest province of Sichuan, destroying crops and severing transport links, Xinhua news agency said, citing provincial disaster relief officials.

At least 55 people were killed in Sichuan, with 52 missing, and at least 21 people were killed in the city of Chongqing, to the east of Sichuan and 900 miles south of Beijing.

No immediate respite was in sight with rain expected through Tuesday, provincial officials said.

The most destructive storms this year had battered Dazhou, Nanchong and Bazhong cities since Thursday, Xinhua said.