Update: Cyclone to Cause World Rice Shortage – Until Cyclone Nargis struck, Burma was the world’s 7thlargest rice producer. Now analysts are concerned thatproduction may plummet, causing rice shortageseven in first world countries. On May 8, Burma’s dictatorordered that all aid to the country be embargoed, eventhough the UN continues to try to deliver it. This meansthat the chances of recovery are now minimal. It may be thatCyclone Nargis and dictator General Than Shwe have joinedhands to destroy thecountry and cause an unprecedented international shortage ofa key commodity. The question is this: did the Burma juntabuy rice futures when they saw the storm coming? Is this whythey didn’t warn their people and why they are refusing toallow aid in?
First we use illegal immigrants to clean up the mess left by Hurricane Katrina. Then we house the survivors in trailers that have been called “toxic tin cans.” Many Katrina survivors have lived in these trailers for close to one year.With more destructive weather on the way, we need to be concerned about what’s going on.
Hurricane Wilma grew with unprecedented speed on Tuesday,moving from Category 2 to Category 4 in an hour, then toCategory 5 in another 2 hours. This massive storm now hassustained winds of 175 miles an hour, andappears to contain the lowest barometric pressure everrecorded. Normally, ahurricane will require 10 to 24 hours to increase by onecategory. The storm appears poised to enter the Gulf ofMexico, and the National Hurricane Center iswarning residents on Florida’s west coast to watchWilma carefully.
At present, the storm is moving toward the Yucatanpeninsula, but its intensity suggests that it will remainintact and will enter the Gulf.
Hurricane Wilma has become the most powerful AtlanticHurricane ever recorded, and it appears poised to strikeFlorida. The storm is likely to come ashore with 165 MPHwinds on Florida’ south coast, and roll up the state’seastern shore, declining from a Category 5 hurricane to atropical storm as it does so. The storm will initiallystrike with winds somewhere in excess of 140 MPH, andpossibly much higher. Destructive winds are liable tocontinue for at least 24 hours as this extraordinary forceof nature comes ashore. It will then deposit upwards of tento fifteen inches of rain throughout its period over land.