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Sep 03 2013

A Few Good Reads (9/3/13): Continued Flooding in Pakistan and India

This week: Over 200 dead in Pakistan from continued flooding, extreme rains and flooding continue in India, first fires then flooding in Colorado, the top 10 global cities at risk from coastal flooding, and Jeff Bezos’ prohibition of PowerPoint.

207 dead, 1,122 injured in [Pakistan] floods: NDMA (Pakistan Today)

As many as 1,333,066 people have been affected, including 762,913 in Punjab, 584 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 505,299 in Sindh and 64,270 have been affected by floods in Balochistan.

India Floods Update 2013 (FloodList)

Reports in the Indian media now state that as many as 5 million people have been affected by the floods in the Indian state of Bihar. 132 people are believed to have died in floods in Bihar this year.

Figures for each flood event seem to vary. Figures from the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) state:

  • In Gujarat 17,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in Bharuch district and 6 people died in floods there during August
  • In Odisha floods affected around 250,000 people, mostly in the northern parts of the state. 3 people were reported as killed in flood related events
  • Floods in Madhya Pradesh resulted in 134 deaths and nearly 40,000 people affected
  • 230 people have been killed in Uttar Pradesh floods and as many as 250,000 affected

First fire, then floods in besieged Western Forest (Coloradoan)

State officials expect to spend at least $10 million to repair flood-damaged roads and bridges in the two areas and to keep them open. Water utilities in Colorado Springs, Greeley and Fort Collins expect to spend more than $20 million — including federal grants — to repair and protect their systems in the burn areas.

Manitou Springs has spent more than $130,000 on cleanup, City Administrator Jack Benson said. The city is looking into buying up to four houses in the flood area and using the land for a retention pond or some other flood control project, if funding can be found, he said.

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Top 10 Global Cities at Risk from Coastal Flooding (Property Casualty 360)

The recent report shows that global flood losses may hit $52 billion by 2050 from socioeconomic changes alone, with a 15 percent to 20 percent damage increase due to rising sea levels and earth’s tectonic activity.

With no risk mitigation strategy, these costs may rise to more than $1 trillion annually by midcentury; however, improving standards of coastal protection and trying to decrease flooding may keep costs at about $60 billion.

Jeff Bezos’ PowerPoint prohibition (Philanthropy Daily)

So it’s noteworthy that Amazon founder—and new Washington Post owner­­—Jeff Bezos’ proscribes PowerPoint presentations at Amazon.

Bezos instead requires that employees compose 6-page narrative memos, and he starts meetings with quiet reading periods—“study halls”—in which everyone reads the memo from beginning to end.

So the company that is devoted to helping customers do things quick-quick-quick—“1-click ordering,” same-day delivery, the instant download—creates an environment where employees take the time to write and think slowly.

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