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IRI Climate Information Digest - Impacts October 1999


  • India: More than 10.8 M people have been affected by a "super" cyclone in the state of Orissa, with 250 km-per-hour winds and a storm surge up to 30 meters high. It was the second cyclone to hit the east coast of India in a two week period (OCHA).
  • Africa: Heavy rains since September have caused severe floods in Ghana, affecting 290,000 people and 117,000 acres of farmland. In Togo heavy rains and flooding have affected 65,000 people. (OCHA)
  • Mexico: Torrential rains have resulted in severe flooding.  In Veracruz, Puebla, Tabasco, Oaxaca and Hidalgo  some 530,000 people have been affected.(OCHA)
  • South America: The office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Paraguay reports that Paraguay has been affected by progressively more severe drought since June, with forecasts calling for warm and dry conditions through the next season. 100,000 people have been affected by the drought emergency.(OCHA)


  • India: In cyclone affected areas, with many communities having no access to safe drinking water, the risk of gastroenteritis, malaria, acute respiratory infections and other diseases is high.(OCHA)
  • Africa: Cholera outbreaks have been reported in the flooded regions of Ghana, and the nutritional status of the affected population is becoming a concern.(OCHA)
  • Mexico: Antibiotics, analgesics, surgical supplies and other medical goods have been shipped for victims of flooding by Direct Relief International.(OCHA)


  • South America: Hot, dry conditions hampered soybean planting in southern Brasil early in the month. In Argentina, dry conditions reduced topsoil moisture for reproductive wheat.
  • South Asia: Widespread heavy rains benefited summer crops but came too late to help drought-stressed portions of western India. Reductions in the rice harvest are anticipated as a result of the two recent cyclones. OCHA reports 700,000 hectares of damaged crop area in Orissa.
  • Southeast Asia: Torrential rains slowed rice harvesting and possibly damaged crops in the Philippines and north-central Vietnam.
  • Mexico: Heavy rains in the south delayed corn harvesting. Conitnued rain exacerbated flooding, with 1.25 M hectares of crops and farmland affected.
  • Australia: Much needed rain benefited winter grains which are in reproductive to filling stages in South Australia and Victoria.


After approximately 3 months of a fishing ban on small pelagics, fishing resumed in Peru on October 4.  Official statistics have not been released, but estimates of catch exceeding 500,000 metric tons are circulating. This catch would bring the the 1999 cummulative landings to over 5 million metric tons (in comparison with just over 2 million metric tons in 1998). Despite the relatively high landings, many firms are complaining of financial hardships due to accumulated debt (associated with the low catches of 1998, during a strong El Niño).
Material for this portion of the IRI Climate Information Digest has been extracted from the IRI Climate Data Library, the NOAA NCEP Climate Prediction Center, the USDA/NOAA Joint Agricultural Weather Facility and the Fishmeal Exporters Organization. Additional information was obtained from the CHGE,  the UN/OCHA  and the NOAA/OGP Climate Information Program.