Climate change linked to Indus civilization decline 4,100 years ago

A new study has suggested that climate change may have contributed to the decline of a city-dwelling civilization in Pakistan and India 4,100 years ago.


Scientists from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated that an abrupt weakening of the summer monsoon affected northwest India 4,100 years ago.

The resulting drought coincided with the beginning of the decline of the metropolis-building Indus Civilisation, which spanned present-day Pakistan and India, suggesting that climate change could be why many of the major cities of the civilisation were abandoned.

The research involved the collection of snail shells preserved in the sediments of an ancient lake bed. By analysing the oxygen isotopes in the shells, the scientists were able to tell how much rain fell in the lake where the snails lived thousands of years ago.

If you want to read the full article, please follow this link to the Cambodia News website

The study was published in the journal Geology. (ANI)


Flood News-Clippings

Floods reports from various media have been circulating on various local and international media, and on social websites, with numerous dramatic witness-videos of flash floods taking people away.

Below is a review of the local news on online and print media:

  • Various flood reports have been circulating on facebook, with numerous dramatic witness-videos of flash floods taking people away.
  • Local radio channels yesterday also reported national roads blocked by floods (Battambang, Siem Reap) and other major roads in the country. ABC (107.5fm) has established a relay to provide assistance to populations affected.
  • The Cambodia Daily on the 7th October reports that over 96 people have already been killed by the floods. Citizens of Battambang were quoted as saying that the entire town was knee deep in water. Major dam structures were also at risk of breaking (in Bantey Meanchey) and prompted the army to respond with over 600 troops using sand banks to avoid disaster and flooding of over 8 villages.

International news media also widely covered the floods:

  • Radio Australia reported on the 7th Oct (excerpt only): Cambodian floods prompt international aid action: Cambodian authorities say dozens people have died in recent flooding caused by heavy rains and an overflowing Mekong River. It's estimated more than 375,000 people have been affected, with over 9,000 homes evacuated. The international humanitarian agency Care is working with local authorities to assess the damage in Rattanakiri Province, which is one of the worst affected areas.
  • The Euronews website reports (excerpt only): The Mekong has burst its banks in several places, forcing tens of thousands of people to higher ground. “We are short of food and facing difficulties moving around. It is better for those who have boats but I do not have one so I have to walk through the water every time I need to go anywhere,” said one man. The capital Phnom Penh is not being spared. Around 25,000 hectares of rice paddies have been destroyed, and it is a similar story in neighbouring Vietnam, which has been hit by Typhoon Wutip, Laos, and Thailand.
  • The Washington Post reports on Oct. 7, 2013: Flooding in Cambodia claims more than 80 lives. Heavy rains sends the Mekong River out of its banks, putting hundreds of square miles of rice fields underwater while killing dozens of people and affecting tens of thousands more. The floods caused by continuous rainfall have killed 83 people, affected 800,000 others and damaged 463 square milesof rice paddies, according to Cambodia’s National Disaster Management Committee.



Flooding closes 513 schools

Thousands of students were unable to attend classes yesterday after returning from holiday, as more than 500 schools remained closed due to flooding that has claimed 50 lives so far this year.
According to a report released by the National Committee for Disaster Management, 513 schools in six provinces shuttered their doors citing an expected lack of attendance.
The worst-affected provinces were Kampong Cham and Prey Veng, where disruptions caused by the deluge were reported in dozens of districts. In Kampong Cham, 187 schools in 13 districts were closed, while 165 schools in 12 districts postponed the new term in Prey Veng.
Banteay Meanchey, Kandal, Kratie and Stung Treng were also affected.


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Cambodia Climate Change Alliance