U.N. report details El Niño losses


  • Randy Showstack


A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations indicates that while the 1997–1998 El Niño phenomenon is coming to a close, the climate anomaly still is having a considerable impact on many of the more than 60 countries that suffered heavy floods or severe droughts that have been linked to it.

According to the report, “Update on FAO's Activities in Relation to the 1997/98 El Niño,” the weather anomaly was at least partly responsible for floods in 41 countries, droughts or dry spells in 22 countries, and widespread forest fires in 2 countries. The report says that Indonesia's worst drought in 50 years, believed to have been triggered by El Niño, dried out vegetation and made conditions almost impossible to control raging fires.