Disasters: Two Deadly Storms

Two Deadly Storms

The green valley some 340 miles south of Bangkok was reduced to a muddy landscape littered with trees. Tearing through southern Thailand, the big storm had triggered flash floods, killing more than 400 people and injuring thousands before it blew itself out. The calamity set the region's economy back 20 years. The chief culprit, however, was not weather: Thai authorities blamed the disaster in part on excessive logging, which had stripped wooded hillsides nearly bare.

Meanwhile, a second storm roared up the Bay of Bengal into Bangladesh with 100-m.p.h. winds killing an estimated 800 and leaving thousands homeless. The death toll...

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