Asia’s coconut palms, which mark the landscape from the Philippines to India, face a crisis as aging groves become less productive, with harvests that are a source of food and income for millions being outstripped by demand.
A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands, generating a tsunami that destroyed at least 100 homes and killed several people in the South Pacific island chain, according to the aid organization World Vision.
The Solomon Islands, located about 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) northeast of Australia, are bracing for floods as Tropical Cyclone Freda brought strong winds in the second major storm to hit the South Pacific region this month.
The World Bank lowered its forecasts for East Asia’s developing nations this year and next, and said the region must boost efforts to ensure financial stability ahead of interest-rate increases in advanced economies.
Is the world falling apart? Surely it isn’t, though this year’s frequent earthquakes and the occasional volcano have left an exceptional path of ruin and misery, raising concerns that something very unusual is occurring.