El Reno (US): An apparent tornado killed at least two people as it destroyed a motel, roared through a nearby mobile home park and caused other significant damage in the Oklahoma City area, officials said Sunday. El Reno Mayor Matt White said during a news conference that officials were working to notify relatives of the two people who were killed. He didn’t say how or where they died and he said search and rescue efforts were ongoing. The suspected twister hit El Reno, which is just west of Oklahoma City, on Saturday night as a powerful storm system rolled through the state, Rick Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, told The Associated Press. The American Budget Value Inn was levelled. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Images from the scene showed emergency crews sifting through rubble after part of the motel’s second story collapsed into a pile of debris strewn about the first floor and parking lot. Elsewhere, overturned cars and twisted metal could be seen briefly as intermittent lightning flashed across the sky and the wailing sirens of approaching emergency vehicles were heard in the distance. Trailers at the Skyview Estates mobile home park adjacent to the motel also were damaged, as was part of a nearby car dealership. “We have absolutely experienced a traumatic event,” White said during an earlier news conference Sunday. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaWhite said several people were transported to hospitals in Oklahoma City, but did not give an exact number. “We’re doing a search and rescue right now … we have all hands on deck,” White said. Saturday night’s storm in El Reno comes after a week of tornados, severe rain and flooding in the Southern Plains and Midwest, including a tornado that hit Jefferson City, Missouri. The recent spate of bad weather and flooding in the region has been blamed for at least nine deaths. Tweety Garrison, 63, told the AP that she was in her mobile home with her husband, two young grandchildren and a family friend when the storm hit. She said when she heard the storm coming she immediately hit the ground.
“The science is clear. We need to drastically lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the planet and avoid dangerous temperature rises globally,” stressed Rob Vos, a Director of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). “If we do not significantly reduce emissions the damage to poor countries as a percentage of GDP [gross domestic product] will be up to more than 10 times greater than in the United States and most other developed countries,” Mr. Vos told reporters in New York at the launch of the 2009 World Economic and Social Survey: Promoting Development, Saving the Planet.Mr. Vos noted that for every rise of one degree in global temperature, the annual average growth in developing countries drops betweens two and three percentage points with little impact on advanced countries.However, to satisfy development needs, energy demands will have to rise in developing countries, posing a challenge in how to combine the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with economic objectives.“To do this we will need huge adjustments in developed, but in particular developing countries,” said Mr. Vos. “The transformation of energy services will be key… This will have to go hand-in-hand with large-scale interrelated investments in order to address simultaneously the climate change and development goals.” The World Economic and Social Survey suggests that market solutions, including the development of a carbon market, through “cap and trade” mechanisms or taxation schemes in developed countries, are not the solution for developing countries. Rather, it recommends a combination of large-scale investments and active government policy interventions for developing countries.Among the possible multilateral measures in support of a global investment programme set out in the report is the creation of a global clean energy fund, a global feed-in tariff regime in support of renewable energy sources, a climate technology programme and a more balanced intellectual property regime for aiding the transfer of clean energy technology.“We are suggesting that we need a globally funded public investment programme to allow developing countries to engage both in cleaner generation of energy and still meet their development objectives,” said Mr. Vos.“The ballpark figure that we think is needed would be one per cent of global output, [or] around $500 to $600 billion per year starting well within the coming decade, and not – as many other studies suggest – that those levels should be reached by 2030 or beyond.” 1 September 2009A United Nations report launched today recommends a new Marshall Plan of more than $500 billion per year, or one per cent of global output, to help developing countries ease the impact of global warming and adjust to its effects while continuing on a path of economic growth.