Thousands of Greeks are battling to save their homes from out of control forest fires which have now reached the edges of Athens, prompting the Greek government to declare a state of emergency and call on support from Italy, Cyprus and France. It is estimated that 120,000 hectares of forests have been destroyed as well as hundreds of homes. In the 2007 fires, seventy people died. Elsewhere extreme climate change and human activity are being blamed for the severe drought in Northern China where five million people now face drinking water shortages – in a region stretching from the Jilin province in the North East to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia in the North. China’s livestock also face water shortages and 22 million acres of farmland have been damaged by the drought. The live music industry hasn’t escaped extreme weather either: Apart from the torrential rainstorms and floods which have blighted festivals like Glastonbury and Roskilde (most notably in 2007), one woman died and seventy were injured when a freak storm hit the Big Valley Jamboree Festival in Canada in August 2009 and in central Europe a severe storm with strong winds and torrential rain caused a large marquee at the Pohoda festival in Slovakia to collapse in July 2009 – killing one fan and injuring fifty more, some very seriously. Even the Benicassim festival in Spain suffered a temporary suspension when high winds on the 17th July meant that the Kings of Leon couldn’t play as conditions were too dangerous – with high winds affecting the main stage and destroying many camper’s tents – and the Melt Festival in Germany has been deluged with storms and heavy rainfall for the last two years.
http://www.spectator.sk/articles/view/35996/2/one_person_dies_and_dozens_are_injured_at_pohoda_open_air_festival.html and http://www.ilmc.com/news/round_the_clock_news/freak_storm_death_at_canadian_festival_10.htm and http://www.nme.com/news/kings-of-leon/46190