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Mon, 26 Jun 2017
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Better Earth

Over 12 billion gallons of water pour into Lake Tahoe

© AP Photo/Scott Sonner
The process of the Sierra Nevada spring snow melt sped up this week as a heat wave brought triple-digit temperatures to parts of the Western United States.

A thawing snowpack that's massive after a brutal winter fed rivers and reservoirs with high-flowing runoff.

One place that saw a stunning impact from all the runoff is Lake Tahoe.

More than 12 billion gallons of water poured into the lake over the past week.

That's a staggering amount of water, and resulted in the lake level rising four inches since June 16.

That rise occurred while intense heat increased evaporation rates from the lake's surface. What's more, water managers have been releasing water from the lake into the Truckee River for the past 120 consecutive days to make room for snow-melt runoff.

"It's not typical to spill at all," says U.S. District Court Water Master Chad Blanchard. "It's only on the big years when you have to release water."

Cloud Precipitation

Floodwater as high as 8 feet in Williamsville, Trinidad

The flooding that happened overnight in Marabella.
As more rain fell and floodwaters rose on Friday night, not a single house was spared along Kent Street in Williamsville.

Residents said the water rose to eight feet in some areas.

Fire services responded to distress calls at around midnight, the Express was told, but officers were unable to enter the village.

The families were still reeling from Tuesday's flooding brought by Tropical Storm Bret, when the rains returned.

Furniture, appliances and clothes were washed away in the floodwaters which ravaged their homes.

Residents said the Guaracara River broke its banks and water began gushing into their homes at around 11pm.

The water receded within 30 minutes, they said, but returned at around 1a.m.

Not a single person has slept since then, the Express was told.

Arrow Down

Landslide buries more than 100 people in China after torrential rain

Massive search efforts are underway in China's Sichuan Province after a landslide destroyed dozens of houses, reportedly burying at least 100 people underneath the rubble.

Torrential rain in Maoxian County triggered the large landslide which destroyed around 40 households in Xinmo Village, Xinhua reports. Around 100 people are feared trapped underneath the dirt and debris.

The disaster happened in the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and struck at around 6:00am local time.

Some 500 people are now part of the search and rescue efforts after authorities mobilized manpower and deployed resources, including excavation equipment, to save the trapped villagers.

The landslide has also blocked about a two-kilometer section of a local river course.

Cloud Precipitation

The World's Most Catastrophic Floods

© EE Murray & Co/Interim Archives/Getty Images
Stereoscopic view showing debris, collapsed houses, and the general disastrous condition of Main Street in Johnstown, Pennyslvania soon after the flood, 1889. After heavy rains, the South Fork Dam burst and the waters of Lake Conemaugh flooded the town.
Floods were considered a blessing by certain civilizations—the Egyptians relied on the Nile's yearly overflow for fertile soil—but they also stand as some of history's most devastating natural disasters. Whether due to heavy rains, storm surges or busted dams, deluges have often claimed thousands of lives and left whole cities in ruin. In some cases, they even permanently changed the planet's geography.

1) The Johnstown Flood was so massive it equaled the flow of the Mississippi River.

The disaster began shortly after 3 p.m on May 31, 1889, when a dam on Pennsylvania's Lake Conemaugh washed away following several days of drenching rain. The collapse unleashed some 16 million tons of water, which quickly turned into a 40-foot-high, half-mile-wide surge of mud and debris. An hour later, the wave struck Johnstown like a giant fist, crushing some 1,600 buildings and sweeping away everything in its path. When the waters finally receded, over 2,200 people were dead and many more were injured or homeless. The flood was later blamed on the poorly maintained dam, which was owned by a hunting and fishing club, but no one was ever held financially liable for the disaster.

Cloud Precipitation

Young boy is Tropical Storm Cindy's first victim as the Gulf Coast is told to prepare for 'life threatening flash floods' with 17 MILLION people from Texas to Alabama in the firing line

Two dozen people had to be rescued from a flooded parking lot in Georgia, where the water was chest-deep on Tuesday. Pictured, the water reaching up to the car's windows

Tropical Storm Cindy has claimed its first victim after a 10-year-old boy was struck by a log washed in by storm surge while he was on vacation with his family on the Alabama coast.

The storm's center, which is still off the coast of Louisiana, is expected to hit land by late Wednesday or early Thursday, before traveling north to Arkansas and east towards Tennessee.

More than 17 million people along the Gulf Coast are bracing themselves for life-threatening flash floods and scrambling to batten down the hatches as tropical storm warnings were issued in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Torrential downpour and winds nearing 60 miles per hour have already hit the region, and more than a foot of rain threatens southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle by Thursday.

'It's kind of like a slow-motion disaster for us now. It's not wind, it's rain we're concerned about,' said Greg Flynn with the Mississippi Emergency Management Service.

Cloud Lightning

Floods in Niger leave 14 dead and hundreds of homes destroyed

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Niger says that heavy rain between 13 and 14 June, 2017, caused severe damage and flooding in several parts of the country, with Niamey and Tillabéri the most severely affected.

Quoting government sources from 16 June, OCHA says that at least 14 people have died in the floods. A total of 456 households have been affected. The UN says that as many as 395 homes have collapsed as a result of the floods and heavy rain.

Eleven of the fatalities occurred in the capital, Niamey where 411 households (3,054 people) have been affected. The UN says that a site has been identified by the authorities for the temporary relocation of the affected people, where clean water, hygiene and sanitation will be provided.

Three deaths were also reported in the Tillabéri region. Around 45 houses have been destroyed and more than 300 people affected.

Comment: See also: Africa now showing Mini Ice Age cooling trends

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly flooding swamps south-central Chile

© Youtube/euronews (screen capture)
Torrential rainfall in south-central Chile has claimed the lives of at least four people.

A number of residents in Curanilahue, some 600 kilometres south of the capital, Santiago, have lost their homes, cars and businesses to flooding.


Unusual M4 earthquake sparks tsunami in Greenland, four missing (VIDEO)

11 houses had been swept away after a magnitude 4 overnight quake off Uummannaq, a small island well above the Arctic Circle, Bay reported
Four people were listed as missing today after an earthquake sparked a tsunami off Greenland and forced some residents to be evacuated. "Four people are missing," local broadcaster KNR quoted local police chief Bjorn Tegner Bay as telling a news conference in the autonomous Danish territory.

There were no confirmed fatalities, but Bay said 11 houses had been swept away after a magnitude 4 overnight quake off Uummannaq, a small island well above the Arctic Circle.

"The huge waves risk breaking over Upernavik and its environs. The residents of Nuugaatsiaq are going to be evacuated," police said on Facebook, referring to nearby hamlets.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 14 people dead as flash floods wreak havoc in northeastern states of India

© AP
Children on a makeshift raft make their way through a flood waterlogged road in Guwahati.
At least 14 people are feared dead and several others reportedly missing as heavy rainfall continues to lash northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram and parts of Assam for the third day in a row. Incessant rain in the last 48 hours has triggered flash floods in many places along river banks in Manipur. The torrential rain has resulted in submerging of many low-lying areas in the Imphal valley, including Chief Minister Biren Singh's constituency Heingang.

At present, water levels in Imphal river and Nambuk river are dangerously high and are overflowing. Several houses in Kangpokpi district were vacated because of the flood-like situation according to Assam Tribune. The villages in Senapati district also lost connectivity after the roads were washed away in floods.

Water has also flooded some portions of the National Highway that connect Nagaland and Manipur to Assam. Vehicular movement has been stopped on the highway as of now. Rain has also destroyed standing crops in many places. As a result, prices of basic commodities like food and water have seen a surge.


Evacuations, flooding and roads washed away as France lashed by storms

© Philippe Desmazes / AFP
Some 160 people have been evacuated as violent storms batter the southeast of France, causing widespread damage to roads and bridges. One person is missing and authorities have issued a series of alerts over the severe weather.

A 27-year-old man is missing after being swept away by floodwaters near the village of Brignon, in the Haute-Loire area. The area was severely hit by the powerful storms that landed on Tuesday night.

The farmer was reportedly leading rescue workers to a remote house to help a trapped woman when his vehicle was engulfed by the rushing waters.