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Fri, 28 Apr 2017
The World for People who Think

Floods


Cloud Precipitation

Floods displace 17,000 after 15 inches of rain in 24 hours in the Dominican Republic

© Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana
Floods in Manoguayabo, Santo Domingo, April 2017.
Flooding has caused major problems in at least 5 provinces in the Dominican Republic after staggering amounts of rainfall over the last few days.

According to the country's meteorological office (ONAMET), almost 400 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Barahona between 22 and 23 April, 2017. Further heavy rain has fallen since, mostly in southern areas of the country.

In their latest report of 25 April, the Emergency Operations Centre (Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias - COE) says that flooding has affected several areas in Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal, Monte Plata, Sánchez Ramírez, Duarte and Barahona provinces. Several rivers have overflowed, including the Ozama, Yuna, Cevicos, Manoguayabo and Haina.

As many as 3,429 homes have been damaged or affected by the flooding, with around 9 houses completely destroyed. Emergency services and military have rescued 153 people.


Arrow Down

The 'March to Silence' - Shots fired at building housing leading climate skeptic scientists

© Image via Google Maps Street View
National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building.
A total of seven shots were fired into our National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building here at UAH over the weekend.

All bullets hit the 4th floor, which is where John Christy's office is (my office is in another part of the building).

Given that this was Earth Day weekend, with a March for Science passing right past our building on Saturday afternoon, I think this is more than coincidence. When some people cannot argue facts, they resort to violence to get their way. It doesn't matter that we don't "deny global warming"; the fact we disagree with its seriousness and the level of human involvement in warming is enough to send some radicals into a tizzy.

Our street is fairly quiet, so I doubt the shots were fired during Saturday's march here. It was probably late night Saturday or Sunday for the shooter to have a chance of being unnoticed.

Maybe the "March For Science" should have been called the "March To Silence".

Campus and city police say they believe the shots were fired from a passing car, based upon the angle of entry into one of the offices. Shell casings were recovered outside. The closest distance a passing car would have been is 70 yards away.

This is a developing story. I have no other details.

Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rains pound Dundas and Hamilton, Ontario; flash flooding on roadways

© Rebuild Hamilton
Dundas, Ont. has been hit by flash flooding along the Niagara escarpment due to heavy rains.
Torrential-like rain in Hamilton area has created flash flooding conditions and is forcing road closures throughout the region.

Hamilton Conservation Authority has put the city on a flood watch.

""Residents should continue to exercise caution near all water bodies and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams at this time," the statement said. "Elevated water levels, faster moving water, rapidly changing levels and flows, and slippery banks may pose a significant hazard."

City crews are working around the clock to deal with the wet weather, general manager of Hamilton Public Works Dan McKinnon said.

This comes after Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for Hamilton.

Between 40 and 70 mm of rain is expected to fall by tonight, the federal weather agency said.

Dundas, Ont. was particularly hard hit by the weather.


Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods hit areas of Singapore


Flash flood at Upper Thomson Road
Flash floods blanketed several parts of Singapore on Tuesday (April 18) afternoon, with water submerging vehicles up to mid-tyre level.

Water agency PUB said in a tweet at 1.33pm, quoting the National Environment Agency, that heavy rain was expected over the southern and western parts of Singapore from 1.35pm to 2.25pm.

It then warned of high flood risks at various places from 1.35pm to 2.33pm, including Exeter Road and Somerset Road, Cuscaden Road and Tomlinson Road, and Stevens Road and Balmoral Road.

According to a video sent in by Straits Times reader Yap Lip Kee, a car is seen driving through water that is at least up to half its tyres outside the Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. It stops after a while and bystanders are heard exclaiming: "It's stuck".

A taxi follows behind it soon after and manages to make its way through the water.


Cloud Precipitation

Second deadly landslide in a month rocks Colombia after a month's worth of rain overnight

© AP
Houses destroyed by a landslide in Manizales, Colombia
A deadly landslide has rocked Colombia for the second time this month, claiming at least 11 lives just weeks after more than 300 were killed in a similar disaster.

Twenty remain missing after the landslide hit several neighbourhoods in Manizales, near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.

The city is the capital of Caldas province, one of Colombia's main coffee producing regions situated to the west of Bogota.

Another disaster earlier this month claimed more than 300 lives, when flash flooding caused huge mudslides in Mocoa in southern Colombia.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he was trying to get to the scene, but that airport closures due to bad weather had delayed his journey.

He said he would make his way to the city as soon as the airports reopen.

Mayor of Manizales Octavio Cardona Leon, blamed recent heavy rains for the deadly landslide, saying the city had seen a month's average rainfall in just one night.


Cloud Precipitation

Thousands evacuated as severe floods hit Kazakhstan

© Rushan Barayev
Flooding in Karaganda Oblast, Kazakhstan
Floods are wreaking havoc across parts of Kazakhstan as authorities are forced to evacuate dozens of settlements. Tengrinews, citing the Karaganda Oblast's Department of Emergency Situations, reports that 1,760 houses have been flooded in 35 villages with 340 livestock having been drowned.

In February this year heavy snow and blizzards hit Kazakhstan forcing some residents to dig tunnels to escape their buried houses. Sharp rises in temperatures recently have intensified the melting of snow and caused widespread flooding.

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, Vladimir Bozhko, sought to dispel rumors that the floods in Kazakhstan came as a surprise this year. At a press conference in Astana on April 15, he said that the forecast of Kazhydromet (National Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan) made in February suggested that the amount of autumn moisture and winter snow exceeded the normal amount by 30-40 percent in Akmola, Karaganda, North Kazakhstan and Kostanai Oblasts.

Bozhko explained that 11,172 people had been evacuated from danger zones in advance, with 25 people rescued from rooftops. More than 36,000 heads of livestock were driven away from the endangered settlements to higher ground. The danger of flooding still remains high.

A YouTube video shows 15 children being rescued after their school bus was trapped in rising flood waters.

Cloud Precipitation

Rising ice, flood waters force hundreds of Manitobans from their homes

© Jim Scott
An ice jam caused flooding on the Saskatchewan River in The Pas in the R.M. of Kelsey.
Rising ice and flood waters have forced hundreds of people from their homes in Manitoba.

Jason Small of the Canadian Red Cross says 107 people from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation are being temporarily housed in hotels in The Pas about 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

He says another 325 people were evacuated from their homes earlier this month from five other First Nations.

Manitoba forecasters issued a flood warning on the weekend for some areas affected by ice jams on the Carrot and Saskatchewan rivers.

The province says water levels were going down in some rivers until storms dumped about 25 millimetres of precipitation on the weekend.

Small says the evacuees are being provided with lodging, food and other living expenses.

Info

Indigenous peoples around the world tell myths which contain warning signs for natural disasters - Scientists are now listening

© Photo by Taylor Weidman/LightRocket/Getty
Native knowledge - A Moken woman stares out to sea.
Shortly before 8am on 26 December 2004, the cicadas fell silent and the ground shook in dismay. The Moken, an isolated tribe on the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, knew that the Laboon, the 'wave that eats people', had stirred from his ocean lair. The Moken also knew what was next: a towering wall of water washing over their island, cleansing it of all that was evil and impure. To heed the Laboon's warning signs, elders told their children, run to high ground.

The tiny Andaman and Nicobar Islands were directly in the path of the tsunami generated by the magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra. Final totals put the islands' death toll at 1,879, with another 5,600 people missing. When relief workers finally came ashore, however, they realised that the death toll was skewed. The islanders who had heard the stories about the Laboon or similar mythological figures survived the tsunami essentially unscathed. Most of the casualties occurred in the southern Nicobar Islands. Part of the reason was the area's geography, which generated a higher wave. But also at the root was the lack of a legacy; many residents in the city of Port Blair were outsiders, leaving them with no indigenous tsunami warning system to guide them to higher ground.

Humanity has always courted disaster. We have lived, died and even thrived alongside vengeful volcanoes and merciless waves. Some disasters arrive without warning, leaving survival to luck. Often, however, there is a small window of time giving people a chance to escape. Learning how to crack open this window can be difficult when a given catastrophe strikes once every few generations. So humans passed down stories through the ages that helped cultures to cope when disaster inevitably struck. These stories were fodder for anthropologists and social scientists, but in the past decade, geologists have begun to pay more attention to how indigenous peoples understood, and prepared for, disaster. These stories, which couched myth in metaphor, could ultimately help scientists prepare for cataclysms to come.

Anyone who has spent time around small children gets used to the question 'why?' Why is the sky blue? Why do birds fly? Why does thunder make such a loud noise? A friend's mother told us that thunder was God going bowling in the sky. Nature need not be scary and unpredictable, even if it was controlled by forces we could neither see nor understand.

The human penchant for stories and meaning is nothing new. Myths and legends provide entertainment, but they also transmit knowledge of how to behave and how the world works. Breaking the code of these stories, however, takes skill. Tales of gods gone bowling during summer downpours seems nonsensical on the surface, but know a little about the sudden thunderclaps and the clatter of bowling pins as they're struck by a ball, and the story makes sense.

Cloud Precipitation

Flood kills 7 in Cebu, Philippines

© Carmen PNP
Seven are confirmed dead while 2 others are missing due to nonstop rains and heavy flooding in parts of Cebu.

Six of the casualties were from Carmen, Cebu where 73 houses were washed out due to nonstop rains.

According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), the casualties were identified as Rowena Acencion, 38; Joyed Acencion, 12; Ivan Acencion, 10; Acena Laping, 55; Bens Ayan Laping, 2; and Nicholas Punggutan, 60.

The other casualty meanwhile was from Danao City, Cebu and was identified as Benyang Manulat.

The PDRRMO however has yet to identify the 2 missing persons.


Cloud Precipitation

Death toll rises to 35 after torrential rains hit Iran's northwest causing floods and landslides

Heavy rain which started on Friday morning caused flood in the afternoon and unfortunately the northwestern cities of Azarshahr and Ajabshir hit the hardest by the flood, ISNA quoted Ismail Najjar, head of the Crisis Management Organization as saying on Saturday.

Seven cars have gone missing in Azarshahr, he regretted, adding, despite the warnings some people were reluctant to leave the area.

According to East Azarbaijan crisis management organization up to now, 14 have died and at least 3 gone missing in Azarshahr and some 4 individuals are missing and 15 are dead n Ajabshir.

"Some bridges are reportedly damaged in West Azarbaijan province and sadly a 12-year-old boy is taken away by the flood while biking," he explained.

Moreover, 4 died in a landslide triggered by the flood in Saqqez, Kordestan province, and one passed away in Baneh, he said.

So far, some 1,100 have received relief services, 77 provided with emergency accommodation, and 6 transferred to hospitals in 32 cities and villages, Najjar noted, adding, water was pumped out of 48 houses as well.