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Sun, 09 May 2021
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Bizarro Earth

More Landslides as China Mourns Victims of Gansu Disaster

© AP
At least 38 people are reported missing in a new landslide Saturday in China's flood-ravaged Sichuan province, as the nation observes a day of mourning for victims of last week's massive landslide in the northwest.

The State Council ordered flags throughout China and at all Chinese embassies lowered to half-staff Sunday to honor 1,239 people killed in Gansu province. The official announcement said public entertainment, including all games, music shows and movies, should be suspended on Sunday.

Authorities said more than 500 people are still missing in the northwestern province. Soldiers are working around the clock to clear debris from Gansu's Bailong River, to reduce the chance of further flooding with any new rainfall.

Bizarro Earth

Terrified trekkers recount flood 'hell' in Indian Himalayas

The flooded Indus river passes through Leh. Hundreds of people were still missing in the Indian Himalayas on Tuesday four days after flash floods hit the remote region of Ladakh, killing at least 165.
Traumatised foreign trekkers caught in flash floods that killed 185 people in the Indian Himalayas recounted Thursday a week of "hell" battling rockfalls, raging mudslides and constant fear.

Exhausted and still clearly in shock, a group of mainly French tourists flew into New Delhi from Ladakh region, where a sudden, intense cloudburst one week ago turned their mountain trekking holiday into a battle for survival.

"There were mudslides and rocks tumbling down the mountains," said David Bressac, a mountaineering guide with a Franco-Indian tour agency.

"It was horrific. The mudslides were moving at an incredible speed," said Bressac, his eyes red from lack of sleep and a large rucksack flung over his shoulder.

Bizarro Earth

Deadly Typhoon Dianmu cuts across Japan

Graphic showing the path of Typhoon Dianmu, packing winds of more than 80 kilometres per hour
Typhoon Dianmu cut across northern Japan into the Pacific Thursday after leaving five dead in its wake in South Korea, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

With winds of up to 72 kilometres (45 miles) an hour, it moved across the northern tip of Honshu island for some three hours until around 8:00 pm (1100 GMT), after travelling northeast over the Sea of Japan, the agency said.

The storm's arrival on Honshu coincided with Japan's mid-August holiday break, when many people were visiting their hometowns and offering prayers to their ancestors.

The weather agency warned heavy rain could trigger floods and mudslides, and waves as tall as five metres (16 feet).

Rainfall could reach 20 centimetres (eight inches) in northeastern Japan in the 24 hours to midday Friday, according to the agency.

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Wild weather whips Victoria

© Brad
The tornado passes Michaels Moama JCB dealership on the Cobb Hwy.
Northern and western Victoria has been hit by severe winds and heavy rain, and eastern Victoria is set to follow.

And the Victorian SES has urged people to avoid flood waters as wild weather, including the tornado, hits the state.

Wind as strong as 139km/h and rain as high as 92 millimetres had already affected the Western and Wimmera districts, Weatherzone said in a statement.

Mt William in the Grampians was the windiest spot so far and Weeaproinah near the coast was the wettest.

Weeaproinah's 92mm was their highest 24-hour total in nearly three years and highest for August in 57 years.

Flash flooding had also occurred in other parts of the Western, Wimmera, Northern Country and Northeast, a result of the heaviest rain this winter, the heaviest in years for some.

It was the biggest rain since December 2008 for Mt William, Stawell, Warrnambool and Port Fairy, where 30mm to 60mm fell.

Cloud Lightning

Pakistan floods: supercharged jet stream causing flooding

The jet stream, a massive ring of high speed winds, is moving quicker than usual over north western Pakistan, causing wet monsoon air to be sucked faster and higher into the atmosphere.

The stream, which is normally too high to affect every day weather but does influence large scale weather patterns by shifting the atmosphere around, is "supercharging" the monsoon, leading to some of the heaviest rainfall in memory.

Scientists say the hyperactive jet stream is also causing deadly landslides in China and the drought in Russia, which is leading to wildfires.

The stream has split in two with one section heading north over Russia and the other going south over the Himalayas into Pakistan. In Russia the stream is inhaling some of the country's hottest temperatures on record and spreading them quickly, causing the fires.

Experts say it is very unusual for the stream to head that far south.

Comment: We find it curious that the mainstream media is widely reporting the altered jet stream to be responsible culprit behind this triple whammy of devastation.

Frozen jet stream links Pakistan floods, Russian fires

Russian Drought, Pakistan Floods, Chinese Landslides All Linked To Bizarre Jet Stream Change

Bizarro Earth

Pakistan Floods: Disaster is the Worst in the United Nations's History

The United Nations has rated the floods in Pakistan as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history with more people affected than the South-East Asian tsunami and the recent earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti combined.

Although the current 1,600 death toll in Pakistan represents a tiny fraction of the estimated 610,000 people killed in the three previous events, some two million more people - 13.8 million - have suffered losses requiring long or short-term help.

Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said: "This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake."

The comparison illustrates the scale of the crisis facing Pakistan as its inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy battles to mitigate the effects of the flooding.

The disaster zone stretches from the Swat Valley in the north, where 600,000 people are in need of help, to Sindh in the south.

Bizarro Earth

Asia Flooding Plunges Millions Into Misery

China Flood
© AP Photo/Xinhua, Gong Zhiyong
In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, buildings, vehicles and roads are hit by mudslides in Zhouqu county, in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday Aug. 8, 2010. Rubble-strewn floodwaters tore through a remote corner of northwestern China on Sunday, smashing buildings, overturning cars and killing at least 127 people.
Beijing - Rescuers searched Monday for an estimated 1,300 people left missing after rubble-strewn floodwaters tore through a remote corner of northwestern China, just one of a series of flood disasters across Asia that have plunged millions into misery.

In neighboring Pakistan, an estimated 4 million people faced food shortages amid their country's worst-ever flooding, while rescuers in Indian-controlled Kashmir raced to find 500 people still missing in flash floods that have killed 132. North Korea's state media said high waters destroyed thousands of homes and damaged crops.

Sunday's disaster in China's Gansu province killed at least 127 people and covered entire villages in water, mud, and rocks.

Crews were working to restore power, water and communications in affected areas in the southern part of the province, and it was not known how many of the missing were in danger or simply out of contact.

Hoping to prevent further disasters, demolitions experts set off charges to clear debris blocking the Bailong River upstream from the ravaged town of Zhouqu, which remained largely submerged following Sunday's disaster.

The blockage had formed a 2-mile (3-kilometer)-long artificial lake on the river that overflowed in the pre-dawn hours, sending deadly torrents crashing down onto the town. Houses were ripped from their foundations, apartment buildings shattered, and streets covered with a layer of mud and water more than a yard (meter) deep.

Arrow Down

127 Killed as Mudslides Devastate China Town

© Reuters
Rescuers search for missing.
Landslides triggered by torrential summer rains in northwest China killed 127 people and left 2,000 missing in the latest of a series of flood-related disasters to befall northern China where the heaviest rains in a decade have now cost more than 1,400 lives.

A small county town in a hilly area of Gansu province was smashed by a wave of mud and debris shortly after midnight on Saturday, according to local reports, with cars being swept down streets that were instantly turned into rivers.

In parts of Zhouqu town the mud reached as high as the third storey of buildings, with many other smaller single-storey lifted from their foundations by the force of the landslide, according to China Central Television, the state broadcaster.

A nearby village of 300 households was also inundated.

"Many single-story homes have been wiped out and now we're waiting to see how many people got out," one resident of Zhouqu, a merchant called Han Jiangping said.

Bizarro Earth

Landslides Raise Death Toll in Pakistan

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited flood-hit areas and has said the disaster had spiralled beyond the government's capacity
Landslides have raised the death toll in flood-hit Pakistan, cutting off roads and hampering aid efforts as rescuers battled to beat rains exacerbating the country's worst ever floods.

Washed-out roads in Pakistan's northwest made ground access to many of the 15 million flood victims impossible and many helicopters were unable to fly as heavy rains persisted, cutting off the entire Swat valley, officials said.

In the far north of the country, 28 bodies were recovered from rubble after landslides in Gilgit-Baltistan province caused houses to collapse Saturday.

Administrative official Mohammad Ali Yougwi said up to 40 people were feared dead after the landslides hit those living at the bottom of a mountain in the town of Skardu.

"We have recovered 28 dead bodies, there are more people buried under the rubble," said Yougwi.

Cloud Lightning

Flooding kills 10 across Europe

© Unknown
Floodwaters damage houses in Chrastava village
At least ten people have been killed and thousands of others have been evacuated as heavy rain and flooding disrupt traffic and cause power outages in central Europe.

Polish officials announced on Sunday that at least three people have been killed after rivers overflew and a dam burst, submerging towns in southwestern Poland.

"We had no warning. In less than an hour our town was totally inundated up to the first floor, many houses collapsed and we were cut off from the world," mayor of Poland's southwestern city of Bogatynia, Andrzej Grzmielewicz told TVN24news channel.

"We need amphibious vehicles and helicopters to help evacuate at least 2,000 flood victims," he added, calling on people to help the victims with blankets and food.

Torrential rain has also drowned four Czech nationals in a region bordering Poland and Germany on Saturday.

At least 1,000 people were forced to evacuate their houses and people of Chrastava and Frydlant were rescued by military helicopters from the roofs of their homes.