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Mon, 28 May 2018
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Bizarro Earth

Southern California Braces for More Rain, Possible Mudslides

Worst Weather in Years Pounds West Coast, Utah and Nevada

From the mountains to the foothills, California residents are bracing for another round of heavy rains and threats of mudslides. For the past week, residents faced relentless rainfall along with snow and high winds.

In the northern part of the state, the storm knocked out power to thousands of customers, according to local utility companies.

Southern California has been hit hard by heavy rains since the weekend - creating scores of accidents and residents preparing to evacuate.

"I was just driving and the wind was actually what pushed me and caused me to hit the pole," said motorist Raquel Funches.

Cloud Lightning

2010's World Gone Wild: Quakes, Floods, Blizzards

© unknown
This was the year the Earth struck back.

Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010.

"The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."

And we have ourselves to blame most of the time, scientists and disaster experts say.

Comment: This article supports the idea of human-caused global warming, and, as the above sentence says, blames us humans for most of the disasters that befell the world this past year. Find an analysis and rebuttal to this story here.

Even though many catastrophes have the ring of random chance, the hand of man made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year for everything from wild weather to earthquakes.

Poor construction and development practices conspire to make earthquakes more deadly than they need be. More people live in poverty in vulnerable buildings in crowded cities. That means that when the ground shakes, the river breaches, or the tropical cyclone hits, more people die.

Cloud Lightning

Storms bring flood threat to Washington, Oregon rivers

Storm system
© Associated Press
Record rainfall in the Pacific Northwest triggered mudslides and threatened to cause severe flooding of some Western Washington rivers Sunday.

Although the rain had eased in much of southwest Washington and northwest Oregon, including Portland, downpours continued from Seattle north, swelling rivers and threatening some small towns. The rain was expected to lessen Sunday evening, with the worst of the flood danger over by early Monday.

Still, flood watches or warnings remained in effect for the region, and forecasters said storms could dump 6 inches or more of rain in the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains.

"We're looking at the wettest storm system we've had for in almost two years," said National Weather Service meteorologist Kirby Cook in Seattle.

Better Earth

Stillaguamish River Reaches Record Flood Stage

© Jim Forman
The Stillaguamish River at Arlington
Record rainfall has flooded roads and triggered mudslides in Western Washington. King County road closures.

"Many areas around the region picked up anywhere from 3/4" of rain at Whidbey Island to 5.68" at Bremerton on Sunday!" said KING 5 Meteorologist Jim Guy. "Since midnight, SeaTac has recorded 2.20". That's a new daily maximum record."

The Stillaquamish River reached record flood stage Sunday afternoon, tying the record set in November of 2006. About 230 homes and businesses in Granite Falls near the Stillaguamish River have been asked to evacuate.

Severe and possibly near-record flooding is also predicted in on the Snohomish River near Monroe and the city of Snohomish. Weather forecasters say deep and swift flood waters will inundate many roads, including Highway 530 east of Arlington and most valley roads downstream of Interstate 5 to Stanwood.

Cloud Lightning

Cold snap arrives in Turkey with a vengeance

Turkey flooding
© Daily News / Hasan ALTINIŞIK
Bad weather has affected life in Istanbul, with increasing accidents and heavy traffic snarling the city’s motorways.
After weeks of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, a cold snap from the Balkans arrived in Turkey accompanied by rain, sleet and snow. The strong storms caused flooding in the Aegean province of Aydın that killed one person and left two others missing Friday.

Bad weather has affected life in Istanbul, with increasing accidents and heavy traffic snarling the city's motorways. Some airplane flights and ferries scheduled to operate Friday have been canceled as a consequence of the weather.

The Turkish State Meteorological Service, or DMİ, forecasts rainy weather for the western Marmara sea, Black sea, southern Aegean and Mediterranean regions of the country, while the eastern Marmara region, including Istanbul, Sakarya and Kocaeli provinces, the Aegean, Göller, Anatolian and western Black Sea regions are expected to receive snow.

Cloud Precipitation

Worse to come as Australia flood toll rises

australia floods
Floods sweeping across eastern Australia that have left four people dead
Floods sweeping across eastern Australia that have left four people dead and cost millions of dollars in crop losses could worsen next week, emergency officials warned Friday.

Some 30 regions have been declared natural disaster areas in New South Wales and more than 300 people have been isolated by the flood waters, but further storms are forecast for the nation's most populous state.

"The conditions are easing right now and over the weekend, but the flooding will potentially increase next week," a state emergency services spokesman told AFP.

Cloud Precipitation

Rains leave rising death toll in Colombia, Venezuela

tachira river
Residents stand next to a buliding damaged by the overflowing of the Tachira River
The toll from weeks of heavy rains across Colombia has risen to 174 people dead and over 1.5 million homeless, the Colombian Red Cross said Saturday.

And in neighboring Venezuela to the east, driving rains have triggered flooding and cave-ins that have killed 34 people over the past week and left an estimated 73,000 people homeless nationwide, officials said.

In Colombia, 225 people have been injured and 19 were missing, Colombian Red Cross deputy director of operations Cesar Uruena told reporters. A total of 1,821 homes have been damaged or destroyed.


Venezuela moves flood-hit families into resort hotels

People evacuate after the flooding
© Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
People evacuate after the flooding of a river in Higuerote, about 100 km (60 miles) east of Caracas December 5, 2010.
Caracas - Venezuelan security forces have started housing families displaced by floods in tourist hotel rooms following an order by President Hugo Chavez to make use of vacant accommodation, local media said on Monday.

Heavy rains have killed at least 32 people and forced more than 100,000 from their homes in recent days. Emergencies have been declared in various states, and the country's Caribbean coast has been particularly hard hit by mudslides.

In a televised broadcast from one flooded area on Sunday, the president told the National Guard to begin moving families into vacant hotel accommodation.

"See how many buildings there are abandoned by tourists, and from today begin to occupy them with families," he said. "You will not pay anything," he told displaced people.

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Wagga Declared a Natural Disaster Zone

Wagga Disaster
© Daily Advertiser
At first hand: NSW Premier Kristina Keneally visits Wagga yesterday to see for herself the damage being done to Wagga by the rising floodwaters.
Wagga survived its worst flood crisis in 36 years when the Murrumbidgee River peaked at a height of 9.67 metres yesterday evening, but sighs of relief were brief as predictions of heavy rainfall from tomorrow night could mean an even higher river later in the week.

Premier Kristina Keneally inspected the water-besieged city in a State Emergency Service (SES) helicopter yesterday morning before announcing Wagga had been declared a natural disaster area, paving the way for a range of government financial assistance.

"It's quite humbling to see what nature can do to farms, people's properties and people's livelihoods," Ms Keneally said after landing near the SES headquarters on Fernleigh Road.

The river peaked yesterday evening just six millimetres above the 1991 flood level of 9.61 metres and well below the 10.75 metres recorded in 1974.

Emergency Services Minister, Steve Whan, said floodwaters had caused tens of millions of dollars damage around the state and ruined the best harvest in a decade.

"Up to half a billion dollars crop value has been lost," Mr Whan said.


Australia: Drought-crippled farmers devastated by flooding

NSW Floods
© ABC Local Radio : Laurissa Smith
In New South Wales alone an estimated half a million dollars has been wiped off the value of the winter crop
The State and Federal governments are under pressure from farming groups to continue drought funding while farmers recover from the floods.

Recent flooding has devastated farmers also who, after 10 years of drought, have now seen crops lost to rain.

The New South Wales Farmers Association's chairman Charlie Armstrong says farmers are devastated and struggling financially.

"We've got this enormous mental stress that is now following what was a buoyant boom expectations of a bumper crop, followed now by some pretty dire circumstances as to how to even get the next crop in the ground," he said.

In New South Wales alone an estimated half a million dollars has been wiped off the value of the winter crop.