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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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Cloud Precipitation

Vietnam typhoon death toll rises to 61 ahead of Apec summit

Floods in Hoi An, Vietnam
A flooded street in Hoi An yesterday. The spouses of world leaders who will attend the Apec summit in nearby Danang were set to visit the Unesco World Heritage Site later this week, but it is unclear whether the visit will proceed.
At least 61 people have died after Typhoon Damrey tore through central Vietnam, disaster officials said yesterday, as heavy flooding cast doubt on a planned retreat for Apec leaders' spouses at the ancient town of Hoi An.

The weather system hit just days before Vietnam welcomes world leaders to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Danang, and has left several areas totally submerged in the worst flooding in years.

While Danang itself has not been seriously affected, heavy flooding has hit Hoi An, a Unesco World Heritage Site known for its unique blend of buildings, some dating back to the 15th century.

Large swathes of four central and southern provinces were submerged yesterday, officials said, with the death toll likely to rise further as the search for at least 28 missing people got under way.

"We are facing a major threat in all the affected areas. All the lakes and rivers are full," Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said at an emergency meeting on Sunday, according to the state-controlled VNExpress. He added that flood levels were close to surpassing records set in 1997.

Some 30,000 people were evacuated and around 116,000 properties were submerged or damaged after the typhoon hit last Saturday. Restaurants and hotels in Hoi An were inundated with water, and tourists were evacuated from hotels on boats.

Comment: Damrey was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in southern Vietnam in 16 years.

Cloud Precipitation

Seven dead in worst floods to hit Penang, Malaysia

Floods in Penang, Malaysia
A sinkhole caused by a landslide in Tanjung Bungah. The state’s worst floods caused more than 3,500 people to be evacuated from Penang, mostly on the mainland.
Seven people have died and thousands evacuated as Penang was inundated by up to 4m of water after an 18-hour storm that ended yesterday morning.

The state's worst flooding caused its Chief Minister to enlist Malaysia's police and military to help with relief efforts.

At least seven people have died due to the storm, said police. Five of them have been identified.

The remaining two victims are still unknown, though one of them is believed to be a Bangladeshi man who died when his home was crushed by a falling tree. One person, a resident of Bukit Tambun, is reported to be missing.

More than 3,500 people were evacuated from Penang, mostly on the mainland, with another 2,000 in neighbouring Kedah forced to leave their homes.

Winds from the storm - which the authorities said were due to Typhoon Damrey which killed at least 27 people in Vietnam - were so strong that a ferry was washed ashore in Butterworth, the main town of mainland Penang, while a landslide-cum-sinkhole tore up a road in front of a row of newly built luxury houses on the island.

Comment: Penang recorded the highest rainfall in its history at 315mm - 45 mm more than the previous record of 270mm recorded on Sept 15, this year which also resulted in huge flooding.

Cloud Precipitation

Ottawa flooding damages homes, forces Canadian PM Trudeau to take ATV to work

Flooding Ottawa
© Justin Tang / Canadian Press
Record-breaking rainfall in Ottawa on Monday flooded homes and forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take an ATV for part of his commute.

Trudeau had to take a John Deere Gator ATV through washed-out back roads from his Harrington Lake residence in the Gatineau Hills to meet his motorcade on drier land before continuing to downtown Ottawa Monday morning, his office confirmed. The property is approximately 26 km from Parliament Hill.

Floodwaters rose so high inside the Pebb Building off Bank St. that frefighters had to carry one trapped woman to safety.

At least 175 homes were flooded, according to the city.


15 billion-dollar natural disasters have already impacted the U.S. this year; 2017 tied for second-most all-time which was last year

Billion dollar US weather disasters
© The Weather Channel (screen capture)
A new record for the number of billion-dollar natural disasters in the United States may be set this year, with 15 such events already confirmed through September.

There were 12 billion-dollar weather disasters that began during the first half of 2017, and hurricane season has brought three storms that resulted in massive damage, including Harvey, Irma and Maria. The official damage costs are not available yet for these storms but are expected to be billion-dollar weather disasters, according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

Tornado and severe thunderstorm events have made up the largest share and have added seven billion-dollar weather disasters to the list.

Two flooding events are also on the list: one in Missouri and Arkansas in late April early May and one in California in February. On the other side of the precipitation spectrum, the ongoing drought in Montana and the Dakotas has already reached more than $2 billion.

Rounding out the list is the severe March freeze in the Southeast that was preceded by unusually warm temperatures, resulting in $1 billion in damage to crops, and the wildfires in the Northwest.

In addition to the economic impact, these 15 events have resulted in the deaths of nearly 300 people.

Through September, 2017 is now tied with 2016 for the second-most billion-dollar disasters in a year, according to NOAA's database, which dates back to 1980. The year with the highest number of billion-dollar weather disasters is 2011, which had 16.

Comment: As well as the financial cost, the psychological toll of natural disasters needs to be considered also. See also:

New FEMA Director calls for Americans to develop "a true culture of preparedness" - but no one is listening


Storm Herwart batters Central Europe - 5 killed, emergency declared

germany storm Herwart
© Daniel Bockwoldt / DPA / Global Look Press
A car is parks on the flooded parking lot at the fish market in Hamburg, Germany, 29 October 2017
Storm Herwart has caused major traffic disruptions, floods and chaos across Central Europe. Powerful gusts of more 100 km/h uprooted trees and damaged public infrastructure, killing several people in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.

Two people died in Poland and two in the Czech Republic, all four hit by falling trees. Poland's meteorology institute issued gale warnings for as many as 11 provinces and said wind speeds there could reach 140 km/h, Radio Poland reports. Thousands of homes in the Czech Republic and Poland were left without power as a result of the storm.

In the German state of Lower Saxony, a 63-year-old camper drowned as flooding caught him by surprise. In Bavaria, a train collided with an uprooted tree leaving the train driver and a crew member injured, German media report, adding that the passengers were unharmed.

In Hamburg, a major city in Germany's north, strong winds uprooted trees and caused flooding. Local fire brigades have been scrambled 550 times to respond to emergency calls, the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper reported.

Cloud Precipitation

5 dead, thousands affected as floods hit Central America

Nicaragua floods
© Reuters
Boy walks in a muddied house in Nicaragua after heavy rains hit the country and neighboring Honduras.
Thousands of people have been affected by flooding and heavy rain in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala over the last few days. Five fatalities have been reported in Nicaragua.

Local meteorological agencies say the rain was caused by two low-pressure centres, one off the Pacific coast and another off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Some areas have recorded over 300 mm of rain in 24 hours. Rivers have overflowed in all three affected countries.


In Nicaragua, the Las Canoas Dam has reached all time highs - beating previous records set in 1998 during Hurricane Mitch - threatening to flood the homes of around 20,000 people downstream.

So far affected departments include Managua, Granada, North and South Caribbean, Boaco and Jinotega.

Nicaragua's National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (SINAPRED), reports that 2,713 houses have been flooded and 30 destroyed in the municipalities of Teustepe, San Lorenzo, Tipitapa, Mateare, Managua, Granada and Bocana de Paiwas.

One person died crossing a swollen river in Jinotega. Four miners were also reported killed when the Oconwás River overflowed in Las Minas, Rosita municipality, North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. At least 2 people are still missing.

Cloud Precipitation

3 dead after floods hit eastern Bulgaria

Floods in Bourgas, Bulgaria
© Bulgarian Interior Ministry press centre
Torrential rainfall that hit the Bourgas district on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast has left three people dead, houses, streets and intersections flooded and caused a mudslide that temporarily blocked Trakiya Motorway.

On October 25, a state of emergency was declared in Kameno municipality, while an emergency was declared in part of Bourgas municipality. The situation was also difficult in the municipalities of Karnobat and Sozopol, Bulgarian National Television said.

A crisis headquarters has been set up to deal with the situation, which followed an earlier "Code Red" warning of dangerous weather because of heavy rainfall and high winds in the Bourgas district.

Three of the dead drowned when their houses were suddenly inundated by floodwater. An elderly man in the village of Polski Izvor was on the ground floor of his house when a 1.5 metre wave of water hit it.The wave of water was part of a heavy torrent that began at about 4am.

In less than an hour, more than 60 litres a square metre of water fell.

Cloud Precipitation

Parts of Trinidad swamped by flood waters after 24 hours of non-stop rainfall

Rochard Road in Barrackpore as large sections of Trinidad saw widespread flooding following heavy showers which started on Wednesday.

This photo, posted on social media yesterday, shows brown water covering all of Rochard Road in Barrackpore as large sections of Trinidad saw widespread flooding following heavy showers which started on Wednesday.
Large sections of Trinidad were swamped yesterday by flood waters which continued to rise in certain areas following over 24 hours of non-stop rainfall which began on Wednesday.

As a result, the Meteorological Service yesterday maintained its riverine flood alert for Trinidad especially as the Caroni River burst its banks shortly after midday. In its 9.12 am bulletin, the Met Office advised that as opposed to street and flash flooding, riverine flooding is more prolonged and widespread.

It also reported that water levels in some major rivers as well as their tributaries reached threshold levels overnight and the flood situation would be exacerbated by rainfall yesterday accompanied by gusty winds. "(With) the occurrence of high tide at 3.50 pm, the flooding situation is expected to continue for the next 12 to 24 hours in areas already affected," the bulletin said.

Arrow Down

3 killed by flashfloods and landslide after heavy rainfall in the Philippines

Floodwater in Zamboanga Sibugay

Floodwater in Zamboanga Sibugay
Three people, including two children, died when a flashflood and landslide hit three towns in Zamboanga Sibugay province on Thursday, October 19, the police reported Friday.

One of the three fatalities was identified as Ariel Villaronte, 15, while the other two were only described as a girl and a boy.

The police said Villaronte, a Grade 9 student, drowned after he accidentally fell into a drainage and was swept by strong current around 5 p.m. Thursday in Sitio Kahayagan, Barangay La Dicha, Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Members of the Malangas Municipal Police Station retrieved the remains of Villaronte at 8:35 p.m. Thursday.

Zamboanga Peninsula Region has been experiencing heavy rains since Sunday due to the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

Cloud Precipitation

Rain records smashed in parts of Queensland, Australia

Bundaberg flooding
© ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos
Flood waters rise around house as heavy rain continues in Bundaberg.
PARTS of Queensland have seen the heaviest ever October rainfall and things are only going to get worse.

HORRIFIC rainfall is set to continue in Queensland which has seen its wettest October on record.

It's only the very beginning of the wet season in the Sunshine State but in some towns the rain is the worst it has been in years.

Up to 400mm of rain was dumped in parts of the state since Saturday, and it has led to flooding and even a death.

A 67-year-old man has been found dead inside his car after being swept away by floodwaters near Gympie last night.

Tom Saunders, the chief meterologist at Sky News, said the sheer amount of rainfall is unprecedented in some parts of Queensland for this time of year.

Comment: In the wake of Queensland's floods vegetable prices have soared.