Category: Extreme Weather


Earth Watch Report  –  Nuclear Event

 

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Nuclear Event USA State of California, [San Onofre nuclear power plant] Damage level Details

 

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Nuclear Event in USA on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 17:56 (05:56 PM) UTC.

Description
An out-of-control brush fire at Camp Pendleton was creeping closer to the San Onofre nuclear power plant, prompting evacuations. Southern California Edison said in a tweet that “about a dozen non-essential employees evacuated” from the plant because of the fire. The plant is located off Interstate 5 at the Orange-San Diego county line north of Camp Pendleton. Edison announced last year it was closing the plant due to structural problems with facility. The Camp Pendleton fire was spotted shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday and forced evacuations of the De Luz housing area, Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School and the Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, which is on the northeast edge of the sprawling base. A second school and housing area have been evacuated as the brush fire at Camp Pendleton continues to spread. The fire, dubbed the Tomahawk fire, on the northeast section of the base, had burned more than 150 acres as of 1 p.m., according to Cal Fire. An evacuation center was established at the Paige Fieldhouse on the base. The Pendleton fire was one of several blazes burning in San Diego County. One in Carlsbad has burned homes. More than 11,500 evacuation notices have been issued for the fire as it moves through neighborhoods amid steep brushy canyons.

 

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L.A. Now

Fire forces evacuation of San Onofre nuclear plant

An out-of-control brush fire at Camp Pendleton was creeping closer to the San Onofre nuclear power plant, prompting evacuations.

Southern California Edison said in a tweet that “about a dozen non-essential employees evacuated” from the plant because of the fire.

The plant is located off Interstate 5 at the Orange-San Diego county line north of Camp Pendleton. Edison announced last year it was closing the plant due to structural problems with facility.

The Camp Pendleton fire was spotted shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday and forced evacuations of the De Luz housing area, Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School and the Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, which is on the northeast edge of the sprawling base.

 

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Huge Pendleton fires nearly contained

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Firefighters continued making progress Sunday containing three fires that have blackened 21,900 acres on Camp Pendleton and Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook.

The largest of the fires, the fast-moving Las Pulgas Fire, had burned about 15,000 acres since it erupted for unknown reasons at about 3:15 p.m. on Thursday near a sewage plant in Camp Las Pulgas. The blaze was 75 percent contained Sunday afternoon, according to officials.

Camp pendleton fires

The first fire reported, the so-called Tomahawk Fire, broke out at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook at the eastern outskirts of Camp Pendleton at about 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday and later spread to the Marine base. It was 100 percent contained Sunday and had blackened about 5,400 acres.

The most recent blaze to break out at Camp Pendleton, dubbed the San Mateo Fire, began spreading just before 11:30 a.m. on Friday near Basilone Road. It had grown to about 1,500 acres today and was 97 percent contained, according to base officials.

Gen. James F. Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, the Marine Corps Installations West commanding general, were briefed today on the three fires — known collectively as the Basilone Complex – – at Camp Pendleton. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, also spoke with firefighters working to extinguish the blazes.

 

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Balkans Submerged by Historic Floods Threatening Thousands

More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia.

  • Alexa Stankovic / AFP – Getty Images
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    A group is evacuated on an amphibious vehicle over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17, 2014.

    Landslides triggered by unprecedented rains in Bosnia have left hundreds of people homeless, while thousands more have fled their homes in neighboring Croatia and Serbia as Balkan countries battle the region’s worst flooding since modern records began.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
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    Children sit in a bus after being evacuated from the flooded town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Kemal Zorlak / Anadolu via Getty Images
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    Homes sit submerged due to overflowinh rivers in Doboj, a northern city of Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 16.

    More than two dozen people have died, said authorities, who warned the death toll could rise.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
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    Serbian army soldiers evacuate people from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 16. Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sometimes reaching up to the second floors, sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
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    People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17. Authorities said 25 people have died but warned the death toll could rise.


  • Alexa Stankovic / AFP – Getty Images
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    A group is evacuated on a boat over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
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    Serbian army soldiers evacuate a boy from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Ismail Duru / Anadolu via Getty Images
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    Houses sit damaged from heavy rains in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 17. Throughout hilly Bosnia, floods are triggering landslides covering roads, homes and whole villages. About 300 landslides have been reported, and stranded villagers often are being rescued by helicopter.

     

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More than 20 dead, thousands evacuated in Bosnia, Serbia floods

OBRENOVAC, Serbia Sat May 17, 2014 2:14pm EDT

 

People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014. REUTERS-Marko Djurica
1 of 11. People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Marko Djurica

(Reuters) – More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia, authorities said on Saturday, with thousands evacuated from towns still under threat from rising rivers.

The death toll in Bosnia alone reached 19, including nine found on Saturday when waters receded from the northeastern town of Doboj.

Thousands of volunteers joined soldiers, police and fire-fighters in building flood barriers made of sandbags in the Serbian capital Belgrade and the western town of Sabac.

The River Sava hit its highest-recorded level in Serbia, the army said, rising at a rate of three centimeters (one inch) per hour after several days of the heaviest rainfall in almost 120 years.

Three people were confirmed dead in Serbia by Friday, and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said there were more fatalities in the town of Obrenovac, 30 km (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade, where soldiers deployed huge amphibious vehicles to rescue hundreds of people crammed into a primary school.

Authorities in Serbia said they would not give a death toll for Obrenovac, a town of some 30,000 people, until the waters had receded and the extent of the damage was clear.

A Reuters photographer said the entire town center was submerged under two to three meters (seven to 10 feet) of water.

Tens of thousands of homes in Serbia were cut off from electricity and around 150,000 in Bosnia, where Doboj suffered the most.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather –  Snow Storm

 

Spring and winter collide as a heavy wet snowstorm hit Colorado on Mother’s Day, covering blooms and blossoms and prompting birds to look for cover.

Spring and winter collide as a heavy wet snowstorm hit Colorado on Mother’s Day, covering blooms and blossoms and prompting birds to look for cover. (Steve Nehf, The Denver Post)

 

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Snow Storm USA State of Colorado, Denver Damage level Details

 

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Snow Storm in USA on Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 at 03:31 (03:31 AM) UTC.

Description
Denver received five inches of snow, which mostly stuck on grass and trees instead of roadways. It continued to snow into Monday morning, which slowed down the morning commute in the metro area. Driving conditions were the worst in the mountains, with certain areas receiving over a foot of snow.

 

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Winter storm pounding Colorado mountains; 10 inches possible in Denver

By Joey Bunch and Tom McGhee
The Denver Post

Posted:   05/11/2014 09:47:13 AM MDT

While Denver dealt with slushy streets and snow on tender buds, the Colorado high country and foothills fought a winterlike battle with road closures, fender benders and heavy tree damage Sunday.Two law enforcement officers were injured in separate accidents as they helped motorists Sunday night, according to the State Patrol.

A Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy was injured along with three others when an SUV struck his cruiser that was parked on the side of U.S. 285 near the community of Doubleheader just after 7 p.m. None of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening, according to the sheriff’s department.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, but weather is likely a factor, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley.
Four people, including a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy, were injured when seven cars slid into one another on U.S. 285 near the community of
Four people, including a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy, were injured when seven cars slid into one another on U.S. 285 near the community of Doubleheader on Sunday. (Courtesy Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District)

At 7:38 p.m. a state trooper was injured when his vehicle was hit as he was parked along U.S. 285 near Fairplay. A car slid across the road and hit the trooper’s vehicle head-on.

The trooper sustained minor injuries, but no one else was hurt, according to the State Patrol.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

Storms take down a tree in Bohners Lake

 

Storms take down a tree in Bohners Lake

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Flash Flood USA State of Wisconsin, Waukesha Damage level Details

 

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Flash Flood in USA on Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 at 03:22 (03:22 AM) UTC.

Description
It was raining so hard at some points Monday night that traffic was forced to slow down considerably on I-94 and other highways in Waukesha County. While there have been a few breaks in the rain throughout the evening, the heavy downpours did cause flash street flooding in the city of Waukesha along with high winds and lightning. “It’s been pretty crazy,” resident Jennifer Michaels told CBS 58 News. “Just the rain and everything and all the thunder and the flash flooding. Kind of concerned me a little bit. Luckily we don’t have any water in our basement, yet.” Residents say parts of the Fox River is over its banks near Moreland and Madison Streets near downtown Waukesha and some backyard flooding .

 

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Flash floods from heavy rain

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 8:30 a.m. CDT
Heavy rain between Clintonville and Marion on July 25, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11/Wayne Gauger)

Heavy rain between Clintonville and Marion on July 25, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11/Wayne Gauger)

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) Up to four-inches of rain fell during a series of thunderstorms that lasted for ten hours yesterday in southeast Wisconsin. The National Weather Service reported flash floods in Brookfield and Wauwatosa — and in Waukesha, where the Fox River went over its banks and into some backyards.

Watertown had 60-mile-an-hour winds with numerous trees and power lines down.

Four-inches of rain fell near Fort Atkinson, and Pewaukee had one-and-a-third-inches in just one hour.

Racine had baseball-sized hail, and Beloit had tennis-ball-sized hail. A house in North Prairie was struck by lightning.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

 

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Extreme WeatherUSAState of Texas, WacoDamage levelDetails

 

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Extreme Weather in USA on Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 at 03:20 (03:20 AM) UTC.

Description
A powerful spring storm produced heavy rain and frequent lightning that caused widespread street flooding Monday night in the Waco area leaving some motorists stranded and leading to some high-water rescues. The storm also caused a series of lightning-related fires and a number of mostly minor traffic accidents Monday night. Three-quarter inch hail fell in Belton. Water was beginning to accumulate on the edges of Old Waco Road Monday night in Belton, police said. Flooding from heavy rain shut down the intersection of New Road and Waco Drive Monday evening in Waco, stranding some drivers in their vehicles. Heavy rain caused flooding on other area streets and on Interstate 35, in Waco where traffic was reported to be stopped. Flooding in Waco was reported in the 900 block of North 31st Street; 9100 block of Panther Way; intersection of North 23rd and Waco Drive; Lake Shore and MLK; 30th and Austin; Interstate 35th at South 6th and South 7th Streets; 5400 block of Franklin; Lake Air and Waco Drive; North 36th and Fort; 2200 block of Herring; Sanger and Towne Oakes, and 100 block of Richland Drive, police said.

A motorist was reported trapped in a vehicle on Londonderry Drive and Medical Parkway. Flooding was also reported along Valley Mills Drive. Seven to 12 inches of water was reported just after 7 p.m. on Panther Way behind Midway High school. Police in Waco and surrounding communities were responding to other reports of motorists stranded by high water. Flooding is likely in low-lying areas and at low-water crossings throughout the night in Central Texas and motorists are advised to turn around if they encounter water on roadways. Area fire departments also responded to a series of calls involving residential fires that were evidently caused by lightning strikes. A lightning strike also set a tree on fire in Waco. Law enforcement agencies also responded to a number of reports of mostly-minor traffic accidents on area streets and highways. A flash flood warning was in effect until 8:45 p.m. for McLennan County and the region is under a flash flood watch through at least late Monday night. Flooding was also reported in the Whitney area. Flash flash flood warnings were in effect for Hill County until 8:30 p.m. and Falls County until 9:45 p.m. Two feet of water was reported on a road near Whitney in Hill County and water was reported over the road on FM 94 east of Blum. Water was reported over Highway 16 southwest of Goldthwaite and Highway 84 near Mulin in Mills County. Heavy rain is possible through the evening hours and overnight.

 

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More Rain Possible After Night Of Storms, Flooding

Flooding in Whitney (Photo courtesy of Scott Hull)

(May 13, 2014)–Official rainfall totals in Bell County ranged from less than an inch to just less than 3 inches overnight

In Bosque County totals ranged from about 1.3 inches to about 3.5 inches.

Official totals in Coryell County were just less than an inch.

Totals in Falls County ranged from just more than 2 inches to a little more than 3 inches.

Official totals in Hill County ranged from about 1.5 inches to 3.6 inches.

In Lampasas County, totals ranged from less than an inch to about 1.5 inches.

More than 4 inches was recorded in Groesbeck, but in other parts of Limestone County totals were as low as about ½ inch.

McLennan County totals ranged from about 1.7 to 3.4 inches.

In Milam County, official totals ranged from about 1 ¾ inches to 2.5 inches.

 

(May 13, 2014) Showers and isolated thunderstorms are again in the forecast Tuesday after a night of heavy rain that caused widespread street flooding in the Waco area, leaving some motorists stranded in rising water.

As much as 4 inches of rain was recorded in some parts of Central Texas overnight.

If rain does fall, it’s not expected to be as heavy and should not cause significant flooding, forecasters said.

Severe weather isn’t expected, forecasters said.

More than 30,000 homes and businesses lost electricity in Texas as a result of the storm, but only small and scattered outages were reported Tuesday in the Waco-Temple-Killeen area.

The story was different Tuesday elsewhere in the state, however.

CPS Energy reported nearly 19,000 homes and businesses without power Tuesday mainly in the San Antonio area.

Austin Energy had about 1,600 customers without electricity.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

 

Photo taken on May 10, 2014 shows flood in Wawutang Township of Suining County, central China’s Hunan Province. Heavy rains started to hit Suining County at 3 a.m. Saturday, with precipitation in one township hitting 186 mm by noon. One person was killed in a rain-triggered landslide while flooding has forced the relocation of another 10,000 residents in Suining. [Xinhua]

 

 

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Extreme Weather China Province of Hunan, [Central regions] Damage level Details

 

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Extreme Weather in China on Saturday, 10 May, 2014 at 13:42 (01:42 PM) UTC.

Description
One person was killed in a rain-triggered landslide while flooding has forced the relocation of another 10,000 residents in a county in central China’s Hunan Province, local authorities said Saturday. Heavy rains started to hit Suining County at 3 a.m. Saturday, with precipitation in one township hitting 186 mm by noon, the office of the county flood control headquarters said in a statement. The rainstorms disrupted traffic, power and telecommunications in 10 townships. One villager in Jinwutang Township was killed in a landslide. A total of 112,000 residents were affected and 10,000 have been evacuated, it said. Also on Saturday, a rainstorm-triggered flash flood tore down 14 houses and two bridges, damaged flood-control dikes and inundated a hydropower generation plant in Fugong County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, local authorities said. A total of 264 people in risk-prone areas have been relocated to safe places, the county publicity department said. Earlier the county was battered by rains on Thursday and Friday.

 

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One dead, 10,000 relocated in C China rainstorms

 

English.news.cn

2014-05-10 19:05:17

Photo taken on May 10, 2014 shows flooded farmland in Wawutang Township of Suining County, central China’s Hunan Province. Heavy rains started to hit Suining County at 3 a.m. Saturday, with precipitation in one township hitting 186 mm by noon. One person was killed in a rain-triggered landslide while flooding has forced the relocation of another 10,000 residents in Suining. (Xinhua)

 

CHANGSHA, May 10 (Xinhua) — One person was killed in a rain-triggered landslide while flooding has forced the relocation of another 10,000 residents in a county in central China’s Hunan Province, local authorities said Saturday.

Heavy rains started to hit Suining County at 3 a.m. Saturday, with precipitation in one township hitting 186 mm by noon, the office of the county flood control headquarters said in a statement.

The rainstorms disrupted traffic, power and telecommunications in 10 townships. One villager in Jinwutang Township was killed in a landslide.

A total of 112,000 residents were affected and 10,000 have been evacuated, it said.

Also on Saturday, a rainstorm-triggered flash flood tore down 14 houses and two bridges, damaged flood-control dikes and inundated a hydropower generation plant in Fugong County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, local authorities said.

A total of 264 people in risk-prone areas have been relocated to safe places, the county publicity department said.

Earlier the county was battered by rains on Thursday and Friday.

 

Editor: Mengjie

 

 

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The Nanfang.

Rain to Continue as Shenzhen Flood Disaster to Cost RMB 80 Million

Posted: 05/13/2014 3:12 pm

shenzhen flood Despite a brief respite from the storm yesterday, the forecast calls for more rain to fall on the Pearl River Delta for an additional seven days as Shenzhen tries to deal with the aftermath of its flooding disaster.

As a direct result of the torrential rain that fell on Southern China from May 8-12, Shenzhen has suffered an economic loss of more than RMB 80 million with a total of 25,531 residents affected by the flooding, reports Yangcheng Evening News.

Furthermore, it is reported a total of 2,986 people have been relocated, 10 houses have collapsed, and some 11.97 thousand square kilometers of crops have been destroyed.

Relief efforts to aid disaster victims are already underway.

Two Shenzhen storm disaster areas have seen residents rescued from potentially dangerous flooding.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

 

Rainy_makkh_1

 

Rains wreak havoc in Makkah, Hail

Coastaldigest.com The Trusted News Portal of India

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Extreme Weather Saudi Arabia Province of Makkah, [Makkah and Hail] Damage level Details

 

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Extreme Weather in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, 10 May, 2014 at 04:28 (04:28 AM) UTC.

Description
Floods caused by torrential rain swept through parts of Makkah and Hail on Thursday killing two people and injuring several others. The flooding also caused power cuts and damaged hundreds of cars across Makkah neighborhoods, according to eyewitnesses. Thousands of Umrah pilgrims were stranded inside the Grand Mosque after Maghrib, many only able to reach their accommodation after midnight, according to eyewitnesses. Worshippers prayed Isha in the heavy rain. The Civil Defense in Hail said five brothers driving in a four-wheel-drive vehicle tried to cross the flooded Al-Khafj Valley. The force of the water overturned their vehicle. Maj. Nafea bin Alian Al-Makhalafa, media spokesperson of the Civil Defense in Hail, said that one brother had rescued three of his brothers. The fifth brother was trapped inside the vehicle and drowned. Brig. Col. Saleh Al-Alyani, spokesperson for the Civil Defense in Makkah, said an African expatriate died in Mansour district when a tree fell on him. The police are investigating, he said. Al-Alyani said the organization’s operations room received 1,356 emergency calls, mostly about cars caught up in the floods, falling trees and power cuts. A special operations room has been set up in Makkah to monitor the situation and coordinate relief and evacuation efforts, he said. The Civil Defense deployed helicopters, 23 patrols and 16 rescue teams with heavy machinery for emergency operations. It also sent 32 officers and six staff members on motorbikes to the Grand Mosque to assist pilgrims. The Saudi Electricity Company said its engineers and technicians were monitoring the situation in Makkah.

 

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Rains wreak havoc in Makkah, Hail

Arab News

Makkah_HailMakkah/Hail, May 10: Floods caused by torrential rain swept through parts of Makkah and Hail on Thursday killing two people and injuring several others.

The flooding also caused power cuts and damaged hundreds of cars across Makkah neighborhoods, according to eyewitnesses.

Thousands of Umrah pilgrims were stranded inside the Grand Mosque after Maghrib, many only able to reach their accommodation after midnight, according to eyewitnesses. Worshippers prayed Isha in the heavy rain.

The Civil Defense in Hail said five brothers driving in a four-wheel-drive vehicle tried to cross the flooded Al-Khafj Valley. The force of the water overturned their vehicle.

Maj. Nafea bin Alian Al-Makhalafa, media spokesperson of the Civil Defense in Hail, said that one brother had rescued three of his brothers. The fifth brother was trapped inside the vehicle and drowned.

Brig. Col. Saleh Al-Alyani, spokesperson for the Civil Defense in Makkah, said an African expatriate died in Mansour district when a tree fell on him. The police are investigating, he said.

Al-Alyani said the organization’s operations room received 1,356 emergency calls, mostly about cars caught up in the floods, falling trees and power cuts. A special operations room has been set up in Makkah to monitor the situation and coordinate relief and evacuation efforts, he said.

The Civil Defense deployed helicopters, 23 patrols and 16 rescue teams with heavy machinery for emergency operations. It also sent 32 officers and six staff members on motorbikes to the Grand Mosque to assist pilgrims.

The Saudi Electricity Company said its engineers and technicians were monitoring the situation in Makkah.

 

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Hunger and desperation as Afghan mudslide survivors wait for food

Mudslide survivors

Mudslide survivors in Argu village, Afghanistan. Photograph: Nasir Waqif/EPA

Lailema’s soft wailing filters through the canvas of her tent, a 12-year-old’s hopeless lament for her mother and a life that is gone forever. Her three younger siblings play on the dusty floor as her grandmother cries silently nearby and her uncle wonders how to feed his new dependents.

None of them have eaten since the landslide in the village of Aab Barik – in the north-eastern province of Badakshan – that took away their home and six relatives two days earlier, despite trucks full of food aid parked just a few metres away. No one has distributed the bags of rice, oil and other necessities, they say.

“They promised that they would hand them out after the government officials leave today,” said Khan Baay, the uncle, who was heading out to hear the vice-president, Yunus Qanuni, lead prayers for the dead and promise survivors whatever help they need, backed by a delegation of ministers, members of parliament and European ambassadors.

But many on the ground were less interested in pledges from dignitaries helicoptered in to survey the damage than getting their hands on something edible. “I am so hungry I could scratch your eyes out,” said Bibi Jaahan, a grandmother in her early 60s who lost her home and several relatives to the mud. “I haven’t eaten for over two days.”

Sharing her tent is Zaina, breastfeeding her 11-month-old son but worried that her milk is drying up, as he grumbles then starts crying. She has only scavenged a few biscuits to feed him, and knows he needs more solid food.

The Afghan Red Crescent was quick to hand out tents to those who lost their homes in last Friday’s devastating mudslide, and in the corner of newly motherless Lailema’s cramped new home, barely two metres wide and perhaps three times as long, there are new plates and tea cups but nothing to eat off them.

They were part of their package of “non-food items”, explains Ahmad, an official from the charity who stops by to check on the family. “We started handing out tents on Friday, but other organisations are responsible for food. We cannot provide everything ourselves.”

 

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5 May 02 2014 03:32 PM Landslide Afghanistan Province of Badakhshan, [Argu district] Damage level Details

 

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Landslide in Afghanistan on Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 15:32 (03:32 PM) UTC.

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Around 250 people were feared dead following a landslide in northeastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the incident took place in Argu district and dozens of others have been trapped under the rocks. A local official in Badakhshan province said around around 250 people have been killed following the landslide while 200 houses and dozens of more people were trapped following the rockslide. Provincial police chief, Fazluddin Ayar confirmed that over 250 people were trapped following a landslide in Aab Khoshk village. Mr. Ayar further added that the incident took place around 12:00 pm local time and Afghan secuirty forces and rescue teams have been deployed to the area to assist the local residents. This comes as deputy Afghan interior minister Gen. Ayub Salangi earlier said around 200 houses were affected following the rockslide. Gen. Salangi had said preliminary reports suggest that the casualties due to the rockslide is around 200 people.

 

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Landslide in Afghanistan on Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 15:32 (03:32 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 16:13 UTC
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A landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village Friday in northeastern Afghanistan, leaving as many as 2,000 people missing, a top official said. Badakshan province Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on the village of Hobo Barik. Adeeb said the landslide buried some 300 homes in the area – about a third of all houses there. The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment, appealing for shovels. “It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.” He said authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides. Faziluddin Hayar, the police chief in Badakshan province, said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday. Badakshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

 

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Landslide in Afghanistan on Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 15:32 (03:32 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Saturday, 03 May, 2014 at 04:09 UTC
Description
A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a northeastern Afghan village Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving up to 2,500 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened every home in its path. The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced days of heavy rain and flooding, and the side of a cliff collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik at midday, burying it under up to 60 feet of mud and rocks, officials said. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest. It was one of the worst natural disasters in recent memory in Afghanistan, where spring rainfall and snowmelt make the mountainous northeast susceptible to flash floods and mudslides. U.N. officials said more Afghans had been killed in natural disasters in the past seven days than in all of 2013. Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said up to 2,500 people were missing after the landslide buried some 300 homes, about one-third of all the houses in the area. At least 350 people were confirmed dead, according to Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. was working with authorities to rescue trapped people.

The governor said rescue crews were working, but didn’t have enough equipment. “It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.” The Badakhshan provincial police chief, Maj. Gen. Faziluddin Hayar, said rescue workers had pulled seven survivors and three bodies from the mounds of mud and earth, but held out little hope that more survivors would be found. “Now we can only help the displaced people. Those trapped under the landslide and who have lost lives, it is impossible to do anything for them,” Hayar said. Video footage showed that a large section of the mountain collapsed, sending mud and earth tumbling onto the village below. The landslide was likely caused by heavy rain, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for the National Disaster Department. He said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday, a day of worship in Afghanistan when many families would have been at home instead of at work. President Obama said the United States was ready to assist. “I want to say on behalf of the American people that our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan, who have experienced an awful tragedy,” he said at the White House during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. U.N. humanitarian officials said some areas remained difficult to reach, making the scale of the damage unclear. Officials fear more landslides are possible because of more rain and melting snow. About 700 families living on a hillside near Aab Barik were told to move to higher ground and wait for emergency aid to reach them, Adeeb said.

 

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Landslide in Afghanistan on Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 15:32 (03:32 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Saturday, 03 May, 2014 at 05:22 UTC
Description
About 2,250 people are feared dead after a mudslide Friday buried an Afghan village in the far-north-eastern province of Badakhshan, a spokesman for the provincial governor said. More than 300 houses in Ab-e-Barik were swept away in the mudslide, which occurred after heavy rainfall, Naveed Ferotan said. “Our rescue teams have so far found 150 bodies in the area, and they are working hard to save the villagers,” he said. About 2,100 other people are missing and also feared dead, officials said. The mudslide first struck a wedding party, killing 250 people, and then buried nearly all of the village as well as farmland, said Haji Abdul Wadood Saeedi, governor of the Argu district, where Ab-e-Barik is located. About 300 families are missing, he said. The ground is still unstable, and people in nearby villages are scared they could also become victims, Saeedi said. Rescue teams were dispatched to the area and at least 1,500 people have been evacuated from Ab-e-Barik so far, Saeedi said. The United Nations said 700 families lived in Ab-e-Barik and at least 120 houses were destroyed. “Reportedly, 350 people have died and 580 families are at severe risk of further landslides,” said Ari Gaitanis, a UN spokesman in Kabul. “The village is flooded, and a drainage channel must be opened to prevent further destruction,” he said. The national government and United Nations planned their own rescue and aid response.

 

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Landslide in Afghanistan on Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 15:32 (03:32 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Saturday, 03 May, 2014 at 14:26 UTC
Description
At least 300 families have been burried under a hill that collapsed in a remote mountain village in northeast Afghanistan on Friday. The confirmed death count at present is 2,100, and is expected to rise in the coming days. “More then 2,100 people from 300 families are all dead,” Naweed Forotan, a spokesman for the Badakhshan provincial governorsaid. The United Nations said the focus was now on the more than 4,000 displaced by Friday’s disaster. There is a risk of further landslides in the area, officials said.

 

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Landslide in Afghanistan on Friday, 02 May, 2014 at 15:32 (03:32 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Sunday, 04 May, 2014 at 15:23 UTC
Description
The Afghan government officially named the scene hit by a massive landslide in Badakhshan province as a mass grave and started focusing on helping the survivors on Sunday. “The religious scholars and high level officials has convinced the locals to give up looking for dead bodies,” Haji Abdul Wadoud, governor of Argo district in Badakhshan told Anadolu Agency. “It is almost impossible to search for dead bodies,” he said. “When muslims die, they must be buried, and they are already under a huge hill of mud.” The first Vice President Mohammad Younus Qanooni also visited the area on Sunday along with some cabinet members and religious authorities. “All agreed that it would be named as the mass grave of Abe Barik martyrs,” Abdul Wadoud said. Early Friday afternoon, a massive landslide triggered by heavy rainfall engulfed the village of Abe Barik in northern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. At least 300 families have been trapped under dirt and mud, whereas only 255 of the dead bodies have been identified so far, but the local authorities estimate that more than 2,100 people are dead. Heavy rains in the last few weeks have also caused flash floods in different parts of the country, taking dozens of lives and damaging hundreds of houses. Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has delivered humanitarian aid to 350 families hit by Friday’s landslide disaster in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan. “Emergency packages were prepared for 350 families in the first stage of the aid campaign,” Orhan Sefik, Central Asia regional coordinator of the foundation, told Anadolu Agency. He said the packages contained food, rugs, blankets and kitchen utensils, adding that the foundation would continue to provide aid to the area. Earlier, Noor Mohammad Khawari, head of the Badakhshan central hospital told Anadolu Agency that it would be tragic if the locals agreed to the village becoming a mass grave although he said it would require an extraordinary effort driving by a big number of professionals and machinery to find the buried individuals. “Now they are discussing securing the scene from the threat of floods so that members of the victim families can come here to prayer” Khawari added. In a statement released from his office late Saturday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he was deeply saddened after hearing the news of the landslide. The Afghan government has also announced a day of national mourning in the country.

 

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Tree rings reveal nightmare droughts in Western U.S.

May 1, 2014
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
Scientists extended Utah’s climate record back to 1429 using tree rings. They found Utah’s climate has seen extreme droughts, including one that lasted 16 years. If history is repeated in the rapidly growing Western states, the water supply would run out based on current consumption.

Scientists extended Utah’s climate record back to 1429 using tree rings. They found Utah’s climate has seen extreme droughts, including one that lasted 16 years. Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University

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If you think the 1930s drought that caused The Dust Bowl was rough, new research looking at tree rings in the Rocky Mountains has news for you: Things can get much worse in the West.

In fact the worst drought of this century barely makes the top 10 of a study that extended Utah’s climate record back to the year 1429.

With sandpaper and microscopes, Brigham Young University professor Matthew Bekker analyzed rings from drought-sensitive tree species. He found several types of scenarios that could make life uncomfortable in what is now the nation’s third-fastest-growing state:

  • Long droughts: The year 1703 kicked off 16 years in a row with below average stream flow.
  • Intense droughts: The Weber River flowed at just 13 percent of normal in 1580 and dropped below 20 percent in three other periods.
  • Consecutive worst-case scenarios: The most severe drought in the record began in 1492, and four of the five worst droughts all happened during Christopher Columbus’ lifetime.

“We’re conservatively estimating the severity of these droughts that hit before the modern record, and we still see some that are kind of scary if they were to happen again,” said Bekker, a geography professor at BYU. “We would really have to change the way we do things here.”

Modern climate and stream flow records only go back about 100 years in this part of the country, so scientists like Bekker turn to Mother Nature’s own record-keeping to see the bigger picture. For this study, the BYU geographer took sample cores from Douglas fir and pinyon pine trees. The thickness of annual growth rings for these species is especially sensitive to water supply.

 

 

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Credit DS Pugh / Wikimedia Commons

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ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

 

Increased drought portends lower future Midwestern U.S. crop yields

May 1, 2014
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the US Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to new research. Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates.

Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to research published today in the journal Science.

Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates; soybean yield losses would be less severe.

North Carolina State University’s Roderick Rejesus, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics and a co-author of the Science paper, says that corn and soybean yields show increasing sensitivity to drought, with yields struggling in dry conditions in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana during the 1995 to 2012 study period.

“Yield increases are getting smaller in bad conditions,” Rejesus said. “Agronomic and genetic crop improvements over the years help a lot when growing conditions are good, but have little effect when growing conditions are poor, like during droughts.”

U.S. corn and soybeans account for approximately 40 and 35 percent of global production, respectively, making the results important to the world’s food supply.

 

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