Category: Flooding


Earth Watch Report  -  Extreme Weather

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Extreme Weather Philippines Zamboanga del Sur, Tabina [Zamboanga Peninsula] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Extreme Weather in Philippines on Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 at 09:17 (09:17 AM) UTC.

Description
At least 30 houses were destroyed after strong winds and heavy rains struck a surprised village in Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur, the police reported Tuesday. Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, spokesman of Police Regional Office 9 (PRO), said no one was reported hurt in the disaster that hit Barangay New Oroquita. Quoting belated reports, Huesca said that the “sudden storm” struck the village on Friday night. Engr. Rey Rubio of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 100 residents were forced to leave their homes during the onslaught. He said several coconut trees were also toppled by strong winds. Rubio said that the incident was not immediately reported to authorities because the remote village had not phone signal and that only a few vehicle pass through the area. He said the disaster’s damage was pegged at P500,000.

 

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4 children feared dead in Zamboanga Sibugay landslide

By

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Four children were feared dead after they were buried alive in a huge landslide in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, police reported Thursday.

Insp. Ariel Huesca, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Police Office, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer via a text message that the children were resting in an abandoned house in Purok 4 in Barangay (village) Sayao around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday when soil, mud and rocks moved amid heavy rains.

 

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5 killed, 17,000 displaced by Zamboanga flooding

By , , INQUIRER.net Inquirer Mindanao

Contributed Photo by Sarah Lizette

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines— While Zamboanga City has barely moved on from the fighting between government troops and Moro National Liberation Front last month, deaths from the incessant heavy rains spawned by the intertropical convergence zone in the city for the past few days rose to five on Wednesday.

More than 17,000 others displaced when floods caused by continuous heavy rain swept through the city and outlying villages during the past week, the authorities said.

Although much of the floods have receded, some places remain under water as the rains have continued.

ITCZ brings heavy rains

Maribel Enriquez, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration station in Zamboanga City, said the Intertropical Convergence Zone was causing all the rain.

“It’s been there hovering and it is the reason why we have long hours of rain since last week, making our soil saturated with water,” Enriquez said.

“When our soil is saturated with water, definitely, we are going to experience flooding and landslide,” she added.

The five-day incessant rains with occasional strong winds battered the city since Friday last week inundated 6.47 hectares of farmlands and fishponds.

Damage to crops was estimated to cost P57.9 million.

Sheila Covarrubias, the city’s information officer, said records of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center show that a total of 25 barangays, or city districts and villages, were flooded, affecting 4,802 families or 17,026 individuals.

Five persons were reported to have drowned in the villages of Tugbungan, San Roque, San Jose Gusu and Putik.

Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Regional Police Office, identified two of those killed as Edwina Flores, 58, and her helper Rosanna Fabella, both residents of San Roque.

 

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GlobalResearchReport.com

On Saturday, a huge sinkhole opened up at the side of a house in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Swallowing up half of the front lawn, it was 35ft wide and 20ft deep.

Last week, a hole as deep as a double-decker bus is high suddenly opened up in the back-garden of a house in South-East London, almost swallowing a child’s trampoline as the ground collapsed without warning.

Had the poor owner’s daughter been rushing out to play on the trampoline, she could have very easily have been seriously injured or even killed.

 25' Sinkhole Opens Up On Yorkshire Street

Dangerous: A 50ft-deep hole appeared in the central reservation on a section of the M2 in north Kent last week

Two weeks ago, there was a similarly narrow escape for a family living in High Wycombe, when, overnight, a deep hole appeared  without warning in the driveway just next to the house.

This time the adult daughter’s car did end up buried at the bottom of the hole, thankfully, while there was no one in it.

And in Kent last week, motorists hoping to use the M2 were left fuming by the motorway’s temporary closure, after a substantial hole — 15ft deep — suddenly appeared in the central reservation. Again, no one was hurt but had the hole opened up just a few yards away, it is obvious what a different story it could so easily have been.

All of these holes are what the public call sinkholes and now, after weeks of heavy rain, they seem to be appearing with ever greater regularity. Hard statistics are difficult to find — not least because sinkholes that appear on farmland often go unreported — but having studied them for 35 years, I’d estimate that sinkholes are currently appearing at four-to-five times their normal rate.

 
Gone: A Volkswagen Lupo was swallowed up by this sink hole in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Gone: A Volkswagen Lupo was swallowed up by this sink hole in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Brand new: Zoe Smith, 19, was given a replacement after the car was engulfed by the hole which developed outside her home

Brand new: Zoe Smith, 19, was given a replacement after the car was engulfed by the hole which developed outside her home

 

With more heavy rain forecast, I’d be surprised if we’ve seen the last sudden sinkhole of this winter.

Even when the rain does stop and warmer weather returns, for reasons that I’ll come to, there could be a second spate of them.

Strictly speaking — and as I work for the British Geological Survey I do need to be strict about these things — not all the big holes that have been appearing are sinkholes. Technically, a sinkhole is a hole that opens up when the surface layers collapse into a naturally made cavity. When the surface layers collapse into a cavity made by man  — and at least two of the recent holes are in areas where mining has been carried out in the past — then it should be called a dene or crown hole.

But given that both types are caused by a collapse into an underground cavity and the end result — a large, potentially dangerous hole in the ground at the surface — is the same, for the sake of simplicity, let us call them all sinkholes.

Certainly, anyone suffering the tragedy of having their house fall into one won’t be worrying about the difference. Fatalities caused by sinkholes in this country are thankfully very rare, but a homeowner in Florida did die in exactly those circumstances only last year.

Risk: Gretel Davidson feared she would have to pay around £10,000 after a sinkhole twice the height of a double-decker bus appeared in her garden in Banehurst, South-East London

Risk: Gretel Davidson feared she would have to pay around £10,000 after a sinkhole twice the height of a double-decker bus appeared in her garden in Banehurst, South-East London

The sheer size of sinkholes and their sudden appearance without warning does make them extremely hazardous. This explains why in  the superstitious distant past,  their appearance was often linked to misfortune.

Some saw them as a direct route to Hell itself; one near Darlington that collapsed in the 12th century  is called Hell Kettle and the  rising groundwater in it steams in the winter.

Of course, it’s not the Devil but all the heavy rain that lies behind the sudden spate of sinkholes. Rainwater dissolves limestone easily because it gets acidified from  carbon dioxide in the air and by  passing through rotting vegetation or certain types of rock.

The water dissolves rocks such  as chalk, limestone and gypsum, making existing natural underground cavities bigger. It also scours fine material out of existing cavities. In addition, it makes the surface layers of soil composed of such things as clay or gravel heavier as they become waterlogged.

Bit by bit, the cavity becomes a little bigger, the covering layers a little heavier until . . . snap . . . those covering layers no longer have the mechanical strength to span the cavity and suddenly they collapse into it, taking anything unfortunate to have been standing on the surface down with them.

Concern: A 35ft wide hole appeared underneath a home in Hemel Hempstead last week, prompting the surrounding properties to be evacuated

Concern: A 35ft wide hole appeared underneath a home in Hemel Hempstead last week, prompting the surrounding properties to be evacuated

It’s no accident that sinkholes often seem to appear next to a fairly substantial piece of civil engineering, such as a house or road, rather than underneath the piece of civil engineering itself.

As long as we put roofs on houses and impermeable cambers on our roads, rainwater will be thrown off the things being protected. It’s often where that rainwater ends up — by the side of the road, by side  of the house — that becomes  vulnerable to sinkholes.

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MSN

More snow is ahead for residents of northern New England a day after a fast-moving storm dumped about a foot on many communities, but rain and warmer temperatures could present problems in other states.

A worker is reflected in a building facade as he clears snow from the sidewalk in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. It was expected to drop 3 to 5 inches of snow on Boston, with 6 to 10 inches forecast for parts of Northern New England, before moving out late Tuesday and early Wednesday. (AP Photo | Michael Dwyer)

A worker is reflected in a building facade as he clears snow from the sidewalk in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. It was expected to drop 3 to 5 inches of snow on Boston, with 6 to 10 inches forecast for parts of Northern New England, before moving out late Tuesday and early Wednesday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — More snow is ahead for residents of northern New England a day after a fast-moving storm brought about a foot to many communities, but rain and warmer temperatures could present new problems for other states.

A rain and snow mixture is possible Wednesday along the northern New England coast, but inland communities could see between 1 and 4 inches of snow, said Eric Schwibs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

That’s far less than the 12 inches of snow reported Tuesday night in New Boston, N.H., or the nearly 10 inches that fell in Kennebunk, Maine. There were no immediate reports of any major traffic messes caused by the weather.

MSN Weather: Check your local weather forecast

MSN Weather: Rock salt supply at critical low

Elsewhere in the country, as warmer temperatures bring rain and melt snow, concerns are being raised about the potential for flooding and collapsing roofs.

In Chicago, the weather service says people who live along rivers and in flood prone areas should prepare for possible flooding as the mounds of snow in yards and along streets melt.

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NBC News

Flooding Woes are on Tap for Snow-Buried Midwest

Winter’s woes aren’t just about severe storms and bitter cold — there’s still freezing rain and melting snow to grapple with.

Nasty thunderstorms will target the Ohio Valley on Thursday and could bring an inch-and-a-half of rain and create extreme flooding conditions in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, according to forecasts. A flood watch has been issued across Illinois.

“The great melt has started,” National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hirsch told NBC News.

Aside from the rain, warmer temperatures are moving in, which will speed the melt. Chicago, for instance, could hit a high of 50 degrees Thursday, forecasts say. The Windy City endured a 52-day stretch of below-freezing temperatures this winter, keeping the the accumulated snow firmly in place.

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Investigations

Image: The Turquoise Place condominium buildings rise above Orange Beach, Alabama, before sunrise. John Brecher / NBC News

Why Taxpayers Will Bail Out the Rich When the Next Storm Hits

GULF SHORES, Ala. — As homeowners around the nation protest skyrocketing premiums for federal flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has quietly moved the lines on its flood maps to benefit hundreds of oceanfront condo buildings and million-dollar homes, according to an analysis of federal records by NBC News.

The changes shift the financial burden for the next destructive hurricane, tsunami or tropical storm onto the neighbors of these wealthy beach-dwellers — and ultimately onto all American taxpayers.

In more than 500 instances from the Gulf of Alaska to Bar Harbor, Maine, FEMA has remapped waterfront properties from the highest-risk flood zone, saving the owners as much as 97 percent on the premiums they pay into the financially strained National Flood Insurance Program.

NBC News also found that FEMA has redrawn maps even for properties that have repeatedly filed claims for flood losses from previous storms. At least some of the properties are on the secret “repetitive loss list” that FEMA sends to communities to alert them to problem properties. FEMA says that it does not factor in previous losses into its decisions on applications to redraw the flood zones.

And FEMA has given property owners a break even when the changes are opposed by the town hall official in charge of flood control. Although FEMA asks the local official to sign off on the map changes, it told NBC that its policy is to consider the applications even if the local expert opposes the change.

“If it’s been flooded, it’s susceptible to being flooded again. We all know that,” said Larry A. Larson, director emeritus of the 15,000-member national Association of State Floodplain Managers. “FEMA is ignoring data that’s readily available. That’s not smart. And it puts taxpayer money at risk.”

http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2014_06/174921/140209-map_national-jms-1630_9d762709bc7183d502941b642791518e.nbcnews-ux-560-320.jpg” width=”560″ height=”320″ /> NBC News

See a map from NBC News linking to public records for the 533 rezoned properties along the U.S. coast.

The Gulf Coast experience

The neighboring resorts of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on the South Alabama coast include a stretch of beach that was flooded by Hurricanes Erin and Opal in 1995, Danny in 1997, Georges in 1998, Ivan in 2004, and Katrina in 2005. The map changes here offer a vivid example of the risks that come with such reclassifications.

The direct hit by Ivan was the worst, bringing not gently rising floodwaters but a 14-foot wall of water that leveled buildings and flooded more than a mile inland. That’s why flood maps show most of this beach as a “coastal velocity wave zone,” the area with the highest risk of damage from storm surge.

But nearly all of the condominium towers are no longer in that high-risk zone, including a 17-story condominium built where the old Holiday Inn was wiped away by Ivan’s winds and waves, and another where the McDonald’s was a total loss. From 2011 through 2013, FEMA granted applications remapping 66 out of 72 waterfront condo towers in Gulf Shores to lower-risk flood zones or off the flood maps entirely. Four others have applications pending. Just two applications have been denied. And next door in Orange Beach, the map lines have been redrawn around four high-rise condo buildings.

On a single day, Oct. 25, 2012 — a day when FEMA was closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy as it barreled toward the Atlantic Coast — a FEMA manager issued a document reclassifying a full mile of the coastal property in Gulf Shores. That document, just one of the 533 cases found nationwide by NBC News, redrew the lines to exclude 25 condo buildings from the highest-risk flood zone.

This beachfront condo, the Island Tower, collected $11,562 for its damage from Katrina, and more than $250,000 from Ivan.

Image: the Phoenix All Suites Hotel, left, and the Island Tower condominium building in Gulf Shores, Ala. John Brecher / NBC News

The Island Tower condominium building, right, and the Phoenix All Suites Hotel, left, rise above the beach in Gulf Shores. FEMA remapped both into lower-risk flood zones.

The Island Tower’s condo association was paying $143,190 a year into the National Flood Insurance Program. Now that it’s been reclassified into a lower-risk flood zone, its premium is $8,457 a year, a saving of 94 percent, according to records examined by NBC News.

Just down the beach is the Royal Palms. It collected $58,230 for damages during Katrina, and $889,730 from Ivan. The Royal Palms was paying $218,484 a year, but after being changed to a lower-risk flood zone, now pays only $6,845, saving 97 percent.

The map changes in just these two towns resulted in at least $5 million a year in lost revenue to the flood insurance program, according to records examined by NBC News. All of these changes were approved by FEMA despite opposition from the city officials in charge of floodplain management.

http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2014_06/174916/140209-map_gulf-jms-1429_9d762709bc7183d502941b642791518e.nbcnews-ux-560-360.jpg” width=”560″ height=”360″ /> NBC News

See a map from NBC News with details of the condominium projects in Gulf Shores and Ocean Beach. Some of the condo projects have multiple buildings, making more than 60 buildings in all.

Elsewhere in Gulf Shores, homeowners are paying as much as $12,000 a year in flood insurance premiums for their single-family homes, according to insurance records. These homeowners are paying as much as several large condo buildings combined.

Properties from Alaska to Maine

Because waterfront properties are expensive, and it costs thousands of dollars to hire an engineer to press a case with FEMA, the remapped properties tend to be luxurious, either the first or second homes of industrialists, real estate developers and orthopedic surgeons.

The 533 properties include a $4 million home in the Hamptons resort on Long Island, N.Y., owned by a married couple who direct Wall Street investment firms.

In Miami, the beneficiaries include the twin 37-story condos at ritzy Turnberry Isle in Sunny Isles Beach, and also the Regalia, “the most luxurious building in South Florida.”

Image: The $19 million house shown at left in Naples, Florida, has been moved out of the highest-risk flood zone by FEMA Courtesy of Pictometry International Corp.

The Naples, Fla., home of Robert A. Watson, at left, was moved in 2013 out of the highest-risk flood zone, while its neighbors continue to pay higher rates for flood insurance.

In Naples, Fla., a $19 million home was remapped last year out of the high-risk zone. The owner, Robert A. Watson, former president and CEO of units of Westinghouse Electric and Transamerica, said his property is protected by a floodwall, and he sought the map change last year not to save money but because FEMA has changed the map elevations in that area so many times. He said he wanted to know for sure that a guesthouse would be permitted. (He called mandatory flood insurance “a massive scam on the American people.”)

In New York, FEMA granted the Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club’s request to be remapped from the high-risk flood zone in August 2012 — just two months before the club was damaged and its outbuildings destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, which stacked up yachts at its docks like pick-up sticks. The club told NBC that its engineering study showed that FEMA’s map was wrong.

“Sandy was a once in a millennium event, and therefore cannot be the sole determination for planning,” said Eric L. Gordon, attorney for the yacht club.

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In pictures: Aftermath of storms

Two people were killed on Friday as strong winds and heavy rain hit southern England, adding to problems already caused by widespread storms and flooding.

Large waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

A freak wave killed an 85-year-old cruise ship passenger in the Channel. Here waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

The scene in Kingsway opposite Holborn Tube station in central London, after a woman was killed after large chunks of masonry fell on to a Skoda Octavia vehicle she was in at 11.05pm yesterday.

In central London, mother-of-three Julie Sillitoe, 49, was killed when the taxi she was driving was crushed by falling masonry. Her two passengers were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Waves break below the East Cliff Pavillion in Folkestone during high tide.

Strong wind and waves batter parts of the south coast, including the East Cliff Pavilion in Folkestone, as thousands of homes are without power.

Waves during high tide at Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone

Waves during high tide at Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone. High winds are expected to subside during Saturday, after reaching 80mph.

Soldiers help a tree surgeon remove a fallen tree in Egham, west London

Soldiers help a tree surgeon remove a fallen tree in Egham, west London.

Volunteers and charities fill sandbags before they are distributed in Egham, west of London.

Meanwhile, volunteers from the local community and charities have helped to fill sandbags before they are distributed in Egham following the wettest start to the year for 250 years.

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Pensioner, 85, dies after massive wave batters cruise ship as 80mph storms leave more than 106,000 homes without power

  • An elderly cruise ship passenger has died after vessel hit by freak wave in the English Channel
  • A taxi driver, Julie Sillitoe, was killed after her car was crushed by falling masonry in central London
  • A young pregnant woman and her unborn baby were killed in a car crash in South Wales
  • Thirty-two people were rescued from a beachfront restaurant after it was pelted by storm-blown shingle and flooded
  • Some 16 severe flood warnings – meaning there is a danger to life – are in place
  • Warnings issued for coastal communities from Cornwall to Hampshire, Gloucester and the Thames Valley
  • Nearly 150 less serious flood warnings and 250 flood alerts were also in place this morning
  • Engineers are battling strong winds and rain to restore 106,101 homes that have had their power cut off
  • Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue pieces of his decking which were blown on to Hove seafront
  • Environment Agency tells Whitehall more properties will be flooded and Thames water levels will rise

By Anna Edwards and Wills Robinson

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An 85-year-old man died yesterday after the 22,000-tonne Marco Polo cruise ship was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel, as more than 106,000 homes – including the Queen’s – are without power after winds of up to 80mph cut off electricity.

Water crashed through a window, injuring a number of people. The man was airlifted off the vessel along with a woman in her 70s, but later died. About 10 other people suffered minor injuries and were treated on board.

As howling winds and further downpours battered Britain and killed three people, 32 diners were rescued from a beachfront restaurant after it was pelted by storm-blown shingle and flooded.

 

Newhaven lighthouse is battered by waves as high winds from the latest winter storm continues

Newhaven lighthouse is battered by waves as high winds from the latest winter storm continues

Rough seas pound Brighton Marina, on England's south coast, as more than 140,000 homes are without power following the violent storms

Rough seas pound Brighton Marina, on England’s south coast, as more than 140,000 homes are without power following the violent storms

Huge waves engulf Newhaven harbour. Two people have died in the last day during the storms which have pounded the country

Huge waves engulf Newhaven harbour. Two people have died in the last day during the storms which have pounded the country

The Environment Agency and emergency services have battled to cope with worst winter storms in living memory. Coastal towns like Southsea, Hampshire, (today) have been engulfed by huge waves

The Environment Agency and emergency services have battled to cope with worst winter storms in living memory. Coastal towns like Southsea, Hampshire, (today) have been engulfed by huge waves

One man risked his life by standing on a jetty in Old Portsmouth in Southsea, Hampshire, as the waves surged over the walls and flooded the coast

One man risked his life by standing on a jetty in Old Portsmouth in Southsea, Hampshire, as the waves surged over the walls and flooded the coast

Large waves smash against the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

Large waves smash against the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

One man died on the cruise liner 'Marco Polo' when a huge freak wave crashed through a window

One man died on the cruise liner ‘Marco Polo’ when a huge freak wave crashed through a window

The weather has also claimed three other lives. A woman died after falling masonry crushed the roof of her car, and a young pregnant woman and her unborn baby were killed as they drove through atrocious weather conditions in South Wales.

Police in Scotland are also probing whether a mother-of-two may have frozen to death after being locked outside her house.

The woman, 20, and her boyfriend were travelling on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road when they collided with another car at 11pm on Friday night.

Firemen and paramedics freed the woman from the wreckage and she was taken to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, but doctors were unable to save her and her unborn baby.

Minicab driver Julie Silltoe, 49, died after a chunk of masonry fell from a building and crushed the roof of the car she was in, in Holborn, central London.

Avril Ramsay, 48, was spotted lying in her garden in Edinburgh by a neighbour but she died in the street shortly after paramedics arrived on Thursday morning.

The weather was so devastating it ripped up roads and demolished buildings. Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home during the storm and dragged on to Hove seafront.

And forecasters have warned for another 2.5cm of rainfall today and plummeting temperatures as the winds and rain finally ease off in time for Sunday.

Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home and dragged on to Hove seafront

Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home and dragged on to Hove seafront

Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home and dragged on to Hove seafront

Soldiers are putting up a dam in Staines to redirect water away from housing into fields

Soldiers are putting up a dam in Staines to redirect water away from housing into fields

Soldiers from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and The Gurkhas   installing Geodesign flood barriers in Staines, which have been brought in from Sweden to help control flood waters

Soldiers from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and The Gurkhas installing Geodesign flood barriers in Staines, which have been brought in from Sweden to help control flood waters

Environment agency staff move a pipe to help manage the flooding situation in Chertsey, southern England. Agencies and emergency services have been inundated with calls for help

Environment agency staff move a pipe to help manage the flooding situation in Chertsey, southern England. Agencies and emergency services have been inundated with calls for help

Dutch engineers install the remaining pumps at Dunball near Bridgewater in Somerset to help clear the Somerset Levels of the flood water

Dutch engineers install the remaining pumps at Dunball near Bridgewater in Somerset to help clear the Somerset Levels of the flood water

These particular pumps are being used to pump the water out of the King Sedgemoor Drain and into the River Parrett

These particular pumps are being used to pump the water out of the King Sedgemoor Drain and into the River Parrett

The Met Office said that winds reached speeds of 80mph in The Mumbles, south Wales and the Isle of Portland, off Dorset, last night, while across southern parts of England, winds reached 65-75mph.

But there will be some respite, as winds and rain are forecast to ease off. The wettest place in Britain last night was Capel Curig, Wales, which was hit with 54.2mm rain, while the rest of flooded England suffered between 20 and 30mm of rain.

A Met Office forecaster predicted clearer skies for tonight, which will cause temperatures dropping to -2C, meaning thousands will wake up to icy conditions on Sunday morning.

But by the afternoon, there will be spells of sunshine, with temperatures reaching up to 10C. From Tuesday, prolonged dry spells will finally appear, after weeks of rain and storms.

Speaking during a visit to flood-hit Chertsey in Surrey, Prime Minister David Cameron said the relief effort in the next 24 hours would be ‘vital’ as river levels were set to rise again.

He told Sky News: ‘This is a vast national effort where we’re bringing all the resources of our country together. What we do in the next 24 hours is vital because tragically the river levels will rise again so every sandbag delivered, every house helped, every flood barrier put in place can make a big difference.

‘Tragically these weather events have been hitting community and after community and doing that week after week.’

The approaching calm weather comes after  two people were killed in the last day. A cruise ship passenger died after 80mph winds whipped up freak waves in the English Channel and a woman was killed when part of a building collapsed on to a car in central London.

The Marco Polo, operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), was heading for its home port of Tilbury, Essex, when it was pummelled by the sto

Beach huts lie shattered and twisted after gale force winds broke down a retaining wall at Hove during storms that lashed the south coast

Beach huts lie shattered and twisted after gale force winds broke down a retaining wall at Hove during storms that lashed the south coast

The Army load one tonne bags of aggregate into the river Itchen upstream from Winchester in an attempt to partially dam the river

The Army load one tonne bags of aggregate into the river Itchen upstream from Winchester in an attempt to partially dam the river

The Environment Agency said it expects levels on slow responding rivers like the Thames, like the Severn, to stay high for a number of days to come

The Environment Agency said it expects levels on slow responding rivers like the Thames, like the Severn, to stay high for a number of days to come

The Army has been drafted in to help build flood defences in Burghfield, Berkshire in a bid to ward off yet more flooding

The Army has been drafted in to help build flood defences in Burghfield, Berkshire in a bid to ward off yet more flooding

At least something good has come out of it! As the rain clears and the sky brightens, a double rainbow appeared over Frating, Essex

At least something good has come out of it! As the rain clears and the sky brightens, a double rainbow appeared over Frating, Essex

Water crashed through a window injuring a number of the 735 passengers, who are mainly British. Apart from the two victims who were airlifted off, a number of passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board.

The vessel, which has been to the Amazon in South America and to the West Indies during its 42-day journey, is due to dock at Tilbury in the early hours of tomorrow.

The company said: ‘CMV regrets to advise that earlier today their cruise ship m/s Marco Polo, en-route to her home port of Tilbury from the Azores, was hit by a freak wave during adverse sea conditions in the south western approaches of the English Channel.

‘One elderly passenger has died and a further passenger has been airlifted for further shore-side medical assistance. Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time.’

A minicab driver has died and a man has been taken to hospital after a building fell on a car in Holborn, central London, the Metropolitan Police said today.

Her passengers, a 25-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, are currently being treated in hospital.

Diners had to be rescued from a seaside cafe after the restaurant was overcome by a strong tidal surge and high winds. Cars parked outside were wrecked after they were washed away

Diners had to be rescued from a seaside cafe after the restaurant was overcome by a strong tidal surge and high winds. Cars parked outside were wrecked after they were washed away

The restaurant windows were shattered and the interior badly damaged by flood water and stones and debris blown up by the high winds on the beach

The restaurant windows were shattered and the interior badly damaged by flood water and stones and debris blown up by the high winds on the beach

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The Irish Times

Weather due to improve over coming days, forecasters predict

British prime minister David Cameron meets soldiers from the  Royal Gurkha Rifles, at a military command centre in Chertsey, southern England. Photograph: Paul Hackett/ReutersBritish prime minister David Cameron meets soldiers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles, at a military command centre in Chertsey, southern England. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

Sun, Feb 16, 2014, 11:41

   

The military could have been brought in earlier to help deal with the winter storms that have been wracking Britain, a Government minister has admitted.

As the weather finally gave the country a respite, defence secretary Philip Hammond defended the government’s handling of the crisis. He said Royal Engineers were now being tasked to carry out a high-speed assessment of “serious” to damage the UK’s flood defence infrastructure.

But Mr Hammond conceded that in future the Government would involve the military earlier in the process, and be more “aggressive” in urging local authorities to use troops. Swathes of the UK remain on high alert as people battle to protect their homes and communities from the floodwaters, which are still expected to rise in places despite the break in the storms.

The Environment Agency (EA) has 16 severe flood warnings in place for the South West and the Thames Valley, with almost 150 flood warnings and 230

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Earth Watch Report  -  Flooding

Residents wade along a flooded road near Egham, west of London, on Feb. 12. Flooded communities in Britain faced a fresh battering from storms and high winds.

Storm With 106-mph Gusts Hits Flooded Britain

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February 12 2014 05:31 AM Flood United Kingdom England, [Statewide] Damage level Details

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Description
As forecasters warn of snow, high winds and more rain into Wednesday, some 1,000 properties have been evacuated in the south of England. The 124 flood warnings across England and Wales include 14 severe warnings in Berkshire and Surrey and two in Somerset. Along the Thames Valley, warnings are in place from north of Oxford to the outskirts of London, with Chertsey, Colnbrook, Datchet and Wraysbury among the worst affected.

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Updated: Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 at 17:47 UTC
Description
Britain’s weather service says it sees the tentacles of climate change in a spate of storms and floods battering the country, but has stopped short of saying warming directly caused the extreme storms. The latest round of bad weather hit Britain’s west coast Wednesday with winds gusting at more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) an hour. The Met Office said in a paper published this week that “there is no definitive answer” on the role played by climate change in the recent weather and floods. But it said there is “an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense,” probably due to a warming world. Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo told the BBC that “all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change.” The Met office study discusses evidence of increasingly extreme weather events and changes in the jet stream, but it does not say global warming caused the flooding. To do that, scientists take months, sometimes years, to conduct detailed computer simulations — and the report said such research was needed in this case. England had its wettest January since records were first kept almost 250 years ago, and the country has been lashed by wind and rain since December. Resulting floods have drenched the southwestern coast of England, the low-lying Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley, west of London, where hundreds of properties have been swamped as the river burst its banks this week. The Met Office issued a highest-level red warning of “exceptionally strong winds” Wednesday for west Wales and northwest England. It said a gust of 106 mph (170 kph) was recorded at Aberdaron in northwestern Wales. The Met Office said gusts could cause widespread structural damage and loss of power. Railway operator Network Rail said the main west coast train line would close for about two hours Wednesday evening because of the wind.

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The Star.com

World

Scientists link Britain’s extreme weather to climate change

“All the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change,” Britain’s weather service says as high winds batter the country’s west coast.

LONDON—Britain’s weather service says it sees the tentacles of climate change in a spate of storms and floods battering the country, but has stopped short of saying warming directly caused the extreme storms.

The latest round of bad weather hit Britain’s west coast Wednesday with winds gusting at more than 160 km/h.

The Met Office said in a paper published this week that “there is no definitive answer” on the role played by climate change in the recent weather and floods.

But it said there is “an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense,” probably due to a warming world.

Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo told the BBC that “all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change.”

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As flooding batters Britain, politicians point fingers

With national election looming in 2015, the government appears to be playing defence: PM David Cameron says “money no object” in relief effort.

Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, tours flooded properties and roads as he visits Chertsey on Feb. 11. The Environment Agency continues to issue severe flood warnings for a number of areas on the river Thames.

View 4 photos

Christopher Furlong / GETTY IMAGES

Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, tours flooded properties and roads as he visits Chertsey on Feb. 11. The Environment Agency continues to issue severe flood warnings for a number of areas on the river Thames.

Jennifer Quinn News reporter, Published on Tue Feb 11 2014

Forget the weather, or climate change, or the wettest January in 2½ centuries. In Britain, politicians appear to be blaming terrible floods, devastating swaths of the English countryside, on each other.

And with a national election looming in 2015, the government appears to be playing defence: when it comes to the relief effort, Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday, “money is no object.”

The leader of Britain’s coalition government called a rare press conference to address the response to the floods, perhaps seeking to become the voice of reason in a national conversation dominated by duelling factions, such as the (Conservative) community minister accusing the (Labour) chair of the Environment Agency of ineptitude.

On the weekend, Eric Pickles, the minister for communities and local government — and a former chair of the Conservative Party — said that ministers “thought we were dealing with experts” when they took the advice of the Environment Agency, which leads on issues of flooding.

Agency chair Chris Smith — a former Labour cabinet minister who sits in the House of Lords as an independent — shot back, telling the BBC that his team knows “100 times more about flood management than any politician ever does.”

And into that fray stepped Cameron on Tuesday. He returned to Downing St. after a visit to the battered southwest coast of the U.K. to announce that £2.4 billion ($4.36 billion) would be spent on Britain’s flood defences and pledging whatever is necessary to help beleaguered residents recover.

“Whatever money is needed for it,” Cameron said, “it will be spent. We will take whatever steps necessary.”

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Is global warming a myth?

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Storm With 106-mph Gusts Hits Flooded Britain

Storm With 106-mph Gusts Hits Flooded Britain

By Jill Lawless and Seth Borenstein

February 13, 2014 2:44PM Gusts of more than 100 miles per hour lashed western Britain’s coast, while severe flood warnings remained in place for much of the south and west of the country. Britain’s weather agency says “there is no definitive answer” on the role played by climate change in the recent weather and floods, but evidence suggests there is a link.

Britain’s weather service says it sees the tentacles of climate change in a spate of storms and floods battering the country, but has stopped short of saying that global warming directly caused the extreme conditions.The latest round of bad weather slammed into Britain’s west coast on Wednesday with torrential rain and winds gusting up to 106 mph (170 kph). Trucks were toppled, trees were felled and a major chunk of the railway was closed.

The Web site of rail operator Virgin Trains greeted visitors with the words: “Do Not Travel.”

England, which has been lashed by wind and rain since December, had its wettest January since records began in 1766.

The resulting floods have drenched the southwestern coast of England, the low-lying Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley west of London, where hundreds of properties have been swamped after the Thames burst its banks.

Britain’s Met Office, the nation’s weather agency, said in a paper published this week that “there is no definitive answer” on the role played by climate change in the recent weather and floods. But it said there is “an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense,” probably due to a warming world.

Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo told the BBC that “all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change.”

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More misery in store for the Midlands and south-west

Lives could be in danger in parts of the south-west and in the Midlands, where the Environment Agency has issued nine severe flood warnings – its highest level of alert.

The Cornwall and North Devon coasts are expect to bear the brunt of the weather, along with the River Severn near Gloucester, and 178 more flood warnings have been issued across England and Wales.

Cobra, the government’s emergency committee, has met to address the issue amid growing calls for a permanent solution.

A month of torrential downpours has seen some parts of England suffer the wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago, and the start of February is not looking promising.

Kate Marks, the Environment Agency’s flood risk manager, said: “A low pressure system combining with high tides brings a risk of coastal flooding to many parts of England over the weekend.

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UK flooding: Environment Agency boss Lord Smith engulfed in crisis over his 11 jobs

Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, comes under fire over the floods

armer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys flooded land at his farm in Moorland

Farmer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys flooded land at his farm in Moorland Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Lord Smith’s leadership of the Environment Agencyis in crisis following the flooding gripping parts of Britain.

Sources have accused Lord Smith, a Cabinet minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government, of “keeping his head down” despite parts of the country being submerged for weeks.

Allegations that he is “too distracted” by having too many jobs — in all Lord Smith has 11 paid and unpaid posts — have added to the growing concern in Whitehall.

Although he is due to step down as chairman of the Environment Agency in June, a source said: “There is no way he would get back in even if he wanted to reapply for his post.”

Lord Smith has insisted the agency is doing all it can in the face of the wettest January in history and has pointed out that — unlike the North Sea floods of 1953 when more than 300 people died — lives have been protected through the hard work of his staff.

However, the agency has faced severe criticism, particularly over its alleged failure to dredge rivers on the Somerset Levels. One local MP accused the body of failing to spend its resources on flood defences and instead diverting millions of pounds to bird sanctuaries.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater in Somerset, said: “We’re just sick to death of it [flooding]. They [the Environment Agency] need to dredge these rivers, stop spending money — £31 million — on bird sanctuaries and spend £5 million, that’s all we want, to sort this out.

“What comes first is the humans. I’m afraid the birds will fly off elsewhere.”

The Telegraph can also disclose that the Environment Agency undertook detailed computer modelling on the impact of dredging in 2012, which showed that dredging would have “significantly reduce[d] the duration and depth of flooding” in the worst hit areas.

Residents of the Somerset Levels piled further pressure on the agency after tests showed stagnant flood water had left gardens “awash with unsafe bacteria”.

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Gusts of almost 80mph hit coastal areas, as storms and floods wreak more havoc in Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Flooding in Somerset

Video: Anger In Somerset Over Flooding

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Sky News Weather Forecast

The latest update from the Sky News weather team.

Video: Sky News UK Weather Forecast

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Heavy rains, large waves and strong winds wreaked havoc in Britain and Ireland today, cancelling flights and sparking a “significant risk to life” warning.

The worst of the weather was battering the Republic of Ireland but gusts were expected to pick up across Wales and southern parts of England during the day.

The Environment Agency warned “extraordinary measures” may be taken in Gloucestershire today to keep back tidal and river floods.

Large waves caused by high winds and spring tides batter the coastal town of Lahinc
Large waves caused by high winds and spring tides batter Lahinc

It issued severe flood warnings – meaning there is an imminent danger to life – for several parts of the county and the coasts of Cornwall and north Devon.

Further warnings are in place along the length of the River Severn amid fears it could burst its banks. It also warned the risk of flooding could continue into next week.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the water level rises.

King's Island in central Limerick
Flooding in central Limerick, Ireland (pic: Sean Keogh/@Fame_For_Sale)

A statement issued by the agency said: “Gales, large waves and high tides present a danger to life and are expected to result in overtopping of sea walls and defences causing flooding to properties along with disruption to travel.

“The risk of flooding will continue into next week, with the Met Office forecasting further heavy rainfall across southern England and Wales.

“This rain will fall in areas where ground water and river levels are already high, bringing an ongoing risk of flooding.”

Lesser warnings remain in place for many parts of Britain, including the already blighted Somerset Levels and west Wales, where 49 flood warnings and 15 alerts have been issued this morning.

A street in Limerick
Residents in Limerick paddle down the road in a boat. Pic: Anne Sheridan
Customers in the Anchor Bleu pub
The Anchor Bleu in Bosham (pic Stephen Sumner)

Tests for Sky News have found floodwater in Somerset, where the floods have persisted for weeks, contains 60 times the amount of safe bacteria for agricultural water.

In the Republic of Ireland, there were reports of severe flooding in Limerick City with the river Shannon bursting its banks.

With gusts of almost 80mph in coastal areas of the country, several parts were hit by flooding and at one stage 5,500 homes and properties were left without power, 4,000 of them in Ennis, Co Clare.

Flights out of Dublin airport were affected because of the gales force winds. Flights to Manchester, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Cardiff, Paris and Madrid had to be cancelled.

Isabel Webster, reporting from the River Parrett in Burrowbridge, Somerset, tweeted at 8.30am: “High tide in Burrowbridge this morning. It’s just touching the sand bags.”

Minutes later she tweeted: “Water is seeping through giant sandbags onto road beyond at high tide here in Burrowbridge.”

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Sky News

Britain, Ireland lashed by wild weather

Updated: 07:27, Sunday February 2, 2014

Britain, Ireland lashed by wild weather

Heavy rains, large waves and strong winds wreaked havoc in Britain and Ireland today, cancelling flights and sparking a ‘significant risk to life’ warning.

The worst of the weather was battering the Republic of Ireland but gusts were expected to pick up across Wales and southern parts of England during the day.

The Environment Agency warned ‘extraordinary measures’ may be taken in Gloucestershire to keep back tidal and river floods.

It issued severe flood warnings – meaning there is an imminent danger to life – for several parts of the county and the coasts of Cornwall and north Devon.

Further warnings are in place along the length of the River Severn amid fears it could burst its banks. It also warned the risk of flooding could continue into next week.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the water level rises.

A statement issued by the agency said: ‘Gales, large waves and high tides present a danger to life and are expected to result in overtopping of sea walls and defences causing flooding to properties along with disruption to travel.

‘The risk of flooding will continue into next week, with the Met Office forecasting further heavy rainfall across southern England and Wales.

‘This rain will fall in areas where ground water and river levels are already high, bringing an ongoing risk of flooding.’

Lesser warnings remain in place for many parts of Britain, including the already blighted Somerset Levels and west Wales, where 49 flood warnings and 15 alerts have been issued this morning.

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ITV News

Last updated Sat 1 Feb 2014

Families had to be rescued from their homes as parts of the Republic of Ireland were hit with gale force winds, heavy rain and serious flooding.

Emergency workers rescue residents after a flash flood on the Lee Estate in Limerick City. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
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The Irish Times  News

Army called in as Limerick faces ‘unprecedented’ floods

Scores of people evacuated from inundated homes across city

Army vehicle in Limerick earlier today. Army vehicle in Limerick earlier today.

Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 15:16

The Army has been drafted into a Limerick to help battle “unprecedented” floods in the city.

Scores of people have been evacuated from their homes across Limerick City after “unprecedented” floods hit this morning.

Large parts of the city and county are under water after the River Shannon burst its banks in several areas.

The worst affected locations include Kings Island (St Mary’s Park/Island Road and the Lee Estate), Athlunkard Street, Dock Road, Condell Road, Corbally Road, Honan’s Quay, Clancy Strand, and Longpavement.

Another area badly hit by the floods, Athlunkard Street, saw houses and cars submerged.

Ger Hogan has meanwhile become a hero in his native city. Since early this morning the father of seven has been rescuing stranded victims of the floods from their washed out homes to safety – all on board a cart driven by his mare Peg.

From 9am, Ger and Peg began carting neighbours and family and friends in St Mary’s Park to dry ground.

The north side estate is under four feet of water. By 2.30pm Ger and three-year old Peg had rescued around 100 people.

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