Monday, June 6, 2011

EARTH CHANGES: Natural Disasters Displaced 42 Million In 2010!

Over the course of the last year, I have been saying that this planet and all who inhabit it, have entered a new paradigm, where all sense of what was considered as normal, has suddenly vanishing away like a rushing wind sweeping everything before it. If you don't considered this to be true, then perhaps it best that you have a read of the following report, that not dovetails perfectly with my view, but illustrates clearly how monumental these Earth changes and weather anomalies have been. The report reveals that in 2010 alone, approximately 42 million persons was displaced by natural disasters. An amazing figure, but what is even more alarming is the ripple effect of this, which must be examined and profoundly understood, since each person belongs to a family, a community, and a workplace or school. Given that everything is connected, it means that whatever happens to someone else, affects us as well.

About 42 million people were forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters around the world in 2010, more than double the number during the previous year, experts said Monday. One reason for the increase in the figure could be climate change, and the international community should be doing more to contain it, the experts said. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said the increase from 17 million displaced people in 2009 was mainly due to the impact of "mega-disasters" such as the massive floods in China and Pakistan and the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti. It said more than 90 percent of the disaster displacements were caused by weather-related hazards such as floods and storms that were probably impacted by global warming, but it couldn't say to what extent. "The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, and this trend is only set to continue. With all probability, the number of those affected and displaced will rise as human-induced climate change comes into full force," said Elisabeth Rasmusson, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The monitoring center and refugee council presented the report at an international conference about climate change and displacement in Oslo. The number of people displaced last year – about 42 million – is roughly the size of Argentina's entire population, and the onslaught of natural disasters so far this year also has been grim. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan left more than 10,000 people dead, some 17,500 missing and about a half-million homeless. In the United States, tornadoes have wreaked havoc from Alabama to Massachusetts, while floods have inundated states from Montana to Louisiana. In the southwest Missouri city of Joplin, the U.S.'s deadliest tornado in six decades killed at least 141 people and destroyed more than 8,000 homes in a city of about 50,000 people. Speaking at the Oslo conference, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called the issue of climate-related displacement "the defining challenge of our times" and criticized the international community for lacking the political will to reduce to pace of climate change.

"There is increasing evidence to suggest that natural disasters are growing in frequency and intensity and that this is linked to the longer-term process of climate change," Guterres said. Asia was the hardest hit region last year, with the largest number of displaced people seen in countries such as India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, China and Pakistan. In China alone, more than 15 million people were forced to leave their homes following floods, while 11 million people were displaced in Pakistan, the report said. The large floods in India in 2009 also continued to force people to leave their homes in 2010. "This report provides us with evidence of the extent and urgency of the problem that we cannot ignore. We must increase collaborative efforts to prevent displacement by natural disasters, and do a better job of protecting those displaced," Rasmusson said
. - Huffington Post.

THE GREAT DELUGE: Storms, Heavy Rains and Floods Worldwide!

In earlier reports, I told you of the flooding in Jamaica and Singapore, the following constitutes the current news updates on the deluge of heavy rains and flooding in other countries around the world.

In disaster-ravaged Haiti, the overflowing of Lake Azuei caused evacuations of several villages nearby.


The Haitian government and international aid groups evacuated more than 50 families to dry land Sunday after the Caribbean country's largest lake overflowed from days of heavy rains. Brackish water spilled from Lake Azuei before dawn, flooding sections of low-lying land around several villages near Thomazeau, a town northeast of the capital. The United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs dispatched a convoy of trucks and boats early Sunday to aid villagers whose homes were at risk of flooding, U.N. spokeswoman Elaine Nabaa said. Nadia Lochard, an official with Haiti's Civil Protection Department, said 56 families agreed to leave their homes, while others chose to stay because they feared their possessions would be stolen or they needed to tend to livestock. The evacuated families were moved to a church in Thomazeau. Earlier Sunday, representatives of humanitarian groups said about 1,000 villagers would likely need to be evacuated. Nabaa said they received this number from Haiti's Civil Protection Department. Lochard declined to answer questions about the discrepancy. But the number of people who need to be evacuated near Lake Azuei could easily climb in the coming days as rain continued along the Haitian-Dominican border. Lake Azuei has had problems with flooding for years. Canals that are supposed to stabilize the large lake's water level have long been clogged with trash and sediment, leading to flooding. Hillsides surrounding the lake are deforested, allowing water and sediment to run into the lake. Haiti has seen weeks of downpours as the rainy season shifts into the hurricane season, which officially began last week. President Michel Martelly visited the flooded areas on the border Sunday morning, his spokesman, Damian Merlo, wrote on Twitter. Merlo didn't respond to phone calls seeking comment. - Bellingham Herald
In Guyana, flooding causes havoc in the south.

Government has activated its emergency response to bring relief to flood-affected communities across the country’s largest region – Region 9, in the south – which has experienced unusual levels of rainfall over the last few days. Many farms have been submerged, houses have collapsed, and some roads have also been left impassable. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said the flooding in Region 9’s capital, Lethem, is “higher by about two to three feet than it was in the 2005 flood, which was the highest in recent memory.” As a result of the extreme circumstances facing residents, an Emergency Response Centre has been established at the Regional Guest House in Lethem and is coordinating shelters, food and medical supplies, crop and livestock assistance, transportation and communication, among other activities. The response team comprises technical and field representatives of Government, Civil Defence Commission, Health, Public Works, the Business Community in Region 9, and Guyana Red Cross Society and volunteers. “Flooding is reported around all of the villages and a majority of farms are covered,” Hinds said. “As we know, the major crop here is cassava and a number of houses have collapsed. Three in Lethem and in a number of villages there are reports of, maybe another 10 houses have collapsed in maybe four or five other villages. Villagers are being encouraged to reap as much of their mature crops as possible and process them or store them in such a way that they could be kept.” - Caribbean 360.

In Colombia, 1,500 families have been affected by floods as the river Sinu Monteria swamps eight districts, where waters reaching the streets have weakened the infrastructure of housing.


The crisis plaguing the tacamocheros since last November when the water started coming to the streets of the township, is becoming a threat to its inhabitants, due to the weakening that has been generated in the housing infrastructure. Estella Herrera González, 65 years old, says he did 11 years in this township did not reach the streets from the river water. "Since last year we came over here suffering with floods due to rains that have fallen across the country," he says. He adds that apart from living with the water inside their homes, should bear the diseases they produce in the whole population, which sometimes comes to despair, to the point of losing hope. Since the floods began, fever, flu and foot fungus of those affected have no truce, which is why we are calling on the Ministry of Health Department to conduct a conference to address health whole community is sick. Due to the floods, farmers say the river has washed away their crops and have therefore lost in seven months about $ 240 million represented in cassava, corn, watermelon, sesame and snuff, sometimes led to food shortages in the urban of that population. Another of the inconveniences suffered by the 4,500 victims of the most prosperous township of Cordoba is the lack of means for transportation to the village, and the only way to get there is by water, in turn increasing the cost of transport. The districts most affected by the floods are Tacamocho, Tacamochito, San Andrés, Santa Lucia and the municipal seat of Cordoba, which has a total of 1,500 families affected in this population of the Department of Bolívar. The inhabitants of each of the districts affected are working night and day to prevent overflowing of the river, placing barricades but nothing has helped this effort, because the force of water is more serious and dragging in its wake a 3,000 meters of land on the left bank of the tributary at the point known as the Maelstrom. - Noticias.  
At this time, designing the plan for the disposal of 10 municipalities in the department of Cordoba. The river Sinu Monteria reached on Thursday, as planned, and flooded eight districts bordering the capital of Cordoba. Also flooded the park Sinu Round. About 1,900 families in the municipalities of Tierralta and Cereté are affected. At this time, authorities in Cordoba are met with the Minister of Transport, Germain Cardona, assessing the situation. - El Tiempo
In the Netherlands, thunderstorms caused flash flooding in Drenthe and Arnhem.


Thunderstorms led to localised flash floods in some parts of the country on Sunday, with Arnhem and the southeast of Drenthe particularly hard hit. The heavy showers overloaded the storm drains in some places, leading to flooded cellars and low-lying roads. In Arnhem, a car carrying three elderly people became trapped in a tunnel by flood waters. One had to be taken to hospital. - Dutch News.
In France, storms caused widespread flooding in its southern regions.


To the south of France collapsed element. Storms and torrential rains triggered severe flooding. In the Maritime Alps and the Alpes de Haute Provence, several rivers overflowed its banks. Hurricane swept left without electricity, some localities. Element has caused tremendous damage to agriculture: rain heavily eroded farmlands, and hail destroyed the fruits of exotic plants in greenhouses. It is worth noting that in 2011 France was abnormally hot and dry weather, which has not happened for over a century. Authorities do not rule out that continued drought could cause large-scale crisis in agriculture. - LCI.  

In the south of Armenia, heavy rainfalls have caused a major landslide on an interstate highway.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Transport and Communication, the highway that runs from Yerevan to Kajaran and extends towards the southernmost town of Meghri has been shut. Road constructors are now trying to open a temporary highway along the river of Meghri. Drivers are meanwhile recommended to travel along an alternative road that lies between the towns of Kapan and Meghri... Armenian village Shaten in the Vayots Dzor region is cut off the outer world. A huge landslide occurred on Tuesday night and disconnected the communications between the village and the region center. There were no people on the road during the landslide, informs photojournalist Gagik Shamshyan. -
In China, the weather anomalies continues as rampant and persistent floods in the southwestern regions resulted in 13 persons missing.

Continuous downpours have triggered floods and left 13 people missing in Wangmo County in southwest China's Guizhou Province, the province's flood control and drought relief headquarters said on Monday. Heavy rains hit Guizhou from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday, with several of the province's counties experiencing downpours, the headquarters said. Water levels on the Wangmo River in Wangmo County were recorded at more than 3 meters higher than the recommended safe level during the rains, resulting in massive floods and an evacuation of some 6,000 residents. The water levels dropped back down to a safe range on Monday morning. The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters has initiated an emergency response to rescue the missing people and aid flood-hit regions. Parts of Guizhou Province were hit by heavy rains from June 3 to 5. The resulting floods knocked over houses, cut power and halted traffic, affecting approximately 71,200 of the province's residents. -
In India, the region of Assam was hit by the first wave of flood on Saturday with Brahmaputra's tributary Jiadhol rising alarmingly in the flood-prone Dhemaji district.


Heavy rainfall for the last few days has led to the water level of Jiadhol river to rise alarmingly affecting more than 20 flood-prone villages of the district. A section of National Highway-52 was also submerged at Samarjan with traffic stranded on the way. The district administration has sounded an alert and efforts are being made to ensure traffic movement along NH 52. - IBN Live.
A steady morning downpour caused heavy flooding in the Mapusa market, resulting in severe hardships for a few hours and losses to some businessmen and vendors in the busy marketplace on Saturday. As the water level rose on the northern side of the market, traders and vendors tried to take measures to prevent their goods from being damaged. But the water continued to rise near the main municipal market building and entered some shops while vendors had to keep shifting their goods. "The flooding continued from mid-morning till afternoon," a source said. Not only vendors sitting outside in the open but also businessmen in their shops were affected by the rise in water level. The worst affected were jewellers, cloth merchants and others as water entered their shops while fruit vendors had a nightmare trying to keep their goods above water. - Times of India.
In Vietnam, various routes throughout Ho Chi Minh City was submerged in 0.5 metres of water following heavy rains yesterday afternoon even though drainage systems along these routes were fully operational.

Hong Bang Crossroads in District 5 and Kinh Duong Vuong Street in the Binh Tan District were all submerged in 1 metre of water in some places, bringing traffic to a standstill. The Southern Bus Station was flooded causing passengers to wade through water in order to buy tickets. Routes in District 6, 7 and 8, including Hau Giang, Nguyen Thi Thap and Pham The Hien Streets, were additionally flooded. According to the HCM City Flood Prevention Centre, flooding occurred due to nearby drainage systems still being under construction, obstructing water flow. Heavy rains, coupled with strong winds, caused trees and billboards to fall down in Ha Noi yesterday. Although some roads were slightly flooded, the water disappeared quickly. - Cand.
Landslides continued to occur in Long Hoa Market in Binh Thuy District of Can Tho City on June 4, causing the collapse of tens of meters of land along the Binh Thuy River. Though no casualties were reported, there is a definite threat to the Rach Cam Bridge. Nguyen Tan Duoc, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Binh Thuy District asked Long Hoa Ward and Binh Thuy District authorities to inspect landslide-prone areas and evacuate residents to safety. He also said that local authorities must control traffic on the Rach Cam Bridge. The city has witnessed three landslides between April 24 and May 5, which have caused severe damage. The latest landslide on Monday caused 12 food and vegetable shops in Long Hoa market to slide into the river. The earlier landslide had killed two people, injured five and caused damage of hundreds of millions of VND. Following the incident, local authorities have shut down the market, evacuated residents living around it and arranged temporary location for business to continue. - Vietnam Info.
In the Philippines, floods destroyed over 7 million dollars worth of crops and killed 5 persons in the Mindanao area.

More than P7 million worth of corn, palay, and vegetables were damaged by floods in Maguindanao spawned by torrential rains while typhoon “Chedeng” was battling many areas in Luzon, agriculture officials said. Daud Lagasi, Maguindanao provincial agricultural officer, said floods and a freak tornado hit the towns of Pagalungan and Datu Abdulla Sangki – the towns beside the Maguindanao marshland. Lagasi said about 875 hectares were damaged when the Alla River overflowed and inundated the corn and rice fields in Datu Abdulla Sangki. - MB.
Five people died as torrential rains and ensuing floods hit North Cotabato and Maguindanao in Mindanao the past days, disaster officials said. In Maguindanao, at least 10 municipalities surrounding the Liguasan marshland have been flooded for a week now due incessant rains. Last week, three persons drowned in Libungan and Pikit, both in North Cotabato due to strong river currents. Roberto Argoncillo and his brother Rommel drowned in Libungan River in North Cotabato. Their bodies were recovered off the Liguasan marshland in Maguindanao. Rudy Aperdo of Pikit, North Cotabato also drowned while crossing the Pagalungan river. Ugka Unos and his brother Ramos also drowned in Malitubog River in Carmen town in North Cotabato. The two along with another man, boat operator Magki Katog, were cruising the Malitubog River on Sunday when they were washed away by rampaging waters. The Unos brothers’ remains were found downstream in Pikit town. Katog survived, a local official said. Floodwaters destroyed rice and corn fields in the towns of Carmen, Pikit and Kabacan in North Cotabato and Pagalungan and Datu Montawal in Maguindanao. Social Welfare Secretary Pombain Karon Kadir of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said about 8,000 families, or 56,000, persons were affected by flooding in Pagalungan and Montawal. - Inquirer.  
Authorities in Sultan Kudarat province prepared to evacuate at least 1,400 families in a village there, due to floods from continuous rains in the area. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the 1,400 families are from Udtong village in Lambayong town. In its 1 p.m. Sunday report, the NDRRMC said Lambayong town officials prepared a gymnasium in Sadsalan village as an evacuation center for the families. Municipal and provincial disaster management officials are also conducting damage and needs assessment to determine the number of people affected and the extent of damage in flooded areas. - GMA News.
Heavy rains caused flash floods in many areas of Rayong in Thailand.


After consecutive rainfall since last night. Rainfall since last night until this morning. Along with drainage and wetlands behind low Cause flooding at various locations in Rayong province, such as Sukhumvit Road from the factory next to the IRPC Phe, especially in the Municipality of Rayong Market Center Rayong area flooded more than 60 cm, while the fruit market Taphong. Flooded the market with more than 70 cm resulted in traffic in the city on the morning of the last relatively seamless. A long traffic jam on the road almost every line. - Thai News Agency.

Stay tuned. More anon.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Huge Sinkholes on New Madrid Fault Line!

The state of Illinois, along with Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi lies atop the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an intraplate area of earthquakes within a tectonic plate, in the southern and midwestern United States, extending to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri. Recently seismologists, geologists and scientists indicated that there is a great probability and potential for large earthquakes in the future, similar to the 1811-1812 earthquakes that cause major devastation in the region.

A few days ago, on May 25th,  several large sinkholes mysteriously appeared on several streets in Cairo, Illinois.

Commercial Avenue and sections of Martin Luther King Jr. Street are among the most heavily damaged blocks. The 400 block of 14th Street is closed as a sinkhole covers the entire width of the street. The same is true at 11th Street and Commercial Avenue, where several sinkholes and breaks in the pavement have blocked any traffic in front of the Cairo Public Utility building. Other damaged streets include 15th Street and Cedar Street, 15th Street and Poplar Street and the 1800 block of Washington Avenue. Evaluations of damages to public buildings were not complete Tuesday, and Coleman wouldn’t release to the media the name of a special projects manager working to complete the list of damages.

Cairo Public Utilities assistant manager Glen Klett said he’s seen the large sinkholes in front of the building on several occasions. They happen as a result of high groundwater flow and occur, Klett said, in the same location during almost every flooding event. He expects the situation to get worse as river levels continue to drop. “It definitely hurts our business,” Klett said. He added that after past disaster events, FEMA offered aid to restore the damaged sections of road to the state they were in before the flooding. “There’s never been a complete fix,” he said. According to Jeff Denny, an Alexander County Highway Department engineer, damage to county roads is widespread. “We have at least 25 miles of road underwater right now, so we don’t know exactly what we’re going to have,” Denny said. “We’re still hauling sandbags and then doing some debris removal in those areas.”

In the meantime, Denny is trying to get familiar with exactly what sort of the damage the county is dealing with so he can report them to agencies like IEMA. Denny and other county officials met Tuesday afternoon to organize a list of damages. “We had a lot of roads that were washed out. We got in trouble with culverts and bridges, too, that will need to be repaired. And there’s a lot of cleanup to do,” he said. Thirty percent of the county’s roads are gravel, and many of them are washed out or still covered with floodwaters. IEMA officials said they had not completed their public assistance assessments in Alexander County, as crews began the evaluations Monday. Thompson said with five IEMA assessment teams on the ground, who are working with FEMA officials, they hope to complete an inventory of expenses related to emergency protective measures, road and public facility damages by the end of this week. “We’re trying to do this as quickly as possible. We wouldn’t want somebody to be left out because they didn’t have all their information,” Thompson said.
- Illinois.
WATCH: Heartland News coverage of the sinkholes.

EARTH CHANGES: HEAVY RAINS and Flash Flooding creates a Deluge Across Jamaica, as Low-Pressure System turns into a Tropical Cylone!

In my homeland of Jamaica, heavy rainfall brought on by a low-pressure system over the past two days has resulted in the suspected drowning of a man in Nine Miles, Bull Bay in St Andrew, and has caused further damage to the island’s road network. THE Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has activated its National Emergency Operations Centre amid widespread reports of flooding in Kingston, St Andrew, St Thomas, St Catherine and Clarendon.
Low-depression system over Jamaica.
THE Meteorological Service has continued the flash flood warning for low-lying and flood-prone areas of St Mary, Portland, St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and St Elizabeth until 5:00 pm today. A flash flood watch remains in effect for all other parishes also until 5:00 pm. A warning means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly. Motorists and pedestrians should not attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas as strong currents are likely. Residents in low-lying areas should be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground. The forecast is for periods of showers and thunderstorms, which could be heavy at times, to continue to affect most parishes throughout today and Tuesday. The area of low pressure over the Caribbean Sea, south of Jamaica, has remained almost stationary over the past 24 hours. This large area of disturbed weather is expected to linger across the central Caribbean until Tuesday and will continue to influence the weather over the island during this period. Satellite imagery and radar reports indicate that light to moderate showers affected sections of most parishes last night with moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorm detected across eastern and south-western parishes. Fishers and other marine interests are advised to exercise extreme caution, as strong winds and rough sea conditions are expected in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms. The Area of low pressure now has a medium chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, and the Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of this system.
Flooding causes major road collapse.
According to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPDEM), reports received from the Police Control are that two men were trapped by flood waters at the Bob Marley Beach in Bull Bay while travelling in a fishing boat. One was rescued and taken to hospital, but the other is suspected to have drowned. Flood waters also left Hordley Crossing in Eastern St Thomas impassable. The crossing which connects St Thomas and Portland left motorists with no clear alternative route. A tour of sections of the Corporate Area yesterday saw people bracing themselves for what weather forecasters have predicted will be an active hurricane season. Residents living along the ill-fated Sandy Park Gully in Liguanea, St Andrew, said that they stayed up all night Saturday watching as the water levels in the gully rose. Last September, the gully claimed the lives of six people after their two-storey house was washed away by torrential rain brought on by Tropical Storm Nicole. "We don't really have the flooding, but we are watching in case of anything," said Marian Seally who has been living along the gully bank for the past 34 years. A section of the house that Seally occupies with her sister and nieces and nephews was also swept away by flood waters last year, but she said that they had nowhere else to go. Fearing for her life, her family constructed a makeshift retaining wall along the gully bank three weeks ago, which they hope will ward off flood waters. "We have to help ourselves. We can't really sit down and wait on government," she said.
Heavy rains and flooding opens up massive sinkhole.
THE National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, wetlands and gullies since crocodiles may be displaced from their natural habitats during this period of heavy rains. Persons are also advised to avoid bathing in or near rivers and canals as crocodiles are likely to move with flood waters and may be found in these areas. Areas which may be affected include Portmore, St Catherine, South Clarendon and wetland areas in St Thomas and St Elizabeth, said NEPA in a statement last night. NEPA appealed to members of the public not to provoke crocodiles, warning that they are sensitive animals which may react dangerously if cornered and attacked.
- Jamaica Observer
WATCH: Television Jamaica's (TVJ) report on the floods.

EARTH CHANGES: Tornadoes Wreck Havoc in Northern Sweden!

Tornadoes and rough winds wreaked havoc yesterday in the north of Sweden, tearing down a large number of trees.

One man in the northern province Västerbotten was seriously injured when a tree fell on top of him, and is now in intensive care. "The number of fallen trees is probably the worst I've experienced in several years," Zakarias Juto, traffic controller at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), told news agency TT. The agency has received hundreds of calls reporting roads that are blocked due to fallen trees. At worst, almost 15,000 of Vattenfall's customers in the provinces Västerbotten and Norrbotten were without electricity. Today thousands are still waiting for the power to return.

On Sunday morning, 2,400 of Vattenfall's customers, 425 of EON's customers and 2,280 of Skellefteå kraft's customers were still in the dark, reports regional newspaper Norran. "In some areas our power lines are heavily damaged," Roger Lindmark, information officer at Vattenfall, said to TT. "Poles have been tumbled over and trees have fallen on lines." The thunderstorm was created as cold air from the west pushed out warmer air. Tornadoes in connection with thunderstorms are not entirely rare in Sweden, according to meteorological institute SMHI. "Several cases are observed every year, especially in the summer," confirmed Linnéa Rehn, meteorologist at SMHI. Tornadoes can give extremely high wind speeds. Winds as fast as 70 meters per second have been reported before.
- The Local.
WATCH: Tornadoes wreaked havoc in the north of Sweden.