Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - 2 Dead After Floods And Landslides In Sao Paulo And Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The 2013 To 2014 Winter Floods In The UK Cause £1.3 BILLION Damage; Floods In Nord And Grand'Anse Departments In Haiti Leave 1 Dead And Over 10,000 Homes Damaged; Floods Leave 1 Dead And Affects 35,000 People In Indonesia; Heavy Rainfall And Landslide In Beni, Santa Cruz And La Paz, Bolivia! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Photo: Defesa Civil da Praia Grande

March 2, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms. 

Brazil – 2 Dead After Floods and Landslide in São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro Flooded After 100 mm of Rain

Heavy rain in south eastern Brazil has caused a deadly landslide in São Sebastião, São Paulo State, and widespread flooding in the streets of Rio de Janeiro city, where some areas saw over 90mm of rain in 4 hours.

São Paulo
The heavy rain began to fall on 28 February 2016. Two people died after they were buried in a landslide in the Boicucanga neighbourhood of São Sebastião on 29 February. The landslide destroyed several homes, leaving at least 11 people homeless. A total of 27 people were evacuated.

Agência Brasil say that a total of 7 people have died in landslides in the state since December.

The heavy rain also caused surface flooding in Baixada Santista on the coast of São Paulo state. Local civil defence personnel were called in to help carry out some evacuations.

Rio de Janeiro
Agência Brasil are also reporting that torrential rain on 29 February caused widespread surface flooding in many parts of Rio de Janeiro, paralysing traffic and disrupting flights at Santos Dumont Airport.

The worst affected areas include the favela of Rocinha, which recorded 96 mm of rain in just 4 hours. The news agency says that Alto da Boa Vista saw 93.8 mm of rain, Jardim Botânico 77.8 mm and Urca 74.8 mm.

Warning Sirens
No deaths or injuries have been reported. The Civil Defence for Rio de Janeiro municipality sounded emergency sirens in the districts of Chapéu Mangueira and Babilônia. The sirens are used once rainfall levels reach above 50 mm or more in one hour, and warn residents of potential floods and landslides, and to prepare to evacuate their homes. Civil defence say that rainfall levels reached 62.4 mm in one hour in affected areas.

UK Floods – 2013 to 2014 Winter Floods Caused £1.3 Billion Damage

An official report by the Environment Agency in the UK reveals that the winter floods of 2013 to 2014 caused damage in England and Wales costing around £1.3 billion.

Residential properties, making up 25% of total damages, suffered the greatest proportion of flood damages. As many as 10,465 properties suffered flood damage, with estimated incurred costs of £320 million. Furthermore, an estimated £50 million was spent on temporary accommodation for 7,000 households forced from their homes by the floods. As many as 4,897 businesses also suffered, incurring costs of around £270 million.

But it wasn’t just buildings and property that suffered damage. According to the report, the 2013 to 2014 winter floods caused damage to 5,400 motor vehicles, including boats and caravans, with estimated costs of £37 million.

Damage to roads cost £180 million and railway damage around £110 million. Costs to to air transport, which included flooding and disruption to flights at Gatwick airport, are estimated at £3.2 million. Damage to local authority and government infrastructure costs around £58 million.

2013 to 2014 Winter Floods
Between December 2013 and March 2014, the UK witnessed heavy and prolonged rainfall, including the wettest January on record in parts of the country and around twice the average monthly rainfall in other locations.

The East Coast was also affected by the largest coastal surge since 1953. These events resulted in significant coastal damage and prolonged fluvial and groundwater flooding, particularly in some southern counties and south western areas of England. During these 4 months many properties, crucial transport infrastructure and farmland were flooded.

About the Report
The report is the result of research commissioned by the Environment Agency’s Evidence Directorate and funded by the joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme.
The project aimed to identify the range of impacts of the floods, and to calculate the resulting financial and economic damages but also calculate damages that were avoided. Over 600 organisations were contacted for information and over 500 data sources were reviewed.

The project used methodologies developed in response to the floods of summer 2007 flood, and also the rapid flood cost calculator devised by the Environment Agency in 2012.

However, the characteristics and impacts of the 2013 to 2014 floods differed in many ways from those of the 2007 floods, prompting an in-depth review. In particular, a better assessment was needed of the impacts resulting from coastal surge and extreme waves that were a feature of the winter floods for many coastal areas. The long duration floods in areas such as the Somerset Levels was also a key feature of the winter 2013 to 2014 floods. Rivers in the area were later dredged as a result of the damage caused by the floods.

See the full report, The costs and impacts of the winter 2013 to 2014 floods, here.

Haiti – Floods in Nord and Grand’Anse Departments Leave 1 Dead, 10,000 Homes Damaged

Flooded streets of Cap-Haitian. Photo: Jean-Junior JOSEPH / Twitter
A cold front caused heavy rain on Sunday 28 February in northern and western parts of Haiti, causing flooding in Grand’Anse Department, and also in Cap-Haitien and Limonade in Department of Nord.

Haiti Civil Protection say that at least 1 person has been killed in the floods. The victim was thought to have been swept away while attempting to cross a swollen river in the small village of Dame Marie, Anse-d’Hainault, Grand’Anse Department.  A person who was with the victim at the time of the incident is still missing. Three fishermen from Anse-d’Hainault are also missing.

Haiti Civil Protection say that flooding has damaged at least 2,000 houses in Limonade, and a further 8,000 in Cap-Haitien, both in Nord Department. The worst hit areas are those along the Mapou River, especially Haut-Du-Cap.

‎A landslide in Port-de-Paix has totally destroyed one house and left 3 others damaged.

Haiti Civil Protection say that damage  assessments are still being carried out.

Early February Floods
Nord Department suffered severe flooding just a few weeks ago when heavy rain affected the northern part of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola between 09 and 11 February 2016.

Port-de-Paix and Cap-Haïtien were affected by the severe weather and more than 200 houses have been damaged, forcing families to leave their home. Several neighbourhoods of Cap-Haïtien, including Carénage, Cité Lescot, Sainte Philomène and Charrier, suffered flooding on the 11 February.

Drought, Floods and Food Security
Earlier this month, the World Food Programme said that Haiti is in its third year of drought exacerbated by the global El Nino weather phenomenon in 2015.

“3.6 million Haitians are currently facing food insecurity, among them 1.5 million are severely food insecure. This is a doubling of the severe food insecurity in the last 6 months.

“The 2015 spring harvest fell below average with losses of up to 70 percent in some areas. This is a severe blow to food security in Haiti, where agriculture employs half of the working population and is generally a very important source of income among poor households”.

The recent floods in northern areas have done little to help the food situation. In fact, the heavy rain may have made the situation worse.

Commenting on the floods of early February, Haiti with Love, a charity working in Haiti, said:

“One of the things we don’t think about when we see the flooding happening is a point very important to the people experiencing it. Their primary diet is rice and beans –
not the canned kind. With wet charcoal, rain and flooding everywhere they can’t cook and therefore cannot eat. We are talking about some folks who don’t eat every day normally so this becomes very serious very fast.

“… another serious point to make about these heavy, damaging rains and all the flooding is what it will have done to the future food supply. Any trees or plants budding or blooming will have lost this crop of fruit or citrus; any gardens planted will have been washed away so there is going to be major hunger until these things can grow and produce again. As you may have been reading the drought before these rains already were causing starvation.”

Indonesia – Floods Leave 1 Dead in Jakarta, 35,000 Affected in Sampang, East Java
Floods in Sampang, Indonesia, February 2016. Photo: BNPB

Parts of East and West Java, including Jakarta, Indonesia, experienced heavy rain that began on 25 February 2016, causing floods in the two provinces that have left one person dead and affected over 35,000.
Jakarta recorded 119 mm of rain in 24 ours between 25 and 26 February. The city of Surabaya in West Java saw 74 mm of rain during the same period.

Further heavy rain has fallen since then. Curug, in Tangerang Regency, Banten province, recorded 79.1 mm of rain in 24 hours to 01 March, 2016. Bogor, a city south of Jakarta, in West Java, saw 74.1 mm during the same period.

In Jakarta, flooding was reported in as many as 46 different locations across the city between 27 and 28 February. Indonesia disaster management officials (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BNPB) say that the heavy rain caused the Cengkareng river to overflow in the Cengkareng district of the city. BNPB reported on 28 February that a young child had died in the ensuing floods. Over 250 people were evacuated from the area.

The heavy rain also affected the neighbouring cities of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java. The Cimanceuri river in Tangerang, Banten province, overflowed forcing hundreds to evacuate, according to local media.

In East Java province, areas around Sampung were also badly affected on 26 February, 2016.
BNPB say that flooding was reported in 13 villages, affecting A total of 11,468 households or 34,225 inhabitants. Much of the flooding was a result of the overflowing Kemuning river.

Bolivia – Heavy Rainfall in Beni and Santa Cruz, Landslide in La Paz

Intense rain affected northern areas of Bolivia on Saturday 27 February 2016. A landslide in an area of La Paz has damaged several houses and forced almost 30 people from their homes.

In Beni Department, 151.4 mm of rain recorded in 24 hours at Rurrenabaque. During the same period, high levels were also recorded in San Borja (57.6 mm), San Ignacio de Moxos (72 mm) and Trinidad (61.9 mm), all in Beni Department, while 58 mm was recorded in Viru-Viru, in the bordering Santa Cruz Department.

Area of the February 2011 La Paz landslide. Photo: Senorhorst Jahnsen Under CC BY 2.0

La Paz recently experienced flash floods. A torrential rainstorm hit the city of La Paz on the 24 February 2016, causing a flash flood after the overflow of the Huayñajahuira River, a tributary of the Choqueyapu River.

Torrential rain affected the city once again, this time on Saturday 27 February, resulting in a landslide in Jupapina-Mallasa, a less urbanised district in the southern area of La Paz Municipality.

The city is well known to be prone to major hydro-geological issues, given its peculiar geomorphological conformation (a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River) and its rapid urbanisation on or near to steep slopes.

According to the Municipal Secretary of Risk Management of the city of La Paz (Secretaria Municipal de Gestión de Riesgos de La Paz) the landslide occurred on Saturday 27 at 21:00.

As many as 15 houses have been damaged by the landslide, affecting 29 people who have been evacuated by the local authorities.

Landslide are common in La Paz. One of the worst in living memory struck in February 2011, which was described as a “mega-mudslide” when as many as 500 homes were destroyed and 5,000 people evacuated.

- Floodlist.

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