Monday, March 7, 2016

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - Floods From California Storm Leave 1 Dead, Dozens Evacuated; Serbia Declares EMERGENCY Following Regional Floods; After Drought In Papua New Guinea, Floods, Mudslides Hit Thousands "Razor's Edge"; Heavy Rainfall Continues In La Paz And Cochabamba, Bolivia; 24 Dead And 30 Missing After Floods In Lubango, Huila In Angola! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

on Sorrento Rd North of Elverta for car stuck in 3 ft of water. Driver rescued from roof, uninjured.
Twitter: MetroFire Sacramento

March 7, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms. 

California Storm – Floods Leave 1 Dead, Dozens Evacuated

Saturday’s storm across parts of central and northern California caused flooding that forced dozens to evacuate their homes. At least one person has died in the floods.

The fatality occurred in Yuba County on Saturday 05 March, 2016, when a woman drowned after the vehicle she was in entered deep flood water. Local media report that s stretch of Highway 70 was flooded and had been blocked off by police. The driver of the car ignored the blockade and drove into flood water as deep as 8 feet (2.4 metres). The driver was able to escape from the car.

In Sacramento County, a man was rescued from his vehicle after driving into this water near Elverta on Sunday 06 March. The driver was able to escape and take refuge on the roof on the roof of his vehicle until responders from MetroFire Sacramento arrived.

Twitter: MetroFire Sacramento

The storm also drenched parts of Santa Cruz County with more than 6 inches (15 cm) of rain falling in some places on Saturday 05 March 2016. National Weather Service say that Boulder Creek Huckleberry recorded 6.70 inches (16.5 cm) during 24 hours. Nearly 2 inches (5 cm) of rain fell in 2 hours in Soquel.

The heavy rain caused local rivers, including Soquel and Corralitos Creeks and the San Lorenzo River, to rise above flood stage.

The resulting floods prompted evacuations of residents near the two creeks in Capitola and along the San Lorenzo River in rural Santa Cruz. The American Red Cross set up an evacuation centre in Capitola. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities.

Further Heavy Rain and High Surf

NWS said that further heavy rain was expected from late Sunday 06 March, falling on already saturated ground. NWS warned of possible flooding and rock slides.

“the next Pacific weather system will begin to spread widespread rain across the north bay by late this afternoon and then across the remainder of the region from this evening through the early morning hours of Monday.

“Rain will likely be heavy at times starting this evening. There is a possibility of isolated thunderstorms. Heavy rain late on Saturday has saturated the soil. Therefore additional heavy rain will lead to rapid rises on rivers and streams by this evening creating flooding potential. In addition, flooding of low lying and poorly drained urban areas will be possible. Rock slides or debris flows are likely in areas of steep terrain.”

NWS also warn of very large and potentially damaging surf and moderate coastal flooding on Monday into Tuesday morning.

The say that “a long period west swell will continue across the coastal waters through tonight. An even larger west swell will arrive on area beaches Monday through Tuesday morning, bringing potentially damaging surf, minor coastal flooding and significant beach erosion to west and north west facing beaches. This will be due to a combination of the large surf with large high tides”.

Serbia declares emergency following regional floods

Floods near the city of Cacak as seen on a YouTube video.
The authorities have declared an emergency situation in the Cacak, Lucani and Arilje municipalities in central and eastern Serbia due to heavy rain and flooding.

The Serbian Interior Ministry declared an emergency situation on Monday in the flood-affected Cacak, Lucani and Arilje municipalities.

There were also landslides caused by the deluge in the Bajina Basta municipality, where several homes were submerged and roads damaged.

In Preljine near Cacak, where about 80 millimetres of rain per square metre fell overnight, the River Cemernica broke its banks, resulting in the evacuation of 15 people, Emergency Situations Sector chief Predrag Maric said.

Matic also said that water levels were rising in major rivers elsewhere in Serbia, but that serious problems were not expected there. "We contacted the Serbian Army to get involved, and prepared if necessary to evacuate people," he said.

A bus drives along a flooded road near Pozega, some 150 kilometers south of Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, March 7, 2016.© AP

A man walks in front of a his flooded home in Pozega, some 150 kilometers south of Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, March 7, 2016.

He said that the Kosjeric, Arilje and Cacak municipalities saw flash flooding, but had been forewarned on Friday that this might happen.

The River Bjelica flooded and shut down the road from Lucani to Guca and the the road from Guca to Cacak.

Meanwhile in Guca itself, the Milan Blagojevic factory, the local healthcare centre, a hospital, a school and the main power station were all flooded. In Pozega in western Serbia, heavy rain caused flooding from streams and rivers, although the extent of the damage was not known on Monday morning.

The Hydro-Meteorological Institute warned on Sunday evening that Serbia could expect a further downpour ranging from 20 to 40 millimetres of rain per square metre on Monday in southern, central, and eastern areas, and that road traffic could be disrupted as a result.

In May 2014, the country was hit by series of floods affecting 39 out of 120 municipalities, forcing more than 30,000 people from their homes and damaging or destroying roads, railways, bridges, homes, power plants and telecommunications infrastructure.

WATCH: Floods in Serbia.

The floods came after heavy rainfall and a powerful cyclone that swept through the central part of the Balkan Peninsula.

Obrenovac, a small town south of Belgrade, suffered the most from the floods. A damage assessment report adopted by the government in July 2014 put the total cost of repairing the damage at about 1.5 billion euros.

This included the damage to homes, infrastructure, agriculture and educational and other facilities.

The authorities said 485 houses were completely destroyed by the deluge and 12,000 hectares of land became usable for agricultural production in the following season.

After Drought in Papua New Guinea, Floods, Mudslides Hit Thousands “On Razor’s Edge”

After months of food and water shortages caused by drought and frost, Papua New Guinea is suffering floods and mudslides affecting 2,000 people living on a “razor’s edge” after last year’s lack of rain.

The El Niño-driven drought last year cut food production and left about 480,000 people facing critical shortages and in need of food aid, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Successive rains since early February have triggered floods and mudslides that have damaged or destroyed homes, food gardens, water sources, roads and bridges in several provinces, particularly in the highlands and coastal Momase region.

The floods and mudslides have affected about 300 people in Jiwaka province in the highlands, and 1,700 in Morobe province on the coast, said George Gigauri, the head of the International Organization for Migration in Papua New Guinea.

Despite the rains, people remain in need of assistance in the Pacific island nation of 7 million people who largely rely on what they grow in their backyard gardens and have little or no access to markets.

“The sweet potato takes six to nine months to grow. So even if they plant now, it takes time before they can harvest,” said Gigauri by telephone from Port Moresby. Agriculture on the island focuses heavily on tuber crops.

“If sweet potato is hit, then the whole village will be in trouble, and that’s what happened this time.”

The drought has also forced healthcare facilities to close or operate at reduced capacity because of lack of water, said Boris Pavlin, an epidemiologist for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Papua New Guinea.

Since the rains began, some of the health centres may have reopened, but many did not have good ways to store water in the first place, he said.

“They don’t use running water, or have to haul water in buckets when they have to do a (birth) delivery,” Pavlin said.

Aid agencies are coordinating with the government to distribute food and to monitor dengue outbreaks in Daru island off the southern coast near Australia, and probable cases in Kiunga in the west, near the Indonesian border.

The drought was caused by the El Niño weather system, which warms the Pacific Ocean and has caused extreme weather affecting millions of people across parts of the world.

“The rains are still insufficient and below expected levels. We’re by no means out of the woods in terms of the impact of El Niño,” Pavlin said.

“Many, many people are very affected because they live on the razor’s edge.”

Reporting by Alisa Tang, editing by Ros Russell, for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change.

Bolivia – Heavy Rain Continues – More Floods and Landslides Hit La Paz and Cochabamba

Heavy rain that began in late February has resulted in several overflowing rivers and landslides in northern and central Bolivia.

La Paz Department

As a result of the heavy and prolonged rainfall that has affected the north of La Paz Department since Monday 29 February 2016, several municipalities of Valles, Sur and Nor Yungas are suffering damages and transport communications issues after increased river levels in the region.

According to local authorities, the Quita Calzón River in Apolo municipality overflowed, affecting a significant part of the town and causing major damages to 30 houses. Several landslides interrupted the communication route connecting Apolo to the Titicaca Lake borders, causing issues to local public and private transport.

Intense rainfall events also occurred in the Eliodoro Camacho province of La Paz. Escoma, on Lake Titicaca, suffered the overflow of the Suches River on Sunday 28 February 2016. The inundation affected 70 hectares of agricultural cultivation, ruining the harvest and causing serious problems for an area characterised by subsistence farming.

File photo: Rio Suches, Camacho, Bolivia. Photo: Canaviri, under CC BY-SA 3.0

The prolonged rainfall continues to increase the soil saturation, leading to several hydro-geological problems. After the landslide in Jupapina of Saturday 27 February, another one occurred on Sunday 28 February in Achocalla Municipality, between La Paz and El Alto, affecting 3 houses.

A torrential rainstorm hit the city of La Paz on the 24 February 2016, causing a flash flood resulting in the overflow of the Huayñajahuira River.

Cochabamba Department

The heavy rain of late February caused several rivers to significantly increase their levels in the north of Cochabamba Department.

According to departmental Civil Defence authorities of Cochabamba, rain caused major inundations in Puerto Villaro

el municipality in Carrasco Province, affecting up to 30 local communities, and a total of 600 families. Due to the flat morphology of the region, some areas are under 1 to 2 metres of flood water, and communication routes linking to these local communities are suffering major issues.

In Arani Province the recent torrential rain caused flooding in several areas, affecting as many as 500 families and seriously damaging 30 hectares of agriculture cultivations.

On 03 March, 2016, the National Service of Hydrology and Meteorology (Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología de Bolivia, SENAMHI) issued a red alert for intense rain (up to 90 mm in 24 hours) expected from Saturday 05 March to Monday 07 March 2016 in the north of Bolivia, including the areas in La Paz and Cochabamba Departments already affected by floods and landslides.


NASA’s IMERG data collected from February 23-29, 2016 were used to estimate rainfall totals over this area of South America. The highest rainfall total estimates for this period were over 700 mm (27.6 inches). These extreme rainfall total estimates were shown east of the Andes in southeastern Peru and Bolivia.

Angola – 24 Dead, 30 Missing After Floods in Lubango, Huíla

At least 24 people have been killed and many more are missing after floods struck in city of Lubango, Huíla, in southern Angola.

Angola news agency ANGOP reports that heavy rain fell for around 9 hours on Monday 29 February 2016. Local media report that two rivers – the Capitao and the Caculuvar – overflowed.

The worst affected areas were the Tchioco and Canguinda districts of the city. It is thought that the flood water may have swept through a local market in Tchioco, where many young people work washing cars. Many of the victims are aged between 12 and 30, ANGOP report. Local emergency services said bodies were found up to 500 metres downstream.

The funerals of the victims took place yesterday. During the ceremony, retired archbishop of Lubango, Dom Zacarias Kamwenho, called for an end to building houses in risk areas. Lubango has been the site of several forced mass evictions to make way for public infrastructure projects. Families were left with no alternative housing, according to Human Rights Watch.

Further heavy rain fell on Tuesday, 01 March. The search continues for the 30 missing people.

- Floodlist.

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