Wednesday, April 6, 2016

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - Pakistan Death Toll From Floods Rise To 92, 77 Others Injured, 23 Missing In Landslide, Over 1,200 Homes Damaged; Deadly Floods In Viti Levu, Fiji As Tropical Cyclone Zena Approaches; Tidal Flood Events In Miami Beach Increased by 400 Percent in 10 Years! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Men collect their belongings from their makshift shop which was damaged by flood water after heavy rain on the outskirts of Peshawar. © Fayaz Aziz / Reuters

April 6, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Pakistan Death Toll From Floods Rise To 92, 77 Others Injured, 23 Missing in Landslide, Over 1,200 Homes Damaged

Disaster management authorities in Pakistan say that the death toll from the continuing heavy rains and floods that began on 02 April 2016 has now increased to 92. As many as 77 people have been injured and over 1,200 homes damaged.

At least 65 of the fatalities occurred in the worst hit province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Shangla floods, Pakistan, April 2016. Photo: PDMA

The figure is likely to rise further after a devastating landslide struck in upper Kohistan Valley area early on Monday 04 April, 2016.

It is believed that around 30 people have been buried in the landslide. As of Tuesday, rescuers had recovered 2 bodies and rescued 5 injured from the buried houses. At least 23 people are still missing.

Landslide in Kohistan, Pakistan, April 2016. Photo: PDMA

Fifteen of the 92 fatalities occurred in Gilgit-Baltistan province and 12 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that, between 02 and 03 April, at least 4 locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded the highest ever amounts of rain seen in a 24 hour period.

The rain has eased over the last 2 days.

According to PMD figures, the only location to receive any significant rainfall is Parachinar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 35.4 mm has been recorded so far today.

However, PMD warn there is more rain likely from Saturday 09 April to Monday 11 April.

The bridge was swept away by flash flooding in Lower Dir leaving many villagers stranded as the nearest crossing is more than 15km (9 miles) away.


In their weather advisory earlier today, PMD said:

“Rain-thunderstorm is expected at scattered place in Northeast Balochistan (Quetta, Zhob, Kalat, Sibbi, Naseerabad divisions) during Friday (evening) to Sunday.

“Rain-thunderstorm associated with gusty winds is expected at scattered place in FATA, upper KP (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu divisions), Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir from Friday (night) to Monday. Islamabad and upper Punjab (Sargodha, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala divisions) during Saturday to Monday.

“Rain-thunderstorm is also expected at isolated place in D.I.Khan, D.G.Khan, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore & Sahiwal divisions during Saturday/ Sunday.”

Deadly Floods in Viti Levu, Fiji as Tropical Cyclone Zena Approaches

Several days of torrential rain brought by an unnamed tropical disturbance resulted in deadly floods in parts of Fiji earlier this week.

Local media report that at least one person has died and another is missing. The body of a man was found in the overflowing Sabeto River, Viti Levu island, on Tuesday 05 April, 2016. A 19 year old girl is reported missing after she was washed away by strong river currents, prompting the government of Fiji to issue a warning regarding safety around flood water:

“To all parents, its important that you know the whereabouts of your children and monitor their movement. We’ve seen too much complacency in the last few days with children, teenagers and adults swimming in flooded areas. It’s dangerous to venture out in flooded waters so please be safe and move to higher grounds or safe shelters.”

Fiji’s largest and most populous island, Viti Levu, was worst affected, in particular the city of Nadi, where streets and homes were inundated after the Nadi River overflowed on Monday 04 April.

On 05 April, Fiji’s Ministry of National Disaster Management urged people to move from flood-prone areas.

“Families living in flood-prone areas need to move to the nearest evacuation centre immediately. Farmers and business houses should move their livestock to higher ground and secure their property. All families should make sure they have essential supplies available such as water, batteries and first aid materials and all Fijians should limit their movement and remain indoors,” said the Permanent Secretary for National Disaster Management, Mr Meleti Bainimarama.

Radio New Zealand reported that at, as of 05 April, least 3,500 were evacuated into 79 emergency shelters in north and west Viti Levu. This figure has since increased as a result of the threat of Cyclone Zena.

Recovery After Cyclone Winston
The floods come 2 months after the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston, the strongest ever to hit Fiji, which left over 40 people dead.

Save the Children Fiji CEO Iris Low-McKenzie said flash flooding was the last thing needed for those affected by Cyclone Winston.

“These rains make life so much more difficult for those still living in temporary shelter, who are working each day to rebuild their homes and lives,” she said.

“It’s also detrimental for the humanitarian response as roads become harder to pass, and in some cases access is temporarily stopped.

“But flash flooding like this is a reality in a tropical country like Fiji and we will continue doing everything we can to help the people of Fiji recover and get life back to normal.”

Tropical Cyclone Zena
Fiji Meteorological Service warned there is more severe weather to come, as Tropical Cyclone Zena is forecast to move towards southern Fiji and Tonga.

Forecast track of Tropical Cyclone Zena. Image: Fiji Meteorological Service

Earlier today the cyclone made landfall on the islands of Espiritu Santo, Aoba and Pentecost, Vanuatu, with sustained wind speeds of up to 85 km/h.

The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to most of the Fiji islands. Over 100 mm of rain in 24 hours was recorded in Vunisea, Kadavu island, between 05 and 06 April.

Cyclone Zena warnings. Image; Fiji Government

Many flights have been cancelled, schools closed and further evacuations carried out. Local media report that over 6,000 people have now evacuated their homes. Around 200 evacuation centres have been opened by authorities to accommodate those displaced.

Tidal Flood Events in Miami Beach Increased by 400 Percent in 10 Years

A new study by a team of scientists has found that tidal flooding in Miami Beach has increased by 400% in the last decade. Rain induced flood events have also increased significantly.
The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science-led study found that Miami Beach flood events have significantly increased due to an acceleration of sea-level rise in South Florida.

Our analysis indicates that significant changes in flooding frequency occurred after 2006, in which rain-induced events increased by 33% and tide-induced events increased by more than 400%

To quantify the flood hazard in Miami Beach, the UM Rosenstiel School researchers analyzed tide and rain-gauge records, media reports, insurance claims, and photos of flooding events on Miami Beach and in Miami since 2006. The insurance claims and media reports helped the researchers pinpoint the date and type of flood events.

“Our results show that the effect of sea-level rise is real and affecting the daily life of people living in low-lying coastal communities, such as Miami Beach,” said Shimon Wdowinski, UM Rosenstiel School research professor of marine geosciences, and lead author of the study.

Sea Level Rise
The results showed that the flooding frequency in Miami Beach has significantly increased after 2006 mainly due to increasing number of high-tide flooding events.
The increased flooding frequency coincides with acceleration in the rate of sea level rise in South Florida. The average rate of sea-level rise increased by 6 mm per year over the last decade – from 3 mm per year before 2006 to 9 mm per year after 2006.

The researchers suggest that regional sea-level projections should be used in place of global projections to better prepare for future flood hazards in the region.

The study also provides new evidence that connects the weakening of the Gulf Stream with sea-level rise along the US Atlantic coast.

Florida is one of the most vulnerable areas to sea-level rise due to its low elevation, large population concentrations, and economic importance. Accelerated rates of sea-level rise have caused a significant increase in flooding frequency in several coastal communities in Florida.

About the Study
The study, titled “Increasing flooding hazard in coastal communities due to rising sea level: Case study of Miami Beach, Florida,” was published in the June 2016 issue, Vol. 126 of the journal Ocean and Coastal Management.
The study’s authors include: Shimon Wdowinski, Ronald Bray and Ben P. Kirtman from the UM Rosenstiel School; and Zhaohua Wu from Florida State University.

The study was supported by a grant from NASA.

- Floodlist.

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