Floods - Environmental Hazards Newsletter - 12th Mar 2018

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Monsoon floods and landslides threaten 100000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since last August to escape a military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar. Most now live in flimsy, bamboo-and-plastic structures perched on what were once forested hills. Bangladesh is lashed by typhoons, and the Rohingya camps are clustered in a part of the country that records the highest rainfall. Computer modeling by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) shows that more than 100,000 refugees will be threatened by landslides and floods in the coming monsoon.
11th Mar 2018 - Business Insider

Queensland schoolchildren trapped by floods for almost a week wait to be evacuated

Torrential rain for much of the past week has caused flooding across the region, with the area between Cairns and Townsville declared a disaster by the state government and labelled an official catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia
11th Mar 2018 - The Guardian

UK braces for floods and water shortages as temperatures rise

The repercussions of the extreme weather are being felt across the UK, with flood warnings and water shortages threatening thousands of households. After last week’s snow, ice and freezing temperatures combined with the impact of Storm Emma, residents in London and south-east England have been told to use as little water as possible because of burst pipes. Thames Water said about 12,000 homes had no running water following the deep freeze and thaw, while several other water companies said they were also tackling multiple burst pipes on their networks.
5th Mar 2018 - The Guardian

How Architecture Is Tackling Increasing Floods From Climate Change

Sea level rise and increased rain have posed serious flood risks for several Asian cities. An Harvard graduate is trying to address the problem by implementing architectural techniques to mitigate the impact of floods on private and public buildings.
5th Mar 2018 - Forbes

Icy roads and floods still a risk as big thaw begins

Thousand of people in southwest England as well as in the North East and North West are at risk of flooding as temperatures rise and the snow that fell in recent weeks starts to melt.
4th Mar 2018 - Sky News

Brace yourselves for round two: North East to be hit by a second storm in less than a week after deadly ...

More bad weather expected in the East Coast after nine people lost their lives and several homes were destroyed by the deadly nor'easter 'bombogensis' which tore through the region on Friday leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. But officials warn that severe weather is still to come in areas along the East Coast this week.
4th Mar 2018 - Daily Mail

Floods - Environmental Hazards Newsletter - 1st Feb 2018

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More than 200 killed in Philippines mudslides and floods as storm hits

A tropical storm in the Philippines has triggered mudslides and floods killing more than 200 people with many others reported missing, police and disaster officials said on Saturday. The casualties from storm Tembin, most of which occurred on Friday, were all on the main southern island of Mindanao. A search and rescue operation is underway for more than 30 people swept away by flash floods in the fishing village of Anungan in the south-east of the island, where five bodies have already been recovered.
21st Jan 2018 - The Guardian

Pope Tells Peruvian Flood Victims to Remain Faithful During Hard Times

Pope Francis told some 200,000 people at an outdoor Mass Saturday in an area of northwestern Peru that is still struggling to recover from devastating floods that took place last year not to lose faith during difficult times. “These times of being buffeted call into question and challenge our strength of spirit and our deepest convictions," the pontiff told the crowd at the beach town of Huanchaco just outside the city of Trujillo. "They make us realize how important it is to stand united, not alone, and to be filled with that unity which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit."
20th Jan 2018 - Voice of America

Washington's coast battered by major waves, flooding

A crowd of onlookers in Westport had taken to the observation tower to watch the show, and before long the area at the base of the tower had flooded with several inches of saltwater. The water overwhelmed the drains on Westhaven Drive and flooded the ...
20th Jan 2018 - Seattle Times

A look at the flood, ice damage on Newfoundland's west coast

The cleanup continues after heavy rain and fast-melting snow caused massive damage on Newfoundland's west coast last weekend. Over the last few days, new problems emerged due to rising levels of the Humber River, caused by ice jams.
20th Jan 2018 - CBC.ca

Residents of flooded Quebec City neighbourhood return to icy properties

Residents who were forced out of their homes in Quebec City's Duberger-Les Saules neighbourhood on Jan. 12 were able to go back Saturday and confront the damage. Heavy machinery was called in during the week to try to break the ice jam that had caused the nearby St. Charles River to overflow. Michael Pagé was throwing out pieces of drywall and debris from his basement. He says the water was almost two metres high.
20th Jan 2018 - CBC.ca

Hundreds of flood line calls unanswered

Hundreds of calls to a flooding helpline went unanswered during last August's floods in Northern Ireland, the BBC has learned. More than 1,100 calls were made to the floods line on 22 August as record rain fell across the north west.
19th Jan 2018 - BBC News

Why Montecito's mudslide victims don"t need flood insurance to recover their losses

California courts have struck down policy provisions that exclude recovery for floods and mudslides, as long as they were set in motion by a fire. The leading case on this topic is Howell vs. State Farm, in which California Court of Appeal judges in 1990 held that exclusions for flooding and earth movements may not apply when they were caused by a fire. Klein goes on to say that flood insurance is "your best hope" to recover. That suggestion is wholly unacceptable due to the inadequacies and dollar restrictions in flood insurance policies. Virtually all victims who lost their homes in Montecito are entitled to recover their losses under their homeowners' policies.
19th Jan 2018 - Los Angeles Times

“We can't stop the rainfall, but we can stop the tide”: Meet the man who stops London flooding

If A, the amount of rainwater forecast to flow down the Thames, plus B, the height of the next incoming tide, equals more than C, the amount of water the river can contain without flooding, the barrier must be closed. As a result, Andy Batchelor works with a constantly updating bank of computer-generated forecasts. “We can’t stop the rainfall, but we can stop the tide,” he says. When the barrier was designed in the 1970s, terms such as climate change and global warming “weren’t even in the dictionary”, Batchelor says. It was originally designed to be superseded by other flood defences by 2030, but more recent studies have shown that it is robust enough to remain the Environment Agency’s main point of protection for London until 2070.
19th Jan 2018 - City Metric

Drone's-eye view of flood damage helps crews tackling repairs

Elevation was also important in assessing the damage at Rattler Brook, on the south shore of the Bay of Islands. ​"The amount of gravel and sediment and the amount of stuff that's washed away is absolutely extreme," he said. "When we got up in the air, again, it was to get a sense of scales. It's not even explainable until you actually see it." The elevated view helps repair crews get a better sense of what's needed for the work, he said, through three-dimensional models of the area. "When we take the data back and we actually do some additional analysis in a mapping environment, what we can do is actually measure the amount of fill required, or the amount of change," he said.
19th Jan 2018 - CBC.ca

Evacuations Begin Along Kiski River Due To Ice Jam Flooding Concerns

Armstrong County 911 reported late Thursday night that about 65 people were evacuated from the Leechburg area because of flooding problems. The concern focuses on the massive ice jam on the Kiski River. Like the weather itself, ice jams are unpredictable and no one can say specifically when or how they’ll break up – in huge chunks or in small pieces – and causing more more flooding problems downstream.
18th Jan 2018 - CBS Pittsburgh / KDKA

Lawsuit: Army Corps knew for decades about Katy flooding risks

The lawsuit alleges that in its 1962 Reservoir Regulation Manual, the Corps' own data showed that federal engineers already had calculated that they needed to acquire 4,285 more acres of private land to accommodate the area that would be flooded by Addicks reservoir's maximum design pool. For Barker Reservoir, another 4,595 acres were needed. The problems got worse in the 1980s, when the dams were made higher and when spillways and flood gates were added, modifications that made the reservoir's maximum "flood pools" grow even larger, according to a raft of additional Corps' reports and studies cited in the lawsuit. According to reports issued in 1986 and later in the 1990s, the government knew that thousands of homes were at risk and still took no action, deciding to risk being sued.
17th Jan 2018 - Houston Chronicle

North west floods: Families still unable to return home

Dozens of families are still unable to return to their homes almost five months after flooding devastated parts of the north west. Hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded when record rain fell across counties Londonderry, Tyrone and Donegal last August. Ten families, tenants of Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) homes, are currently living in mobile homes. The NIHE said a further 13 Londonderry families also remain displaced. Some private homeowners are also still out of their homes.
15th Jan 2018 - BBC News

River Floods Will Threaten Tens of Millions in Next 25 Years

According to the study, published yesterday in Science Advances, more than half the United States alone will need to double existing flood protections—through the building of new dikes, levees and other infrastructure updates—to prevent additional people from being affected in the future. Other regions around the world, including central Europe and parts of Africa, Central and South America, as well as large areas of India, Pakistan, Indonesia and China, will also need to take similar measures to protect their populations.
11th Jan 2018 - Scientific American

Build "rain gardens" to prevent floods, says Wildlife Trusts

New homes should be built with “rain gardens” to prevent future flooding, the Wildlife Trusts has said. The national organisation believes the small depressions which can accommodate rainwater runoff, as well as permeable drives and connected waterways, could reduce the likelihood of damage for millions of householders. Responding to the Government’s pledge to build at least 300,000 homes a year for the next four years, the Trusts also called for wildflower road verges and wildlife-friendly green roofs in new developments.
11th Jan 2018 - Telegraph.co.uk