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FLOODS

Floods

Peru Flood Damage

April 15th 2017

For most Peruvians, this year’s floods have been the worst in living memory. Ten times the usual amount of rain has fallen on Peru’s coast, swelling rivers which caused widespread flooding, and triggering huge landslides which tore through shanty towns.

More than 100 people have died, nearly 158,000 are displaced and 210,000 homes are damaged, according to Peru’s emergency operations centre. The country’s infrastructure took a big hit: 260 bridges collapsed and nearly 3,000km of roads are unusable, cutting off hundreds of villages and towns.

Peru’s rainy season falls broadly in the first quarter of every year. It is also known as “landslide season”, but few can remember huaycos, as they are known in the local Quechua language, of such intensity and scale. As Peru’s weather servicereported record rains in the north of the country in March, usually dry rivers turned into raging torrents – and never have so many people lived in their path.

The country is ill-prepared for seasonal floods at the best of times, let alone those of such brutality that have laid bare Peru’s patchy infrastructure, its disorderly and informal growth, and its often non-existent urban planning.

“In the midst of disaster a big opportunity has opened up for the country,” Jorge Nieto, Peru’s defence minister, told the Guardian in the flood-hit town of Huarmey. “I believe we’ve learned the hard way that this country needs a reconstruction of historic proportions.”

Nieto, who has been leading recovery efforts and deploying armed forces across the country, said cities and towns lacked basic flood defences, and that the 30-odd rivers which flow from the Andes to the Pacific would need to channelled, particularly in urban areas.

As Peru lurches between drought and floods, reservoirs should also be installed in the mountains, Nieto said, so that rainwater can be stored in the water-stressed country. “That way we would guarantee our water supply so that the rains become a blessing, rather than a problem,” he added.

The natural disaster, which meteorologists are calling a “coastal El Niño” has caused $3.1bn (£2.5bn) worth of damage, chipping 0.5% off the country’s projected GDP for 2017 from 3.4% to 2.9%.

The reconstruction will cost around $9bn, President Kuczynski said last week. The first stage would pay for the “immediate reconstruction” of cities and towns. The second, longer phase would involve building infrastructure to make Peru a more “modern and organised” country, faced with the likelihood of more unpredictable and extreme climate events.

The floods also temporarily threatened the water supply in Peru’s capital. More than 25 landslides, carrying tree trunks, dead livestock and rubble from destroyed homes clogged water treatment plants on the Rimac river, forcing the waterboard, Sedapal, to suspend the intake and treatment of water for five days.

The second-biggest desert city after Cairo, Lima is more used to having too little water than too much, and the city’s water infrastructure was “insufficient” to deal with the deluge, admits Sedapal’s board director, Rudecindo Vega.

“Three months ago, the government was preparing for a drought. Weeks later, we have had a quantity of rain that is exactly the opposite of a drought,” he told the Guardian.

The natural disaster highlights with “brutal clarity” Lima’s insufficient water provision infrastructure just as President Kuczynski had made a commitment to provide Peruvians with 100% water coverage, 24 hours a day, by the end of his five-year term. Around 1 million Peruvians in Lima lack access to running water.

“People are living in places where they shouldn’t,” Kuczysnki said last month, referring to the tens of thousands of flood victims who lived in areas hit by landslides. “We have to control the local councils so they don’t allow land trafficking in gullies and on hills. We are seeing the results,” he insisted.

Around half a million people live in floodplains in Peru, according to a report by the Autoridad Nacional del Agua, Peru’s water agency. Mass migration from rural areas to cities means that people have “squatted wherever they can in marginal areas where nobody would want to live if they were not forced to by poverty,” says Ernesto Ráez, a tropical ecologist and former adviser to Peru’s environment ministry.

The reconstruction of parts of Lima and other towns and cities on Peru’s coast must be “adaptive or corrective” says Ráez, and could involve the relocation of hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people. Climate change will mean extreme weather is more frequent.

The United Nations has also warned that Peru must invest in multi-hazard warning systems and ensure its citizens better understand the risks of such disasters. “This is a large-scale singular event which needs to be viewed in the context of a warming planet, where episodes of extreme weather variability are becoming more evident,” says Robert Glasser, the UN special representative of the secretary-general for disaster risk reduction.

“If we are to succeed in preventing disasters like this, and to reduce disaster losses, then we need to ensure there is a much broader understanding of the nature of disaster risk in society. This includes better understanding of the impacts of climate change and how it alters local weather patterns.”

 

Feb 21st 2017

Amid the wettest start to a rainy season in state history, California is now experiencing its worst storm yet—with the potential to reshape its history.

An atmospheric rivera narrow band of tropical moistureis taking aim at the central California coast on Monday and Tuesday, and providing a textbook meteorological scenario for major flooding. The National Weather Service office in Sacramento used dire language to describe the threat, urging residents to be prepared to evacuate with less than 15 minutes notice and warned of flooding unseen for “many years” in some places. More than a foot of rain is expected over a 36-hour period in higher elevations.

As of Monday morning, a cascade of flood warnings are in effect for the Bay Area and the Central Valley, as heavy rains reach the coastlineDozens of lightning strikes have been detected offshore, and numerous landslides are being reported. A weather station near Big Sur, on the central coast of California, picked up more than an inch of rain in just an houra rainfall intensity more typical of a heavy tropical thunderstorm.

By Monday evening, damaging winds nearing hurricane force could spread across much of the central and northern part of the state, prompting the National Weather Service to warn of “long-lasting” power outages for thousands of households.

Heavy rains will continue on Tuesday, at which point serious problems could begin to emerge. The fragile Oroville Dam will again be tested, but dozens of other damslike the one at Don Pedro Reservoir near Modestoare also nearing capacity statewide and planning emergency contingencies.

By late Tuesday, the San Joaquin Riverthe main hydrologic thoroughfare of the vast Central Valleyis expected to exceed a level not seen since 1997, and then keep rising the rest of the week. The river is already in “danger” stagethe stage above flood stage when critical levees could begin to become compromised.

California’s levee network constrains the flow of water as it leaves the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and makes its way toward the Delta region near Sacramento. Overwhelming this system could bring a flood that, according to a study from the United States Geological Survey in 2011, could inundate hundreds of square miles and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, knocking out the water supply for two-thirds of Californians in the process; it would be the worst disaster in American history. That study, referred to as the “ARkStorm” scenario, was designed to anticipate the impact of a flood with an expected return period of about 300 years, similar to the one the region last experienced in 1862. A 2011 New York Times Magazine articleabout that scenario used the word “megaflood.”

Weather models on Sunday showed that rainfall intensity on Monday near the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could briefly reach levels not expected more than once a centuryor even once per millennium if the slow-moving atmospheric river stalls completely, a scenario consistent with past levee breaches.

Making the impact of this storm even worse is the fact that Northern California has already racked up more than double the amount of rain it typically receives between October and late February. The rainy season is running about a month ahead of the previous record-setting pace set in 1983a rate not seen in at least a century of record-keeping. San Francisco has already eclipsed the total it typically receives in an entire “normal” rainy season in less than half the normal time.

The ARkStorm scenario was constructed without taking into account the effects of climate change, which helps to make atmospheric rivers more intense. A warmer atmosphere increases the rate of evaporation and causes more precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow. In California, the intensity of atmospheric rivers could double or triple by the end of the century.

Should this week’s atmospheric river morph into a megafloodand it is still unlikely, though not impossible that it will do soit will mean California has quickly transitioned from milliennial-scale drought to a millennial-scale deluge. Welcome to climate change.

 

22 11.16

The Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, said: “Once again the south west has been severely affected by heavy rain. Our infrastructure has been shown to be unequal to the task of keeping things moving and functioning on what are becoming much more regular weather events.

“There have been lots of grandiose promises in recent years following previous severe flooding and the rail line dropping into the sea in Dawlish of investment to tackle this. Very few if any of these promises have so far come to fruition.”

Cllor Stuart Hughes, Devon county council cabinet member for highway management and flood prevention, said major schemes were being undertaken – including on the River Exe near Exeter and in the north Devon village of Braunton, where there was flooding over the weekend.

But he said he hoped the new chancellor, Philip Hammond, would invest more in flood defences. “The problem is that over the last few years we have been hit by austerity cuts. We are really stretched.”

The government has been accused of failing to deliver on promises to fund “natural” flood management schemes, such as planting trees.

A freedom of information request by Friends of the Earth to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) revealed there was no funding earmarked for natural flood management, despite ministers saying they would fund such measures.

Natural flood management schemes aim to slow the movement of water downstream to prevent flooding. This can involve creating water storage such as ponds, planting trees along water courses and restoring rivers to their original meandering path.

Hughes said Devon council had been talking to farmers about how they could help and was encouraging them to grow less maize, which makes the soil and causes water to run off more quickly, and to plant trees.

Among the structures damaged over the weekend was the ancient clapper bridge Tarr Steps on Exmoor. The middle of the bridge, made up of stones weighing up to two tonnes, were washed away.

More than a dozen schools in Devon were closed. The headteacher of Otterton primary in the east of the county, Carron Saunders, said she felt she had to close the school when it was in danger of being cut off. “Only one road is open,” she said: “The other routes in are cut off.”

The flood warnings for Monday and Tuesday included the river Mole, and North Molton and South Molton in Devon.

Staff were clearing up at the Mill on the Mole residential park on Monday. Manager Stephen Antram said eight people were evacuated over the weekend but all were back at home on Monday. “It was quite a mess. We had debris and mud and rubbish all over the place to sort out. The community has been brilliant. People came down to see if they could help.”

 

— steven morris (@stevenmorris20) November 21, 2016

Owner Mike Vowles said he had been to meetings where officials had discussed ways of trying to do work further upstream to try to stop the River Mole flooding.

Thousands of householders, business people and travellers across south-west Britain suffered disruption after almost a month’s worth of rain fell within hours, raising fresh concerns that not enough is being spent on flood defences and prevention measures.

Homes and businesses were flooded, schools were shut, dozens of roads closed and major rail lines blocked. By Monday evening, rail travellers were being told not to try to travel to the west country.

Conservative and Labour politicians questioned whether enough was being done to make sure infrastructure in the region was robust enough when extreme weather struck.

Among those forced to evacuate was the Devon and Cornwall police commissioner, Alison Hernandez, whose officer in Exeter was flooded.

Though the worst of the deluge is thought to be over, more flooding was expected on Tuesday as rain that had fallen on high ground fed through rivers and streams on to lower, saturated ground.

 

The Met Office said the wettest place in the UK on Monday was Dunkeswell aerodrome in east Devon, where 50mm of rain fell in 24 hours. In the 48 hours up to 3pm on Monday, a total of 96mm fell on Exeter airport. Only 136mm falls on Devon in the whole of a typical November.

Coming hard on the heels of Storm Angus, which swept across the UK at the weekend, rivers struggled to cope. As darkness fell on Monday evening there were 45 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected, immediate action required – in place, mainly in Devon, Somerset and Dorset. There were another 146 alerts (flooding is possible, be prepared) across England and Wales.

Devon and Cornwall police attended more than 60 road collisions during the day on Monday. Train lines were blocked between Swindon in Wiltshire and Bristol and Exeter while Bristol Temple Meads station was briefly closed because of flooding.

The rail operator GWR said its services were affected by flooding at seven sites and asked passengers not to even try to travel to Devon or Cornwall.

— steven morris (@stevenmorris20) November 21, 2016

“We last flooded in 2012. There was lot of talk about what to do but I think it was mostly just talk rather than action,” said Vowles. “But the Environment Agency does have a problem. These seem to be very localised events. It’s us today but it could be somewhere else next week and they haven’t got money to sort out every river, every stream in the country. I understand that.”

It was not only Devon that was affected.

Residents in Bristol were shocked as flood water trapped cars in Whitchurch Lane. Office supply manager Lee Gitsham, 43, said: “Parked cars were submerged in water. There were two drivers who tried to get through but got stuck. It was at wing mirror level so it must have been about 2ft-3ft of water.

“I have lived in that area for nearly 10 years. I have never seen it as bad as that. We have had a bit of flooding where the water has covered the pavement but never where it covered car bonnets.”

The Environment Agency and Met Office said the flooding risk could continue into Tuesday but by Wednesday drier weather was expected.

Oct 1st 2016

More than 15,000 homes and businesses were flooded in areas across northern England in last year's devastating storms, new analysis shows.

Councils are still helping flood-hit homes recover from the disruption caused last winter as storms Desmond, Eva and Frank swept across the country, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.

Ahead of this winter, town halls are encouraging people to be prepared for future flooding, by taking steps such as checking if they are at risk of flooding, signing up to free warnings and identifying what to take with them if they need to evacuate.

A snapshot survey by the LGA found that 15,237 homes and businesses were flooded in just eight areas.

Cumbria saw 6,568 homes and 897 businesses flooded; Leeds 298 and 375; Calderdale 2,135 and 945; Lancashire 2,090 and 533; North Yorkshire 404 and 96; York had about 350 and 157; Northumberland 197 homes and 90 businesses, Kirklees 37 and 65, the survey found.

Councils say they have been working through the year to help people get back on their feet, collecting ruined household items such as carpets and furniture for disposal and advising on flood protection grants and affordable insurance.

Council leaders are calling for future flood defence to be devolved by the Government to local areas so that councils can work with communities and businesses to ensure money goes to projects that best suit local needs.

The Government must also bring in mandatory anti-flood requirements for new homes in building regulations, such as raised electrical sockets and wiring, ventilation brick covers, sealed floors and raised damp courses, they urge.

Martin Tett, LGA environment spokesman, said: "Councils are doing everything they can to protect households and businesses from the possibility of further devastating flooding this winter.

"Such was the severity of last year's storms, some councils, who have experienced significant reductions to their core funding, are still helping residents to recover even now."

He said devolving funding to local areas would support projects that reflected needs such as protecting key roads and bridges to keep residents and businesses moving.

He added: "Councils know their local areas and are best placed to help families get back on their feet. The Government must be more flexible in its approach to flood funding."

A flood resilience review by the Government into the winter storms outlined £12.5 million for temporary defences such as barriers and high-volume water pumps at strategic areas.

The review said the Met Office has concluded that winter monthly rainfall totals could plausibly be 20% higher than recent past extremes in some parts of the country and up to 30% higher in other parts.

It warned that, in the next decade, there was a "non-negligible chance" of an event similar or even greater in scale than the floods last year or those which left parts of Somerset under water for weeks in the winter of 2013/2014.

A Government spokesman said: "We have already provided almost £300 million to help householders and businesses get back on their feet and we continue to work with local councils to help those affected.

"Our record £2.5 billion investment will better protect 300,000 homes from flooding by 2021 and we're working closely with local councils, utility companies and residents to develop solutions tailored to local communities."

Sept 19th 2016

Torrential rain and flash flooding has caused travel chaos across parts of the country after half a month's rain fell in just a few hours.

The worst-hit areas are across the east, south and south-east of England which all have amber warnings in place, according to the Met Office.

Pictures on social media show severely waterlogged rail stations and roads, including Didcot Parkway, Newbury and Chieveley stations across Oxfordshire.

Water can be seen rising up stairwells and partly submerging ticket barriers at Didcot Parkway station.

A narrow corridor west of London is expected to be hit by "exceptionally heavy, thundery rain" accompanied by hail on Friday, the Met Office said.

Turnpike Lane and Manor House on the Piccadilly line were closed early on Friday but re-opened around 6.20am, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Met Office meteorologist Martin Combe said 32.8mm of rain had fallen in just three

hours in Farnborough, Hampshire – nearly half the 70mm average for September.

He said: "The showers and thunderstorms are going to carry on for quite some time moving slowly north and eastwards, remaining around London through the morning and all afternoon in East Anglia."

The weather front is due to send temperatures tumbling ahead of the weekend, just days after parts of the country baked in 34C (93F) heat.

There were reports of roads and properties being inundated across Surrey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Greater London as a band of torrential rain moved in from the Channel overnight.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it had been called to reports of a house struck by lightning near Woking, while crews worked to pump water out of flooded premises across the county.

Fire chiefs advised motorists to avoid driving through flooded roads and turn around as pictures emerged of Maidenhead High Street resembling a swimming pool.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "Roads are severely disrupted, including the M4 at the A34 junction with Newbury, the M40 throughout the Thames Valley and in particular the Watlington and Stokenchurch area."

Away from the storms, Friday will be a relatively cool and fresh day for most of the country with some sunshine.

London is expected to see a high of 21C (70F), Cardiff 18C (64F) and Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast 17C (63F).

South West Trains have said as a result of the bad weather "several incidents are disrupting" the network.

A spokesman said: "A lightning strike has caused substantial damage to certain elements of our signalling equipment on the line which runs between Ascot and Guildford via Aldershot.

"Train services running through these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day."

Flooding has also damaged equipment connected to a level crossing between Dorchester and Bournemouth, meaning they have to be manually controlled, with problems and delays set to go on until around 11am.

A "large amount of infrastructure" at Woking has also been damaged by the water - with disruption and delays expected until the end of the day.

June 3rd

Torrential downpours have lashed parts of northern Europe in recent days, leaving 11 people dead across Europe,  breaching the banks of the Seine in Paris and flooding rural roads and villages.

The world-famous Louvre and Orsay museums have had to be closed so staff can move the priceless artworks to a safe haven, while officials warned that Friday would be the worst day yet for the French capital, with the Seine set to rise 19ft above its normal level. 

A number of towns in Germany have been seriously damaged by the flooding, with Poland and Belgium also affected. 

In Paris, the French Open tennis tournament was hit for a second day by the miserable weather with play stopped during a match featuring world number one Novak Djokovic.

A prison in Saran, central France had to be evacuated, with some 400 detainees shifted to other facilities, according to prison authorities.

Cars on the nearby A10 motorway were brought to a standstill by flooding. One car that had tried to make it through was half-sunk in the water.

The stormy weather began in terrifying fashion on Saturday when lightning struck a group of youngsters in a chic Paris park and injured another 35 people at a children's football match in western Germany. It also killed a man in southern Poland.

That was followed by some of the heaviest rainfall in years, with flooding in southern Germany leaving four people dead, including a 13-year-old girl.

A volunteer firefighter died on Sunday trying to rescue a man trapped in a flooded railway station near Stuttgart, southwest Germany, who also died.

By Tuesday morning, some 45 days' worth of rain had fallen in just 24 hours along the French-Belgium border, according to Belgium's meteorological institute.

"We've never seen anything like it," said Cyril Boulleaux, mayor of the commune of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne in northern France.

"We had floods in 1984-5 and 2001, but here we've got seven or eight hamlets flooded out of 14."

The weather has added to the misery in strike-hit France, which is bracing for further chaos in the public transport network as unions step up their protests in a bitter labour dispute.

In Paris, the river Seine burst over walkways, while in northern and central France, homes and cars were wrecked as flooding left several towns and villages under a metre or more of water. More than 80 roads across France had to be closed.

In the northern French city of Lens, firefighters were forced to patrol in dinghies and the country's weather agency said 18 of the country's departments were on flood alert.

In Belgium, one fire service in the Flemish town of Roulers took some 1,300 calls from people with flooded basements, news agency Belga said.

Jan 5th 2016

Major flooding is occurring at Gloucester as more warnings are issued for parts of the Hunter region as heavy rain continues to fall across New South Wales.

Flooding is currently occurring along the Gloucester River at Gloucester, with floodwaters currently sitting at 4.2m and rising.

An evacuation warning has been issued by the NSW SES for low-lying areas of Dungog due to rising water levels on the Williams River.

Some properties on Dowling Street and Hooke Street as well as one on Brown Street have been doorknocked.

January 06, 2016: The Coomba Park Rural Fire Brigade filmed this footage showing drivers stranded as floodwaters cover Coomba Road at Duck Creek.

At Wollombi Brook in Bulga the major flood level is expected to occur at midday today.

Areas on the Mid North Coast and in the Hunter Valley have had more than 200mm of rain fall in the past 24 hours, while damaging winds with gusts of up to 90km/h are expected later today.

The SES has called for reinforcements and firefighters have joined the effort to reach those affected by the weather.

Firefighters have pulled motorists and residents from rising waters last night, while authorities plead with the public to avoid driving across flooded roads.

Do you have photos of the storms? Email your photos and videos to contact@9news.com.au but please stay safe.

January 05, 2016: Torrential rain has drenched NSW from the beaches to the Blue Mountains.

NSW Police fined a man on the far south coast after he attempted to drive across a flooded bridge yesterday.

The 45-year-old became trapped at Murrah and was issued a $425 fine and an infringement notice for negligent driving.

The number of flood rescues has climbed to 11 across NSW, including the rescue of a heavily pregnant woman in the state's south.

A Westpac Life Saver Helicopter airlifted the woman, who is due to give birth soon, from an isolated property and took her to Bega Hospital.

Campers have been warned to stay in contact with the SES, who rescued two people from the Violet Hill Campground in Bulahdelah on the mid-north coast.

Another group on the state's south coast remains stranded, but have enough food to last a few days, Westpac Life Saver CEO Stephen Leahy told AAP.

"We attempted to fly up there on several occasions, however the rain and thick cloud prevented us from getting to that site," he said.

January 06, 2016: Two women fall flat on their face attempting to surf a flooded field in Mayfield, Newcastle.

The SES has been called to more than 1000 jobs, mostly in the Sydney metro area.

Sydney's northwest has received up to 97mm of rain since 9am on Tuesday, while the northern beaches has also notched about 87mm, according to the BOM.

A retaining wall collapsed onto a footpath at Bronte while most other calls were for minor flooding or storm damage.

December 31st 2015

There is still no letup in the bad news coming from the flooded areas in the north of England and into Scotland, I can envisage that global-warming will have dramatic effects much sooner than the forecasters are predicting, there is talk now of the Arctic temperature being above freezing for only the second time in recorded history.

Dec 27th

The Guardian reported

It was the day the floodwaters inexorably advanced across the Pennines, leaving much of the north of England sodden and beleaguered. From Greater Manchester in the north-west to parts of North Yorkshire some 50 miles to the east, Boxing Day 2015 will be remembered as the day the rains came.

In Todmorden, in West Yorkshire’s Calder Valley, Rebecca Marshall was last night facing the grim prospect of having to abandon her home as the floodwaters slowly rose around her house. The incessant rains had left the little town cut off after all the roads in and out were flooded.

By late afternoon the waters were “inches” from the top of the local defence wall and Marshall was stuck inside her home without electricity. Then floodwaters started to rise through her floorboards. “At the moment in our house it’s ankle-deep,” she said.

“There’s about three feet of water outside our door. With no electricity we will have to move out. However, I don’t think we can get out of the town. All the roads in and out of Todmorden have been closed. Fortunately we have had friends and family turn up from all over the place offering to help.”

It was the same disturbing picture in towns and villages across Lancashire and Yorkshire. More than 300 flood alerts were put in place across the country, including 15 at the most severe level while the Met Office issued two of its most serious red weather warnings – danger to life – for the area. The storms – which brought almost a month’s precipitation in a single day in some places – were expected to die down early today, the Met Office said, with the band of rain that affected north England yesterday moving slowly south.

However, the rain will later head back north again, while tomorrow bands of wet weather will move in from the east. Conditions are expected to remain unsettled for the rest of the week.

In Mytholmroyd, in West Yorkshire, the town centre was completely under water yesterday, with residents facing the prospect of experiencing further rises in floodwaters as the downpours continue.

Helen McGarry, who lives near the worst affected area of the town, said this was the first time the river had come up to her house’s back steps. “I’ve never seen it this bad, ever,” she said.

Emergency services gathered in the town and a search-and-rescue helicopter circled overhead. Vehicles left in car parks were almost entirely covered by the floodwater, which lapped against the lower windows of houses, pubs and shops. A bus stop sign could barely be seen above the water.

A couple of miles away, a row of bungalows next to the river and the Rochdale Canal had been flooded, and the Luddendenfoot bowling club was also under water. Sirens could be heard throughout the day as emergency vehicles tried to make their way through flooded roads. Country lanes were turned into streams as torrents of water poured off the hillsides and fields.

The region had been in sombre mood since early December, when Storm Desmond triggered widespread flooding, with Cumbria the worst affected.

December 12th

The recent floods around Cumbria in England are a warning to us all that climate change is going to play a very important part in our future and particularly the future of our children and grandchildren.

June14th

news

(CNN)Flooding left eight people dead and several others missing Sunday in the Georgia capital of Tbilisi, according to a news agency funded by the European Union and the United Nations.

The city's zoo was also flooded. Wolves, bears, big cats and even a hippopotamus escaped and have been roaming in the city.

Of the zoo's 600 residents, including fish and birds, about half are missing, Tbilisi Zoo said.

Tbilisi floods: Hippo roams free 3 photosEXPAND GALLERY

A man helps rescue a dog during flooding in Tbilisi, Georgia.EXPAND IMAGE

Some animals have been re-captured and others killed, according to the news agency, Civil.ge.

Officials are still searching for escaped animals. Georgia's Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, asked residents to stay home while the creatures are rounded up.

The flooding was centered in the Vake and Saburtalo neighborhoods. Heavy rain started just before midnight, and water poured into what is normally a small waterway that runs through both districts.

The swollen waterway flooded a large portion of major highway in Tbilisi, sweeping away cars and at least one structure, according to the news agency. Flooding has also extended to parts of the Kura River (also known as the Mtkvari).

Images on Tbilisi City Hall's Facebook page showed roads washed away, collapsed hillsides and multiple vehicles tossed like toys. Rescue workers carried people on their shoulders through water that was up to the waist.

Authorities warned residents not to use their cars Sunday because many main roads will remain closed.

October 2012’s Hurricane Sandy put a lot of cities underwater, and due to its power, it is considered a freak storm that would only occur once every 700 years, according to NASA. However, current sea level trends along the East Coast may leave major cities underwater by 2050.

A 2012 study by emeritus professor John Boon of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science claimed that significant changes in sea level along the East Coast from Key West, Florida, to Newfoundland, Canada, started around 1987. His study shows that the sea level is increasing 0.3 millimeters per year. This study dovetails with a US Geological Survey study done by scientists in Florida that states that the sea level of the East Coast is rising three or four times faster than anywhere else in the world.

Coastal areas in the northeastern US are currently considered to be more at-risk due to the major property values and built-up coastlines in places like New York City, which may be flooded by 2050. New York City’s sea level is expected to increase 79 centimeters (31 in) by 2050, leaving 25 percent of the city in danger of turning into a floodplain. Around 800,000 people live in the target flooding zone, and by 2050, 97 percent of New York City’s power plants will be there as well. This is why ex–New York mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $20 billion flood system in 2013 for New York City before he left office, but this plan was not put into action.

The worst case

The Great Flood of 1931

The deadliest natural disaster ever recorded occurred through the winter, spring, and summer of 1931 in central China. There are three major rivers draining this area, the Yangtze, the Yellow, and the Huai. All three flooded catastrophically, because the winter snowstorms were particularly heavy in the mountains around the river basins, and when spring began, all this snow melted and flowed into the rivers.

Then the spring brought particularly heavy rains. Then the cyclone season, which usually brings only 2 storms per year, brought 10, 7 of them in July. All this water swelled the three major rivers, especially the Yellow River, and because they drain a very large, very flat area of China, somewhere between 3.7 and 4 million people were drowned or starved.

Nanjing City, China’s capital at the time, became an island surrounded by over 100,000 square kilometers of water, more area than the state of Indiana, or all of Portugal.

This is our advise repeated from the flood page

High winds may not accompany flooding, floods are usually a natural event that can have far reaching effects on people and the environment. Put simply, this is too much water in the 'wrong' place!.

This situation is caused by heavy rainfall making waterways overflow their banks, and can happen at any time of the year, not just in the winter, and aslo the rain may be many miles away.

Buzcall.com brings you smart ways to get prepared and to minimize the damage that may be caused to your property and more importantly to you and your family.

Keep yourself updated with the weather forecast all the time

We advise you to ensure your medicine kit and battery operated radio are satisfactory at all times and your Grab-bag is well prepared

Have the life jackets ready for the children and any other member of your family who cannot swim.

If the water level gets so high that your appliances are soaked  you should turn off your electricity until they can dry out.

When the the water gets too high you should  move higher ground if you can do so safely.

Stay away from power lines and electrical wires, never drive through deep waters also they may cause gas leaks.

We always want your safety first so beware of the animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been driven out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small animals.

After the damage it is important to clean and disinfect everything that got wet.

Should you need to go into the deep water area because you have important things to attend to Buzcall.com advises you to be careful where you step, use a stick to feel your way. You should wear boots if possible...

When the government advises you to evacuate from your area please DO NOT IGNORE them AND HEED THE WARNING.

Prepare your grab bag for emergency and we recommend you to record and memorize as much as possible important contact numbers.


Fortunately with modern communication systems these dangerous situations can be monitored easily and warnings issued by local government, civil defense, police, local radio and television.

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