MONUMENTAL DELUGE: Widespread Flooding – The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, And Catastrophic Storms!

March 4, 2015 – EARTH – The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Floods in Northern Spain as Ebro River Breaks its Banks

Floods in Zaragoza, March 2015. Photo: Ana

Levels of the Ebro River have been high for the last 3 to 4 days. By 28 February 2015, the overflowing river had flooded around 20,000 hectares in Aragon, north-eastern Spain.

Since then river levels have continued to rise and have now flooded areas along the river in Zaragoza, the capital of the region and Spain’s fifth largest city.

Levels of the Ebro at Zaragoza are now thought to have peaked. Early on Monday 02 March 2015, the river reached 6.10 meters. Several hours later the level had dropped slightly to 6.06 metres. According to Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro, as of 11:00 today 03 March 2015, Ebro levels at Zaragoza now stand at 5.28 metres.

Ebros River Levels at Zaragoza since 18 February 2015. Image: Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro

The worst affected areas are Ribera Alta del Ebro and Ribera Baja, according to the regional government of Aragon. Evacuations have been carried out in the towns of Boquiñeni (900 people) and Pradilla (600 people). The displaced found temporary accommodation with relatives or in local sports centres.

Ebro floods from the air, March 2015. Photo: UME

The flooding has caused damage to bridges and the ARA-1 motorway in Villafranca de Ebro, near Zaragoza.

Bridge / road collapse after Ebro floods, Spain. Photo: UME

Spain’s Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME) or emergency military units, are providing support to flood victims and affected towns. The UME has deployed 450 troops and 145 vehicles to the flooded areas and are carrying out emergency repairs to roads and bridges, as well as carrying out evacuations and flood rescues.

UME troops working to clear the floods – Photo: UME

Pumping flood water –  Photo: UME


Floods Moving Downstream

A flood alert remains for Zaragoza, although river levels are dropping. There is now a fear that communities downstream will be affected by flooding. According to Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro, levels of the Ebro are dangerously high at Ascó in Tarragona province, Catalonia, where the Ebro stood at 4.78 metres at 11:00 today, 03 March 2015.

WATCH: Floods in Spain.

38 Dead after Floods in Tanzania

AFP and BBC are reporting that floods have killed 38 people in Kahama district, Shinyanga region in north-western Tanzania. Around 80 others have been injured in the floods which struck late on Tuesday 03 March 2015 after torrential rain, hail and high winds.

Officials estimate that around 3,500 people have been affected by the floods. Homes, roads, crops and livestock have all been severely damaged. Police and authorities are still assessing damage and searching for survivors.

The Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest and richest city, was hit by severe floods in April last year, where at least 41 people were thought to have died.

In march last year, heavy rainfall caused deadly flooding in Tanzania’s Arusha and Dodma regions.
The BBC report for the recent floods in Shinyanga can be found here.

6 Killed in Floods in Papua New Guinea

Six people – 5 children and a mother – were killed when flash floods struck in Jiwaka province in Papua New Guinea on Friday 27 February 2015.
The victims were washed away by the flood waters of an overflowing river near to Kaip, a village, close to the border with Western Highlands province.

Around 200 families were affected by the flooding in the area. Jiwaka Provincial Disaster Coordinator and Deputy Provincial Administrator Mr Joseph Amban told local media:

“As a result of the flood up to 200 families were affected and are in need of relief assistance as their food gardens were destroyed by the flood. Domestic animals other properties were also lost.”

Jiwaka province was formed in 2012 and comprises of districts that were previously part of Western Highlands Province.

Recent flooding and landslides have caused damage to homes, roads and farms in the Western and Southern Highlands, Central Province as well as Jiwaka. Roads in the Highlands region have been particularly badly affected. Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Office said it is still trying to fully asses the damage.

Further Rainfall Expected

Heavy rain has been falling across the country for several days and could be on the way. Rabaul, East New Britain province, saw 62mm of rain in 24 hours between 02 and 03 march 2015, according to WMO.

Papua New Guinea’s National Weather Service have said that rainfall will be at its peak during March, with the Highlands region expected to be worst hit.

Two people died after floods in Kimbe and across the province of West New Britain in early February this year.

Madagascar Floods – More Rain, Death Toll Rises, Antananarivo Remains on Alert

Floods in Antananarivo

More heavy rainfall in Madagascar over the last 24 hours threatens to worsen the flood situation for the 3 regions already suffering (Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga and Vakinankaratra) and bring flooding to other parts of the country.

Mananjary in Vatovavy-Fitovinany region saw 95 mm of rain in 24 hours between 03 and 04 March, according to WMO. Ambohitsilaozana in Alaotra-Mangoro Region saw 88 mm of rain in the same period.

Antananarivo

Antananarivo is still on a red alert for possible flooding. As of BNGRC’s latest report (03 March 2015, 19:00 local time) further rainfall has meant that levels of the Imamba, Sisaony and Ikopa rivers have started to climb again.

BNGRC are also warning of the threat of landslides in the slopes and hillsides of the city.

Death Toll Rises

There has been one further death since our earlier report, with the death toll from the Madagascar floods now standing at 20.

At least 71,854 people have been affected by the flooding, with 38,498 people displaced. 581 homes have been destroyed and 1,698 damaged in the flooding. BNGRC say that 6,339 hectares of crops, mostly rice, has been destroyed.

13 districts across the 3 regions of Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga and Vakinankaratra have been affected by the floods. The recent heavy rainfall may widen the affected areas.

Disease

There is also fear of increased disease in the flood affected areas. BNGRC warned that drinking water contaminated by floods, standing water attracting mosquitoes and uncollected garbage in the flood zones may all add to the increase of diseases such as malaria, dengue and cholera. Recent floods in Malawi and Mozambique have resulted in outbreaks of cholera amongst flood victims.

Heavy Rain Turns Antananarivo into a City of Landslides

While residents of Antananarivo living near to the city’s rivers are suffering from the recent floods, those in the hillsides now live in fear of deadly landslides.

Madagascar’s disaster management agency, Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) has warned of possible widespread landslides in the capital Antananarivo.

Days of heavy rain have made slopes and hillsides around the city dangerously unstable. According to BNGRC, areas most at risk are Ambolokandrina, Ankatso and the slopes around Manjakamiadana.

Antananarivo Landslide Photos
BNGRC say that they are working with technical to carry out in-depth analyzes of the risks of landslides. The photos below were taken from a helicopter by the BNGRC assessment team. The numerous patches of bare earth dotted around the hillsides, sometimes partly covered with plastic or other material by locals to help stabilise the soil, indicate the location of recent landslides (some landslide locations have been marked in red by BNGRC).

Photo credits: Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes, Madagascar

Three regions of Madagascar have been suffering from heavy rain and flooding since 26 February. At least 20 people are thought to have died in the floods.

25 Killed in Severe Weather in Pakistan – 161 mm of Rain in Islamabad

A total of 25 deaths have been reported in Pakistan over the last 7 days as a result of recent severe weather.
At least 15 of the deaths came after houses and buildings collapsed after torrential rainfall. At least 8 people were killed in Wah Cantonment in the province of Punjab after houses collapsed there. In similar circumstances, 7 people died in Mohmand Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, according to ECHO. Local media report that other deaths occurred in landslides and road accidents.

The country has experienced heavy rainfall since 25 February, when 5 people died in north west Pakistan.

Yesterday Islamabad saw 161 mm of rain fall in a 24 hour period. The town of Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province saw 66 mm of rain, according to WMO figures.

Rain levels in Pakistan. Image: Pakistan National Meteorological Service

The heavy rainfall has caused flooding, disrupted transport and caused power and communication outages.

Further heavy rain and snowfall is has been forecast by Pakistan’s National Meteorological Service. For the next 24 hours at least. The severe weather is likely to affect Islamabad, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhua and Punjab provinces.

Northern India

Parts of northern India are also seeing high levels of rain and snow, in particular Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh which has caused landslides and avalanches killing at least 6 people.

Argentina Floods – Thousands Evacuated in Cordoba

Floods in Idiazábal, Córdoba, Argentina, March 2015. Photo: Gobierno de Córdoba

José Manuel de la Sota, the governor of Cordoba province in Argentina, today declared a state of emergency throughout the province.

Parts of the province have been under water for the last 5 days. One local observer said the region had seen 18 consecutive days of rain. Six people died in floods in the province in mid February 2015 after 320 mm of rain fell in 12 hours. Further heavy rainfall over the last 2 days has worsened the situation.

WMO report that 75 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 02 and 03 March 2015 in Marcos Juárez in Cordoba.

At least 2,000 people have been forced from their homes after flooding across the province. The worst affected areas are the towns of Idiazabal and Balnearia. Idiazábal has been under water since 27 February 2015, when at least 400 people had to evacuated their homes, according to La Voz.

After the recent heavy rain, Totoral, Jesús María, Caroya and Ascochinga can also be added to the list of affected areas.

In a statement, the government of Cordoba said: “The situation is critical, it rained abundantly in places that until now had not been affected and worsened in already flooded areas.”

The statement also said that flooding rivers and increase the flow of water from dams was hampering relief efforts. Affected communities are also spread over a wide area, in the east, north and central parts of the province.

San Luis and Santa Fe Provinces

The provinces of San Luis and Santa Fe gave also been affected by severe weather over the last 2 days. Around 350 people have been evacuated from their homes in San Luis province, which had also been badly hit by floods last month. In Sauce Viejo, Santa Fe, 61 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 03 March 2015.

Deforestation in Cordoba

Greenpeace Argentina say deforestation is one of the main causes of increased flooding in Cordoba. Their report says:

“despite the enactment of the National Forest Act, land clearing for agriculture and urban development has wiped out native forests in fragile areas”

Greenpeace said that between 2007, when the Forest Act came into force, and mid-2013, as much as 44,823 hectares of forest was cleared.

Hernán Giardini, coordinator of Greenpeace forest campaigner, said:

“Scientists and environmentalists have long been warning that forests are our natural sponge, thus more deforestation means more flooding. It is necessary that politicians and businessmen strictly comply with the Forest Act”

Photos of the floods in Cordoba from Social Media below:

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply