Residents flee to the roof of a house in the Chokwe district of southern Mozambique, to escape flooding on January 25, 2013. Intense flooding in southern Mozambique has displaced at least 150,000 people, the United Nations said on Monday, warning that figure could yet rise further. – Copyright : AFP/File
Mozambique’s military has been called in to help tackle severe flooding that has killed 48 people and is likely to spread to the country’s central and northern regions, officials said Tuesday.
The armed forces have begun helping with clean-up operations in the devastated southern town of Chokwe, which has borne the brunt of the flooding caused by heavy rains.
“We can confirm the army is helping support the affected people,” said Benjamim Chabualo, spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence told AFP.
Soldiers have also been involved in rescue efforts and the navy has ferried people by boat to reach areas isolated by flooding.
According to UN figures around 250,000 people have been affected by the floods and 146,000 people are being housed in temporary shelters.
Water levels have begun to recede in the south of the country, but the situation remains critical, and the centre and north are expected to be hit by Read more…
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 4 million people across the United States, from Los Angeles to much of the East Coast, live in homes more prone to flooding from rising seas fueled by global warming, according to a new method of looking at flood risk published in two scientific papers.
The cities that have the most people living within three feet (one meter) of high tide – the projected sea level rise by the year 2100 made by many scientists and computer models – are in Florida, Louisiana, and New York. New York City, often not thought of as a city prone to flooding, has 141,000 people at risk, which is second only to New Orleans’ 284,000. The two big Southeast Florida counties, Miami-Dade and Broward, have 312,000 people at risk combined.
All told, 3.7 million people live in homes within three feet of high tide. More than 500 US cities have at least 10 percent of the population at increased risk, the studies said.
“Southeast Florida is definitely the highest density of population that’s really on Read more…
An aeriel view of the swollen Balonne River in Queensland is seen just before water levels peaked at 12.75 metres (42 feet) on Jan. 4, 2011. The river is now threatening to reach new highs, devastating the township of St George. AFP/Getty Images
MELBOURNE (Australia) – Thousands of people have been evacuated from the parts of the eastern Australian state of Queensland, where river heights are threatening to reach record levels, local media report.
Over 2,000 people were forcibly evacuated from the inland township of St George on Saturday night, in what the Australian Broadcasting Corporation says was the largest evacuation in the state’s history.
The Australian newspaper says the nearby Balonne River has already passed the all-time high of 13.4 metres (44 feet) recorded during the devastating floods of 2010, and it is expected to continue rising to over 14 metres (46 feet).
The newspaper says that some 300 to 400 residents had stayed to protect their properties, ignoring warnings that rescue services might not be able to reach them later. Some had built a temporary levee in an attempt to hold back some of the water, but the state Premier Anna Bligh said their efforts had “no prospect” of succeeding. Twenty houses were destroyed over the weekend and a final evacuation was scheduled for Monday morning, local time.
“This is the third flood this town has coped with in just less than two years, so there’s a lot of distress and a lot of emotion,” Bligh added, confirming that she would visit the flood-affected areas on Monday.
Later on Monday morning, some media began reporting that Read more…
SYDNEY — Major flooding hit parts of Australia’s east on Friday, stranding thousands of residents, prompting a military airlift and leaving some communities only accessible by helicopter.
The deluge, which has sparked dozens of rescues and left about 7,275 people isolated in various parts of New South Wales state has also impacted Queensland to the north where homes have reportedly been inundated.
“From the air it looks like an inland sea,” New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said after visiting the region.
Evacuations have been ordered from some houses and businesses in the New South Wales town of Moree, where more than 600 people have registered with an evacuation shelter as the Mehi River peaked, the State Emergency Service said.
“The town of Moree is inundated with water — so north Moree is not only cut off, but Read more…
The global average temperature in 2011 was 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.14 degrees Fahrenheit). According to NASA scientists, this was the ninth warmest year in 132 years of recordkeeping, despite the cooling influence of the La Niña atmospheric and oceanic circulation pattern and relatively low solar irradiance. Since the 1970s, each subsequent decade has gotten hotter — and 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the twenty-first century.
© Earth Policy Institute
Each year’s average temperature is determined by a number of factors, including solar activity and the status of the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon. But heat-trapping gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere, largely from the burning of fossil fuels, have become a dominant force, pushing the Earth’s climate out of its normal range. The planet is now close to 0.8 degrees Celsius warmer than it was a century ago. Hidden within Read more…