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Archive for July 18th, 2013

U.S. Drought Expands for 5th Straight Week

Posted by feww on July 18, 2013

Drought persists in West, High Plains

“Moderate” to “Exceptional” drought areas (designated D1 to D4 on the chart) in lower 48 expanded to 46.13 percent, up from 44.85 percent a week ago, according to the US Drought Monitor.

  • D1 to D4 drought areas in the South covered about 60.32 percent of the region, up from 54.97 percent a week ago.
  • “Moderate” to “Exceptional” drought areas in the West covered about 76.84, up from 76.41 percent.
  • High Plains saw the drought expanding this week to 67.00 percent, up from 66.22 percent.
  • D0 to D1 drought levels in Midwest increased to 7.16 percent, up from 2.68 percent.

US drought Map 16july 2013
US Drought Map as of July 16, 2013, released by US Drought Monitor on  July 18, 2013.

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Wildfire Forces 6,000 Residents, Visitors Flee Calif. Town

Posted by feww on July 18, 2013

Fierce, fast-moving wildfire turns on Calif. town, surrounding communities

At least 6,000 people were under mandatory evacuation Wednesday night as a massive wildfire exploded out of control in mountain terrain SW of Palm Springs.

The so-called Mountain fire has already consumed about 20,000 acres and destroyed 15 structures including at least 6 homes.

Mandatory evacuations were issued as a wind shift pushed the massive Mountain fire toward the resort town of Idyllwild.

At least 2,200 homes were evacuated and 4,100 residences including hotels, condominiums and cabins were threatened, said Forest Service spokeswoman Melody Lardner.

Large amounts of smoke and ash from the fire has prompted the authorities to issue a smoke advisory for multiple areas including Hemet, San Jacinto Valley, Banning Pass, Anza and the Coachella Valley.

The blaze is burning in the San Jacinto Mountains about 12 miles from the site of the 2006 Esperanza fire that destroyed 34 homes and five U.S. Forest Service fire crews, AP reported.

Timelapse of “Mountain Fire” near Idyllwild/San Jacinto wilderness

“Mountain Fire” in the San Jacintos destroys homes

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Thousands of Towns and Villages Devastated by Floods in China

Posted by feww on July 18, 2013

Extreme Rain Events and floods destroy or damage an estimated 200,000 homes affecting 50 million people

Extreme rain events and devastating floods have left about 600 people dead or missing and affected up to 50 million others  in 30 provinces since the beginning of the year, authorities said.

The toll so far this year stands at

  • No of people killed by floods: at least 337 
  • No of people missing: 213
  • No of injuries: NOT released, possibly thousands
  • No of houses destroyed: at least 150,000
  • No of houses damaged: NOT released, probably hundreds of thousands
  • Farmland affected: 4 million hectares
  • Source: China’s Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFCDRH)

And the flood season hasn’t even started!

“China is expected to face serious flood control challenges in the next 30 days as it heads into flood season,” said a report quoting the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

This year’s flood season will run from about July 15 to Aug 15, authorities said.

Heavy rainfall is expected in northern and southwestern China, causing severe flooding in many major rivers, such as the upper reaches of the Yangtze, Haihe, Yellow, Songhua and Liaohe rivers.

Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Henan and Guangdong provinces should expect 24-hour rainfall amounts of up to 200 mm, said the National Meteorological Center.

Sichuan will be in the height of its rainy season over the next few months, possibly bringing more chaos to the already battered province.

“Since most of the same parts of Sichuan province will be hit again with heavy rainfall, severe floods, flash floods and mudslides are likely,” said a Ministry of Water Resources official. (Xinhua)

Meantime, Tropical Cyclone CIMARON, the eighth storm of the year, is forecast to make landfall  in Southeast China on Friday, just days after Tropical Storm SOULIK hit Fujian and Jiangxi provinces.

Sichuan Province

Rainstorms and floods hit 43 counties in Sichuan producing total  precipitations of 400 mm to 800 mm in Deyang and Dujiangyan, and 800 mm to 1,151 mm in some areas  between July 7 and 12, said deputy head of the Sichuan Provincial Meteorological Administration.

The extreme events destroyed 13,400 houses, affecting 3.47 million people and forcing at least 300,000 people to relocate.

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Agricultural Disaster Declared in 3 States

Posted by feww on July 18, 2013

Disaster declared for 23 counties across three states due to drought and deluge

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 counties in Texas as agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the ongoing drought.

The list for the primary and contiguous disaster areas includes Galveston, Henderson, Anderson, Cherokee, Harris, Smith, Brazoria, Ellis, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Chambers, Freestone and Navarro counties.

Nevada Drought Disaster

USDA has designated also 4 counties in Nevada—Storey, Lyon, Washoe and Carlson City—as agricultural disaster areas due to drought.

Agricultural Disaster Declared in Montana

USDA has designates six  counties in Montana—Phillips, Blaine, Fergus, Garfield, Petroleum and Valley—as agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive moisture and flooding that occurred from May 1 – June 27, 2013.

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