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Archive for the ‘mudslides’ Category

El Salvador Devastated by New Onslaught of Landslides

Posted by feww on November 9, 2009

El Salvador’s President Mauricio Funes:

The images that we have seen today are of a devastated country

About 130 people have been killed, with at least 60 others missing after days of heavy rain that caused flooding and landslides in El Salvador.

Salvadorans look at their houses that were damaged by heavy rains in San Salvador November 8, 2009. REUTERS/William Bonilla. Image may be subject to copyright.

Map of El Salvador with the worst affected regions
San Salvador, the capital, and central San Vicente province marked.

Describing the countrywide devastation as “incalculable,” the El Salvador president declared a national emergency.

San Salvador, the nation’s capital, and central San Vicente province were the hardest-hit regions, officials were reported as saying

According to local reports, San Vicente is virtually cut off by landslides and collapsed bridges, with the worst hit areas being Cuscatlan, La Libertad and La Paz.

El_Salvador_Flooding AP
Workers seen near a street that was damaged by heavy rain in San Martin on the outskirts of San Salvador, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. Photo: Luis Romero/ AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

What if the rain continued?

A police officer told the AP: “The weather continues to be bad, and we already have a river flowing through the village due to a landslide. We are worried things will get worse if the rains continue.”

Large parts of El Salvador are without power or clean water and remain cut off from government aid because of collapsed bridges and washed-up roads

El Salvador’s relentless downpour that funneled rain from the mountains into populated valleys below, lasting for more than 3 days, were caused by a low pressure system in the Pacific, and did NOT occur directly as a result of Hurricane Ida, according to weather reports.

Ida strengthened to a hurricane-force storm on Thursday for the first time near the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, forcing about than 5,000 people to take shelters from heavy rains.

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    Posted in Climate Change, disaster areas, El Salvador, global climate change, heavy rain, landslides, mudslides, national emergency | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Nature Rejects More Cars

    Posted by feww on September 8, 2009

    Images of the Day: Cars NOT Welcome!

    Tlanepantla mexico ap
    Vehicles piled up by flood waters after heavy rains inundated Tlanepantla, Mexico. (Photo: The Associated Press/Eduardo Verdugo). Image may be subject to copyright.

    Landslide- Chile - AFP
    The landslides are blamed on heavy rains that have fallen instead of the usual winter snowfall. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Heavy rain triggered rock and mud avalanches near the capital Santiago, killing at least two people and leaving one missing, Reuters reported.

    The first avalanche buried homes and cars and swept a woman into a river, killing her on Sunday. The victim’s 1-year-old daughter is missing, AP reported the authorities as saying.

    A second avalanche at Anglo American’s Los Bronces copper mines wept away buildings, killing a security guard and injuring  at least 10 others.

    About 1,500 people , mostly tourists, have been stranded, according to various reports.

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    Chile: Mudslides leave at least two dead and one missing

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    Posted in Anglo American mines, chile, Extreme Rain Events, floods, landslides, Los Bronces copper mines, mudslides, Santiago landslides | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Planet Earth 2009

    Posted by feww on August 14, 2009

    Images of the Week: Coping with Human Abuse!

    This is what Earth looked like in 2009—just a few years before she…

    As of August 14, 2009 some 116 people confirmed dead in Taiwan with hundreds more uncounted for, feared to have been buried alive by mudslides…

    laonung  taiwan afp -
    Roads, bridges, riverbanks, homes, hotels and business all demolished and swept away by floods and mudslides in
    Shaolin Village, southern Taiwan. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyrights.

    Taiwan-8_599688a AFP
    Southern Taiwan after Morakot. More than 2,500mm of rain, the entire year’s quota,  fell in just 2 days. Photo AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Japan-typhoon_599632a kobe shimbun
    Collapse: A bridge collapses on the Maruyama River, Asago city, Northern Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. To the Northeast of Taiwan, typhoon Etau killed 13 people in western Japan, when local rivers burst their banks, destroying houses and drowning people in their vehicles. Etau, with winds approaching 130km per hour,  dumped as much as 640mm of rain on Hyōgo and Okayama prefectures and the island of Shikoku. Photo; The Kobe Shimbun/EPA. Image may be subject to copyright.

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    Posted in china floods, Extreme Rain Events, Maruyama River, mudslides, south taiwan floods, Typhoon Morakot | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Typhoon Etau Wreaks Havoc Along Coast of Honshu, Japan

    Posted by feww on August 10, 2009

    Typhoon Etau Monday pummeled the coast of Honshu, Japan, bringing torrential rains, which caused floods and landslides, and killing at least 13 people, with a dozen more missing.

    The town of Sayō in Hyōgo prefecture  was reportedly inundated after torrential rains dumped a record 326 mm of rain in just 24 hours, disrupting air and rail links, Japan’s NHK reported the police as saying.

    Typhoons Morakot and Etau
    The Paths of typhoons Morakot and Etau. Image Source: Pacific Disaster Center. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Diagrammatic representation of the above image.
    Source: Pacific Disaster Center/via BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

    “Brown waters engulfed the town, ripping through the walls of buildings, toppling trees and flushing cars and furniture through the streets, television images showed from Sayo in Hyōgo prefecture on Honshu island.” AFP reported.

    “It was so scary, the water came surging with a roar,” a resident told japan’s  NHK. “I’ve lived here for 60 or 70 years, but I’ve never seen a scene like this before.”

    Hyōgo and Okayama prefectures  were the hardest hit by floods and landslides caused by record rainfall, Xinhua reported.

    hyogo pref
    Hyōgo prefecture, Japan, more than 100 troops were deployed as a river burst its banks and inundated about 480 houses. AFP Photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Japan Typhoon
    The town of SAYO sumo-wrestled to the geound by Etau. Original caption: A man walks by a light truck turned over on its side in a street following a nearby river floods caused by a torrential rain in Sayo, western Japan, Monday, Aug. 10, 2009. Typhoon Etau slams into Japan causing floods and landslides. (AP Photo/Kyodo News). Image may be subject to copyright.

    Storm Toll

    In the past three days, at least 55 people have been killed in SE Asia as a result of the storms, with twice as many hurt and hundreds missing.

    Reuters reported the farm-related losses in Taiwan and China which were  caused typhoon Morakot at about $500million. The news agency quoted local officials in Taiwan as saying that large numbers of houses were buried in mudslides, and that they had lost contact with up to 600 villagers.

    A collapsed hotel building is seen in floods after Typhoon Morakot hit Taitung county, eastern Taiwan August 9, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer. Image may be subject to copyright.

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    Posted in floods, landslides, mudslides, Okayama prefecture, town of Sayō, Typhoon Morakot, typhoon season | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Typhoon Morakot Churns Over China

    Posted by feww on August 9, 2009

    The Shrinking World Will Never Be the Same!

    Typhoon Morakot leaves a legacy of deluge and destruction in the Philippines and Taiwan before churning over China

    Morakot made landfall on Xiapu, in the eastern province of Fujian,  SE coast of China, where more than a million people had been evacuated.

    Morakot’s clocked winds of about 118 kilometers per hour on landfall,  Xinhua said.

    The agency also reported one death: A 4-year-old boy who was buried in debris, which the rescue workers were unable to save him.

    Xinhua reported the damge to property as as folows

    • More than 300 homes collapsed
    • About 16,000 hectares (39,500 acres) of land were flooded
    • At least 56 roads were inundated

    The typhoon had earlier dumped 2,500mm of rain on Taiwan , more than 2,000mm  on Friday and Saturday alone, as it lashed the before heading for China. Taiwan authorities said  the flooding was the worst in living memory. At least two people were killed and 15 injured, with 29 others  reported as missing.

    An 8-story hotel in Chihpen, in the south of Taiwan, collapsed after flood waters washed off its foundations, BBC reported.

    About 25 people were reportedly killed in the Philippines after Morakot caused extensive flooding and landslides in the northern part of the country. About 200,000 people in the island of Luzon were affected by flooding and landslides caused by Kiko (Typhoon Morakot).

    MTSAT Images of Morakot

    Morakot MTSAT Avn color
    MTSAT –  Avn Color – Still Frame/ IR CH4 – Date and time as shown

    MTSAT –  Avn Color Near Real-Time –
    IR CH4 – Date and time as shown

    Typhoon Morakot over china
    Still frame dated August 9, 2009 at 12:30UTC. NOAA.

    Typhoon Morakot – EO/ NASA

    Typhoon Morakot bore down on the island of Taiwan on August 7, 2009. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image at 1:25 p.m. local time (5:25 UTC), the center of the storm was just beginning to reach the shoreline. Morakot was a Category 2 storm with winds of about 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour or 85 knots) and was moving slowly northwest over Taiwan. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast that the storm would pass directly over Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, inundating the city with heavy rain. As a Category 2 storm, Morakot does not possess a distinctive eye. The storm is large, however. Its spiraling clouds stretch from the Philippines to Japan’s southern islands. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Dozens were reported missing, feared dead, after flooding in Taiwan. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Filipino villagers are left stranded by Kiko
    Filipino villagers are left stranded after fast moving floodwater cut off a section of highway. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Posted in flooding, Kiko, landslides, mudslides, typhoon season | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Image of the Day: Austrian Avalanche

    Posted by feww on February 27, 2009

    Aerial view of an avalanche in Eisenerz, Austria

    Aerial view of an avalanche in the town of Eisenerz in Austria’s Styria province February 25, 2009. No injuries were reported. REUTERS/ Image may be subject to copyright.

    Avalanches, rapid flows of snow down mountain slopes, result from either natural triggers or human activity. Avalanches can mix air and water with the descending snow. Powerful avalanches have the capability to entrain ice, rocks, trees, and other material on the slope; however avalanches are always initiated in snow, are primarily composed of flowing snow, and are distinct from mudslides, rock slides, rock avalanches, and serac collapses from an icefall. In mountainous terrain avalanches are among the most serious objective hazards to life and property, with their destructive capability resulting from their potential to carry an enormous mass of snow rapidly over large distances. —Wikipedia.

    Posted in icefall, mudslides, rock avalanches, rock slides, serac | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Landslides continue wreaking havoc in Colombia, Indonesia…

    Posted by feww on December 12, 2008

    Colombia devastated by heavy rain worsened by indiscriminate deforestation

    “The problem is not nature; nature is not deliberately out to get anyone” —Meteorologist

    Colombia’s rainy season has already seen 600 disasters caused by gale-force winds and heavy rainfall. Rivers have burst their banks, and landslides and avalanches of all kinds have occurred, said meteorologist Max Henríquez.

    The rainy season began in September and normally continues to mid-December, because of La Niña. “Throughout 2007 and for several months this year we have experienced this climate phenomenon, caused by the cooling of the surface waters in the Pacific ocean, which brings above normal rainfall,” he said.

    The National Disaster Prevention and Response System (SNPAD) reported 50 people killed, 85 injured, nine missing and 735,000 left homeless as a result of the flooding and landslide.

    “The problem is not nature; nature is not deliberately out to get anyone, as some people think. Human beings are the problem, because we don’t do the right things,” Henríquez said.

    “Cutting down trees in the river basins means that the rains are not contained, but sweep down rapidly into streams and rivers, which rise and overflow. Deforestation causes problems by accelerating the water cycle on land,” he said.

    Who is responsible for Colombia’s deforestation?

    It seems just about everyone! The expert believes those responsible for uncontrolled deforestation include

    • Coca farmers
    • Home builders  (building luxury 2nd homes in the forests)
    • Campesinos, or small farmers who fell trees for firewood
    • Carpenters who use illegally logged trees to make furniture
    • Especially, cattle ranchers extending their pasture lands

    “Sixty percent of deforestation in Colombia is due to cattle ranching,” the meteorologist said. The additional demand for agricultural land has resulted in the loss of 312,000 hectares of forests since about 1990, while illegal crops like coca and opium poppies have invaded another 30,000 hectares.

    “‘The relatively young geological age of the Andes mountain chain’ is also a factor in disasters, with its propensity to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and so is poverty, as people with no other options settle in places unsuitable for habitation, and the ambition and greed of construction firms that do not carry out the necessary studies and build in an irresponsible manner.”  IPS reported.

    In El Poblado, Medellín’s most exclusive district, a landslide buried 10 people and six houses under 65,000 cubic meter of earth on Nov. 16, 2008.

    Many of Colombia’s cities are built on unstable soil. Those include “Manizales, the capital of the central province of Caldas, Armenia, the capital of nearby Quindío province, and even Bogotá,” Henríquez said. The risks are ever-increasing, “although they would diminish if the proper controls were in place,” he said.

    Botanist Jesús Orlando Rangel, of the National University of Colombia’s Institute of Science, estimates that Colombia is losing 598,000 hectares of forest every year.
    putting 500 species under threat. The Alexander von Humboldt Institute, however, estimates the endangered plants at
    2,500 species.

    “Species unique to the high altitude grasslands are also suffering harm, such as flowering bushes and spongy mosses which grow only one centimetre a year. This vital but fragile ecosystem is being encroached on by coal mining, potato growing and cattle grazing. ”

    “The situation is terrible for any country, but more so for Colombia, which possibly has the richest biodiversity in the world, but the government doesn’t take proper preservation measures,” Rangel said.

    “The National University’s Institute of Science has been working for over 60 years, without resources and with great difficulties, but all the Environment Ministry does is repeat our work, instead of devoting itself to compiling the information and enforcing regulations. It omits the most important thing, which is monitoring,” the expert said.

    Landslide buries affluent estate north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Landslide in an affluent hillside suburb north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city killed four people, injuring at least 15 more with one person, a Sri Lankan maid, reported missing. The land slide reportedly buried several housing states destroying dozens of homes, and forcing thousands of people to flee. Source

    Soldiers help survivors of a landslide in Kuala Lumpur December 7, 2008. A landslide killed four people in a suburb of the Malaysian capital early on Saturday, tearing down houses and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people, police and local media said. REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim (MALAYSIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

    More than 15,000 people flee homes after floods in Aceh, Indonesia

    More than 15,000 people have escaped their homes Thursday, as consecutive days of torrential rains caused floods in southern parts of Aceh province, according to local authorities. The rains caused the overflowing of some riverbanks, submerging 3,532 houses since Dec. 5.  Xinhua reported.

    Head of Indonesian Health Ministry’s crisis center said that the rain had also caused some landslides in the area, but no casualties have yet been reported. Indonesia has been frequently hit by floods and landslide due to deforestation. Illegal logging and land use change, clearing forests  to  plant crops, especially for biofuel, are responsible forthe deforestation.

    Aceh tsunami in December 2004 claimed at least 170,000 lives. detailed map of Indonesia. PDF file

    Landslide buried at least 15 people in Indonesia: Red Cross

    Rescue crews have recovered five bodies, and 10 people remain missing, said Heri Hidayat, a Red Cross coordinator. The landslide happened in Cianjur, a town in the province of West Java, after days of torrential rain. Mud buried about 54 houses, and authorities have evacuated 351 people. Source

    Since January 2008, floods and landslides have killed several thousand people, destroyed thousands of homes, displacing more than a million people.

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    Posted in Andes mountain chain, Armenia, cattle ranching, Medellín, mudslides | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Colombia’s Nevado del Huila Eruption Kills 12

    Posted by feww on November 24, 2008

    Lahars and Avalanches triggered by Colombia’s Nevado del Huila eruption kill a dozen people

    Nevado del Huila, at 5,365 metres, is the highest volcano in Colombia. Photo: Source. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Colombia’s Nevado del Huila volcano erupted at 9:45 p.m. Thursday unleashing two avalanches and waves of lahars and mudslides down the River Paez killing at least a dozen people and destroying about 26 houses, a school, a football stadium and five bridges, the presidential office said. About a dozen others were injured and at least 9 people were reported missing.

    Some 12,000 people living in the sparsely populated region, a reservation for Nasa indigenous communities area, about 240km south of Bogota, have been evacuated, the government said.

    The worst affected area was reportedly near the town of Belalcázar, in the southwestern Cauca province.

    Some 23,000 Colombians were killed when the nearby Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted In 1985 triggering lahars and mudslides in the country’s worst ever natural disaster known as the Armero tragedy.

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    Posted in avalanches, colombia, lahars, mudslides, Nasa indigenous communities, River Paez | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Images of the Day: Despair in Palopo, Sulawesi island

    Posted by edro on November 6, 2008

    A Shrinking World!

    A woman cries as she flees from her damaged house in Palopo November 5, 2008. Nearly one thousand families have been affected by floods following heavy rains in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, an official said on Wednesday, with several casualties and damage to homes.  REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Posted in Climate Change, floods, Indonesia, mudslides | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »