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Posts Tagged ‘Japan flooding’

Largest Ever U.S. Disaster Continues Unfolding

Posted by feww on July 14, 2012

Climate related disasters in 2012 could prove costliest in history

FIRE-EARTH estimates the losses and damage from Drought 2012 and other climate-related disasters this year could exceed the combined toll of all ‘natural disasters’ that have occurred in the U.S. since 1980.

Map of U.S. counties declared as agricultural disaster areas under ‘Streamlined Disaster Designation Process,’ as of July 12, 2012

PRIMARY & CONTIGUOUS COUNTIES designated for 2012 crop disaster losses – As of 07/10/2012 – through Designation No. S3260 (Approved 07/03/2012)

Drought conditions have sparked disaster declarations in about 1,300 counties (1,016 primary, 278 contiguous) across the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported.

  • U.S. drought has been intensified by the driest June in history and triple-digit temperatures on 10 out of 11 days recently.
  • As of last week, Moderate to Extreme drought conditions prevailed in 52.56 percent of the Midwest, and 68.39 percent of the South. Moderate to Exceptional drought conditions covered 73.87% of High Plains, 64.15% of the West and 35.46% of the Southeast.
  • The declaration covers 26 states across the country: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and Hawaii.

Worsening Drought Conditions

  • Missouri.  Worsening drought throughout Missouri has forced Gov. Nixon to ask the federal authorities for disaster declaration for all of the state’s 114 counties with the exception of independent city of St. Louis.
    • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Wednesday a ‘Streamlined Disaster Designation Process’ a USDA rule change for Secretarial disaster designations that will allow nearly automatically a county to be declared a disaster area once it is categorized by the U.S. Drought Monitor as a severe drought for eight consecutive weeks during the growing season.

Drought Map for Missouri as of July 10, 2012. Source: Drought Monitor Archives

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Kyushu, Japan.   Flooding and landslides on the island of Kyushu have left dozens of people dead or missing.
    • At least 250,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders, with an additional 150,000 advised to abandon their homes.
    • The evacuation orders affect the entire cities of Miyama, Yame and Yanagawa.
    • The worst affected areas are Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Ōita and Saga prefectures.
    • The city of Aso in Kumamoto prefecture received 754mm  (~ 30 inches) in under 72 hours.
    • Many rivers have burst their banks in the affected areas, unleashing deadly torrents of water, mud and debris throughout the region.

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Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global Temperature Anomalies, global temperatures, global water crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Declared in More Counties Across 11 States

Posted by feww on July 13, 2012

Severe frost and freeze in April, ongoing drought prompt agricultural disaster declarations across 11 states

Losses and damage caused to crops due to severe frost and freeze in April, as well as the ongoing drought across  most of the U.S. have prompted USDA to declare agricultural disaster areas in dozens of U.S. counties across 11 states.

  • Damage and losses caused by drought that began in April 2012 and continues prompted USDA to issue disaster declaration in
    • Arkansas:  30 counties
    • Missouri: 6 counties
  • Georgia. USDA has designated a total of 30 counties in Georgia as both primary and contiguous natural disaster areas in two separate declaration due to frost, freeze, hail and high winds that occurred in April and May 2012.
    • Six counties in North Carolina (4), South Carolina (1) and Tennessee (1), are also designated as disaster areas because they are contiguous.
  • Iowa. USDA has designated 43 counties in Iowa as both primary and contiguous natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by severe frosts and freezes that occurred April 6-30, 2012.
    • Nine counties in Illinois (4), Missouri (1), Nebraska (2) and Wisconsin (2) are also designated as disaster areas because they are contiguous.

Map of U.S. Hazards Outlook for July 20 – 26, 2012, showing persistent severe drought.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Japan: Extreme Rain Events.  Dozens are dead or missing on Kyushu island in western Japan, after extreme rain events, which began late Wednesday, spawned severe flooding and multiple landslides.
    •  A record 500 mm of rain fell over a 24-hour period on Aso, Kumamoto prefecture, while scores of homes in neighboring Minami-Aso were destroyed and many more damaged by landslides.
    • In Kyushu’s Kumamoto and neighboring Oita prefectures, hourly rainfalls of 106mm were recorded, Japan’s meteorological agency said, while warning of additional rainfall.
    • Up to 150,000 people in about 35,000 households were under mandatory evacuation orders.
  • Moscow, Russia. Freak storm pounded Moscow, flooding the the historic center of the Russian capital on Friday, said a report.
    • At least two people were killed after lightning struck them.
    • Further storms could strike throughout the weekend, meteorologist warned.

Black clouds spawned deadly lightning and massive rainstorm over Moscow.  Image by twitter user @OksanaGon4arov, via RT.

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Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global ghg emissions, global health catastrophe, global heating, global Precipitation, global precipitation patterns | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Heavy rain causes Japan landslides, Killing 6

Posted by feww on July 23, 2009

Torrential rains, flooding and landslides strike western Japan

Days of heavy rain caused flooding and landslides in western Japan. On Tuesday alone 7 cm of rain fell in just one hour in Hofu City, Yamaguchi prefecture [state.]

Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in southern Japan, leaving at least six people dead and 10 others missing, including elderly residents at a nursing home, officials said Wednesday. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

At least six people have been killed and nine others are missing after torrential rains caused floods and a landslide in Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan.

Japan’s  meteorological agency has issued new warnings for more landslides and flooding in the region.

Residents of a nursing home were hit by a large landslide in Hofu City, Yamaguchi prefecture, about 750km west-southwest of Tokyo, prompting Japan’s self defense forces to send a rescue unit to the area.

Three people were killed and four others were missing at the nursing home, which was inundated with mud, according to Yamaguchi police.

“A total of 99 people had been housed at the nursing home, and we have confirmed 92 are alive,”  officials said.

“The mountain behind the nursing home collapsed at about 1.30pm and water gushed down in a mixture of red soil, mud and small rocks.” an eye witness was reported as saying.

A total of seven people were reported missing in Hofu and two more elsewhere in Yamaguchi prefecture, while another person was drowned in a flooded river in the neighboring Tottori prefecture.

There were some 30  significant landslides with 50 places flooded in and around Hofu city, officials were reported as saying.

At least 500 homes were flooded, with many buildings and cars engulfed in mud.

A cluster of medium sized quakes have recently struck the region.

hofu landslides
Large mudslide, Hofu City, Japan. Freeze frame from AP video report. Image may be subject to copyright.

Heavy Rains in Southern Japan [NASA Earth Observatory]

The 2009 summer monsoon brought torrential rains to southwestern Japan in July. This image shows rainfall estimates for southern Japan and the surrounding region from July 20–27, produced by the near-real-time, multi-satellite precipitation analysis at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The analysis is based largely on observations from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite.

The most prominent feature is a large bull’s-eye of heavy rain centered over the northern part of Kyushu and the southwestern tip of Honshu. Rainfall totals exceeded 600 millimeters (about 24 inches, show in deep blue) at the center of this rain area, with lesser amounts of up to 150 millimeters (about 6 inches, shown in pale green) extending into central Japan. The heavy rains led to widespread flash flooding and numerous landslides. As of late July 2009, eight people were reported to have died as a result, with nine more still missing, according to news reports.

Each year as the Earth’s orbit brings the Northern Hemisphere back under more direct sunlight, the Asian continent starts to heat up. Land surfaces have less heat capacity than surrounding oceans, and they heat up faster. This land-sea temperature difference causes the winds to shift; warm air rises over the continent, and moist air from over the oceans flows in to replace it. In East Asia, the boundary between the warm, humid air from the ocean to the south and the continental air to the north often becomes more or less stationary.

This stationary front is known as the Baiu front in Japan and as the Mei-yu front in China. The location of the front migrates slowly northward over eastern China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan over the course of spring and early summer, providing a focus for showers and rain, especially when waves of low pressure move along the front. Mei-yu means “plum rains” in Chinese, so called because the widespread rains often occur at the time when plums ripen, which is typically May and June. Baiu season in Japan typically runs from June through July.

Global satellite-based observations of heavy rain and flood inundation potential (calculated from a hydrological model) are updated every three hours and posted online on the Global Flood and Landslide Monitoring page on the TRMM Website.

NASA image by Jesse Allen, using near-real-time data provided courtesy of TRMM Science Data and Information System at Goddard Space Flight Center. Animations by Hal Pierce. Caption by Steve Lang.

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