Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive – mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin in 2016

Posts Tagged ‘state of emergency’

Drought Severely Affects Malawi and Zimbabwe

Posted by feww on May 25, 2016

Severe food shortages in southern Africa worsening dramatically

Severe drought said to be related to El Nino weather pattern is affecting southern and eastern Africa. Drought follows extreme rain events and severe flooding that had previously inundated parts of the region.

“The crisis has affected some 32 million people in Southern Africa alone, and experts say they expect new assessments to rise to nearly 50 million people in early June.”

Africa’s breadbasket is empty

The UN World Food Program estimates that 16 million people in southern Africa are affected by the El Nino phenomenon, and that’s not counting the drastic increase of numbers in South Africa. Seven of the country’s nine provinces have been declared disaster areas. The government has channeled the equivalent of 55 million euros towards emergency aid. A country which normally produces so much corn that it can provide for the needs in neighboring Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland is now forced to import huge quantities.

Hunger in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe declared a state of emergency back in February. Owing to the drought, today almost one out of three Zimbabweans is dependent on aid. In the past twelve months, rain precipitation was about half that of the previous year.

The situation is particularly dire in the Mudzi district in northeastern Zimbabwe, on the border with Mozambique. Over 85 percent of the population there is dependent on food aid.

Malawi plagued by extreme drought

Malawi is also suffering from extreme drought. Prices for staple foods like corn, beans and rice, have risen steeply. People this year have less than five percent of the amount produced in recent years at their disposal. More than half of the country’s population of 15 million is now dependent on aid. Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika declared a state of emergency in April and called on the world to help.

Mozambique: Drought in the south, floods in the north

Most water sources in the country have dried up. Much of the water that can still be found is salty. Animals are dying and the harvest will be even more meager than last year. A total of 600,000 Mozambicans are dependent on emergency aid. Authorities expect the number to increase significantly in the next couple of weeks. Rita Namucho, spokesperson for the country’s national water utilities, is very worried about the situation in Combumune: “For the last few months it has been possible to cross the river on foot. This is unusual because we are still in the rainy season.”

Meanwhile, recent rains in the north have destroyed 3,500 houses. “Many people drowned in the floods,” director of the Mozambican Center for Civil Protection told DW. Mozambique is one of the ten countries of the world hardest hit by climate change.

Angola’s government ‘is looking away

In Angola, the areas most affected by drought are the southern provinces of Cunene and Huila. DW correspondents have reported about people dying of hunger in an area inhabited by some three million people.

Read more…

 

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States of Emergency Declared in Peru and Nigeria

Posted by feww on May 24, 2016

Mercury contamination prompts state of emergency declaration in Peru

Peru’s President Ollanta Humala has declared a 60-day state of emergency in the three provinces of Madre de Dios, Southern Amazon, because of extremely high levels of mercury contamination allegedly from illegal gold mining.

The Executive Order proclaims states of emergency in the three province of Manu, Tahuamanu and Tambopata, covering the towns of  Puerto Maldonado, Inambari, Las Piedras, Labyrinth, Fitzcarrald, Huepetuhe, Madre de Dios, Iñapari and Iberia said a report.

About 41% of the population, 40,000 to 50,000 people,  have been exposed to high levels of mercury contamination, particularly in the area of the Upper and Lower Madre de Dios and reserves inhabited by indigenous people in Amarakaeri area, where the exposure is six times the maximum permissible levels, said the country’s environment minister.

The mercury exposure is poisoning the people, polluting rivers and contaminating the fish, he said.

Nigeria declares a state of emergency as insects destroy crops

Nigeria’s Kaduna State has declared a state of emergency after moths destroyed up to 80% of tomato farms across the state. The damage caused by the tomato leafminer (aka tuta absoluta and South American tomato moth) exceeds 1bn naira ($5.1m).

More than 200 tomato farms in Kaduna have been affected over the past month.

A leaf miner is the larva of an insect that lives in leaf tissue of crops and consumes it. Most leaf-mining insects are moths, sawflies (a type of wasp) and flies, though several types of beetles also destroy plants in similar ways.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai has declared a state of emergency on tomatoes in the state. In the past one month 12 local government areas of the state who produce tomatoes have lost 80% of their tomatoes harvest,” said the Commissioner of Agriculture.

“In three local government areas about 200 farmers have lost one billion naira worth of their tomatoes. So you can imagine the magnitude of the losses. It is so severe that even Dangote [conglomerate] who has established a tomato processing plant in Kano had to shut down production.”

At least eight other states in northern Nigeria have also been affected by the insects, the Commissioner added.

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State of Emergency Declared in NW Bulgaria amid Overflowing Dams

Posted by feww on May 9, 2016

Extreme rain events lead to overflowing of multiple dams in Vratsa region, Bulgaria

State of emergency has been declared across northwestern Bulgaria’s municipalities of Mizia and Hayredin in Vratsa region, amid overflowing dams.

At least three dams—Rogozen, Rogozen-1 and Barzina—are overflowing after recent extreme rain events in the region, according to reports.

The regional governor of Vratsa has declared a state of emergency which is in force from 21 o’clock (EET) on Saturday to 21 o’clock (EET) on Monday.

Some of the people living in areas prone to flooding along the course of the Skat river have been evacuated.

Flooding turned deadly in the town of Mizia in August 2014, said reports.

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Fort McMurray Wildfire Could Double in Size by Tonight: Govt

Posted by feww on May 7, 2016

The 101,000-hectare fire could double in size by tonight amid 27-dgree temp. and 40-kmph wind gusts

The massive blaze claiming Fort McMurray had grown to at least 101,000 hectares, as of posting, and was  moving northeast, away from the community, senior wildfire manager Chad Morrison told reporters.

Meanwhile, another wildfire in Manitoba province, one of the large blazes burning on the eastern border with Ontario, has prompted the provincial government to issue a Mandatory evacuation order.

The following update on wildfire situation, is mirrored from the Alberta

  • People who have been displaced will be provided with $1,250 peradult and $500 per dependant in emergency financial assistance. This will probably be provided in the form of pre-loaded debit cards. Details on when this assistance will be available and how to get access to it will be announced by May 11, 2016. Government of Alberta offices will not have additional information until that time. When details are available they will be posted on emergency.alberta.ca and available through 310-4455. In order to allow for immediate distribution to people most urgently in need of this assistance, we are asking evacuees who are not in dire need of these funds not to claim them immediately.
  • The Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) will allocate an initial $200 million for emergency costs. Disaster recovery programs provide financial assistance for municipalities and their citizens who incur uninsurable loss and damage as a result of a disastrous event. This amount was already included in Budget 2016 to cover emergency events.
  • The Wood Buffalo Ministerial Recovery Task Force has been established to:
    • ensure safety and security in the affected areas;
    • support the needs of the communities;
    • plan the timely re-entry of residents when it is safe to do so; and
    • support the resumption of municipal, economic and business activities.
  • Convoys of vehicles were temporarily halted at about 1 p.m. today due to wildfire smoke on Highway 63 south of Fort McMurray. They resumed about an hour later. Traffic is flowing south on Highway 63 from the Parsons Creek Interchange under RCMP control.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 12 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 40 wildfires are burning, with five out of control, eight being held, 21 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • A provincewide ban on the use of off-highway vehicles, due to the risk these vehicles pose in the very dry conditions Alberta is experiencing, is in effect.
  • A provincial fire ban remains in effect across Alberta. All fire permits are suspended and no new permits will be issued. All open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes, are prohibited.
  • Temperatures in the high teens and winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour will make firefighting challenging.
  • More than 1,200 firefighters, approximately 110 helicopters, 295 pieces of heavy equipment and more than 27 air tankers are fighting the fires across the province.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.

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Fort McMurray Wildfire Expected to Keep Growing: Officials

Posted by feww on May 6, 2016

UPDATED: 09:30UTC Fri May 6, 2016

“Fire conditions remain extreme, with 18 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 49 wildfires are burning, with seven considered out of control, 12 being held, 23 under control, and seven turned over to the responsible parties,” said Alberta Government.

Damage to Fort McMurray “Extensive,” the City “Unsafe” for Residents: Alberta Premier 

The explosive blaze, which erupted on Sunday, had grown to about 90,000 hectares by Thursday.

  • State of Emergency continues across in the disaster area across Fort McMurray and surrounding communities.
  • Mandatory Mass Evacuations of about 88,000 residents are nearly completed.
  • The residents will not be able to return home anytime soon, officials have warned.
  • The fire has destroyed thousands of structures in the city.
  • “The damage to the community of Fort McMurray is extensive and the city is not safe for residents,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley Thursday evening.
  • The flames are spreading to the communities of Anzac and Gregoire Lake Estates and posing “extreme threat” to the areas south and southeast of Fort McMurray, as of Thursday evening (local time).

UPDATE:

Fort McMurray Wildfire creating its own weather, lightning

“The wildfire threatening to engulf the city has become so powerful it has created its own firestorm,” reported CBC.

The powerful firestorm has created its own weather system, funneling smoke and particulates high into the stratosphere, and generating powerful lightning strikes, sad the report.

“They tend to promote their own kind of conditions,” said a meteorologist for Environment Canada.

“That’s why you’ll see the winds near fires … that are significantly stronger that the surrounding atmosphere.”

FIRE-EARTH Disaster Models estimate the direct damage costs from the fire at $5 billion, based on the data available, as of posting.  [Total damage costs could easily exceed $10 billion.]

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BC Wildfires Spark Evacuation Order, State of Emergency near Fort St. John

Posted by feww on May 6, 2016

10,000-Hectare Beaton Airport Road wildfire continues growing near Fort St. John

A State of Emergency and an Evacuation Order have been for areas near the Alaska Highway in northeastern British Columbia as intense wildfires continue spread in the area.

The Peace River Regional District says the order is in effect for the Mile 80 area of the Alaska Highway, near Stoddard Road, and the Shepherds Inn area.

Anyone in those areas must leave immediately and register at the North Peace Arena reception center in Fort St John.

There are also several evacuation alerts in the area — meaning residents should be prepared to leave on short notice.

State of emergency

Officials in British Columbia’s Peace River Regional District have declared a state of emergency because of the raging wildfires near Fort St. John.  [CBC]

“The state of emergency was issued for the Electoral Area B region, an 86,000 square kilometre area that encompasses several towns and First Nations reserves in northeastern B.C.”

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Fort McMurray Wildfire has Destroyed 1,600 Buildings: Alberta Premier

Posted by feww on May 5, 2016

State of Emergency Declared in Alberta

Mandatory Mass Evacuations: 88,000 residents flee Fort McMurray, surrounding communities

The explosive wildfire that is raging around Fort McMurray, the Canadian oil city in the provice of Alberta, has consumed about 8,000 hectares so far,  destroying 1,600 structures in the city, said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

“There’s been fairly significant destruction of residences,” she told reporters in Edmonton on Wednesday.

“We’re looking at roughly 1,600 structures at this point, so we’ve begun conversations with our federal partners about work that will need to be done with respect to restoration and recovery once the fire is brought under control.”

“We successfully evacuated 88,000 people,” fire Chief Darby Allen said at a news conference.  “No one is hurt and no one has passed away.”

Fort McMurray effectively cut off from the rest of Alberta 

“Currently that fire, at Airport Road and Highway 63  … has jumped both sides of the road, and traffic is no longer moving north or south,” a city official said on Wednesday evening.


Morning dawns on the widespread devastation in Beacon Hill, where 80 per cent of homes were lost. (Sylvain Bascaron/CBC)

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Contaminated Water: State of Emergency Declared in Newburgh, NY

Posted by feww on May 3, 2016

Global Pollution: The Lingering Legacy of PFOS

City officials in Newburgh [pop: 30,000] located about 100km north of New York City on the Hudson River, have declared a state of emergency after detecting elevated levels of Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a chemical found in stain repellents.

In 2002, a study by the Environmental Directorate of the OECD classified PFOS as a “persistent, bioaccumulative” that is “toxic to mammalian species.”

PFOS, an exceptionally stable compound in the environment, was the key ingredient in Scotchgard, a fabric protector made by 3M, and numerous stain repellents.

The following are excerpts from DISCOVERY AND INVESTIGATION OF PFOS/PFCs CONTAMINATION FROM A PFC MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN MINNESOTA–ENVIRONMENTAL RELEASES AND EXPOSURE RISKS:

The 3M Company was the primary global producer of PFOS – related PFCs, producing millions of pounds annually at its plants in the United States and Europe. In 2000 3M produced 7.33 million pounds at its plants in the United States and Europe. 3M also produced PFOA at its Cottage Grove plant until the end of 2002 when it terminated production of PFOA and PFOS – related compounds. The production or use of other PFC – related compounds (“4 carbon PFCs”) continues today. In addition to residual or by-product releases during production, PFOS , PFOA and other PFXA are the ultimate breakdown products of a range of perfluorochemical. Significant amounts of wastes, residuals, and sludges were generated in production of PFCs and PFC containing products. An assessment from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency revealed that PFC wastes from the 3M production plant in Cottage Grove, Minnesota/USA had been deposited to a large extent in selected landfills and on the production plant property.  http://www.dioxin20xx.org/pdfs/2010/10-1507.pdf

Highly soluble in water,  PFCs are easily mobilized and released from municipal landfills, according to the study.

From a landfill perspective , this study illustrates that PFCs deposited and released at landfills and a former production site are highly mobile and subject the wider environment to PFC contamination . Substance flows from landfills to leachates to wastewater plants and river , from landfills to groundwater , from landfill gases to atmosphere, or from contaminated ground water sprayed to the atmosphere, reveals multiple pathways in how deposited PFCs at landfills may end up in surface waters and fish , or perhaps in soil s possibly posing contamination to vegetables. Human exposure and risk assessment s around such contaminated sites to include all exposure pathways including fish consumption, drinking water, soil ingestion, fruit and vegetable consumption , and possibly – with respect to any landfill gas emissions – intake via inhalation near those sites, should be performed to assure adequate safeguards . Minority groups , where applicable, and who may have greater vulnerability of exposure due to their lifestyle and cultural attributes , should be considered.

Currently, the most important emission sources of PFOS are fire-fighting foams, metal plating and the semiconductor industry.

Animal studies have shown PFOS to cause cancer, neonatal mortality, endocrine disruption, delays in physical development and stunted growth. [Sounds familiar?]

Highest levels of PFOS have been detected in animal liver, plasma, egg and muscle throughout multiple global hotspots including Michigan (the highest concentration of about 60,000 ppb in mink’s liver); Minnesota; Mississippi River; Hudson Bay, Canada; Midwestern US; northern Quebec, Canada; California; North Carolina; Denmark; Tokyo Bay [aka “Sewage Bay,”] Japan; Charleston, South Carolina; Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea, Italy.

Meanwhile, a blog reader in NY has brought the following to our attention:

“What if  the AIM pipeline had ruptured near Indian Point?”

“Spectra Energy’s dangerous high pressure AIM gas pipeline is currently under construction only 105 feet from critical infrastructure at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.  Nuclear and pipeline safety experts have repeatedly warned that a pipeline rupture adjacent to Indian Point could result in a nuclear catastrophe similar to or worse than the Fukushima nuclear disaster and threatens more than 20 million people who live within a 50 mile radius in the New York tri-state region.  The pipeline poses a serious threat whether Indian Point is open or shut and decommissioned with 40 years of radioactive spent fuel remaining on site.  A comprehensive, independent risk assessment was never conducted.”

“On Friday Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Pipeline ruptured in Salem, PA. It was the SECOND rupture of that pipeline in less than a year.

“What would have happened if it was the AIM pipeline that had ruptured near Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant?” https://sape2016.org/

 

 

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UN Casualty Figures for Iraq – April 2016

Posted by feww on May 1, 2016

More than 2,000 civilian killed or wounded in Iraq in April

At least 741 Iraqis were killed and another 1,374 were wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in April 2016*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The number of civilians killed in April was 410 (including 11 federal police, Sahwa civil defence, Personal Security Details, facilities protection police, fire department), and the number of civilians injured was 973 (including 20 federal police, Sahwa civil defence, Personal Security Details, facilities protection police, fire department).

A total of 331 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army but excluding Anbar Operations) were killed and 401 were injured.

The overall casualty figures are down from the previous month of March, where a total of 1,119 were killed and 1,561 were injured.

“Terrorists have used suicide attacks to target cafés, places of worship, pilgrims and markets in a wicked, unrelenting campaign to cause maximum casualties and inflict untold suffering on the population,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq.

Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 874 civilian casualties (232 killed, 642 injured). Ninewa 72 killed and 30 injured, Salahadin 32 killed and 24 injured, Diyala 17 killed and 15 injured, while Kirkuk had 16 killed and 10 injured and Basra 08 killed and 16 injured.

According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 252 civilian casualties (27 killed and 225 injured).

* CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

Baghdad Declares a State of Emergency

Meanwhile, a state of emergency was declared in Baghdad on Saturday after thousands of protesters tore down the walls of the highly fortified Green Zone and stormed the Iraqi parliament, according to reports.

Double car bomb attack in Iraq kills 40, ISIL claims credit

Two car bomb explosions in the southern Iraqi town of Samawa have killed at least 40 people and injured 100 more, according to reports.

The Saudi-backed Islamic State (IS, aka, ISIS/ISIL) Wahhabi terrorists have claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.

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Earthquake Impact: Ecuador, Nepal

Posted by feww on April 24, 2016

Two powerful earthquakes impact millions of people

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8Mw struck offshore northwest Ecuador, devastating coastal areas. Hundreds of aftershocks, including several significant events, have been registered to date.

States of emergency have been declared in the six provinces that have been hit hardest including Manabi, Esmeraldas, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo and Los Ríos.

Pedernales a cantons in Manibi, the worst affected province, has been declared a “disaster zone.”

About 720,000 people out of a population of 7 million in those provinces have been impacted by the disaster, authorities said.

The seismic disaster has killed at least 650 people, left 155 missing and almost 8,500 injured. About 7,000 buildings have been destroyed and more than 25,000 people were living in shelters, as of posting, according to local reports.

“These have been sad days for the homeland… [our] country is in crisis,” said President Correa in his weekly public broadcast. He has estimated the damage at up to $3 billion.

Nepal Earthquake

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8Mw struck Nepal on 25 April, 2015, killing about 9,000 people, destroying or damaging  800,000 homes, and devastating the public infrastructure. One year on, an estimated four million people are still living in sub-standard temporary shelters in conditions that pose a threat to their health and well-being.

‘How ruthless child traffickers exploited Nepal’s earthquake’

As the poverty stricken nation struggles to recover from the disaster, “the shocking scourge of child slavery and sex trafficking is worse than ever.”

Read more…

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Deadly Earthquake Strikes Ecuador

Posted by feww on April 17, 2016

NTE

State of Emergency Declared after M7.8 quake strikes near Muisne, Ecuador

Centered at 0.371°N, 79.940°W, the powerful quake struck at a depth of 19.2km about 27km SSE of Muisne, Ecuador, offshore of the west coast of northern Ecuador, just north of the equator, reported USGS/EHP.

At least 4 dozen people have reportedly been killed according to initial reports.

A state of emergency has been declared in six provinces and the National Guard has been mobilized, according to local reports.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 7.8Mw
Location: 0.371°N 79.940°W depth=19.2 km (11.9 mi)
Time: 2016-04-16 23:58:37 (UTC)
Distances:

  • 27.0 km (16.8 mi) SSE of Muisne, Ecuador
  • 52.0 km (32.3 mi) W of Rosa Zarate, Ecuador
  • 68.0 km (42.3 mi) SSW of Propicia, Ecuador
  • 111.0 km (69.0 mi) NW of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador
  • 170.0 km (105.6 mi) WNW of Quito, Ecuador

 

Aftershocks

Five significant aftershocks reported, as of posting including one measuring 5.4Mw.

USGS Pager: Orange

  • Fatalities: 10 – 1,000 [P: 34%]
  • Damage: USD10 – 100Million [P: 32%]

INITIAL TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST

  • HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES FROM THIS EARTHQUAKE ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN 300 KM OF THE EPICENTER ALONG THE COASTS OF ECUADOR AND COLOMBIA – [US Tsunami Center]

TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST [UPDATED]

  • THE TSUNAMI THREAT HAS NOW LARGELY PASSED.
  • MINOR SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS OF UP TO 0.3 METERS ABOVE AND BELOW THE NORMAL TIDE MAY CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS.

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States of Emergency Declared In Canada, Peru, Puerto Rico

Posted by feww on April 11, 2016

State of emergency declared in Peru’s Ucayali community due to mercury contamination

The Ministry of Health has declared a state of emergency in the Santa Rosa de Serjali community in Ucayali due to mercury contamination.

“The community of Santa Rosa de Serjali in Ucayali has been contaminated with high levels of mercury, with symptoms first appearing as early as November of 2014,” said a report.

Mass evacuation, as massive fire continues burning at Bay de Verde

“It’s absolute devastation,” said a worker at the Bay de Verde plant. “I got a phone call this morning at 6:30 and when I got out of bed and came downstairs, all I could see was black smoke coming from down in the plant.”

“My first thought was, ‘Oh my god, what’s gonna happen?'”

“Half of the [southern section of the community of about 700] has been evacuated, our emergency plan has been initiated and I have declared a state of emergency,” said the mayor.

State of emergency declared in Attawapiskat over spate of suicide attempts

Of the 2,000 citizens of Attawapiskat on remote James Bay, 101 people have tried to kill themselves, with one person dying, since September. The youngest was 11, the oldest 71, according to the First Nation’s chief, CBC reported.

On Saturday night alone, 11 people attempted to take their own lives, said Chief Bruce Shisheesh.

The Attawapiskat First Nation is an isolated First Nation located in Kenora District in northern Ontario, Canada, at the mouth of the Attawapiskat River on James Bay.

State of emergency declared at Puerto Rico government bank

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has declared a state of emergency at the Government Development Bank. He says the move is intended to protect the residents.

The executive order is aimed at  protecting the bank’s dwindling liquidity by only allowing withdrawals needed for the delivery of essential public services.

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Crop Disasters Declared in Montana; Wildfire Emergencies in Kansas, Oklahoma

Posted by feww on April 8, 2016

Drought continues to destroy or damage crops in Montana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated seven counties in Montana as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought that occurred from March 1, 2015, and continues. Those counties are

Montana. Carter, Custer, Fallon, Garfield, Powder River, Prairie and Rosebud counties.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on April 6, 2016.

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on one or more crops.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

Previous Disaster Designations – 2016:

Major Fire Disasters Declared for

Kansas Burr Oak Fire (FM-5121)

Incident period: April 05, 2016
Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on April 05, 2016

Oklahoma 350 Fire Complex (FM-5122)

Incident period: April 05, 2016
Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on April 05, 2016

State of emergency declared at Children’s Hospital

“Severe cases of flu, respiratory distress syndrome and a spike in the number of newborns needing intensive care prompted the Health Sciences Centre to declare a state of emergency this week at Children’s Hospital,” said a report.

 

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Oklahoma Governor Declares State of Emergency in 10 New Counties

Posted by feww on April 7, 2016

Wildfires converge; consume 60k acres in Kansas, Oklahoma; hundreds evacuated

Multiple wildfires raging across Kansas and Oklahoma have destroyed tens of thousands of acres (hectares). Four major blazes converged to form massive fire on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents from a small town in Oklahoma.

Dubbed the 350 Complex Fire, the blaze has blackened about 60,000 acres (243 km²), as of posting.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declares state of emergency in 10 additional counties affected by wildfires.

The 10 counties covered by the executive order are Alfalfa, Blaine, Creek, Dewey, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Logan, Major and Woodward.

Fallin proclaimed a state of emergency in Woods County in March, which remains in effect in that county.

A large wildfire in northwestern Oklahoma was zero percent contained on Wednesday, but firefighters reportedly prevents the blaze from destroying the small town of Freedom, or engulfing an iodine-manufacturing plant.

In the neighboring state of Kansas, “rapid outbreak of wildfires” in the northeast prompted the governor to issue a state disaster declaration for Wabaunsee, Riley, and Pottawatomie Counties. The counties had separately declared local states of disaster emergency, earlier.

Brownback had earlier declared a State of Disaster Emergency for an area in south central Kansas threatened by major wildfires that spread into Kansas from Oklahoma.

Red Flag Warnings are currently in effect across most or parts of at least six states.

April 7, 2016. [The following fire stats are based on NIFC data and local media reports.] At least 26 new large fires have been reported across the U.S. since March 25. In Oklahoma, six large fires have burned up to 425,000 acres. Other states with uncontained large fires include Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Wildfires destroying more acres than ever before

Wildfire Stats [NOAA]

  • In March, 6,324 fires (9th least since 2000) burned 649,511 acres (2nd most on record), which is 102.7 acres burned/fire (most on record).
  • For January – March, 9,218 fires (5th least since 2000) burned 776,132 acres (2nd most on record), which is 84.2 acres burned/fire (2nd most on record).

Data Source: The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

NOTE: See previous comments posted on this blog concerning quality of data provided by the above source.

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Deadly Floods Plague Ethiopia, Fiji, Pakistan

Posted by feww on April 5, 2016

Death toll from Pakistan floods climbs to 71

Flooding in Pakistan’s northwest and in Kashmir has claimed more lives raising the death toll to at least 71 Tuesday, officials said.

“The number known to have died in rains so far in the northwest has now risen to 61 with over 350 houses damaged all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” the local officials said.

Severe flooding kills 28 in Ethiopia: Official media

At least 28 people have been killed in severe flooding in two remote regions of Ethiopia, reported the official news agency.

At least 23 people were killed and 84 others injured after a river that crosses Jigjiga, the regional capital of the Somali region, burst its banks on Sunday.

Extreme rain events flooded the drought-stricken region of Afar, causing severe flooding, and killing five people, AP reported.

Two tropical depressions continue to impact Fiji

The town of Nadi has been submerged under meters of floodwater since Sunday after heavy rain, and people throughout Fiji brace for even more flooding.

More than 3,500 people have fled their homes seeking shelter in about 80 evacuation centers in the north and west of the main island Viti Levu, as a double whammy of tropical depressions continue to impact the country, said a report.

At least one person was killed and another missing in weather related incidents.

Residents of Korociri cross the flooded Nadi Back Road. Photo: Fiji Government

Category 5, Severe Tropical Cyclone WINSTON struck the island nation on 20 and 21 February cutting a path of destruction across the country, wiping out entire communities/villages, and prompting the government to declare a state of disaster.

Drought-stricken Palau could dry up completely this month

Drought-stricken Palau could dry up completely this month, officials warned Monday as the Pacific island appealed for urgent international aid, including shipments of drinking water.

The tiny nation of 18,000 people declared a state of emergency in march, “the latest Pacific island nation to do so as one of the worst ever El Nino-induced droughts in the region worsens.”

“We’re still in the state of emergency, there’s a sense of urgency to address the crisis,” a government spokesman told AFP as the National Emergency Committee (NEC) met to discuss strategy.

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Toxic Water: Louisiana City Mayor Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on March 27, 2016

Donaldsonville’s water contains chlorine dioxide up to to five times EPA guidelines

The mayor of Donaldsonville, Louisiana, has declared a state of emergency after the state warned residents not to drink tap water, said a report.

The city’s privately run Peoples Water Company has allegedly failed to report chlorine dioxide levels that are up to five times EPA guidelines.

Chlorine dioxide is a potent oxidizing agent used to disinfect drinking water and in bleaching. EPA has set a maximum level of 0.8 mg/liter for chlorine dioxide in drinking water.

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Massive Fish Die-off Reported in Brevard County, Florida

Posted by feww on March 27, 2016

Tens of thousands of dead fish rotting on Brevard County beaches

The dead fish were first spotted on Wednesday in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, but have since spread further along Brevard County and continue to wash ashore, said a report.

A Brevard County commissioner, Trudie Infantini, wants the county commission to declare a state of emergency over the fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon.

“This is truly a statewide problem for the health and safety of the public,” she said.

She is also concerned that the water may be unsafe for people.

“Until we know [what cause the fish kill,] do you want one of your kids swimming in the lagoon?” she asked.

Related Links

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Zika Virus Outbreak Result of Bioweapon?

Posted by feww on February 2, 2016

ZIKV outbreak possibly resulted from  biological warfare: Russian expert

Russia’s former Surgeon General has said that the Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak could be due to the use of biological warfare, said a report.

One of the possible causes for the spread of the deadly Zika virus outbreak could be the use of biological warfare, Russia’s former Chief State Sanitary Physician Gennady Onishchenko said Tuesday.

“This is being looked into… If we don’t do anything at all, this will become a man-made spread [of the disease]. This infection has been known since 1948 and it lived very quietly, but over the last few years, it began to grow,” Onishchenko told RIA Novosti.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1.

WHY WHO Imposed No Travel Ban?

WHO failed to explain, however, as to why its Emergency Committee had “found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus,” despite the “explosive” outbreak.

State of Emergency Declared in Honduras

Meanwhile, Honduras declared a state of emergency, after recording nearly 3,700 suspected cases of Zika infections since late November, reports said.

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Historic Nor’easter: Dozen Dead; NJ Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on January 23, 2016

UPDATES:

About 72cm of snow recorded in parts of West Virginia as of 15:00UTC

New York Gov. declares a State of Emergency

State of Emergency declared in New Jersey as nor’easter threatens massive snow dump, coastal flooding

One in seven Americans should expect at least 6 inches of snow by Sunday as historic winter storm moves north

Warnings, Watches or Advisories have been issued for up to 90 million people across at least 21 states, as the historic winter storm continued to move north.

Blizzard Warning, Winter Storm Warning, High Wind Warning, Storm Warning, Coastal Flood Warning, Flood Warning, Gale Warning, and Freeze Warning in effect across multiple States.

At least a dozen people have been killed, multiple states have declared states of emergency, and thousands of flights have been cancelled across a large portion of the U.S. from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the northeast.

States of emergency are currently in effect across North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and portions of several other states, as well as in the District of Columbia.

Major To Historic Winter Storm Will Impact The Middle Atlantic To Southern New England Into Sunday

A powerful low pressure system will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the Middle Atlantic Region all the way through southern New England. The heaviest snow is expected to fall over the Middle Atlantic Region including the Washington DC and Baltimore metro areas west to the Blue Ridge mountains. In addition, moderate coastal flooding is expected. The storm will taper off by Sunday. -NWS-

 

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Monster Storm: States of Emergency Declared across US East

Posted by feww on January 22, 2016

Threat of ‘potentially crippling winter storm’ prompts states of emergency in and GA, NC, TN, VA, PA, MD, DC…

Deadly winter storm could impact 80+ million people – Blizzard Warnings issued

An area of low pressure centered over the southeastern U.S. will continue developing into a major winter storm which will impact a large portion of the East Coast from the southern Appalachians through the Mid-Atlantic states from Friday into the weekend. Snowfall totals may exceed 2 feet in portions of these areas, including the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas. -NWS-

Previous Bulletin:

A potentially crippling winter storm is anticipated for portions of the mid-Atlantic Friday into early Saturday. Snowfall may approach two feet for some locations, including the Baltimore and Washington, DC, metro areas. Farther north, there is uncertainty in snowfall for the New York City-to-Boston corridor. Farther south, significant icing is likely for portions of Kentucky and North Carolina. -NWS-

 

  • NOR`EASTER TO IMPACT THE AREA WITH SNOW AND WIND LATE FRIDAY INTO SUNDAY MORNING
  • IMPACTS: EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS LIKELY. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.

Residents from North Carolina to New York have been told to stay indoors, and stock up on food and other necessities, as the monster storm arrives.

The National Weather Service put Washington DC and Baltimore under blizzard warnings from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning.

Blizzard warnings also issued for the following areas:

THE FIVE BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY, COASTAL PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY, AND LONG ISLAND

At least four weather-related fatalities were reported, with two drivers killed in North Carolina, one in Tennessee and a pedestrian killed in Maryland, as of posting.

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Bushfires Threaten Multiple Towns in WA

Posted by feww on January 9, 2016

Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNINGS Issued for Several Towns in WA

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said the emergency situation had escalated and the towns of Harvey, Cookernup, Wokalup and surrounding areas could be hit within hours.

Residents in the towns in Western Australia’s South West have been urged to evacuate their properties as bushfires ravage the area.

  • Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNINGS has been issued for East of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona.
  • EMERGENCY WARNINGS has been issued for south of the South Coast Highway in the Dalyup area, west of Esperance in the Shire of Esperance.

Meanwhile, Human remains were discovered in two houses in Yarloop, in Western Australia’s South West region, which was devastated by bushfire.

DFES has issued the following statement:

Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING for East of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona
Saturday 9 January 2016 – 9:43 PM

A bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING remains for people in an area bounded by Old Coast Road, south of Coronation Road, South Western Highway, McDowell Road, Nanga Brook Road, Dawn Creek Road, south to Murray River Fire line, Driver Road, Logue Brook Dam Road, Dupont Road, Tallanalla Road, Myles Avenue, Mornington Road, South Western Highway, Mitchell Road, east to Wellesley Road, Forrest Highway north to Old Coast Road.

This includes east of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey townsite and surrounding areas. It doesn’t include the Waroona townsite.

  • There is a threat to lives and homes in Harvey, Cookernup, Wokalup and surroundings areas.
  • Unless you are ready and prepared to actively defend your property, evacuate to the south via the South Western Highway if safe to do so.

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOR:

A number of breakouts to the south have occurred as a result of fluctuating wind conditions.

  • The bushfire is moving in a south easterly direction.
  • The fire remains uncontained and is not yet controlled.
  • Burning embers are likely to be blown around your home.

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Monster Bushfire Destroys Town in W. Australia

Posted by feww on January 8, 2016

WTS

States of Emergency Declared in W. Australia as Massive Bushfire Intensifies

The so-called Waroona fire has razed the historic town of Yarloop, consumed about 55,000  hectares and is threatening more towns south of Perth, including the dairy and beef town of Harvey, after breaching containment lines.

At least three people from Yarloop are unaccounted for and about 100 homes have been razed after a massive bushfire ripped through the WA town.

States of Emergency have been declared for shires of Harvey and Waroona, and surrounding areas including Preston Beach, and mass evacuations have been initiated.

.

Conditions have been “extremely difficult”, with the blaze unpredictable and fanned by heavy wind gusts, WA Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Wayne Gregson said.

“I believe we’ve had what I would suggest [are] catastrophic losses within Yarloop,” he said.

“These are, as yet, to be definitively confirmed figures, but it appears that we’ve lost around 95 houses, a number of structures within the town site including some of the historical buildings, the workshops, some factories, and an impact at 70 per cent on the demountable component of the local school,” he said.

“Also losses to post offices, adjacent stores and our own fire station infrastructure.

“Sadly we have three people unaccounted for from Yarloop. We are making inquiries … at the moment.”


 A spot fire burns in Cookernup after ash from the Waroona bushfire was blown into the area. Audience submitted to ABC.NET.AU.: Tyler Ross-Clarke. More images…

Fanned by gusty winds exceeding 60km/h and 40 degree temperatures, the fire intensified overnight, and windy conditions are said to persist today.

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Significant Events – January 6, 2016

Posted by feww on January 6, 2016

North Korea Announces ‘Successful’ H-Bomb Test

North Korea says it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, as earthquake monitoring centers reported a magnitude 5.1 earthquake near the main nuclear test site in Punggye-ri.

“The republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016,” said the North Korean state TV.

16,000 Houses in England were flooded

About 16,000 houses in England were flooded during the wettest December on record, with entire communities swamped by rising waters, the UK Environment Secretary has said.

The numbers were not available for Scotland and Wales, as of posting.

December was wettest month for UK

December was the wettest month of any calendar month for the UK since  records began in 1910, according to data provided by the UK Met Office. Overall, 2015 was the sixth wettest year on record.

It was also the warmest December in 115 years, with  temperatures hovering around 7.9C (46F), typical for April or May, with the mean temperatures rising about 4C (7.2F) above the long-term average.

Scotland, Wales and the north west of England received record rain.

The head of the arboretum at Kew Gardens (SW London, UK) said the jumbling of seasons was causing problems in the natural world.

“The plants are really mixed up, they don’t know what season they’re in. They think spring is on the way, and they need to flower and grow leaves to make food.

“The seasons are normally quite short so they do it as soon as time allows.

“The downside is is that we could get a frost, and all these young leaves are very tender and not used to temperatures below freezing, and they won’t flower again in spring.

“And it’s a food source for insects that won’t be around when insects need it.”

Michigan Finally Declares a State of Emergency

Gov. Snyder has finally declared a state of emergency for Flint and Genesee County due to the contaminated drinking water crisis.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has confirmed it is investigating the contamination of drinking water supply in Flint.

The governor made the declaration “due to the ongoing health and safety issues caused by lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water,” said Snyder’s office in a news release.

“Genesee County declared an emergency on Monday and asked the state to do the same. The City of Flint has been under an emergency declaration since Dec. 14,” said a report.

 

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Missouri Disaster: “It’s almost as if you’re living on some other planet”

Posted by feww on January 3, 2016

DISASTER DIARY – January 3, 2016

Federal Emergency Declared for the State of Missouri amid Flood Disaster

  • Dozens Dead in Missouri, S. Illinois amid Extreme Rain Event.
  • Tornadoes, Flooding and other  Extreme Weather Events have left at least 80 people dead, thousands of homes and businesses destroyed or damaged in central and southern U.S. since late December.

“When you’re coming over historic highs from the beginning of time, we kept records by four and five feet,” said Missouri Gov. Nixon. “When you’re seeing 55 close, seeing a house that’s floated, a full house that’s floated into the highway 30 bridge and blowing up, it’s almost as if you’re living on some other planet.”

The White House declared a Federal Emergency for the State of Missouri due to the emergency conditions in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding beginning on December 22, 2015, and continuing.

The areas worst affected by the ongoing disasters are the counties of Audrain, Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Boone, Butler, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Cedar, Christian, Clark, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Howard, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Ralls, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, St. Louis,  Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wright and the independent City of St. Louis.

Gov. Nixon had requested the disaster declaration after touring areas devastated by flooding on Saturday.

Recent Disaster Declarations

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson has now declared a total to 38 counties as disaster areas due to flooding and storm damage.

Those counties are Baxter, Benton, Boone, Bradley, Calhoun, Carroll, Chicot, Clay, Crawford, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Greene, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Stone, Washington, White and Yell.

Illinois Disaster Areas

Gov. Rauner has declared at least 12 counties in Central and Southern Illinois as disaster areas due to deadly flooding. Those counties are Alexander, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Randolph and St. Clair.

Texas Disaster Areas

Texas Gov. Abbott declared a state of disaster in Collin, Dallas, Ellis and Rockwall counties last week following deadly tornadoes and storms that left multiple trails of devastation.

Major Disaster Declared for Oklahoma

The White House declared disaster in the counties of Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Grady, Grant, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Major, Oklahoma, Roger Mills, Washita, and Woods.

Mississippi Gov. Bryant requests major disaster declaration

Bryant has requested the declaration for Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman and Tippah counties.

Major Disaster Declared for Idaho

The White House has declared a major disaster in the counties of Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, and Kootenai and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

Georgia declares State of Emergency

Gov. Deal has proclaimed a state of emergency due to excessive rain and extensive flooding in Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Macon, Pickens, Towns, Troup and Wilkes counties.

New Mexico’s governor declares state of emergency

Alabama Declares State of Emergency as Flooding From Storms Continues

State of emergency declared in Tennessee after deadly weather

Gov. Jandil declares state of emergency in Louisiana

State of Emergency Extended in Oklahoma

Gov. Fallin has extended a state of emergency to all 77 Oklahoma counties after another winter storm brought ice to western and central parts of the state and heavy flooding in the east and northeast.

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Historic Flooding: MO Gov. Activates National Guard

Posted by feww on December 30, 2015

DISASTER DIARY – DECEMBER 30, 2015

State of Missouri devastated by heavy rains, historic flooding

Extreme weather has devastated the State of Missouri killing at least 13 people, with the death toll exceeding 50 across southern and central U.S.

In response to historic flooding in parts of Missouri, Gov. Nixon has  activated the Missouri National Guard to support emergency response personnel. The Guard’s responsibilities will include providing security and preventing looting in evacuated areas.

The mobilization follows a state of emergency declaration in Missouri due to heavy rain and flooding.

As a result of this severe and prolonged storm system, river levels in some locations are predicted to exceed the historic crests during the Great Flood of 1993, according to a statement released by the governor’s office.

“As rivers rise to record levels, we are continuing to support Missouri communities and protect public safety during this historic flooding event,” said Gov. Nixon.

Flooding has already led to the evacuation of West Alton and caused hundreds of road closures across Missouri, including in St. Louis and all lanes of I-44 at Jerome near Rolla.

At least 13 flood-related deaths have been reported in Missouri, 12 of which were caused by vehicles being swept from flooded roadways.

“Highest Flood Records in History”

Forecasters at the National Weather Service (NWS) officials predict the Mississippi River at the Chester gauge, across the river from Perry County, will crest at 49.7 feet on Friday – matching the previous record set in 1993. In addition, the Mississippi River at Thebes south of Cape Girardeau is expected to crest at 47.5 feet on Saturday, nearly two feet above the previous record. Other rivers are also predicted to reach historic highs. For example, the Meramec River at Valley Park is forecast to crest at a record 42 feet.

Up to 15 million people across 9 states in the Midwestern United States were under flood warning, as of posting.

Eureka, MO completely cut off

The city of Eureka [pop: 12,000] located along Interstate 44 in St. Louis County, Missouri, is completely cut off by flood waters.

Additionally, floodwaters have swamped multiple other cities and towns including the cities of St. Louis and Pacific.

Thousand evacuated as Storm Frank hits UK

In the UK, Storm Frank has pummeled parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving more severe floods in its wake, said a report.

“Scotland bore the brunt of the bad weather with hundreds of homes evacuated in the Borders towns of Dumfries, Hawick and Peebles.”

Severe flood warnings remain in place in several areas, following record-breaking rains. “The heaviest fell in Capel Curig in Wales, which had 1,000mm (39 inches) of rain, well above its December average of 300mm (12 inches).”

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