Archive for ‘Extreme Weather’

Millions affected by floods in regions along Yangtze River

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Vehicles are immersed in the floodwater at a bus terminal in Youyang County of Chongqing Municipality, southwest China, July 9, 2010. The electricity supply was interrupted by a heavy rainfall in Youyang on Friday and vehicles were immersed in the ensuing flood.Vehicles are immersed in the floodwater at a bus terminal in Youyang County of Chongqing Municipality, southwest China, July 9, 2010. The electricity supply was interrupted by a heavy rainfall in Youyang on Friday and vehicles were immersed in the ensuing flood.

Rain-triggered floods are affecting millions of people in regions along China’s longest river, the Yangtze, China’s flood control authority said Friday.

The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFDH) said on Friday that:

  • Provinces including eastern Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui and Chongqing Municipality were all affected by swelling rivers after heavy rain in these regions,
  • More than 2.48 million people were affected, with some areas in Hubei and Chongqing completely flooded.
  • At least 15 people were dead from rain-triggered disasters, with 5 others still missing.
  • 176,000 people had so far been evacuated from flood-hit areas.
  • An emergency flood response and ordered local bureaus to closely monitor the weather and issue alerts promptly.

Source: Millions affected by floods in regions along Yangtze River –

Date: 09 July 2010

Storms and floods hit central, SW. China

Friday, July 9th, 2010
Local authorities in central and southwest China are on alert to respond to emergencies caused by severe storms and floods.

Local authorities in central and southwest China are on alert to respond to emergencies caused by severe storms and floods.

Local authorities in central and southwest China are on alert to respond to emergencies caused by severe storms and floods. It comes just days after the regions sweltered through a record breaking heat wave.

The National Meteorological Center has raised the storm alert level to “orange,” that’s one step below the highest rating on a four-color scale. Heavy rains are already pounding central Hubei and eastern Anhui provinces. In Hubei, one person was killed after floods hit three counties and a city in the province’s north, affecting half a million residents.

The Hubei Provincial Civil Affairs Department says more than 10,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes, 242 homes have collapsed and over 27,000 hectares of farmland flooded.

Source: Storms and floods hit central, SW. China –

Date: 09 July 2010

Torrential rains hit China

Friday, July 9th, 2010

China’s National Meteorological Center has raised the nation’s storm alert to “orange”, one step below the highest rating.

Heavy rainfall has been forecast in at least ten provinces and regions, in central and southwest China.  It began to ravage Chongqing Municipality on Thursday, causing mud flows and landslides in many parts of the region.

At a coal mine in Yongzhou district, flood-triggered disasters have damaged nearly 100 nearby homes.

A national highway was cut off by the downpours.  Most flights to and from Jiangbei International Airport have been delayed.

East China’s Jiangxi Province issued a yellow storm alert on Friday. Fuzhou county, along with many its surrounding areas that were pounded by floods last month, are once again experiencing heavy downpours. Roads, bridges and farmland have been submerged.

A rainstorm alarm sounded in the mountainous Dabieshan areas in central China’s Hubei Province. Local weather officials forecast more rainfall in eastern parts of Hubei province.

In neighboring Anhui, authorities launched a level II emergency response on Friday, and raised the storm alert to “orange”.

The provincial government has called an emergency meeting to discuss plans to counter the damage from what officials said might be the worst storm to hit parts of Anhui in a decade.

Source: Torrential rains hit China –

Date: 09 July 2010

Water well upgrades offer solution for Syria’s drought-hit northeast

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

An innovative approach to water resource management in Syria is estimated to be helping 18,000 people hit by a three-year long drought.

UNDP and its partners are upgrading a network of ancient water sources under the barren terrain of the country’s northeast, where water shortages have led to large-scale population displacement in recent years.

More than one million people, have been affected by the drought which has driven tens of thousands of families to urban settlements such as Aleppo, Damascus and Deir ez Zour.

Beginning in 2009, the Government of Syria, Spanish Development Agency and UNDP began rehabilitation of Roman- and Arab-built wells that were constructed some 2000 years ago.

Well rehabilitation involves cleaning and pumping out stagnant water, widening and deepening wells to increase water capacity, analyzing water quality, and finally handing over to local authorities and communities. The upgraded wells provide access to safe drinking water and undoubtedly improve quality of life.

These wells also contribute to sustainable and environmentally-friendly local development, protect traditional ways of life and reduce pressure on rural residents to migrate to urban centres, a move that can have devastating social and economic impacts.

Water scarcity is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today, particularly in the Middle East where populations are expanding and fresh water supplies are diminishing fast.

Source: Water well upgrades offer solution for Syria’s drought-hit northeast – Reliefweb

Date: 08 July 2010

Record temperatures cause blackouts in New York as heatwave bakes U.S. East Coast

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Cooling off: A man jumps through the spray from a fire hydrant in Times Square, New York, as temperatures topped 100 degrees  Read more:

Cooling off: A man jumps through the spray from a fire hydrant in Times Square, New York, as temperatures topped 100 degrees

The U.S. East Coast has been hit by power blackouts as major cities swelter in record high temperatures.

Temperatures in New York hit 103 degrees (39.4C) yesterday, while Philadelphia reported readings of 102(38.8C).

The extreme heat has forced transport officials to cut the speed of commuter trains in Washington DC and New York after welded rails began to bend.

Energy companies are urging consumers to cut back on power use to relieve the high demand during the heat wave.

Forecasts have shown that power demand is approaching the record highs set during the heat wave in 2006, which saw several black outs in U.S. cities.

The massive demand has seen homes along the east coast without electricity. More than 3,000 homes and businesses were left without power yesterday as consumers switched on air conditioning units to battle the sweltering temperatures.

Businesses and officers are being urged to switch off non-essential lighting, elevators and escalators and to turn off ornamental fountains.

Thousands of people cooled off by turning on fire hydrants or splashing through fountains.

Meterologists forecast the heatwave could start to ease off later this week, but much of the north east coast of the U.S. has seen temperatures topping 100 degrees (37.7C).

The deaths of a 92-year-old Philadelphia woman and a homeless woman found next to a car in Detroit have been blamed on the heat.

The Suffolk County Red Cross, on New York’s Long Island, said it planned to hand out bottles of water to day labourers working on rooftops or in fields and yards.

Workers at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey, used tubs of ice cubes to help keep four sick seals cool.

Source: Record temperatures cause blackouts in New York as heatwave bakes U.S. East Coast -

Date: 07 July 2010

Power outages, one death reported in Northeast heat wave

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Power outages in Connecticut, rail service disruptions in Washington and warnings to conserve electricity in New York City mark the second day of the Northeast heat wave.

As many as 9,000 customers of Connecticut Light and Power in Stamford were without electrical service Tuesday.  A heat-related transformer failure at a substation in Stamford caused the outage.

Temperatures reached 100 Tuesday in Stamford, according to the National Weather Service.

In Washington, Metrorail officials found a “heat kink” on the Red Line. A kink occurs in extremely hot weather when overheated tracks expand but can’t be constrained by cross ties.  Train speed is reduced to ensure passenger safety.

The heat wave has claimed one life. A 92-year-old woman was found dead in her home in Philadelphia.

The National Weather Service issued an additional “excessive heat warning”.   Whilst, Weather service officials are advising people to stay indoors as the prolonged heat and humidity creates a “dangerous situation.”

Source: Power outages, one death reported in Northeast heat wave – edition.cnn

Date: 07 July 2010

Heat wave sweeps across northern China, Guangdong, Guangxi

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Beijing witnessed this year’s hottest weather on July 5. The air temperature rose to 40 degrees Celsius in downtown Beijing and half of Beijing’s outer suburbs at 2 p.m.

The Ancient Observatory even measured an extremely high air temperature of 42.9 degrees Celsius at that time.

The Hebei Provincial Meteorological Bureau stated that the air temperature exceeded 38 degrees Celsius in the northern parts of Tangshan and many other areas to the south of Langfang at 4 p.m.  Meanwhile, temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius in more than 10 counties and cities in the province.

In Shandong province and in other thirty counties and cities in Guangxi province issued orange heat alerts. Shangsi County and Wuyu International Airport witnessed high air temperatures of 39.5 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Source: Heat wave sweeps across northern China, Guangdong, Guangxi –

Date: 07 July 2010

The heat wave is here: ‘There is a risk of people dying,’ regional medical officer says

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

The heat wave wilting the region has spawned another health hazard — bad air.

Smog is blanketing the area in levels high enough to prompt an advisory from Ontario’s Environment Ministry for the Waterloo-Wellington area, along with much of southern Ontario and into Quebec.

On Monday, the mercury soared to 33.2 C at the Region of Waterloo International Airport — hot, but not hot enough to reach the record of 34.4 C set in Kitchener on this date back in 1921. But factor in the humidity, and temperatures at the University of Waterloo weather station were feeling more like a blistering 44.5 C, even into the early evening.

Temperatures were expected to hit 32 or 33 C today through Thursday, with humidex values in the 40-degree range.

“This is going to be near record-setting,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Rob Kuhn.

While we swelter, Region of Waterloo Public Health is urging people to be cautious during smog alert days and heat waves. Overheating can be dangerous.

“There is a risk of people dying,” said regional medical officer of health Dr. Liana Nolan.

Nolan encourages people to stay hydrated and seek out cooler spaces during the hot weather.

“Even one break during the day can make a difference,” she said.

“Give your body a chance to cool down.”

Temperatures are forecast to drop back to 25 C on Friday — actually a degree shy of the seasonal norm.

But as long as the thermometer hits 32 C or more today and tomorrow, we’ll officially have seen a heat wave — defined as three or more consecutive days with readings of 32 C or higher.

“In my opinion, we’re due for one,” Kuhn said. Waterloo Region usually experiences one or two heat waves every couple of years, but there have been some years where we don’t quite make it.

Kitchener has been encouraging people to use city facilities as cooling centres during heat waves for a couple of years, and of course public swimming pools and malls are other options. Hildebrand also encourages people to also check on family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors at greater risk of heat-related illness.

When the temperature spikes, so do the calls to local humane societies about dogs left in vehicles.

Gary Boes, inspector for the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society, doesn’t understand why people still leave animals in cars on a sweltering day. In just minutes, the situation can be deadly and parking in the shade or opening windows makes little difference.

“Literally, they are being cooked alive,” Boes said.

He warns people that animal cruelty charges have recently been revamped provincially and federally with hefty jail sentences and fines for causing an animal distress, including being left in a hot car.

People should take the same precautions for pets as themselves on hot, muggy days. Like humans, animals with medical conditions and those old and young are especially susceptible to the heat.

“It’s not good for us. It’s not good for them,” Boes said.

Don’t go for a walk in the middle of the day with a dog, carry water, and leave pets at home when doing errands. Animals kept outdoors should have food, water and shelter, and be watched closely and brought inside when it’s too hot.

Despite the rising temperature and smog level, local emergency departments haven’t seen a surge in heat-related illness or respiratory complaints.

Those at higher risk of suffering serious health problems, which includes people with existing heart or respiratory problems, children and seniors, in particular should take precautions when the air quality is poor. Remain indoors in a cool environment as much as possible, refrain from strenuous outdoor activity and seek immediate medical help if symptoms worsen.

Even people who are healthy should avoid or limit strenuous outdoor exercise until air quality improves. If unavoidable, take extra breaks, drink more water and avoid high-traffic areas. Breathing problems and eye, nose and throat irritations can happen from exposure to poor air.

Smog is a mixture of air pollutants, the two main ingredients being ground-level ozone and particulate matter. Smog can form in most climates where industry or cities spew large amounts of air pollution, although it’s worse in hot, sunny weather.

Smog caused more than 29 million minor illnesses, 59,000 emergency room visits, 16,000 hospital admissions and more than 5,800 premature deaths in Ontario in 2005, according to the Ministry of the Environment.

Relatively few smog advisories were issued in the past couple of years in Ontario. Last year, there were three advisories lasting just five days and eight advisories totalling 17 days in 2008. The summer of 2007 suffered from many bad air days, with 13 smog advisories covering 39 days. The worst year in the past 15 was 2005, which had 15 advisories over 53 days.

The Independent Electricity System Operator reported on its website that the high temperatures had pushed the power demand to 24,567 megawatts at 5 p.m. — exceeding the day’s predicted peak of 24,351.

Around the same time, a power outage left large swaths of Toronto in the dark and also turned out the lights on Prince Philip presenting the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a program that encourages youth to participate in community services, at the Royal York Hotel when the lights went out.

The emergency power kicked in and Prince Philip soldiered on, presenting the awards in the dimly lit room, joking with parents in the audience.

Hydro One spokesperson Daffyd Roderick said about 240,000 customers were without power at the height of the outage caused by a fire at a transformer station. About 1,000 megawatts were taken out of the grid.

The outage was substantial enough to cause blips throughout the province, with reports of the lights flickering as far away as Ottawa. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Source: The heat wave is here: ‘There is a risk of people dying,’ regional medical officer says – news.therecord

Date: 06 July 2010

Heat wave causes numerous wild fires in central Mongolia

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Wild fires have raged across central Mongolia due to the ongoing hot, dry weather, fire officials said Tuesday.

The fires occurred in Selenge and Tov provinces, have killed three people and injured six others and destroyed 936 livestock caused about 910 million Tugrig (about 0.67 million U.S. dollars) in damages.

An extreme heat wave has baked many areas of Mongolia in recent weeks with the temperature reaching 41 degrees Celsius in some locations.

Authorities have barred people from traveling to areas with extreme dry conditions and have asked for all-round support in helping firefighters battle the blazes.

Source: Heat wave causes numerous wild fires in central Mongolia –

Date: 06 July 2010

Floods affect Punjab villages

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

On Tuesday, in Samrala Village of Punjab, the flood situation turned grim while dozens of villages were inundated.

The mainly affected villages included Toddarpur, Dhande, Orana, Kulewal, Barma, Herian, Rajewal and Kheernian.

The main victims of floods are the farmers, as floods have spoiled their crops.

Special pumps have been requisitioned from neighboring districts to expedite de-watering operation. Flood protection machinery has been put on high alert.

The deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal said:

“Medical facility has been provided to the villagers and we are providing veterinary doctors too so that there won’t be any kind of infection. We are providing drinking water also to the villagers, considering the health of people.”

The incessant rainfall has flooded several low-lying areas in the region, besides affecting power supply and road traffic.

Source: Floods affect Punjab villages - newkerala

Date: 06 July 2010

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