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PDC Global Flood Survey

PDC Weekly Global Flood Survey: March 8, 2012

Figure 1. PDC Global Hazards Atlas displaying 3 day precipitation accumulation.

Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster to occur globally, and this week we have been monitoring flood events around the world and in our own back yard of Hawaii. Currently PDC is keeping a close eye on active flood events in: Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Gaza Strip, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Peru, Scotland, Tanzania, United States, Wales, the West Bank. 

It is important to make sure that you and your family know what to do before, during and after a flood. Check out the PDC disaster preparedness links below for information on how to prepare, respond, and recover from flooding and all disasters.

Get  ‘PDC disaster preparedness’ information online, and look at these additional hazards and disaster preparedness resources that will help you teach your children what to do.

Below is a look at active flood events occurring in Hawaii and Madagascar.

Precipitation & Flooding: Hawaiian Islands, United States

Figure 2. PDC Global Hazards Atlas centered over Hawaii, United States and displaying 3 day precipitation accumulation and PDC Active Hazards.

Figure 2. above is centered over the Hawaiian Islands in the central north Pacific Ocean. Atmospheric conditions over this area at times during the last seven days, have prompted heavy rainfall, with considerable flooding at times, on each of the islands. The cold air aloft associated with an upper level low pressure system, in addition to a slow moving surface cold front, teamed up to create abnormally large amounts of precipitation. Many of the wettest locations have measured rainfall in terms of feet, rather than inches in the areas most soaked by these unsettled weather conditions. At the time of this writing, Thursday afternoon, yet another heavy rainfall event is beginning. This strongly suggests that there are still 24-48 hours of potential flood-producing rainfall taking aim on the islands.

This satellite image of Hawaii is provided by NOAA

Picture 1. Flash flooding Waihee, Maui. Picture provided by Waihee Resident Ms. Maureen Naganuma.

Hawaiian Islands Flooding: According to Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) this flooding event occurred between the March 4 to 7, 2012. Heavy rains, including thunderstorms, hail, and waterspouts caused major disruption to transportation at times, and according to GDACS, at least 83 people were displaced from their homes.

The forecast for the Hawaiian Islands includes continued precipitation over the next several days.

Precipitation & Flooding: Madagascar

Figure 3. PDC Global Hazards Atlas centered over Madagascar displaying 3 day precipitation accumulation and PDC Integrated Active Hazards

Madagascar has been experiencing a slow moving tropical cyclone named Irina (14S) in the Mozambique Channel, not far offshore. This long-lasting tropical cyclone has sent heavy flooding rainfall over Madagascar at times during the last week. Irina is still shown as “active” by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The map above (figure 2) shows the track of this tropical cyclone, which was very close to the west coast of Madagascar at times. This close proximity led to serious flooding problems locally. Irina has dropped to the south of the Mozambique Channel now, and has moved far enough away, that flooding has ended for the time being. There’s another active tropical cyclone in the South Indian Ocean at this time, called Koji (16S), although it isn’t expected to affect Madagascar in the near future.

This satellite image provided by NOAA displays current conditions the Indian Ocean and around Madagascar.

Madagascar Flooding: According to Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) there have been 65 people killed due to flooding during the past seven days.

The forecast for Madagascar over the next several days.

Looking Ahead

Over the next week, PDC will continue to monitor areas of high precipitation and keep a close eye on flooding across the globe.  For the most up-to-date information on these flood events and all-hazards, download the free PDC Disaster Alert mobile app for iOS and Android devices.