Lingering Hazards Worldwide Include Flooding
Some hazards come and go very rapidly. Minor earthquakes, for example, may be felt for seconds and remembered for minutes. Most storms and cyclones, even the relatively damaging ones, tend to come and go in days. Then there are the other hazards, ones that build up over time, remain threatening or impactful for a long time, then slowly recede. Biomedical hazards are like that. Analyst sometimes study reported cases for a long time before determining that a hazard, an outbreak, an epidemic is in progress. Then, of course, they are very careful about sounding the all-clear after the last known cases have been removed from the books.
Flooding is often the hazard in the middle ground. It can come on incrementally or very suddenly; may pass through a place rapidly or stay for days, even weeks and then drain away painfully slowly.
Flooding in China and India began last month. The July 1 European Commission Severe Weather Map (ECHO) tells the beginning of the story very briefly. For China, “Severe weather, including heavy rain, strong winds and hail, has been affecting several parts of the country over the past week.” At that time, two weeks ago, the EC reported 17 people dead, 20 missing, 120,000 evacuated, and over 13,600 homes damaged. The floods associated with that severe weather persisted long enough to be highlighted again in an EC posting to ReliefWeb for July 12. At last, on July 14, the hazard “expired.”
India’s July 14 floods are related to but not identical (in geography) with the flooding that began on June 30 (ECHO), causing landslides and leaving at least nine dead. That flooding in Uttarakhand has largely receded, but rain has continued, and on July 13 the National Disaster Management Authority of India (NDMA) was predicting that more rain should be expected “at isolated places over Uttarakhand.” The flooding hazard remains, more than two weeks after it began.
Flooding is still an active hazard after eight days in Victoria, Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and in Pakistan after three days. According to the Pakistan National Forecasting Centre (GoP), “rain-thunderstorm/windstorm” will continue only over “scattered places,” and the newest forecasts do not mention new flooding.
Flooding in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and in Myanmar began only two to three days ago, and in all three countries is currently considered hazardous. The EC World Events map of July 12 (ReliefWeb/ECHO) describes the situation in Guatemala and Nicaragua. The AHA Centre Weekly Disaster Update (AHA) puts the Myanmar flooding in an ASEAN regional context.
RVA Country Profile: INDIA
This Week in Hazards
- Pacific cyclones are not currently threatening any continental or island land mass. According to Advisory #33 (on July 14) from the NWS National Hurricane Center, the system formerly known as 04-E is now Tropical Storm Celia with maximum sustained winds of 45 knots and gusts up to 55 knots. Celia’s predicted track has her dissipating safely to the north of Hawaii. Meantime, according to Advisory #13 (on July 14) from the NWS National Hurricane Center, the system formerly known as 05-EP is now Hurricane Darby with maximum sustained winds of 75 knots and gusts up to 90 knots. On Thursday, NASA described Darby as “about 665 miles (1,070 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.” The hurricane is on a trajectory for the Central Pacific, but much too far from Hawaii to make any meaningful prediction at this time.
- In a posting on ReliefWeb on July 12, the European Commission said that severe weather in Nicaragua was “affecting several areas of the country, especially the Caribbean coast, over the past few days, causing floods.” (ECHO) By that date, EC indicated that “local media report that at least 3,900 people were evacuated, and 300 houses damaged in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region.” On Wednesday, the Nicaragua National System for Prevention Mitigation and Disaster (SINAPRED) indicated that the river levels in flood affected areas were normalizing.
Current Hazard Warnings
Tropical Cyclone: Darby (Eastern Pacific)
Flood: Northern India, Myanmar, Guatemala, and Nicaragua
Drought: Southeast Asia, Bolivia, and United States (south and west)
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