Disastrous Flooding Around the World
Line of Storms Bolivia to Burundi
Countries across four continents—from A, Australia, to Z, Zimbabwe—have been dealing with major flooding events in the past week. The most heavily affected places are three states of Australia (BOM), Bolivia (ReliefWeb), England (Environment UK), France (EUMETNET), and in Africa: Burundi (TRUST), Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe (NOAA).
The heavy rain that is causing flooding in some of these areas has been going on for weeks, as in Mozambique (NOAA), and is predicted to continue throughout the current forecast period, as in parts of England (Environment).
This week, we’ll look a little more closely at the flooding in Bolivia and Madagascar.
Continued Flooding in Bolivia
On January 30, it was reported here that Bolivia’s government had declared a National Emergency due to heavy rainfall and severe weather over a period of several weeks (Weather Wall). On February 6, reports included at least 38 flood-related deaths (Reuters). Today, that emergency continues for Bolivia and its neighbors (EC-JRC). The European Commission report dated February 12, says that heavy rains have caused floods and landslides in several parts of Bolivia, and that by February 10, a total of 52,337 in 127 municipalities were affected. Cochabamba department was the most heavily impacted area at the time of that report, but forecasts included in the report said that “moderate (locally heavy) rains and thunderstorms” could be expected through Friday in central and southeastern parts of the country. Colombia, Peru, Argentina (Buenos Aires), and Uruguay are also adversely affected. At this time, 46 people are reported dead and 14 missing (ECHO).
Mozambique and Coastal East Africa
Zimbabwe, inland from Mozambique on Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, had been experiencing extreme flash flooding for days when the International Charter was activated on February 7 (Charter). The Charter activation said, “The amount of rain is unusual for this area, at almost double the normal level. Low-lying areas are considered particularly at risk from flooding at this time.” The forecast flooding has been happening this week (NOAA). Surrounding areas of coastal Africa have also been dealing with severe flooding. In Burundi, on February 10, it was reported that “torrential rain… caused floods and landslides in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi. Over fifty people have been killed…” (Charter). Before the flooding rains reached the coast, flooding in the island nation of Madagascar had killed at least 13 (IRIN), but the current 10-day forecast, including variable chances of precipitation, does not suggest more flooding is likely (Weather.com).
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: United States
Fire: Chile, China, Vanuatu, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Tonga, and Indonesia
Flood: Western Australia, Bolivia, England, France (Finistere), Indonesia (Jakarta), Mozambique (central), and United States
Severe Weather: Canada, South America, and United States
Volcanoes: Indonesia (Sinabung), El Salvador
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