Does rainfall mean no more Drought?
One would think that an area dealing with drought would benefit from extensive rainfall. However, rainfall doesn’t always bring immediate relief to drought-stricken areas. Heavy precipitation may not alleviate or even provide temporary relief to drought stricken areas because the ground is so hard the soil is no longer able to absorb it. If precipitation exceeds the infiltration capacity of the soil, runoff can occur. As a result, flooding, specifically flash flooding can ensue. As discussed previously on the PDC Weather Wall, flashfloods often result in high fatality rates and extensive damage to homes and crops.
Even after flooding has subsided, areas impacted by long-term drought may have very minimal relief because the majority of the precipitation has moved further down the watershed. The ideal precipitation pattern for a drought stricken area is light to moderate rainfall over an extended period of time.
Globally we are experiencing flooding in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. We have chosen to take a closer look at recent flooding in Kyusha, Japan, and Tulunan, Philippines; both areas were hit extremely hard over the last week.
Precipitation & Flooding: Kyusha, Japan
The island of Kyushu in southern Japan has been severely impacted by record amounts of heavy rainfall. The torrential rains resulted in flash floods and multiple landslides. Overall, 28 people were reported killed, 11 injured, 20 missing, and 400,000 evacuated. Due to mudslides and debris, hundreds of people became isolated and relief supplies had to be delivered from helicopters and on foot. (RSOE EDIS)
The latest forecast for Japan shows areas of continued precipitation which may continue to hamper response operations.
Precipitation & Flooding: Tulunan, Philippines
The municipality of Tulunan in North Cotabato, Philippines, was greatly impacted by flash floods on Saturday, July 14, which inundated some areas with waist-high floodwaters. A reported 337 families were affected and 14 families had to be rescued. Just yesterday, on July 18, the municipality of Isulan in nearby Sultan Kudarat, was also responding to flooding that affected 50 families. Fortunately no causalities have been reported for either event. (NDRRMC/NDRRMC-b)
The latest forecast for the Philippines shows areas of continued precipitation.
PDC is currently monitoring flooding events in: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chad, England, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, India, Japan, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Sudan.
To learn more about floods, droughts and other types of natural hazards, check out PDC’s Natural Hazards webpage! Want to know what hazards are occurring around the world or near you? Then, don’t forget to download the free Disaster Alert mobile app available for your iOS or Android devices!