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SHAKE AND BLOW
At least 221 dead in India, Bangladesh, Nepal floods
by Staff Writers
Saptari, Nepal (AFP) Aug 15, 2017


Sierra Leone needs 'urgent support now' for flood victims: president
Freetown (AFP) Aug 15, 2017 - President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone said Tuesday that his country needed "urgent support now" for thousands of people affected by massive flooding and mudslides in the capital of one of the world's poorest nations.

Addressing the media in the Regent hilltop community of Freetown, one of the areas hit hardest by a mudslide that has destroyed homes, Koroma fought back tears as he said the devastation "was overwhelming us".

"Entire communities have been wiped out," Koroma said at the disaster site, where heavy rains streaming down the hillside engulfed homes three or four stories high on Monday, many of them built illegally.

The Red Cross has said it was struggling to bring enough equipment to the site to excavate those buried deeply in the mud, but several bodies were extracted by available machinery at the site on Tuesday morning, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

At least 221 people have died and more than 1.5 million have been displaced by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, officials said Tuesday, as rescuers scoured submerged villages for the missing.

In Nepal, severe flooding has left tens of thousands of homes totally underwater in the populous southern lowlands, with nearly 20 percent of the population affected.

"As per the data we have received so far, 111 have been killed, 35 are still missing and a search operation is underway," Home Minister Janardan Sharma told parliament Tuesday.

A third of neighbouring Bangladesh is flooded, with at least 29 dead as relentless monsoon rains pound the densely-populated riverine country.

"Another 1.5 million people have been marooned," Reaz Ahmed, head of Bangladesh's disaster management department told AFP.

Almost 1,200 shelters have been erected across Bangladesh, while the army has been deployed to reinforce weakened river embankments and to assist with search and rescue operations.

In the border district of Lalmonirhat, roughly 600 Indian nationals took shelter in Bangladeshi villages along with their stricken livestock, the district's government administrator Shafiul Atif told AFP.

India has also suffered from torrential downpours and flash flooding, worsening a monsoon that has already claimed lives.

At least 81 people have died in the eastern states of Bihar and West Bengal, and northeastern Assam state, over the last few days, a government official told AFP on Tuesday.

Train services have been cut entirely to the northeast, and at least 200,000 people are living in emergency camps in Assam, a remote state that suffers frequent flooding during the annual rains.

- 'Suffering for decades' -

In Nepal, residents in hard-hit Saptari district blamed the government for failing to solve the seasonal floods and quickly send aid to those in need.

"Many have lost their homes. Families don't have food or shelter. We are just helping each other," said local resident Pankaj Mishra.

"What we need is for the government to solve this problem. We have been suffering for decades every year. The river troubles us every year."

Kathmandu has been criticised for enacting a "one-door" policy requiring all aid for flood victims to flow through a government-run central disaster agency.

The diktat threatens to delay the delivery of relief supplies say volunteers and aid agencies, which have warned Nepal faces a humanitarian crisis if food and water does not reach the worst-affected areas.

"Unless there is an effective model of rescue and relief operation, one-door policy will only kill or aggravate the situation," said local volunteer Arpan Shrestha.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on Tuesday pledged $1 million in flood assistance to Nepal during a four-day visit to Kathmandu.

SHAKE AND BLOW
Global warming alters timing of floods in Europe: study
Washington (AFP) Aug 10, 2017
Global warming is altering the timing of floods in Europe, making some rivers swell early and others later than usual, a phenomenon that impacts farming and daily life across the region, researchers said Thursday. The report in the US journal Science is the largest European study of its kind, and spans 50 years and a vast trove of data from over 4,000 hydrometric stations from 38 countries. ... read more

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest


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