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Floods kill hundreds across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Iran and Africa
By Ashok Dahal
Kathmandu (AFP) Aug 14, 2017

Flash floods kill 11 in northeastern Iran
Tehran (AFP) Aug 12, 2017 - Flash floods triggered by heavy rain in northeastern Iran have left at least 11 people dead and two missing, the Red Crescent said on Saturday.

"So far 11 people have died in this accident -- eight of them in Khorasan Razavi, two in Golestan and another in North Khorasan," Red Crescent rescue chief Morteza Salimi told the ISNA news agency.

Friday's storms caused flooding in five provinces and some villages remained cut off on Saturday.

The two people missing were part of a family of three whose car was washed away by the torrent in Golestan province.

One of them, a woman, has been found dead and the search is continuing for the other two.

Deadliest African floods over past two decades
Freetown (AFP) Aug 15, 2017 - The massive flooding in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown, which has left hundreds of people dead, is among the worst on the African continent over the past two decades.

Here are Africa's most deadly floods during that period:

- El Nino in East Africa -

From October 1997 to January 1998, more than 6,000 are killed in flooding caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which pounds Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In Somalia, 1,800 die and 230,000 are left homeless when the Juba river overflows its banks on October 18.

- Algiers under water -

On November 10, 2001, 764 people die and 125 are listed as missing after heavy floods in the north of Algeria. The flooding devastates part of Algiers, the capital, where 713 are killed, mainly in the residential neighbourhood of Bab El-Oued.

- Devastation in Mozambique -

In February to March 2000, unprecedented floods in Mozambique leave 699 dead and 95 missing, and about 60,000 people are sheltered in camps set up by the authorities.

Then, in January 2015, the Licungo river, which cuts Mozambique in two, surges by 12 metres (39 feet), a phenomenon which had not been seen since 1971.

The floods devastate the province of Zambezie, where 160 are killed and 177,000 made homeless. In neighbouring Malawi floods kill 176 people and leave 153 missing, while more than 200,000 are displaced.

- Carnage in Ethiopia -

In August 2006 at least 639 die in deadly flooding in Ethiopia. An additional 35,000 people are displaced and 200,000 affected by the floods which strike the east, the southwest and north of the country.

- The 2010 rainy season -

Flooding during the 2010 rainy season, one of the most deadly ever recorded, leaves at least 377 dead and impacts 1.5 million people in West Africa.

The countries recording the most deaths are Nigeria (118), Ghana (52), Sudan (50), Benin (43), Chad (24), Mauritania (21), Burkina Faso (16), Cameroon (13) and Gambia (12).

- 2006: Horn of Africa -

From October to November 2006, flooding caused by unseasonal rains leave more than 140 people dead in Somalia, with many drowned but others killed by crocodiles or succumbing to a malaria epidemic.

Flooding also hits Kenya, where 114 die, and Ethiopia, with 80 victims.

At least 165 people have died and thousands have fled their homes as monsoon floods swept across Nepal, India and Bangladesh, officials said Monday, warning the toll could rise as the extent of the damage becomes clear.

Three days of relentless downpours sparked flash floods and landslides that have killed at least 70 people in Nepal, 73 across northern and eastern India and 22 in Bangladesh.

Around 200,000 people are living in emergency camps in Assam in northeast India, which suffers frequent flooding during the annual monsoon rains.

Another 15,000 have had to leave their homes in the eastern state of Bihar, which borders Nepal and where one official said seven rivers were at danger levels.

Huge swathes of the state were submerged in 2008 when a river burst its banks across the border in Nepal, with the two countries trading blame for the disaster.

In Nepal, police said over 48,000 homes have been totally submerged by the floods.

As emergency workers struggled to reach far-flung areas, the country's home ministry said another 47 people were missing, presumed dead.

The Nepal Red Cross warned that shortages of drinking water and food could create a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Himalayan country.

"In many parts of the country there is a scarcity of safe drinking water creating a high risk of health hazards," spokesman Dibya Raj Poudel told AFP.

"Several villages and settlements are unreachable. Telecommunications, mobile phones are still not working so it is difficult to give a full assessment."

In India, emergency workers were scouring the area hit by a massive landslide that swept two passenger buses into a deep gorge on Sunday, killing at least 46 people in the mountainous northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

In the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand -- which also borders Nepal -- three people were killed in a landslide late Sunday triggered by heavy rains, local police official Ajay Joshi told AFP.

- Bangladesh deploys troops -

Bangladesh deployed troops to shore up embankments in the north of the country, where flooding has killed 22 people.

Local government administrator Kazi Hasan Ahmed told AFP up to 700,000 people had been marooned by flood waters after rivers burst their banks following days of heavy rain.

"We've not seen such severe floods in Dinajpur since 1988," he said, referring to the worst-hit district.

"The town protection embankment was washed away by flood water, submerging most of the main town."

The government's Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre warned that water levels in some major rivers would continue to rise over the next 72 hours, raising fears the flooding could spread.

In Nepal, the worst of the flooding was in the southern lowlands known as the Terai, the country's most fertile region and home to much of its agriculture.

"We are getting reports that about 70 percent of agriculture area in the Tarai is inundated," said Shankar Sapkota, senior agricultural economist with the government.

"Paddy fields, vegetable plantation and fish farms have been affected but right now we cannot confirm the extent of damage."

Nearly 150 people have been killed in Nepal since the beginning of the rainy season in late June.

The rains are now expected to shift westwards and authorities in Nepal have begun evacuating 74,000 people from the area expected to be hit.

Hundreds have died in torrential rain, floods and landslides in neighbouring India during the monsoon, which hits the country's southern tip in early June and sweeps across the nation, lasting into September.


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

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