Hungarians unite as ‘worst-ever’ floods threaten Budapest



    Eastern KY U.S.A. BABYLON

       Heavy rains in eastern Kentucky are flooding roads and forced a handful of residents to be rescued from their homes because of rising water. Harlan and Owsley counties have declared a state of emergency. In Harlan County, some mudslides and flooded roads have been reported, state officials said. Some residents in the Bride Shade Community in Clay County had to be moved out of their homes Wednesday afternoon when they became stranded by high water. Clay County Emergency Management Director David Watson said six or seven residents were rescued from their homes as the water level was rising. Watson said no one was hurt. The county is setting up a shelter for residents who can’t get to their homes because of flooded roads. Kentucky Emergency Management officials in Frankfort are monitoring the high water in Clay, Knox, Laurel, Harlan, Leslie and Owsley counties, as more rain is expected later in the week. The National Weather Service says showers and thunderstorms are likely in the area Thursday night, extending into Friday morning. Watson said he expected the high waters in Clay County to recede by Thursday when the fresh round of storms is expected.

     Ontario CANADA

     Some schools are closed as flood waters continue to rise and wash out roads in parts of central Ontario. Seven cottage country communities have declared emergencies, including Bancroft, Kawartha Lakes, South Algonquin Township, Minden Hills, Markstay-Warren, Hunstville and Bracebridge. Last week, warm weather combined with more than 50 mm of rain caused waterways to rise rapidly. In Bancroft, three schools and a children’s centre were shuttered Monday, the town’s website said. Officials warned the closures could continue for several more days. Officials from South Algonquin Township are continuing to closely monitor the Galeairy Lake Dam and bridges. On Friday, crews were dispatched to do emergency repairs on the dam as flooding surpassed historical levels. Water levels are expected to continue to rise. Flooding is slowing in some areas, including Hunstville and the Kawarthas, but residents are asked to use caution on roadways and stay away from rivers and streams. The province has offered its support to the areas impacted by rising waters.


     Nelson residents face a major clean up after a sudden deluge flooded properties and closed roads last night. Civil Defence said more than 90 homes had been evacuated in both Nelson and the neighbouring Tasman District as a result of the downpour. Business in the regions now face with mopping up the mess before being able to reopen shop. Carolyn Norgate, who owns a business in the suburb of Richmond, said she would not be able to reopen until she got the “all clear” from her insurance company. “Who knows, the floors might have to be taken up and redone.” The Insurance Council of New Zealand said 1500 house and contents claims had been made for both regions so far. Nelson residents are being warned not to swim at Tahunanui Beach and the Waimea estuary due to the discharge of effluent following the heavy rain. The council has also issued a boil water notice to Motueka residents on the reticulated system, and advises all bore owners to boil water. “Any resident who has had mud and silt inundation on their property should take care when cleaning up because of the possibility of sewage contamination,” the council said. While rain is expected to continue in the regions overnight, the weather is expected to clear from tomorrow. However, MetService said heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms were still possible in the western ranges of Nelson.


     Heavy rain and thundershowers flooded wadis (valleys) in Ibri, about 200km south-west of Muscat early Tuesday. In the central region strong winds whipped up a dust storm on Monday evening and the country’s meteorological department has forecast more dust storms in the central and southern regions in the next 24 hours. “A huge cloud of sand was created on the road from Adam to Salalah,” said Bader Ali Al Baddaei, one of the administrators on http://www.rthmc.net, a local web-based forum to discuss weather trends in Oman. A spokesperson for the meteorological department also confirmed that strong winds whipped up sand in the central region. “We expect more sandstorms in the next 24 hours,” the spokesperson said. He also forecast that strong winds could whip up sand, especially in the desert areas. The meteorological department spokesperson said that most of the south Batinah region and Muscat received light to moderate rain on Tuesday morning. “The early morning rain was accompanied by thundershowers, which we expect to continue for the next 24 hours,” he added. Ibri received the maximum rainfall of 22.6mm followed by Bidiya (16.8mm), Jebel Shams (3.4mm), Adam (3.2mm), Muscat (2.2mm), Buraimi (1.6mm), Yanqul (1.2mm) and Sayq (1mm). The meteorological department spokesperson has urged people not to cross wadis, especially in the Ibri area. He also advised fisherman to be careful at sea, which is expected to be rough for the next 24 hours. The rain brought the mercury down by five degrees to 32 degrees Celsius.



     Ten people drowned early on Saturday morning after their houses were swept away by raging floods in Keiyo Valley. According to the area District Commissioner Arthur Bunde, four of those killed were members of the same family. The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) which immediately moved in to help with the rescue efforts said the incident occurred around 3 am sweeping away houses while others were left submerged. KRCS said the early Saturday downpour left over 200 families affected in Kaptarakwa, Kabechei and Enego areas. Together with the Kerio South Provincial Administration and locals, the society continued with the rescue efforts to save people feared to be still trapped in the mud. The rescue efforts were however hampered by the ongoing rains in the affected areas. “The KRCS is working with the locals in the rescue efforts which have been slowed down by heavy rains, impassable roads and mud.

     It’s feared that many could still be trapped as the society has continued to receive calls from other affected people and on social media,” KRCS stated. A temporary shelter was set up at Torongon Primary School to host over 70 families asked to move from areas identified as high risk with the ongoing rains expected to continue through to January. Alerts were issued to families living in areas prone to landslides and heavy flooding to move to higher ground. Rescue missions were also ongoing to move people to safer areas after the infamous River Nyando burst its banks. Since the December rains began, many Kenyans have been affected by heavy flooding and landslides, a common phenomenon during rainy seasons in the country. In Nairobi, Mathare, South ‘C’ and Imara Daima areas were the most affected, according to KRCS. KRCS also called for caution by motorists driving around Naivasha, Nyeri, Iten, Kericho, Eldoret and Nanyuki where visibility remains poor and roads slippery due to the heavy downpour. The meteorological department forecast that the heavy rains will continue to January.


     Thirteen people died and 15 were injured in the southern Kuando-Kubango province, following the heavy rains throughout 2012. This information is part of the balance of the Civil Protection and Fire commission. According to the source, during the mentioned period, 315 residences were also destroyed. The source also says that the ravines continue in the province.




    Torrential rains have killed at least 13 people, injured 29 and displaced hundreds in districts south of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, say officials. The heavy rains came on 8-9 December. “After the rains, we sent rescue services, who were able to recover nine bodies. The Congolese Red Cross recovered four bodies of people who had drowned,” said Maurel Kihounzou, the mayor of the first district of Makwlwkwle, south of the capital. The seventh district of Mfilou was also affected, according to a 10 December report from the government, which noted that houses collapsed under the pressure of the flood waters, killing several people as they slept. Some 564 families had also been left without shelter, according to Clement Essieke, the minister of humanitarian action. “We are in negotiations with the national army to get tents for the affected,” he said. At least 600 people had sought shelter temporarily in a police camp before being asked to return to their homes. “The order came from the police command. We were not given more explanation. Our camp is intended for military training,” said a police officer. The River Mfilou, which traverses parts of Makelekele, breached its banks, bringing flood waters towards houses there. Military personnel are searching for those still missing in the flood waters.


   The State Emergency Service has answered more than 100 calls for help after a severe thunderstorm hit Rockingham and Mandurah overnight. Mandurah received more than 70mm of rain. About 4600 homes were without power this morning. And more wild weather is on its way today with heavy rain and damaging winds expected to hit the metropolitan area. Reported damage mainly involved flooding and roof damage. SES volunteers have been working in the Rockingham area, making repairs to homes, fixing minor roof damage, removing fallen trees from homes, cars and fences, sandbagging areas in danger of flooding and pumping out flood water.



  Several streets along the Southern California coastline were flooded Thursday after a rainstorm moving through the Southland combined with high tides. KCAL9′s Michelle Gile reports there was a record tide of 8.4 feet this morning in Newport Harbor after the National Weather Service (NWS) had forecast a so-called “King Tide” with rip currents for local beaches and all along the West Coast. Tides were forecast to reach levels of 7.3 feet – which would be the highest since 2008 – due to gravitational forces maximized by an alignment of the earth, moon, and sun. There was at least one report of flooding for about a mile along the 16000 block of Pacific Coast Highway and Broadway in Huntington Beach, according to Huntington Beach Fire Department spokesman Bob Culhane. In Newport Beach, flooding slowed down drivers at the intersection of 26th and Balboa, but there were no immediate reports of damage.



Flood In Florida

    A steady, six-hour storm soaked parts of Palm Beach County late Tuesday, with reports of significant flooding in Jupiter, police said. The rainfall started around 3:30 p.m. and did not let up until after 9:30 p.m., causing scattered power failures lasting more than 45 minutes, as well. The main roadways within Jupiter were unsafe to travel due to the amount of standing water, Sgt. Scott Pascarella said. The water was more than three inches deep in some places. Residents were being told to stay in their homes until the standing water subsided. Stranded motorists were calling 911 when flooded streets stalled out their vehicles, he said. The Jupiter Police Department established a joint command center with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and the Town’s Public Works Department and Utilities to respond to calls for assistance. Fire Rescue was using several “high-wheeled trucks” to respond to emergencies in the affected areas, Capt. Albert Borroto said.



   A MAIN commuter route in Plymouth was closed by flooding, and some villages were cut off as torrential rain swept across the South West in the night. Gdynia Way, the main route into Plymouth from the east, was closed at 4.30am and remained closed seven hours later. Parts of Tamerton Foliot and Yealmpton were described as “impassable”, and Tamerton Foliot Road was also still closed at 11am today. Firefighters had more than 300 calls to flooding in Devon and Somerset this morning. The Kings Arms pub in Tamerton Foliot, which has just completed an extensive refurbishment, is flooded to knee-high internally. Flooding was reported from right across the city, and council contractors were out in force, clearing drains ahead of a second downpour forecast for tonight. Early today a man driving a blue Mitsubishi Colt was trapped when his car broke down in floodwater in Gdynia way at 4.15am. Plymstock firefighters pushed his vehicle clear, and the road was closed.

     An hour later the Plymstock crew was called to Bovisand, where a stream broke its banks. They diverted water away from houses at Bovisand Court. Camels Head firefighters went to Yealmpton, east of Plymouth, where they pumped out one house in Stray Park and diverted water running off the fields. Firefighters from Ivybridge were called to Tamerton Foliot, where part of the village was closed by flooding. Police said people were rescued from a car trapped in two feet of floodwater. The car, a blue Nissan Almera, was trapped by the water in Old Warleigh Lane at about 4.20am Police said the road was closed at the junction of Riverside Walk and Fore Street, and four houses were affected. The Environment Agency said there were 24 flood warnings and 50 flood alerts in place, in an area stretching from Plymouth to East Devon after widespread, heavy rain during Tuesday the night.


     Heavy rains and strong winds Monday turned streets into waterways and toppled trees onto power lines, leaving vehicles partially submerged and disrupting power for more than 1,500 customers locally. Meteorologists say the worst of the storm is behind us. Although rain still is predicted for today and Wednesday, it is expected to be lighter and scattered, according to the National Weather Service. Portland General Electric experienced outages throughout the day, reaching as high as 1,500 during the late afternoon hours and peak of the storm. By 5:45 p.m., crews repaired a feeder line that restored power to more than 1,000 customers, mostly in southeast Salem. By late Monday, the power company reported 264 outages in Marion County. Mike Gotterba, city of Salem spokesman, reported that 18 crews scrambled to respond to calls, clearing storm drains to minimize high water levels and putting up barriers to help prevent people from driving and walking in especially high water areas.



     Heavy downpour hit various parts of Singapore on Wednesday and Thursday, causing flash floods in Serangoon, Bukit Timah, Toa Payoh and Orchard Road. Despite the sudden heavy rainfall, water levels dropped quickly and traffic was not severely affected, PUB said on Wednesday. Yesterday, a driver lost control of his car while travelling in heavy rain and crashed into a canal after colliding with another car. Strong currents carried the car down the canal for more than 50m. Weather forecasts on the PUB website predicted heavy rainfall for the rest of Thursday in the northern, eastern and western parts on Singapore. Torrential rain is expected over the next few weeks as a result of the inter-monsoon season which usually lasts till late November. Singapore is expected to receive more rainfall during the north-east monsoon season which is expected to last from December to March. To monitor the capacity of drains during this period, the PUB plans to install 56 more closed- circuit television (CCTV) cameras around the island in addition to the 66 already in place.


     A tropical storm slammed into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge flooding low-lying areas and displacing more than 100,000 people. Just before the storm made landfall Wednesday, an oil tanker with 37 crew ran aground off Chennai. One of its lifeboats capsized in the choppy waters, and one crewmember drowned, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Coast guard officers were searching for the lifeboat’s six other occupants. Andhra Pradesh state said two people died there when their homes collapsed due to heavy rain Wednesday night in Nellore and Chittoor districts, and PTI reported another death in Tamil Nadu state, a 46-year old man who slipped into the rough sea from a pier and drowned. Sri Lanka reported two deaths earlier from the cyclone. The storm from the Bay of Bengal had maximum winds of 75 kilometers (45 miles) per hour after landfall but was weakening. A storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) was expected to flood low-lying coastal areas, the India Meteorological Department said. Heavy to very heavy rain was forecast for Thursday, and fishermen were asked to stay at shore. State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centers in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city’s port halted cargo operations, officials said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas. About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore, district official B. Sridhar said.


      In Sri Lanka, thousands have been displaced due to heavy rain and strong winds. The nation’s Disaster Management Center said 4,627 people were displaced by flooding and 56 fled because of a landslide threat in the island’s central region. One woman died Tuesday after a tree branch fell on her, while another person was killed in flooding, the agency said. Floods also damaged about 1,000 houses, it said.


    City workers in Langley, B.C., are cleaning up after two mudslides stuck on Wednesday morning, forcing the evacuation of one home and the closure of 264th Street between 72nd and 84th avenues. Just after 5 a.m. PT, mud rushed down the side of a steep slope and crossed a rural stretch of the 7700 block of 264th Street, moving a cement barrier. The slide also covered the side of a home below the road. No one was injured and there was only minor damage to the house. About 100 metres of 264th Street has been closed for much of the morning. It’s not clear when the road might reopen. While officials were cleaning up the first slide, officials confirmed they were responding to reports of a second landslide in the municipality, this time at 252A Street and 72nd Avenue. The second slide was much smaller and did not affect any roads or homes, city officials said. City officials say small mudslides on the hills into Glen Valley are common this time of year. A rainfall warning is in effect in the area with between 10 and 20 millimetres expected to fall throughout the day.



Members of a First Nation community in northern Ontario that was partly evacuated after floods destroyed the only road out may be able to start returning home soon. Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki says dump trucks are scheduled to arrive by Sunday afternoon to finish repairs to the Michipicoten First Nation road. Provincial police say 20 vulnerable members of the community were airlifted to Wawa after the community’s connection to the Trans-Canada Highway was cut off. The highway is partly reopened after it was damaged in sections both north and south of Wawa by a heavy rainstorm Thursday. Nowicki says it’s now expected the highway will be fully open by Wednesday. She says the town, which remains in a state of emergency, is preparing to apply for disaster relief funds from the province. The total damage to the town and its roads could bring a hefty pricetag, noting that parts of some local roadways in the town of 2,800 people have been washed away by rising water levels.


Heavy rains in Argentina’s capital are causing damage and one reported death. More than a thousand people have evacuated their homes. Nearly 5 inches (130 millimeters) of rain fell in just a few hours Monday morning, causing power outages, flooding subways and train lines and turning streets into rivers. The prolonged storm front also forced dozens of flights to turn away from Buenos Aires. Especially hard-hit are the city’s teeming slums, where open sewage runs over dirt passageways even when it’s dry. Many of those slums are built alongside the Matanza River, which overran its banks during the storm. Argentina’s state-run news agency Telam reports one fatality: an elderly man whose children found his body inside his flooded home next to the river.


Police in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai yesterday warned motorists to exercise caution while driving amid worsening weather conditions as sandstorms and rain lashed the country. There was reduced visibility on roads and air traffic was reportedly disrupted at Abu Dhabi Airport. Heavy rain hit UAE islands in the Arabian Gulf and coastal areas saw moderately heavy showers along with strong winds that uprooted trees in Abu Dhabi and other emirates. The bad weather system developed over the sea yesterday afternoon and gradually headed towards the entire western coastline of the UAE. Heavy lightning and hail storms were also reported from some of the UAE islands in the Arabian Gulf. The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) reported 9.4mm rain in Abu Al Bakhush Island. Residents of Delma Island also reported similar conditions, saying thunderstorms struck the area along with heavy rain and strong winds. The conditions were also cloudy and windy in Abu Dhabi.

The NCMS rain radar showed a huge weather system centred close to Abu Dhabi and stretching all along the coastline. It made fall at around 5pm near Ghantoot and lost its intensity, but sent clouds, rain and winds to most parts of the country. Motorists reported poor visibility and windy conditions around Al Maqta Bridge. Strong winds also uprooted trees in Al Bateen district and blew away car parking sheds in the capital. The weather system also affected parts of Dubai and northern and eastern emirates. Some 1.8mm rain and hailstorms were reported from Hatta at around 3:30pm. Heavy rain was also reported from the mountainous areas of Sharjah.Some areas in Fujairah also received light rain. Conditions were partly cloudy to cloudy and windy in Dubai. The winds also reached as far as Al Ain and kicked up sand and dust. Conditions were tough on roads stretching all along the western coastline and some internal areas. Abu Dhabi police issued a warning for motorists, stating: “Motorists should drive carefully in the affected areas and be aware of distances between vehicles.” Air traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport was reportedly affected for some time. Police in the capital and Dubai reported reduced visibility on the outer roads due to the sand filled winds. Dust clouds hit Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, while rain affected Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. A Sharjah police official said: “These conditions can be dangerous for drivers, motorists should leave enough space between other cars on the road and reduce speeds.”

They were also advised to turn on headlights to increase visibility and pay attention while changing lanes. Forecasters said the unstable weather is an extension of a system that has affected the upper Arabian Gulf for the past several days. Thunderstorms and heavy rain have been reported from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. It has now started affecting the UAE and parts of Oman. According to the NCMS, the weather will continue to be partly cloudy in general at least for the next two days with chances of rain at times. The amount of cloud will increase over some northern, eastern, and islands gradually. The conditions will also affect the temperature as it is likely to decrease gradually. Winds will initially be moderately rough but could become stronger and rough at times, especially over the sea. The sea will also be rough. The relative humidity is likely to increase over some coasts and interior areas with a chance of mist.


Main streets in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia have been flooded after torrential rains drenched the city on Monday morning. The high level of collected water brought traffic along major arteries to a standstill, Civil Defence service reported. The reason for the floods is the clogging of shafts. Strong winds that blew in the town the previous night broke branches, damaging draining facilities and clogging shafts. Meanwhile heavy rains, coupled with thunderstorms, are continuing to lash the whole of Bulgaria. The regions of Blagoevgrad, Western Bulgaria, Haskovo, Southern Bulgaria, and Burgas on the Black Sea coast are the hardest-hit.


Phillips Road, where he lives in Poquoson, has flooded many times over the years. Before Hurricane Sandy bore down on Hampton Roads this weekend he stocked up on food and water, but one thing was missing. So he got out his kayak Sunday and, along with his father, paddled the roughly one-mile down deluged Browns Neck Road to get to the convenience store and buy a case of beer. “Just getting the necessary items to ride out the storm,” Ballingall said, a smile on his face while the rain poured down. Hurricane Sandy brought heavy rains and coastal flooding to much of the Peninsula Sunday, but few areas saw as much flooding as Poquoson. As high tide hit in the morning, many streets were rendered impassable for short periods of time. But with winds and surge keeping the tide higher than usual, some residents were worried Monday would be far worse. “Because of the strong winds, the low tides aren’t going to be as low as they normally would. The strong northeast winds that are going on now keep the water from flowing out,” said Mike Rusnak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield. Rusnak said tides in Hampton Roads on Monday could average 3.5 to 4 feet above normal levels. Monday’s high tides for much of the region will be around 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., with variations of an hour or more depending on location. At the end of Rens Road in Whitecove Marina Sunday, Dennis White spent the late morning clearing a few items from his boat and salvaging his refrigerator at the marina. He said the flooding was an inconvenience, but not uncommon.


Torrential rains and floods yesterday killed at least 15 people in Pakistan, officials said. Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the north and the southern port city of Karachi were among the worst-hit areas. Police officer Malik Shafiq said “13 people, including three women, were swept away” by a flooded stream in Machhera village, about 35kms from the Kahmir capital Muzaffarabad. “So far we recovered one body while efforts were underway to find others,” Shafiq said. Rescue work was underway, he added. He adding there were also reports of landslide in the area. “The water level is still very high and has hampered the rescue operation. It seems that there is no chance for any survival,” Ansar Yaqoob, a senior government official added. Two people died when the roof of their house collapsed due to rain in the Hafizabad district of Punjab province. Police said more people were still trapped under the debris. In Karachi, prolonged power cuts and gridlocks were reported after heavy rainfall as officials struggled to restore electricity to the financial hub with a population of more than 18mn. Chief meteorologist Arif Mehmood said his department had forecast heavier monsoon rains than the previous year.