Archive | August 3, 2014

Severe flooding devastates Miziya, Bulgaria

Flood hits Bulgaria’s Miziya (ROUNDUP)
Miziya, a town in Vratsa District, northwest Bulgaria, and the region suffered a flood on late Saturday evening and Sunday, which led to the collapse of houses, the press centre of the Interior Ministry announced.
It was announced the disaster had claimed two lives although the death toll might rise.
On late Sunday evening chief commissar Nikolay Nikolov, head of the Fire Safety and Civil Protection chief directorate, announced for FOCUS News Agency the information about the second victims had not been confirmed yet.
”There was some inaccuracy, a discrepancy in our information about a second victim. It turns out the information about the second victim has not been confirmed yet,” he said.
The first victim was a citizen of Miziya found dead inside a flooded house in the town.
According to initial information he was about 60.
“The victim was found inside by [his or her] son, who is an Interior Ministry employer in the [his or her] house. All the people in need of help are receiving it. I suppose the water will flow away not earlier than 24 hours. The situation will get more complicated when the water is no longer here. Then the search for more dead people will begin,” said chief commissar Nikolay Nikolov, head of the Fire Safety and Civil Protection chief directorate, announced for bTV.
Later the news broke there was a second victim, this time a middle-aged woman.
”Situation in Miziya is tragic. Many buildings collapsed, there are people in distress,” said mayor of the town of Miziya, northwest Bulgaria, Violin Krushovenski, speaking for Nova TV in connection with the news it had been flooded.
He remarked over 500 people had been evacuated overnight and all the possible things were done to provide what was needed despite the accessibility issues.
“The road between Miziya and Vratsa has been closed and we are only relying on the helicopters flying over Miziya,“ Krushovenski said further.
The Mayor added the situation was the same in the village of Krushovitsa, where the flood wave had come from.
“We have built levees but there was torrential rain when the water level rose, it is just nature did not favour us,“ he commented.
Krushovenski gave later an interview for FOCUS News Agency.
”We almost forcefully evacuated people seeing the big threat for their lives,” he said.
”There were people who did not want an evacuation. We transported them almost forcefully, seeing the big threat for their lives. Despite it all, these people as if displayed stubbornness. We evacuated over 600 people in total. We left them at the two ends of the city which are not flooded to provide them with the care they need, to provide them with water, food, blankets and medical aid,” he stated.
”We did our best to warn the people,” Krushovenski commented.
”Miziya was hit by a tragedy as a result of heavy rainfall and a wave formed by water coming to the region. The wave caused by the overflowing of many dams in Vratsa District hit us. Miziya is located in the lowest place in Vratsa District and here the Skat River flows into the Danube. Miziya turned out to ”meet” the wave and many houses were flooded. The level of water exceeds 2 m in some neighbourhoods, many building fell as well as many agricultural premises, probably a high number of people got injured,” Krushovenski said further.
Some parties also got involved with providing aid to the people.
The Bulgaria without Censorship party opened a crisis staff to provide coordination and collect donations for the people in Miziya, which had been struck by a flood, the party press centre announced.
Some 20 volunteers in Vratsa District went with vehicles of the Bulgaria without Censorship structures to transport mineral water to the evacuated people in the north-western town.
Bulgaria without Censorship also informed it was turning its office in Vratsa at 3 Mito Tsvetkov Street into a crisis coordination staff to which donations could be made and volunteers could enroll to take part in the rescue operation after the water level drops.
”Totyu Mladenov and other MPs with the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) party as well as other representatives of ours from the local authorities and the party structures are in Miziya to help tackle the hard situation,” CEDB leader and former premier, Boyko Borisov, posted on Facebook.
In his words, the CEDB arranged for a heavy-freight vehicle to transport mineral water to the affected people and they will also provide aid as MP Totyu Mladenov makes an assessment of the situation.
Borisov also wrote in Facebook post Mladenov had informed him the situation in Miziya and Byala Slatina was the most difficult.
According to Borisov, there were over 250 families in Byala Slatina that need aid, while their number in Miziya stood at over 500.
Dimitar Metodiev executive director and member of the board of directors at Napoitelni Sistemi [English: Irrigation Systems] EAD, gave an interview for FOCUS News Agency in connection with the flood.
”There is no danger of dams and facilities of Napoitelni Sistemi overflowing,” he said.
”I can only say the facilities outside the urban environment are in a good state and have not been affected. They function normally and Irrigation System and our facilities are not to blame for what happened in the towns. As a whole, the state of dams in the country is good. The water levels and facilities are monitored on a daily basis,” he said further.
”The financial state of Napoitelni Sistemi [English: Irrigation Systems] is really poor,” the official remarked.
”I would like to say the new management at Napoitelni Sistemi [English: Irrigation Systems] managed with [outgoing] Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dimitar Grekov, in only 5 months to amend the Water Act. Paragraph 4 is concerned, which already allows the activity connected with prevention of the harmful influence of water to be financed by the budget of the Republic of Bulgaria,” he remarked.
In his words, the money allocated for this activity cannot be taken for 5 months to come so that this activity is performed in a normal way.
”My employees who are in Miziya at the moment along with equipment are under the control of the district governor and the staff established and are not currently receiving salaries,” Metodiev commented.
According to him, the things happening now, which will continue to happen, could be limited to some extent but all of this costs financial resources.
”The same holds true for mayors, I cannot say what the situation in Miziya is but it is likely the mayor did not have the money so that the Skar River, which passes through the town, was cleaned. I would like to accuse anyone and I do not know if this is so but I suppose he did not have resources for that activity, either, ” the official added.
He said this activity was among the most important ones for the country and was of strategic importance.
The Bulgarian army and the Bulgarian Red Cross provided aid to the flood-hit people.

Half of Romania under heatwave warning until Tuesday

Heatwave Warning

Meteorologists issued a warning that states weather will be extremely warm in all the regions and locally canicular during the afternoons, especially in the eastern half of Moldova, Dobrogea and most of Muntenia until Tuesday.

During the afternoons, especially in aforementioned regions, the thermometers will register temperatures as high 36 degrees Celsius and isolated even 37 degrees. The temperature-humidity index (ITU) will reach and surpass the critical threshold of 80 in the plain region.

On Tuesday, the weather will remain extremely warm with maximum temperatures of around 35 degrees.

According to the two-week forecast from last week, there is a high probability of rains returning in the August 5-10 interval.


Subject To Change

Depth: 16 km

Distances: 19km (12mi) NNW of Papayal, Peru
28km (17mi) SSW of Zorritos, Peru
40km (25mi) NNE of La Breita, Peru
54km (34mi) SW of Tumbes, Peru
479km (298mi) SSW of Quito, Ecuador

Global view

Tropical Storm Bertha Floods Several Communities In Dominican Republic

Hhurricane Arthur

Tropical Storm Bertha affected the Dominican Republic today with heavy rains that flooded several communities in the east and felling trees in Santo Domingo, according to a preliminary report by the authorities.  The Emergency Operations Center (COE) maintained a tropical storm warning and alert levels, high, moderate and low for 15 provinces. The agency reported that the precipitation caused the overflow of the Soco River in the province of San Pedro de Macoris.

The flooding in Dominican Republic has caused the isolation of the communities of Lima, Campiña, Cabeza de Toro, Concho Primo, Atilano 1 and 2 . The rains also left the villages of Arroyo Grande and  La Cuchilla in Seibo (east) without communication, while in San Cristóbal (south) at least seven houses were flooded in the Moscow neighborhood. Authorities believed that although center of Bertha has moved away the rains can still cause more floods. 

A yellow alert (moderate) was given to the districts of San Pedro de Macoris (east), Duarte (northeast), Monte Plata (southeast), the National District and Santo Domingo province (south). Five other provinces are under the (minimal) green alert. Dominican weather and relief authorities claim that the effects of Bertha will affect the northeast, southeast, southwest and north of the country during the next 36 hours. People should refrain from crossing rivers, creeks and streams.

China quake death toll rises to 367, about 1,900 injured; set to rise; 12,000 homes destroyed

A general view shows collapsed houses after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014.(Reuters / China Daily)

Over 360 people were killed and 1,900 injured after an earthquake measuring from 6.1 to 6.5, according to different estimates, toppled buildings in Chinese Yunnan province.

The majority of the dead were from Ludian county, which Chinese state television said was at the epicenter of the quake.

At least 1,300 people also from the county have been injured and 181 remain missing, Yunnan’s information bureau reported.

The province’s seismological bureau said that another 49 people died and 102 were injured in Qiaojia county.

There are also reports saying that the death toll has reached 230 by early Monday morning local time.

The US Geological Survey has estimated the quake at 6.1 on the Richter scale, while previously reporting the strikes measuring 6.3. At the same time, the China Earthquake Networks Center said the magnitude of the quake was 6.5.

The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers, according to USGS.

“I felt a strong jolt on my fifth-floor home and some small objects in my home fell off the shelves,” a resident of Ludian told official Xinhua News Agency.

Rescuers carry an injuried child on a stretcher after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit the area in Ludian county in Zhaotong, southwest China's Yunnan province on August 3, 2014.(AFP Photo / China Out)

The quake toppled and cracked apart buildings, forcing people to rush into the streets.

About 12,000 homes collapsed in Ludian county, where some 429,000 people live and that is located around 366 kilometers (277 miles) northeast of Yunnan’s capital, Kunming.

View image on Twitter

“The aftermath is much, much worse than what happened after the quake two years ago,” Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong said. “I have never felt such strong tremors before. What I can see are all ruins.”

Local media is reporting that a school was reduced to rubble, among other buildings that were destroyed by the earthquake.

Chinese state media said tremors were felt in Yunnan’s neighboring provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan.
More than 2,500 troops have been sent to quake zone to help in the rescue. 
The civil affairs authorities has sent 2,000 tents, 3,000 folding beds, 3,000 quilts and 3,000 coats to the quake region.

The Red Cross Society of China allocated quilts, jackets and tents for those made homeless by the quake, while Red Cross branches in Hong Kong, Macau and neighboring Sichuan province also sent relief supplies, AP reported.

Chinese rescuers carry an injuried resident after an earthquake hit an area of Ludian county in Zhaotong in southwest China's Yunnan province on August 3, 2014.(AFP Photo / China out )

Yunnan’s seismological bureau has said that the earthquake is the strongest to hit the province in 18 years, independent website Earth-Quake Report said. Yunnan is one of the most earthquake-sensitive provinces in China.

In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people, and a magnitude-7.1 quake in the province killed more than 1,400 in 1974, AP reports. The last series of quakes in the Yunnan region in September 2012 killed 81 people and left 821 injured.

View image on Twitter


Subject To Change

Depth: 1 km

Distances: 346 km S of Vancouver, Canada / pop: 1,837,969 / local time: 07:26:14.8 2014-08-03
108 km SE of Olympia, United States / pop: 46,478 / local time: 07:26:14.8 2014-08-03
57 km E of Kelso, United States / pop: 11,925 / local time: 07:26:14.8 2014-08-03
38 km NE of Amboy, United States / pop: 1,608 / local time: 07:26:14.8 2014-08-03

Global viewRegional view



***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 03.08.14  20.49 hrs UTC

Severe hail storm dents cars, surprises residents with large ice pellets in Oregon, USA

View image on Twitter
Courtesy of @Terry_Lawhead

The National Weather Service’s Saturday evening forecast for Bend called for lightning, gusty winds, heavy rain and occasional hail.

No kidding. In fact, maybe the forecast should have read, “occasional, quick and Giganto-size hail.”

Shortly after 5 p.m., the Central Oregon city was warm and sunny and then all hell broke loose. 

The good news for Bend residents, who have been living through so-called “fire weather” with thunderstorms and lightning strikes during the past two days, is that the skies are expected to clear up and calm down, with temperatures falling to the lower 60s after midnight.

Severe storms cause 14-car crash, strand cyclists in San Bernardino, USA

Severe Weather Alert

A band of severe storms in the San Bernardino County area led to a 14-car crash on Interstate 40 and left dozens of cyclists stranded on an 8,400-foot-high peak, authorities said.
A series of wind gusts created a dust storm along a stretch of Interstate 40 near Newberry Springs at 10:18 a.m., leading 10 tractor-trailers and four passenger cars to collide there, said Capt. John Wilkins, public information officer for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
“It literally went to zero visibility, units on scene couldn’t see each other once they arrived,” he said.
Nine people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, and a stretch of I-40 was shut down for nearly two hours, Wilkins said.
Two hours later, a group of about 40 cyclists competing in the Tour de Big Bear became trapped on the Onyx Summit, an 8,443-foot peak, when a storm band came  through the area around 12:30 p.m., Wilkins said.
Riders complained of hypothermia and severe cramping, but rescue teams were able to transport them back to the starting line.
No one was seriously hurt or hospitalized, and roughly 2,000 riders completed the course, Wilkins said.

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