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THAMES BARRIER TO BE ACTIVATED ON 4th Jan 2022 DUE TO VERY HIGH RIVER LEVELS – LONDON

***ALERT***

Thames Barrier
Photo Illustration
THAMES BARRIER TO BE ACTIVATED ON 4th Jan 2022 DUE TO VERY HIGH RIVER LEVELS IN PARTS OF LONDON, UK

Courtesy of the Environmental Agency
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Thames Barrier to close for 200th time amid flood warnings in southern England

Photo Illustration

The Thames Barrier is being closed for the 200th time after a number of flood warnings were put in place in southern England as Storm Aurore moves in.

The flooding defence system will close to protect around 640,000 properties in London as a result of winds mixing with the tides and heavy rainfall.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “While the barrier will help to protect London from tidal flooding, there are also risks from flooding along the east coast on Thursday and Friday.

“Heavy rain also means that there is a separate but concurrent risk of river flooding across the south of England.”

It will reopen later on Thursday.

Southern England was hit by flooding overnight due to heavy rain and strong winds moving in from France, with the Met Office issuing yellow rain warnings – threatening delays to transport and issues with power supply.

In Essex, the fire service said it had received more than 120 calls up to 2.30am on Thursday to help with flood-related incidents as rain battered the county.

As well as rain warnings, the Environment Agency has also issued flooding warnings across the South West, East Anglia and Surrey, meaning that flooding is expected in those areas.

Storm Aurore, a low pressure system, has moved in off the continent and brought up to 50mm of rainfall and 45mph winds with it.

The Met Office says the wet weather will continue on Thursday throughout the south of England, as well as it being much cooler.

Gales are also expected in North Sea coastal areas.

Thursday night will see “showers for northern and western areas, whilst eastern and southern areas will have fewer showers and more in the way of clear spells, remaining breezy”, the Met Office added.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/8386ds7w

Death toll rises as heavy rains batter northern India

Severe Flood Warning

At least 41 people have died and more than a dozen were missing after landslides and flash floods triggered by several days of heavy rain hit northern India, officials say.

Officials in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand said 35 people were killed in fresh landslides on Tuesday after six died in similar incidents a day earlier.

At least 30 of them were killed in seven separate incidents in the worst-affected Nainital region early Tuesday, after cloudbursts – an ultra-intense deluge of rain – triggered a series of landslides and destroyed several structures.

“So far 30 people have been confirmed dead, while many people are still missing,” Nainital senior civil officer Ashok Kumar Joshi told the AFP news agency.

Joshi said several remote areas in the hilly region witnessed widespread damage in the intense rainfall.

Five of the dead were from a single family whose house was buried by a massive landslide, another local civil officer Pradeep Jain said.

Prashant Jha, a journalist with the Times of India, said that the army, National Disaster Response Force and state’s disaster response force were all contributing to the current rescue efforts in Uttarakhand.

“The villages that have been struck are very far to reach and the roads are cut off,” he said.

Officials said that the rescue efforts will take at least two to three days and dozens are people are still missing,” he added.

Another landslide in the northern Almora district killed five people after huge rocks and a wall of mud demolished and engulfed their home.

At least six others were killed on Monday in two remote districts of the state.

The Indian Meteorological Department extended and widened its weather alert on Tuesday, predicting “heavy” to “very heavy” rainfall in the region during the next two days.

The weather office said several areas were drenched by more than 400mm (16 inches) of rainfall on Monday, causing landslides and flooding.

Authorities ordered the closure of schools and banned all religious and tourist activities in the state.

Television footage and social media videos showed residents wading through knee-deep water near Nainital lake, a tourist hotspot, and the Ganges bursting its banks in Rishikesh.

More than 100 tourists were stuck inside a resort in Ramgarh after the overflowing Kosi river deluged several areas.

Landslides are a regular danger in India’s Himalayan north, but experts said they are becoming more common as rains become increasingly erratic and glaciers melt.

Experts also blamed construction work on hydroelectric dams and deforestation.

In February, a ferocious flash flood hurtled down a remote valley in Uttarakhand, killing about 200 people. At least 5,700 people perished there in 2013.

Forecasters have also warned of more downpours in the coming days in the southern state of Kerala where floods have already killed at least 27 people since Friday.

Many dams in the state were nearing the danger mark and authorities were evacuating thousands to safer locations as major rivers overflowed.

India’s weather office said heavy rains will again lash the state in the next two days after a brief reprieve on Tuesday.

Courtesy of aljazeera.com

https://tinyurl.com/fjmzv379

Deadly flash floods sweep through Turkey’s Black Sea region

Severe Flood Warning

At least 17 people have been killed in flash floods in Turkey’s Black Sea region that have sent water and debris cascading through streets, damaged bridges, and ripped up roads in the second natural disaster to strike the country this month.

The floodwaters brought chaos to northern provinces just as authorities were declaring that some of the wildfires that had raged through southern coastal regions for two weeks had been brought under control.

The floods and the fires, which killed eight people and devastated tens of thousands of hectares of forest, struck in the same week that a UN panel said global warming is dangerously close to spiralling out of control.

Fifteen people were killed in the floods in Kastamonu province and two people died in Sinop, authorities said, adding that search and rescue operations were continuing.

More than 1,400 people were evacuated from the areas affected, some with the help of helicopters and boats, and about 740 people were being housed in student dormitories, the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said.

Helicopters lowered coastguard personnel onto the roofs of buildings to rescue people who were stranded as floodwaters swept through the streets, footage shared by the Ministry of Interior showed.

The deluge damaged power infrastructure, leaving about 330 villages without electricity. Five bridges had collapsed and many others were damaged, leading to road closures, AFAD added. Parts of the roads were also swept away.

Television footage showed the floods dragging dozens of cars and heaps of debris along the streets. The heavy rainfall in the region was expected to ease on Thursday evening, AFAD said.

Flooding inundated much of Bozkurt in Kastamonu Province. One building collapsed and a second building was damaged in the town, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. In Bartin province, at least 13 people were injured when a section of a bridge caved in.

Many of the affected areas were left without power and village roads were blocked.

The disaster struck as firefighters in southwest Turkey worked to extinguish a wildfire in Mugla province, an area popular with tourists that runs along the Aegean Sea.

The blaze, which was brought under control on Thursday, was one of more than 200 wildfires in Turkey since July 28. At least eight people and countless animals died and thousands of residents have had to flee fierce blazes.

Authorities said that 299 forest fires, which had burned across southwestern provinces for the last two weeks, had been brought under control.

Courtesy of aljazeera.com

https://tinyurl.com/nudxxfcu

Severe floods as Amazon rivers reach record highs in Brazil

Severe Flood Warning

The Rio Negro has swollen to levels unseen in over a century of record-keeping. More than 450,000 people have been affected state-wide.

Residents in Manaus, the biggest city in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, were struggling to cope with severe flooding after heavy rain caused nearby rivers to swell.

The Rio Negro reached its highest water level since records began in 1902, with a depth of 29.98 meters (98 feet) at the port’s measuring station on Tuesday.

The nearby Solimoes and Amazon rivers were also nearing all-time highs.

More than 24,000 families and 15 districts of Manaus have been affected and many people had to leave their homes, according to Brazilian online news site G1. Parts of the port area and the historic center of Manaus were underwater.

More than 9,000 meters of wooden bridges — known as marombas — were built in the hardest-hit areas to help residents navigate the city.

The high water levels are not just confined to Manaus. There has been flooding across almost all of Amazonas state and caused damage in nearly 60 of 62 municipalities.

More than 450,000 people have been affected state-wide.

The Amazon River also reached peak levels in cities including Itacoatiara, located in the east of the state.

Higher-than-usual precipitation is associated with the La Nina phenomenon when currents in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean affect global climate patterns.

Environmental experts and organizations including the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say there is strong evidence that human activity and global warming are altering the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including La Nina.

Seven of the 10 biggest floods in the Amazon basin have occurred in the past 13 years, data from Brazil’s state-owned Geological Survey shows.

Meteorologists say Amazon water levels could continue to rise slightly until late June or July, when floods usually peak.

Courtesy of dw.com

https://tinyurl.com/4avcmzy9

Major flooding continues in USA’s South as Northeast hit with cold blast

Severe Weather Alert

There is major to near historic river flooding in parts of the Mid-South, especially in Kentucky on Tuesday.

Locally, 7 inches of rain fell over the weekend in the Mid-South helping local rivers to rise quickly and flooding entire towns. A state of emergency has now been declared for these areas.

Damaging thunderstorms moved through Georgia on Monday, killing one person when a tree feel on a home.

These storms also produced an EF-1 tornado with winds of 90 mph, not related to the victim’s death.

There are flood warnings from Texas to Ohio on Tuesday and 26 states from Texas to Maine are under flood, high winds and wind chill alerts.

The heavy rain has ended in Mid-South but some rivers are still rising or will remain in major to moderate flooding through over the next few days.

The heaviest rain shifted closer to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina where over the next few days 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected with locally higher amounts possible.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, arctic cold air is moving through with very gusty winds that are producing power outages.

Wind will continue to gust in the Northeast from New Jersey to Maine at 40 to 60 mph through this morning and will subside in the afternoon.

Wind Chills this morning are below zero from upstate New York to Boston and into New England.

This bitter blast will not last and already by Wednesday most of the Northeast will see temperatures quickly rebound into the 40s and even 50s.

But it is still early March so the cold will be back end of the week as wind chills are expected to fall into the teens and single digits for the I-95 corridor and below zero in upstate New York and into New England.

Courtesy of abcnews.go.com

https://tinyurl.com/36e4akbu

Part of the River Thames freezes for first time in several years

Sub-zero temperatures saw water turn to ice along a section of the Thames in Teddington, in the south west of England’s capital city.

An image taken by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Teddington showed seagulls chilling on the frozen surface of the river.

In a tweet, the RNLI said they might’ve needed to use a smaller lifeboat as an ‘icebraker’ to get out onto the water because it’s “not often the Thames freezes over in Teddington”.

A spokesperson said “It’s quite spectacular. I’ve lived here for 13-years and I’ve not seen this part of the river freeze like this.”

The Thames has completely frozen over in the past, the last time being in January 1963 – the coldest winter for more than 200 years that brought blizzards, snow drifts and temperatures of -20C.

Extremely cold weather this week saw temperatures in London drop to -2C, meanwhile the UK experienced the coldest February night for 25 years – with temperatures of -23C recorded at Braemar weather station in Scotland.

Between 1309 and 1814, the Thames froze at least 23 times and on five occasions the ice was strong enough to hold a fair on the river.

The ice was several feet thick and could support shops, pubs, fairground rides, thousands of people – and even elephants could walk across it!

The first ‘frost fair’ as they were known was recorded in 1608 when the river iced up for six weeks. The last fair took place over 200 years later in 1814.

The frost fairs took place during a period of time known as the Little Ice Age, roughly between 1350-1850 which saw an increase in cold winters in parts of Europe.

Courtesy of BBC Newsround

https://tinyurl.com/nh8knmrw