Heavy flooding hits central China, affecting tens of millions
Unusually heavy rains and massive flooding have hit China’s Henan province, bursting the banks of rivers, overwhelming the public transport system and upending lives of tens of millions.
At least three people have been killed in the provincial capital, Zhengzhou, where more than 20cm (7.8in) of rain fell in one hour on Tuesday. The rainfall shut the city’s subway system, leaving passengers trapped in waist-high water.
More than 10,000 residents of the central province have been moved to shelters, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The heavy rain across Henan began on 17 July. On Tuesday, weather authorities issued the highest warning level for the province and Chinese weather forecasts expected further severe downpours.
From Saturday to Tuesday, 3,535 weather stations in Henan, one of China’s most populous provinces with 94 million people, reported rainfall exceeding 5cm. Among the stations 1,614 registered levels above 10cm and 151 above 25cm, the authorities said.
Footage on China’s social media show the world-renowned Shaolin Temple, known for martial arts, as well as other cultural sites, badly affected. Hundreds of trapped residents in Henan called for help online as flooding cut electricity to their homes.
Floods are common in China’s rainy season, but their impact has worsened over the decades, due in part to China’s rapid urbanisation and the global climate crisis.
Extreme weather events have occurred in many parts of China this summer. Hundreds of thousands of residents in Sichuan province had to be relocated this month due to floods and landslides.
In June, Hotan city, in the far-west region of Xinjiang, had record-breaking rainfall, causing one resident to comment on social media that “the rainfall [this month] is equivalent to the combined rainfall of the past two years”.
Greenpeace said the risk of extreme weather was now highest in China in the densely populated city centres but that it was also growing fast for the outskirts of large cities because of rapid urbanisation.
Liu Junyan, of Greenpeace International, told Chinese media: “Because of the highly concentrated population, infrastructure and economic activity, the exposure and vulnerability of climate hazards are higher in urban areas. Cities are an important sector of global greenhouse gas emissions, which account for about 70% of the total emissions.”
Courtesy of theguardian.com
23 dead, 79 injured in Mexico City metro COLLAPSE
Rescuers work at a site where an overpass for a metro train partially collapsed, in Mexico City, Mexico, May 3, 2021. Courtesy of Reuters / Luis Cortes
Twenty three people including minors died and around 79 were injured after a portion of an overpass carrying a metro train collapsed on a busy road in a southern suburb of Mexico City on Monday night.
The number of fatalities in the rail overpass disaster has climbed to 23, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said, adding that some minors were among those killed. The city’s civil protection agency reported that around 79 were injured.
A short CCTV video published by Milenio TV channel shows a section of an overpass suddenly collapsing on a road packed with vehicles.
Photos from the site show the train cars hanging above the crumbled supports, as rescue teams try to evacuated any passengers that may have been on board.
About two dozen ambulances attended the scene.
Preliminary reports said that the elevated rail collapsed when a vehicle struck one of the support pillars at street level. The train broke in two as it plummeted to the ground below.
Line 12 is the newest line of the Mexico City metro, inaugurated in 2012. It runs south-southwest of the Mexican capital, which has an estimated population of 9.2 million.
El Universal newspaper reported that locals voiced fears over the structure’s safety four years ago, when pillars on Line 12 were damaged by an earthquake. Transportation officials said in 2017 that they quickly repaired the overpass after detecting cracks and other damage.
Courtesy of rt.com
Brits wake up to flooding chaos as Storm Bella lashes UK with 106mph winds
Many Brits have awoken to dramatic scenes of flooding after Storm Bella swept into the UK, tearing down trees and cutting power to homes.
Two ‘danger to life’ flood warnings are in force this morning in Cogenhoe, South Northamptonshire, and along a section of the River Nene in the east of England.
A further 98 flood warnings have been issued for the rest of the country, meaning immediate action in these areas is required.
It comes as Storm Bella lashed the country with strong winds, with 106mph gusts recorded in the Isle of Wight in the early hours of this morning.
Dramatic pictures show flooding in Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire this morning.
South Western Railway warned that downpours had flooded the line between Bournemouth and Southampton, causing delays and cancellations this morning.
Strong winds blew a range of obstacles onto rail lines, including a trampoline on the tracks between East London and Kent this morning.
Gusts also downed trees over the Hastings railway line and contributed to a ‘risk of delays’ for Channel crossings from Dover and Calais.
Homes across the UK lost power last night, with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks confirming it had managed to restore electricity to around 48,500 properties since 9pm yesterday.
SSEN is now focusing on returning power to the 4,500 properties still in darkness this morning.
Homes were flooded in Cirencester, Glos, yesterday, where some elderly residents were left without electricity or heating for more than 12 hours.
Cotswold District Council provided sandbags to locals and was in contact with families who had been affected and face suffering more upheaval.
The West Country and south Wales were first in the firing line as the huge Atlantic storm barrelled into Britain.
More than 100 homes were without power last night in Plymouth and Truro, in Cornwall, and 50 were blacked out in Bristol and Bath.
Another 110 were hit in Cardiff, more than 50 in the Swansea area, nearly 150 homes around Telford and a further 116 near Nottingham.
Power board engineers were working in ‘rapidly deteriorating’ conditions to find and fix the faults in the face of heavy rain and strong winds.
A Met Office amber weather warning for wind is still in force across the southern coast of England and much of Wales this morning as Storm Bella ravages the UK.
A warning for downpours is also active in the south-east this morning, with forecasters predicting more than one-and-a-half inches of rain in some areas.
Residents in parts of Bedfordshire were urged to leave their homes amid a risk to life as heavy rain has brought widespread flooding around around the country, with people rescued from vehicles and others evacuated from their homes.
Courtesy of mirror.co.uk
Landslide knocks north Taiwan railway line out for 4 days
Rocks fallen on the railway line between Taipei City and the east coast might take four days to be removed, Transportation Minister Lin Chia-long (林佳龍) said Friday (Dec. 4).
Days of heavy rain are believed to have caused the landslide, which came one day after the fallout from a previous landslip was cleared. The latest rockslide occurred between Ruifang and Houtong in New Taipei City, CNA reported.
The area houses several popular tourist attractions, including a goldmine museum, the cat-friendly village of Houtong, the mountain town of Jiufen, rivers and hiking trails. The railway line also connects Taipei City with the northeastern coastal county of Yilan and the east coast beyond.
Nobody was injured during the landslide, but as damage occurred over an area of 3,800 square meters, it will take three days to remove all the rocks and mud, with one additional day necessary to repair tracks and cables, the minister wrote on his Facebook page.
The disaster caused travel problems for an estimated 20,000 passengers on Friday alone, CNA reported. Trains heading to the area from the west coast and from Taipei had to turn back at Ruifang.
Meanwhile, those coming up the East Coast from Taitung, Hualien and Yilan did not ride further than Houtong, Lin said. The interruption in services caused long lines at Hualien station for travelers wanting to cancel their train trips and buy bus tickets instead.
With the weekend ahead, the minister added he was asking bus companies to rearrange their routes and schedules to try and make up for the temporary loss of the railway line. At least one domestic airline said it would increase the frequency of its flights between Taipei and Taitung.
Courtesy of taiwannews.com.tw
Train derailment sparks chemical fire, residents evacuated in Lilburn, Georgia, USA
Authorities responded to the scene of a “major” train derailment in Lilburn along the CSX line early Sunday morning.
Drone video revealed the crisscrossed mess authorities will spend the next few days untangling after a washed-out track derailed at least a dozen CSX cars and locomotives.
A conductor and engineer were inside but able to free themselves from the wreckage and walk to a nearby command post, where they were taken to a nearby hospital, according to a CSX spokesperson.
Authorities told FOX 5’s Emilie Ikeda most of the derailed cars were in the front sections, falling down the embankment between Camp Creek and Harmony Grove Road.
The crash spilled material around 1:45 a.m., fueling what Gwinnett County Fire officials are calling a chemical fire with potentially hazardous material.
The resulting pinkish-orange plume of smoke was the main cause for concern. Lilburn police went door-to-door, evacuating about a square-mile swath of residents, largely in the cul-de-sacs of Bailey Drive and Jon Jeff Drive.
CSX blamed the severe rain and flash flooding conditions in the area for the derailment.
The crash happened along a river, swollen by the remnants of Delta.
Authorities would not specify the cause of the distinct smell in the air, but local officials said atmospheric testing was showing safe levels, allowing residents to re-enter their homes around 5:45 a.m.
The incident impacted the line from Main Street in Lilburn to Harmony Grove Road.
Drivers traveling between the Main Street and Rockbridge Road areas should expect delays throughout Sunday, police are asking the area to be avoided if possible.
In a Facebook post, the Lilburn police department said Greenway Trail between Main Street and Harmony Grove is expected to be closed for the next few days.
State and federal water management personnel will be examining the impact of any runoff.
Courtesy of fox5atlanta.com
At least 20 people die after train collides with bus in Thailand
A train has collided with a tour bus in Thailand killing at least 20 people and injuring 30 others, officials have said.
The bus, with 65 passengers on board, was crossing a railway track at around 8am local time in Chacheongsao, 50 miles (80km) east of Bangkok, when the train hit it.
It was travelling from Samut Prakan province to a Buddhist temple in Chachoengsao.
District chief officer Prathueng Yookassem told Thailand’s PBS TV: “It was raining, perhaps, the driver did not see the train.”
Images and footage from the scene showed both vehicles had overturned on to their sides and were badly damaged.
Metal debris and people’s belongings could be seen strewn across the railway tracks.
Rescue workers could be seen helping the injured to safety. They were taken to two hospitals for treatment.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
Courtesy of Sky News