Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Extreme weather

UPDATE: Flash Flood Watch After Glacier Breaks Off Mt. Shasta


MT. SHASTA (KRON) — Officials are monitoring a mudflow that has closed roads in Siskiyou County after a glacier broke off Mt. Shasta.
A large mudflow and debris began cascading down the mountain at about 3 p.m. Saturday on the southeastern side of Mt. Shasta, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service initially issued a flash flood warning Saturday night but downgraded it to a flash flood watch.

Resources have been monitoring since this event began and the flow seems to be receding this morning, according to Andrea Capps, Forest Service spokesperson.

The warning is in effect through 5 p.m. Sunday.

Capps said that while the exact cause hasn’t been determined yet, it is believed that drought conditions “have left Mt Shasta’s glaciers exposed to the sun’s heat.”

Visitors to Mt. Shasta should be aware that similar conditions could occur in other drainages on Mt. Shasta and that additional mudslides are possible,” Capps said.

Facebook user Seth Fortna posted video showing an area of the mud and debris-strewn terrain and said, “I couldn’t get too close, but you can see how spread out it was.”

Heavy rains trigger landslides in northeast India


State Disaster Response Force personnel rescue people on a boat in a flooded area during heavy monsoon rains in Gauhati, Assam state, India, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Officials say relentless rains in parts of northeastern India have triggered landslides and flash floods, killing at least seven people. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Heavy rains in parts of northeastern India triggered landslides and flash floods, killing at least seven people, officials said Monday.

A senior police official in Meghalaya state said the deaths occurred in the northern part of the state.

The rains also caused heavy damage in neighboring Assam state, where floods washed away several bridges and submerged homes in Goalpara district, local official Pritam Saikia said. Authorities asked residents to move to higher ground, and army troops and federal personnel rescued scores of people trapped by the floodwaters, he said.

Two days of rain also caused heavy flooding in Assam's capital, Gauhati. Many neighborhoods in the city of 2 million were submerged in waist-deep water. The Bharalu River, which runs through the city, was threatening to breach its banks, police officials said.

More heavy rains were forecast in the area over the next two days.

The area is prone to flooding during the June-to-September annual monsoon season. In June, at least 11 people were killed in heavy flooding in Gauhati city.

Earlier this month monsoon floods inundated Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, killing more than 270 people in the Indian-controlled portion of the region

10 dead as floods wreak havoc in Assam and Meghalaya

Heavy rains across northeast India wreaked havoc triggering flash floods in several districts of Assam and Meghalaya, killing ten people and leaving scores homeless in the two states.

Seven persons were killed in Meghalaya's South West Garo Hills district after heavy rains lashed the area inundating over 100 villages and affecting over one lakh people, district Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ram Singh said.

"Seven persons have lost their lives in the floods with over 100 villages inundated and more than one lakh people affected," Singh said, adding the rains have led to flooding in the Ganol River badly affecting crops and livestock, besides hampering relief activities in the area. In the West Garo Hills district of the state, several villages have been inundated by the flood waters of Jinjiram River, the DC said.

The MeT department has warned of heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with extremely heavy rains at isolated places in Meghalaya in the next 24 hours. In the meantime, heavy rainfall caused severe floods in the state claiming three lives and leaving several villages in Goalpara, Dhubri, Lakhimpur and Kamrup (Rural) districts, besides Guwahati inundated. The Army, BSF and NDRF were assisting the district administration in rescue operations.

Hatsingimari and Mancachar in Dhubri district were the worst-hit with the BSF, NDRF and SDRF personnel evacuating over 5,000 marooned people to safer places, a Chief Minister's Office (CMO) spokesman said. A landslide claimed the life of a child in Hatsingimari area, district administration officials said.

In severely water-logged Guwahati, which is under Kamrup (Metropolitan) district, a body was recovered from Bharalu river flowing through the city, while a 71-year old man identified as Ashib Bhattacharjee was electrocuted in the waterlogged Netaji Road in Lalganesh area here, they said.

Kamrup Metropolitan district Deputy Commissioner M Angamathu said a relief centre with food and water has been set up for the succour of the people of Guwahati's Anil Nagar.

All education institutions in Guwahati have also been ordered to remain close tomorrow in view of the water-logging and the exams to be rescheduled, Angamathu said.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who is closely monitoring the situation, asked the Chief Secretary and the Deputy Commissioners of Dhubri and Goalpara to take all measures and evacuate the marooned people and move them to safer places with the help of personnel from NDRF, SDRF and other agencies, a CMO release said adding helplines with numbers - 0361-2733052; 0361-2237042 and 8811007000 have been set up for assistance to flood affected people in Guwahati.

Flood waters have also marooned over 30,000 people of 30 villages in the Kharkati and Borsola area in Lakhimpur district, the officials said. Forecasting no let up in the rainfall in the next two days, the MeT office said the south-west monsoon has been active over Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya since Sunday.

Light to heavy rains have occurred in several areas in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura since yesterday, it said. A report from Aizawl said the Mizoram government has issued a warning in all the eight districts saying there is a possibility of extreme weather conditions in the state and neighbouring states during the next two days. The warning said heavy rainfall could hit northeastern states like Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura during September 23 and 24

Huge California wildfire keeps growing

This Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 photo shows smoke
This Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 photo shows smoke from a California wildfire rising behind Lake Tahoe as seen from the Nevada side of the lake near Incline Village, Nev. (Credit: AP / Steve Ellsworth)
POLLOCK PINES, Ca. - As an expanding wildfire in Northern California kept nearly 3,000 people from their homes, teams sought to find out how many structured had already been lost to the huge blaze, authorities said.

While officials confirmed that several structures have been damaged or destroyed in the King Fire, dangerous conditions have so far prevented them from determining an exact number or how many of them were homes, fire spokesman Mike McMillian said.

The fire some 60 miles east of Sacramento grew to more than 128 square miles Saturday, and gathering thunderstorms could either help or harm the firefight with moisture or wind, authorities said.

The blaze began one week ago, and a man accused of starting the blaze is being held on $10 million bail. It is just 10 percent contained.

More than 5,000 firefighters — from as far as Florida and Alaska — are helping California crews battle the blaze that has not only consumed grass and brush, but swaths of extremely dry tall timber.

"That's what makes it difficult for a direct attack," McMillian said. "The main fuel that is burning is the tall timber. We're making some progress, but it is slow going in some areas as we're trying to construct more contingency and control lines."

About 100 evacuees have been allowed to return home, but some 2,700 remain under evacuation orders, Cal Fire said in a statement.

Also of concern are possible wind gusts of up to 30 mph that could push the fire, which has spread from the north to the south, state fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said.

"That would open up a whole new area for it to burn in," Tolmachoff said.
The fire has spread to the Tahoe National Forest northwest of Lake Tahoe, McMillian said. Also, the fire is threatening a key University of California, Berkeley research station that his home to scores of experiments on trees, plants and other wildlife.

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, pleaded not guilty to an arson charge Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court.

Authorities have not said what evidence they have linking Huntsman to the fire, by far one of the largest of about a dozen fires burning statewide.

Meanwhile, a wildfire in the town of Weed near the Oregon border was fully contained Saturday after burning 479 acres and destroying 143 homes. 

Another wildfire that destroyed 37 homes near Yosemite National Park was 93 percent contained

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