Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Archive for Floods

Flooding in Indian State of Assam

26.6N 92.8E

July 10th, 2009 Category: Floods

Assam State, India - July 8th, 2009

Assam State, India - July 8th, 2009

Half a million people have been stranded after floods inundated the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, reports the BBC. In Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island, a breach in the embankment left more than 100,000 people stranded.

India’s Brahmaputra River, visible here flowing through Assam near the city of Tezpur (left), was reported to be flowing through the state at a dangerously high level. Local officials warned the situation was worsening because most of the rivers in the state were still rising.

Floods in India usually occur during the monsoon season, which generally lasts from June to September. This time, officials have blamed the latest flooding on incessant rain in the Himalayas.

The districts worst affected by the flooding were Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Jorhat, according to a government spokesperson. The situation was said to be particularly bad in the sub-division of Dhakuwakhana, where the waters of the Brahmaputra had seeped through the unrepaired gaps of the embankment at Matmara.

As floodwaters breached river banks, vast tracts of arable land became submerged affecting more than 100,000 hectares of crops.

Local officials have been providing food to flood victims living in relief camps located on higher ground, but no relief measures have been taken for the thousands of trapped cattle and livestock.

Southern China and Northern Vietnam Hit by Floods

22.5N 104.7E

July 7th, 2009 Category: Floods, Rivers

Vietnam - July 6th, 2009

Vietnam - July 6th, 2009

Floods and landslides in northern Vietnam have killed at least 30 people over the weekend, Vietnamese television has reported. Meanwhile, in southern China, flooding has left at least 20 people dead, state media said.

In Vietnam, Bac Kan province was the worst hit, with other casualties reported in Cao Bang, Ha Giang and Lai Chau provinces.

In China, local sources reported that more than 300,000 people had been forced to leave their homes, and up to 10 million people were affected by seasonal flooding.

As images of southern China and northern Vietnam were cloud-covered due to rainstorms, this image focuses on a network of distributaries in southern Vietnam where the Mekong River empties into the sea. These distributaries are tan from sediments, some of which are dredged up by rainfall.

Heavy rains have been reported in northern Vietnam since late on Friday, reports the BBC, swelling local rivers and streams. Vietnam is often struck by floods and storms between July and October.

Landslides and floods cut off roads, telecommunications and power supply in some areas, and fields of rice, corn and cassava were damaged, the government’s disaster report said.

The casualties and property damage in the Vietnamese area bordering China emerged after torrential rain hit southern China and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

The China Daily newspaper said rainstorms that lasted for three days killed about 20 people and affected millions.

Houses were toppled, roads flooded, and crops damaged in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and the nearby provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Jiangxi, Xinhua News Agency reported.

In Liuzhou, the region’s second largest city and an important transportation hub, water resources authorities called the flooding “the third biggest in history”.

Rain in Florida Helps Relieve Drought, but Creates Flooding and Erosion Concerns

29.1N 81W

May 20th, 2009 Category: Floods

Rainfall over Florida, USA - May 20th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Rainfall over Florida, USA - May 20th, 2009

Since a sudden reversal in weather conditions, Florida, which had been experiencing extreme drought, has received over 30 cm (12 in) of rain in some areas, including locations near Daytona Beach (click here for previous article). More heavy rain and winds are expected in the coming days, reports the Weather Channel.

Portions of east-central and northeast Florida may see another 12 or more centimeters (5 or more inches) of rainfall on top of what has already fallen. Localized flooding is also possible.

Winds have gusted between 30 and 55 mph along the northeast and east-central coast. The persistent onshore flow has resulted in some beach erosion and minor damage.

The gradient (difference in pressure) between high pressure to the north and lower pressure to the south will persist into Wednesday.

As a result, the gusty onshore winds will continue with gusts from 25 to 40 mph along the northeast Florida coast. So, winds may be a shade lower on Wednesday.

In addition, the threat for dangerous rip currents and high surf will persist along the Southeast Coast.

Flooding in North and Northeast Brazil

May 6th, 2009 Category: Floods

Maranhao, Brazil - May 4th, 2009

Maranhao, Brazil - May 4th, 2009

Severe floods have forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in the north and north-east of Brazil and at least 15 have been killed, reports the BBC.

More than 190 towns and cities have been badly affected by the floods, forcing about 180,000 people across eight states to leave their homes.

Although much of the image is covered by clouds, dark brown sediments from the Amazon River can be seen at the top left. Parts of the state of Maranhao are visible amidst the clouds.

The state of Maranhao has been hit particularly hard, with over 130,000 people affected by flooding. The governor of the neighbouring state of Piaui has declared an emergency in 19 towns and cities and has requested military assistance for those stranded by flooding.

A number of important roads in the region are impassable, and the army has been using boats to help people reach their destinations.

For weeks, heavy rain has been causing extensive problems across the north-east of Brazil, a region more often associated with the difficulties caused by drought.

Such is the size of Brazil that in the south of country the problem is exactly the opposite – 95 towns and cities are now reported to be facing a crisis because of a lack of rain.

Florida Panhandle Declared Disaster Area

April 23rd, 2009 Category: Floods

Western Florida Panhandle and surroundings - March 30th, 2009

Western Florida Panhandle and surroundings - March 30th, 2009

Storm over Florida Panhandle - March 28th, 2009

Storm over Florida Panhandle - March 28th, 2009

Yesterday, the USA’s President Obama declared nearly a dozen counties in the Florida Panhandle a disaster area.

This declaration is in reference to severe storms, flooding, tornadoes and straight-line winds that battered the Florida Panhandle (and adjacent states). These events occurred on consecutive days from March 29 to April 4 and yet again on April 13.

Here, the main image shows the western part of the Florida Panhandle (right), as well as the shoreline of Alabama (center right), Mississippi (center left) and Louisiana (left), in a cloud-free moment towards the end of the initial 7-day period of rain. Sediments can be seen along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly near New Orleans (left) and St. George’s Sound (right).

The second image shows storm clouds over the panhandle two days earlier, dumping rain on the area. Upon opening the full image, these clouds can be observed covering much of the Mid-west and Northeast, all the way up to the Great Lakes.

The map shows the incredible rainfall took place during the seven-day period ending on March 31. Since that time, in some areas another 8 to 16 inches of rain has fallen, reports the Weather Channel.

Rainfall around Panhandle (source:

Rainfall around Panhandle

Tuesday’s order calls for federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. Federal funding will be available to the state, eligible local governments and some nonprofit organizations to repair damage caused by the severe weather. Counties included in the order are Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington. Federal funding also will be available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Federal disaster aid has also been requested for Florida’s two neighbors, Alabama and Georgia. In Georgia, a presidential disaster declaration covering 33 counties struck by severe weather and floods was requested by the state’s governor, according to the Associated Press.

In Alabama, a federal disaster declaration was sought by the governor after storms hit 20 counties in south and central parts of the state and caused about $26 million in damage to roads, bridges and public buildings from March 30 to April 3.