Tag Archives: Flooding

Flash Floods Are Proof That Climate Disaster Is Already Here

To remember:

Mary Dhonau is one of the leading flood risk experts in the UK, and says we all need to be concerned about the proliferation of so-called “super basements” in areas like Kensington and Chelsea.

“There are a lot of celebrities in those areas – Simon Cowell, Kate Garraway, Brian May – and they were all flooded,”

“A lot of them have these super basements, and when you stop and think of the earth that has been excavated to accommodate all these projects, that’s earth that would have absorbed water had it still been there.”

+

We will almost certainly not avoid climate emergency now. As the Met Office puts it:

“Even if we were to stop all emissions today, we would not prevent some changes. However, the sooner we cut emissions, the smaller the changes will be.”

There is no longer time to stop the process; that ship has well and truly sailed. But there is still time to mitigate the worst of its damage.

+

Perhaps the question of ‘what can we do?’ is not the right one to ask after all; a self-lacerating response engendered by a society that has gaslit us into believing that it’s our plastic straws that are to blame – rather than, you know, the 71 percent of all carbon emissions that come from just 100 companies.

“The onus is on the government to reduce emissions,”

Juliet Kinsman adds.

“That’s why they exist, to protect every member of society. We all have to think what we can do more, of course, but essentially this is on the government, private sector, and manufacturing to think of solutions.”

Matthew Neale

Credit: Twitter/Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

On the evening of the 12th of July, bookseller Lynn Gaspard received a text from her mother, concerned that their west London bookshop would flood yet again. “We were really worried,” she says over the phone, “but thinking, ‘What can we do?”

It’s a desperate question that has reverberated around the world, perhaps this month more than ever. The floods that have swept across the southeast of England in July caused significant property damage, leading to evacuations in London – on the 12th of July and, remarkably, again on Sunday – and the cancellation of Standon Calling festival.

But they are not yet comparable to the devastation in Germany and Belgium, where over 180 people were killed in flash floods, nor the horrific scenes of submerged homes in India or flooded subway train carriages in China. In the UK, many are praying that it…

View original post 44 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Nature, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, World affairs

Are the European floods linked to the climate crisis?

Almost certainly. Scientists have long predicted climate disruption will lead to more extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods. Human emissions from engine exhaust fumes, forest burning and other activities are heating the planet. As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds more moisture which brings more rain. All the places that recently experienced flooding – Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and elsewhere – might have had heavy summer rain even without the climate crisis, but the deluges were unlikely to have been as intense.

There has not yet been an attribution study for the latest floods in Europe because the analysis takes several days.

Please continue reading: What is causing the floods in Europe?

+

Investigating how climate affects intense rainstorms across Europe, climate experts have shown there will be a significant future increase in the occurrence of slow-moving intense rainstorms.

The scientists estimate that these slow-moving storms may be 14 times more frequent across land by the end of the century. It is these slow-moving storms that have the potential for very high precipitation accumulations, with devastating impacts, as we saw in Germany and Belgium.

Professor Lizzie Kendon, Science Fellow at the Met Office and Professor at Bristol University, said:

“This study shows that in addition to the intensification of rainfall with global warming, we can also expect a big increase in slow-moving storms which have the potential for high rainfall accumulations. This is very relevant to the recent flooding seen in Germany and Belgium, which highlights the devastating impacts of slow-moving storms.

“Our finding that slow-moving intense rainstorms could be 14 times more frequent by the end of the century under the high emissions RCP8.5 scenario, shows the serious impacts that we may expect across Europe if we do not curb our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The study findings are relevant to climate mitigation and adaptation policy in Europe, with specific implications for future flooding impacts, the design of infrastructure systems, and the management of water resources.

Currently, almost stationary intense rainstorms are uncommon in Europe and happen rarely over parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Accurate predictions of future changes in intense rainfall events are key to putting effective adaptation and mitigation plans in place to limit the adverse impacts of climate change.

> Extreme Storms Will Be More Likely In Europe Research Shows

Leave a comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Nature, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, World affairs

Heaving had too much rain

A Drop Of Rain” shall not harm, but the last few weeks here in Belgium we had enough water and could witness some very major cloudbursts that caused huge water and mudflows. In 262 villages the damage was horrible. In Wallonia the clean-up shall take several weeks but now mountains of rubbish start already towering above the horizon.

De ramp bovenop de overstromingen: hoe de hulpverlening in Wallonië volledig in het honderd loopt

Photo: Marc Gysen – Nieuwsblad

This year in several countries there is no reason at all to sing and dance in the rain.

Everyone will understand that the assistance and crisis management for one of the largest floods ever experienced in our country was and is a feat. Days (weeks) people did not get to see much help from the government, but luckily lots of citizens of this country showed to the government that this is not such a split country as many politicians want many to believe. While there appears to be a total lack of coordination, ordinary citizens have plucked up the courage to go miles away to offer help to the residents in the affected areas.

Many flood victims literally have nothing left. Only what they have on. Soon civic initiatives were launched. In several villages all over the country, there were collected warm blankets, sheets, non-perishable food, etc..

Dirt left behind by water in the July 2021 flood

In the face of this huge water disaster that has swept over Wallonia and West Germany, we have noticed a wave of great solidarity. The terrible thing also shows something very beautiful, namely the solidarity of ordinary people with their fellow man, while politicians sit around bickering and talking about setting up committees instead of rolling up their sleeves.

When there is a setback– a death, an accident, loss of job, or something of that sort – there is nothing funny. It doesn’t sound good to laugh at any of this. What looks appropriate in this condition is crying, cursing, expressing grief or all these expressions. {Finding Humour In Tragedy}

Belgium and West Germany are hit by an enormous disaster. Lots of families have lost close relatives and have seen their house and/or business seen destroyed by the strong mass of water which seemed to have had an unknown power.

It is difficult for anyone to move on without these expressions. The time taken for moving on depends on person to person and the degree of loss. Like everyone knows the bigger the loss, the more time it will take to heal. {Finding Humour In Tragedy}

But in the small details and by the many people who have come to help, several victims of this natural disaster were able to find some light in the dusk and occasionally got a smile on their face of satisfaction, that ordinary people had not abandoned them after all, as father state seemed to have done, or rather seems to be incapable of intervening with any real help.

Receiving some smile at several moments in the day of hard work getting rid of all the filthy gunk, makes saving the day. More often, crying is more near than laughing. But in these circumstances, we can see that laughing at a problem gives power and a sense of control over it. Otherwise, depression sets in and worsens the situation.

After the July flooding in Pépinster solidarity to clean-up, August 2021

Who would not be displeased and depressed to see a life’s work wiped off the map in a few minutes?

Much too often we hear voices expressing their thankfulness for those citizens from all over the country who came to help, though they also feel abandoned by the governement.

“Everything, everything, we had to do here ourselves. Where was the army? The police? Once we saw them. Then they came to save people. But they had already been rescued by family, by friends, by random people who came from everywhere. It’s fantastic, but it shouldn’t have been like this. There are also people whose job it is to help us,”

is a much-heard expression.

Wherever you go to ask in the villages where the Ourthe and the Vesdre suddenly seemed like the Amazon last week, so big, people speak highly of the volunteers. They were there as soon as they could be. They understood what was needed. They cooked, mopped, dragged, comforted. Some were young, others old. Sometimes they hardly spoke French, but Arabic, Dutch or Flemish. Everyone speaks of strangers who suddenly turned up with buckets and sponges, who cleaned whole houses from top to bottom and moved on without waiting for a ‘thank you’.

This is something “magical” and worth remembering how such a disaster brought so many people close to each other. The difficulty to cope with this situation was soothed by the helping hands. For years those traumatised people shall have to try to rebuild their life.

Not dealing with emotions or any kind of disaster will not get anyone out of that trauma. Instead, depression, anxiety and many more problems will arise in no time. {Finding Humour In Tragedy}

The coming days and months it shall be up to insurance companies and to the governments of the affected states or Länder, to do the restoration and healing work.

Wallonia is licking its wounds. Now that the water has receded everywhere, the devastation becomes clear and the living conditions for thousands of people have become very precarious.
After the drama of the floods, a second small disaster may now occur. It appears that many people are not insured, and will therefore not be able to claim financial support from the Walloon Disaster Fund. This appears to be the case in Verviers.

12 August: Cleanup Floods à Olne / Fraipont / Trooz ” grand nettoyage après les inondations ” Kan een afbeelding zijn van één of meer mensen, staande mensen en buitenshuisMoirivay, 4877 Olne, Belgique

+

A Pepinster des milliers d’habitants ont encore besoin d’aide
Les premiers bénévoles venus sur place nous ont dit avoir besoin de relève.
De très nombreuses personnes manquent encore de vivres pour se nourrir décemment chaque jour.

Vous pouvez faire un don, leur préparer un repas , des crêpes.
Un travail de nettoyage est encore nécessaire.

+

Duizenden inwoners hebben nog steeds hulp nodig in Pepinster De eerste vrijwilligers die ter plaatse kwamen, vertelden ons dat ze hulp nodig hadden. Heel veel mensen hebben nog steeds niet het voedsel om elke dag fatsoenlijk te eten. Je kunt doneren, een maaltijd voor ze koken, pannenkoeken Een schoonmaakklus is nog steeds noodzakelijk.

+

Preceding

A dangerous turning point – Earth facing the collapse of everything

Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Kolkende watermassa’s doorheen de straten

Faalt de overheid in aanpak van de overstromingen?

Open Discussie Zomer 2021

Overstromingen in Limburg, Duitsland en België door extreem zware buien

Toename van de kosten van extreem weer mogelijk onderschat

Solidariteit en hulpgoederen

Fraipont na de zondvloed, tussen miserie en veerkracht

De medische nood blijft hoog

++

Related

  1. Wateroverlast in het midden van de zomer
  2. Waterramp voor Wallonië, Vlaams-Brabant en Limburg
  3. Maas niet bevaarbaar door drijfhout en de te sterke stroming
  4. New Flooding Leaves Trail of Destruction in Dinant, Belgium
  5. Floods in Germany, Belgium Destroy Homes, Leaving Dozens Dead
  6. The flooding swept away homes and part of a castle in western Germany.
  7. Dark Stuff
  8. Cleanup efforts underway following deadly, disastrous flooding in Europe
  9. Rescuers race to prevent more deaths from European floods
  10. Climate disruption is not just the heat, it’s also the flooding
  11. Europe flood death toll tops 160, costly rebuilding ahead
  12. 07/17/21 BBC: Europe floods: Rescuers race to find survivors as hundreds remain missing
  13. German Of The Day: Kriegsgebiet
  14. Watch compilations Europe flooding (July 2021)
  15. Floods in Luxembourg
  16. Death toll from European flooding passes 180 as rescuers search debris
  17. What is causing the floods in Europe?
  18. German Wine Regions Devastated by Flooding
  19. Heatwave continues, flooding in europe and other parts of the world, “freedom day” has arrived.
  20. Parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany experienced devastating floods in… – MMF Social Media Hub
  21. Extreme Storms Will Be More Likely In Europe Research Shows
  22. Belgium Hit With Renewed Flooding
  23. Floodwaters inundate England
  24. Flash Floods Are Proof That Climate Disaster Is Already Here
  25. Germany flood loss near EUR 5bn, likely a single event for reinsurance: AIR
  26. How well is flooding managed where you live?
  27. After the deluge …
  28. Flooding & Factions

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Nature, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised.

Hannah Cloke  advises the Environment Agency, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, local and national governments and humanitarian agencies on the forecasting and warning of natural hazards. She is a Council member of the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council, a fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, a fellow of the Centre for Natural Hazards & Disaster Science in Sweden and is also affiliated to Uppsala University in Sweden. Her research is funded by the UKRI Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged.

The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an independent flood scientist at the University of Reading to improve and analyse EFAS data. I don’t work in the team that issues early flood information to authorities, but looking at the data with colleagues, I could see early on just how serious the floods looked.

Forecasts on Friday July 9 and Saturday 10 for the Rhine catchment, covering Germany and Switzerland, had shown a high probability of flooding that would begin on Tuesday July 13. Subsequent forecasts also showed the Meuse in Belgium would be affected. The forecasts in the following days showed that there was little doubt that a major flood was coming.

EFAS sends out bulletins of early information which are designed to be read, understood and acted on by experts. They are not directly available to the public. Public flood warnings come from the national and regional weather, environment and civil protection agencies, and EFAS information needs to be used by these authorities alongside their own forecasts.

The first EFAS bulletin was sent to the relevant national authorities on Saturday July 10. More updates continued over the following days as more precise predictions became available. Formal flood notifications were issued to authorities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission throughout Monday and Tuesday. As the event neared and uncertainty in the forecast shrank, the predicted start of the flooding was pushed to Wednesday for smaller rivers and Thursday for the larger downstream rivers. Around 25 individual warnings were sent out to parts of the Rhine and Meuse.

The German weather service, DWD, had independently forecast extremely high rainfall too and issued warnings for more than 200 mm of rain in the same areas several days ahead of time, saying that flooding was possible. Regional warnings were also issued, for example by the Environment Agency in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the areas hit particularly hard by flooding.

The floods that did happen matched the scale and distribution of those that were forecast several days before. I was very surprised, therefore, that so many people died, given that authorities knew about the event and had sufficient warnings to get people to safety before the floods began.

Where flood warnings fail

Clearly, tragically, the whole system designed to save lives by ensuring people act on warnings before floods arrive, did not work as it should have done. It may be that individual parts of the system worked exactly as they were designed, and it is certainly true that forecasts were accurate, and there were some warnings issued through official channels. In some areas, many authorities did act in time, to evacuate people, erect temporary flood defences, and move vehicles to higher ground. But this clearly did not happen everywhere.

In the middle of an election campaign, some German leaders in national and regional government still seemed to defend the locally-devolved nature of disaster management in Germany, insisting that the warnings were adequate and agencies did their work well. It is like claiming that the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a success because 99% of its engineering worked perfectly throughout. While their arguments may be true on an individual scale, unless those in power admit that the system ultimately failed, they risk failing to learn lessons and put others at risk in the future.

Science, in large part, is about helping people see the invisible. What is the use of a perfect forecast if the people it is supposed to warn cannot see the danger they are in? Effective flood warnings require people to be able to see into the future and imagine their house full of water, to assess the likelihood of that happening, and to see the multiple paths they could take to keep them, their family, and their property safe.


Read more: Report from Europe’s flood zone: researcher calls out early warning system gridlock amid shocking loss of life


I recently took part in an exercise encouraging scientists, from senior professors to school pupils, to trace the path of water in a river through time using just their imagination. Weeks later, we are seeing what happens when people cannot visualise the threat of a river ripping down their street, or a lake appearing in their house. These are the elements of flood warnings that must improve.

As climate change increases risks from heatwaves, fires and floods, we need to not only slash emissions but prepare ourselves for the problems we already have in store. Even with sufficient decarbonisation measures – which we are still yet to see from any major government – there is no avoiding the consequences of a hotter, more turbulent environment.

+

Suggested further reading

McEwan, L., Garde-Hansen, J., Holmes, A., Jones, O. & Krause, R. (2016). Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, 14 – 28. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12149.

Alexander, M., Priest, S. & Penning-Roswell, E. (2017). The risk of ill-informed reform: The future for English flood risk management. Area, 50, 426 – 429. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12393.

Forrest, S., Trell, E. & Woltjer, J. (2018). Civil society contributions to local level flood resilience: Before, during and after the 2015 Boxing Day floods in the Upper Calder Valley. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 422 – 436. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12279.

1 Comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs

Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Probably we are looking at more than 150 victims of the heavy rain and flooding which took parts of Germany, Belgium and the South of the Netherlands. Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In Belgium, Pepinster, Theux, Chaudfontaine, Spa, Liège a.o. got enough water to forget draughts for months. Most of the drowned were found around Liege, where the rains hit hardest. Skies were largely overcast in eastern Belgium, with hopes rising that the worst of the calamity was over.

Please find this report about the flash floods this week which followed days of heavy rainfall, sweeping away cars and causing houses to collapse across the region.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,”

said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Those who keep saying Climate chance is an invention of revolutionaries and lefties, should have a better look of how our weather becomes unpredictable.

Extreme weather events are hitting Europe more frequently as climate change warms the continent, experts agree.

2020 was Europe’s hottest year since records began over 300 years ago, according to analysis of global weather stations by Berkeley Earth, and eight of the 10 hottest ever years have been in the past decade.

The continent’s average temperature is now roughly 2C warmer than it was at the start of the 20th century – an increase that has come with a growth in extreme weather.

For example, warmer air holds more water which, in turn, can lead to extreme downpours.

Please find to read and watch another video > Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue by Frank Jordans

1 Comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Nature, Pictures of the World, Video, World affairs