Flooding becomes a regular news item


(eTN) – Perhaps when we talk of global warming, we need to start referring to the severe weather conditions as a global warning. Lately, flooding has become a regular item in the news.

The floods in Australia have reached into the state of Victoria following weeks of flooding that ravaged Queensland to the north and swamped a major city. Electricity companies warn that further cuts are likely if more power stations are submerged by floodwaters.

In Brazil, flooding has taken the lives of at least 665, and searchers are still finding bodies buried in mudslides and wreckage. The government has set aside $463.5 million in relief aid for the region.

Today’s news reports about flooding in the US Pacific Northwest and the Philippines.

US Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest braced for flooding Monday after heavy rains and rising waters caused landslides and closed roads, according to CNN.

“We have a mess on our hands,” Dave Thompson with the Oregon Department of Transportation said Sunday. Thompson said landslides had closed the Wilson River Highway, which stretches from Portland to the coast. The rain is also a problem in cities, according to Thompson, who said it was causing urban flooding.

Flood watches and warnings are posted for portions of Oregon and Washington, according to the National Weather Service, which is predicting more rain for the region.

The winter storm killed at least one person in Washington, where CNN affiliate KIRO reported that a falling tree killed a transportation worker Sunday. In Falls City, crews pulled a husband, wife and dog from rising floodwaters after the family got caught while trying to save their pet.

A monsoon has brought at least 20 days of continuous and heavy rain to the northern parts of the Philippines, causing landslides and claiming the lives or more than 50 people.

More than 1.5 million people were affected when a deluge of heavy rain fell in 25 provinces, and more than 300,000 families are reported to have been affected, with the number continuing to rise on a daily basis, according to the children’s aid agency, Plan International.

The charity, which works with more than 43,000 children in the Philippines, is conducting emergency relief work with the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“Thousands of children and families have lost their homes, belongings and livelihoods to the floods. We have had so much heavy rain since the last week of December and bad weather has hampered our efforts to reach the worst hit provinces,” said Dong Wana, Plan’s program support manager.

“The rains and landslides have caused more than US$37.8 million worth of damage to land farm lands, homes, and other properties. Right now our priority is to get clean water, food, medicine, and blankets and bedding to all the people in flood affected areas. We also plan to set up emergency shelters for those who have been forced to flee their homes,” Wana added.