Breaking Earth News: Texas, USA
March 13, 2007
Flooding caused by torrential rainstorms swept cars off roads in central Texas, killing two people Monday. Much of the Hill Country outside San Antonio got at least 3 inches of rain in just nine hours overnight. Lockhart, about 70 miles northeast of San Antonio, received an estimated 8 inches. More rain is possible today.
TORRENTIAL RAIN/ FLOODS/ LANDSLIDES
CANADA - Mudslides and flooding have hit B.C.'s lower mainland after a weekend of heavy rain, leading to road closures and evacuation warnings. About 170 houses in Maple Ridge were flooded Monday and hundreds of people have been told they may have to leave their homes, after the Alouette River spilled its banks. "We had copious rainfall - that's an understatement - the largest rainfall of the season, across Vancouver in the last day and a half - up to 200 millimetres in places. It was all due to the fourth sub-tropically influenced storm of the season to hit Vancouver. This was another Pineapple Express event, that means a weather system that picked up very warm, moist humid air from the latitudes of Hawaii and unloaded it over Greater Vancouver and much of the south coast and the Interior." Westerly winds of up to 60 kilometres an hour were expected to pummel the coast, with gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour. Because of a "robust'' start to winter - with heavy snowfalls from October through mid-January - officials say most river basins in B.C. have collected above-normal or well-above-normal snowpacks as of March 1. North-central B.C., and the Nechako, upper Fraser, Peace and Skeena rivers are all in the 130 to 150 per cent of normal range. The rest of the Interior has well-above-normal snowpacks in the 110 to 130 per cent of normal range. The Fraser River watershed snow index is 125 per cent of normal. This is the fifth or sixth largest Fraser River snowpack measured since 1953, when detailed snow measurements in the Fraser began.
AUSTRALIA - Floodwaters flowed into the world's largest ephemeral lake in outback Australia on Monday, triggering a once-in-a-decade explosion of bird and fish life in place of arid salt flats. Rivers overflowing due to northern monsoon rains emptied into the lake which covers about 1.2 million sq km (463,400 sq miles). Lake Eyre sits in the middle of one of the world's largest internal river systems and covers large parts of South Australia state, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Lake Eyre basin itself covers an area bigger than France, Germany and Italy. When the lake floods the outback springs to life with large numbers of waterbirds. A South Australia state parks spokeswoman said it was still unclear whether weeks of heavy northern rains would be enough to fill the basin or whether the lake would only partly fill. The basin last topped its maximum five metre depth in 1974.
INDIA - Eight people were killed and 13 others suffered severe burns after being struck by lightning during thunderstorms in Balia, Varanasi and Mirzapur districts of Uttar Pradesh on Monday. A power sub-station in Daulatpur area of the district was also damaged and power supply disrupted. Heavy rains and hailstorms lashed many places in the districts overnight, damaging standing wheat, pea, oilseeds and other crops.
INDIA - At least four pilgrims on their way to the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir were buried alive on Monday in a landslide triggered by torrential rains. Ten people were rescued in an unconscious state. The pilgrims were trapped at Audhkuwari, midway on the 13-km hill track from the base camp of Katra to the shrine, at a height of over 5,500 feet. It has been raining heavily since Sunday afternoon.