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Researchers develop statistical model to predict floods

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US WASHINGTON DC HEAVY RAIN

New York, July 16 (IANS) Researchers have developed a novel statistical model for prediction of floods and its duration. It also accurately determines the timescale of flooding.

“It is possible to predict the duration of floods by coupling atmospheric dynamics and land surface conditions in the watershed,” said study researcher Nasser Najibi from the City College of New York.

For the study published in the journal Nature Research, researchers analysed data from the Missouri river basin from the last 50 years to develop the Bayesian network statistical model.

The research team found that long duration floods first require high flow conditions in rivers created by recurrent high-intensity rainfall events, which is then followed by a large stable long-lived low-pressure system — a storm cell. These conditions may then result in large-scale devastating floods.

In shorter duration floods, however, this land-atmospheric coupling is negligible thus explaining why not all storms result in widespread flooding.

The researchers said that with the help of this statistical model, potential risk imposed by longer duration floods on critical infrastructure systems such as flood control dams, bridges and power plants can be mitigated.

It is also possible to predict how long the duration of flooding and inundation will be, they said.

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Cities

Rahul’s largesse for 18,000 families in Wayanad

The first kit consists of 5 kilogram of rice, sugar, pulses, tea, coffee, oil, and a few other basic provisions which would be good enough for a week, besides essential dresses and undergarments.

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Rahul Gandhi with Wayanad Floods Vitims

Wayanad (Kerala), Aug 16 (IANS) The Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, as promised, has started distributing kits to over 18,000 families affected by the floods.

Speaking to IANS, his office secretary Byju said that in the next two days, every family in his constituency, who had to face the flood fury and had to move out of their homes, will get a full kit of basic food items, a cleaning kit and dress materials including a blanket.

“Since Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency is spread across several assembly constituencies, the distribution will cover all these places and the first round is expected to be completed in a day or two,” said Byju.

The first kit consists of 5 kilogram of rice, sugar, pulses, tea, coffee, oil, and a few other basic provisions which would be good enough for a week, besides essential dresses and undergarments.

“Since some are still in camps, the second kit consists of basic cleaning materials like soaps, washing powder, dettol, and such items, basically meant to clean up the water filled homes.

The third round would include blankets and dress materials. We expect to finish the entire distribution in a few days from now,” said Ratheesh, another office staff of Gandhi in Wayanad.

A huge majority of these items have come through donations from Tamil Nadu and some from Karnataka.

Congress workers worked overnight to make it into kits for distribution.

“Gandhi is expected to be back in his constituency after 20th August and will be again meeting his people, just as he went around the various relief camps in the three days that he was here, earlier this week,” added Byju.

According to the figures provided by the Kerala government, Wayanad district has reported 12 deaths with a few more bodies suspected to be buried under the mud at Puthumala, where a landslide occurred leaving numerous families losing their homes completely.

Right now, 196 relief camps are currently operating where 9248 families have taken shelter. Kerala government is making arrangements to ensure that fresh relief camps are put up, so as to move the existing camps which are housed at educational institutions.

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Red alert in south Karnataka as heavy rains predicted

Schools and colleges have been ordered to remain shut till Saturday due to flooding, landslides and damage to roads in the hilly district of Kodagu.

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Karnataka Rain

Bengaluru, Aug 15 (IANS) The Indian meteorological department (IMD) sounded red alert in south Karnataka, as heavy rains set to pound Kodagu, Chikkamagluru and Dakshina Kannada districts on Thursday, while there was a respite from rains in the other regions of the state.

“Heavy to very heavy rains with strong winds will lash Kodagu, Chikkamagluru and Dakshina Kannada district on the west coast and across the southern Western Ghats over the next two days, as monsoon remains active,” said the IMD in a night weather bulletin on Wednesday.

Schools and colleges have been ordered to remain shut till Saturday due to flooding, landslides and damage to roads in the hilly district of Kodagu.

“The 73rd Independence Day celebration is likely to be affected if heavy rains persist in both the districts, as grounds will be water logged and access roads inundated,” a district official told reporters at Madikeri, 250 km southwest of Bengaluru.

Widespread moderate to heavy rains are likely to batter the state’s southern districts of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Mandya, Mysuru and Bengaluru on Thursday due to favourable monsoon conditions.

With rains taking a break and water levels receding, the state’s coastal and northwest regions were limping back to normalcy even as rescue and relief works were in full swing.

“Inflows into the reservoirs are steadily decreasing, flood situation has improved,” said the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre in a statement here.

The death toll in rain and flood-related incidents increase to 61, while 15 were missing. Nearly 7 lakh people were evacuated and 51,460 animals rescued in the 22 affected districts across the state.

“Around 3.7 lakh people are staying in 1,096 relief camps as their houses have washed away, collapsed or damaged due to heavy rains and flooding,” added the statement.

According to preliminary assessment, agriculture and horticulture crop loss is estimated to be in 4.69 hectares of farm lands, while 58,620 houses have been damaged.

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Typhoon leaves 18 dead, 1m evacuated in China

The province shut down hundreds of ferries, along with flights and suspended sections of its railway lines.

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Rain Storm in China

Beijing, Aug 10 (IANS) At least 18 people were killed and one million others evacuated from their homes as typhoon Lekima, the ninth one to hit China this year, slammed into the east coast of the country on Saturday, causing extensive damage and disrupting transport.

According to Xinhua news agency, the death toll rose to 18 as five more bodies were found on Saturday following a typhoon-triggered barrier lake burst in China’s Zhejiang province.

At least 14 people were missing, said the agency. Over 200 buildings were destroyed and another 3,200 damaged, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.

The monster storm made landfall in the early hours in Wenling, a city in China’s Zhejiang province, packing winds of 187 km per hour and was expected to head up towards Shanghai, Xinhua news agency reported.

Yongjia County in Zhejiang province was the worst hit. The typhoon brought heavy rainstorms in the area and caused a landslide that blocked the rivers, raising the water level to a maximum of 10 metre within 10 minutes and trapping 120 villagers.

More than 700,000 people in the province were evacuated, 110,000 of whom were housed in shelters, while another 253,000 were moved to other safe areas in Shanghai.

The province shut down hundreds of ferries, along with flights and suspended sections of its railway lines.

The super typhoon also knocked out power and downed thousands of trees.

Overa 4,000 flights had been cancelled since Friday.

Lekima also forced Shanghai to suspend services on several of its metro lines, according to the local government’s official WeChat account.

Taiwanese airlines cancelled about 520 international and domestic flights, South China Morning Post reported citing local aviation authorities.

More heavy rain was forecast for the Shanghai area as well as the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with authorities warning of possible flash floods, mudslides and landslides.

China issued a red alert — the most severe in the country’s four-colour emergency warning system — as the storm approached on Friday, before downgrading the level to orange, the second level, as winds eased on Saturday morning.

For the first time, Shanghai’s Disneyland complex was closed on Saturday due to bad weather since it opened in 2016, local press reported.

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