Flood Disasters

  • International Space Station (ISS) and NASA's Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat-8 captured the devastating flood that spread in Madagascar in January 2020, which killed 31, displaced 16 000 people, affected 107 000 individuals, and prompted the government to declare a national emergency.

    "Our thoughts are with those affected. Stay safe," ISS astronaut Christina Koch posted as a caption on her social media account as she posted the images that showed rivers running red in severe inundation.

    Koch has spent 11 months in orbit and set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman.

    "Floods and landslides were reported in the Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga, Betsiboka, Boeny, Melaky, and Sofia regions," NASA wrote, sharing natural-color images of sediment-filled rivers pouring into Helodrano Mahajambe, northwestern Madagascar.

    The town of Mahajanga registered 258 mm (14 inches) of rainfall from January 19 to 25, and 592 mm (23 inches) for the month of January, according to AccuWeather. The normal rainfall is 292 mm (11 inches) for the month.

    Arrachart received 192 mm (7.55 inches) from January 19 to25 and 495 mm (19.50 inches) throughout January. The average January amount is 159 mm (6 inches).

    Marovoay was heavily submerged, while the RN4 highway from Antananarivo to the north was also affected, making relief efforts difficult.

    On January 27, the government declared the situation a national emergency. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs said the death toll, which stands at 31, may rise as many people are still missing.

    Over 10 000 houses were deluged in floodwater, with 146 destroyed. Moreover, infrastructure and roads received major damage.

    107 000 people have been affected in at least seven regions of the country, with food shortage being feared due to flooded rice fields.

  • Nearly 3 million people are under a state of emergency in Mississippi after the Pearl River rose to historic levels, causing flooding around the state capitol of Jackson.

    Around 1,200 homes are damaged after entire neighborhoods were left flooded.

    One day after the Pearl River crested near Mississippi’s waterlogged capital city of Jackson, flash flood watches were scattered across the region Tuesday morning as more storms marched across the South.

    The river, which reached major flood stage over the weekend, crested near Jackson on Monday at around 36.67 feet, down slightly from a projected crest height of 38 feet. Still, a 38-foot water height was reported along the river in the area of Highway 25 north to the Barnett Reservoir dam.

    As it began to recede, the river was nearing moderate flood stage, which consists of heights from 33 to 36 feet, Tuesday morning.

    John Sigman, general manager of the Pearl River Water Supply District, said water levels at the 33,000-acre lake had dropped below 298 feet Monday morning.

    A discharge of 75,000 cubic feet per second was instituted during the overnight hours, but that had dropped to 70,265 at 9:15 a.m. local time. Another reduction was scheduled for Monday evening.

    We still need to create storage space in the lake for the rain in the forecast for this week and balance that with the flood concerns downstream. The good news is that inflows into the lake are falling and will fall very rapidly going forward,” Sigman said in a statement.

    By Tuesday, the water supply district lower the release to 55,250 cubic feet per second.

    The lake responded favorably overnight, dropping to a more comfortable level and we made the move early [Tuesday] morning in hopes of easing flood conditions downstream,” said Sigman, who added that further reductions were anticipated.

    Authorities have been going door-to-door in the hardest-hit areas to tell people to evacuate. Local law enforcement conducted another 16 assisted evacuations on Monday.

    The record crest for the Pearl River is 43.28 feet, set in 1979. The river has topped 36 feet only seven times and not once since 1983, but that changed on Saturday night as the water level rose above 36 feet for the eighth time.

    Reeves issued a state of emergency declaration on Saturday to deploy the necessary resources to help those impacted.

    “This is a historic, unprecedented flood,” Reeves said on Twitter over the weekend.

    More Rain

    More rain is in the forecast this week, as persistent rounds of storms take aim at the South.

    Please do not move back into your neighborhood, or into your home until authorities and officials give you the OK to do so,” he said.

    As the week progresses, the flood threat is expected to focus on areas farther downstream, which includes the city of Columbia in Marion County. Current forecasts show the river reaching moderate flood stage and cresting at around 25 feet on Sunday.

    While discharges from Barnett Reservoir are decreasing and the river levels are dropping in Jackson, we caution downstream communities that the National Weather Service is predicting a rise in the lower Pearl due to rainfall. Local rainfall can result in flash flooding anywhere along the Pearl River.

    We as a state are not in the clear yet,” Reeves said.

    There have been no reports of injuries at this time, but officials expect the number of damaged homes to be in the “hundreds” and possibly near a thousand.

    Michel credited residents in the evacuation areas for following orders and not jeopardizing the lives of first responders.

    Over 156,000 sandbags have been distributed throughout the area and the Jackson Police Training Academy, which was being used as a temporary shelter, still had space for those who needed to evacuate.



    Non-stop intense downpour has triggered violent mudflows and raging flash floods across Peru's southern region, bringing the death toll to nine as of Monday, February 24, 2020. Red warnings for heavy rains, thunderstorms, and strong winds were issued for central regions in the country's south as the severe weather is expected to persist from February 25.

    Floodwaters turned roads into rivers, causing widespread damage to homes and properties. Videos posted on social media showed muddy floods sweeping across streets, carrying debris, and knocking off houses as residents were heard in the background crying in devastation.

    On February 21, five people were confirmed dead in the Tacna region while 10 others were injured due to the severe weather.

    Flooding and landslides hampered search and rescue operations, according to authorities. The Peruvian army was deployed to help in rescue and recovery efforts.

    One house was totally destroyed, while 249 sustained damages and a further 2 146 were inundated. According to Peru's disaster authority (COEN), 371 of the flooded homes were in Tacna, 450 in Pachia, and 800 in Pocollay district.

    Areas of Jorge Basadre Province also bore the brunt of the inundations, displacing 28 households in the Ilabaya district.

    Rivers across the region were swollen as a heavy downpour in the mountains triggered flash flooding downstream.

    In the Cusco region, the Salkantay river burst in Santa Teresa district, sending floods across houses. Roads and bridges were damaged as a result.

    Red warnings for heavy rain, strong winds, and thunderstorms were in place for central regions in southern Peru, including Tacna and Cusco, as intense downpour is expected to continue from February 25.

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