Entries in Floods (8)


Heavy Floods Kill at Least Four in Italy

Marco Sabadin/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- Heavy floods in Italy have become deadly, with at least four people killed in Tuscany, BBC News reports.

Three utility workers perished when their vehicle fell off a collapsed bridge. Another man, 73, is believed dead after his car was caught in rising waters, according to BBC.

Families in parts of northern and central Italy, where water has swamped the roads and engulfed towns and cities, reportedly have taken refuge on rooftops.  Seventy percent of the historic city of Venice is submerged under water, Ansa news agency reported Monday.

Umbria and western Tuscany appear to be the worst hit areas. The governor of Tuscany, Enrico Rossi, has called for military deployment to lend aid in flooded areas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Thai Flood Waters Finally Receding; $3 Billion Reconstruction Expected

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images(BANKOK) -- The Thai government is confident floods that have devastated large parts of the country have been stopped from reaching Bankok, after huge efforts by the people there to build up sandbag barriers.

North of the country's capital, flood waters finally have begun to recede.  

Still, authorities say the country's worst flood in nearly 50 years has claimed the lives of at least 307 people. Hundreds of thousands more have been left without jobs.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said deconstruction of areas affected by the massive floods could cost more than $3 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pakistan Flood Reconstruction Efforts in Need of Funding

U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released(UNITED NATIONS) -- The UN special envoy for assistance to Pakistan has said that more needs to be done to help those affected by last year's devastating flood.  The comments by Rauf Engin Soysal came as Pakistan marked the first anniversary of the country's "worst ever" floods, that inundated a large part of the country.

"We certainly need to do more, we certainly need to draw lessons, yet we certainly need to keep up the momentum to continue to deliver the promises we made one year ago to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan."

Floods that struck Pakistan last year represented one of the most devastating natural disasters of the decade, submerging almost one-fifth of the country, killing 200 people, affecting 20 million, and destroying 1.6 million homes.  Reconstruction is predicted to cost up to 10.9 billion US dollars -- almost one quarter of Pakistan's national budget.

Zafar Iqbal Qadir is the chairman of Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority.

"To the extent of providing proper housing to all the affectees, yes it has not been possible for the government so far, but that needs a huge amount of money which we still do not have at an our disposal."

It is unclear how Pakistan will come up with the money, and some flood victims complain that corruption has prevented them from benefiting from the funds that are available.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


A Honeymoon from Hell: Floods, Fires, Tsunamis and Earthquakes

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM) -- Stefan and Erika Svanstrom are just back from a honeymoon from hell.

The newlyweds had planned a long trip that would start in Singapore in early December and end in China four months later.  With their baby daughter in tow, the Svanstroms packed up and prepared to leave on their once-in-a-lifetime journey.

But things didn't go exactly as planned.  They encountered floods, fires, tsunamis and earthquakes along the way.

For starters, on Dec. 6 a snowstorm socked in many major airports in Europe and the Svanstroms -- Stefan, 38, and Erika, 32 -- ended up spending the first night of their honeymoon stranded at an airport hotel.  They eventually left Germany for Singapore, then went on to Bali -- where they flew right into a monsoon.

Their next stop was Perth, Australia, where they narrowly missed both a cyclone and devastating bush fires.  Then it was on to Cairns, where they ran smack into Category 5 Cyclone Yasi.  The Svanstroms were evacuated from their hotel to a nearby shopping mall where they had to wait for the storm to pass.

As the Svanstroms were leaving Australia for New Zealand, another near miss.  This time, just before their flight took off, an earthquake struck Christchurch, their destination.  The couple had to detour to Auckland and drive the rest of the way.  Their view of Christchurch was confined to the airport.  The roads to the city center were impassable.

In all they've traveled to 16 countries together.  And perhaps it's their sense of adventure that kept them going forward with their itinerary, instead of catching the next flight back to Stockholm as their worried relatives requested.  But turning back was a thought they said they never considered.

By far the worst part of the trip was the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.  The couple was eating lunch with their baby in Tokyo when they felt the ground shake.

Eventually the Svanstroms and their baby made their way to China where they spent an uneventful few weeks before flying home. Since then they have had a chance to reflect on their journey.

But the bad luck isn't quite over yet.  On her way home from work this week, Erika Svanstrom's commuter train got stuck -- the result of a storm in Stockholm. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Australia: Cleanup Underway After Devastating Floods

Photo Courtesy - TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images(QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- The cleanup from massive flooding in some areas of Australia's storm-battered northeast is beginning even as some communities remain isolated by high water.

At least 27 people have died during three weeks of flooding. Fourteen remain unaccounted for.

Dealing with all the mud left behind is expected to take months. Reconstruction could take years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Brazil Flooding: Death Toll Continues to Rise

Photo Courtesy - Vanderlei Almeida/ AFP/Getty Images(TERESOPOLIS, Brazil) -- Heavy rains have triggered flooding and mudslides in Brazil, killing hundreds of people in the southeastern part of the country.

At least 600 have died and many more are missing.

Rescue crews continue to search for survivors, but Rio de Janeiro Deputy-Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao said this week that greater resources would be needed in the region.

More rain was forecast to fall through the weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sri Lanka on the Verge of Food Crisis after Floods

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka) -- Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered an emergency national plan in anticipation of an approaching food crisis resulting from floods and hazardous, unseasonal weather patterns.  Rajapaksa also warns that a global food crisis may be in the near future, due to rising agricultural prices.

The country currently faces a 20 percent loss of its harvest from torrential rains, reports the Financial Times

Unusual weather could also jeopardize the country's tourism with record low temperatures dropping to to just 18.8 degrees Thursday in Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city.  These temperatures mark the city's coldest days in 61 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US to Provide Additional $90 Million to Aid Pakistani Flood Victims

Photo Courtesy - United States Army(ROME) -- The U.S. government on Monday announced that it will give an additional $90 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Pakistan to help the millions of flood-affected people living there.  The government plans to make the contribution through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The United States has been able to use both in-kind food assistance and local procurement in this response demonstrating how our new flexibility allow us to ensure aid is delivered in a way that supports a faster recovery,” explained USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg at the WFP Executive Board Meeting in Rome.

To date, more than $227 million in emergency food assistance has been contributed by the United States to Pakistanis affected by floods.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio