Australia TILTING: Heavy flooding that struck Australia's Northern Territories!!! Train has derailed due flood!

Flooding that struck Australia's Northern Territories.


Australia TILTING & BACKWASHING :

/ FEAR: An aerial photo of the submerged town of Chinchilla. Reader picture supplied by Kay Ainsworth.The small Western Downs town, 90km west of Dalby, was flooded twice in three weeks last summer and, with the ground still water-logged and the rivers full, locals fear any more solid rain will push them to the brink of more flooding! /

/ A freight train has derailed during heavy flooding in Australia's Northern Territory. Source/

/ Hundreds marooned in north Australian floods Source /

Philippines SINKING:

/ Floods sweep more areas in Visayas, Mindanao!!

In Oriental Mindoro knee-deep floodwaters swept the villages of Nag-Iba 1 and 2, Andres Ilagan, Buhangin and Pinagsabangan in Najuan town.

At least 400 families were forced to evacuate from waist-deep floodwaters that swept on Tuesday night in Consolacion town in Cebu, particularly in Sitio Laray, Barangay Pitogo and Barangay Cansaga. /

/ Residents of 3 towns and a city in Agusan del Sur are being evacuated Monday night because of floods. /

/ 400 families displaced by floods in Cebu /

/ Families evacuated in new Vis-Min flooding /

/ Ankle- to knee-deep water has flooded major streets in Surigao City. The flooded areas included portions of San Nicolas, Navarro, Borromeo, Rizal, Narciso Streets, as well as Barangays Luna, Togbongon and Rizal, according to the CDRRMC. The water level at the Surigao River could rise by 1.9 meter tonight due to high tide, Pagasa said. Water that overflowed from the river washed away newly planted rice and other crops. /

/ Some parts of the province of Cebu are already sinking /

Thailand SINKING:

Sunda plate tsunami:

/ High waves continue pounding the Gulf of Thailand coastline for the second day ravaging many seaside provinces in southern Thailand. Big waves as high as five meters ravaged houses and roads and uprooted tree on Sunday, causing panic among residents who say the waves are the highest in decades /

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/ Bangkok -  It also suffers from severe subsidence /

Indonesia SINKING:
/ Pontianak Kapoeas tides inundated several low-lying still "Although the flood water Kapoeas today about 10 centimeters lower than the previous day, but the tide still came into our house as high as 20 centimeters,"Source /

Sunda plate tsunami:

/ At least 14 units of houses Pusong Lama, District Banda Sakti, Pemko Lhokseumawe severely damaged a large wave hit. As a result of more than 50 residents have been displaced because their homes on Monday (26/12). Source /

Vietnam SINKING:

Sunpa plate tsunami

/ The same day, a tidal wave overtopping dikes defense of Hiep Thanh, threatening hundreds of homes and large areas of crops, shrimp farming. In the afternoon, while the local forces reinforced how crucial dikes broke in two days in three communes Truong Long Hoa, Dan Thanh, Hiep Thanh sea dikes in the village of Ho Bin and the ship (Dong customs) occurring severe erosion, water backs up into 250 ha of crops flooded. /

Malaysia SINKING:

/ Some 1,000 residents of Kampung Sebuyau at the mouth of the Batang Lupar here are fearing for their safety after a one-kilometre long wavebreaker cracked following the phenomenon of high tide and strong waves the last two days. Kampung Sebuyau Baru chief Sapiee Wasli, when met by Bernama, said as a result of the crack, seawater spilled into Kampung Sebuyau and inundated the Sebuyau market, a Giatmara centre and two primary schools. Source/


Philippines:

400 families displaced by floods in Cebu

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – About 400 families were displaced as flood waters hit a village in Cebu past midnight Tuesday.

Residents of Barangays Cansaga, Pitogo and Nangka in the town of Consolacion fled their homes at around 1 a.m. after water from an overflowing Cansaga River threatened their area.

The displaced residents sought temporary shelter at a barrio hall, a day care center and a chapel. No one was reported injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, residents living near the Mahiga Creek were advised to watch out for possible flooding brought by heavy rains.

A.S Fortuna Street in Barangay Banilad, Mandaue City was rendered impassable due to flooding.

Weather bureau PAGASA on Monday said a low pressure area (LPA) is lying over Mindanao and Visayas.

PAGASA said as of 2 a.m. Tuesday, the LPA was 60 kilometers southeast of Zamboanga City.

It added the tail-end of the cold front was expected to dump rains over the Visayas region. – with a report from Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/12/27/11/400-families-dis...

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Floods hit Agusan del Sur

MANILA, Philippines - Residents of 3 towns and a city in Agusan del Sur are being evacuated Monday night because of floods.

ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao's Primy Cane said the mayor of Bayugan City has ordered a forced evacuation of villagers in barangay Tanglawan because of rising floodwaters.

Some residents, however, are resisting police.

Floods also hit Rosario town, as well as Bahbah in the municipality of Prosperidad.

State weather bureau PAGASA said areas in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur are also flooded.

Over 100 families have been evacuated from 3 barangays in the town.

Agusan del Sur provincial government said it is prepared for massive flooding, with rubber boats and quick response teams ready at each municipality.

Floods have also hit parts of Barobo and Brgy Bigaan of Hinatuan, Surigao del Surm according to PAGASA.

In a weather advisory issued 8 p.m., the weather bureau said rains in the southern Philippines are caused by a low pressure area southwest of Cotabato City.

The tail-end of a cold front is also affecting the Visayas, it added.

The weather bureau said the 2 weather systems will cause rains over Cebu, Bohol, Negros Provinces, Camiguin, and the eastern section of Mindanao especially Surigao provinces, Misamis provinces, Agusan provinces, Davao provinces including Compostela Valley.

The rains may trigger flashfloods and landslides, it added.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) has issued flood advisories for Regions 6 to 13 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao because of moderate to heavy rains in the areas.

PAGASA said for the past 6 hours, heavy rains were observed in eastern Mindanao especially in San Francisco in Agusan Del Sur, Hinatuan, and Surigao City.

"Residents living along the river banks and low lying areas and near mountain slopes are advised to be alert for floodings and landslides. The disaster coordinating councils are advised to take necessary and appropriate actions," it said.

A Google crisis map on the Sendong disaster has predicted floods in parts of Mindanao and the Visayas because of heavy rains in the regions. - with reports from Primy Cane, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/12/26/11/floods-hit-agusa...

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Floods sweep more areas in Visayas, Mindanao

RECOVERY teams have found 1,453 bodies, all victims of Tropical Storm Sendong, from the Cagayan de Oro and Iligan areas.

This was reported on Tuesday by Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“We’re not really sure how many more were missing, over a thousand or so maybe. We will not stop from searching; we will do everything in the best of our abilities to help ease the pain of the grieving families looking for their loved ones,” he said.

The number of evacuees is rising, meanwhile, as more floods swept several areas in the Visayas and Mindanao brought about by a low pressure area (LPA), added Ramos.

He said the most affected areas are the Caraga region, particularly Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte, and also Cebu and Leyte, some areas in Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte, Oriental Mindoro and Dinagat.

“In this new flooding, we have zero-casualty so far because our local disaster offices in tandem with the local officials were able to implement pre-emptive evacuations,” Ramos told the BusinessMirror.

“As long as the weather remain bad owing to the low pressure area, the Red Status stays in all places affected by the flood-inducing rains,” he said.

In Oriental Mindoro knee-deep floodwaters swept the villages of Nag-Iba 1 and 2, Andres Ilagan, Buhangin and Pinagsabangan in Najuan town.

At least 400 families were forced to evacuate from waist-deep floodwaters that swept on Tuesday night in Consolacion town in Cebu, particularly in Sitio Laray, Barangay Pitogo and Barangay Cansaga.

The barangays of Umapad, Banilad and Paknaan in Mandaue City were likewise swept by floods.

In Leyte hundreds of people evacuated to safer grounds following the rise to waist-deep of floodwaters that swept the barangays of Tacuranga, Cogon and Cangumbang in Palo town. Rescue teams rushed to the adjacent barangay of San Antonio.

At least 74 families or 275 individuals evacuated in Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte, before knee-deep floodwaters entered their houses.

“In Julia, Leyte, the boundary of Barangay Bonifacio and District I was inundated. More and more families were leaving their homes for the evacuation centers,” said Ramos.

In Surigao del Norte, Dinagat and Agusan del Sur, a total of 447 families or 1,896 individuals have already taken refuge in evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, Ramos said an undetermined number of people were rescued off Cuyo, Palawan, after their motorized boat capsized owing to the inclement weather.

A storm surge occurred in the coastal barangays of Bagatabao, Bagamanoc, Catanduanes, on December 25 that partially destroyed 20 houses that affected 23 families or 46 people and swept at least two hectares of ricefield.

In Valencia City, Bukidnon, 336 families or around 1,386 persons were rescued off the top of their flooded homes following the overflowing of the Pulangi River.

Maj. Eugene Julio Osias IV, spokesman for the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, said three Air Force helicopters continue to airlift residents trapped in their houses, as of press time.

The evacuation started at about 2:30 p.m.

http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/nation/21233-floods-sweep-more-ar...

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Families evacuated in new Vis-Min flooding
MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains from a low pressure area (LPA) and the tail-end of a cold front caused new flooding in parts of Mindanao and the Visayas and prompted authorities to evacuate over 4,000 families in low-lying and coastal areas, preventing any loss of lives.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Benito Ramos said that unlike the devastating flash floods caused by tropical storm “Sendong” in northern Mindanao last December 17 which killed 1,249 people, no fatality was reported in the latest flooding.

Ramos said intermittent rains on Monday flooded parts of Cebu and Leyte provinces, as well as in Caraga region, particularly Bukidnon where 47 people died from the devastation of Sendong.

In Valencia City, over 300 persons were trapped Tuesday morning by a flash flood after Bukidnon’s largest river, the Pulangi, overflowed and breached the main irrigation canal.

Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan said the two areas worst-hit in Valencia were Barangays Batangan, Kahapunan, and Mabuhay where Huey helicopters plucked people from rooftops.

Superintendent Canilo Fuentes, deputy director of the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office (PPO), said 16 houses were swept away by raging floods, adding more than 1,000 families were rescued by government disaster response and rescue teams (DRRT).

Major Eugenio Julio Osias IV, 4th Infantry Division (4ID) spokesman, said that as of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Army troopers had evacuated 336 families or 1,386 people from Barangay Batangan.

Osias said a contingent from the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion, together with DRRTs from Valencia City, immediately conducted rescue operations as the Pulangi River swelled around 6 a.m.

“AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) rescue operations (are) ongoing. Choppers were flown to airlift survivors on rooftops,” said AFP-Eastern Mindanao Command Spokesman Leopoldo R. Galon.

Because of the latest flooding, Ramos had to leave Iligan City and supervise search and retrieval operations in Caraga region (Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Dinagat).

The NDRRMC also reported that flooding hit several villages in Cebu province and Guinsaugon in Southern Leyte, prompting authorities to evacuate more than 100 families in low-lying and landslide-prone areas.

Several domestic flights were also cancelled Tuesday as a result of the weather disturbance.

As of noon Tuesday, Ramos said the weather condition in the region had improved and the situation was returning to normal.

He said the 4,000 families forced to evacuate can already return to their respective homes.

Earlier, as residents were being evacuated, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck around 4:34 a.m.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD-Caraga Region 13) said no casualty or damage was reported as a result of the tremor which was felt at Intensity 3 in Tandag and Intensity 2 in Socorro, Surigao del Norte.

In another development, Ramos expressed concern over the psychological consequences for survivors of the Sendong tragedy.

“There has been a big psychological effect on the victims,” said Ramos.

This, as he cited at least eight cases wherein the survivor would just sit and stare blankly, and is incoherent with his answers when being interviewed.

“We have psychologists onsite in cooperation with the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and the church. They talk to the victims,” said Ramos. “Just imagine some of them have lost their entire families. There are those totally left alone. They’re in shock,” he said.

DSWD 6 Regional Director Minda Brigoli said a team of counselors from Western Visayas are on standby in case more typhoon victims in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, and Bukidnon need counseling after having survived the terrifying flash floods.

An existing joint program on post-traumatic stress known as Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISD) is spearheaded by the DSWD and Department of Health (DoH), Brigoli said.

CISD is designed to control or lessen traumatic experiences of victims or survivors, which may later have a negative impact in their lives.

Meanwhile, the DSWD has turned over a total of P7.3 million to the Department of National Defense (DND) through its National Development Support Command (NADESCOM) for the construction of bunkhouses for families displaced in Cagayan de Oro City.

DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said 10 bunkhouses are expected to be constructed by the end of the year. Each bunkhouse will have 12 rooms with one family per room.

A four-member delegation from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is now in Cagayan de Oro to assess the devastation wrought by the storm.

The team will look into how member-states could extend assistance to the affected communities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The delegation is headed by Director Fuad Ali Al-Maznaee of the OIC Humanitarian Affairs Department and includes Ibrahim Abdulla al-Khuzayem, Executive Director of the OIC Islamic Solidarity Fund; Saif Taher, Director for Muslim Communities and Minorities; and Abdoulaye Kebe of the Humanitarian Affairs Department..

The Philippine Navy sent off another ship to deliver tons of relief goods and 409 shelter boxes to evacuation centers in devastated areas, said Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay.

Following the completion of loading operations for Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Bacolod City (LC550) late Monday night, the ship left Tuesday morning, said Tonsay.

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) will continue to treat more survivors through its medical mission “Oplan Doc Santa” on December 30 in Dumaguete City.

Dr. Mike Aragon, PMA spokesman, said the doctors will be grouped into small teams and visit pre-identified barangays in the city.

The PMA’s Oplan Doc Santa in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan over the weekend covered nearly 2,000 residents displaced by Sendong.

Aragon said evacuees were suffering mostly from upper respiratory tract infections, skin infections and wounds and water-borne diseases.

Banco de Oro also conducted simultaneous relief operations in the two hardest-hit cities, distributing a total of 7,000 bags of relief goods containing largely food stuff, water and toiletries.

Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil sent a message of condolences to President Aquino on the loss of lives and destruction wrought by the storm.

The State of Israel, through its Embassy in Manila, also sent its condolences and donated P700,000 for the benefit of those currently recovering in evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, Malacañang admitted that it overlooked the warning raised by environment activists of looming natural disasters in the country when President Aquino assumed office.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said it is only now that it is looking at the hazard areas and addressing the situation. (With reports from Mick Basa, Mike U. Crismundo, Anjo Perez, Ellalyn B. De Vera, Tara Yap, Edd K. Usman, Roy C. Mabasa, and JC Bello Ruiz)

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/346235/families-evacuated-new-vismin-...

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Christmas after the storm

THE outpouring of support and financial assistance that engulfed Typhoon Sendong’s  victims in Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and other areas in Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao is a beautiful reminder of the true spirit of Christmas.

It was heartwarming to witness the generosity of the Filipino spirit as volunteers­—young and old, rich and poor—pitched in to help provide the basic necessities, such as water, food, clothing, blankets and medicines to the huddled masses in evacuation centers.

Hopefully, those grappling with the devastating effects of the killer storm, which hit so close to Christmas Day, can find meaning in the kindness of these strangers. It was touching to see our kababayan share their precious time and material possessions to help ease the suffering of those who had lost so much.

The pain of bereavement during this Yuletide season, traditionally a time for merrymaking and feasting, is one of life’s great ironies. It gives us pause to ponder what could have been done to prevent the loss of lives and property on such a massive scale.

Did those who were roused in the dead of the night to find floodwaters raging around their homes have enough information and warning about the gravity of the typhoon that was about to hit? Or had they been lulled into a false sense of security by the very people who had sworn to protect them?

In our radio program Karambola sa dwIZ, former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, said that when he was mayor of Cagayan de Oro City decades ago, he warned that there were areas in the city that were vulnerable to heavy flooding and landslides. Apparently, these warnings went unheeded. For one, it was rare for the province to be visited by a typhoon.

However, there has been alarming change in weather patterns in recent years. This has been attributed to the effects of global warming and climate change. Sea levels worldwide have risen by 1 meter, and some parts of the province of Cebu are already sinking. Were our local and national leaders blissfully unaware of such developments on the global stage?

Sadly, all these finger-pointing and blame-throwing are now water under the bridge. The only thing we can do now is to prepare for the next tropical storm that is sure to strike due to La Niña.

Meteorologists and scientists predict that heavy rainfall and condensation brought by La Niña will last until February 2012. They warn people that certain areas in the eastern seaboard are extremely vulnerable, particularly the provinces of Bicol, Catanduanes, Samar and Leyte.

Other provinces facing the Pacific side are likewise, susceptible to being inundated by flash floods as a result of heavy rains.

The onset of the Amihan season by the early part of next year is going to exacerbate the situation, and it’s likely that we shall see another storm of the magnitude of Sendong in the next few months. Thus, it would be prudent for our leaders to be vigilant against the coming of another super-typhoon and to be prepared.

Given the preponderance of this crisis mode, our leaders should act as if this were the new normal instead of being caught flat-footed every time. What exactly is the mandate of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)?

We only see NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos, a retired general, on TV after a disaster has  struck. Whatever happened to the “risk reduction” component of his office? We hope the agency can be more proactive and not always reactive in helping our countrymen. Is it also true that the budget provisions for disaster preparedness passed by Congress last year was vetoed by President Aquino?

It takes a village to repair the damage and destruction wreaked by a calamitous storm. This we have seen from video footage of people helping each other rebuild their homes and lives.

In the same manner, it will take a closely interlinked web of local and national government agencies to prevent such a massive loss of lives and property from occurring in the first place. Good planning, political will, and proper coordination among these agencies are the key to our very survival.

Otherwise, we will just see a continuing replay of the same scenes of death and desolation. Thousand of families with loved ones who perished. From Typhoons Milenyo, Ondoy, Pepeng, Sendong and the rest of the killer storms that caused billions of pesos in damage to property and agricultural crops.

Not to mention the unquantifiable cost of shattered hopes and dreams of families with young members with so much promise cut down in the prime of their lives.

It is a testament to the resilience of the Filipino people that we see signs of recovery in the areas struck by Typhoon Sendong. Slowly but surely, the victims will rebuild their lives. Our people have gone through so much. But always, we stand up to face the challenge of another day.

Let us hope we all learn from this experience. Christmas after all, is a time to be thankful for all the graces that we have received during the year. Let us count our blessings and place our trust and faith in the Almighty. As we face a new year, let us all look forward to a brighter future for our families and for our country.

Isang Manigong Bagong Taon sa ating lahat!

Ed Javier is a co-host of the daily political commentary program, Karambola sa dwIZ, which airs Mondays to Fridays, from 8 to 10 a.m. On 882 kHz AM radio. Radio station dwIZ is a sister company of the BusinessMirror.

http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/opinion/21182-christmas-after-the...

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Evacuation starts as heavy rains trigger floods, landslides in Surigao

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/26 December) — A heavy downpour since this morning caused by a low pressure area off Northeastern Mindanao forced local authorities in this city and in neighboring Dinagat Islands to sound the alarm and urge residents in flood- and landslide-prone areas to evacuate.

Local disaster management councils have already reported the occurrence of flashfloods and landslides due to heavy rains that started at dawn today.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in Surigao del Norte has declared an alert level one for the entire province as well as in Dinagat Islands, where landslides have occurred.

In Surigao City, some 100 passengers were stranded at the local airport after their flights were canceled. Incoming flights from Cebu and Manila were diverted because of zero visibility, officials said.

The city’s water utility also cut off supply to some 18,500 concessionaires temporarily because of turbidity, which usually happens during heavy downpours.

Acting City Mayor Danilo Menor convened the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) and urged residents to vacate flood- and landslide-prone areas.

Pagasa attributed the heavy rains to the Low Pressure Area located 30 kilometers West-Northeast of Butuan City, which was spotted early today. It said that from 11 milliliters, rainwater rose to 93.0 milliliter as of 1 p.m. today.

Ankle- to knee-deep water has flooded major streets in Surigao City. The flooded areas included portions of San Nicolas, Navarro, Borromeo, Rizal, Narciso Streets, as well as Barangays Luna, Togbongon and Rizal, according to the CDRRMC.

Officials told the residents of landslide-prone areas in Sitio Pag-asa in Barangay Washington and in Barangay Taft to leave their homes. Some residents have arrived in evacuation centers, the CDRRMC said.

The water level at the Surigao River could rise by 1.9 meter tonight due to high tide, Pagasa said. Water that overflowed from the river washed away newly planted rice and other crops.

Barangays Togbongon, Mat-I, Rizal, Serna, Poctoy, Bonifacio, San Juan and Washington were already flooded.

City Information Office Annette Villaces said the city will give food assistance in evacuation centers tonight.

Councilor Baltazar Abian, who was soaked with water, convinced residents in Sitio Pag-asa and hilly portions to vacate their homes.

“We aim for zero casualty and we ask everyone to leave as early as possible,” he said.

In Dinagat where it has rained since Sunday night, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) chair Benglen Ecleo called on residents to go to evacuation centers.

He advised those living in low-lying and landslide-prone areas to take extra precautionary measures.

Around 2 p.m. today, a landslide occurred in Barangay Pantinople in Basilisa town along the national highway.

Personnel from the Provincial Engineering Office were on their way to conduct a clearing operation.

Meanwhile, the detour road near the unfinished steel bridge on Jubgan River in San Francisco town in Surigao del Norte has become impassable due to waist-deep floodwaters leaving several commuters stranded, said Arnel Amalia, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator of Malimono. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)

http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2011/12/26/evacuation-starts-a...

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Thailand:

Met warns of more violent seas in South

The eastern coast of Thailand will likely face three to four more rounds of high and violent waves over the next few months, according to the Meteorological Department.

Waves of up to five metres in height have been lashing many southern provinces since Sunday.

"It's the monsoon surge," the department's deputy director-general, Somchai Baimuang, said yesterday, "The phenomenon will recur three to four more times before the end of February."

In the wake of threatened ongoing big waves, evacuations were needed in some areas and many locals were panicked about the possibility of a tsunami and storm surge.

An unprecedented tsunami disaster ravaged six southern provinces on December 26, 2004.

Smith Dhammasaroj, a former chief of the Meteorological Department, reportedly described the high waves in the South as a result of "storm surge" that then triggered even wider panic.

"That's not true," said Assoc Prof Dr Thanawat Jarupongsakul about Smith's reported comment. Thanawat heads the unit studying disasters and area-oriented information in the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University.

According to this academic, a storm surge will emerge only if a typhoon or a tropical storm strikes.

"But the high waves along the coast of Thailand's South now result from southwest and northeast monsoons," Thanawat said.

He said the waves were higher than before just because of climate change.

"In the past, waves in the Gulf of Thailand were one to three metres high. But the height [now] goes up to around five or six metres," Thanawat said.

He said Malaysia and Indonesia had seen a similar trend.

Like Somchai, Thanawat said the big and strong waves would continue because cold weather was heading to Thailand.

"Follow the weather news and you won't get easily panicked," Thanawat said.

Somchai said when sea conditions are getting rough, the Meteorological Department always issued warnings. Some precautions, however, had proved insufficient.

In Surat Thani's Don Sak district, the high waves swept across the breakwater and damaged the road running along the coastline.

In Chumphon, about 10 tourists were stranded on Pitak Island when waves were too high for them to travel back to the mainland. "The waves were over four metres high," Tambon Bang Nam Jued Administrative Organisation chairman Banyong Intamart said.

Paknam Laungsuan Municipality mayor Winai Anantamek said the waves had already caused more than Bt20 million in damage to local authorities.

In Songkhla, more than 50 locals in Ban Tha Khen yesterday evacuated to a temple after big waves damaged their seaside homes. Songkhla Governor Krissada Boonraj said relief items were already being given to the affected locals.

"We will inspect the damage caused to consider further remedial action," he said.

In Ranong, a storm uprooted many trees and caused a power blackout.

"We have warned people to be extra careful when going out to sea," the province's disaster-prevention and mitigation chief Chasan Kongruang said.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Met-warns-of-more-violent-...

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Strong waves hit several coastal villages in the South of Thailand


THAILAND -- High waves continue pounding the Gulf of Thailand coastline for the second day ravaging many seaside provinces in southern Thailand.

Big waves as high as five meters ravaged houses and roads and uprooted tree on Sunday, causing panic among residents who say the waves are the highest in decades. In Chumphon province, a concrete road along the shore in Hua Lam village is heavily damaged.

Local residents struggled to build barriers to block the strong waves. Waves have caused erosion on other shore. In Prachuap Khiri Khan's Tap Sakae district, parts of a seaside park are washed away. Many houses are at risks of collapsing. Evacuation orders have been issued in many areas, like Nakhon Si Thamarat's fishing villages.

High waves are hammering dozens of houses. In Songkhla's Ranot district, at least 20 families have been taking shelter since Sunday. They are unable to return to their houses that are in hostile condition.

The rare ravaging waves are forecasted to continue for a few more days as people in Thailand are commemorating the great loss in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that devastated the Andaman Sea coast.

People living along the coastline are urged to be on alert and stay abreast of weather news. But no need to panic, some have called, saying the conditions will return to normal in a few days.

http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/221682/226/Strong-waves-hit-severa...

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Thailand seeks flood prevention plan as Bangkok clean-up operation continues

Bangkok floods
A street vendor in flood waters on a street near the Chao Praya river in Bangkok. The Thai capital is recovering from it worst floods in a century. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Now the car parks have been cleared of crocodiles and the store room emptied of cobras, the managers at one of Thailand's biggest electronics companies have begun reclaiming their factory from Bangkok's worst flood in a century and wondering what more they can do to prevent the climate wreaking similar havoc in the future.

Cleaners scrub the floor with chemical cleaning agents, workers rip mouldy tiles from the ceilings and engineers try to salvage what equipment they can at the Hana Microelectronics factory.

Production is expected to resume any day. But it will not be business as usual for many months, if ever. Looming over this clean-up operation – like countless others in homes, businesses and government offices in the Thai capital – is a concern that such disasters will strike with more frequency in the future unless the human flaws and climate risks are addressed more seriously.

"The big question from our customers is: 'Will it flood again?'" said Worawit Sriburanasorn, a senior manager at Hana who fought the waters with diesel pumps and protective walls.

It is a question on many minds as Thai policymakers consider issues that are likely to affect other countries in the future: whether to build stronger defences, move to higher ground or otherwise adapt to the risks posed by political mismanagement and a changing climate.

"We are on the frontline of climate change. As we see rising temperatures, more rain and a higher sea level, Bangkok will be very vulnerable," said Seree Supratid, a professor at Rangsit University and government adviser.

"In the talks in Cancun and Durban, they just talk about reducing greenhouse gases, but the disasters are already here. We should shift the emphasis from mitigation to adaptation."

Almost five months have passed since the flooding began in the northern hills of Thailand and then spread slowly down through the central plains to inundate swaths of Bangkok, killing more than 500 people, affecting 12 million others and disrupting business at some of the planet's biggest industrial parks. The World Bank estimates the damage at 1.4tn baht (£29bn), making it one of the costliest disasters in human history.

The stories from the flood are still emerging. Among the most dramatic is that of Hana Microelectronics, which is a key supplier of sensors and chips for Apple's iPhone and also makes widgets, smart-card readers and touch pads for Samsung, Texas Instruments and Motorola.

When its Ayutthaya plant was deluged, the discovery of two crocodiles in the car park and a cobra in a store room disconcerted the staff, but the potential disruption to production caused global consternation. Apple was so worried that it offered helicopters to airlift the 100m chips inside.

The government dispatched the Thai navy to ferry 450 pieces of heavy machinery to an alternative factory so that manufacturing could resume. Even so, there was a gap of about two weeks.

Richard Han, the chief executive officer, estimated the damage to his plants and equipment at more than $30m (£19m). Lost business could cost three times as much again.

"Most of my customers will come back but they won't bring all their business back," he said. He too will move some production to an expanded operation in China to hedge against future floods.

"One thing we know is that unprecedented weather events are now happening on a regular basis. Add to that gross mismanagement and a lack of infrastructure and it is clear that the government are going to have to prepare better," he said. "My big worry is that insurers may not accept flood insurance any more. That could be a trigger for the Thai government to step in. If not, we'd have to build up reserves and self insure."

Elsewhere, several districts were still underwater as the end of the year approached. Near Don Muang airport, the motorway resembled a river with trucks, buses and jeeps leaving a wake behind them as they slowly navigated through the water.

On Buddhamonthon Road in West Bangkok, people were camping on bridges with their belongings stacked under tarpaulin. Some had lost everything. Uthai Muangpor was wading in a waist-deep pool that had once been the hospital car park where she ran a grilled banana kiosk. "I'm looking for my stove and pans," she said. "When the flood come, everything I owned floated away. I didn't have any valuables. But now even my clothes and mattress are gone."

The extent to which climate change is to blame is hard to quantify. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says Bangkok is one of the most vulnerable cities in the world because it sits on a flood plain and has been periodically inundated for centuries. It also suffers from severe subsidence and is at long-term risk from rising sea levels.

Scientists estimate that for each degree of warming, the amount of moisture in the air increases by 7%. This year is on course to be the wettest on record, according to the Met Office, which says 1,822mm of rain fell in the first nine months.

But even the most ardent campaigners for climate action acknowledge that the government must take the bulk of the responsibility. "The blame for the floods is 30% with nature and 70% with the mismanagement of the authorities," said Srisuwan Janya, a lawyer and founder of the Stop Global Warming Association. "The government responded too slowly and made errors. It need not have been this bad."

He said upstream dams did not release water early enough in the monsoon season so they had insufficient capacity to contain the huge volumes of rainwater that fell later. One of the three main flood channels running from the north to the south was shut off, adding to the pressure on the remaining two. As the water surged southward, Bangkok found itself more vulnerable than in the past because hundreds of its canals have been blocked up over decades of poorly regulated development. Political leaders then made matters worse by placing too high a priority on the city centre, which was kept dry at the expense of deeper water elsewhere.

The erratic climate may have confused decision makers.

At the start of the year, the primary concern was drought because the dry season in 2010 had been unusually severe. As a result, dam managers retained water in upstream reservoirs even after the first big rainfall in March, which was three times more than the average in northern Thailand. Faced by these extremes, it was difficult for dam managers to make judgments based on previous weather patterns. This is a key lesson of the flood.

"The difficulty of projecting droughts and floods will increase for sure," said Gernot Laganda, a climate specialist at the United Nations Development Program office in Bangkok. "We cannot rely on historic experience in managing these hazards. The world is not the same any more. Just because this is a once-in-a-century flood, we shouldn't assume that there won't be another like it for 100 years."

Faced by an increasingly "vicious interplay of prolonged droughts and fiercer bursts of rain", Laganda says it will be important to build strong monitoring systems and to start building climate flexible systems. Instead of building high walls and river defences today, he says it makes more sense to strengthen the foundations of existing structures so they can be raised as and when risks become more apparent.

The Bangkok governor, Sukhumbhand Paribatra, said the city needed to learn from the disaster. "It's a wake up call. We need to take a hard look at the problems that may arise from climate change and take a long-term perspective on how to deal with them." He has proposed more investment in flood mitigation and prevention, namely construction of more retention ponds, drainage tunnels and pumping stations. "It will cost a lot of money. But I don't think there is any other way unless we change our conceptual approach and allow some areas to be flooded during the flood season."

While a warming planet is part of the backdrop, engineers fear that it may be a distraction from the more pressing concerns of urban planning, erosion and sedimentation.

A debate is under way. Surajit Chirawate, who sits on the senate environment committee, says the government is making a mistake by relying on walls to deal with future floods. He believes Bangkok should be downsized and government offices should be relocated to higher ground. "People should not fight with the water. They should let it through. That is how we dealt with floods in the past. That is why Bangkok has so many canals. But now rich city dwellers are too distant from nature. What they are doing with their flood protection walls is actually increasing the level of the water."

Tension rose along with the water. Amid rumours that powerful politicians protected their own constituencies at the expense of neighbouring districts, several deluged communities turned to protest.

The most dramatic demonstration occurred at Yucharoen village near Don Mueng airport, where local residents furiously tore down a wall of sandbags.

"I was angry because the government did not help us until we protested," said Pattanan Thongsawad, who was among the demonstrators. "I wasn't thinking about fairness. I was only thinking about the people who were suffering."

A water mark is still visible in every home in the neighbourhood. Thongsawad said the village must prepare for similar disasters. "We want more concrete walls all the way around our community. That is the only way I'll feel secure. There will be more rain and more floods and we cannot rely on the government to deal with them."

With politics and climate both looking increasingly unpredictable, many now want more help but do not expect it.

"If it comes again, there is nothing we can do," said Sriburanasorn of Hana. "If every factory had to build its own flood defences, we wouldn't be able to afford to stay in business. The government must do it do restore confidence … I never want to go through that again."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/26/thailand-flood-plan

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Vietnam:

Sea dike breaks in a row in Tra Vinh

Monday, 26/12/2011 23:54
(NLD) - After two days dike break in Duyen Hai District, Tra Vinh, days 26-12, accompanied by tidal waves continue to cause serious sea dike break at this locality.

The same day, a tidal wave overtopping dikes defense of Hiep Thanh, threatening hundreds of homes and large areas of crops, shrimp farming. In the afternoon, while the local forces reinforced how crucial dikes broke in two days in three communes Truong Long Hoa, Dan Thanh, Hiep Thanh sea dikes in the village of Ho Bin and the ship (Dong customs) occurring severe erosion, water backs up into 250 ha of crops flooded.

Mr. Pham Van Re, Duyen Hai district chairman, said initial damage estimates after 3 days of local tides more than 14 billion. DPC is the extent of damage statistics for timely support for people

http://nld.com.vn/20111226115416898p0c1002/vo-de-bien-lien-tiep-o-t...

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Australia:

Flooding fears yet to subside in wet west

FEAR: An aerial photo of the submerged town of Chinchilla. Reader picture supplied by Kay Ainsworth.



AHEAD of the anniversary of the town's devastating floods, the outback community of Chinchilla is nervously looking skywards.

The small Western Downs town, 90km west of Dalby, was flooded twice in three weeks last summer and, with the ground still water-logged and the rivers full, locals fear any more solid rain will push them to the brink of more flooding.

On January 12 last summer, floodwaters peaked at 7.45m - the second-highest in Chinchilla's history.

Seventy-one businesses and more than 50 homes were inundated.

One-time gullies have become soggy swamps and dry creek beds have been raging torrents for 12 months, while the Chinchilla weir has had water gushing over the spillway for months.


The forecast of another wetter-than-average summer has added to the angst.

Jim Strongman, president of the town's community of commerce and industry, said the threat of another major flood was very real.

"It's quite a concern," he said.

"There are pockets of land that used to be bone dry that have had water in them ever since the floods.

"If we get any more really big rain events we might be in for another spook. Would it be as bad as last time? Well that's the $64 million question."

Some Chinchilla properties have been made virtually flood-proof, but for others there is simply not much that can be done.

Justin Byrne had only owned the Club Hotel for four months when the floods arrived, costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Since then he has taken whatever small steps he can to minimise the damage in case of a repeat.

"All the bars are stainless steel now and on the floors we've got either tiles or carpets that can be easily moved out of the way," he said.

However, Mr Strongman said it would take more than floods to crush Chinchilla's spirit.

"The way the community responded last time was just overwhelming," he said. "We had more volunteers than we could use."

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/flooding-fears-yet-to...

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