Mudslides in California kill 13

BBC informed that mudslides due to heavy rains and flooding kill 13 people in California, USA. 163 people have been hospitalized. 20 complained of storm-related injuries, while four others were critically wounded. 300 people have been trapped at Romero Canyon in Santa Barbara.

Police sources described the scene as a First World War battlefield. “This has weakened the foundation of houses and caused major property devastation due to the mudflow,” mentioned Mike Eliason, a spokesman at County fire department in Santa Barbara.

CNN reported that 101 freeways in Santa Barbara and Montecito will be closed in the next 48 hours as a safety measure. Mandatory evacuations for 26,000 have been conducted in Goleta, Carpentaria, Montecito and other parts of the region. The area was also affected recently by Thomas Fire, a wildfire. Gina De Pinto, a spokeswoman for the country mentioned.

A 14-year-old girl was rescued from her Montecito home by firefighters. She was trapped for hours around wooden debris. It is impossible to trace any roads or housing in the locality due to the mud and debris. The storm happened around 3 am early morning. The sheriff received 600 rescue plea telephone calls from the area.

Sources – BBC, CNN

Mexico struck by second earthquake, more than 200 killed

A massive earthquake reportedly hit Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, killing an estimated 216 people. The casualties were revised to 248 later as fresh reports arrived.The tremors shook Mexico City and the neighbouring states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos. Scores of people were killed and left trapped beneath buildings, including a school that collapsed in the capital city.

The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.1 with its epicenter at a distance of 2.8 miles from San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles in the southwest direction of Puebla. Just in the previous week, tremors of 8.1 magnitude had struck the southern coastline of Mexico leaving 90 dead in its wake. Soon after the quake was felt, thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians, many of whom were college students rushed to save people stuck in emergency situations, buried under heaps of the rubble. People ran onto the roads as buildings fell, glasses shattered and gas leaks left strange smells in the air. In several portions of the worst-hit parts, you could see the damage almost immediately as was in the case of the airport.
The date of this earthquake falls on the anniversary of another great disaster from the past. On September 19th, 1985 when another earthquake of 8.0 magnitude had hit Mexico killing 9,500 people in the vicinity of Mexico City. The quake had led the country to incorporate several preventive changes and mitigation measures.
President Enrique Pena Nieto issued a statement declaring that the country was facing another emergency on a national level.

Myanmar faces ‘Big Disaster’

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President of Myanmar, Thien Sein has declared a state of emergency in four territories of Myanmar after massive floods killed 27 people. The heavy downpour has left major parts of the country under tension. The regions of Chin, Magwe, Sagaing and Rakhine have been most affected. Heavy storms and rainfall were experiences for the past few weeks but Cyclone Komen in particular added to the damage. Director of Disaster Management and Myanmar’s Red Cross have concluded that the country is facing a “big disaster” and predicted that ponderous rainfalls shall continue in the coming days.

Assistance groups have been struggling to send aid groups to fourteen major affected areas during the floods. More than half million acres of agricultural fields have been drastically flooded as reported by the Agriculture and Irrigation Department of Myanmar. UN is also trying to send emergency teams loaded with food and drinking water and to create shelter homes.

People in huge numbers are seeking shelter in Monasteries. There have also been reports that the Rohingya Muslims who are a minority in the region were not granted shelters in Rakhine state. The UN denies the fact stating that 140,000 people have been living under shelter camps and majority of them are Rohingya Muslims in Sittwe. Local news dailies say that under the prevalent situation it would be difficult for Myanmar to return back to normal.


Gujarat’s Amreli reeling under worst floods in 90 years

Floods in Amreli PC:
Floods in Amreli

Gujarat, June 26: In what is being described by the local seniors citizens as the worst-ever flood in 90 years, Gujarat’s Amreli district has already accounted for 26 casualties out of approximately 70 in the state as a result of incessant rainfall over the past few days.

Despite the launch of a large-scale rescue operation in the district by the Indian Air Force (IAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and the state government, the situation still remains bleak with massive crop and livestock  damage, further worsened by a break- down of the transport and communications system.

Bhadresh Vamja, the sarpanch of Sadli village was quoted by TOI, saying “Many farmers may never be able to sow again as flash floods have resulted in massive soil erosion.” With a large chunk of the 5.30 lakh hectares of cultivable land washed away, Babu Sojitra from Bavadi village said, “With farms washed away and cattle dead, there is nothing that farmers can fall back on for livelihood.”

To further complicate the situation, several lions have been displaced from their areas of habitation, leading to attacks on several locals living in the vicinity.Though the chief minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel has announced financial compensation for those affected, any tangible improvement in the situation seems to be a long drawn process. Echoing the general air of despondency, officials say that it will take at least 20 days for the situation to normalise.

Sources: Times of India:


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