Dam failures, floods, landslides


FOTCM Member
I've been watching a few recent flood videos on the weather site I frequent and it strikes me that flooding is really seriously catastrophic even if it comes due only to a lot of rain and no particularly devastating storms or other activity. There are so many cities and communities built on waterways, and so many floods of late, it just feels like the planet is trying to wash itself.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
3 May 2019
The global mean sea level currently measures 77 millimeters higher than in 1993 when the satellite sea level record began. According to the Fifth Assessment Report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global mean sea level is expected to continue rising throughout the 21st century. With 126 million Americans—40% of the total population of the United States—living along the coasts, rising seas could cause widespread property and socioeconomic damage in the coming century.

Coastal communities require adaptation and mitigation strategies for both frequent, minor flooding and extreme, high-water events (i.e., major flooding). Yet community responses differ for each type of flooding: Regular low-grade floods inflict chronic, cumulative damages, whereas extreme floods create substantial, acute losses. One challenge of strategic planning is that many statistical models struggle to simultaneously characterize both minor and major flood events resulting from rising sea levels.

To address this challenge, Ghanbari et al. developed a new model to facilitate a nonstationary analysis of coastal flood frequency. The mixture probability model simultaneously evaluates minor and major flooding under higher sea levels. The study incorporated data from 68 tidal monitoring locations around the country to estimate the type and frequency of flooding throughout the contiguous United States for both the present and future. The study also reports on flood exposure for 20 coastal cities.

The authors found that, generally, flood return periods shorten as sea level rises. For example, if sea levels climb by 15.24 centimeters, a 500-year flood will become a 10-year flood along the Pacific coasts. Throughout the country, coastal regions will experience increases in minor and major flood frequency if sea levels continue to rise. If sea levels rise by approximately 61 centimeters, the authors report that the majority of coastal communities will experience major floods multiple times (2–6 days) and more than 150 days of minor flooding per year, unless adaptation and mitigation strategies are adopted to increase flood thresholds in coastal cities.

The study found that not all regions would flood similarly in response to higher sea levels. The Pacific coast would see the most significant amplification in major flood frequency, followed by the southeast Atlantic coastline. The Gulf of Mexico and northeast Atlantic regions, however, would experience more frequency amplification in minor floods. Of the 20 cities the study assessed, the authors found that New York City would experience the highest increase in both minor and major flooding; Miami had the second-highest exposure.

The study represents a new approach for assessing flood risks associated with sea level rise and highlights the importance of planning for both chronic and acute flooding. The results offer actionable information to decision-makers in coastal communities throughout the United States. (Earth’s Future, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF001089, 2019)
—Aaron Sidder, Freelance Writer
Mississippi River to remain out of its banks into at least mid-June in Louisiana
May 11, 2019 6-7 minute read Snip:
Parts of the south-central United States hammered by severe weather and flash flooding this week will face long-term river flooding through the rest of May and even into June.

Southeastern Texas, including the Houston area, was hit hard by a couple rounds of flooding downpours, damaging winds and large hail this week. Ten inches of rain fell in Sugar Land, Texas, on Tuesday alone.

One more round of drenching thunderstorms and torrential downpours will target areas from eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley through Saturday night before dry weather finally returns for Sunday and Monday. Another dry spell is expected later in the new week.

Even with the return of dry weather, the flooding on the Mississippi River will continue to get worse into the middle to latter portion of the month.

“River flooding may continue into June as floodwaters in rivers farther north travel southward and add onto the ongoing flooding along the lower Mississippi River,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

Rathbun added that rain and thunderstorms may return by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and that any additional rainfall during the rest of May will only make the flooding situation worse.

Moderate to major flooding is already occurring along nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River from the Iowa/Illinois border to west of New Orleans, Louisiana.

In addition, flooding is taking place along the Missouri, Sabine, Wabash and White rivers, as well as other creeks and streams in the central and southern United States.



The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Interesting site
https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/ said:
The Global Fatal Landslide Database: full dataset now online

Thanks to the hard work of Dr Melanie Froude, my colleague here at the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield, we have now posted the full Global Fatal Landslide Database online. This is the dataset that underpins our paper of last year (Froude and Petley 2018) that explored the human cost of landslides from 2004 to 2016 inclusive. However, this new version adds a further year of data, covering 2004 to 2017 inclusive.

The dataset can be accessed via an ARCGIS web application, which allows mapping of the dataset at a range of scales. The full dataset looks like this:-

Map of the Global Fatal Landslide Database

Whilst the application allows mapping at the national scale – this is the area around Nepal for example:-

GlobaMap of the Fatal Landslide Database

The Global Fatal Landslide Database: an example of a national level map – the distribution of fatal landslides in the area around Nepal.
And more detailed mapping is also possible – this is the distribution of fatal landslides on the island of Java in Indonesia:-

Global Fatal Landslide Database

An example of a map from the Global Fatal Landslide Database – the distribution of fatal landslides on the island of Java in Indonesia.


Over the last couple of years, Melanie has remapped all of the landslides to verify their locations. In each case a polygon has been constructed that define the area in which we believe that the landslide has occurred. In some cases this polygon defines the landslide itself; in others it defines for example the village in which the landslide happened (where this is the most precise description that we have found). The mapping tool allows you to display this data, or the centroid of the polygon to generate a point.

Melanie has written a guide to the dataset, which can be found here:


This provides full details of the dataset, and of course its limitations.

Perhaps most importantly, the full dataset is now available to download. The manual provides detail of how to do this, via a free public ARCGIS account. We have released the data as an asset for free public use. However, please acknowledge the following open source license and acknowledge the source of the data by citation. The dataset is covered by a University of Sheffield copyright and database rights reserved 2019. For the full license see
Open Government Licence

When using data in a publication, please cite the following reference:

Froude, M. J. and Petley, D. N. 2018. Global fatal landslide occurrence from 2004 to 2016. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 18, 2161-2181, NHESS - Global fatal landslide occurrence from 2004 to 2016.

This paper is open access, so should be accessible to all.

If you are struggling to download the data, it is also temporarily available via a Google Drive folder:-

GFLD Version 2 Public – Google Drive

This contains zipped shape files for each data layer.

Melanie and I hope that you will find both the web app and the dataset to be useful. Putting this dataset together has been a huge piece of work, which I started in September 2002 and continue today (so almost 17 years, and counting), whilst the mapping of the landslides, and the collation of the dataset, has been thousands of hours of work by Melanie. However, we believe that the effort has been worthwhile, and the work will continue for the foreseeable future.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
At least 15 dead as construction site wall collapses in western India
Rescue workers look for survivors among the debris of a collapsed wall of a residential complex in Pune, India, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

At least 15 people were killed, including three children, when a compound wall near a construction site fell on temporary huts of laborers in the western Indian city of Pune following heavy rain, a fire brigade official said on Saturday.

After deadly collapse, Congo vows to remove illegal miners from Glencore concession
FILE PHOTO: The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Congo's interior minister vowed to remove all illegal miners by Sunday from a copper and cobalt mine run by Glencore following a landslide this week that killed at least 43 of them.

Death toll rises at Glencore mine in Congo after collapse
The number of artisanal miners killed by a landslide at a copper and cobalt mine run by Glencore in Congo rose to 43 on Friday and officials said the army would deploy at the mine as the search for more victims continued.

Death toll from flood in Irkutsk region rises to five people - source
Death toll from flood in Irkutsk region rises to five people - source

© Ravil Ahmetov/TASS

June 29, 2019 - Five people died and several were reported missing in the flood in the Irkutsk region, a source in emergency services told TASS on Saturday.

According to the ministry, 351 people suffered, including 33 children, in the flood. 97 injured were taken to hospitals, 251 injured, including 15 children, received ambulatory medical treatment.

Heavy rains caused floods in the Irkutsk region. According to the data received from the local department of the Emergencies Ministry, 4,042 residential buildings with a population of 9,919 people, including more than 2,269 children, were flooded. The floods affected 31 settlements and 17 sections of motor roads. The authorities imposed a state of emergency in the region.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Death toll from floods in Russia's Irkutsk region reaches 14 people
Death toll from floods in Russia's Irkutsk region reaches 14 people

© Kirill Shipitsin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 1, 2019 - The death toll from heavy floods in Russia’s Siberian Irkutsk region has reached 14 people. Thirteen more people are missing, a spokesman for the local emergencies services told TASS on Monday.

"According to preliminary data, 14 people died, 13 more are missing. As many as 153 people, including one child, were hospitalized," he said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said earlier 12 people had died in the floods and nine were missing.

Floods in the Irkutsk region began in late June after torrential rains. A state of emergency was declared in the flood-affected areas. The water level in the river Iya has risen seven meters above the critical mark. As many as 83 settlements in six districts have been affected by the disaster. More than 6,600 residental houses, which accommodate more than 32,000 people, have been flooded. On Sunday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting in the city of Bratsk on the situation in the flooded areas.

Over 2,000 homes flooded in southeast Siberia’s Irkutsk
Over 2,000 homes flooded in southeast Siberia’s Irkutsk

© Press Office of Irkutsk Region Branch of Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations and Disaster Relief/TASS

IRKUTSK, June 28, 2019 - More than 2,300 houses were flooded due to heavy rains in Russia’s southeastern Siberian region of Irkutsk, the regional government said in a statement on Friday.

"As of 7:00 local time (02:00 Moscow time) a total of 2,392 houses, where 5,955 people (1,466 of them children) live, as well as four social infrastructure objects were inundated," the statement reads.

A total of 16 stretches of car roads and 13 bridges were flooded, two of them on the R-255 ‘Siberia’ federal highway.

A state of emergency was declared in the region.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
India is experiencing two extremes - sever drought in some areas and the monsoon rains have drench other areas.

Wall collapses in Mumbai and nearby towns, caused by the worst monsoon rains in a single day in 14 years, killed 30 people on Tuesday and disrupted rail and air traffic, prompting officials to shut schools and offices.

Heavy rains in India kill 30, cripple financial capital
People stand among the debris after a wall collpased on hutments due to heavy rains in Mumbai, India July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Prashant Waydande

People stand among the debris after a wall collpased on hutments due to heavy rains in Mumbai, India July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Prashant Waydande

Financial markets were open in the city of 18 million touted as a potential rival to the Chinese city of Shanghai, but hampered by poor infrastructure like many other Indian cities.

During every monsoon season, which runs from June to September, India experiences fatal incidents of building and wall collapses as rainfall weakens the foundations of poorly-built structures.

Heavy rain brought a wall crashing down on shanties built on a hill slope in Malad, a western suburb of Mumbai, a fire brigade official said, killing 21 people.

Three people died when a school wall collapsed in the city of Kalyan, 42 km (26 miles) north of Mumbai.

In the nearby western city of Pune, six people were killed in a wall collapse on Tuesday, a fire brigade official said, after a similar incident on Saturday killed 15.

Mumbai is looking to turn itself into a global financial hub but large parts of the city struggle to cope with annual monsoon rains, as widespread construction and garbage-clogged drains and waterways make it increasingly vulnerable to chaos.

As much as 375 mm (14.8 inches) of rain fell over 24 hours in some areas of Mumbai, the highest in 14 years, flooding streets and railway tracks, forcing the suspension of some suburban train services which millions of commuters ride to work each day.

“Rain is expected to remain intense even today,” city authorities said on Twitter. “We request you to stay indoors unless there’s an emergency.”

Villagers accuse city of seizing water as drought parches 'India's Detroit'
A man sits on a fishing boat stranded on the bed of dried-up lake in Thiruninravur, India, June 29, 2019. Picture taken June 29, 2019. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar

In the small village of Bangarampettai, 20 miles from India's manufacturing capital Chennai, about 150 people last month "captured" a water tanker, breaking its windscreen and deflating its tires before handing it over to a nearby police station.

People living on the outskirts of this southern Indian metropolis are blocking roads and laying siege to tanker lorries because they fear their water reserves are being sacrificed so city dwellers, businesses and luxury hotels don’t run out.

“Private tankers have fitted more than eight bore wells in our village and are indiscriminately extracting thousands of liters of water every day,” the Bangarampettai villagers wrote in a letter to a government official in the region a day after they stopped the tanker.

Bad water management and a lack of rainfall mean that all four reservoirs that supply Chennai, a carmaking center dubbed “India’s Detroit”, have run virtually dry this summer. That has forced some schools to shut, companies to ask employees to work from home and hotels to ration water for guests.

But the problem is most acute in Chennai, where local tensions have been inflamed by the Tamil Nadu state government tapping wells normally used for agriculture and villagers’ daily needs.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Trump hasn't been able to clean-up D.C. - so Mother Nature decided to give him a helping hand ...

Dangerous flash flooding hits Washington DC during morning commute originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

A dangerous flash flood emergency hit the streets of Washington D.C. during the Monday morning commute.

With three to four inches of heavy rain falling in a short amount of time, the National Weather Service said the area saw significant flash flooding.

The rain left drivers stranded on top of their cars and some metro commuters with water streaming into the station.

PHOTO: Heavy rainfall flooded the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Ave., NW stalling cars in the street, on July 8, 2019, in Washington near the Washington Monument. (Alex Brandon/AP)

PHOTO: Water is flooding into the Virginia Square metro station in Arlington, Va., on July 8, 2019, in this video grab obtained from a social media video. (Hugo Dante/Twitter via Reuters)
PHOTO: Numerous vehicles are submerged on Canal Road near Fletcher's Cove. (Dave Dildine/WTOP/Twitter)

"Travel will be EXTRAORDINARILY dangerous," the National Weather Service warned on Twitter. "Stay out of low areas, if in a low area that may flood, seek higher ground. Stay off the roads if at all possible. This is not the 'usual' flooding."



The Living Force
FOTCM Member
One man's body has been found after a river burst its banks during sudden, torrential rain in the northern Spanish region of Navarra on Monday night, the local government said.

Spanish man dies after being swept away by floods
Locals walk past cars damaged after the river Cidacos burst its banks, causing floods, following hours of intense rain late Monday, in Tafalla, Spain, July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

Locals walk past cars damaged after the river Cidacos burst its banks, causing floods, following hours of intense rain late Monday, in Tafalla, Spain, July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

TAFALLA, Spain - One man’s body has been found after a river burst its banks during sudden, torrential rain in the northern Spanish region of Navarra on Monday night, the local government said.

Footage showed the raging Cidacos river, which surged from 11 centimeters (4.3 inches) to over four meters in a few hours, spilling onto the streets and sweeping away anything that lay in its path.

The storms in Navarra caught the regional government by surprise, with four times as much rain falling than originally forecast and coming just a week after a Europe-wide heat wave that caused two deaths in Spain.

The government of Navarra recommended people stayed in their homes on Tuesday around the worst of the floods as heavy rains continued and surging waters smashed through major highways, dragging cars, tree branches and debris in its wake.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Floods and landslides kill 15 in Nepal, six others missing
Residents walk towards dry ground from a flooded colony in Kathmandu, Nepal July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Residents walk towards dry ground from a flooded colony in Kathmandu, Nepal July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - More than 20 people have been killed or are missing due to landslides and floods as monsoon rains lashed Nepal, the government said on Friday.

Heavy rains since Thursday have hit 20 of Nepal’s 77 districts, in the hills as well as in southern plains.

A Home Ministry statement said 15 people had been killed, while six others were missing and 13 were injured as incessant rains caused landslides and triggered flash floods in rivers originating in the Himalayas.

In the capital, Kathmandu, three members of a family were killed when the wall of their house collapsed.

Television channels showed police evacuating residents from flooded homes in rubber boats in some parts of Kathmandu where roads were flooded. Families carrying their belongings on their heads waded through waist-deep water. “We have evacuated more than 150 people and are on the standby for rescue in different areas,” army spokesman Bigyan Dev Pandey said.

Officials said the Kosi River in eastern Nepal, which flows into the eastern Indian state of Bihar, had risen above the danger mark.

The weather office asked residents to remain alert saying heavy rains were expected to continue through the weekend.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Monsoon Flooding Forces Thousands from Their Homes in Myanmar
Monsoon Flooding Forces Thousands from Their Homes in Myanmar - Other Media news - Tasnim News Agency

July 15, 2019 - Days of heavy monsoon rain and dangerously high river levels in Myanmar have forced more than 18,000 people from their homes and flooded at least one camp for people displaced by recent fighting, authorities and a politician said on Monday.

Monsoon Flooding Forces Thousands from Their Homes in Myanmar

Four towns along the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers were in danger of being inundated as the rivers rose, the Department of Disaster Management said. “We are working together with local authorities helping the people and providing food,” said the department’s director, Phyu Lai Lai Htun.

More people were expected to be forced from their homes on Monday, she said.

Heavy downpours hit the tropical Southeast Asian country during the May-October rainy season, often triggering flooding.

Death toll in Nepal floods rises to 55, thousands displaced
July 14, 2019 - The death toll in Nepal from flash floods and landslides in the past three days rose to 55 on Sunday, with dozens missing and injured, the government said.

Monsoon rains kill 30 people in Nepal, others missing
A man walks past gas cylinders in a flooded colony in Kathmandu, Nepal July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Flash floods and landslides in Nepal triggered by monsoon rains killed 15 people and injured 12 overnight while another 18 have gone missing, officials said on Saturday.

Floods hit western Greece days after deadly storm killed 7
July 14, 2019 - Authorities evacuated dozens of citizens from flooded homes in western Greece on Sunday, a few days after seven people were killed by a violent storm in the north of the country.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Death toll from India, Nepal, Bangladesh floods jumps to over 300
A flood-affected woman wades through flooded area in Jamalpur, Bangladesh July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
A flood-affected woman wades through flooded area in Jamalpur, Bangladesh July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

The death toll from severe flooding in parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh rose to more than 300 on Monday, even as heavy rains are starting to ebb and water levels started to recede in some of the worst-affected areas.

Heavy rains and overflowing rivers swamped vast swathes of eastern India more than week ago, and officials on Monday said so far 102 people have died in Bihar state, 35 more than what the state government had estimated on Thursday.

Torrential rains in Bangladesh killed more than 47 people in the last two weeks and at least 120 are missing and feared dead following severe floods and landslides in mostly mountainous Nepal, authorities from the two countries said. Parts of Pakistan have also been flooded.

In Bangladesh, at least 700,000 people have been displaced. Deaths due to flooding in the region more than doubled in the last five days.

At least five districts in central Bangladesh are at the risk of being flooded, as water levels of two rivers are still rising, an official at the Bangladesh Water Development Board told Reuters.

Authorities are struggling to deliver relief supplies to marooned people. “We have enough relief materials but the main problem is to reach out to the people,” Foyez Ahmed, deputy commissioner of Bangladesh’s Bogra district, said. “We don’t have adequate transport facilities to move to the areas that are deep under water.”

In India’s tea-growing state of Assam, close to the border of Bangladesh, severe flooding has displaced millions of people and killed more than 60, officials have said.

Separately, at least 32 people were killed on Sunday in lightning strikes in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state in the north.

India’s weather office on Monday forecast “extremely heavy” rain in four of the 14 districts of the southern state of Kerala.

Kerala last year faced its worst floods in about a century, with heavy rain and landslides killing nearly 500 people, destroying houses and wiping out farmlands.

Monsoon rains, which deliver 75% of India’s annual rain, have not been evenly distributed. The Himalayan region has received substantially more rain than some of the areas in the plains, where rainfall deficiency has widened to 60%, according to the state-run India Meteorological Department.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Landslide kills 15 in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, authorities say
RABAT July 26, 2019 - A landslide killed 15 people riding in a van in the Atlas Mountains south of Marrakech, local authorities said on Friday.

The landslide, caused by heavy rain, buried the van on Wednesday evening in the area of Asni.

The bodies of 11 women, three men and a child were extracted overnight from the van, authorities said in a statement.

The van was carrying passengers from Casablanca to the village of Taliouine, 670 km south of Rabat, witnesses said.

The landslide created a pile of earth and mud 20 meters high that blocked the mountainous road.
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