World Indonesia floods, landslides kill at least 29•An aerial view shows a flooded area in Bengkulu Indonesia, April 27, 2019. Picture taken April 27, 2019. Antara Foto/David Muharmansyah/ via REUTERS JAKARTA (Reuters) – Landslides and floods triggered by torrential rain have killed at least 29 people in Indonesia, the disaster agency said on Monday, with thousands taking shelter in evacuation centers amid fears of disease.More than a dozen people were missing after the rain hit the province of Bengkulu, on the southwest side of Sumatra, on Friday and Saturday, the agency said.Hundreds of buildings had been damaged, along with roads and bridges, with two districts cut off by landslides, adding that the floodwater had subsided in some places.
Displaced villagers needed tents, boats, food and water, while heavy equipment was also needed to build temporary bridges.
Authorities have warned of the risk of disease spreading due to the lack of clean water.
(This story corrects spelling of province in paragraph 2)
(Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Nick Macfie)
(Reuters) – Part of downtown Davenport, Iowa, a city of over 100,000 people, was flooded on Tuesday after a temporary levee broke and water from the rising Mississippi River surged in, forcing dozens of people to evacuate.
Up to six-feet (1.8 meters) of water flooded some areas of central Davenport, 80 miles southeast of Cedar Rapids, according to Dave Donovan, Scott County Emergency Management director.
“We’ve probably evacuated 80-100 people total,” said Donovan by phone. „It wasn’t a huge area we were protecting; it’s just a few city blocks.”
The wettest winter on record in the U.S. Midwest has left soils saturated with areas vulnerable to river flooding following rainstorms.
The Mississippi has been rising for weeks near Davenport, inundating areas on its banks and forcing authorities to put up temporary barriers to protect residential areas.
The river is set to rise another seven inches (18 cm) before cresting on Wednesday evening, Donovan said.
The National Weather Service forecast the rise in the level of the Mississippi would reach within a foot of a record high for the Quad Cities, which include Davenport.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Andrew Hay; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Severe storms and tornadoes roared across the South on Tuesday while heavy rain led to flash flooding in the Midwest.
As of late Tuesday, there had been at least seven reports of tornadoes, with damage reported in Agra, Oklahoma, the Storm Prediction Center said. No deaths or injuries had been immediately reported.
Heavy rain in Davenport, Iowa, led a breech of a levee, flooding part of the downtown area, according to WQAD-TV.
The National Weather Service had issued flood warnings for areas directly on either side of the river in 10 states, from Minnesota and Wisconsin south to Louisiana and Mississippi.
„It’s pretty much the entire river, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico,” Mike McClure, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Davenport, Iowa, said Tuesday.
Tornado watches stretched from northeastern Texas to southern Missouri, with 13 million people in the potential path of the dangerous storms.
„Severe thunderstorms are forecast to develop from north-central Texas into central Illinois into tonight,” the National Weather Service said. „These storms will have the potential to bring locally damaging winds, very large hail and tornadoes.”
Eastern portions of Oklahoma were most at risk from the severe weather, the Storm Prediction Center warned.
Heavy rain and flash flooding were also possible from Texas to Michigan.
Meanwhile, in the Rockies, snow was reported on the final day of April in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana.
WATCH: WQAD News 8 is on the scenehttps://wqad.com/2019/04/30/watch-live-levy-breach-downtown-davenport/ …
Watch Live: Floodwater spills into Downtown Davenport amid levee breach
A levy breach has occurred downtown Davenport.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tornadoes, storms, floods wallop South, central U.S.
I Almost Died In An Avalanche
For the past few years, I have been traveling the world, running away from snow and the cold. After one winter in northern Maine in 2011 and waking up mid-spring to three feet of snow, I bought a one-way flight to the Caribbean and hadn’t spent a winter farther north than South Carolina since.
Last fall, while living in Mongolia, I decided I was ready to attempt another real winter and applied to work at the Taos ski resort in New Mexico as a line cook. I had never learned how to ski or snowboard and thought they would be fun new sports to add to my repertoire. What could possibly go wrong?
I loved my job ― the people, the real work I was finally getting back to after years of traveling around the globe and working odd jobs to make just enough money to buy a flight to my next destination. The only problem ― I was too busy working to really get out and enjoy the snow the way everyone else was at the base of the Rockies. Instead, I had to settle for going on long hikes in the deep powder until I finally found the chance to learn how to ski or board. I was planning on working at the resort for a few seasons, so I figured I had plenty of time.
That all changed on March 13. The mountain had been getting heavy and wet snow for two days and that Wednesday was a lighter powder day but with winds gusting at 75 mph. By one o’clock that afternoon, all of the resort’s ski lifts had been closed due to the high winds and the mountain was emptying of people.
Two snowboarders, I learned later, had been frustrated with the weather and lack of accessibility to fresh snow, so they entered private land above the house where I was staying in hopes of getting a few runs in before nightfall. A half mile below them, I had just gotten out of the shower and was laying in bed, reading a book ― basically the safest thing anyone could possibly do in a ski valley.
Suddenly, I heard what sounded like snow falling off of the roof ― only louder. I looked out the window above my bed and saw trees and snow rushing towards me.
And then there was only darkness.
When I regained consciousness, I was buried under eight feet of snow and I had no idea what had happened, where I was or why I was freezing. I literally thought I was dead. I tried moving my body to shift the snow off of me, but all I could move was my left arm from the elbow down.
When I had arrived at the resort, I had learned a lot about snow and avalanches. I learned that when snow settles, it settles like cement and it’s virtually impossible to move out from under it. I also learned what to do if I was ever caught in an avalanche ― spit so you know which way is up, always wear an avalanche beacon so rescue workers can find you, move with the snow and try to cup your mouth to create an air pocket. But because of how I was trapped there wasn’t much I could do. Stuck under the weight of all that snow, I couldn’t think of a worse scenario: I was in my underwear and I couldn’t be sure if anyone even knew where I was when the avalanche struck.
I screamed with everything I had inside of me but I couldn’t breathe deeply enough to make much noise due to the lack of oxygen, my bruised lungs and the crushing weight of snow on me. I knew one of my roommates had also been at home and I hoped he was okay and could help find me. I had to believe he was fine because I didn’t want to imagine him being hurt or killed ― or what would happen to me if he wasn’t OK and wouldn’t be able to save me. I realized it was only a matter of time before I ran out of air and passed out, so I had to do whatever I could to be heard.
I panicked and screamed more and then tried to control my breathing because I knew I was using too much of my precious air supply. I started getting light headed and stopped screaming. I thought of my roommate, knowing he would do anything to get to me but the trauma of seeing me dead might destroy him. I thought of all the things I still wanted to do with my life ― like my plans to hike the Appalachian Trail the following summer and my upcoming trip to a dog sanctuary in Bulgaria. I thought of my family and all of my friends. I knew I was close to losing consciousness and if I didn’t muster the strength to yell one more time, I might never yell again. I yelled and then slipped into a deeper darkness.
I didn’t know it at the time, but eight feet above me, my roommate and a neighbor heard that one scream. A twelve-by-twelve foot room isn’t very big but when it’s filled almost to the top with snow and trees, trying to find a body is a daunting task. Before that scream, they weren’t even sure I was in there.
They dug. They yelled. They hoped. After 10 minutes they found my left arm sticking up straight and the color and limpness of my hand inspired them to dig faster and harder. When they found my head, it was partially covered by a section of my wall and I wasn’t breathing. As they were debating what to do ― how to save me ― I suddenly took one giant breath and they began to dig again. It took another 20 minutes to get me out from under the snow, the bedroom wall and trees that laid across my body.
When I awoke above the snow, I found it odd to be experiencing someone else’s life ― to be in their body while they were being rescued and to know my own body still lay under the snow beneath me. It wasn’t until I was at the hospital that I realized I was me ― that it was my body that had been saved and that I hadn’t died in that avalanche. I had been buried under eight feet of snow and trees and wall for forty minutes and was a frigid 94.5 degrees ― officially in a hypothermic state ― when my rescuers got me into an ambulance.
I know now that if you are buried for less than 18 minutes, you have a 91% chance of survival but it drops to 34% sometime between 19 and 35 minutes. If you’re buried under six feet of snow or more, your chances are almost 0% as it’s unlikely anyone will be able to dig fast enough to get to you before you run out of air or succumb to injuries or hypothermia. These statistics make me realize how lucky I truly am.
It took almost five hours to get my body temperature back up to normal and even now as I’m typing this one month later, I still don’t have proper feeling in some of my fingers. I had a black eye and cuts on my face from where a part of the wall had smashed down on me, which luckily created an air pocket where I could get enough breath to yell. I have a C7 transverse process fracture in my back and torn ligaments that cause two of my vertebrae to slide around. I’m currently wearing a neck brace to help stabilize the area.
It wasn’t until I was at the hospital that I realized I was me — that it was my body that had been saved and that I hadn’t died in that avalanche. I had been buried under eight feet of snow and trees and wall for forty minutes and was a frigid 94.5 degrees when my rescuers got me into an ambulance.
The mental and emotional effects will take longer to heal, but that too will happen. The trauma of waking up in a darkness you didn’t know existed, the feeling of thinking you are dead, the anguish my ill fortune caused my friends and family, the panic attacks ― those feelings are the real mental killer for me.
What if the avalanche had taken out more of our house? What if someone else was injured or buried and they had been saved first? What if my neighbor hadn’t been outside or had waited just one extra minute to call 911? What if my wall hadn’t fallen down, creating the air space? What if my roommate hadn’t been home? What if?
It took 50 people to save my life that day ― an entire community working together to save just one life. A roommate who wouldn’t stop. A neighbor who called 911 and rushed in with a shovel despite her asthma. A cop who didn’t know how to climb over all the snow but refused to let me die. An off-duty rescue worker who was walking by the scene and at first thought it was a domestic violence case. Ski patrol members who had just gotten off their shift and raced over to a house not in their jurisdiction. A mayor of a village with 69 registered voters who helped dig and later searched above the house for more people. A foreign visitor who didn’t fully understand what was being said but understood “Dig!” and did just that. A snowcat operator who drove up my road to help get the ambulance access to my house. Skiers and snowboarders who set aside their differences to save my life.
The love and care from the community and my friends has been overwhelming. In the past I’ve sometimes thought, My life doesn’t matter, I am just a little nobody,and then something like this happens and I realized the impact you can have on strangers just by surviving.
I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to spend another season with snow. I don’t know if I was saved for some specific reason, a life mission. I do know I am not done with my story. I still want to travel, volunteer and work. I want to continue to live my life how I want to live it. I want to live and thanks to so many incredible people, I now have that chance.
Meagan Hunt was raised on the East Coast but has spent the past decade living out of a backpack while traveling the globe. She is a strong advocate for animal rights and volunteers with various shelters and dog sanctuaries around the world. Her two favorite places in the world are New Orleans and Gulbache, Turkey.
The UK government’s official advisor on climate change is to recommend the country reaches net zero on fossil fuel emissions by 2050, but will say Walesshould not have to meet the full target due to its sheep farming industry.
The Climate Change Committee proposals would mean the UK would have the toughest legally binding targets of any leading economy.
The report, which will be released on 2 May, will suggest Scotland can reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, but says by 2050, Wales should target reductions of 95 per cent, according to Bloomberg who said they had spoken to sources familiar with the plans.
Last year the CCC said the number of sheep and cattle in the UK should be reduced by between a fifth and a half as they are the species contributing the most emissions.
The advice said that a 20-50 per cent reduction in beef and lamb pasture could release 3-7 million hectares of grassland from the current 12 million hectares in the UK.
The grassland could then be repurposed to grow forests and biofuels to help soak up CO2.
The advice was not welcomed by farmers, with the NFU saying at the time it did not agree with reducing livestock numbers.
There are more than 10 million sheep in Wales, accounting for almost a third of all sheep in the UK.
However, the NFU recently announced its own 2040 UK net zero emissions target for agriculture.
In a statement it did not mention the need to cut livestock numbers, but Minette Batters, the union’s president said: “Last year’s extreme weather was a stark reminder of the challenges farmers face in maintaining yields and feeding livestock on the frontline of climate change. But not only can agriculture be part of the solution, we can also be a world leader in climate-friendly production.”
She added: “Technology and the bioeconomy present huge opportunities and that is why earlier this year I unveiled an ambitious aspiration for net zero agriculture in the UK by 2040. In order to achieve that, we will need to see the government work with farmers and growers on the new technology and innovation needed to reach this goal.”
The UK’s current goal is to emit 80 per cent less by 2050 than the country did in 1990 – a target the country is already not on track to hit.
The CCC is also understood to be advising the economic outlay to hit net zero will be 1-2 per cent of 2050 gross domestic product, The Financial Times reports.
This is the same percentage estimated a decade ago when the committee first recommended emission reductions of 80 per cent.
Ahead of the report’s release Lord Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, said the falling cost of renewable energy technology would help the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.
“Two things have changed since we passed the Climate Change Act in 2008,” he said.
“One is that it is absolutely clear that the climate is changing and that it is man-made; there is now no legitimate debate about that. The second thing is that the costs of decarbonising have come down, and we have seen falls in the costs of wind, solar and batteries much bigger and faster than anyone expected – 65 per cent for wind, 80 per cent for solar and batteries,” he said.
The release of the report comes during a surge in awareness of the impacts of climate change.
Last week the teenager who kickstarted the school strikes which led to protests round the world, Greta Thunberg, accused the UK of “very creative carbon accounting”.
She pointed out the government’s current claims that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 42 per cent since 1990 was only accurate because it excludes emissions from international aviation, shipping and imports, and said the true figure was closer to a 10 per cent reduction.
Additional pressure from mass protests including occupations in London by the group Extinction Rebellion have also helped move the issue up the political agenda and helped build cross-party support for tackling pollution.
Their actions have won the support of BBC presenter and naturalist Sir David Attenborough who dismissed critics of their tactics as cynics.
Business leaders have also voiced strong support for tackling the problem, but said the government must act to lay a framework which businesses can adhere to.
Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said: “Business is up for the net zero challenge – and many companies have made their own pledges for a net zero target. This is partly driven by public demand for action on climate change. But there are also economic opportunities ahead, and with other countries moving in the same direction there’s clearly a massive opportunity for exports, making net zero an essential part of ‘Brand Britain’ as we move into a new international era.
“But it won’t happen on its own – and in terms of what business needs from government, I would sum it up as ‘certainty, certainty, certainty’. Firstly, signing up to net zero will provide certainty about the destination. Secondly, we need certainty about the policy framework that’s going to get us there – an end to the chopping and changing that we’ve seen in recent years. And finally, political certainty so we don’t have big changes after every general election. It’s heartening therefore to see the strong cross-party consensus on net zero.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will force a vote in parliament on Wednesday to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency.
He said if parliament backed the move and became the first national government to declare a climate emergency it could “trigger a wave of action from governments around the world”.
SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a deadly crane collapse in Seattle (all times local):
The fourth person killed in a construction crane accident in Seattle has been identified as a retired city employee.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday that 71-year-old Alan Justad worked for the city for decades and had served as deputy director of the Department of Planning and Development before he retired in 2014.
She described Justad as „a true public servant.”
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday afternoon confirmed the identities of those killed. They included two ironworkers who were on the crane when it fell, 31-year-old Andrew Yoder and 33-year-old Travis Corbet.
Justad and 19-year-old Seattle Pacific University student Sarah Wong were in cars crushed by the falling crane.
Experts say it appears human error may have caused a crane collapse that killed four people and injured four others in Seattle over the weekend.
Based on videos of the collapse, they say it appears workers who were disassembling the construction crane had removed pins securing the sections of the crane’s mast to each other, and that could explain why the crane toppled in relatively minor wind gusts.
South Carolina crane accident investigator Tom Barth said the only safe way to disassemble a tower crane is to hook up the section being removed to another crane, and then remove the pins from that section only. In this case, he says, it appears the workers removed pins from all of the sections in advance.
The same cause was blamed for a crane collapse that killed two workers in Dallas in 2012.
An Oregon ironworker and former Marine has been identified by a labor union as one of the four people killed when a construction crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend.
Iron Workers Local Union 29 based in Portland, Oregon identified him as Travis Corbet.
His wife Samantha Corbet told Seattle television stations that her husband had served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years before becoming an ironworker.
They married last year and planned to go on their honeymoon in June.
Another ironworker killed in Saturday’s accident was a member of Iron Workers Local 86, based in Seattle.
Officials say the crane was being disassembled when it fell from a building on Google’s new Seattle campus.
It badly damaged the building and struck six cars below.
The ironworkers were in the crane when it fell. The other two people killed were in cars.
The identities of the four people killed when a construction crane fell from a Seattle building are expected to be released Monday.
The King County Medical Examiner’s office said it would release the names of the female and three males who died in the accident Saturday afternoon.
Seattle Pacific University said Sunday a freshman student was among those killed when the crane fell from a building under construction on Google’s new Seattle campus onto Mercer Street.
The university said in a statement that Sarah Wong was a freshman who intended to major in nursing and lived on campus.
The university says Wong was in a car when the crane fell.
College Park (United States) (AFP) – Here’s a hypothetical: a telescope detects an asteroid between 100 and 300 meters in diameter racing through our solar system at 14 kilometers per second, 57 million kilometers from Earth.
Astronomers estimate a one percent risk the space rock will collide with our planet on April 27, 2027. What should we do?
It’s this potentially catastrophic scenario that 300 astronomers, scientists, engineers and emergency experts are applying their collective minds to this week in a Washington suburb, the fourth such international effort since 2013.
„We have to make sure people understand this is not about Hollywood,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as he opened the sixth International Planetary Defense Conference at the University of Maryland’s campus in College Park.
Countries represented include China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia and the United States.
The idea that the planet Earth may one day have to defend itself against an asteroid used to elicit what experts call a „giggle factor.”
But a meteor that blew up in the atmosphere over Russia on February 15, 2013, helped put an end to the sneers.
On that morning, a 65-foot (20-meter) asteroid appear out of nowhere over the southern Urals, exploding 14 miles (23 kilometers) above the town of Chelyabinsk with such force that it shattered the windows of thousands of buildings.
A thousand people were injured by the shards.
But „the positive aspect of Chelyabinsk is that it made the public aware, it made the political decision makers aware,” Detlef Koschny, co-manager of the Planetary Defence Office of the European Space Agency (ESA) told AFP.
– How many? –
Only those asteroids whose orbit around our Sun brings them within 31 million miles of our planet — defined as „near Earth” — are of interest.
Astronomers are finding new ones each day: more than 700 so far this year, for a total of 20,001, said Lindley Johnson of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which was created in 2016.
Among the most risky is a rock named 2000SG344: 165 feet in diameter, with a one in 2,096 chance in striking the Earth within a hundred years, according to the ESA.
The majority are very small, but 942 are more than 0.6 miles across, estimates astronomer Alan Harris.
The scientist told an audience that some large ones are probably still out there: „A fair fraction of the biggest ones are hiding… basically parked behind the Sun.”
They are found mainly by two US telescopes, one in Arizona and the other in Hawaii.
The ESA has built a telescope for this purpose in Spain and is planning others in Chile and Sicily.
Many astronomers are demanding a space telescope because terrestrial telescopes are unable to detect objects on the other side of the Sun.
– Deflecting an asteroid –
This week’s exercise seeks to simulate global response to a catastrophic meteorite. The first step is aiming telescopes at the threat to precisely calculate its speed and trajectory, following rough initial estimates.
Then it boils down to two choices: try to deflect the object, or evacuate.
If it is less than 165 feet, the international consensus is to evacuate the threatened region. According to Koschny, it is possible to predict the country it will strike two weeks ahead. Days away from impact, it can be narrowed down to within hundreds of kilometers.
What about bigger objects? Trying to nuke them to smithereens like in the movie Armageddon would be bad idea, because it could just create smaller but still dangerous pieces.
The plan, instead, is to launch a device toward the asteroid to divert its trajectory — like a cosmic bumper car.
NASA plans to test this idea out on a real asteroid 492 feet across, in 2022, with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.
One issue that remains is politics, says Romana Kofler, of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
„Who would be the decision making authority?” she asked. „The consensus was to leave this aspect out.”
The United Nations Security Council would likely be convened, but it’s an open question as to whether rich countries would finance an operation if they themselves weren’t in the sights of 2000SG344 or another celestial rock.