This week: Flooding in the aftermath of Typhoon Phailin in India, Typhoon Nari to make landfall in Southeast Asia at Vietnam on Tuesday, the repairs continue in Colorado, more good aerial imagery and comparisons of the flooding, and the challenge of dealing with rivers that have relocated in the Colorado floods.
While typhoon Phailin, which hit the coastal areas of Odisha on Saturday, has weakened considerably, the massive flood that followed the very severe cyclonic storm has left around 200,000 people stranded in four blocks in the state’s Balasore district…
The official death toll owing to Phailin and consequential floods is 21. Ganjam district recorded the highest casualty at nine, followed by three in Puri and two each in Balasore and Nayagarh. One death each was reported in the other affected districts of Bhadrak, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda and Bolangir.
According to official figures, 11.8 million people have been affected by the cyclonic storm and floods in 15,578 villages under 1,924 gram panchayats under 128 blocks. A cultivable area of 437,723 hectares has been affected and 248,822 houses have been damaged.
As shown in the maps, some of the most serious flooding could potentially occur in the state of Bihar, which is some way north of where the cyclone is expected to hit, and even Nepal. It seems Bihar suffers from almost endless flooding, most often as a result of rainfall and from the mountainous region to its north, often swelling many of the state’s 8 major rivers, including the Ganges at Patna. At least 170 people have died as a result of flooding in Bihar in 2013 alone.
Vietnam is evacuating tens of thousands of people in the path of Typhoon Nari, state media said Monday, after the powerful storm left 13 dead in the Philippines.
Nari is expected to slam into central Vietnam on Tuesday morning, after ripping off rooftops, toppling trees and triggering flash floods in the northern Philippines over the weekend.
Construction crews are working through the day and night to rebuild Colorado’s flood-damaged highways. One month after the flooding, the Colorado Department of Transportation says it has reopened 20 flood-damaged highways. Several roadways remain closed…
"As we look longer term and more permanently, we are going to work with river experts to assist us on how do we do these permanent fixes to make things better," CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said.
A number of water providers this week expressed support to get the rivers back to their previous locations, at least in areas where their diversion structures are no longer on the banks of the rivers, and can’t draw water into reservoirs or ditches.
Without moving the rivers back, those water providers would have to build new diversion structures where the river is now located, they said, which could add up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe more.
While there’s much support to get the rivers back to their previous locations, there still are questions about permitting for the river-redirecting endeavors, legal issues, and about who would pay for the projects, among others.