Boscastle floods – Ten years on

Why did Boscastle flood in 2004?

Good simple explanation video here

Case study overview here 

Met Office overview here

Plus – watch this documentary to find out more about the impacts:

Ten years on

The Boscastle floods. Ten years on BBC article

Watch edition of BBC Spotlight on what has happened over the following ten years

How has the area been managed since? Presentation

Photos: Boscastle floods 2004. Ten years on.

VIDEO – The lessons learned ten years after the Boscastle floods 

Ten years since the Boscastle floods. What, where, why, how?


Typhoon Hagupit – The Philippines

Saturday 06 December 2014

Typhoon Hagupit made landfall in the town of Dolores in the eastern Philippines, on Saturday afternoon (GMT). The storm brought down electricity lines and trees. Hagupit was weaker than originally anticipated, being reduced to a Category 3 storm, two levels below a “super typhoon”

VIDEO – Hagupit comes ashore with winds in excess of 120 km/h.

Images – Over 716,600 were evacuated ahead of the typhoon as of early Saturday evening, local time, according to the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council..


People were moved to higher ground and into more solid buildings such as churches, schools and sports stadiums. Dozens of domestic flights were cancelled and inter-island ferry services were suspended.

Public storm warning signals were applied in a number of provinces amid predictions winds could rip off roofs, cut power and damage buildings. Residents in low-lying areas were warned about possible flash floods and landslides.

Meanwhile, Google established a crisis page for Typhoon Hagupit to allow those in its path to track the storms progress

Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, had maximum sustained winds of 109mph and gusts of 130 mph when it made landfall in Dolores in Eastern Samar province on Saturday evening local time.

Sunday 07 December 2014

The wind strength at landfall made Hagupit the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year.

“Many houses, especially in the coastal areas, were blown away by strong winds,” Stephanie Uy-Tan, the mayor of Catbalogan, a city on Samar, told the AFP news agency. “Trees and power lines were toppled, tin roofs were blown off and there is flooding.”

Hagupit flood

Over 24 hours, the storm brought 396mm of rain, which is equivalent to half a month of precipitation.


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Officials say two people were killed when the eastern provincial city of Borongan was hit by the storm.

Floods and landslides have already been reported in the nation’s central region, while four provinces have declared a state of emergency. Photos – Many remain in evacuation centres.


Monday 08 December 2014

As the typhoon weakened to a tropical storm and headed towards the capital Manilla, many have been preparing to return to their homes after the biggest peacetime evacuation in the countries history.

However, it appears that lessons have been learnt following the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan last year when 7000 people died. Typhoon Hagupit has left around 22 dead.

Many put the reduced death toll down to the mass evacuation ordered by authorities after warnings were issued prior to the typhoons arrival on Saturday. Over one million people were moved to around 1000 emergency shelters across the country.

More details here from BBC News plus additional material here

More details from AJE can be viewed here


Sources and links:
BBC News; CNN; Al Jazeera; Accuweather; BBC Weather; Google; AFP; The Telegraph; The Weather Channel; ABC News; Mail Online; The Guardian

Winter floods in UK 2013-14

24 December 2013

Strong winds and heavy rain has caused much disruption for home-owners and travellers trying to get home for the Christmas break. Rivers, already swollen have been unable to cope in many areas, flooding roads, railway lines, homes and businesses.

VIDEO explanation: Why so stormy?
Source – BBC Weather (24 Dec 2013)
For guidance on how to read synoptic charts like this one above – click here

The Met Office at Boscombe Down, Salisbury Plain, recorded 66.7 mm of rain in the 24 hours from 9 am on the 23 December to 9 am on the 24 December. This is new all time daily record (provisional) in any month for the station – since records began in January 1931.

A Low pressure record breaker:
In Stornoway, in NW Scotland. a pressure reading of 936.4mb was recorded at 12:30 pm on 24th December 2013. This is the lowest recorded anywhere in the UK since December 1886!

Depression – a low pressure weather system
Explainer from the Met Office here:

An additional simplified explanation of the differences between high and low pressure can be found here

Strong winds, floods and fallen trees have been causing chaos for travellers trying to get away for Christmas.
Many major roads were flooded or blocked by fallen trees, with Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussexand Cornwallamong the affected counties.
In Dorset, 30 people trapped in cars by flood water were rescued by fire crews.
In Devon and Cornwall, several properties were flooded, while some homes are without power
In Newton Abbot, Devon, a man died after jumping into the River Lemon to rescue his dog. 
More than 6,000 homes without power in East Anglia, hundreds with no power in Somerset, and 50,000 homes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were cut off.
A man was taken to  hospital after being trapped under a fallen tree in St Martin, in Jersey.
The London Fire Brigade says it received five times the usual number of emergency 999 calls – 853 in total – on Monday night.
The severe weather caused disruption at some airports. At Gatwick, a power cut at the north terminal left several thousand passengers stranded, with delays and 26 flights cancelled.
Network Rail reported that the damage caused by the severe weather was “even more extensive” than that inflicted by St Jude’s storm in October.
As of Tuesday evening, five people had died as a result of poor conditions on the roads or after entering fast-flowing rivers. 
The Environment Agency had almost 370 flood warnings and alerts in force on 24 December.

Source – Environment Agency

Fire crews rescued one adult and three children from a car stuck in floodwater on the A303 in Podimore, near Yeovil, Somerset. Two fire appliances and the rescue tender as well as a specialist rescue team led them to safety using an inflatable powered boat and dry suits. 
Train passengers in Taunton, Somerset, were stranded all night on board their train after the track they were travelling on flooded.
Closer to home: Police in Wiltshire said nine roads had been closed due to flooding, including the A365 near Shurnhold, Melksham, where a number of vehicles were stuck.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said about 12 properties, including shops in the Bath Road area of Bradford-on-Avon, had been affected by flooding and they had closed the town centre bridge – the main route through the town.

Bradford on Avon – 24 December 2013

Chippenham – via Twitter
(unable to find original photo for acknowledgement)

View of the River Avon – Chippenham via @southers81 on Twitter

View across fields near Monkton Park – Chippenham via @adamczuk on Twitter

25 December 2013

About 50,000 homes in southern and eastern England were without power following the huge storms which hit the UKon Monday and Tuesday.

The River Mole in Surrey burst its banks in several areas and an Environment Agency severe flood warning – which means a danger to life – was issued for Leatherhead.

Sainsburys in Tonbridge – Kent

The scene in Guildford as the River Wey flooded

Flooding on the River Medway in Kent

26 December 2013

The Environment Agency and the Met Office have warned of further significant rainfall and flooding in parts of southern Englandwith heavy rain and high winds forecast across the UK on Thursday evening and into Friday morning.
Source – Met Office
Many rivers are still swollen after the storms and ground saturated which led to power cuts and travel delays causing concern that any additional rain will lead to more significant flooding. 
About 1,000 homes in south-east and south-west England have been flooded.

Some 13,000 properties still have no power and engineers say some may not be reconnected until the end of the week.
The Met Office said widespread gales were likely to develop late during Thursday night or in the early hours of Friday morning bringing gusts of more than 50 mph inland and of 70 mph to 80 mph to some coastal areas and high ground.
Pressure chart for 26 December 2013
Source – BBC Weather

Pressure chart for 27 December 2013
Source – BBC Weather

On Thursday morning, the Environment Agency had 83 flood warnings in place,  these were in the south-east (37), south-west (16), and the Midlands(18).

Source – The Environment Agency (26 December 2013)

26 January 2014

Although the floods receded in many areas of the south-west, for some the impacts continued. Read more about the floods on the Somerset levels which continued into 2014 here

BBC News; BBC Weather; Daily Mail; Wiltshire Times; Twitter; The Environment Agency; Channel 4 News; AJEnglish; ITV News; Sky News; The Guardian; The Met Office; theweatheroutlook

Super Typhoon Haiyan strikes the Philippines

Friday 08 November 2013
One of the strongest typhoons ever to hit land has slammed the Philippines, forcing millions to take shelter.

Packing sustained winds of up to 320 km/h (199mph), Typhoon Haiyan has left many dead and destroyed entire towns.

Terrifying wind speeds were greater than those of Hurricane Camille which hit Mississippiin 1969. Gales whipped up 19ft waves which to battered the islands of Leyte and Samar.
The storm ripped apart buildings and triggered landslides as it ploughed across the country’s central islands.
The Philippineshas experienced more than its fair share of super typhoons over the past decade, according to experts. There were at least three of these powerful events in nine of the 10 years between 2002 and 2012.
Read more via BBC News here
Thousands of people were evacuated from villages in the country’s central regions, including a province devastated by an earthquake last month. In the areas directly affected there was no power. People had no water and there has been significant damage to shelters.

There were reports that there were storm surges as high as two storey houses.
More here via ABC News
The humanitarian impact of Super Typhoon Haiyan threatens to be “colossal”, said Patrick Fuller, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

About a million people took shelter in 29 provinces, after President Benigno Aquino appealed to people in Haiyan’s path to leave vulnerable areas, such as river banks, coastal villages and mountain slopes. More via ITV News here

One of the worst storms on record, it destroyed homes, schools and an airport in the eastern city of Tacloban.
Neighbouring Samar island was also badly affected, with reports of 300 people dead and 2,000 missing.
The Philippine government has so far only confirmed the deaths of 151 people throughout the country, but hundreds of thousands have been displaced (Sun 10 2013)
Houses in Tacloban were flattened by the massive storm surge that accompanied Typhoon Haiyan.
There’s no clean water, no electricity and very little food.

City officials said they were struggling to distribute aid and that looting was widespread. The final death toll is expected to be near 10,000
Sunday – The Philippineshas yet to resume communications with officials in Tacloban, a city of about 220,000 that suffered the worst of the typhoon. Reports say the sea flooded the entire city. More here
The head of the UN Disaster Assessment Co-ordination Team, Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, described “destruction on a massive scale” in the city of 220,000 and said: “The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Oceantsunami. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris.” More here

Special Report from BBC News here

The Philippine Red Cross succeeded in getting its assessment team in to Tacloban but had not managed to get its main team of aid workers and equipment to the city, said Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon.
“We really are having access problems,” he said.
The city’s airport was shut to commercial flights, and it would be three days before a land route was open, so organizers were considering chartering a boat for the 1½-to-2-day trip, he said.
“It really is an awful, awful situation.” More details here

Sources: BBC News; BBC Weather; Al Jazeera; ITV News; ABC News; Mail Online; The Guardian; CNN