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Selected Global Extreme Information

RAPID RESPONSE PROJECT: March 1999 - Last Updated March 31, 1999


(Courtesy of NOAA Office of Global Programs)

*The information provided in the RRP updates is gathered from a variety of wire and news sources as well as country and international agency reports. It does not necessarily reflect the focus or interest of NOAA's Office of Global Programs and is meant only as source of condensed information.

** All products of the RRP are archived at: Rapid Response Project

RAPID RESPONSE PROJECT: The summaries are broken down into weekly reports.

Impacts Reported as of 03/01/99- 03/05/99

BRAZIL (flash floods) 7 people have reportedly died as flash floods affected San Pablo on March 1st. City authorities declared a state of emergency after 120mm of rain fell in less than an hour causing severe flash floods. The Tamanduatei River also flooded and has reportedly washed away many homes in a series of mud slides in the poorer areas of San Paulo.

HUNGARY (flooding) Following record snowfalls this winter, an early thaw in February has resulted in floods throughout the country. 620,000 acres of crop land have been inundated -- primarily autumn wheat. The floods are also preventing sowing of spring wheat and barley.

PHILIPPINES (flooding) Flash floods occurred along the Larapan River on Feb. 21. Reported impacts include 13 fatalities, 21 people missing, 79 injured, 203 houses destroyed,167 houses damaged, 2,609 persons affected in Kauswagan, Linamon, and Bacolod. Total damages estimated at $3.24 million USD. New flooding occurred in Gingoog on March 1st and 2nd displacing some 1,300 people, ten surrounding villages have also reportedly been inundated.

RUSSIA (Sakhalin storms) 19 settlements in the Sakhalin and Kurile islands were affected this past weekend by strong storms.

SOUTHEAST ASIA (fires) and SOUTH AMERICA (fires) Fires burning in Laos, Thailand, Columbia and Venezuela. Images available at: Fire Images

UNITED STATES (storms) Powerful storms in the Pacific northwest have left more than 200,000 people temporarily without electricity. More storms and tornadoes in the South and Southeast resulted in 5 fatalities.

UKRAINE (flooding) New flooding has occurred as warm weather is melting heavy snowfalls of the winter. 230 houses have been inundated. Roads in the Zakarpattia region were also flooded. Previous flooding during the end of 1998, reportedly killed 17 people and displaced some 2000.

VIETNAM (drought and flood related hunger) The AP reported that 1.4 million people are hungry in Vietnam as a result of floods and drought, which occurred over the past few months. Areas most affected are in the central and northern regions. As reported by the AP, 1.8 million people in southern and central Vietnam short of portable water according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Impacts reported as of 03/08/99 - 03/12/99

CENTRAL EUROPE (floods) Snow thaws combined with rainfall have resulted in a series of floods and landslides throughout Central Europe. Hungary: 600 evacuated. 600,000 hectares of farmland inundated. GOH is spending $8.5 million to strengthen dams in the northeast. Hungary has declared a state of emergency as a result of flooded caused by rains and melting snow. Ongoing flooding in eastern Hungary Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county the worst affected) has resulted in the evacuation of 550 people. 3,000 houses in 202 settlements have been affected as well as 800,000 acres of inundated farmland. Other reports have claimed 432,000 acres of flooded cropland. Romania: 12 landslides. 110 homes destroyed. 113,000 hectares flooded Railways/roads also damaged.

MOZAMBIQUE (floods) Recent flooding across Mozambique, but particularly in the Inhambane province, has stranded nearly 200,000 people. The floods are said to be the worst in 40 years. South Africa has responded by sending troops and aircraft. Less than 20 fatalities have occurred. There is now concern that the floods could result in epidemics or food shortages in regions of the country.

SOMALIA (drought and cholera) According to a Reuters report, a cholera epidemic has occurred in the drought affected Bay region of southern Somalia. Some 200 fatalities have resulted this week. It was also reported that many people in the region are wandering in search of water and to escape insecure situations.

UNITED KINGDOM (Yorkshire flooding) Rains and melting snow caused flooding throughout Yorkshire. According to some local news agencies, it is the worst flooding in 65 years. Impacts not yet reported.

VIETNAM (drought) Less than normal rainfall this year has apparently aggravated rat and insect infestations. Despite this the current rice crop (ending its harvest by the end of March) is expected to be 1.3 million tons; lower than previously projected, but higher than last years crop of 1.2 million tons.

Impacts Reported as of 03/13/99 - 03/15/99

ISRAEL (drought) Extended drought in Israel has reduced its water resources such that it cannot meet the terms of the 1994 peace accords. Under the agreement Israel must supply Jordan with 55 million cubic meters of water from the Yamouk River each year. The river runs into the Sea of Galilee, which is currently at its lowest level since 1908.

KIRIBATI (drought) As a result of drought having lasted over a year, Kiribati has declared a state of emergency and requested international assistance.

Impacts Reported as of 3/15/99 - 3/19/99

MOZAMBIQUE (floods) Confirmed impacts, resulting from floods affecting the center and south of Mozambique earlier in the year, total 32 fatalities and seventy thousand hectares of crops destroyed. Transportation infrastructure has also been severely damaged and is inhibiting relief supplies being sent to affected regions.

VIETNAM (drought) The GOV Department of Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that the 1998 rain season ended a month early in the northern mountainous and midland provinces. The water level in rivers and streams is reportedly 20-30 percent lower than normal and salt water is seeping into paddy areas. 5,000 hectares of rice is threatened and it is suspected that 15,000 to 20,000 ha of rice could be affected if the drought continues. It has also been estimated that 1.7 million people currently do not have enough water for domestic use. In addition some 1.4 million people lack food in 15 provinces.

Impacts Reported as of 3/20/99 - 3/23/99

AUSTRALIA (cyclone Vance) Tropical cyclone Vance hit northwestern Australia. Thousands were evacuated and hundreds of homes destroyed. Exact estimates have not been reported, but damage is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

CHINA (drought) Extended drought in the northeastern regions of China is causing a drought and threatening the wheat crop in five provinces. Impacts Reported as of 3/22/99 - 3/26/99

UNITED STATES (fires)(Florida) Dry conditions over Florida since January has resulted in more than 700 fires which has burned a total of 24,000 acres. Images of current hot spots available at:

VIETNAM (drought) Food shortages resulting from drought have severely affected 2.3 million people in half of the 61 provinces. Vietnam's total population is roughly 79 million. Severe weather in the form of droughts, floods, and tropical storms has affected the country for nearly 18 months. Substantial relief from the current drought is not expected until May -- the typical rainy season begins in May and lasts till October. Rainfall during the 1998 rain season was only 50-70 percent of normal in many parts of the country. Many streams, rivers, and water reservoirs are 20-30 percent lower than normal.

Impacts Reported as of 3/27/99 - 4/01/99

CHILE (drought) Drought that affected Chile last year lowered the country's water reservoirs,which supply hydroelectric dams. The GOC began rationing power Wednesday, March 31.

CHINA (drought) According to the Hindustan Times, China is experiencing the worst drought in over a decade. The Xinhua reported that nearly 9 million hectares (roughly 22 million acres) of farmland had been significantly affected. It was also reported that 19 million people were short of drinking water.

NORTH KOREA (famine) A series of droughts and floods since 1995 have severely affected the country's agriculture and economy. Many N. Koreans are reportedly fleeing into China in search of food.

SOMALIA (drought) Drought affecting the Puntland region has prompted local authorities to appeal for assistance. An estimated 18-20 people have died from thirst or famine according to the U.N. The BBC reported that nearly 20 people are dying a day from a lack of food and water. There is concern that if the April rains are delayed, the food situation could worsen.

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NOAA Bullet NCDC / Climate of 1999 / March / Climate-Watch / Global Extremes / Search / Help
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