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Flood defences need complete rethink, says Environment Agency
David Cameron has visited some of the areas worst hit by flooding as experts warned that the UK’s climate was entering an era of “unknown extremes”. Communities in York, Greater Manchester, Leeds and scores of towns and villages across the north of England faced a daunting clearup as the scale of the flood damage became apparent. Five hundred troops were mobilised to help with the emergency effort, with a further 1,000 on standby. The prime minister, who has been criticised for failing to heed warnings about the flood threat, posted a picture of himself with soldiers in York, where hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes as the water levels rose….
Britain spends more money on foreign floods than those at home
Britain spends more money on foreign floods and helping overseas communities recover from disasters than it does at home, new figures suggest. In the past year the Department for International Development has spent more than £100 million providing aid for countries who have suffered flooding, but has made just £61 million available for Britons affected in recent weeks. The Philippines alone was given £77 million to help it recover from typhoon Haiyan , while Malawi received £10 million to help with recent floods. Myanmar received £4 million in flooding aid while Pakistan and Bangladesh were given nearly than £14 million between them to help with the annual devastation caused by monsoons….
Landslides like the Oso tragedy happen more frequently than you think, UW scientists say
A newly published analysis of the geological record for the area around the site of 2014’s Oso landslide shows that the slopes have been collapsing every 140 years or so on average. That’s significantly more frequent than previously estimated. Based on laser elevation measurements and radiocarbon dating of woody debris around the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, researchers from the University of Washington found that a collapse five times as big as the Oso event, known as the Rowan landslide, took place sometime between 300 and 694 years ago. The researchers’ study, published online by the journal Geology on Tuesday, came up with an average collapse rate of once per 500 years for the area around Oso, Wash., over the course of thousands of years. Over the past 2,000 years, the average rate has been about 140 years, the scientists said…