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It's been a week of wild weather for Victoria, with heavy rainfalls resulting in flooding which has inundated townships in the Gippsland region.
Around 6000 homes in East Gippsland are without power and prime farming land at Lindenow has been inundated by floodwaters - but it's not over yet. Unprecedented rain in Japan unleashed heavy floods on Friday that tore houses from their foundations, uprooted trees and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes. Helicopters hovering over swirling, muddy waters rescued many people from the roofs of their homes. Some areas received double the usual September rainfall in 48 hours after tropical storm Etau swept across Japan’s main island of Honshu. A 63-year old woman was missing in a landslide that hit her home while a man in his 70s in the town of Joso, 56 km (35 miles) north of Tokyo, was feared trapped when water engulfed his home, NHK national television said.
Television broadcast footage of helicopters winching people to safety, including an elderly couple clutching a pair of struggling dogs as the flood tore away pieces of their home.
Japan has put heavy emphasis on disaster prevention since a 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people and authorities are keen to avoid the kind of criticism they faced then, for what was seen as a sluggish response. Television footage showed people in Joso waving towels while waiting for help on the upper floors of homes engulfed in floods after the overflowing Kinugawa river swept through. Up to 12 military helicopters took part in the rescue along with an initial 55 members of Japan’s military, the Self Defence Force. Part of a hotel in the town of Nikko, famed for its shrines and temples, had collapsed, Kyodo news agency said, but there were no reports of injuries.
Rainfall reached 500 mm (20 inches) around Joso, NHK said, with weather officials expecting at least 200 mm (8 inches) more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, the site of the nuclear reactor crippled in 2011, before the downpour stops on Friday.
The risk of flooding in the area remains high and will do so even if after rain (eventually) lessens, as rivers respond to heavy rainfall upstream and as groundwater remains waterlogged. The Thames Barrier has been closed at 11 successive high tides to protect homes and property from the barrier to Teddington Lock. The train line between Shepperton and Fulwell are particularly susceptible to flooding due to high tides and heavy rain (see recent flooding at Fulwell), leading to conductor rail vapourising water). Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email!
Salcombea€™s first development of new properties right on the watera€™s edge for almost twenty years.

Members of the Army move a tree which was blown down in a flooded street in Egham, southern England. LONDON - Sodden communities along the River Thames braced for more floods on Sunday as Britain counted the cost of a storm that claimed several lives and left tens of thousands of homes without power. At least three people were killed in separate incidents in Ireland, Britain and the English Channel after violent winds and heavy rain swept in from the Atlantic on Friday.
Pulling down power lines and disrupting transport networks across the region, the storm brought fresh misery to flood-hit communities in Britain, parts of which are suffering their wettest start to the year for 250 years. Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Saturday that the worst was not yet over as he visited the Thames-side village of Chertsey, west of London, to see how the military were helping bolster flood defences.
More than 3,000 members of the military are involved in the flood relief effort, according to the defence ministry, as the government seeks to counter criticism that it was too slow to respond to the crisis. Fourteen severe flood alerts warning of a risk to life were in place along the River Thames on Saturday night, with another two issued for the southwest of England, which has borne the brunt of two months of heavy rain.
In a newspaper interview published on Sunday, opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband blamed climate change for the run of bad weather, and urged government ministers to treat global warming as a "national security issue". Cameron said last month that "I very much suspect" there is a link but said that either way, there should be more investment in flood defences. Friday's violent storm pulled up trees, sent roofs flying off buildings, slammed waves into the coast and opened up a six-metre sinkhole in a quiet street in Hemel Hempstead, north of London.
A 49-year-old taxi driver with three children was killed when a building collapsed onto her parked car in the centre of London, and her two passengers were injured, police said.
Out on the English Channel, an 85-year-old man died after high winds sent a "freak wave" smashing through a window of a cruise ship off the coast of north-west France, the ship's operator said. Massive waves were also whipped up in Portugal, flooding several seaside establishments, while heavy snow on the island of Madeira left passengers trapped in their cars. Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo said on his Facebook page he had been unable to go home to wind-battered Madeira, where he was due to take his Ballon d'Or trophy to a local museum. Some 70,000 French homes were left without power as meteorologists registered winds of up to 150 kilometres per hour, though most of these had been reconnected by Saturday night.
Meanwhile in Ireland, a 65-year-old man working for telecoms firm Eircom was killed in Cork on Saturday when he was trying to erect a fallen telephone pole which fell on his head, the RTE state broadcaster said.
The prime minister has promised that money is "no object" in helping flood-hit communities, although Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned the bad weather is likely to affect Britain's fragile recovery from recession.

Govt departments and agencies are working flat out to help everyone affected by the severe storms that hit much of the country last night.
Flood-hit Britain suffered a fresh battering Wednesday from storms and high winds that caused power outages to nearly 150,000 homes. Flooded communities in Britain faced a fresh battering from storms as emergency efforts in stricken areas picked up following criticism of a sluggish response. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome.
The Environment Agency said people should now prepare for further flooding and any travel should be carefully planned. Several major rivers, including the Thames, Severn, Nene and Trent are still to peak and could lead to more flooding. SES crews and the Australian Defence Force have been working around the clock sandbagging entrances to towns and removing fallen trees from major roads. More flood warnings have been issued and it's predicted heavy rainfalls will continue well into the night.
Further rainfall is currently forecast so further or increased flooding along footpaths and property on the Thames could be expected. This line has been blocked several times already causing travel disruption – this is likely again to be blocked from early Wednesday the 8th January so buses will replace trains until at least the afternoon when services may resume if possible. So every sand bag delivered, every house helped, every flood barrier put in place can make a big difference," Cameron said.
The Thames has at times been the same level either side of Teddington Weir and is flowing at high rates. A "very limited" bus service has been laid on, as First Great Western advised passengers not to travel unless it is absolutely "essential".

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