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31 December 2011

RSOE EDIS World Event Report

Flash Flood in New Zealand on Saturday, 31 December, 2011 at 06:31 (06:31 AM) UTC.

More than 300 campers have been evacuated from Quinney's Bush Camp and Caravan Park near Nelson due to rising river levels, but the rain has eased and a cleanup has begun. Quinney's campground manager, Mark Quinney, told NZ Newswire he made the decision to evacuate the campground at 5pm on Friday when a monitoring system on the Motupiko River recorded rising water levels. "We were at our maximum number, around 600, but quite a few had left, so the camp was probably about two-thirds full," he says. The campground is about 10 hectares in area and about a 10 minute drive from Tapawera. Some families stayed at the Tapawera Area School hall and others moved to an area of higher ground. The campground is open again on Saturday, but some areas are roped off. There is no damage to buildings or fences. Flooding was also reported near Pohara in Golden Bay but Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Controller Jim Frater says the worst is past. The Nelson and Tasman regions were pummelled by heavy rain on Friday while the clean up continued from the heaviest rainfall in 40 years earlier this month. The MetService said on Saturday that 100mm to 180mm of rainfall is expected on top of what has already fallen in Taranaki and the central North Island high country. A further 220mm is possible in the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty. The rain about Nelson and northern Marlborough is easing and a heavy rain warning for these areas is lifted.

Extreme Weather - Australia - New Zealand

Worsening weather conditions have seen campers in the Rotorua area start to move out or find more watertight accommodation. Rotorua Holiday Park operations manager Jared Adams said they had a few campers leave but on the flip side a few have stayed longer because they didn't want to pack up their wet tents. "It hasn't been good and it has stopped some of those who were thinking of coming". He said a couple of campers had asked if they could be moved into cabin accommodation but because they were fully booked out Mr Adams said they had put them into other camping grounds. However, Blue Lake Top 10 senior assistant Kay Robinson said campers were quite happy there and no one had left because of the adverse weather. "People are swimming in the lake and there's been plenty for people to keep themselves occupied." She said they were looking forward to the next few days. "Hopefully the weather won't close in." At the Holden's Bay Holiday Park a bit of wild and wet weather couldn't put the Hughes family off enjoying their camping holiday. The family from Auckland have seen in the past five New Year's at the holiday park.

If heavy rain did hit they wouldn't dream of packing up and going home, Denise Hughes said. "We'll just play board games together in the tent or head over to the games room where there is lots to do," she said. Flights around the country have been disrupted and Air New Zealand spokesperson Marie Hoskins said there were minor delays for flights arriving and departing Rotorua. New Zealand Mountain Safety Council chief executive Darryl Carpenter said continued heavy rain and flooding could make outdoor conditions treacherous and recommended trampers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts carefully consider their choices before venturing out. "We are particularly concerned about people attempting to cross swollen streams and rivers. Anyone going into the outdoors should keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings and watch for rising or already swollen streams and rivers." MetService forecaster Ian Gall said a severe weather warning was still in place for the Bay of Plenty region through to tomorrow morning. There will be prolonged heavy rain for the central North Island high country and Bay of Plenty. In these areas 100mm to 200mm is expected, with up to 250mm possible in the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty. Mr Gall said Rotorua could expect up to 100mm over the next day or so.

Heat Wave - South pole - Antarctica

Santa delivered a record-breaking summer day to the South Pole this year. The temperature at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole research station hit 9.9�F (-12.3�C) on Dec. 25, beating the old record of 7.5�F (-13.6�C) set on Dec. 27, 1978, reported the Weather Underground. The low on Dec. 25 was 0�F (-17.8�C), which sounds comfy considering the lowest recorded temperature at the South Pole was -117.0�F (-82.8�C) set on June 23, 1982. The South Pole's normal December high temperature is -15.7�F (-26.5�C). So besides the record Christmas heat wave, this has been an average December at the Pole. The Christmas high was caused by a tongue of warm air that pushed inland over Antarctica. Watch the infrared satellite animation here. The red square is the South Pole.

Aviation Accident in Sudan on Saturday, 31 December, 2011 at 07:51 (07:51 AM) UTC.

Six people were killed on Friday when a military plane crashed shortly after take-off in the southern region of Sudan, local media reported. There were no survivors. Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad told the Sudan Tribune that the accident happened shortly after take-off from an airport in Al-Ubayyid, the capital of North Kordofan state. A total of six people were on board the aircraft. Sa’ad said the plane, which was initially reported as a helicopter, was on an ‘administrative mission’ and carrying military ammunition. The newspaper said all crew members were killed, but there were no reports of casualties on the ground. The exact cause of the accident was not immediately known, but Sa’ad said the crash was the result of a technical failure which occurred about three minutes after take-off, sparking a fire. The report did not mention what type of aircraft was involved. In November 2010, at least eight people were killed when a Zalingei Tarco passenger plane carrying up to 40 people crashed while landing at Zalingei Airstrip in Zalingei, a town in western Sudan. It was flying on a route from Khartoum to Zalingei, with a scheduled stopover in El Fasher.

Flood in Zimbabwe on Saturday, 31 December, 2011 at 07:01 (07:01 AM) UTC.

The Zimbabwe weather services department on Friday issued a flood alert for areas in the north and east of the country heavy rains with gusty winds and hail. Violent thunderstorms were also forecast in the three Mashonaland provinces, Harare, Matabeleland North and parts of Manicaland province, an advisory from the Meteorological Services Department said. The heavy rains started Friday and were set to continue through next week. "Naturally there will be heightened risk of flash flooding principally in susceptible places and poorly drained soils,” the weather service said. Officials said they were expecting some areas to receive rains in excess of 80 milliliters or 3 inches. Meteorological Department Officer Tichaona Zinyemba told VOA the Civil Protection Unit had been activated and was monitoring the situation. He urged people in flood-prone localities to seek higher ground and not to attempt to cross flooding rivers. "There is a high risk that rivers will be flooded," Zinyemba said. "What we can advise people is that they must not cross rivers because they may be swept away. Tsholotsho Senator Believe Gaule, whose constituency lies within the area considered subject to flooding, urged his constituents to exercise caution.