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Friday, August 19, 2011

Freak Storms, Flash Floods - weather getting more extreme

Pukkelpop storm: Belgian festival deaths reach five: The death toll at the Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium, hit by a sudden violent storm, has now risen to five, say local officials. Staging collapsed, giant screens fell, tents were flattened and trees were uprooted, all in the space of minutes after the storm struck. Dozens more people were hurt, several seriously. About 60,000 people were believed to be at the event, one of Europe's largest outdoor festivals, when the storm hit. Headline acts this year were set to include Eminem, the Foo Fighters and the Ting Tings. "The sky suddenly turned pitch black and we took shelter waiting for the rain," said festival-goer Catherine Blaise, according to Le Soir newspaper. "Then suddenly, there was a downpour. The wind blew violently. There were hailstones bigger than a centimetre falling... Trees toppled over.

"It was unbelievable, the end of the world," she said. Video

The death toll has risen to five in the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in which 45 people were also injured. The main stage collapsed on a crowd waiting for a Sugarland performance Saturday night at the Indianapolis fair after being blasted by winds as strong as 60 to 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The lead singer of the country band, Jennifer Nettles, expressed her horror in a statement to Associated Press, saying there were "no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity."

FLASH floods swamped one of Britain's biggest seaside resorts yesterday as a fortnight's rain fell in just 30 minutes, leaving homes, shops and roads underwater.  Bournemouth in Dorset was hit with the unprecedented deluge which turned parts of the packed-out town into rivers within minutes. The force of the downpour was so fierce huge cracks opened up along main roads and manhole covers were lifted clean off, leading to fountains of water gushing out. Stones were thrown up by the huge raindrops and sent crashing through shop windows while drivers had to abandon their cars when water poured over their bonnets. Video

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