La Nina effect: Tragedy in January

Published January 14, 2011
This Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean and obtained from NASA, based on the average of 10 days of data centered on December 26, 2010, depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is higher (warmer) than normal as yellow and red, with places where the sea surface height is lower (cooler) than normal as blue and purple. Green indicates near-normal conditions. Sea surface height is an indicator of how much of the sun's heat is stored in the upper ocean. ? Photo
This Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean and obtained from NASA, based on the average of 10 days of data centered on December 26, 2010, depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is higher (warmer) than normal as yellow and red, with places where the sea surface height is lower (cooler) than normal as blue and purple. Green indicates near-normal conditions. Sea surface height is an indicator of how much of the sun's heat is stored in the upper ocean. ? Photo
Pictured on top - This aerial image shows major roads submerged by the Brisbane River as flood waters devastate much of Brisbane. ? Photo by AFP.
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Pictured above (left) - An aerial view of a neighborhood partially destroyed by a landslide caused by heavy rains in Nova Friburgo. ? Photo by Reuters.
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Pictured above (right) - This handout picture released by the Sri Lankan Airforce shows a general view of a flooded village in the eastern district of Batticaloa. ? Photo by AFP.
Pictured on top - This aerial image shows major roads submerged by the Brisbane River as flood waters devastate much of Brisbane. ? Photo by AFP.

Pictured above (left) - An aerial view of a neighborhood partially destroyed by a landslide caused by heavy rains in Nova Friburgo. ? Photo by Reuters.

Pictured above (right) - This handout picture released by the Sri Lankan Airforce shows a general view of a flooded village in the eastern district of Batticaloa. ? Photo by AFP.
A family stays in the water in a flooded area of Jardim Itaim neighbourhood, eastern outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on January 13, 2011. Days of flooding and mudslides have left hundreds of people dead in southeast Brazil. Rescuers searched through layers of mud for survivors and bodies after freakishly heavy rains caused landslides and torrents to slice through three towns near Rio de Janeiro, killing 455 people so far. ? Photo by AFP.
A family stays in the water in a flooded area of Jardim Itaim neighbourhood, eastern outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on January 13, 2011. Days of flooding and mudslides have left hundreds of people dead in southeast Brazil. Rescuers searched through layers of mud for survivors and bodies after freakishly heavy rains caused landslides and torrents to slice through three towns near Rio de Janeiro, killing 455 people so far. ? Photo by AFP.
Pictured on top - People cry for the loss of their relatives after heavy rains caused mudslides in a low-income neighborhood in Teresopolis, Brazil. 
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Pictured above - Sri Lankans affected by the floods take refuge in a makeshift camp. ? Photos by AFP.
Pictured on top - People cry for the loss of their relatives after heavy rains caused mudslides in a low-income neighborhood in Teresopolis, Brazil.

Pictured above - Sri Lankans affected by the floods take refuge in a makeshift camp. ? Photos by AFP.
Sri Lankan flood affected women wade through the waters of a flooded street of the eastern Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa. ? Photo by AFP.
Sri Lankan flood affected women wade through the waters of a flooded street of the eastern Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa. ? Photo by AFP.
Residents and volunteers work together to clean up the homes and streets of the West End area of Brisbane,Australia after floodwaters inundated many parts of the city. ? Photo by AFP.
Residents and volunteers work together to clean up the homes and streets of the West End area of Brisbane,Australia after floodwaters inundated many parts of the city. ? Photo by AFP.
Sri Lankan children affected by the flooding row their canoe in a flooded area. ? Photo by AFP.
Sri Lankan children affected by the flooding row their canoe in a flooded area. ? Photo by AFP.
Men use a road sign to push mud off a road after floodwaters receded in the Brisbane suburb of Westend. Australia began cleaning up stinking mud and debris in flood-hit areas on Friday, but whole suburbs remained submerged, smaller towns braced for more inundations and forecasters pointed to a threat of cyclones. ? Photo by Reuters.
Men use a road sign to push mud off a road after floodwaters receded in the Brisbane suburb of Westend. Australia began cleaning up stinking mud and debris in flood-hit areas on Friday, but whole suburbs remained submerged, smaller towns braced for more inundations and forecasters pointed to a threat of cyclones. ? Photo by Reuters.
Friends pitch in to save Paul O'Leary's home in Australia after flooding. ? Photo by AFP.
Friends pitch in to save Paul O'Leary's home in Australia after flooding. ? Photo by AFP.
Pictured on left- Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff looks at the area affected by flooding and landslides in Nova Friburgo. ? Photo by Reuters.
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Pictured on top left - Former Australian prime minister and current Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd (R) distributes sanitizing hand lotion out as he joins other volunteers and residents as they work together to clean up the homes. ? Photo by AFP.
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Pictured on above right - This photo shows Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse (C) meeting w
Pictured on left- Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff looks at the area affected by flooding and landslides in Nova Friburgo. ? Photo by Reuters.

Pictured on top left - Former Australian prime minister and current Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd (R) distributes sanitizing hand lotion out as he joins other volunteers and residents as they work together to clean up the homes. ? Photo by AFP.

Pictured on above right - This photo shows Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse (C) meeting w

NASA said on January 13, 2011 that a particularly strong La Nina weather pattern of cooler water temperatures is fueling heavy rains and floods in Australia, Sri Lanka and Brazil. “This La Niña has strengthened for the past seven months, and is one of the most intense events of the past half century,” said Climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA/JPL. Australia's third-largest city Brisbane was turned into a “war zone” with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties. Officials said, the number of people killed in Sri Lanka’s monsoon flooding and mudslides have risen to 27 with more than a million people still displaced by the devastating disaster. In Brazil, authorities have stated that more than a thousand people have been left without homes and 71 lost their lives in Teresopolis alone.

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