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Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Floods / JFK / LGA / New York City / → All Tags
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) mid-day today:
LaGuardia airport runways are being flooded from flushing bay
- FDNY Incidents, on Facebook
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Thailand's really tragic flooding of the last few weeks has been all over the news, complete with shots of locals pushing their belongings on rafts, homes lost. The water has reached Bangkok, but luckily still not the very center. It has however reached one of the city's two airportsDon Mueang Domestic Airportout of which we flew only a month ago.
Don Mueang (DMK) is a huge complex owing to its history as the former main international airport for Bangkok...until Suvarnabhumi opened. Now it's just a hub for a few domestic airlines and it was most recently the makeshift emergency flood operations center. You know it's serious when the flood operations center is itself flooded out.
It's as we feared would happen. The rising floodwaters of the Chao Phraya River near Bangkok, Thailand have reached the city's secondary airport, Don Mueang. DMK was the focus of one of our recent stories on great places to go plane spotting, owing to the existence of a golf course in between the airport runways.
Well, it's safe to say that the entire place is in danger of becoming one giant water trap.
Although central Bangkok and the main tourist areas remain high and dry, the UNESCO historical sites in nearby Ayutthaya can't say the same. Although we aren't there now to show you some of the damaging floods (thank god), we were there as recent as a few weeks ago, when the waters of the river had already begun seeping into the first floors of riverside homes.
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Muskauer Park suffered some flooding on these lovely grounds.
Flash floods have hit central Europe over the past several days, especially cities in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. While cleanup is under way, the floods have ravaged homes, caused evacuations and killed at at least 11 people. Several tourist attractions also were affected by the massive downpours.
Spa town Bad Muskau, which straddles the east Germany-Poland border, saw flooding in Muskauer Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Luckily, no irreparable damage was done to the property's reconstructed castle, and the town saw little itself.
Landmarks / Tourism / Rio de Janeiro Travel / Brazil Travel / Weather / Floods / Tourist Traps / → All Tags
These first few months of 2010 have welcomed everything but tourists it seems, as natural disasters like earthquakes, floods ands even volcanoes put a crimp in itineraries. And although we're hoping that the sun of summer will wipe the problems away, it looks like Mother Nature will have her last laugh...in shutting down the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
What they've got down there is a Machu Picchu-type flooding and mudslide emergency. Already the torrential rains and mudslides have killed 246 people, with almost another 200 still missing. And they're not risking more lives just so people can take a quick picture of themselves with one of the seven "new" wonders of the world.
Floods / Peru Travel / Machu Picchu / Tourism / Travel Safety / → All Tags
It's already been almost two months since out of control flood waters washed away the main routes for accessing the remote Inca ruins site of Machu Picchu, in Peru. But today, the Peruvian Minister of Tourism has announced that the UNESCO World Heritage site will reopen to tourists on April 1, 2010, barring any other weather delays.
Since the heavy rainfall of January caused the nearby Vilcanota River to tumultuously overrun its banks and take out rail lines and roads, stranding thousands and thousands of tourists in the small town of Aguas Calientes for days before being evacuated by helicopter, tourism to the country has been severely impacted. Airlines that fly many visitors to Peru, like Delta, offered one-time ticket changes for people postponing trips, and many with booked package tours were issued refunds or change waivers.
Floods / Peru Travel / Machu Picchu / Tourism / Travel Safety / Weather / → All Tags
For tourists to Peru's famed Machu PIcchu site, the nightmare of being trapped by raging flood waters in the nearby Vilcanota River has ended. The last trapped tourists were airlifted out of the remote area at the end of last week, but locals are already attempting to rebuild as the waters subside.
As the river gushed out of control, beginning back around January 25, over 3500 visitors found themselves stuck in the town of Aguas Calientes with the only transportation route back to the nearest city of Cuzcothe trainwiped out in the flooding and mudslides. As evacuation by helicopter progressed slowly and prices of basic things like food and water were jacked up in the small town, tourists became desperate, and a few even hiked back along the dangerous route.
So how long will Machu Picchu be out of the commission?
Water Water Everywhere / Venice Travel / Italy Travel / Weather / Floods / Wakeboarding / Adventure Travel / Holiday Travel / → All Tags
The terribly wintery weather currently hitting Europe right now is bringing the lagoon waters of Venice up into the piazzas and reminding us of one of our favorite quirky stories from last year: that of the guy who wakeboarded through a flooded St. Mark's Square. We've posted the video for you again above, and believe us that it's worth watching all two minutes because the Red Bull guy also wakeboards in a canal. This is what happens when you combine horrible weather, a sinking city, and an opportunist tourist on energy drink.
Each year, this high water, or Acqua Alta, hits the Italian city at its weakest time: when the tourists and locals are all in town to celebrate the holidays. It also doesn't help that the lowest (and therefore most affected) place in town is the visitor mecca of St. Mark's Square. When the waters get knee-high here, you'll see Venice become a network of raised platforms as sidewalkshere's a great picture to demonstrate. Come to think of it, we should add "leaving the rain boots behind" to our list of the Top Five Tourist Mistakes in Venice.
We hope not too many Jaunted readers were traveling through the Philippines over the weekend because it hasn't been pretty: a tropical storm hit the north of the country and caused the worst flooding Manila has seen for more than 50 years.
Almost half a million people have been displaced by the floods and sadly, at least 86 have been confirmed dead, with the final death toll expected to be a lot higher.
What this means for travelers: right now is clearly not a fantastic time to be landing in the northern Philippines. Apart from the fact that the locals are busy with more important things than entertaining tourists, with such widespread flooding there's also the danger of disease outbreaks. Postpone your trip if you can. When you do get there, remember we've also warned you to be wary of ferries, okay?
While most thoughts of Australia this month have been on the fires burning in Victoria, the opposite kind of natural disaster has been causing chaos in the northern parts of the country, with large areas of Queensland and Western Australia being hit by cyclone-induced floods.
In Western Australia, popular tourist spot Karijini National Park has just been able to reopen all roads, although the gorges are off-limits for a little longer. Once you can get there again, it's worth a visit for so many reasons. There are half a dozen gorges with steep red cliffs, water holes to swim in and waterfalls to hike to, all in the middle of the Australian outback.
Flying up to Karijini from Perth is the most common way to get there; if you self-drive around the park there's just a A$10 ($6.50) entry fee. Lots of visitors join a safari-style camping trip to see all the best bits of the park. Just remember to check first for flood reports--this month's waters aren't exactly a one-off.
· Karijini National Park [Official Site]
· NW Parks Open Again [ABC]
· Victorian Fires Still Burning, Help Floods In [Jaunted]
· Western Australia Travel Guide [Jaunted]
[Photo: Paul Reid]
As we (unfortunately) promised, a second surge of floodwaters hit Venice yesterday, peaking at just over three feet. But with the windy weather now calming down, experts are predicting the flooding will subside and Venetians will soon have a chance to dry off a bit.
It doesn't sound like all the locals have been as upset by the flooding as they should be. One guy thought that a flooded St Mark's Square made a great venue for a bit of wakeboarding.
Of course, we know that the Venetian authorities are on a big campaign to ban anything that's fun, so we weren't surprised that the wakeboarder was quickly arrested by local police. Pity, perhaps Venice could have turned its flood woes into an adventure travel paradise.
Parts of Venice were under more than five feet of water today, as the Adriatic overwhelmed the city's canals in near-record-breaking fashion. While the flood waters quickly receded from the crest, another surge of acqua alta is predicted early Tuesday. The mayor has warned everyone to stay indoors, which shouldn't be a problem, since the city's vaporetti, or water buses, aren't operating normally because of a national transportation strike.
By mid-morning, almost every walkway in Venice was submerged because of the exceptionally high waters, and St. Mark's Square was more than 2.5 feet under. The brave few who did trudge outdoors had boots pulled up above the knee to fend off the sea.
While the flooding looks really awesome in photos, it's horrible for the long-term survival of the city, which is slowly being eaten alive by salt water and sea breezes. Get there now for the best chance of seeing high seas yourself: Floods are most common in the winter.
[Photo of the flooding today: TangOblivion]