More flood disasters
“The working class has organized to save the working class”
By Charles Abelard, 4 September 2017
A reader who has lived in Houston for four decades describes the impact of the storm, the rescue efforts organized by workers and runaway real estate development that has left the city vulnerable to flooding.
Fetid floodwaters in the “chemical coast” carry toxins and disease
By Gary Joad, 2 September 2017
The flooding in Houston, the acknowledged petrochemical capital of the world, has unleashed a toxic soup of chemicals, carcinogens and bacteria, posing a grave threat to human life.
By Charles Abelard, 2 September 2017
The author is a member of the Socialist Equality Party who lived in Houston proper for 38 years and still lives in the area.
By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2017
The consequences of what by some measures is the greatest natural disaster in American history will be far-reaching, not only for the millions of people directly affected, but for social and political stability in the United States .
By Niles Niemuth, 1 September 2017
Officials at every level of government continue to congratulate themselves on their response to the storm, while the endless media commentary avoids any discussion of those responsible for the disaster.
“I grew to call the oil industry the rape, pillage and plunder industry”
Former Shell Oil civil engineer and Berkeley Professor Emeritus Robert Bea speaks on Hurricane Harvey
By Barry Grey, 1 September 2017
Robert Bea, a retired civil engineer, has had a long career in the fields of flood control and risk assessment and management.
By Niles Niemuth, 1 September 2017
Despite rapid development and expansion in recent years, Harris County, where Houston is located, has 25,000 fewer properties covered by flood insurance than in 2012.
By Arun Kumar, 1 September 2017
Despite regular floods and monsoons, governments in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have not implemented any serious measures to protect ordinary people.
By Niles Niemuth, 31 August 2017
Hurricane Harvey is expected to far surpass any previous storm as the costliest in American history, with at least $190 billion in damage, equivalent to one percent of the national GDP.
By Eric London, 31 August 2017
Immigrants are risking rising flood waters because of anti-immigrant maneuvers and false reports of deportations at evacuation sites.
By Joseph Kishore, 31 August 2017
The self-sacrifice and organizational initiative of the working class in response to the hurricane make a powerful case for independent workers’ organizations and workers’ control over economic and social life.
31 August 2017
The World Socialist Web Site pamphlet on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago is critical reading in light of the current catastrophe in Texas.
As Trump gloats over “success” of government response to Hurricane Harvey
By Kate Randall, 30 August 2017
While floodwaters continued to rise in Houston, Governor Abbott and President Trump praised one another and hailed the government response to the disaster.
By Niles Niemuth, 30 August 2017
Twelve years after Katrina, nothing has been done to strengthen flood control systems and build up the social infrastructure to limit the impact of major storms.
By Charles Abelard in Houston and Jerry White, 29 August 2017
Emergency shelters, hastily established by authorities in Houston, are overflowing with at least 30,000 residents, while at least nine deaths are blamed on the storm.
By Barry Grey, 29 August 2017
Catastrophes such as Hurricane Harvey are the product of a half-century of neglect of America’s social infrastructure, accompanied by a fantastic accumulation of private wealth at the very apex of society.
By Trévon Austin, 29 August 2017
Stories of devastation along the Gulf Coast continue to emerge three days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas.
By E.P. Milligan and Aaron Murch, 8 August 2017
A rainstorm dumped 10 inches of rain in some portions of the city over a three-hour span.
By Jeff Lusanne, 26 June 2017
A month after a railroad to remote Churchill, Manitoba was damaged by flooding, residents face skyrocketing prices.
By Rohantha De Silva, 26 June 2017
Those most affected are the rural poor, low-wage workers and rickshaw pullers living in flood- and landslide-prone areas, where living costs are relatively low.
By Ben McGrath, 21 February 2017
The Department of Water Resources is engaged in a cover-up of its failure to address basic safety issues that imperiled the lives of thousands of people.
By Ben McGrath, 14 February 2017
The state government ignored clear warnings of an impending disaster at the Oroville dam and gave residents just one hour to evacuate when the emergency spillway began to fail.
By Shelley Connor, 15 October 2016
A slowly unwinding catastrophe is ravaging the US state of North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, killing at least 24 people and leaving thousands homeless.
By Nick Barrickman, 13 October 2016
As many as 38 people have died in the US and tens of thousands continue to be impacted in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which came ashore late last week.
By David Brown, 24 August 2016
In perfunctory remarks in Louisiana, Obama told victims to look to private charities and volunteers.
“I don’t expect the government to do a damn thing”
By Aaron Asa and Tom Hall, 24 August 2016
WSWS reporters traveled to Livingston Parish, Louisiana and spoke to flood victims who are stranded at an emergency shelter after historic floods destroyed more than 40,000 homes.
By Tom Hall, 20 August 2016
The federal government has promised only paltry sums to compensate flood victims, while Obama has delayed any visit until after his lavish vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.
By Patrick Martin, 17 August 2016
Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina, the social infrastructure and the US political system are no more prepared for a natural disaster.
By Aaron Asa, 16 August 2016
The federal government issued a disaster declaration as more than 20,000 people were rescued from stranded homes and vehicles.
By Tom Hall, 15 August 2016
A slow-moving weather system dumped record levels of rainfall on southern Louisiana, flooding thousands of homes and forcing thousands to flee to temporary shelters.
By Ben McGrath, 9 July 2016
At least 186 people have been killed, dozens remain missing and 32 million people have been affected overall.
By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 9 July 2016
Southern West Virginia, which holds a special place in the history of the class struggle in the US, is today mired in depression-like conditions.
By Naomi Spencer, 5 July 2016
Federal and state agencies ignored warnings about inadequate flood protections, home-building standards and the impact of logging and mining.
By Jerry White, 29 June 2016
While the immediate trigger for the floods was record-setting rainfall, like all natural disasters, the extent of the damage and its human impact were determined by conditions that are man-made.
By Joe McGee, 27 June 2016
Remote towns in the mountainous coalfield region of the state are assessing the destruction from last week’s historic flooding.
By Tom Hall, 29 January 2016
The fatalities continue to mount as local officials in Washington, DC struggle to bring the city’s decaying infrastructure back on line.
By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 21 November 2015
The flood situation in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu is an indictment not only of the ruling AIADMK but also the opposition DMK.
By Rosa Shahnazarian and Hiram Lee, 9 October 2015
The flooding has led to numerous water line breaks and sewage spills throughout the state, prompting boil water advisories in many counties.
By Andre Damon, 7 October 2015
The provision of basic infrastructure and disaster preparedness is impossible in a country dominated by a ruling elite whose overriding concern is plunder at home and abroad.
By Rosa Shahnazarian and Hiram Lee, 7 October 2015
In addition to loss of life, current estimates report that flooding has already caused more than $1 billion in damage.
By Charles Abelard, 30 May 2015
The response of state and federal authorities has thus far been minimal, leaving thousands of the displaced to fend for themselves.
By Charles Abelard, 27 May 2015
Unprecedented downpours caused life-threatening flooding conditions across Texas and Oklahoma, with at least twelve people missing and eight killed.
By Thomas Gaist, 26 May 2015
Record-breaking rainfall in typically dry areas of Texas, Oklahoma and other states has flooded entire residential areas, leading to at least fifteen deaths.
By Wimal Perera, 18 September 2014
The rivalry among various states in South Asia, rooted in the 1947 communal partition of the sub-continent, has prevented any coordinated effort to control the flooding.
By Christine Schofelt, 8 April 2014
In the past week, revelations have emerged about the use of decades-old maps in the issuing of logging permits above the towns of Oso and Darrington, the area buried by the fatal March 22 mudslide.
By Christine Schofelt, 31 March 2014
Once again, a natural disaster has been made far worse by a lack of planning and infrastructure.
By Clement Daly and Samuel Davidson, 18 January 2014
While water service is slowly being restored in nine West Virginia counties following last Thursday’s chemical spill, hardships remain for 300,000 people who have been affected.
By Paul Mitchell, 16 January 2014
Severe flooding across Britain has led to the loss of seven lives and massive damage to property.
By Charles Abelard, 20 September 2013
Six deaths are confirmed in the Colorado flooding, as door-to-door searches for hundreds of missing people begin, and concern rises over pollution.
By Charles Abelard, 17 September 2013
Nearly 400 people remain unaccounted for in Larimer County, where an estimated 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 4,500 more damaged.
By Charles Abelard, 16 September 2013
Heavy rains have caused unprecedented flooding in the state of Colorado since last Wednesday.
By George Marlowe, 26 April 2013
Multiple states are threatened with significant damage to homes and public infrastructure.
By Rafael Azul, 18 April 2013
Torrential storms and floods affected 450,000 people and killed 58 in Argentina.
By John Roberts, 12 November 2011
The ongoing flooding has impacted heavily on the Thai economy and is also taking its toll on the newly installed government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
By Tom Eley, 9 September 2011
Heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Lee on Thursday forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents from Pennsylvania and New York.
By Ali Ismail, 8 September 2011
Flash floods brought on by monsoon rains have killed over 130 people in Pakistan in recent weeks and forced millions to flee their submerged villages.
By a WSWS reporting team, 6 September 2011
Obama made a three-hour visit to the flood-stricken state of New Jersey on Sunday touring the city of Paterson, which has been ravaged by the floods caused by Hurricane Irene.
By Kate Randall, 2 September 2011
The death toll from Hurricane Irene climbed to 46 on Thursday as residents in Vermont and New Jersey battled serious flooding, and significant power outages continued throughout the Northeast US.
By Kate Randall, 30 August 2011
The massive power outages resulting from Hurricane Irene serve as a stark reminder of the decrepit state of the US infrastructure.
By Phyllis Scherrer, 24 August 2011
In the latest preventable tragedy in the United States, four people drowned during a heavy rainstorm and flash flooding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Friday.
By Patrick Martin, 29 June 2011
Large sections of rural and small-town America are being laid waste by storms, floods and wildfires, with little or no assistance from the federal government.
By Jerry White, 28 June 2011
Flood victims in Minot, North Dakota, face the long and arduous task of rebuilding homes and lives with little or no government relief.
By Naomi Spencer, 7 June 2011
Flooding continues along the Missouri River, where hundreds have been ordered to evacuate and still more essential crops are threatened.
By Jerry White, 16 May 2011
While bowing to the interests of Big Oil, the Obama administration is providing essentially no compensation to those losing their homes and livelihoods in the Mississippi flood.
By Naomi Spencer, 16 May 2011
In a bid to protect Louisiana’s urban centers from catastrophic flooding, federal officials have deliberately inundated thousands of mostly poor bayou residents.
By Clement Daly and Naomi Spencer, 14 May 2011
The historic flooding along the Mississippi River casts a spotlight on the crumbling and patchwork state of America’s levees, roads and bridges.
By Naomi Spencer, 10 May 2011
Towns situated in the Mississippi River watershed are being inundated by the worst flooding in nearly a century.
By James Brewer, 27 April 2011
Violent storms brought tornadoes and flash flooding in the South on Monday, killing seven people in Arkansas.
By Bill Van Auken, 15 January 2011
The death toll from flooding and mudslides rose past 500 Friday, with hundreds more missing, as Brazil confronted its worst ever natural disaster.
Part 2: Ongoing social dispossession
By Naomi Spencer, 30 August 2010
For the poor and working class of New Orleans, the immense destruction Hurricane Katrina inflicted on the city turned out to be only the beginning.
By Patrick Martin, 19 August 2010
As the toll of death and destruction in Pakistan from unprecedented flooding continues to mount, US government officials and the American media are raising concerns not over the colossal human tragedy, but over the potential threat to political stability and US security interests in the region.
By Samuel Davidson, 16 June 2010
A flash flood along the Little Missouri River, near Langley, Arkansas, swept through a popular campground early last Friday morning, killing 20 campers.
By Naomi Spencer, 15 May 2010
Residents of storm ravaged Tennessee and Kentucky continue to assess the damages of the flooding that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in the region. The death toll from the May 2 flood now stands at 33, and one Nashville man remains missing.
By our correspondents, 15 May 2010
Flood survivors in Nashville, Tennessee, and eastern Kentucky spoke to the WSWS about their experiences.
By Naomi Spencer, 12 May 2010
As flood water recedes, Nashville, Tennessee residents are confronted with ruined homes, damaged infrastructure, and drastically inadequate emergency funds from the federal government.
By Jerry White, 4 May 2010
Weekend storms and tornados triggered flash flooding throughout several mid-southern states, leaving at least 22 people dead in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.
By Rafael Azul, 14 April 2010
For the second time this year, scores of Brazilians have been victimized and left homeless by storms in Rio de Janeiro state.
By Jordan Shilton, 8 December 2009
Thousands of people were forced from their homes across Ireland last month after torrential rain caused severe flooding.
By Jordan Shilton, 19 September 2008
This summer saw unprecedented rainfall throughout Ireland, resulting in a number of flash floods across the country. The resulting chaos and damage to infrastructure and people’s homes were largely due to the chronic under-funding of public infrastructure.
By Hiram Lee, 18 September 2008
Days after Hurricane Ike devastated Texas and other areas on the southern coast and midsection of the United States, the storm’s death toll now stands at 50. While floodwaters and debris caught in high winds led to a number of deaths, others have occurred not as a direct result of the hurricane itself but as the result of victims trying to cope with its elements and aftermath.
By Naomi Spencer, 15 September 2008
Hurricane Ike made landfall on the heavily populated southeast coast of Texas early Saturday morning, causing flooding and widespread damage to cities along the Gulf.
By Naomi Spencer, 12 September 2008
The death toll in Haiti continues to rise following a series of devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean. Official government figures have placed the number dead between 600 and 1,000, with more than 800,000 people—half of them children—in need of emergency aid throughout the country. Some 60,000 people in the hard-hit port city of Gonaives remain in temporary shelters.
By Naomi Spencer, 8 September 2008
More than 500 have been left dead in Haiti after last Monday’s landfall of Tropical Storm Hanna, according to conservative official estimates, and more than 650,000 Haitians are desperately in need of emergency aid.
By W.A. Sunil, 4 September 2008
Severe flooding in India and Nepal over the past fortnight has affected millions of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless, with little in the way of assistance from government authorities.
By Kate Randall, 3 September 2008
Hurricane Gustav weakened to a tropical depression on Tuesday, with winds slowing to below 35 miles per hour and the storm forecast to cross into northeastern Texas. Gustav made landfall west of New Orleans as a relatively fast-moving Category 2 hurricane on Monday, substantially weaker than some predictions that it might come ashore as a massive Category 4 storm.
By Jerry White, 1 September 2008
As of this writing Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the US Gulf Coast after its destructive passage through the Caribbean left more than 80 people dead in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica and severe damage and flooding in western Cuba, where the storm, considered the most powerful in half a century, included sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.