If 2012 was the other year the world caught fire, (the first being 1968,) 2013 may be known as the year the world flooded. The majority of floods occur because rivers overflow their banks in the spring due to melting snow, at least where it is cold enough for snow to accumulate. The snow and rain enter the mouth of the river This is normal, and they are referred to as freshets. Floods in the summer, particularly riverine floods, (those caused by a river,) are rarer, and there have been a number of historic floods this year already, most of which took place in the summer. Mexico has been hammered with rain, killing 14 people, after tropical depression Fernand slammed into Veracruz and Oaxaca. At least 20 people have died due to flooding in Laos after a typhoon hit their shores, and more rain is on the way. Russia, in particular the Far East, is having record flooding problems. Residents there are imperilled not only by raging torrents, but also by starving bears, that are moving closer to the cities to find food, as they cannot find their usual dietary staples, namely salmon and berries.
In other news, a massive wildfire has been scorching Yosemite National Park. At its worst it was 165 square miles (427 square km) and only 2% contained.
For a full list of the week’s articles, click here.