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President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in West Virginia, where the worst floods in more than a century have left at least 24 people dead.

The president ordered federal aid for three of the worst affected counties following a request by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

West Virginia residents will now receive grants for temporary housing and repairs.

More than 30,000 homes and businesses are without power.

Heavy rain on June 23 turned rivers and streams into torrents, cutting off several towns.

Photo abc7

Photo abc7

The floods are the worst in a century in some areas and hundreds of people have had to be rescued.

President Barack Obama “ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides”, a White House statement said.

Governor Tomblin said the federal help included medical support and housing to Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.

Officials were still assessing the damage in other areas and additional requests for aid could follow, the governor added.

West Virginia received a quarter of its annual rainfall in a single day, the US National Weather Service said.

A storm system dumped up to 10 inches of rain on parts of the state, causing rivers and streams to overflow.

More than 100 homes were destroyed, some of them torn from their foundations and carried away, and an estimated 32,000 residences were still without power.

Teams removed people from upper-floor windows, tops of trees and cars.

According to officials, among those rescued were a 97-year-old woman and a family of five, including an infant.

About 500 people were trapped in a shopping centre as crews scrambled to build a new gravel road to reach them.

Meanwhile, rescue teams continued to try to reach others stranded in devastated areas.

States of emergency have been declared in 44 of the state’s 55 counties, and up to 500 soldiers have been authorized to assist in the rescue operations.

According to scientists, the El Nino weather pattern, which can drive droughts and flooding, is underway in the tropical Pacific for the first time in 5 years.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that El Nino could be a “substantial” event.

The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures.

The El Nino is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world.

US scientists announced earlier in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as “weak”.El Nino 2015

Australian scientists said models suggested it could strengthen from September onwards, but it was too early to determine with confidence how strong it could be.

“This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,” David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters.

“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”

El Nino had been expected during last year’s record-breaking temperatures, but failed to materialize.

The last El Nino in 2010 was linked with monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States, heatwaves in Brazil and extreme flooding in Mexico.

El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean as part of a complex cycle linking atmosphere and ocean.

The event is known to disrupt weather patterns around the world, and can bring wetter winters to the southwest US and droughts to northern Australia.

The consequences of El Nino are much less clear for Europe.

Extreme weather events like El Nino will become more intense as global temperatures rise, researchers say.

A massive water main break on Los Angeles’ iconic Sunset Boulevard has caused flooding at the UCLA campus, local officials say.

The main burst on Tuesday afternoon, sending a 30-feet jet of water into the air and opening a hole 10 feet wide in the street.

Local roads were inundated and water poured into underground car parks.

Three motorists had to be rescued from flooded cars.

A massive water main break on Los Angeles' iconic Sunset Boulevard has caused flooding at the UCLA campus

A massive water main break on Los Angeles’ iconic Sunset Boulevard has caused flooding at the UCLA campus

The broken main dates from 1921 and carries water from reservoirs in the San Fernando Valley to the city of Los Angeles.

People were stranded by rising water shortly before 3:30 p.m. when the water main burst near Sunset Boulevard from Marymount Place to Westwood Plaza, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It complicated the rush-hour commute for scores of drivers.

The 90-year-old water main was shut off four hours after it ruptured, but not before wasting 8 to 10 million gallons of water, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials said.

It took several hours before the flow was halted in the early evening. Pipes had to be closed slowly to avoid further damage, Los Angeles Water and Power spokeswoman Michele Vargas said.

Police discouraged anyone from trying to surf down streets flooded with ankle-deep water, after some people came to the area with boogie boards.

“That is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Jaime Moore.

“For somebody to try and boogie board in this, it’s just going to be an asphalt bath.”

At least five people were rescued from an underground parking structure near the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said. Four swift-water rescue teams were in two underground parking garages evaluating the structures and checking for any stranded people.

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At least four people have been killed by heavy flooding in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, say officials.

The flooding, caused by days of heavy rain, has blocked roads and forced businesses in the capital to close.

Areas including the central business district (CBD) were inundated and traffic was grid-locked as residents struggled to move around the city.

Some 20,000 people have abandoned their homes, as officials warn that the rain could worsen in the next few days.

The governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, has declared a state of emergency.

He also said he was committed to making a “breakthrough” in efforts to tackle the flooding.

The CBD normally escapes damage when Jakarta experiences its heavy seasonal rains, but on Thursday, many government offices and businesses were forced to close because staff could not get to work.

At least four people have been killed by heavy flooding in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta

At least four people have been killed by heavy flooding in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta

Local television pictures showed people wading through almost neck-high water in some parts of the city, while in others, the waters were up to 2 m (6.5 ft) deep.

The presidential palace grounds are among areas flooded, and images showed President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono walking around the palace compound with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, wearing trousers rolled up above his knees.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters: “I have no problem with the palace being flooded. The most important thing is the people are protected.”

He had instructed the national police chief and the army chief to deploy their forces and evacuate flood victims, said presidential spokesman Julian Pasha.

The Jakarta Post said two of the people killed in the capital were children, aged 13 and two.

State funds are available to help those affected by the flooding following the declaration of the state of emergency, which will remain in effect until January 27.

A Transport Ministry spokesman said air travel was not disrupted.

A spokesman for state electricity company PLN said it had cut power supplies to a number of areas to minimize the danger of electrocutions, the Jakarta Globe reports.

The last severe flooding in Jakarta was in 2007, when at least 40 people were killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due in Jakarta on Friday to meet top leaders and deliver a foreign policy speech.

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CNN earned itself another black eye after wrongly reporting that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded with three feet of water following the worst of Hurricane Sandy.

“There has been no damage to our building or systems, and we will conduct tests with the industry today with the aim of reopening U.S. markets on Wednesday,” NYSE spokesman Ray Pellecchia said in a statement.

During a live segment on Piers Morgan’s show Monday night, the anchor spoke with the network’s meteorologist who based the sensational claim solely on a comment left in a chat room.

“You have an update on the stock exchange situation. Do we still think that three feet of water got into the exchange? There seem to be conflicting reports now,” Piers Morgan asked meteorologist Chad Myers.

“Oh, is that right? You know, I got that from the National Weather Service chat bulletin board. It was right on there; it said three feet of water on the floor. I don’t know if there’s conflicting reports or not,” Chad Myers said.

CNN wrongly reported that NYSE was flooded with 3 feet of water following the worst of Hurricane Sandy

CNN wrongly reported that NYSE was flooded with 3 feet of water following the worst of Hurricane Sandy

The claim instantly went viral, spreading quickly on social networks and circulating as fact.

An NYSE official quickly tried to thwart the rumor, saying that the infrastructure of the landmark Wall Street building was “fine”.

A spokesman for the network issued a vague apology, purposefully avoiding the point of the fact that their sources were as murky as the alleged sea water that covered much of lower Manhattan.

“Chad referenced a National Weather Service report that turned out to be incorrect. We quickly made an on air correction. We regret the error,” CNN spokesman Bridget Leininger said.

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