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Flood

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Monsoon season in southern Asia has begun, and in India the rains arrived ahead of schedule, easing drought concerns. Monsoon rains can be disruptive and even deadly, but crucial for the farmers whose crops feed millions of people. Though concerns for flooding are prevalent, the arrival of the rains brings colorful celebrations and relief from the heat every year. -Leanne Burden Seidel (32 photos total)
An Indian buffalo herder holding a traditional handmade umbrella stands in a field to keep watch of his buffaloes as monsoon clouds hover above in Bhubaneswar, India, on June 13, 2013. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)     

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The historic flooding throughout central Europe continues, as the Elbe River has broken through several dikes in northern Germany, and the crest of the swollen Danube River has reached southern Hungary, and threatens Serbia. Parts of Austria and the Czech Republic are now in recovery mode, as thousands of residents return home to recover what they can. Gathered here are images from the past several days of those affected by these continuing floods. See earlier entry: Flooding Across Central Europe. [24 photos]

A garden with a swimming pool is inundated by the waters of the Elbe River during floods near Magdeburg in the state of Saxony Anhalt, on June 10, 2013. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region's worst floods in a decade. (Reuters/Thomas Peter)     

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Heavy rainfall over Europe during the the past week has swollen many rivers past their flood stage, wreaking havoc unseen in decades across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. At least 18 people across the region have been killed, and tens of thousands have been evacuated. In Germany, the crest of the Elbe River is now approaching the North Sea, as the swollen Danube River is surging toward the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Collected here are images from the past several days of those affected by these historic floods, even as meteorologists predict more rain over the coming weekend. [36 photos]

The city hall of Grimma, Germany, surrounded by floodwater, on June 3, 2013. Flooding has spread across a large area of central Europe following heavy rainfall in recent days. Eastern and southern Germany are suffering under floods that in some cases are the worst in 400 years. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region. (AP Photo/dpa, Jens Wolf)     

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Hiroko Masuike revisited the Kongoji Temple in Aramachi, a small community in Japan, in March and October last year. She returned this week for the one-year anniversary of the tsunami and earthquake.

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The massive body of water now surrounding Bangkok is continuing its long, destructive trip toward the ocean. The flood is the result of the heavy monsoon rains that drenched Southeast Asia four months ago, leaving Thailand and neighboring countries submerged and claiming more than 1,000 lives across the region. The waters that inundated Ayutthaya to the north of Bangkok have largely receded, but suburbs to the south and west remain under threat, with evacuation notices still being issued. Central Bangkok appears to have been spared the worst of the flooding, due in part to a protective wall of sandbags some 6 km (3.7 mi) long. Throughout the surrounding area, many thousands remain in evacuation centers, or with friends and family, waiting for the worst flooding in decades to recede. Collected here are images from Thailand over the past two weeks. (Also see previous Thailand-flood entries here: 1, 2, 3.) [41 photos]

A Buddha head in the roots of a Bodhi tree is partially submerged by floodwaters in the ruins of Wat Mahathat temple in Thailand's ancient capital, Ayutthaya, on November 6, 2011. The floods in Thailand began in July and have devastated large parts of the central Chao Phraya river basin, killed more than 500 people and disrupted the lives of more than two million. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)

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The worst flooding Thailand has seen in 50 years appears to be coming down from its high-water mark, largely sparing central Bangkok while continuing to inundate surrounding suburbs and farms. Heavy monsoon rains have submerged nearly a third of the country's provinces since July, killing more than 370 people. Over the weekend, high tides and heavy flooding threatened central Bangkok, but defenses appear to have held. However, some residents in surrounding areas have expressed anger at being placed on the outside of these protective barriers and having floodwater diverted toward them. Areas west of Bangkok are still expected to be hard hit in the coming days as the last of the flooding makes its way to the sea. Gathered here are images from Thailand as the waters start to recede and the task of recovery begins. [41 photos]

Thai soldiers hold onto each other, pulling against the stream of water flowing into a neighborhood after a wall was breached by the swollen Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand, on October 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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Heavy monsoon rains have been drenching Southeast Asia since mid-July, causing mudslides and widespread flooding. The deluge has now reached Bangkok, with rising water and associated problems affecting most of the city's 10 million residents. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that parts of the capital could be inundated by up to 1.5 meters of water and remain flooded for up to a month. Around Bangkok, the second-largest airport has closed, food prices are soaring, clean water is becoming scarce, and the country is declaring a holiday from Thursday until Monday to allow people to evacuate. The Chao Phraya river is predicted to overflow its banks in the city sometime today, and authorities say that if the protective dikes fail to hold the water, all parts of Bangkok will be vulnerable to the floodwater. [42 photos]

Residents evacuate from their flooded town, north of Bangkok, on October 25, 2011. Around 320 people have died in flood-related incidents since late July according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, as Thailand experiences the worst flooding in 50 years with damages running as high as $6 billion. (Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad)

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Heavy monsoon rains have been drenching Southeast Asia since mid-July, causing mudslides and widespread flooding along the Mekong River. Parts of Thailand are now experiencing the worst floods in half a century, as water inundates villages, historic temples, farms, and factories. At least 281 people have been killed in Thailand, and another 200 in neighboring Cambodia. Rescue workers are scrambling to prevent a humanitarian disaster, and Thailand's prime minister is warning businesses not to use the flooding as an excuse to raise prices. About 8.2 million people in 60 of Thailand's 77 provinces have been affected by the flooding, and economic losses are so far estimated to top $2 billion. Collected here are recent images of the crisis in Thailand as some 10 million residents in Bangkok keep a wary eye on the approaching surge of floodwater, due to reach the capital in a few days. [37 photos]

Children play in a flooded street in Sena district, Ayutthaya province, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Bangkok, on September 12, 2011. Monsoon rains, storms, floods and mudslides have killed at least 280 people since July, authorities said. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang)

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Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China. In Pakistan, more than 5 million people have been affected by recent flooding, according to the aid agency Oxfam. Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the devastating monsoon rains in 2010. -- Lloyd Young(36 photos total)
A village boy sits on the banks of the swelling Daya River, near Pipli village, about 25 kilometers from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar Sept. 9. The flood situation in Orissa state worsened with the release of more water downstream from Hirakud dam, according to a news agency. A high alert has been sounded in 11 districts of the state. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)

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