California dam repair could cost US$200m

Written by staff reporter

Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated in northern California this week after the Lake Oroville reservoir reached full capacity and dam operators discovered damage in the dam’s infrastructure. The substantial water level was caused by tremendous rainfall from a series of recent storms. This resulted in the first use of the auxiliary spillway in the reservoir’s history. A report from Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting team estimates the cost of repair to the spillways at up to US$200m.

In the US Northeast, meanwhile, a powerful winter storm brought up to three feet of snow, causing widespread disruption in the region. At least one person was killed as the result of a falling tree branch and several others were injured.

Elsewhere, a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck just offshore from the northern tip of the Philippines’ Mindanao Island late on February 10. The tremor was registered at a shallow depth of 15.0km (9.3 miles). Reports indicate that at least eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured as the earthquake’s effects were felt throughout Caraga region. And in eastern Australia, a record-breaking heatwave saw the mercury soar above 40C in parts of Queensland and New South Wales. Additionally, strong winds picked up in New South Wales on Sunday prompting an outbreak of wildfires.

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