Archive | July 24, 2014

Tornado Rips Through Campground, Kills 2 and Injures Dozens in Virginia, USA

Cherrystone Campground storm damage

“Something crazy is going on outside,” a woman shouts. “I’m scared.”

Moments later, the same voice yells that a tree has fallen and another says, “It’s on that guy’s camper.”

Overturned campers, downed trees

The footage posted on the website of CNN affiliate WAVY came from the Cherrystone Family Camping Resort on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, where a powerful storm Thursday toppled campers and sent trees crashing onto vehicles.

Police said two people died, and a hospital official said 25 others treated for injuries included three in critical condition.

Photos from the scene in Northampton County showed overturned campers, with a downed tree crushing one vehicle.

The area was under a tornado warning, and Danielle Rivera — who shot the video footage — told WAVY of giant hail and crushing winds that tore off the awning of her family’s camper.

“I was terrified”

“I was terrified,” the 17-year-old Rivera said. “I was so scared.”

She and her mother decided to stay in the camper until the hail and wind relented enough for them to make a dash to their car.

“I thought a tree was going to fall on us,” she said.

State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said emergency personnel searched the area for additional casualties, and survivors got bused to a high school set up as a temporary shelter.

Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital was treating 25 people injured by the storm, with three in critical condition, according to spokesman Peter Glagola. Most of the injuries involved broken bones and head trauma, he said.

Cherrystone Campground storm damage

Tornado warning

According to the National Weather Service, a cluster of “supercells” ahead of a cold front formed a storm over Chesapeake Bay just after 8 a.m. ET.

The storm intensified as it moved on ashore about 30 minutes later. The area was under a tornado warning issued at 8:20 a.m.

Cherrystone opened in 1964 occupies 300 acres with 725 sites including cabins, cottages, and deluxe campers, its website says.

Rivera told WAVY she and her family had been going there for 10 years, but “never have I ever witnessed anything this bad.”


Deadly Ebola Virus spreads to the Sierra Leone’s chief doctor who is fighting for life

Ebola Virus

The head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease, the government said

The 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a “national hero” by the health ministry, was leading the fight to control an outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country. Ebola kills up to 90 percent of those infected and there is no cure or vaccine.

Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, more than 600 people have died from the illness, according to the World Health Organisation, placing great strain on the health systems of some of Africa’s poorest countries.

Khan, a Sierra Leonean virologist credited with treating more than 100 Ebola victims, has been transferred to a treatment ward run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, according to the statement released late on Tuesday by the president’s office.

Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called Khan a national hero and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives”.

Khan told Reuters in late June that he was worried about contracting Ebola. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said in an interview, showing no signs of ill health at the time.

“Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

Three days ago, three nurses working in the same Ebola treatment centre alongside Khan died from the disease.

The Ebola outbreak started in Guinea’s remote southeast in February and has since spread across the region. Symptoms of the highly infectious disease are diarrhea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding.

Major Respiratory Virus Circulation, England and Wales

Virus Alert

Six major respiratory viruses reported from PHE and NHS laboratories (LabBase) in England and Wales between weeks 1 of 2004 and 28 of 2014

This graph shows the weekly distribution (using 3-week moving average method) of number of samples positive for 6 major respiratory viruses including:

  • influenza A
  • influenza B
  • RSV
  • rhinovirus
  • parainfluenza
  • adenovirus

These viruses were reported from Public Health England (PHE) and NHS laboratories (LabBase) in England and Wales between weeks 1 of 2004 and 28 of 2014.

Lava flow from growing dome at Semeru volcano in East Java

Volcano Alert

Activity, weak during the past months, seems to have picked up. A new lava flow has started to slowly descend the southeastern slope. 
Since the intense explosive phase of activity in February 2012, accompanied by pyroclastic flows down the southern slope, a lava dome has been growing slowly inside the breached summit crater. This dome now started to form a more or less coherent lava lobe that began descending through the notch onto the upper southern slope. Weak glow is visible at night. 
As a comparison of satellite images between 7 June and 16 July, compiled by Culture Volcan shows the progression of a tongue of hot material inside the ravine, likely a lava flow reaching 1,5-2 km length. 
The presence of this flow has been causing almost constant rockfalls from the front of the flow into the Kembar ravine. 
Lava flows are not uncommon at Semeru. Other recent ones occurred in 2010 and in March 2012.

Three more killed in landslides, toll now 5, India

Landslide Alert

In less than a week, the toll in landslide-related incidents rose to five in the Uttarakhand hill districts with two fresh casualties reported late Wednesday in Chamoli district. 
Executive director Puish Rautela of the Uttarakhand Disaster Management Response Centre (UDMC) said that three people, including a 50-year-old woman, Janki Devi, died in a landslide on Sunday near Sonprayag on the Rudraprayag-Kedarnath national highway, in Rudrapryag district. 
Two men Ganesh Prasad (38) and Puran Singh (45) were killed late Wednesday around 11.30 pm as a huge rock, triggered by heavy rain, came crashing on a state government-owned bus at Bajpur. 
A senior officer in the disaster management department said 38 connecting roads including Rishikesh-Badrinath, Rishikesh-Kedarnath, Rishikesh-Gangotri and Yamnotri, were found blocked because of fresh landslides. The total number of blocked roads rose to 206 from 168 in Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pauri, Kedarnath and Tehri districts. 
Chief Minister Harish Rawat told TOI that he has asked DMs and divisional commissioners in Garhwal and Kumaon divisions to ensure that all those who are stuck at different places are supplied meals and other essential commodities regularly. 

Massive 1 Kilometer Landslide at Iceland Volcano Batters Shoreline With 50-Meter Tidal Waves


A roughly one-kilometer (0.6-mile) wide piece of land fell from a mountain near Askja stratovolcano on Monday night. Several 50-meter (164-feet) tidal waves crashed on the rocks around the lake in Askja during the night. According to estimates, 50 to 60 million cubic meters (1,766-2,118 cubic feet) of land fell down the mountain. As a result of the warm weather in the area in recent days, ice around the lake melted quickly causing the ground to destabilize.

Researcher Ármann Höskuldsson was in the area with a group of students when the incident occurred and says it was lucky that the incident occurred around midnight when no one was down by the lake.

“There was a massive landslide with part of it falling into the water which created a tidal wave … The waves were around 50 meters high and were hitting up against the walls of the northern side of the lake,” he told

The waves have resulted in significant erosion, reports.

The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management met this morning to discuss the situation. Hiking tracks in the area have been closed.

Huge landslide kills 2 in Rizal, Philippines

Landslide Alert

A three-year-old boy and his younger brother were buried under tons of earth after a landslide occurred in Rodriguez, Rizal, early Wednesday.
The fatalities were identified as Rodgie Amor, 3, and his six-month-old infant brother Jhon Michael.
In a phone interview, Charlie Labez, a councilor in Barangay (village) San Isidro, said heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon caused the landslide in Sitio Banbanin at 3:30 a.m.
“The children were asleep when the landslide happened,” Labez said.
They were rushed to Casimiro Ynares Sr. Memorial Hospital, also in Rodriguez, but both died of injuries about three hours later.
Labez said the victims’ mother was with them and was brought by neighbors and responders to a hospital and was being treated for her injuries.
The father was working at a garbage site when the landslide occurred and had not returned home as of noon.
Labez could not immediately give the names of the parents as they were still in the area clearing the landslide.
“The soil covered almost half their house,” which Labez described as a hut made of light materials. The house stood at the foot of a mountain.

12 children, man die in train-bus crash in India

Breaking News

Twelve children were killed Thursday when a train crashed into their school bus at an unmanned railroad crossing in southern India, police said.

The bus driver also died while another 16 children ages 7 to 14 were injured and hospitalized, said police officer Ravi Nallamala.

They were on their way to the school Thursday morning when the crash happened in Medak district in Telengana state, Nallamala said. The area is nearly 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) south of New Delhi.

He said all the occupants were pulled out from the mangled bus.

Accidents are common on India’s railroad network, one of the world’s largest with 23 million people riding daily on about 11,000 passenger trains. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.

There are hundreds of unmanned crossings across the country, especially in remote areas. Poor finances limit efforts by rail authorities to staff the dangerous crossings around the clock.

Typhoon Matmo causes over 70,000 to evacuate and strikes China
Typhoon Matmo caused the evacuation of thousands of people along China’s southeast coast after it came ashore in Fujian province.

The 10th typhoon to impact China in 2014, Matmo is moving northward after landfall Wednesday. Heavy rains were reported across the provinces bordering the Taiwan Straits, between Taiwan and mainland China.

A farmer was reported swept away by floods in Jianxi Province’s De’an County, and one person died, two are missing and 87 buildings collapsed in Jiujiang City.

Floodwater poured into the Yanting reservoir of Fuzhou City in Fujian province Thursday, and 8,000 downstream residents were relocated.

Shangdong Province’s meteorological office said Typhoon Matmo would arrive in the province by noon Friday.

At least 70,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Severe storm Brings Hail, Rain and Power Outages to Kelowna, Canada

Severe Weather Alert

Heavy rain pounded the Central Okanagan on Wednesday as a thunderstorm rolled into the region.
Residents could see the storm coming as cloudy skies quickly turned dark and the city was suddenly the victim of a downpour. Lightning lit up the sky while thunder shook windows.
West Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton were hit with small amounts of rain along with various areas of Kelowna.
Massive wind gusts caused trees to knock into power lines and transformers to blow, leaving the downtown in the dark for at least 10 to 20 minutes. FortisBC and BCHydro crews worked overtime to ensure power was back up and running for customers as quickly as possible.
Earlier in the day, sudden downpours hammered Kamloops, causing flash flooding in some areas of the city.