Archive | August 14, 2015

Wildfire destroys homes as it grows to 2,500 hectares in Rock Creek, Canada

Wild Fire Alert

The 2,500-hectare fire blazing near the small southern Interior town of Rock Creek has claimed some buildings, including houses, B.C.’s wildfire information centre said Friday afternoon.
But it is too early to say how many houses have been lost, said fire information officer Jordan Turner, adding that he was unable to give an exact location of the buildings that had burned down.
Hundreds of evacuees from Rock Creek are scrambling to find accommodation, after escaping the aggressive wildfire that swept through the area Thursday.
By Friday, the blaze had more than doubled in size to 2,500 hectares, and was moving uphill on either side of the valley. As of Friday afternoon, there were 76 firefighters, four helicopters and two airtankers fighting the blaze, with more personnel en route, according to the BC Wildfire service.
Alan Stanley, an official with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, said Friday afternoon that they still do not know how many structures were lost and that regional and provincial staff were still surveying the area.
Scores of residents from 270 homes and campers, many of whom had to ditch their gear and run from the rapidly moving flames, were staying in reception centres in multiple locations.
“The air is thick with smoke, and everything is closed because no one has any power,” said Scott Petrie, owner of the Rock Creek Trading Post. He said he witnessed some structures on the hill on fire at around 7 p.m., and said police had blocked off all the surrounding roads.
Stanley said early Friday that nearly 300 non residents, mostly campers, checked in at the Midway Community Centre where an emergency shelter has been set up. Midway is a village located n the West Kootenay region, about 50 kilometres east of Osoyoos.
Officials are trying to find out how many people have checked in at the different centres, said Stanley, and at this point cannot say for sure whether any life was lost.
“This is our big issue right now. It was really challenging last night … We don’t have a count yet of how many structures and homes were lost, and we’re scrambling to count people,” he said.
“The fire came down really fast through the campsite.”
Most of the residents had left to stay in reception centres in Kelowna or Lumby, said Stanley.
Evacuees Anita and Orville Unrau, who live north of Rock Creek on the east side of the river, are staying with a family in Midway, after a gruelling afternoon Thursday spent trying to save their 12 horses.
Anita said with the help of kind neighbours all the animals were loaded onto trailers and are temporarily staying with other horse owners in the Kettle Valley and Midway.
“The fire jumped the river, and we were out there with water and mats from our truck, trying to put out the fire,” she said, adding that she witnessed at least one structure go up in flames.
Yet amid the struggle to save homes and lives, she said there was incredible community spirit, as neighbours helped each other to safety and residents of Midway opened up their homes and cafes to feed the displaced residents and campers.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 174 km

Distances: 325km (202mi) N of Raoul Island, New Zealand
634km (394mi) SSW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
985km (612mi) SSE of Suva, Fiji
1065km (662mi) SSE of Nadi, Fiji
1135km (705mi) SSE of Lambasa, Fiji


Subject To Change

Depth: 52 km

Distances: 109km (68mi) N of Saumlaki, Indonesia
200km (124mi) SW of Tual, Indonesia
494km (307mi) SE of Amahai, Indonesia
516km (321mi) SE of Ambon, Indonesia
610km (379mi) N of Darwin, Australia

Typhoon watch is now in effect for Tinian and Saipan; Tropical storm watch for Guam and the CNMI island of Rota

Track of Tropical Depression 16W
Track of Tropical Depression 16W. Photo: The National Weather Service
The weather service says at 2pm on Friday local time, Tropical Depression 16W was over 571 kilometres east-southeast of Saipan, about 579 kilometres east-southeast of Tinian and Rota, and about 611 kilometres east of Guam.
Tropical Depression 16W continues to move west-northwest at 12 kilometres per hour with maximum sustained winds are currently at 48 kilometres per hour.
A tropical storm watch means damaging winds of 62 kilometres per hour or stronger are possible within the next 48 hours.
CNMI’s Saipan, which is still reeling from a direct hit by Typhoon Soudelor, was placed under a typhoon watch, which means damaging winds of 119 kilometres per hour or stronger are possible within 48 hours.
Initial damage from Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan
Initial damage from Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan. Photo: Mark Rabago
Meteorologist Brandon Aydlett told the Pacific Daily News that the depression is expected to evolve into a typhoon late Sunday as it passes north of Saipan.
Mr Adylett says the winds could be pretty damaging for the CNMI who are still recovering from typhoon Souldelor.
He says throughout this week, the tropical depression has been accompanied by a second weather formation that developed over Majuro in the Marshall Islands.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued tropical cyclone formation alerts for both systems.
Courtesy of

Tornado rips through Katikati, New Zealand

Tornado Alert
A tornado tore through the Katikati area yesterday as wild weather lashed the Western Bay of Plenty
Heavy rain and strong winds also caused surface flooding and poor driving visibility around the region
A twister left a trail of destruction with roofs damaged and trees ripped from roots in the Katikati area.
Tuapiro Point resident Juliet Buyn says a barbecue sitting under one of her windows ended up being blown into her garden and the spa pool cover was completely ripped off.
“On the lawn Jack and Jill seat was also sitting under window and a tree was ripped out of the neighbours.
“We were lucky we had no damage to our house but there is a lot of damage to the property.”
Northern Fire Communications shift manager Jaron Phillips says firefighters were called to a number of tiles pulled off roofs and there was reports of flooding on State Highway 2, between Te Puna and Whakamarama.
More rain is expected in the Bay today before easing later this afternoon.
The MetService is forecasting fine weather tomorrow.
Courtesy of

Cotopaxi volcano spews ash south of Ecuador’s capital

Snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano spews ash south of Ecuador's capital
The Cotopaxi volcano near Ecuador’s capital has spewed ash over a wide area in two pre-dawn blasts.
Authorities stressed that the explosions and a five-kilometer- (3-mile-) high plume of ash do not signify that the Andean country’s highest active volcano, which has been showing signs of activity since April, is about to erupt.
Patricio Ramon of Ecuador’s geophysics institute told Teleamazonas TV that the explosions were small phreatic eruptions, which occur when molten rock, or magma, meets water.
“These are the first explosions we have registered since April when [the volcano] started to demonstrate seismic anomalies,” said Patricia Mothes, head of volcanology at the Geophysical Institute.
“The situation merits the population staying informed about what’s happening with the volcano,” said Ramon.
Cotopaxi is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes due to a glacial cover that makes it prone to fast-moving volcanic rock and mud flows, or lahares, and its proximity to a heavily populated area.
Brian Manzano, a hotel receptionist there, said, “When I got up, I opened the door of the hotel and saw a car covered in ash. I do not know how long it has been falling.”
In Quito, a city of 2.3 million, orders have been given for a million surgical masks to be distributed, Mayor Mauricio Rodas said.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 458 km N of Dallas, United States / pop: 1,197,816 / local time: 16:25:41.9 2015-08-14
153 km N of Oklahoma City, United States / pop: 579,999 / local time: 16:25:41.9 2015-08-14
41 km SE of Anthony, United States / pop: 2,269 / local time: 16:25:41.9 2015-08-14
28 km SW of Caldwell, United States / pop: 1,068 / local time: 16:25:41.9 2015-08-14

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Extreme heat alert issued as the severe heatwave hits Slovakia

Extreme Heatwave Alert

The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMU) has issued a country-wide extreme heat alert, with meteorologists estimating that this will remain in place until the end of the week, reported by local news agency TASR on Thursday.
“It happens sometimes that we issue the highest degree alert for dangerous phenomena, such as gales and storms, but an alert that is issued for the whole of Slovakia is very rare and most probably has never been done before,” said Pavol Zaujec of SHMU’s meteorological forecasts and alerts department.
The high temperatures can be expected to continue. In northern parts of the country temperatures have reached 34 degree Celsius, while in southern districts they’ve even touched 38 degree. In Northern Slovakia people aren’t used to temperatures of around 35 degree.
“If such dry and extremely hot weather goes on for a number of consecutive days, it is reflected immediately in an increased incidence of heat strokes and even in a quickly growing number of deaths,” stressed climatologist Jozef Pecho.
Courtesy of