Hurricane Grace pummeled Mexico with torrential rain on Saturday, causing severe flooding and mudslides that killed at least eight people after becoming one of the most powerful storms in years to hit the country’s Gulf coast.
Grace was blowing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour), a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, when it slammed into the coast near the resort of Tecolutla in Veracruz state in the early morning.
The state government said eight people were killed, including six from a single family. All but one of the victims died in Xalapa, the state capital, including a young girl killed by a mudslide that hit her home, the government said.
An adult was killed by a collapsed roof in the city of Poza Rica further north in the state, Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia told a news conference.
“The state of emergency has not ended,” he added.
Local television showed severe flooding in Xalapa, with coffins from a local business floating down a waterlogged street. The nearby River Actopan burst its banks, shutting down a local highway, state authorities said.
Ericka Herrera, a homemaker in Tecolutla, was in tears as she described the destruction.
“Not of this magnitude that just wrecks everything,” she said. “It’s really sad. Things are really bad.”
Grace smashed windows, downed trees, power cables and telegraph poles, leaving debris strewn around Tecolutla, though there were no human casualties, local authorities said.
Images from Veracruz posted on social media showed damage to buildings and submerged cars.
Garcia said several rivers in Veracruz would flood, and urged the local population to take cover.
Television footage also showed flooding in Ciudad Madero in the southern reaches of the state of Tamaulipas near the border of Veracruz. Mexican state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos’ (Pemex) Francisco Madero refinery is in Ciudad Madero.
Mexico City’s international airport said some flights were canceled due to the hurricane. The Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) national power utility reported 565,000 electricity users were affected by outages.
Grace weakened quickly as it moved into the mountainous interior, and by 4 p.m. CDT (2100 GMT) it was dissipating in central Mexico, with top winds of 25 mph (35 kph). The center was about 65 miles (105 km) west-northwest of Mexico City, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT2+shtml/211149.shtml
Before Grace hit land, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged people in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo to get to higher ground or shelters.
Many appear to have heeded the call.
The NHC forecast Grace would dump 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) of rain over eastern and central Mexico through Sunday and up to 18 inches (45 cm) in some areas. The heavy rainfall will likely cause areas of flash and urban flooding, it said.
Veracruz and its waters are home to several oil installations, including Pemex’s port in Coatzacoalcos and its Lazaro Cardenas refinery in Minatitlan in the south. Grace hit land well to the north of these cities.
Earlier in the week, Grace pounded Mexico’s Caribbean coast, downing trees and resulting in power outages for nearly 700,000 people, but without causing loss of life, authorities said.
It also doused Jamaica and Haiti, still reeling from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, with torrential rain.
Courtesy of usnews.com
Iceland volcano Fagradalsfjall between capital & main airport ERUPTS, triggering halt to air traffic
A volcano has erupted in southwest Iceland following heavy seismic activity and a series of small earthquakes in the area. All inbound and outgoing flights have been halted amid the eruption.
The Fagradalsfjall volcano, located around 20 miles (32km) south of the country’s capital of Reykjavik, erupted late on Friday night, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (ICO), which noted that all flights to and from the neighboring Keflavik International Airport had been paused.
A video captured from the Coast Guard helicopter and shared by the ICO showed a stream of glowing lava snaking down the mountain, with the office adding that the lava flow is only some 1.6 miles (2.6km) away from the town of Suðurstrandarvegur.
Photos of the eruption have circulated on social media, turning the night sky red.
Authorities from Keflavik were sent to assess the situation, the ICO said, while local media reported that a Coast Guard helicopter had also been dispatched to the area, bringing along two scientists to help determine next steps.
A local government spokesperson also announced that all main roads around the volcano had been closed “so that people do not get too close.”
Located on a peninsula in southwest Iceland, the volcano sits in a seismic hotspot which has seen some 40,000 small quakes since late February, putting the region on high alert for a volcanic episode. However, as noted by a local seismologist, activity in the area “died down almost completely” in the lead-up to Friday’s eruption.
Courtesy of rt.com
Canaries flights suspended as Saharan sand blankets islands #Sandstorm #CanaryIslands #GranCanaria #Fuerteventura #Lanzarote #Spain
Spain’s airport operator AENA suspended all flights in and out of Gran Canaria and all flights leaving Tenerife on Saturday evening after a storm carrying clouds of red sand from the Sahara hit the Canaries and severely reduced visibility.
At least 19 flights to Gran Canaria were diverted, a spokeswoman for AENA said. She did not specify which airlines had been affected.
Budget carrier Vueling, a subsidiary of IAG, said some of its services had been hit and advised passengers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport.
Spain’s national weather service warned that winds of up to 120 kph (75 mph) are set to buffet the Canaries until Monday. Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are likely to be the worst hit, the weather service said.
Courtesy of reuters.com
STORM DENNIS UPDATE: Hundreds of flights cancelled in the UK and army called in ahead of heavy winds and flooding #StormDENNIS #flights #planes #cancellations #army #SevereAlert #FloodAlert #gales #UK
Warnings are in place across the whole of the UK, while a month’s worth of rainfall is expected in places.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled and the army has been called in as Storm Dennis prepares to hit the UK with strong winds and flooding.
The UK is bracing for disruption as the “perfect storm” approaches, bringing gusts of up to 70mph (113kmph).
The storm could bring a month’s rainfall in one day and some parts of the country could see up to 12cm (4.7in).
More than 230 easyJet flights in and out of the UK have been cancelled due to the weather on Saturday.
British Airways has said most of its flights are scheduled to go ahead as planned, but it is expecting disruption due to strong winds.
As of 9.30am on Saturday, there were 14 flood warnings – meaning people should take immediate action as flooding is expected – and 140 flood alerts, which means flooding is possible.
Forecasters have issued separate weather warnings for rain and wind covering most of the UK until Monday.
This includes amber warnings from midday on Saturday over southern Scotland, northern England, Wales and part of the South West saying that flooding could cause a danger to life.
Troops are being deployed to help with flood preparations in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire.
The Ministry of Justice has said 75 personnel based in Catterick and 70 reservists from Yorkshire are constructing around 700m of barriers, helping to repair defences and lay down sandbags.
Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said: “The presence of army officers in Calderdale will be a reassuring sight for the many residents and businesses who are still recovering from Storm Ciara and preparing for Storm Dennis.
“Council staff, partners, volunteers and community groups have worked tirelessly all week and will continue to work around the clock for as long as necessary to help keep people safe and to manage the flood risk.”
A Royal Navy ship is assisting in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Margate, Kent, after a man was reported overboard from a vessel at around 5:41am on Saturday.
It it is not clear if the incident is connected to Storm Dennis.
RNLI lifeboats, a police boat and the coastguard helicopter are assisting with the Navy ship with the search.
The Met Office says Storm Dennis poses a greater risk of widespread flooding than Storm Ciara the weekend before.
The Environment Agency (EA) said this is due to rain falling on already saturated ground.
Power cuts are also expected and there is a good chance train and buses will see cancellations or delays and roads closed.
Courtesy of Sky News
Storm Ciara: Flights cancelled as epic winds cause transport chaos across Britain #StormCiara #SevereAlert #cancellations #flights #uk
FLIGHTS to and from UK have been cancelled due to growing concerns about Storm Ciara.
Met Office Weather warnings are in place for the whole of the UK on Sunday, ranked at either yellow or the more extreme amber. British Airways are offering flexible rebooking services in anticipation of the effects of the storm. On Saturday evening, the airline’s website wrote: “Like all airlines operating in to and out of the UK tomorrow, we are expecting to be impacted by the adverse weather conditions across parts of the UK on Sunday 9th February.
“We are sorry for the potential disruption to your travel plans and are doing all we can to minimise the effect the poor weather may have on our flights.
“We recognise the uncertainty that the bad weather may be causing customers, and have therefore introduced flexible rebooking options for all customers on domestic and European flights flying to/from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City on Sunday.”
Virgin Atlantic have cancelled 17 flights which are listed on their website.
These are flights with codes VS0020 08FEB20, VS0024 08FEB20, VS0156 08FEB20, VS0007 09FEB20, VS0019 09FEB20, VS0155 09FEB20, VS0010 08FEB20, VS0022 08FEB20, VS0104 08FEB20, VS0012 08FEB20, VS0012 08FEB20, VS0002 08FEB20, VS0045 09FEB20, VS0021 09FEB20, VS0103 09FEB20, VS0011 09FEB20 and VS0001 09FEB20.
Rail operators have urged Britons not to travel with reduced timetable set to be introduced.
Ferry passengers also face disruption.
As per the BBC, Heathrow has announced it has taken a decision with airlines to “consolidate” the Sunday flight schedule.
The Met Office have warned that the debris blown around the wind could pose a danger to life.
Northern Rail has imposed a speed restriction of 50mph on all trains.
Avanti West Coast, London North Eastern and South Western have said Sunday rail tickets will be valid on some Monday services.
It is the third storm of the 2019-20 season after Atiyah and Brendan.
The next will be called Storm Dennis.
Courtesy of express.co.uk
At least a foot of snow covers a driveway, gate and trees in Biar, Alicante. It is several kilometres inland from the coast
Spain’s Costa Blanca and Valencian coastline have been pummelled by a vicious storm this morning, shutting Alicante airport, flooding homes and blanketing areas with at least a foot of snow.
Flights to London, Newcastle, Bristol, Edinburgh and other major cities were cancelled as the airport shut for the day, forcing holidaymakers to either travel to a different airport or sit tight until the dangerous weather moved on.
Towering waves have been pictured slamming into the coastline while, in Denia, seawater was filmed gushing through the streets of the city.
Snow drifts have also built up inland as a seven-hour shower in Villena, Valencia, left the city’s 35,000 inhabitants cut off after up to three inch piles of the white stuff blocked roads.
A red alert was issued for Storm Gloria yesterday, before it smashed into the region, warning it would bring heavy rain, snow, up to 75mph winds and waves that could reach eight feet in height.
It is expected to move towards the north-west of Spain tomorrow, with the bad weather unlikely to subside before Wednesday, the Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) said.
A 54-year-old Romanian woman died from hypothermia in Gandia, Valencia, following the vicious weather, local media reports. A 44-year-old man also died yesterday when he was run over by a van that lost control in snow-covered Santander, Asturias.
Terrifying footage shows waves sweeping into Denia, Alicante and appearing to surround people trapped in their cars.
The beach in Javea, further down the coast, has been pictured strewn with rubble and bits of wood washed up as the storm battered the headland.
Storefronts were also pictured smashed on the city’s contents, with glass panels and furniture strewn across the pavement outside.
Waves have been filmed rearing up to several feet high before slamming against the coastline in Calpe, Alicante, by the Alicante Meteorological Project.
The river Algar, in the mountains, has also been filmed bursting its banks and gushing over a tourist viewing platform at the Algar waterfall in a torrent of rapidly moving water.
As the storm hammered its way over the Spanish mainland the rain froze, causing a deluge of snow to fall over inland areas in the interior of Valencia and Alicante.
The 35,000 residents of Villen, Valencia, were isolated this morning after a seven-hour snowfall left snow drifts between two and three inches high blocking roads into and out of the town.
Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
Courtesy Aaron Merculieff
The National Weather Service issued a SIGMET aircraft safety alert as the ash plume from Shishaldin reached as high as 20,000 feet in elevation and extended up to 90 miles eastward from the volcano.
A lava flow is visible from the northeast flank of the volcano, with a large steam plume moving to the south-southeast visible in webcam imagery on Saturday.
A volcanic cloud is reported to extend up to 90 miles east from Shishaldin, located on Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Shishaldin is one of the most actives volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc — with 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775.
In April and May of 1999, an eruption at Shishaldin generated an ash column reaching 45,000 ft. about sea level.
Courtesy of ktuu.com