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Tropical Cyclone Seroja destroys homes and businesses in Western Australia’s town of Kalbarri

Cyclone Seroja destroys homes, cuts power to 31,500 on Australia’s west coast

Cyclone Warning Alert

A tropical cyclone on Australia’s west coast destroyed several homes and cut electricity to tens of thousands of people overnight before weakening on Monday morning.

Officials said around 70% of the structures in the coastal town of Kalbarri, about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of state capital Perth, had sustained damage when the category three storm made landfall late on Sunday.

“The devastation caused by Cyclone Seroja is widespread and severe,” Western Australia state premier Mark McGowan told reporters.

Around 40% of the damage was “major”, WA Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said.

No deaths or major injuries have been reported.

A recovery effort is now underway as the biggest threat has passed, McGowan said. There are 31,500 customers still without power supply, which he said could take days to restore.

Tropical cyclone Seroja was downgraded after making landfall to a category two system and was later downgraded further to a tropical low, but bringing heavy rain and strong winds.

Photos on social media and local broadcasts showed downed powerlines, debris and houses stripped of roofs and walls. Western Australia state authorities opened three evacuation centres for displaced residents.

The region was on high alert for the storm, given that houses and other buildings were not built to withstand tropical cyclones, which usually do not push so far south.

“This is a rare weather event for people in southern and eastern parts of WA,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Courtesy of whbl.com

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Death toll of Cyclone Seroja rises to 179 in Indonesia

The death toll of Cyclone Seroja in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province rose to 179 and 45 others are still missing, an official said on Monday.

“We have been able to reach all the affected areas and there are no more isolated villages,” East Nusa Tenggara’s Deputy Governor Josef Nae Soi told a virtual press conference with the National Disaster Management Agency.

Soi said several broken bridges have not yet been rebuilt, hampering economic activities.

He said temporary solutions including using army ships and state-owned ferries have been suggested.

Courtesy of xinhuanet.com

https://tinyurl.com/4k3uat5t

1 dead, 7 injured after tornado rips through Louisiana parish, USA

Photo Illustration

A tornado ripped through a portion of Louisiana early Saturday morning causing extensive damage and leaving at least one person dead and seven others injured, officials said.

Seven people were taken to hospitals and multiple other victims were treated on scene, KLFY reported. Search and rescue crews were still assessing the area for other victims.

The storm caused extensive damage to homes and vehicles. A trailer from a truck was in the middle of a road and other vehicles were flipped over, KLFY reported.

Jose Antonio Higareda, 27, was killed when the tornado hit the home where he was living with 130 to 140 mph winds, The Advocate reported.

Courtesy of fox23.com

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‘Extremely loud’ explosion in city centre – at least three people dead in Madrid, Spain

At least three people have died and six others were injured after an “extremely loud” explosion destroyed a residential building belonging to the Catholic Church in Madrid’s city centre.

The blast happened near a nursing home and a school – and videos and images shared on social media showed rubble scattered in the street.

The city’s mayor said early information indicated the blast was caused by a gas leak, and confirmed that one of the bodies has been discovered under the rubble. Someone was working on a boiler at the time.

Two people have been transferred to hospital for further treatment – and one of them is in a serious condition with a head injury.

Rescue teams, firefighters and police are all at the scene.

Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida said there was an ongoing fire in the six-storey building devastated by the blast.

It was a complex that provided residential training for priests and also gave meals to homeless people, a neighbour said.

The mayor said a nearby school had suffered minor damage.

The school was believed to be empty at the time, according to TVE, because classes had not resumed yet following a record snowfall in the Spanish capital on 9 January.

All nursing home residents were safe and evacuated, according to police sources.

The mayor said the residents were being taken to a hotel across the street.

A witness, Leire Reparaz, said she heard a loud explosion a few minutes before 3pm local time as she headed to her home near the Puerta de Toledo landmark.

She told the AP news agency: “We didn’t know where the sound came from. We all thought it was from the school.

“We went up the stairs to the top of our building and we could see the structure of the building and lots of grey smoke.”

Another witness, Tania Tapia, said: “Suddenly there was a brutal explosion behind my back and that pushed me forward.

“I didn’t know where it came from, my ears were ringing so I turned around and I saw a lot of smoke and the sidewalk full of debris.”

The explosion happened in Toledo Street. Footage on Twitter showed smoke coming from the building, a number of wrecked cars and debris strewn in the road.

A police spokeswoman said the area was being evacuated but could not confirm the cause of the explosion.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/et9ct7h6

At least 10 dead, hundreds injured in Indonesia landslide

Landslide Danger Alert

At least 10 people have died as landslides caused by a strong and shallow earthquake hits Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island early Friday.

People fled their homes and more than 200 have been injured authorities said.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency has released several videos showing the devastating effect on lives and properties.

The videos showed people crying out for help. Children were reportedly buried under tons of rubble, while others got trapped in collapsed buildings.

A girl trapped in the wreckage of a house cried out for help and said she heard the sound of other family members in the rubble but unable to move out. “Please help me, it hurts,” the girl told rescuers, who replied that they desperately wanted to help her.

Thousands have been evacuated to temporary shelters. Rescuers say a lack of heavy equipment was hampering the operation.

On Thursday, a 5.9 magnitude undersea quake hit the same region, damaging several homes but there was no casualties.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Palu on Sulawesi Island set off a tsunami and caused soil to collapse in a phenomenon called liquefaction.

More than 4,000 people died, many of the victims buried when whole neighborhoods were swallowed in the falling ground.

Courtesy of africanews.com

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Indonesia landslide: Rescuers buried as they help victims

Landslide Danger Alert

Rescuers searching for victims of a landslide in Indonesia were buried by a second mudslide just hours later, officials say.

The first landslide, in Cihanjuang village, West Java, was triggered by torrential rain.

Another struck as survivors were still being evacuated. At least 12 people died and dozens more are missing.

Landslides are common in Indonesia during rainy season, and often blamed on deforestation.

The latest disasters hit the villagers in Sumedang regency, about 150km (95 miles) southeast of the capital Jakarta, three and a half hours apart on Saturday.

The first happened at 16:00 (09:00 GMT) and the second at 19:30 (12:30 GMT), disaster agency spokesman Raditya Jati said in a statement.

“The first landslide was triggered by high rainfall and unstable soil conditions. The subsequent landslide occurred while officers were still evacuating victims around the first landslide area,” he added.

Rescuers are believed to be among those killed, he added. A six-year-old boy was also among the dead, according to AFP news agency.

Some 27 people were believed to be missing late on Sunday, local media quoted Deden Ridwansah, the head of the local search and rescue agency as saying. About 46 were known to have survived.

Bad weather had forced the search to be suspended, he said, but it was expected to resume on Monday.

Indonesia frequently suffers floods and landslides. Thousands of people had to be evacuated in the capital Jakarta this time last year as the city was inundated.

Courtesy of BBC News

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Tropical storm Chalane lands in Mozambique

Tropical Storm Alert_1

A powerful tropical storm made landfall near the central Mozambique city of Beira early on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and wind to an area devastated by Cyclone Idai nearly two years ago.

Beira, a low-lying coastal city of 500,000 people, is home to Mozambique’s second-largest port, which serves as a gateway to landlocked countries in the region.

The government had asked people living in the path of tropical storm Chalane and near rivers to move to safer areas.

Chalane had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h with gusts exceeding 120 km/h, according to an update issued by the French weather service’s regional cyclone centre in La Reunion.

“The storm is now tracking inland through central Mozambique and is moving towards Zimbabwe. Government and humanitarian partners hope to begin evaluating the first impacts of the storm as soon as this afternoon,” Helvisney Cardoso, United Nations Mozambique Communications Specialist, said in a statement.

International aid agencies say that tens of thousands of people are still displaced from Idai and living in camps.

The Mozambican government was meeting to assess the impact of the storm and how it would respond.

In Zimbabwe, the government had started evacuating people from eastern parts of the country, where thousands were displaced by Cyclone Idai.

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department said there was high risk of flooding in the region.

Courtesy of in.reuters.com

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