Firefighters used water-carrying planes on Saturday as they battled to control a wildfire in Spain’s Costa Brava region that has forced 350 people to be evacuated from their homes, the regional fire service said.
The blaze, which police think was caused by a discarded cigarette, tore through more than 400 hectares (about 1,000 acres) of forest and scrubland on the edge of the Cap de Creus natural park, a popular tourist area.
“We’re trying to bring the fire under control at the moment using six aircraft, which are pouring water onto the flames and 90 fire crews on the ground,” said Sergi Palacios from the Catalan regional government’s fire service.
Video images shot by firefighters showed them clambering across the rocky terrain as they worked in the darkness to tackle the fire, which started on Friday.
More than 231 people had to seek shelter overnight in temporary accommodation offered by the local council in El Port de la Selva district.
Police said anyone found responsible for causing the fire by throwing away a smouldering cigarette could face criminal charges.
“One negligent cigarette butt is 50 years of reforestation,” Jordi Puignero, vice president of the Catalan regional government, told reporters.
Courtesy of reuters.com
The nearly 11,000-acre Elbow Creek Fire in northeast Oregon continues to be pushed by erratic winds and hot temperatures, challenging firefighters as the fire burns primarily to the east and west, with some growth to the north, officials said Saturday as Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Conflagration Act to bring in more outside resources..
The fire is located in the Grande Ronde River drainage near Mud Springs, about 30 miles southeast of Walla Walla, Wash.
Here’s the rest of Saturday morning’s update from the Oregon Department of Forestry:
Helicopters and air tankers worked to slow the spread of the fire to the north and south yesterday, while crews aided in structure protection. Firefighters also worked the northwest side of the fire to keep the fire from spreading into Elbow Creek and progressing further through the Grande Ronde River drainage. Support from heavy airtankers aided in limiting the fire spread on the south on private ownership and firefighters were able to hold the fire last night north of Sickfoot Road.
Based on infrared mapping, the fire is estimated to be 10,941 acres in size, and remains at 0% containment.
Today, suppression activities are focused on holding the fire in the Wildcat Creek area on the east side and protecting structures at risk. Additionally, firefighters are establishing anchor points and scouting opportunities to build containment lines to the west side of the fire near Elbow Creek. Where terrain and fuels allow for crews to safely engage, firefighters continue working to build line construction and limit the fire spread on private ownership to the south, utilizing aircraft to slow fire spread.
The Elbow Creek Fire was reported on Thursday and is burning on both sides of the Grande Ronde River and is on or threatening Umatilla National Forest lands, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest lands, Vale District Bureau of Land Management lands and Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Numerous resources are aiding in firefighting efforts, including landowners, private operators, and various federal and state resources (hand crews, dozers, multiple engines, and water tenders). The fire is currently being staffed by a Type 3 Northeast Oregon Interagency Management Team. The agencies will inbrief the Oregon Department of Forestry Team 3 Type 1 Incident Management Team led by Link Smith today at 5 p.m. at the Wallowa High School and the team is anticipated to take command of the fire tomorrow.
The conflagration request sent by Wallowa County Fire Defense Board Chief, Paul Karvoski, to the Governor’s Office has been approved and additional resources are en route to support structure protection work with suppression efforts. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office is surging resources to assist the local fire agencies.
Wallowa County has updated evacuation information. Additional information regarding evacuations is available through the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 426-3131 or by monitoring the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.
Closures are also in place surrounding the fire. Due to fire activity on both sides of the Grande Ronde River corridor, the river is closed at Minam State Park. Any rafters that arrive into the fire area will be safely evacuated in coordination with Wallowa County Search and Rescue. Due to extreme wildfire activity and the concern for the safety of the public the entirety of the Umatilla National Forest has been temporarily closed.
Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at EXTREME.
Courtesy of ktvz.com
The Barbados Meteorological Services issued a severe volcanic ash warning for the island on April 10, 2021. A thick plume of volcanic ash from the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent, which erupted on April 9, is currently affecting the island. Satellite imagery of the volcano continues to show a thick plume of ash traveling easterly towards Barbados. There have been reports of ash fall across the island, and Saharan dust haze also remains present, which will continue to reduce visibility and may cause respiratory problems, especially for those persons with pre-existing respiratory issues or allergies.
The Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados is closed until at least 6 a.m. on April 11, 2021, due to the volcanic ash.
Actions to Take:
Remain vigilant and maintain active awareness of local conditions.
Limit outdoor activity and wear masks (N95 ideally) when outdoors
Close windows and use air filters if available indoors.
Persons with respiratory issues or allergies should ensure they have, close at hand, all prescribed relevant medications and inhalers in case of an emergency.
Use car headlights to assist with the reduced visibility and do not use the car’s ventilation system.
Monitor the Barbados Meteorological Services website for updates.
Courtesy of bb.usembassy.gov
A powerful cyclonic storm lashed India’s southeastern coast early on Thursday, uprooting trees and packing strong winds and rains as tens of thousands of people took refuge in shelters.
The centre of Nivar made landfall at 3:05am local time (21:35 GMT on Wednesday) near Puducherry with winds of up to 130 kilometres (81 miles) per hour.
Tamil Nadu minister RB Udhayakumar said late on Wednesday that about 175,000 people were moved to shelters across the state as local authorities declared a public holiday on Wednesday and Thursday, shutting everything except emergency services.
Thousands of state and national emergency personnel were deployed in the southern regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry as authorities suspended power supply across several cities to prevent damage to the electricity grid.
Heavy rains triggered by the storm caused flooding in some streets of the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s largest city which is home to many large automobile manufacturers, according to a Reuters witness.
Flight operations at Chennai airport were suspended until Thursday morning and metro train services halted.
People were seen walking in knee-deep water in some streets in south Chennai, which has many low-lying areas susceptible to flooding. Local administration workers have been working to remove fallen trees and power lines, city corporation officials said on Twitter.
Authorities in Chennai said they were also closely observing the level of reservoirs and lakes to avoid a repeat of 2015 flooding which killed several hundred people. Lake Chembarambakkam outside Chennai discharged extra water because of the heavy rains.
Local media reported at least five deaths in and around Chennai, due to causes including trees falling, drowning and electrocution.
Initially classified as a “very severe cyclonic storm” as it swirled in the Bay of Bengal, Nivar weakened after landfall into a “severe cyclonic storm”, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
It is forecast to move north and further weaken over the next few hours, the weather bureau added.
The Meteorological Department said Nivar’s intensity had dropped to 85 to 95 kph (53 to 59 mph) and is expected to weaken further.
The fierce winds uprooted trees and toppled electricity pylons while downpours lashed parts of the region, causing flash floods.
Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu recorded nearly 244 millimetres (9.6 inches) of rain since Wednesday morning, with a severe weather warning for further thunderstorms in place for the state.
In Puducherry, home to 1.6 million people, the rain-soaked streets and markets were deserted and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi appealed to locals to stay indoors and abide by authorities’ instructions.
“Move to high places wherever you have to. There are relief centres. Please move there,” Bedi said in a video message on Twitter.
The navy said its ships, aircraft and crew were on standby to assist with disaster relief.
But people in some pockets along the coast were reluctant to abandon their homes and fishing boats and move to government shelters.
No evacuation orders were issued in Sri Lanka but heavy rains were forecast, particularly in the north of the island nation.
Fishermen there were advised not to go out to sea.
More than 110 people died after “super Cyclone” Amphan ravaged eastern India and Bangladesh in May, flattening villages, destroying farms and leaving millions without electricity.
But the death toll was far lower than the many thousands killed in previous cyclones of that size, a result of improved weather forecasting and better response plans.
Courtesy of aljazeera.com
Freak weather triggers state of emergency in Russia’s Far East, with freezing ice rain & plummeting temperatures
Strong winds and ice cold downpours have struck the city of Vladivostok in the Far East of Russia, leaving thousands without power, electricity and running water. The local government has officially declared a natural disaster.
As many as 120,000 homes were initially affected and, as of Friday, more than 1,500 households in the area were reportedly still cut off from the grid, with many having also lost their central heating. Although temperatures remained comparatively mild, at -1 degree Celsius, the combination of heavy snowfall and high-speed gales disrupted infrastructure and even caused damage to buildings.
In viral footage shared widely on Thursday, Alexander Zhuk, a Vladivostok native, narrowly escaped being crushed by a giant slab of concrete that fell onto his car, which he had been de-icing. He was later pictured next to the written-off vehicle, drinking a beer and celebrating his lucky escape.
The incident underlines concerns from the city’s residents that the fresh snow and freezing temperatures are taking their toll on the older high-rise residential blocks that are a staple in many Far Eastern cities. Some locals also woke up to find their cars virtually entirely frozen by sweeping ice rain that fell across the region overnight.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper published disturbing images on Friday that purport to show the “first fatality” from the weather, with a body laying in the snow in one of Vladivostok’s parks. Local authorities have since confirmed that the man was a 60-year-old of no fixed address. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
A state of emergency has been in place across the region since Thursday, and temporary shelters offering food, warmth and psychological support have been set up for those unable to stay at home. Authorities warn that conditions could continue to worsen. In the longer-term, scientists warn that extreme weather could become more and more frequent as a side effect of climate change.
Courtesy of rt.com
Up to 150 people are feared to have been killed in a landslide in Guatemala after Storm Eta lashed central America with torrential downpours.
Many of those who lost their lives in the remote mountain village of Queja in the country’s central region of Alta Verapaz were buried in their homes under mud, according to the authorities.
The devastating weather front has wreaked havoc from Panama to Honduras and Mexico, which between them have recorded more than 50 flood-related deaths.
Soldiers trying to reach the site of the Queja landslide had their search for survivors hampered by atrocious conditions, including thick mud.
An army spokesman said it was not the first time disaster had struck the area, which was the scene of a huge landslide a decade ago, that killed dozens.
Footage of severe flooding in another part of Guatemala showed boats ferrying villagers to safety and rescue workers wading through waist-deep water carrying children on their backs.
Eta is one of the fiercest storms to hit Central America in years, with the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) warning that “catastrophic flooding” in the region would continue.
Rescue operations across Honduras and Guatemala have been hampered by destroyed roads and bridges, forcing authorities to bring in the military and use helicopters and speedboats to rescue people stranded on top of their homes.
“We have a lot of people trapped we have not been able to reach,” said Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
He tweeted a picture of an elderly man being rescued with the caption: “We will do whatever it takes, where it takes, whatever it takes to reach every Guatemalan. We will not leave you alone.”
In Honduras, flooding has killed 23 people and two are missing, the government said.
“This is the worst storm Honduras has seen in decades. The damage will undoubtedly be significant,” said Mark Connolly, UNICEF representative in Honduras, who estimated about 1.5 million children there will be affected.
“We have been without food for two days… waiting to be evacuated,” said William Santos, sheltering on top of a banana packing plant with about 300 people in northern Honduras.
Across the border from Guatemala in the Mexican state of Chiapas, flooding has killed 19 people.
The devastation recalls memories of Hurricane Mitch, which killed some 10,000 people in Central America back in 1998.
Latest reports put Eta off Belize’s coast in the Caribbean, heading towards Cuba and Florida.
But remnants of the weather system will continue to hammer parts of Central America with flooding, said the NHC.
Courtesy of Sky News
More than a dozen Nebraska counties have been designated as disaster areas because of drought.
Over the past week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued disaster declarations for 17 counties, mostly in northeast and western Nebraska, the two areas where drought conditions have been the worst.
The counties designated as primary natural disaster areas were: Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Deuel, Dundy, Garden, Hitchcock, Keith, Kimball, Madison, Morrill, Pierce, Perkins, Platte, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Wayne.
Lincoln saw one of its coldest Octobers ever
They join Colfax, Cuming, Dawes, Dodge, Stanton and Thurston counties, which were declared as disaster areas last month.
Counties with a disaster declaration are eligible for emergency loans for losses caused by drought, which can be used for purposes such as paying to replace equipment or livestock or refinancing debts.
That eligibility also extends to more than two dozen counties that are contiguous to the counties with disaster declarations.
6 Nebraska counties named disaster areas because of drought
Nebraska is seeing its worst drought conditions since 2013. As of Thursday, nearly 86% of the state was in some level of drought, with 12% — all in the Panhandle — in extreme drought.
Both severe and extreme drought can lead to lowered crop yields, scarce hay supplies and serious declines in groundwater levels.
The one thing the dry weather has helped with is harvest. As of Monday, the soybean harvest was essentially done in the state, while about 86% of corn had been harvested. That’s well ahead of the five-year average.
Drought tightens grip on Nebraska as hot, dry spell looms.
Courtesy of norfolkdailynews.com
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 58 km SSW of Karabağlar, Turkey / pop: 458,000 / local time: 14:51:25.7 2020-10-30
18 km NNE of Néon Karlovásion, Greece / pop: 6,700 / local time: 13:51:25.7 2020-10-30