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Red alert flood warning for River Severn issued, UK

Red Alert Issued

River levels in Gloucestershire are rising after heavy rainfall – with more wet weather to come.

The Environment Agency has issued a Flood Warning and Flood Alerts for parts of the Severn and Wye as tidal surges and strong winds combine with rain to cause flooding.

There were reports this afternoon of flooding on the A40 at Highnham, around Two Mile Lane.

This evening, a red Flood Warning was issued for the River Severn at Severn Ham, Tewkesbury.

A Flood Warning has also been issued for the River Wye from Hereford to Ross-on-Wye.

Incident response staff have been deployed along the River Severn in Gloucestershire to check defences as people are urged to avoid using low lying footpaths near watercourses.

On the Severn Estuary, from Gloucester down to Sharpness, the tidal surge with high spring tides and strong winds is expected to overtop sea defences.

Just across the Herefordshire border in Ross-on-Wye, heavy rainfall has seen river levels on Wye rise and flooding of roads and farmland is expected to continue.

The Met Office has put severe weather warnings on parts of the South West and Wales, although none of the warning zones cover Gloucestershire at present.

Courtesy of gloucestershirelive.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y9fwt4yu

Red alert issued for Northern Sri Lanka as Cyclone Nivar approaches

Red Alert Issued

A red alert has been issued for Northern Sri Lanka as Cyclone Nivar approaches.

The Department of Meteorology said that 100-150mm of rain can be expected at several places in the North on Tuesday and Wednesday while over 150mm of rain can be expected at isolated areas.

Navel and fishing communities have been warned not to venture into sea areas extending from Puttalam to Pottuvill via Mannar, Kankasanthurai, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

Those who are out at the aforementioned sea areas have been advised to return to coast or move to safer areas immediately.

Naval and fishing communities have been request to be vigilant during in the sea areas extending from Puttalam to Matara via Colombo.

Meanwhile, the Indian media reported that a low-pressure belt forming over the Bay of Bengal is expected to turn into a cyclonic storm over the next couple of days bringing heavy to extremely heavy rainfall to parts of Tamil Nadu.

The cyclone has been named Nivar and is steering itself towards the northern Tamil Nadu coast.

Courtesy of colombogazette.com

https://tinyurl.com/y3vkttpf

35,700 birds killed due to Bird Flu in the Netherlands. EU on Red Alert

Bird Flu

The detection of several cases of avian influenza in the Netherlands has set the EU on red alert for the possibility of spread elsewhere, leaving the country itself on ‘high alert’ and preparing a mass culling of animals.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease which occurs primarily in poultry and wild water birds. There are two strains of the virus; high or low pathogenic viruses, known as HPAI and LPAI, respectively.

According to media reports, it is this highly pathogenic strain of avian flu that was diagnosed at a poultry farm in the Netherlands on Thursday (29 October).

The diagnosis comes after the discovery of the virus in two wild mute swans last week.

A mass culling of 35,700 animals is now to be carried out by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, according to a statement on the government website.

The statement adds that there are nine other poultry farms in the immediate vicinity of the farm, which are currently undergoing sampling and examination for avian flu.

In addition, there are also 25 other poultry farms in the 10-km zone around the farm, and that transport ban has been applied to this zone.

The risk for Dutch commercial poultry farming of becoming infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has now been rated as high, especially in areas with many wild waterfowl, according to an analysis by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) this month.

Birthe Steenburg, secretary-general of AVEC, the voice of the EU’s poultry sector, told EURACTIV that this outbreak could have serious repercussions for trade.

“When highly pathogenic avian flu is found in a country, many third-country markets shut down for poultry meat,” she said, adding that the Netherlands is a large producer of poultry meat.

This is because of the bilateral agreement that member states have with third countries, which requires a veterinary certificate confirming the country of origin is free from avian influenza.

However, in accordance with EU laws, trade is still possible within the EU, provided that the meat comes from an area outside of a 10km radius of the outbreak.

She added that everyone is now on very high alert to the possibility of the spread of the virus.

In response to the news, a number of EU countries have issued statements over the risk and have started putting preventative measures in place.

In the UK, the avian influenza risk has been raised to medium by the department of environment and rural affairs (DEFRA), while Ireland and France have also sounded the alarm.

This is due to the fact that, at this time of year, wild birds that can carry avian influenza viruses traditionally migrate along the East Atlantic flyway from colder parts of Northern and Eastern Europe to Western European countries including Ireland.

As such, Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has emphasised the need to review biosecurity practises as we now move into a higher risk period for the bird flu.

France too has upped their surveillance and preventative measures in response to the news over fears it could spread.

The 2016/2017 epidemic of HPAI was the largest recorded outbreak to date in the EU in terms of the number of poultry outbreaks, geographical spread and number of dead wild birds.

There is no evidence to suggest that avian influenza can be transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated poultry products.

Courtesy of euractiv.com

https://tinyurl.com/y4dpfhqk

Cyclone Amphan is Intensifying as a Serious Storm Surge, Heavy Rain and Wind Threat to India, Bangladesh #Cyclone #Amphan #India #Bangladesh

image

Cyclone Amphan is quickly strengthening in the Bay of Bengal as it tracks toward India, Bangladesh and Myanmar as a serious threat to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations to cyclones.

Cyclone Amphan (pronounced AM-pun) is currently in the central Bay of Bengal and will track generally northward this weekend and then a turn toward the north-northeast is likely. Its exact track remains uncertain and will determine where the greatest threat from this system will be.

Atmospheric conditions are favorable for development and sea-surface temperatures are very warm. Rapid intensification is a possibility and this tropical cyclone needs to be monitored closely.

Amphan is becoming a hurricane strength system, but could become a major hurricane equivalent system by early Tuesday.

The exact track remains uncertain and as a result areas from northeastern India into Bangladesh and northwestern Myanmar need to be prepared.

As the cyclone approaches the coast on Tuesday night, strong winds, very rough sea conditions, storm surge and heavy rain are likely across Odisha and West Bengal coasts. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert to both Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal (South Bengal). The alert urges the residents to be prepared for gale winds and very heavy rainfall.

A red alert has been issued for Gangetic West Bengal, which urges residents to take action to protect themselves from the extremely heavy rainfall and severe winds forecast for that day.

Sailors and fisherman in Bangladesh have been told to not venture into the Indian Ocean.

Depending on where it makes landfall, significant storm surge is possible, which could be destructive. Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to dangerous storm surge flooding.

Heavy rainfall with the threat of flooding is also a serious concern. It is too early to know how much rain will fall but areas in yellow, orange and red in the map below have the greatest chance of flooding rain.

Heavy rain and gusty winds are also expected this weekend over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Strong, gusty winds are also anticipated. Winds near hurricane force are possible, especially in areas closer to where the center of the storm tracks.

The name Amphan is suggested by Thailand and will be the last name from the original list of 64 cyclone names proposed back in September 2004 for storms over the north Indian Ocean. The WMO guidelines stipulate that the countries in the region must name storms in any ocean basin. For the northern Indian Ocean, now thirteen countries suggest the names. The IMD’s regional specialised meteorological centre (RSMC) in New Delhi monitors the cyclogenesis, issues advisories and names the cyclones.

Courtesy of weather.com

https://tinyurl.com/y85x46zn

Coronavirus: Italy shuts all schools and universities as deaths rise #COVID19 #coronavirus #Italy #emergency #quarantine #epidemic

Coronavirus Alert

Italy is shutting all schools and universities in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Italian authorities say 107 people have died and 3,089 have been infected, making it by some distance the worst-affected European nation.

Only schools in the north of the country, where the coronavirus outbreak is centred, had closed so far, but the wider shutdown will last until 15 March.

Announcing the move, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the country’s health service risked being overwhelmed.

Italy’s sports minister has also said the government is likely to order all top division football matches to be played in empty stadiums until the situation stabilises.

Authorities also plan to extend the quarantine “red zone” to some municipalities in the Bergamo area.

The outbreak is currently centred on the Lombardy region around Milan, and neighbouring regions of Veneto and Emilia Romagna.

Museums, cinemas and other public places have closed and many events such as fashion shows and trade fairs have been cancelled.

But cases have been reported around the country, including 18 in Sicily and at least 20 people in Rome’s Spallanzani infectious diseases hospital.

Tunisia also said on Wednesday that it was halting ferry services to northern Italy.

Italy’s educational shutdown comes as countries such as Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Morocco reported their first cases of the virus.

Italy’s national health institute has told people to remain at least a metre apart, stop hugging each other and avoid crowded places.

The fatality rate from COVID-19 in the country is around 3.16%.

Italy’s weak economic growth is likely to suffer significantly – particularly the huge tourist sector as holidaymakers pull the plug and airlines cut flights.

An exhibition of the Renaissance artist Raphael, which has sold nearly 70,000 tickets, is also threatened.

Organisers at the Scuderie del Quirinale gallery in Rome said they are “keeping our fingers crossed and praying it can go ahead as planned” on Thursday.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/s4qd7ks

Coronavirus UK: NHS declares HIGHEST emergency level – comprehensive care now undeliverable #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #NHS #Emergency #Epidemic

Breaking News

CORONAVIRUS has been declared a level 4 emergency by NHS England – the highest warning that can be issued.

With the epidemic continuing to spread across the UK and the globe, urgent measure are being put in place to contain the outbreak. Over 50 cases have now confirmed in Britain, and the outbreak has forced the NHS to warn some care services are now undeliverable.

A level 4 emergency is defined as when “pressure in the local health and social care system continues to escalate leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care.

“There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised.

it follows the release of the government’s battle plan to tackle the crisis earlier today in the event of a major escalation in the virus’ outbreak across the country.

The Government is preparing to encourage people to work from home, introduce an “emergency registration” of retired health professionals, and call in the Army if necessary.

However, Prime Minister has urged calm from the public in responding to the epidemic.

He said at a press conference this morning: “Let me be absolutely clear that for the overwhelming majority of people who contract the virus, this will be a mild disease from which they will speedily and fully recover, as we have already seen.

“But I fully understand public concern about the global spread of the virus and it is highly likely that we will see a growing number of UK cases.”

Courtesy of express.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/u35sjsd