Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the Gulf of Alaska.

5.4 earthquake hits off the coast of Northern California.

5.1 earthquake hit the northern mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.0 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits off the coast of Northern California.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – California

The Thomas Fire ripped through more than 440 square miles of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, killing two people, destroying more than 1,000 structures and damaging 280 more. It is now 100 percent contained but has yet to be declared fully extinguished after burning for nearly 40 days.

The fire, sparked Dec. 4, was fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds and extremely dry conditions, defying the efforts of crews in the air and on the ground, jumping the 101 Freeway and pushing relentlessly day by day until it looped back on itself in a massive rough-edged ring, with the resort town of Ojai in the middle.

It devastated several foothill and seaside communities and stripped vegetation vital to the integrity of the hillsides, leaving wide swaths below vulnerable to the mudslides that would ultimately hit earlier this week in the season’s first heavy rainstorm.

Wildfires – New Caledonia

Dozens of firefighters in the south of New Caledonia are trying to contain bushfires which have destroyed more than 1,000 hectares of vegetation. The area around Mont-Dore has reportedly had no rain for five months, with winds fanning the blazes. A farm with all its equipment has been burned down while dozens of residential houses have been threatened by the flames, prompting evacuations and road closures. Earlier this season, about 13,000 hectares were destroyed in bushfires.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 04s (Irving), located approximately 753 nm southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking south-southwestward at 22 knots.

Tropical cyclone 05s (Five), located approximately 112 nm north- northeast of Broome, Australia, is tracking north-northwestward at 10 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 03s (Ava). The final warning has been given for this system.

Newsbytes:

California, USA – Mudslides, boulders and tons of debris killed at least 13 people on Tuesday in communities along California’s scenic coastline ravaged by a series of intense wildfires that burned off protective vegetation last month. Heavy downpours struck before dawn on Tuesday after thousands of residents in Santa Barbara County along the Pacific coast north of Los Angeles were ordered to evacuate or urged to do so voluntarily, some of them for a second time since December. But only 10 to 15% complied with mandatory evacuation orders.

Singapore – Singapore experienced flash floods again after more heavy rain on Tuesday.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 03s (Ava), located approximately 531 nm southeast of Europa Island, is tracking southward at 12 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 04s (Irving), located approximately 861 nm east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west-southwestward at 18 knots.

Newsbytes:

California, USA – Residents who escaped devastating wildfires that swept through the state in October and December now face life-threatening floods that could destroy their homes in a matter of seconds. As much as 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain, and 9 inches in some places, is forecast to fall across fire-scarred areas this week. Heavy rainfall could trigger mudslides that will carry debris out of the foothills and down mountains from the burn scars left by the wildfires. Many of the same residents who were forced to evacuate during this year’s wildfires are being ordered to evacuate again as the very dangerous storm bears down on the area.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Iran

While winter is not normally thought of as wildfire season, a number of small wildfires have swept across several locations in its first week. At least three incidents have been reported this week following the huge blaze in the drought-stricken Meiqan Wetland located in Markazi Province on Dec. 22, which was linked to human activity. On Sunday, fire broke out in Abr Forest in Shahroud, Semnan Province and Bandar-e Gaz in Golestan Province saw flames erupted in the county’s woodlands in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Wildfires – California

On Christmas Doay 1,500 firefighters and crew members worked around the clock to douse hot spots, maintain containment lines and mop up parts of the more than 280,000 acres charred by the massive Thomas Fire. Since it ignited Dec. 4, the fire has destroyed more than a thousand structures, spread from Santa Paula to Ventura and wrapped around Ojai before pushing toward Santa Barbara and inland forests. The fire is mostly contained now and is not expected to grow further.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More than 250 firefighters are battling a large bushfire that’s burning out of control in Victoria’s Gippsland. The blaze is burning in bushland east of Cann River and had spread to almost 10,000 hectares on Monday, forcing some road closures. It currently poses no threat to homes but with hot weather forecast for coming days, authorities are telling locals to be alert.

Wildfires – California

The army of firefighters, heavy equipment and aircraft battling the Thomas Fire which has become the third-largest wildfire in California history faced a forecast of extreme fire danger caused by high winds and dry conditions over the weekend.

The Thomas Fire has burned more than 400 square miles northwest of Los Angeles and is only 35 percent contained. Forecasters expect strong Santa Ana winds to whip the flames with gusts up to 40 mph. No rain is forecast, and the National Weather Service reported the area is enduring its second-driest water season on record.

As of Sunday morning, the Thomas Fire had burned 259,000 acres, with the potential to become the biggest single fire in California history. The current record is held by the 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 15 people and burned just over 273,000 acres in San Diego. The fire has burned more than 1,000 buildings, including well over 750 homes, authorities said.

As of Sunday morning, about 8,300 firefighters, 29 helicopters and 77 bulldozers were working the fire. Two people have been killed in the blaze.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California – Update

Four major wildfires are still burning in Southern California, and most are nearing full containment – except for the Thomas Fire.

The Thomas Fire (Ventura County), which is the largest, had burned 238,500 acres and was 30 percent contained as of Wednesday night, according to authorities. It is threatening 18,000 structures and has destroyed a total of 930 structures.

The Lilac Fire broke out at 11 a.m. Thursday in San Diego County. It was 4,100 acres, according to Cal Fire, and was 96 percent contained as of Wednesday night.

The Creek Fire (Los Angeles County) had burned 15,619 acres and was 98 percent contained Wednesday night.

The Skirball Fire (Los Angeles County) had burned 422 acres with 85 percent containment Monday night, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It had destroyed six structures and damaged 12 others.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

A massive California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 800 structures scorched another 56,000 acres on Sunday, making it the fifth largest such blaze in recorded state history, as it ran toward the picturesque coastal city of Santa Barbara. Some 5,000 residents remained under evacuation orders in the two communities, near Santa Barbara and about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles. Some 15,000 homes were considered threatened.

The Thomas Fire, the worst of six major blazes in Southern California in the last week and already the fifth largest in the state since 1932, has blackened 230,000 acres (570,000 hectares), more than the area of New York City. It has destroyed 790 houses, outbuildings and other structures and left 90,000 homes and businesses without power.

The fires burning across Southern California have forced the evacuation of more 200,000 people and destroyed some 1,000 structures.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

The Thomas Fire in Ventura is the largest of Southern California’s volatile and intense blazes that started this week. It has grown to encompass 143,000 acres, destroying at least 439 homes and buildings. More than 190,000 people have evacuated from fire Zones. More than 5,000 firefighters doing their best to battle and contain the flames. This morning, six mammoth fires burning through more than 140,000 acres of land in southern California. The biggest concern for the nearly 6,000 firefighters battling that inferno, the blistering winds. These conditions combined with heat makes this an extremely threatening environment.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

The owners of a California ranch in the path of one of the devastating wildfires in the region have returned home to a gruesome sight.

The charred remains of 29 horses were left behind by the Creek Fire, one of five that has led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people in Southern California. Their dark black bodies lay in their metal and concrete pens, left behind after their owners were forced to evacuate in the middle of the night as flames rushed towards the area.

The Skirball Fire burned 475 acres in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles and destroyed six structures. Twelve other structures were damaged.

The Thomas Fire in Ventura County scorched 115,000 acres on Thursday and destroyed 439 structures, fire officials said at a news conference.

KGTV flew over a mobile home park in San Diego County last night, where at least 19 structures were burning. Flames swept through rows of homes in the Rancho Monserate Country Club retirement community in Fallbrook.

The 2,500-acre Lilac Fire has destroyed at least 20 structures and damaged several others.

The wildfires can be seen clearly from space.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A large fire across more than 1700 hectares is burning east of Maria River Road in Limeburners Creek National Park between Port Macquarie and Crescent Head.

The fire erupted on Tuesday at Big Hill Trail, was contained briefly and re-ignited on Wednesday afternoon. Westerly winds are now pushing the fire east and it is starting to impact nearby properties.

Wildfires – California

Ferocious fires tore through Southern California on Tuesday, burning massive stretches of land in a matter of hours and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

As firefighters in Ventura County grappled with an explosive blaze northwest of downtown Los Angeles, others across the region confronted additional fires that burned during the day and forced more evacuations. Authorities issued ominous warnings of more dangers to come during a “multiday event” across the area, as weather forecasters said the region faces “extreme fire danger” through at least Thursday due to intense Santa Ana winds and low humidity that could cause the fires to grow rapidly.

The wildfires are the latest grim chapter in a brutal year for California, coming just months after deadly blazes in the state’s wine country killed dozens of people and razed thousands of buildings.

The biggest fire Tuesday was in Ventura County, where a small blaze quickly went out of control and spread across more than 50,000 acres by the afternoon. The fire – which burned an area nearly as large as Seattle – stretched into the city of Ventura, home to more than 100,000 people.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Portugal and Spain

Three people have been killed in Portugal as the country is hit by a record number of forest fires, and three more have died in Spain where blazes sparked by arsonists have been fanned by strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia.

In total, about 440 fires were burning across Portugal on Sunday, which is “the worst day since the beginning of the year”, according to a spokesperson for the national civil protection agency.

In addition to the three dead, about 25 people had been injured, with thousands of firefighters deployed and three motorways, including one linking Lisbon and Porto, closed.

Wildfires – California

The wildfires that erupted last weekend have killed at least 40 people and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and other structures. As of Sunday, roughly 75,000 people were under evacuation orders, down from nearly 100,000 the day before. In all, 17 large fires are still burned across the northern part of the state, with more than 10,000 firefighters attacking the flames using air tankers, helicopters and more than 1,000 fire engines.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

Massive wildfires sweeping through California have now killed at least 31 people and damaged thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings, authorities said. Firefighters were still battling 21 large wildfires in multiple counties as of Thursday morning. Intensified by strong winds, the flames have charred more than 190,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 structures and forced more than 20,000 residents to evacuate, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – California

21 people are now reported to have perished in the 22 blazes that have destroyed 115,000 acres (26,000ha) and 3,500 buildings across California since the fires started on Sunday.

Officials in the hard-hit Sonoma County say 380 people are still missing. More than 91,000 homes and businesses are without power.

At least four wineries have suffered “total or very significant losses”, Napa Valley Vintners said, with nine others reporting some damage to buildings or vineyards.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

More than a dozen fast-moving wildfires tearing through California’s wine country have killed at least 10 people, destroying hundreds of homes, authorities said Monday.

Fanned by winds of over 80km/h, the blazes have forced more than 20 000 people to evacuate in the country’s heaviest populated state since they began on Sunday night.

California’s fire service said about 73 000 acres have been ravaged by the major infernos.

Rare “fire devil” spotted during Portugal wildfires

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