15 Years to Restore Italy’s Forests after Wildfires

Italian forests destroyed in wildfires this summer will take at least 15 years to regrow, according to the national farmers’ association.

Some 141,000 hectares of woodland have burned down in 2017 so far, a dramatic increase of 316 percent compared to the average over the past nine years. The destruction is costing Italy not only trees but plants, animals, traditional industries and a means of absorbing some of the carbon dioxide that causes climate change.

A long, rainless summer this year dried out much of Italy and left countryside from Piedmont to Sicily exceptionally vulnerable to wildfires.



Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the North Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Irma is located about 35 mi…55 km ESE of Cedar Key Florida and about 60 mi…100 km N of Tampa Florida with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…NNW or 340 degrees at 18 mph…30 km/h.

Nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses across Florida have lost power as Hurricane Irma moves over the state. And utility officials say it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. Farther north, more than 100,000 are in the dark in Georgia. Much of eastern Alabama and coastal South Carolina are under tropical storm warnings as Irma pummels Florida, weakening on its march northward. The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was in effect for a large rural area including the cities of Albany and Valdosta. Rain already is falling in parts of the state, including metro Atlanta, early Monday.

Hurricane Jose is located about 255 mi…410 km NE of Grand Turk island with maximum sustained winds…105 mph…165 km/h. Present movement…NNW or 335 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 20w (Talim), located approximately 595 nm southeast of Kedena AFB, Okinawa, Japan, is tracking west-northwestward at 16 knots.


Italy – Torrential rain in Italy triggered flooding that killed at least six people Sunday in the Tuscan port of Leghorn, including a family of four who were trapped by rising water in a basement. Two persons were reported missing. Strong winds toppled trees and parked cars were nearly submerged by floodwaters that also left streets clogged with mud. In Rome, which until recently had suffered through 3? months of drought, the downpour quickly produced fast-moving streams in the streets. Several subway stations had to be closed.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.0 Earthquake hits Leyte in the Philippines.

Two persons died in Ormoc City after a shallow magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck Leyte on Wednesday morning.

Italy – A small but deadly earthquake on the Italian holiday island of Ischia exposed a deep political fault line on Tuesday over the country’s proliferation of unsafe, illegal housing. The tremor, officially recorded in Italy at a modest strength of 4.0, toppled buildings, killed two people and injured dozens in a district where seven years ago residents rioted to prevent bulldozers from razing illegally built homes.


Wildfires – Spain

A wildfire ripped through a forest in the northwest of Spain with the flames advancing through dry bushes. Emergency services have tirelessly battered the fire with 22 fire brigades, 12 helicopters and four aeroplanes are working on fire control. Local media claims over 110 members of the armed forces have also been deployed to try to stop the fire. Last-minute estimates suggest the fire affects more than 1,200 hectares, including a large extension of pine trees as it remains active, nearly 24 hours after it started.

Wildfires – Italy

A heatwave that has left Italy sweltering in record temperatures sparked wildfires on Thursday which claimed the life of one elderly woman and forced the closure of a major highway. A section of the Via Aurelia coastal motorway that runs northwards from Rome to the Riviera had to be closed for several hours because of a major fire near Grosseto in Tuscany.

Wildfires – Greece

Three firefighters have been hurt battling a large brush fire south of the Greek capital, Athens. Authorities have ordered the evacuation of dozens of homes in two communities in Lagonissi, a coastal area 30 kilometers from Athens, after several homes and cars were destroyed in the fire. Dozens of firefighters and fire engines are taking part in the operation. Winds up to 60 kilometers per hour were hampering the firefighting effort, while temperatures in the area reached 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).

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Wildfires – Albania

In Albania about 300 firefighters and military personnel are working to keep under control about 25 wildfires that have broken out in the last 24 hours. About 20 of the fires are threatening residential areas in the capital, Tirana, as well as in the cities of Vlora, Dibar, Elbasan and Berat, where vast areas of forest are burning.


Wildfires – Italy

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Firefighters are battling wildfires throughout southern Italy, including along the slopes of the volcano Mount Vesuvius near Naples.

Wildfires have been raging for days, and Italy’s civil protection agency on Tuesday said it was responding with helicopters to 18 blazes, including four in Campania, the region which includes Naples, and two each in Sicily and Basilicata.

Some people have been evacuated as a precaution from near Mount Vesuvius, where the smoke emitted from the blaze some 2 kilometers (a mile) wide deceived some observers who thought the volcano was erupting.

Wildfires – British Columbia, Canada

Some 14,000 people have been evacuated in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) as more firefighters arrive to help fight the flames. About 300 out-of-province firefighters are due this week to assist in battling the roughly 220 fires raging in BC’s central interior region.

Emergency officials said about 40,000 hectares have burned across the province since 1 April with most of the damage in recent days.

The number of evacuees has doubled from roughly 7,000 people on Saturday. About 1,500 people were forced to drive overnight on Sunday when the town of 100 Mile Housein the South Caribou region was told to evacuate as the fires began to pose a threat to the community. The fires are also threatening the region’s livestock.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits central Italy.

5.2 Earthquake hits central Italy.

5.1 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern Sichuan, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.


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Italy – An avalanche has buried a mountainside hotel in central Italy, and civil protection officials said on Thursday that up to 30 people were missing, citing local officials. The avalanche came after four earthquakes struck the region on Wednesday, prompting officials to close schools and the subway system in Rome, about 100 miles to the southwest, as a precaution.

Philippines – Forest loss blamed for Mindanao floods. Continued tree-cutting in the hinterlands of Northern Mindanao region has led to the massive flooding that submerged Cagayan de Oro City and nearby areas on Monday. When flash floods hit a certain area, there’s only one reason for that. It means there are no trees in the mountains to hold the rainwater. Deforestation and the unabated cutting of trees in the mountains of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental [provinces] are seen as the possible cause of these flash floods.


Wildfires – Australia

Residents were evacuating and moving stock on Wednesday as firefighters battled worsening conditions and an out-of-control blaze near Canberra. The grass and bushfire near Tarago, which broke out on Tuesday, is now 3,290 hectares in size and has burnt through Taylors Creek Road, Bungendore Road and Mount Fairy Road. There are reports that some property has already been lost.

Wildfires – Italy

Arson and human error are the suspected causes of wildfires in hills around the northwestern Italian port city of Genoa that drove hundreds of people from their homes overnight, investigators said on Tuesday.

The blaze that ravaged hillsides in the Genoa district of Nervi may have been started accidentally by highway workers, investigative sources said on Tuesday. But the fire in Pegli was almost certainly an act of arson, the sources said.

The wildfires have prompted officials to close several schools in the area and have badly disrupted traffic in the Liguria region with tailbacks of up to seven kilometres reported along one stretch of the A10 highway.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the West Pacific: Tropical Depression 29w (Tokage), located approximately 242 nm west-northwest of Manila, Philippines, is tracking southwestward at 17 knots.


Italy, Update = The rain across northern Italy has finally eased, a great relief to those living close to the banks of the River Po, the country’s longest. More than two and a half months worth of rain fell in less than three days, swelling the Po and its tributary, the Tanaro. The Po overflowed in Turin, causing widespread flooding. At one point the Po was more than one metre above its danger level and most bridges in the city had been closed because of safety concerns. It is reported that the floods claimed the lives of two people.

Greece – Fire officials in Greece say a 32-year-old man drowned on the island of Zakynthos after flash floods hit the island early Sunday. Heavy rains drenched both Zakynthos and the Greek capital of Athens late Saturday and early Sunday, resulting in 470 emergency calls. Several major roads in Athens became impassable.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the East Pacific: Tropical Storm Otto is located about 385 mi…615 km SW of San Salvador El Salvador and about 515 mi…830 km SSE of Salina cruz Mexico with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…W or 260 degrees at 18 mph…30 km/h.

Four people died in Costa Rica during the devastation of Hurricane Otto, whose epicentre has now moved into the Pacific Ocean, while Nicaragua’s Cardenas municipality on the Costa Rican border awoke Friday morning unable to contact the outside world, without electricity and with overflowing rivers.

In the West Pacific: Tropical storm 29w (Tokage), located approximately 196 nm west-southwest of Manila, Philippines, is tracking northwestward at 11 knots.


Italy – Authorities have issued flood warnings across northern Italy as heavy rain has led to widespread flooding. Many rivers have overflowed. The swollen River Po, Italy’s longest, burst its banks in Turin after 171mm of rain fell in just three days. In the 24-hour period up to 06:00GMT on Friday, the city recorded 116mm of rain compared with the November average of only 77mm. Homes were evacuated and schools and public businesses closed in northwestern Italy on Thursday as heavy rain caused the Tanaro River to overflow. Flood warnings have been issued in the regions of Liguria and Piedmont, which have been hardest hit. The bad weather struck the area, sending torrents of waves through the Tanaro and on to river banks and streets.

Brisbane, Australia – Heavy rainfall and widespread flooding has battered south-east Queensland. Stationary storms made their way down the Queensland coastline with bayside suburbs in Brisbane recording almost 100 millimetres of rainfall. Brisbane Airport copped 97 millimetres of rain, mostly between 6am and 7am while Redcliffe received 87 millimetres on Saturday.

Trinidad and Tobago – Citizens throughout Trinidad are today bracing themselves for more flooding with reports of heavy rains. There have been complaints throughout the country and reports of rising flood waters. There are reports that some residents in Mayaro and Rio Claro had to leave their homes while some were marooned due to flood waters yesterday.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.


Haiti – At least 10 people died in three northern provinces of Haiti after heavy rainfall triggered flooding in the regions. According to the Civil Protection Agency, nearly a foot (300 millimeters) of rain was recorded around the northern city of Cap-Haitien over the previous 48 hours.

Vietnam – Vietnam’s government says floods from torrential rains have killed 15 people and left six others missing in a central region still recovering from deadly floods last month. The Central Steering Committee for Disasters Prevention and Control said in a statement Monday that the latest floods inundated more than 41,000 homes. It said the floods, which have largely receded, also caused damage to the region’s infrastructure, agriculture and livestock. Floods in the region, one of the poorest in the country, killed 31 people last month.

Italy – A giant tornado in Italy has left two people dead in the latest nature disaster to hit the country. The whirlwind uprooted trees, overturned cars and damaged buildings when it lashed Ladispoli on the coast north of Rome.

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Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits the west Chile rise.

5.2 Earthquake hits Colombia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Galapagos Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Colombia.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile.

Italy – More than 15,000 people are being housed in temporary shelters after the powerful earthquake on Sunday jolted central Italy, a region battered by relentless tremors since August.

Dramatic images from the disaster zone show villages that appear entirely flattened, with historical buildings, including churches, crumbling when the quake struck 10 kilometres below the earth’s surface.

The basilica of San Benedetto had withstood the tests of time since the end of the 14th century.

But on Sunday, the church that paid homage to the patron saint of Europe, Saint Benedict, was reduced to a heap of rubble.



Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 Earthquake hits central Italy.

A strong earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude struck central Italy on Sunday, causing the collapse of more buildings in small cities and towns already shaken by tremors in the past two months, although there no immediate reports of casualties.

Italy’s emergency services said there was serious damage in multiple locations in the central regions of Marche and Umbria on Sunday. State broadcaster RAI said three people were rescued from rubble in the town of Ussita, but there were no reports of deaths.

The ancient Basilica of St. Benedict in the walled town of Norcia, almost 100 kilometres from Perugia, was devastated by the quake, the monks said. Images on television showed one side of the church reduced to rubble, and another church in the town centre also collapsed.

Local authorities said many towns and villages already battered by the 6.2 quake in August had seen further significant damage.

5.4 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits the northern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore O’Higgins, Chile.