Drought

Drought in Kenya

Kenya declared a national disaster on Friday, calling for aid to counter drought that is posing a major risk to people, livestock and wildlife.

The Kenya Red Cross has estimated around 2.7 million people are in need of food aid after low rainfall in October and November and the next rainy season not due before April.

The UN World Food Programme said it was short of $22 million for the next six to nine months to provide support such as school meals for 428,000 children who often depend on them as their only substantial meal of the day.

Early this month, residents in drought-struck northern Kenya said at least 11 people were killed and a tourist lodge torched due to conflicts when armed cattle herders flooded onto farms and wildlife reserves.

Wildfires

Chile city in state of emergency over wildfires

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Chile on Saturday declared a local state of emergency over wildfires plaguing the landmark tourist-draw city of Valparaiso. The hilly Pacific city, part of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been put under military authority to coordinate firefighting and government asset deployment efforts.

Located 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of the capital Santiago, Valparaiso is the seat of the Chilean Congress and spans 40 hills, offering stunning views of the sea. Thousands of tourists stroll its narrow cobblestone streets and ride cable cars up the steep hills each year.

At the moment, 19,000 hectares (73 square miles) of mostly woodlands have been lost, officials said.

Wildfires – Kenya

Nearly 6,000 hectares of the Aberdare National Park has been destroyed by a wildfire that has continued to spread for the second day. The fire, which began Friday morning is spreading quickly due to windy weather.

According to the Acting Assistant Director in charge of Mountain Conservation Simon Gitau the fire has consumed the lower moorlands in the northern part of the Aberdare.

Over 200 firefighters from the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and others from the ministry of Interior have been deployed to battle the blaze.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Afghanistan – Flash floods in Badakhshan province of Afghanistan have claimed the lives of at least six people and injured five others.

Indonesia – Parts of the Indonesian port city of Semarang remained underwater Saturday, after high seasonal tides flooded coastal areas of Central Java province. For the past week, residents of Semarang say they have fought an ongoing battle to stop the water — known locally as “the Rob” — from rising. Soaked and exhausted in the 33 degrees midday heat, they struggle with sandbags, furniture and plastic bags as their possessions become consumed.

Kenya – At least 700 people are stranded in their villages in Isiolo County after heavy rains cut off roads. Among those threatened with starvation and disease because they cannot get food, and they cannot go to hospital are 620 children who are under five years and 48 expectant and lactating mothers.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

London, England – Torrential rain is causing flooding across London and the south coast of England leaving motorists stranded in their cars. Commuters travelling into the capital by public transport were hit with cancellations of train services and delays on roads.

Kenya – A standard 5 pupil was swept by floods in Nyora village, Nyatike Sub County on Tuesday. Rescue operations to recover the body of the boy are under way.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Louisiana, USA – Water has begun to enter homes in Louisiana and briefly shut down a major interstate as the deadly flooding that struck Texas on Saturday moves across the State.

Kentucky, USA – Heavy rains caused flash flooding in parts of eastern and central Kentucky. High water rushed through areas in Floyd, Pike, Breathitt and Martin Counties. City officials took to social media across the area to urge drivers to stay home and avoid unneccessary travel.

Kenya Update – At least 20,550 people have been displaced by floods so far. Kwale county has the highest number of those affected, with more than 10,000 displacements, followed by Nairobi with more than 4,700 people affected. Other counties are Turkana with at least 1,872 victims and Marsabit’s 1,866.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Kenya – Heavy rains kill four people in Nairobi as floods cause havoc across the city. A six-storey residential building collapsed under the heavy rain in the Kenyan capital late on Friday, killing at least three people.

Argentina – Water levels in the flood-hit Argentine town of Villa Paranacito have risen so much that the best way for residents to commute is by boat. The floods have swamped the soy crop causing substantial losses to farmers and the local economy.

Disease

Microcephaly – France – Martinique

On 24 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for France notified PAHO/WHO of a foetus with concomitant microcephaly and Zika virus infection in Martinique.

Mysterious disease kills at least 23 babies in Kenya

A mysterious disease has claimed lives of at least 23 infants in Kenya’s Nakuru and Baringo counties in the past four weeks.

AThe disease – which is exhibiting symptoms such as high fever, coughing, body weakness and sweating – was initially thought to be viral pneumonia, but tests by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) were negative.

At least 215 cases have so far been confirmed, with babies aged between one day and 11 months being the most affected.

Wildlife

Big Cat Fatalities – Kenya

The killing of two Kenyan lions within 48 hours triggered outrage from animal rights advocates who say a major road project is affecting the animals’ behaviour.

A wildlife ranger was vilified after he shot the famed lion “Mohawk” because the officer didn’t have tranquilliser darts. The big cat had earlier injured a motorcyclist after straying from Nairobi National Park, just outside the capital. The next day, rangers found the body of another lion speared to death south of Nairobi.

Construction of a new road through the park that will link Nairobi’s international airport to the city centre is causing more big cats to stray, conservationists say.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Oman – Severe weather in Oman has claimed the lives of at least three people. Two people due to flooding rivers in Al-Muthabi and Al-Rustaq. Another person died of a lightning strike in Al-Muthaibi. Torrential rain has lashed Oman for the past three days.

USA – A slow-moving storm continued to dump drenching rain over portions of the South on Wednesday, leading to dangerous and life-threatening flooding across the region. Evacuations were underway in Louisiana, where the governor declared a state of emergency and authorized the state’s National Guard to assist with rescues from heavy flooding. Thousands of people were without power, several school systems closed and dozens of roads were blocked off Wednesday in Texas and Louisiana due to the storm.

England – Severe flooding has caused widespread disruption across parts of central England, with rail passengers stranded and many schools shut. British Transport Police formed human barriers in front of the main concourse at London Euston after trains between Rugby and Milton Keynes were cancelled. Passengers were warned people could be killed as some had fallen from earlier trains on Wednesday. A total of 46 flood warnings are in place across England and Wales.

Kenya – Flash floods floods in Kapsoya in Eldoret in Kenya have wreaked havoc on local residents, driving many from heir homes trying to avoid being swept away by the floodwaters.

Angola – At least 24 people, many of them children dies with dozens more missing after a flash flood swept through a market in the southern city of Lubango. The Capitao river was swollen with more than 24 hours of torrential rains.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 11p (Winston), located approximately 474 nm south-southwest of Suva, Fiji, is tracking east-southeastward at 13 knots.

Tropical cyclone 12p (Tatiana), located approximately 386 nm east-northeast of Brisbane, Australia, is tracking south-southwestward at 17 knots.

Tropical cyclone 13s (Uriah), located approximately 295 nm west-southwest of Cocos Island, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 11 knots.

NewsBytes:

UK – The Thames River burst its banks yesterday as heavy rain hit the UK, and there are 16 flood alerts put in place on the river by the Environment Agency. Parts of the UK are set to plummet to temperatures as low as -15C over the next few days, with some expecting considerable amounts of snow and flooding. Britain is set for up to four inches of snow over a freezing Valentine’s Day weekend, as cold showers are set to hit both the north and south of the country. The Met Office has issued yellow warning for snow and ice in the north of England and Scotland, and said that are a lot colder than normal for the time of year. Severe weather warnings have also been issued for large parts of northern Scotland warning drivers to take care in potentially hazardous conditions and to expect travel disruption.

Kenya – Three people died in Kajiado County on Friday night after flash floods wreaked havoc in the region. In the first incident, a man and his wife who were travelling in their personal car were swept away by flood waters at Kisaju area. Rescuers are still working to recover the body of the man. In a second incident, a Swedish tourist was swept away by raging flood waters at Kandisi area in Ongata Rongai. His body was recovered Saturday morning. Several rivers in Kajiado County have burst their banks following heavy rainfall in the region. Several goats and sheep were swept away by the flash floods ; houses and flower farms were also destroyed by the flooding. The heavy rains have also affected other parts of the country with Nairobi City, parts of central Kenya and the South Rift being most affected.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 06p (Ula), is located approximately 317 nm west of Suva, Fiji, and is tracking southwestward at 06 knots.

Tropical Storm Pali is located about 1380 mi…2225 km SW of Honolulu Hawaii and about 660 mi…1060 km SSW of Johnston Island with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Albania – Two days of heavy rain in Albania has caused flash floods, river overflow and landslides in several parts of the country, including the counties of Tirana, Durrës, Lezhë, Shkodër and Dibër.

Kenya – Update – 3 Months of Flooding Leaves 112 Dead and Over 100,000 Displaced.

Disease

Malaria in Kenya

Kerio Valley town, Marakwet East constituency has once more recorded a high number of malaria infections, with hospitals complaining about overcrowding due to the outbreak.

More than 100 people have undergone laboratory tests with results indicating that they had been infected with malaria.

There are not enough medical personnel and drugs to address the outbreak of the disease. The local hospital only has a total of 27 beds.(sic) Local officials have asked the Government to speedily assist with the outbreak.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Britain – Heavy rain brought more flooding and road disruptions to Lancashire at the weekend. The Met Office has issued a yellow alert because downpours are expected to return tomorrow.

Cyprus – Cyprus was hit by heavy rain on Saturday causing floods in the Larnaca district and in the lower regions of Troodos. No fatalities were reported, although numerous people had to be rescued by the emergency services.

Kenya – Floods have left a trail of damage in various regions. Two people have drowned in Migori County as floods continue to wreak havoc. Numerous homes were flooded, leaving more than 300 hundred families displaced.

Disease

Cholera outbreak threatens huge refugee camp – Kenya

Kenya’s cholera epidemic has reached the world’s largest refugee camp and doctors worry the outbreak could spread even further.

Seven people have died in Dadaab, in northern Kenya near the border with Somalia, since the outbreak was declared in November, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, said in a statement.

In the last three weeks, more than 300 patients have been admitted to treatment centers, and 30 percent of those patients were children under 12, according to MSF.

Lack of proper sanitation and education of the population are among the main challenges in halting infections. The are are not enough pit latrines in the camp for the size of its population, and people often allow their children play in the mud or in flood water.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Storm Sandra is located about 115 mi…180 km SSE of Cabo San Lucas Mexico with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…N or 360 degrees at 2 mph…4 km/h.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 04p (Tuni), located approximately 157 nm west of Pago Pago, American Samoa and is tracking east-southeastward at 11 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA – At least three people have died in fast-moving floodwaters in Texas as freezing rain and flooding pummelled the state and other parts of the central U.S. on Friday, with forecasters warning that the chilling weather would worsen over the holiday weekend. Forecasters issued flash-flood watches and warnings from northern Texas up to St. Louis, with up to 4 inches of rain reported in some places as the storm slowly moved to the northeast. Freezing rain and strong winds have been blamed for several fatal accidents in Kansas and Texas since Thursday.

Kenya – At least 4,040 families in Tana River county have been displaced by floods after River Tana burst its banks and flooded their homes. No casualties have been reported. Some victims said they have lost household property, food and livestock.