Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Burundi – At least six people have died in Burundi in a night of torrential rain and flooding that triggered landslides and caused widespread damage, the government said on Friday. In the northwestern town of Mabayi, a landslide smothered several houses, and rescuers found five victims.

Namibia – Flooding in Namibia’s Cuvelai-Etosha catchment area has reached alarming levels in recent weeks, with residents being warned to take the necessary precautions in expectation of the worst possible floods experienced in the region in living memory. Authorities have warned that the magnitude of flooding expected in the northern central regions is likely to surpass that of 2011, which saw the highest level of flooding in Namibia’s recent history.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Peru – Heavy rain has caused flooding in many parts of the country, while the death toll from floods and mudslides has reached 48 people, including six miners killed in a mudslide in southern Peru. The early part of the year is when the bulk of the rain falls across the country, but there are huge variations as Peru – twice the size of France and stretching from the equator to 18 degrees south – is vast. The flooding has generally been worse in the central and northern parts of the country, and although it is consistent with the rainy season of the central and eastern regions, the rainfall has been particularly intense.

Namibia – The agriculture ministry last week warned members of the public in the northern regions that a bigger wave of floods was expected in the Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshana regions. According to the ministry, this is due to floods being experienced in parts of southern Angola following heavy rains in the Cuvelai basin. Rain received in parts of southern Angola and northern Namibia since the beginning of the year has resulted in flooding in parts of the Omusati region in the past two weeks.

Wildlife

Hippo-Sized Drought

A protracted drought in southwestern Africa has not only left more than a half-million humans in urgent need of food aid, but it has also affected thousands of endangered animals.

Namibia’s New Era reports that the drying up of the Chobe River is causing hippos and crocodiles to become trapped in muddy pools developing along the waterway.

“Hippos are known to be territorial animals. Even if the pools dry up, they just stay there,” environment official Colgar Sikopo told the state-owned daily.

Disease

Namibia – Measles

The outbreak of measles and rubella – also known as German measles or three-day measles – during the months of August to November over the past four years has prompted the Ministry of Health and Social Services to conduct a mass vaccination campaign in July.

Tanzania – Mystery Disease

At least 10 people have died and 21 others hospitalized following an outbreak of an unidentified disease in central Tanzania’s Dodoma region.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Nepal – At least two persons have gone missing following an avalanche in Humla in west Nepal.

Namibia – Several families in three villages in the Omusati Region have been left in despair following heavy flooding in the area. Villagers have been forced to relocate and saw their crops ruined after floodwaters ravaged their homesteads. The villages are Omuthitu, Okanya and Okaloko in Okahao Constituency. The flooding began last week.

Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease

Namibia – Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Linyanti. A foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak was detected in the Zambezi region’s Linyanti constituency on Monday. According to Iita, the affected animals are to be found on an island between the Sapisi and Linyanti rivers. Linyantu is located 80 kilometres (km) south-west of Katima Mulilo.

North Korea – An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been confirmed Thursday at a pig farm located some 100 kilometres south of Seoul.

Drought

Drought is transforming New Mexico into desert

Drought has seriously affected the Rio Grande Valley, where animals are dying, crops are failing and the Rio Grande has been nicknamed the “Rio Sand.” People are subsisting on trucked-in water or attempting to dig deep wells that cost upwards of $100,000.

The question many here are grappling with is whether the changes are a permanent result of climate change or part of cyclical weather cycle. The governor’s drought task force is cautious about identifying three years of extreme drought as representing a new climate pattern for New Mexico. It could be a multi-year aberration.

Nonetheless, most long-term plans put together by cattle ranchers, farmers and land managers include the probability that the drought is here to stay.

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Drought in Namibia Worsens

A severe drought that sparked a state of emergency in Namibia has left 400,000 people facing hunger.

Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and only two percent of land receives sufficient rainfall to grow crops.

The southern African country has seen several droughts in the recent decades.

The number of people at risk from hunger has risen from 300,000 in May, when President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared a state of emergency.

In May, the government started handing out maize meal bags to rural areas in a central part of the country and authorities are appealing for international support.

Unicef says more than 778,000 people including 109,000 children under the age of five are at risk of malnutrition.

Drought

Drought in Namibia

Northern Namibia is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years. Namibia, sub-saharan Africa’s driest country, is suffering its worst drought in a generation, with more than 100,000 children at risk of malnutrition. Drought has caused shortages of food and water mainly in Kavango, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Kunene.

Wildlife

First Gray Whale Sighted South of Equator on Record

A gray whale that was sighted off the coast of Namibia in early May was the first-ever appearance of the marine mammal south of the equator.

The species has been extinct in the Atlantic since the 18th century and has been mainly confined to the North Pacific. One was also sighted in the Mediterranean in May 2010.

Experts say this could suggest the leviathan is recovering from the disastrous whaling hunts that ended in the 20th century, or it could mean changing climate is disrupting its feeding habits.

Another possibility is that the increasing population of the gray whale could be allowing it to regain some of its ancient migratory routes.

“The question is now, what is the origin of this whale,” said John Paterson of the Walvis Bay Strandings Network.

He said photographs taken of it prove it is not the same individual that turned up in the Mediterranean.

“Is it another individual that has traversed the Northwest Passage, or perhaps travelled around the southern tip of South America and across the Atlantic?” asked Paterson.

“Unfortunately, we’ll never know the route it followed to get here.”

Gray whales grow up to 45 feet in length and undertake the longest known migration of any mammal.

They complete a round trip of over 18,000 miles between their summer feeding grounds in the high Arctic and winter breeding area off the coast of Mexico, then usually return to the high Arctic.

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Space Events

Meteorite Hits in Namibia

A Meteorite has hit mahangu field in the village of Oshika, Namibia. A piece of meteorite, the of a size of a small ball or two human fists put together made such an impact that people within a radius of over 200km were able to hear the explosive impact, feel the resulting tremor and observe the blinding light that followed as it landed.

Apparently thousands of locals came to see the strange object.

Wildfires

Firefighters rushed to protect more than 600 at-risk homes Thursday as a pair of massive wildfires threatened to merge southwest of Wenatchee., Washington, USA. The Table Mountain Complex and Wenatchee Complex fires have burned across some 70,000 acres.

Several relatively small wildfires continue to cause problems in the Dakotas, USA.

While a number of wildfires have been mostly contained by teams of firefighters, the military and volunteers, fires continue to blaze across Serbia and the Western Balkans, in what has been an exceptionally dry year punctuated by extreme heat waves.

Bushfires have destroyed 33 500 hectares of Namibia’s vegetation countrywide, since the start of the southern winter.