Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

Wildfires destroyed an estimated 122 700 hectares in the Western Cape at the start of 2017, says an interim report.

“Our initial data shows that natural vegetation, grazing, agricultural infrastructure such as fencing and water pipelines, and a range of crops and fynbos were hardest hit,” economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde said in a statement.

The report was compiled by the Western Cape agriculture department to help the province with future planning.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

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South Africa – Three people have been killed during heavy rains in the North West province, the provincial government said on Thursday. A primary school boy drowned in Leporung, near Makgobistad, while attempting to cross a stream, and two others died in Phokeng, near Rustenburg, after their vehicle was swept away by water while trying to cross a flooded bridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

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Peru – At least 14 people have died and some 30,000 people have been affected by heavy flooding throughout Peru, the government and Operation Centre for National Emergencies (Indeci) reported on Wednesday, as a state of emergency was declared in the capital, Lima. Rain triggered floods which destroyed a bridge and blocked the Central Highway in Lima, the main route connecting the capital with the centre of the country. The intense rainfall caused the Huaycoloro River to overflow and burst its banks. This river empties into the Rimac River but the flooding spread water through the streets of Lima until it flooded the Ramiro Priale highway, causing road closures and traffic chaos. The river crosses the Lima neighbourhood San Juan de Lurigancho, where at least 18 people have been injured. Rains are expected to continue, bringing more overflowing rivers and more mudslides.

South Africa – Days of heavy rain have left parts of South Africa under water. The flooding has been at its worst across northeastern parts of the country, where one person is feared dead. The seasonal showers have been particularly heavy during the past week, many parts getting daily rainfall totals of around 50 to 70mm of rain. Located to the east of Johannesburg, Witbank and Lydenburg had 60mm and 65mm of rainfall respectively in just 24 hours at the start of the week. The subsequent floods left the main highway into Johannesburg impassable after the Mbembesi River burst its banks.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

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Australia – Heavy rains brought flash floods to Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

South Africa – Several roads were closed by flooding across Johannesburg yesterday as heavy rains inundated the greater Metro area. However no reports of property damage were received.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

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Australia – The Katherine River is set to flood as an active monsoon trough causes heavy rains and squally showers across the Northern Territory, registering the wettest day in five years. The low-pressure system located near Katherine is expected to track westwards over the next two days, with falls of up to 150mm expected on Tuesday. Darwin Airport’s rainfall gauge registered 145.6mm for the 24 hours until 9:00am on Tuesday, which the BOM said was the wettest day since January 25, 2012.

California, USA – After another round of heavy rains soaked parts of California, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Monday for several counties dealing with an estimated tens of million dollars in damage from flooding, erosion, and mud flows. The rains that deluged Southern California over the weekend continued Monday, with showers punctuated by bursts of sunshine. Hail was reported in Burbank and snow was anticipated in the Antelope Valley. The storm, which forecasters said was the strongest in several years, set new rainfall records on Sunday and caused widespread flooding after several hours of sustained, pouring rain. Monday’s rain was not as intense as it was over the weekend.

South Africa – Shoppers at Jubilee Mall in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria had to be evacuated on Saturday afternoon after heavy rains and flooding. On Sunday, shopkeepers and staff spent most of the day mopping up the water. The heavy flooding also left some shops submerged in water, resulting in businesses closing down for the day.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

Firefighters were on Tuesday attending to 19 fires across the Western Cape, while still trying to put out the Paarl fire which was “out of control”. The fire in the Paarl area is being fanned by strong wind and several properties remain at risk.

Fires were burning on the Cape Peninsula, West Coast, and in the Cape Winelands, the provincial public works department said in a statement on Tuesday.

The main building on the Calais wine estate was destroyed on Tuesday morning. The fire started on Sunday.

Wildfires also damaged several homes in Vredehoek, Cape Town.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Western Pacific: Tropical depression 01w (One), located approximately 112 nm south-southeast of Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, is tracking westward at 08 knots.

Newsbytes:

Thailand – The southern region isn’t out of danger yet as the death toll continues to rise from massive flooding and heavy rain is forecast for throughout the week. Flash flood and landslide warnings were issued Monday for the southern region due to stronger monsoon conditions, just four days after officials said the situation was returning to normal. The worst flooding in a decade has inundated 12 southern provinces since the beginning of the year, killing at least 43 people and affecting more than 1.6 million people.

South Africa – A parching drought that has threatened wildlife with starvation and thirst in South Africa’s Kruger National Park for several years has been broken by downpours. While the cloudbursts brought flash floods that swamped roads in the park, rangers say the rainfall also breathed life into the world-famous refuge. Waterholes and rivers have filled up again, and it is hopeed that this is just the start of a good rainfall season.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

A blaze which started in the Du Toitskloof mountains in Paarl in the Western Cape in the early hours of Tuesday morning has already ripped through about 250 hectares of land, destroying nine cottages and two guest houses along the way, fire services have confirmed.

Storms and Floods

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Tropical Depression 01w (One), located approximately approximately 08 nm northeast of Mactan, Philippines, is tracking west-northwestward at 07 knots.

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Thailand – Flash flooding in southern Thailand have claimed the lives of at least 19 people and affected more than 700,000 people over the past week. Thailand’s Meteorological Department has forecast outbreaks of heavy to very heavy rain for 13 provinces for two more days.

Nevada, USA – Hundreds of homes were evacuated in northern Nevada, and stranded motorists were pulled from cars stuck on flooded Northern California roads as thunderstorms arrived as part of a massive winter storm that could be the biggest to slam the region in more than a decade. In Nevada, emergency officials voluntarily evacuated a total of 1 300 homes in a south Reno neighborhood Sunday afternoon as the Truckee River began to leave its banks and drainage ditches started to overflow south of U.S. Interstate 80. No injuries had been reported, but high waters forced the closure of numerous area roads, a series of bridges in downtown Reno.

South Africa – Zimbabweans trying to cross the border illegally were among five people who died and five were rescued during flash floods in Limpopo, police said on Sunday.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical Depression 01w (One), located approximately 439 nm east of Puerto Princesa, Philippines, is tracking west-northwestward at 08 knots.

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Europe – At least 20 people died in the past two days as a cold spell spread across Europe, authorities said on Saturday, with the frigid temperatures expected to continue through the weekend. Russia meanwhile celebrated the coldest Orthodox Christmas in 120 years and Istanbul was covered with a blanket of snow. Ten of the latest victims of the cold perished in Poland where sub-freezing conditions remain with minus 14°C on Saturday. The winter snow storms also reached Turkey, paralysing its biggest city Istanbul where hundreds of flights were cancelled on Saturday. Traffic through the Bosphorus strait was also disrupted. Greece likewise has seen fierce cold weather this past week. In the north near the Turkish frontier a 20-year-old Afghan migrant died of the cold on Tuesday.

South Africa – Gauteng – Widespread flooding occurred throughout the north of the province after more than 120mm fell within three hours. Numerous roads and low-lying bridges were flooded or washed away, walls were knocked down by the floodwaters and farm dams overflowed as 1:100 year floodlines were breached in many places.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

Authorities say wildfires raging in South Africa’s wine region have destroyed part of one of the country’s oldest estates, while some slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain burned. Firefighters worked through the night to try to contain 106 blazes in the area. No one has been killed.

Low rainfall, dry vegetation and strong winds create prime conditions for fires in the region in summer.

Farm manager Don Tooth says around 40 percent of the Vergelegen wine farm that was established by Dutch settlers in the 1700s has been destroyed by fire.

Fires also burned on the slopes of Table Mountain above the exclusive beach enclave of Llandudno.

Wildfires – Argentina

Firefighters in Argentina said Thursday they were bringing under control three wildfires that have devastated nearly a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of the country’s famous pampas, or plains.

Driven by strong winds, high summer temperatures and drought, the fires sent huge swathes of farm and pasture land up in smoke in the central provinces of La Pampa and Buenos Aires, two of agricultural powerhouse Argentina’s most productive regions.

The wind grew even stronger Thursday, leaving firefighters struggling to extinguish the fires and stop them from spreading to populated areas.

No lives were in danger from the fires. No human deaths or evacuations have been reported. The blazes killed wild animals and livestock and cut off several roads. The biggest fire was about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the village of La Adela, population 4,000.

It was started by a lightning strike on New Year’s weekend and is 10 kilometres across, according to firefighters.

Wildfires – India

More than 100 fires have broken out and doused in Chennai since December at sites where trees felled by Cyclone Vardah have been dumped. More than 40 000 tonnes of windfall trees have been dumped throughout 78 parks, open spaces and playgrounds.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

A wildfire in Somerset West in the Western Cape spread to surrounding farms including Bezweni, Knorhoek, Wedderwill and Vergelegen on Tuesday.

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Department dispatched 12 fire engines and 10 water tankers with more than 120 firefighters assisted by Working on Fire firefighters and Cape Nature to try and extinguish the flames. Water-bombing with the assistance of a helicopter was deployed to manage the flames, but by the time of going to print the fire had not been contained. The cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

Wildfire – Ghana

Two women were burnt to death on a rice farm at Saboba in the Northern Region on New Year’s Eve.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

South Africa – A series of storm cells wreaked havoc across parts of Buffalo City Metro and Mthatha late yesterday afternoon causing widespread damage to houses and leaving more than 20 people injured. In Mdantsane a storm followed by strong winds and hail ripped through NU6, NU7 and NU9, lifting roofs, flattening shacks and leaving scores of people without shelter. In Mthatha more than 20 people had to be rushed to health centres after they suffered injuries due to falling roofs and collapsing walls. Loose corrugated iron damaged cars in the Mthatha CBD.

Philippines – A flashflood caused by non-stop rains since New Year’s Day inundated several areas in Davao City. Flood water reached knee-deep and snarled traffic in barangays Bago Galliera and Puan Crossing.

USA – At least five people were killed Monday as severe storms swept across the South, spinning off several tornadoes and flooding widespread areas already drenched by heavy rain. Four people were killed in a single home when a tornado touched down Monday night in the town of Rehobeth in southeast Alabama. n DeFuniak Springs, Florida, the body of a 70-year-old man was found floating Monday afternoon in floodwaters outside his travel-trailer. The storm system drenched parts of Texas early Monday before moving east, causing significant damage from Louisiana to Florida. Much of the damage was caused by flash flooding after a series of storms left much of the region sodden over the past week.

Wildfires

Wildfire – South Africa

A large vegetation fire near Grabouw in the Western Cape appears to be spreading. Firefighters are battling the blaze on the mountain slopes.

City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Theo Layne says: “This fire came over from the Grabouw area towards Sir Lowry’s Pass Village area. It’s still quite high on the mountain slopes. There is no immediate danger to any property, but the fire is being fanned by a very strong southeaster in that area.”

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the western Pacific: Super Typhoon 30w (Nock-Ten), located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Catanduanes in the Philippines and it is forecast to move west at 15 kph (9 mph).

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Indonesia – According to the Jakarta Globe media outlet, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency registered 105,758 residents affected by the floods, while 104,378 of them remain at the agency’s evacuation posts. On Wednesday, central Indonesian districts were hit by a heavy flood, with thousands of houses and infrastructure seriously damaged. The authorities introduced a state of emergency on Thursday, which will reportedly last till January 4. There were no reports about casualties among residents.

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South Africa – Two Electricity Utility employees died after they were swept away in a car during flash floods in the uMzinyathi District, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the provincial cooperative governance and traditional affairs department said on Friday.

Guyana – Guyana is bracing for more rains and floods with the National Weather Watch Centre predicting heavy rainfall over the next seven days. The rains begun on Friday causing widespread flooding.

Singapore – Heavy rain resulted in flash floods around Singapore on Christmas eve (Dec 24). Flash flood alerts were issued for a few areas in central Singapore, including Newton Circus, Balmoral Road, Cairnhill Road and the Pan-Island Expressway near Stevens Road, according to the Land Transport Authority.