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Typhoon Koppu has hit the northern Philippines forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.

According to local reports, homes have been flattened and power lines toppled.

Typhoon Koppu made landfall near the town of Casiguran on the island of Luzon on Sunday morning, October 18.

It brought winds of close to 124mph and whipped up coastal surges 12ft high.

Three days of torrential rain has been predicted, triggering major flooding and possibly landslides.

Alexander Pama, head of the government’s main disaster agency, said 10,000 people had been displaced in north-eastern Luzon but no casualties had been reported so far.

“Initially, we are getting [reports that] many houses were destroyed, power lines toppled and trees blocking major roads,” he said.Typhoon Koppu Philippines

The eye of the storm was moving west at a speed of just 2mph.

“It has slowed almost to a crawl. We were hoping it would speed up and spare us sooner,” Alexander Pama added.

Flights and ferry services in the north have been cancelled and some bus services in mountain areas suspended due to the threat of landslides.

On October 16, President Benigno Aquino made a televised warning, the first time he had done so since Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 6,300 people.

Typhoon Koppu, also known as Lando, is up to 400 miles across and producing winds of up to 155mph. It is slow moving, meaning it could bring intense rain over a long period of time.

Rain has also reached the capital Manila, though winds are not expected to be strong enough there to cause damage.

In his TV address, President Benigno Aquino urged the estimated six million people in the typhoon’s direct path to listen to government warnings and be ready to evacuate their homes if necessary.

He said aid agencies had already distributed emergency supplies to evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, the Philippine military in northern Luzon has been placed on alert for disaster operations.

Typhoon Koppu is not due to leave the Philippines until October 20, when it will be heading towards Taiwan.


According to new reports, at least 19 people have been found dead following flash floods on the French Riviera.

The death toll rose after two bodies were discovered on October 5. One person remains missing but another was found alive, according to reports.

Violent storms and heavy rain on Saturday evening sent torrents of water and mud through several towns.

A Briton, an Italian woman and a Portuguese man were also among those killed, AFP said.

French President Francois Hollande has announced a state of “natural disaster” in the affected region.

Forecasters have faced criticism over the effectiveness of weather alerts.

The area is estimated to have received more than 10% of its average yearly rainfall in two days alone. Rivers burst their banks, sending water coursing into nearby towns and cities.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Divers found one body in the worst-hit town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule on October 5.

Eight are now confirmed killed there after being trapped in garages when they tried to remove their cars, officials say.

Three elderly people drowned when their retirement home in Biot, near the city of Antibes, was flooded.

Visiting the home on October 4, President Francois Hollande offered his condolences and urged residents to remain cautious, saying: “It’s not over.”

Hundreds of volunteers have been helping clear debris and clean homes affected.

Thousands of homes remained without electricity on October 5 following the floods.

Meanwhile Bernard Giampaolo, director of the Marineland amusement park in Antibes, said three loggerhead turtles were still missing after the enclosures were hit.

He told Nice Matin newspaper that polar bears, orcas and dolphins had survived, although the park was still without power.

Chickens, goats and sheep had been washed away, the newspaper reported.


Hundreds of people are missing in Guatemala after a mudslide hit a village not far from the country’s capital.

At least 26 bodies have so far been recovered from the village of El Cambray Dos, rescue services say.

Heavy rains swept a torrent of boulders and mud onto houses on October 1, nine miles east of Guatemala City.

Relatives have been receiving calls and texts from people trapped under the rubble, reporters at the scene say.

Photo Fox News

Photo Fox News

Survivors have been taken to makeshift shelters. Rescuers temporarily called off the search on October 2 because of heavy rains, AP reports.

Julio Sanchez, a spokesman for Guatemala’s volunteer firefighters, said 26 people had died, including a number of children, and another 36 people were taken to hospitals.

One man was pulled alive from the rubble after more than 15 hours after the mudslide hit.

Acting President Alejandro Maldonado has warned that as many as 600 people could still be missing.

He said that number of people was believed to be asleep in their homes when the mudslide occurred, he added.

El Cambray Dos is surrounded by steep hills that tower over the houses which are mostly set in the valley bottom.

Alejandro Maldonado said in a radio interview that the forested hills had been weakening for some time and had collapsed largely because of recent heavy rain.


Hurricane Joaquin has battered parts of the Bahamas with heavy rains and winds after it was reclassified up to the second strongest type of storm.

Sustained winds of up to 130mph were reported in parts of the eastern Bahamas, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The NHC says Hurricane Joaquin could affect the US East Coast by October 4, and said it was now an “extremely dangerous” storm.

Emergency teams said there were no reports of casualties in the Bahamas.

Forecasters in the US and the Bahamas are warning that central islands, many of which are low-lying, could see a storm surge of up to 12ft.

“We do not know the impact of 130mph on those areas,” Bahamas PM Perry Christie said.

Photo AccuWeather

Photo AccuWeather

“We know it’s a horrific kind of experience.”

Images on social media showed water reaching close to the roofs of some homes. The Tribune 242 website said dozens of people were trapped in their homes in the southern Bahamas.

After being classified only as a storm on September 30, Joaquin had become a Category Four hurricane – on a scale of five – by October 1.

The NHC said the storm could strengthen again as it nears the central Bahamas, but it is likely to lose strength as it moves north.

States along the eastern US coast – many of whom have suffered heavy rains in recent days – have warned residents to take precautions.

But the NHC, while warning the path of the hurricane could change, said it was “becoming optimistic that the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic states will avoid the direct effects from Joaquin”.

Meanwhile, the governors of New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and North and South Carolina declared states of emergency. One person was killed by flash floods in Spartanburg, South Carolina and schools in Charleston will be closed on October 2, local media reported.

Cuba has also issued warnings for four eastern provinces.

A White House spokesman said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was following the progress of Hurricane Joaquin and preparing in case it made landfall in the US.


New Orleans marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with multiple events across the city.

At a memorial service, Mayor Mitch Landrieu recalled how residents had turned to each other for support.

Former President Bill Clinton later spoke at a concert in New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people and displaced one million in 2004. It was the most expensive natural disaster in US history and caused destruction along the Gulf coast.

In New Orleans, the failure of the levee system left about 80% of the city under water.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu led a sombre tribute to the 83 unidentified victims whose bodies lie in mausoleums at the city’s Hurricane Katrina Memorial.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

“Though they are unnamed, they are not unclaimed because we claim them,” he said.

“We saved each other,” the mayor added.

“New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken.”

Residents and community activists also gathered at the levee in the Lower Ninth Ward, where storm waters broke through and flooded the district.

After speeches, a parade took place through the neighbourhood, with some participants in colourful Mardi Gras dress.

Throughout the day, thousands took part in traditional musical parades through the city’s streets.

Former President Bill Clinton later spoke at a free concert at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center.

He said the sheer magnitude of what had been accomplished in rebuilding the city should not be underestimated, but that more work needed to be done so that the lines that divided communities – such as race and wealth – could be erased.

A ceremony was also held at the Superdome arena that housed thousands of displaced people after the storm.

President Barack Obama visited the Lower Ninth Ward on August 27, praising “the extraordinary resilience of this city and its people”.

Although New Orleans has largely recovered from the disaster, some – particularly from the African-American community – feel left behind.

On August 28, former President George W. Bush visited the city. His administration was criticized at the time over its slow response and the issue remains a source of deep resentment in New Orleans.

Typhoon Soudelor has hit south-eastern China prompting the evacuation of thousands of people and leaving millions of homes without power.

The powerful typhoon struck Fujian province late on Saturday night, bringing rains and gale force winds, state media said.

It earlier swept across Taiwan, leaving at least five people dead.

Although it has weakened, typhoon Soudelor is expected to continue moving across the region in the coming hours.

Fujian raised its typhoon alert to the highest level in anticipation of the storm, with at least 163,000 people evacuated to higher ground. There are reports of more evacuations in neighboring Zhejiang.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Rail services and flights have been cancelled in the path of the storm, and schools and offices closed.

Taiwan earlier on Saturday saw winds of more than 142mph, when Soudelor made landfall.

It ripped up trees and tore down billboards, and triggered a landslide in at least one village.

Among the victims were an 8-year-old girl and her mother who were swept out to sea.

A firefighter was reportedly killed after being hit by a drunk driver as he tried to move a fallen tree.

Typhoon Soudelor gradually lost its strength as it crossed the island, but was still packing winds of up to 89mph over the strait between Taiwan and China.

Typhoon Soudelor has hit Taiwan with strong winds and heavy rain, leaving at least four people dead.

The powerful typhoon – with winds of more than 142mph – made landfall on the eastern coast early on Saturday and is now moving across the island.

Soudelor is ripping up trees and tearing down billboards, and triggered a landslide in at least one village.

About two million households have been left without electricity.Typhoon Soudelor Taiwan

Rail services and flights have been cancelled and all schools and offices closed.

According to Taiwan’s weather bureau, the typhoon is moving north-west, gradually losing its strength.

Among the victims were an eight-year-old girl and her mother who were swept out to sea.

Ahead of Soudelour’s arrival, the authorities evacuated thousands of people from their homes.

Typhoon Soudelor is later expected to move into the Taiwan Strait and on to mainland China.

Three of the Chilean northern regions have been declared disaster areas after being hit by last night’s 8.2-magnitude earthquake.

At least five people are known to have died and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated.

The quake struck at 20:46 local time about 52 miles north-west of the mining area of Iquique, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Waves of up to 6ft have hit some areas and there have been power cuts, fires and landslides.

The government said the declaration of a disaster in the Arica, Parinacota and Tarapaca regions was aimed at “avoiding instances of looting and disorder”.

Three of the Chilean northern regions have been declared disaster areas after being hit by last night's 8.2-magnitude earthquake

Three of the Chilean northern regions have been declared disaster areas after being hit by last night’s 8.2-magnitude earthquake

President Michelle Bachelet said Chile had “faced the emergency well” and called on those in affected regions “to keep calm and follow instructions from the authorities”.

She is due to visit the affected areas later.

Chilean TV broadcast pictures of traffic jams as people tried to leave the affected areas.

Officials said the dead included people who were crushed by collapsing walls or died of heart attacks.

Iquique Governor Gonzalo Prieto told local media that in addition to those killed, several people had been seriously injured.

While the government said it had no reports of significant damage to coastal areas, a number of homes were reported destroyed in Arica.

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BP is set to receive a record fine of between $3 billion and $5 billion to settle criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

It will be the biggest criminal penalty in US history.

The settlement with the Department of Justice involves BP pleading guilty to criminal charges.

It is thought that up to four BP staff will be arrested.

Details of the settlement are expected to be confirmed by the Washington-based Department of Justice later.

Earlier, BP said it was in “advanced discussions” with US agencies about settling criminal and other claims.

BP is set to receive a record fine of between $3 billion and $5 billion to settle criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster

BP is set to receive a record fine of between $3 billion and $5 billion to settle criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster

BP said that any deal would not include a range of other claims including individual and federal claims for damages under the Clean Water Act, and state claims for economic loss.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 workers and released millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days.

The settlement is much bigger than the largest previous corporate criminal penalty assessed by the Department of Justice, the $1.2 billion fine imposed on drug maker Pfizer in 2009.

The oil giant has been selling assets worth billions of pounds to raise money to settle all claims. The company is expected to make a final payment of $860 million into the $20 billion Gulf of Mexico compensation fund by the end of the year.

BP has booked provisions of $38.1 billion to cover its liabilities from the incident, but the company has said the final cost remained highly uncertain.

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