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Hurricane Laura’s winds battered Louisiana killing at least six people.

Winds of up to 150mph caused severe damage, with power cuts to more than half a million homes and a chemical fire from an industrial plant.

However, the feared 20ft storm surge was avoided as the hurricane, Louisiana’s biggest, tracked further east.

Laura has now been downgraded to tropical storm status.

The hurricane has since crossed into Arkansas. At 19:00 local time on August 27, the National Hurricane Center said the storm had weakened to maximum sustained winds of 40mph , but was still bringing heavy rainfall.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the state “did not sustain and suffer the absolute, catastrophic damage that we thought was likely,” but stressed they had still suffered “a tremendous amount of damage” and warned people to remain vigilant.

He tweeted: “Now is not the time to let your guard down. #Laura has left hazards like flooded roads, downed power lines and displaced wildlife in our communities that no one should take lightly. Everyone needs to remain vigilant and be safe. #lagov #HurricaneLaura

At least six people are known to have died after the storm crashed into the US, Gov Edwards told reporters.

Of those, four were killed by falling trees. One man drowned in a boat that sank and another died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator in his home, authorities said.

There was more structural damage from winds than anticipated, but the water damage was less than feared.

A barge had collided with a bridge in the city of Lake Charles, quite close to where a suspected “chlorine chemical fire” at an industrial plant was being attended by emergency services.

Governor Edwards said people should stay off the roads where possible, as outer bands of the storm were still causing high water levels and winds.

Some 1,500 people, including National Guard troops, are being deployed in rescue and clean-up missions.

President Donald Trump was briefed at the FEMA in Washington and said he would go to the area at the weekend.

The president said he had been prepared to postpone his speech at the RNC on August 27 to travel to the region but added: “We got a bit lucky. It was very big and very powerful but it passed quickly.”

Vice-President Mike Pence, who joined President Trump at FEMA, said: “While this was a major storm with devastating impact it was not as bad as it could have been.”

President Trump will visit the states affected at the weekend.

Hurricanes and Home Insurance – What All Homeowners Should Know

Hurricane Dorian Upgraded To Category 4 as It Heads toward East Coast

Laura and another storm, Marco, earlier swept across the Caribbean, killing 24 people.

Nearly 900,000 homes and businesses lost power as the storm hit the US.

Hurricane Laura was one of the strongest to ever hit the US Gulf Coast, striking as a category four with winds of up to 150mph .

Governor Edwards said it was even more powerful than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that devastated New Orleans and killed more than 1,800 people.

It made landfall shortly after midnight local time near the district of Cameron, in Louisiana. It tracked north, just east of the Texas-Louisiana border.

As yet, there have been no casualties confirmed in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott toured the area hit by the storm with the US Coast Guard on August 27, and said the state was “ready to help communities rebuild”.


A red alert has been declared in China as powerful typhoon Lekima heads towards the eastern coast.

Typhoon Lekima is currently battering Taiwan with winds of more than 120mph and is due to make landfall in China’s Zhejiang province on August 10.

Emergency teams have been deployed to the region to guide relief work, China’s emergency ministry said.

Thousands of people further up the coast in Shanghai have been warned to prepare to evacuate.

Lekima, which is the ninth typhoon so far this year, strengthened into a super typhoon late on August 7, but Taiwanese authorities have since downgraded it to a regular typhoon.

Flood warnings have been issued for eastern sections of China’s Yangtze River and the Yellow River until August 7. The provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong are also on alert.

Cruise liners have been told to delay their arrival in Shanghai and some train services have been suspended over the weekend.

China has also canceled some trains heading to and from the Yangtze delta region.

Image source Wikipedia

Typhoon Mangkhut Hits Philippines’ Main Island Killing at Least 25

Typhoon Haiyan affected 11 million people in Philippines

Lekima is one of two typhoons in the western Pacific at the moment. Further east, Typhoon Krosa is spreading heavy rain across the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. According to forecaster, it is moving north-west and could strike Japan sometime next week.

On August 9, Lekima was passing the north of Taiwan, causing flight cancelations and the closures of schools and offices.

According to local media, power was cut to more than 40,000 homes and the island’s high speed rail service was suspended north of the city of Taichung

The huge storm came a day after eastern Taiwan was rattled by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake. Experts said the risks of landslides triggered by the tremor were made more likely by the typhoon dumping up to 35 inches of rain on Taiwan’s northern mountains.

On August 9, Lekima also brought heavy rain and high winds to south-west Japan, cutting power to about 14,000 homes, broadcaster NHK reported.

China’s weather bureau said typhoon Lekima was expected to have weakened further by the time it made landfall. The country has a four-stage color-coded warning system, with red representing the most severe weather.


Most of the United States and parts of Canada have been hit by a heat wave over the weekend, meteorologists say.

The extremely hot weather could affect about 200 million people in major cities like New York, Washington and Boston in the East Coast, and the Midwest region too.

In some places, temperatures could be close to or exceed 100F.

According to experts, the more frequent heat waves in recent years are linked to climate change.

According to new data, the world experienced its hottest June on record this year, with an average temperature worldwide of 61.6F (16.4C).

Earlier this month, Alaska, part of which lies inside the Arctic Circle, registered record high temperatures.

The heat wave is hitting an area stretching from the Central Plains of Colorado and Kansas, to the Great Lakes in the north-east.

Temperatures are also rising in most areas of the East Coast.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared “a local emergency due to the extreme heat” in the city.

In a video posted on Twitter, the mayor said: “This is a heat wave coming up these next days. It’s serious stuff.

“Friday is going to be bad. Saturday is going to be really, really bad on through Sunday.”

Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to take the threat seriously, to stay hydrated, and to not go out in the hot weather. He added that 500 “cooling centers” were being opened across New York.

Similar measures were being taken in Detroit and other cities.

Europe Heat Wave 2019: France Records All-Time Highest Temperature of 114.6F

India Heat Wave: Phalodi Records Country’s Hottest Day Ever

In Canada, heat warnings have been issued for parts of the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Daytime temperatures in Toronto could feel like 104F on July 19 and 20, when humidity is factored in. Severe thunderstorms are also expected.

Canadian meteorologists say that in Montreal the temperature could feel like 113F with humidity over the next two days.

US meteorologists say the heat wave is expected to continue through the weekend, and some cities may see their highest temperatures in years.

In some cities it might feel as hot as in California’s Death Valley – a desert region known for its extreme heat. But they say a dramatic change is on the way early next week, when it is expected to suddenly cool off.


At least seven people have been killed in several states as US Midwest has been hit by a cold snap known as a polar vortex.

The arctic weather made temperatures to fall to -22F in Chicago – colder than parts of Antarctica – and -25F in North Dakota.

Freezing weather will chill 250 million Americans, and 90 million will experience 0F or below.

On January 30, snow is expected to fall from the Great Lakes region into New England. As much as 24in is forecast in the state of Wisconsin, and 6in in Illinois.

States of emergency have been declared in Midwestern Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois, and even in the normally warmer Deep South states of Alabama and Mississippi.

The National Weather Service (NSW) is warning frostbite is possible within just 10 minutes of being outside in such extreme temperatures.

Image source Wikimedia

Polar Vortex freezes parts of US

Grand Forks, North Dakota, has seen the lowest wind chill so far at -65F on January 30.

Twenty million people in the continental US are expected to experience temperatures of -18F or lower by the week’s end.

On January 30, two Michigan residents were found dead in their neighborhoods, the Associated Press reported.

Officials say one may have become disoriented and wandered into the cold without proper attire.

On January 29, a 55-year-old man froze to death in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, garage, with the medical examiner’s office ruling he “apparently collapsed after shoveling snow”, local media reported.

In Pekin, Illinois, an 82-year-old man died from hypothermia outside his home, NBC News reported.

On January 28, a 75-year-old man was killed by a snow plough near Chicago.

In northern Indiana, a young couple died after a collision on icy roads.

The US Postal Service has called a halt to mail deliveries in parts of 10 states in the Great Plains and Midwest.

Hundreds of schools, as well as colleges and universities, have been closed in the affected states.

Beer deliveries in Wisconsin have been hit, too, as brewers delay shipments for fear their beverages will freeze in the trucks.

Weather officials in the state of Iowa have warned people to “avoid taking deep breaths, and to minimize talking” if they go outside.

Farmers across the Midwest have been taking measures to protect their livestock, including building igloos for chickens.

Animal rights organization PETA has warned people to bring pets indoors.

Meanwhile, police in the Illinois county of McLean had some fun, announcing that Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen had been arrested.


Image source Wikimedia

Typhoon Mangkhut hit the Philippines’ main island on September 15 killing at least 25 people.

Extensive crop damage is feared in the agricultural province of Cagayan.

Mangkhut, which packs a 550 mile rain band and strong winds, is heading towards southern China.

The storm poses a “severe threat” to Hong Kong, the territory’s observatory said, urging residents to stay on high alert.

In the Philippines, Mangkhut made landfall at Baggao, in the north-east of the main island of Luzon, at about 01:40 local time on September 15 and left some 20 hours later.

Originally a super typhoon billed as the strongest storm of 2018, Mangkhut lost some of its strength on landfall.

Five million people were in its path and more than 100,000 sheltered in temporary centers.

Typhoon Haiyan affected 11 million people in Philippines

A presidential spokesman and disaster response coordinator said almost all the deaths had been caused by landslides in the Cordillera and Nueva Vizcaya regions, adding that reports from other areas were still coming in.

One person was killed by a falling tree in the province of Ilocos Sur, he said.

Almost all buildings in the city of Tuguegarao, Cagayan’s provincial capital, sustained damage, a government official said.

The Philippines is routinely hit during the typhoon season but the strength of Manghukt evoked memories of the deadliest storm on national record – Super Typhoon Haiyan – which killed more than 7,000 five years ago.

However, preparation and evacuation procedures have been improved since then – warnings were issued, travel was restricted, schools shut and the army was put on standby in advance.

Mangkhut is still strong as it heads west toward southern China with current sustained wind speeds of 90mph but fears it will re-strengthen into a super typhoon have receded.


Image source Wikipedia

Storm Florence is hitting North and South Carolina, and Virginia and weather forecasters warn of the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of the states.

Florence has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm but continues to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing trees and damaging homes.

It is slowly grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 65mph.

Five deaths have been linked to the storm and thousands of people have been staying in emergency shelters.

Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region.

All five deaths linked to the storm are in North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence Sparks Evacuations in South Carolina and States of Emergency in North Carolina and Virginia

Florence originally made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a category one hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center said on September 14 that “catastrophic fresh water flooding” is expected in parts of both the Carolinas.

Some parts of North Carolina have already seen surges as high as 10ft in places.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the hurricane was likely to “continue its violent grind for days” and described the severity of the downfalls as a “1,000 year event”.

Florence is expected to dump 18 trillion gallons of rainwater on US soil, meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted.

Almost 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks.

More than 20,000 residents have packed into North Carolina emergency shelters, and officials have told those still in the storm’s path to stay in place.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, officials had rescued more than 60 people overnight on September 13 from a hotel that was collapsing in the storm.

Parts of New Bern, North Carolina, which is home to 30,000 people, were 10ft underwater on September 14 after local rivers flooded their banks.

Scores of residents in the riverfront city were plucked to safety, local reports say.

Image source Wikipedia

The US East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Florence.

Evacuations have been ordered in what may be the strongest storm to hit the region in decades.

North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency while South Carolina’s governor ordered the evacuation of its entire coastline.

According to officials, Florence is now a Category 5 storm with 130mph winds, and gaining strength.

Florence is expected to strike the Carolinas by September 13.

The storm – which was 1,200 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, on September 10 – started the day as a Category 2 storm.

The weather system could reach Category 5 as its draws strength from the warm Atlantic waters, say forecasters.

Florence would be the first Category 4 storm to hit the region since Hugo ravaged North Carolina in 1989, wreaking $7 billion in damage and claiming 49 lives.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says the hurricane has the makings of an “extremely dangerous” meteorological event.

It may bring catastrophic levels of rain and flooding to coastal and inland regions.

Hurricane Nate Hits Louisiana and Mississippi

Hurricane Maria Leaves Puerto Rico Without Power

The NHC said: “There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds.”

President Donald Trump has cancelled plans for a rally on September 14 in Mississippi because of the hurricane.

In North Carolina, there have been long queues in supermarkets around communities near waterways and coastlines as residents clear shelves of water, batteries and plywood.

Governor Roy Cooper waived agricultural transportation restrictions in order to allow farmers to move goods more quickly.

Red flag warnings are keeping swimmers off beaches, as residents sandbag their homes in the communities of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval installation in the world, is preparing to send ships away from bases to weather the storm out at sea.

Two other hurricanes are currently churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricanes Isaac and Helene are expected to accelerate, but at this point, are not expected to threaten the US mainland.


The US East Coast is shivering in a record-breaking freeze in the wake of a deadly “bomb cyclone” that dumped snow as far south as Florida.

In parts of US and Canada, temperatures were forecast to fall below -20F, with wind chill making it feel more like -90F on January 5.

In Canada, high winds have knocked out power for tens of thousands of residents in Nova Scotia.

Thousands of snow ploughs are clearing roads across the East Coast.

On January 5, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted dangerously low temperatures moving into the weekend as frigid air lingering over the North Pole prowls towards the US mid-Atlantic region.

In Massachusetts, residents of Boston, which received over 1ft of snowfall, were clearing the streets with shovels.

It comes just days after a phenomenon described as a “bomb cyclone” brought heavy snowfall to a wide area along the East Coast, as well as hurricane-force winds.

Image source Fox News

Storm Eleanor Causes Power Outages and Affects Transport in Northern Europe

Giant waves caused by the storm saw freezing floodwaters inundate parts of the New England coast.

According to reports, the extreme weather has so far been linked to up to 19 deaths in the US and two more in Canada.

Four deaths were reported in traffic accidents in North and South Carolina. Further fatalities occurred in Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas.

In Philadelphia, a car was unable to stop at a railway line at the bottom of a steep hill and was hit by a commuter train, killing a passenger in the vehicle.

In Virginia, a girl was fatally struck by a car while sledging, and a 75-year-old man was killed after being hit by a snow plough.

In Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where the temperature averaged 20F on January 4, a 13-year-old girl died and 35 others suffered carbon-monoxide poisoning in an apartment building. Seven of those treated were first responders.

The extreme weather caused travel chaos and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights on January 4 and 5.

Most flights have since resumed at airports in New York and Boston.

Experts say the so-called bomb cyclone storm drew moisture and strength from as far south as the Caribbean Sea.

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, which boasts of having the “world’s worst weather”, was forecast to experience a wind chill temperature as low as -90F on January 5.

Law enforcement in Indiana issued a joke warrant for the arrest of the heroine in Disney movie Frozen, blaming her for the cold snap.


A total of 11 people have been killed in Texas tornadoes, police say, raising the death toll to 29 in a week of storms across the South and Midwest.

At least eight people died in Garland, near Dallas, five of them when their cars were blown off a motorway. Three bodies were found in other towns.

In west Texas the problem was snow – high winds caused drifts that have made a number of roads impassable.

The storms across the South have been unusually powerful for winter.

According to Texas reports, churches were destroyed, cars mangled and trees toppled across a 20 mile zone from south of Dallas up to suburbs in the north-east.Texas tornado December 2015

In December 27 briefing, Lt. Pedro Barineau, of Garland police, said 600 buildings had been damaged.

The Red Cross is setting up shelters for those with damaged homes.

Police said all street and highway lights had been knocked out, leaving officers working in the dark overnight.

Two people were found dead at a petrol station in Copeville, and a third was killed in Blue Ridge, reports in local media said.

Kevin Taylor, a church pastor in Glenn Heights, south of Dallas, described to WFAA how his church began collapsing around him.

While extreme weather in the US around Christmas is not unknown, meteorologists say that unseasonably high temperatures in some areas contributed to the severity of the storms.

The forecast for the eastern US is of continuing high temperatures – Washington DC pushed close to 70F on December 27.

A year ago, a tornado hit south-eastern Mississippi, killing five people and injuring dozens more.

A storm on Christmas Day in 2012 which included several tornadoes damaged homes from Texas to Alabama.


At least six people have been killed and scores more injured ahead of the Christmas break after a strong storm has hit the South and Midwest of the US.

The storm has been described by forecasters as particularly dangerous.

Three people were killed as tornadoes moved through northern Mississippi, officials said, along with two in Tennessee and one in Arkansas.

There have been reports of at least 20 tornadoes of varying severity.

The high winds have also caused significant damage to homes.Mississippi tornado December 2015

Authorities in parts of Mississippi – where a seven-year-old was among those killed – are conducting a house-by-house search-and-rescue operation after the state was hit by multiple tornadoes.

Planes at a small airport in the north-west of the state were overturned and an unknown number of people were injured.

“I’m looking at some horrific damage right now,” Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett was quoted by the AP as saying.

“Sheet metal is wrapped around trees; there are overturned airplanes; a building is just destroyed.”

Mississippi’s I-55 was closed in both directions as the tornado approached, the state’s Highway Patrol said.

The bad weather is also due to hit – or has hit – the states of Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Alabama.

The national Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma has released a “particularly dangerous situation” warning for the first time since June 2014, AP reports, when two massive tornadoes destroyed a rural Nebraska town, killing two people.

The possibility of bad weather just before Christmas in the US is not unusual, officials at the center say.


South-east Australia is facing some of its coldest weather in decades, thanks to an icy cold snap.

A series of chilly Arctic fronts have swept over much of Australia this weekend, causing temperatures to plummet to their lowest for 15 years, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Strong winds and snowfall hit Victoria, New South Wales (NSW), and even the “Sunshine state” Queensland saw snow.

Ipswich councilor Paul Tully drove three hours across the border so his son could see snow for the first time.

He said hundreds of cars made their way up Mount Mackenzie in northern NSW over the weekend, including one family who drove for more than seven hours through the night from Bundaberg.Australia snow 2015

“Everyone was actually excited it was a joyous occasion, people just felt really good.”

The cold snap has been dubbed the “Antarctic vortex” by Australian media, but the Bureau of Meteorology said the name was not actually accurate.

More unusually cold conditions are expected this week.

Barry Hanstrum, regional director at the Bureau of Meteorology NSW, said the conditions were associated with a series of cold fronts that moved through the states.

The low pressure system that caused the cold fronts is expected to last for much of the week ahead.

Severe weather warnings are in place for Victoria and NSW, and icy conditions have closed some major roads, including parts of the Great Western Highway.

Alpine regions and ski resorts saw good snow fall at the weekend with a light dusting also experienced in the Central Tablelands region of NSW.


Human body’s normal core temperature is 37-38C (98.6 –100.4F).

If it heats up to 39-40C (102.2-104F), the brain tells the muscles to slow down and fatigue sets in. At 40-41C (102.2-105.8F) heat exhaustion is likely – and above 41C the body starts to shut down.

Chemical processes start to be affected, the cells inside the body deteriorate and there is a risk of multiple organ failure.Human body and extreme heat

The body cannot even sweat at this point because blood flow to the skin stops, making it feel cold and clammy.

Heatstroke – which can occur at any temperature over 40C – requires professional medical help and if not treated immediately, chances of survival can be slim.

There are a number of things people can do to help themselves. These include:

  • wearing damp clothes which will help lower the body’s temperature
  • sticking one’s hands in cold water
  • placing fans next to windows as this will draw air from outside, which should be cooler
  • wearing looser clothes
  • having a lukewarm shower rather than a cold one
  • fanning the face rather than other parts of the body

Parts of the eastern United States could experience historically low temperatures over the next few days, meteorologists predict.

Bitterly cold air from Siberia is producing dangerous and record-breaking low temperatures on February 19 and 20 stretching from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. Lows close to zero will reach as far south as South Carolina.

Temperatures are 20 to 40 degrees F below normal for February from the Mid-Atlantic to the South.

Schools in Chicago have closed and trains in the north-east corridor have been affected by the cold.

Extreme cold warnings are also in effect in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

Frigid temperatures are expected to continue into Friday, February 20.Niagara Falls frozen 2015

Record lows have already been broken in Kentucky, where it was -8F on Thursday morning in Paducah and most of state was below 0F.

Weather forecasters believe the cold air will help break more than 100 daily record lows, NBC News reports.

In Atlanta, temperatures dipped to 15F overnight and officials were trying to determine whether two people found dead had been killed by the cold.

The extreme cold is also threatening electricity grids in Tennessee – more than 30,000 lost power on February 18 and officials are calling for residents to conserve energy as the state remains in an emergency footing.

Temperatures in Washington DC are set to reach 2F, the lowest in 20 years.

Even Orlando, Florida, was expected to see temperatures fall below freezing.

The bitter cold comes after a series of severe snow storms have hit the north-east, with residents of Massachusetts and further north seeing more than 70 inches of snow within weeks, paired with sub-freezing temperatures.

More snow was forecast for parts of northern Maine and Canada as well as areas around the Great Lakes.

Forecasted Highs/Lows in the Eastern United States:

  • Atlanta, Georgia: 29F/14F
  • Chicago, Illinois: 6F/-1F
  • Nashville, Tennessee: 18F/7F
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 20F/1F
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: 21F/6F
  • Washington, DC: 18F/2F [youtube XpBaJEESGqA 650]


Australian firefighters are racing to contain a major bushfire before soaring temperatures and high winds fuel the blaze.

More than 30 homes are already feared destroyed in the hills behind South Australia’s city of Adelaide.

More than 500 firefighters are tackling the fires, which have been burning since January 2.

Officials say the blaze is the worst in the area since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983, which left 75 dead.

Temperatures are forecast to hit 34C in Adelaide on January 5 before rising to as high as 38C on January 6 and 7, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

However, the region is not yet out of danger, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said.

“We’re really racing against time to try to make sure that we get as much of this contained before the hotter weather and the stronger winds are expected later in the week,” he told a press conference.

“The objective of this is obviously to ensure that the fire does not spread under the worsening conditions, but also to open up as many areas as possible,” Jay Weatherill said.

He said South Australians should prepare for more severe bushfires.South Australia bushfires 2015

A number of towns remained at risk from uncontrolled fire burning in scrub and grass, and some roads into the fire zone remained closed, said the state’s Country Fire Service (CFS).

Chief Officer for the CFS, Greg Nettleton, told local media the number one priority for firefighters was to prepare for possible catastrophic weather conditions expected to hit on Wednesday.

“The winds will swing around to the north. At the moment I think they’re predicting somewhere like about 35kph [22mph],” said Greg Nettleton.

“That’s enough given the dryness of the country for the fire to spread, so our number one priority is to secure the outer perimeter of that large fire so it doesn’t impact on further communities.”

An estimated 12,500 hectares of land have been burnt since January 2, according to local media, and firefighters from South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales are battling the fires’ 150 miles perimeter.

Large air tankers are dumping water on the fire front and back-burning operations are underway, where new fires are started in order to burn in the opposite direction to the line of advancing fire.

Of the estimated 1100 properties in the Adelaide Hills, 12 are confirmed destroyed with another 20 believed to have been burnt down. Twenty-two people, mostly firefighters, are reported to have suffered minor injuries.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the blaze a “catastrophe”, which means insurers can escalate their response, and claims arising from the bushfires should be given priority by insurers.

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Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather, with temperatures of over 40C (104F) in some areas, and several bushfire warnings in place.

In Victoria, lightning strikes sparked more than 250 fires on Tuesday night, fire authorities said. A fire ban has been issued across the state.

In Melbourne, a tennis player and a ball boy at the Australian Open collapsed in the heat.

Temperatures in the city remained above 30C for much of Tuesday night.

Country Fire Authority chief officer Euan Ferguson said in a statement: “The extreme temperatures [in Victoria] over the coming three days will test fire services and the community. It’s critical we minimize the risk of any fires before Friday.”

Firefighters have been able to contain most of the fires in the state, although a number of fires remain out of control.

Emergency fire warnings have been issued for the Victoria communities of Yaapeet and Nypo, with fire authorities urging residents to evacuate due to “a fast moving, out of control bushfire travelling in a south easterly direction”.

Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather, with temperatures of over 104F in some areas

Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather, with temperatures of over 104F in some areas

In 2009, fires in Victoria killed 173 people and destroyed 2,000 homes.

Meanwhile Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, experienced its fourth hottest day on record, reaching 45.1C (107F).

More than 14,000 properties have experienced power cuts, with many thought to be caused by thunderstorms and lightning strikes, ABC reported.

In Tasmania, there were reports of road tar melting in the heat.

At the Australian Open on Tuesday, Canadian tennis player Frank Dancevic collapsed during a match.

Frank Dancevic told reporters the heat made him “dizzy” and made him hallucinate.

China’s Peng Shuai said the temperatures caused her to vomit during her match. A ball boy also collapsed in a separate match.

Tim Wood, the tournament’s chief medical officer, said: “Of course there were a few players who experienced heat-related illness or discomfort, but none required significant medical intervention after they had completed their match.”

[youtube B6HY6UefSDY 650]

A video of a meteorologist tossing a pot of boiling water into the air in Wisconsin, to demonstrate how it immediately turns to snow, quickly went viral on the internet and was widely imitated.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus demonstrates what happens when you toss a pot of boiling water into the sky when it is -21°F with a wind chill of -51°F.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus demonstrates what happens when you toss a pot of boiling water into the sky when it is -21°F with a wind chill of -51°F

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus demonstrates what happens when you toss a pot of boiling water into the sky when it is -21°F with a wind chill of -51°F

The video was shot on January 6, 2014 in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

[youtube QCrrJs2areo 650]

Typhoon Soulik has hit Taiwan, bringing strong winds and torrential rain to the island.

So far one person is reported to have died while 21 have been injured in the extreme weather.

More than 8,500 people have been evacuated from mountainous and other dangerous areas and thousands of soldiers have been deployed.

Typhoon Soulik is set to arrive in mainland China’s eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang later on Saturday.

Local authorities there have been asked to implement emergency response plans, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported, after recent torrential rain across large parts of the country reportedly left 200 people dead or missing.

Typhoon Soulik, a medium-force typhoon, had wind speeds of around 100 mph on Saturday morning.

It made landfall at around 03:00 local time on Saturday, Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau reported.

A police officer was killed by falling bricks but other people suffered mostly light injuries, including from fallen trees or being blown off their scooters.

Typhoon Soulik has hit Taiwan, bringing strong winds and torrential rain to the island

Typhoon Soulik has hit Taiwan, bringing strong winds and torrential rain to the island

The strong winds and heavy rain have caused electricity disruptions, a run on food and essential supplies in supermarkets, and uprooted trees and signs in some areas.

This typhoon is the first to hit Taiwan this year and there had been fears of major damage because the island was the first place it made landfall.

Nearly 50,000 soldiers have been put on standby.

Schools and offices in Taipei and several other cities had closed on Friday afternoon as the tropical storm neared.

Some flights to Taiwan have been disrupted, with both Cathay Pacific and China Airlines announcing cancellations.

Precautionary measures have been taken to close the roads and bridges along areas most susceptible to disaster, officials said.

Fishing boats had been returned to the shore before the typhoon hit, and members of the public were urged to avoid mountain and coastal areas.

Evacuated residents – including 3,000 from Kaohsiung city and 2,000 from Pingtung county in the south of Taiwan – have been taken to local government buildings that have been turned into shelters, AFP reported.

More than 2,000 tourists had earlier been evacuated from Taiwan’s Green Island, near the city of Taitung, as a precaution.

Typhoons are common during the summer in parts of East Asia, where the warm moist air and low pressure conditions enable tropical cyclones to form.

In 2009, Taiwan was hit by Typhoon Morakot, which left hundreds dead in floods and mudslides.

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Dozens of people across western US have been treated for exhaustion and dehydration, as the region is continuing to bake in a heat wave.

A man in Las Vegas is believed to have died from a heat-related illness.

Air-conditioned “cooling centres” have been set up in California, Nevada and Arizona, as officials warn the heat could be life-threatening.

Temperatures in some areas are expected to be near 130F (54C) – close to the world’s all-time record.

Several parts of California – including the desert town of Palm Springs – saw record highs on Saturday.

There are fears of wildfires, as the heat could last for several days.

More than 34 people were taken to hospital after attending an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, officials said.

They also said that an elderly resident was found dead in a house with no air-conditioning. The man suffered medical problems, but his condition is believed to have been aggravated by the heat, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Dozens of people across western US have been treated for exhaustion and dehydration, as the region is continuing to bake in a heat wave

Dozens of people across western US have been treated for exhaustion and dehydration, as the region is continuing to bake in a heat wave

In Los Angeles, California, a number of people were treated for heat stroke and dehydration.

Shelters for homeless in Phoenix, Arizona, added extra beds as temperatures in the city were expected to hit 122F (50C).

The Running with the Devil Marathon in the Mojave Desert outside Las Vegas – which had been scheduled for Saturday – was later cancelled because of extreme heat.

The National Weather Service earlier issued a heat warning for several parts of the region until Monday morning.

Temperatures in Death Valley in the California desert are forecast to reach 130F (54C). The highest-ever temperature on Earth -134F (56.7C) – was recorded there on 10 July 1913.

The heat wave comes after one of the driest winters on record, and there is a fear of wildfires.

Energy suppliers are expected to be pushed to the limit in the next few days.

Weather officials say the extreme weather is caused by a high-pressure system stuck over the area.

The US Border Patrol’s rescue unit has added extra personnel this weekend as the threat of exhaustion and dehydration rises for those attempting to cross the US-Mexico border illegally on foot.

At least seven migrants were found dead in Arizona’s desert last week in lower temperatures. Border officials in Tucson, Arizona, rescued more than 170 people suffering from the heat during a thirty-day period in May and June.

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At least one person is reported dead and at least 21 others injured in a series of tornadoes that have torn through Oklahoma and Kansas.

The worst damage was caused by a tornado near the town of Shawnee, 35 miles from Oklahoma City, local media report.

A mobile home park near Shawnee is said to have been leveled to the ground.

Twisters have been reported in other states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Illinois.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned of a dangerous tornado approaching the city of Wichita, Kansas. It had earlier issued urgent appeals for people in parts of Oklahoma to take cover.

In Oklahoma, local TV stations said at least one person was killed and several others hurt when a trailer park on Highway 102 near Shawnee was hit.

A Fox25 reporter in Shawnee said trees had been shredded and homes destroyed. Downed power lines were lying on roads, she said.

One resident, Amber Ash, said her home was hit by a tornado as she waited in a storm shelter.

At least one person is reported dead and at least 21 others injured in a series of tornadoes that have torn through Oklahoma and Kansas.

At least one person is reported dead and at least 21 others injured in a series of tornadoes that have torn through Oklahoma and Kansas.

“Once it passed, we got out and saw the devastation. Everything I had was destroyed.”

There was also serious damage in the town of Edmond but no injuries were reported.

Thousands of residents in the affected areas have been left without power.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said a state of emergency had been declared in 16 counties to enable help to get to the worst-hit parts of Oklahoma.

At least four tornadoes ravaged the state on Sunday, part of a storm system that was moving north-east across the Midwestern states and Texas.

“Right now we’re in a rescue and recovery stage,” Mary Fallin said.

“We’re still not in the clear yet.”

The massive storm system prompted the NWS to issue a blunt warning to residents in the affected states.

The agency said: “You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter. Complete destruction of neighborhoods, businesses and vehicles will occur. Flying debris will be deadly to people and animals.”

Meteorologists warn that the extreme weather is expected to continue on Monday.

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China’s capital Beijing has been hit by the heaviest rainfall in 60 years and has left 10 people dead and stranded thousands at the main airport.

The deluge struck on Saturday afternoon and continued into the night, flooding major roads, state media said.

Roof collapses, lightning strikes and electrocution from downed power lines were among the causes of the deaths.

More than 500 flights were cancelled at the main airport, the Beijing News reported.

Beijing has been hit by the heaviest rainfall in 60 years and has left 10 people dead and stranded thousands at the main airport

Beijing has been hit by the heaviest rainfall in 60 years and has left 10 people dead and stranded thousands at the main airport

State media said flooding and landslides also killed four people in northern Shanxi province and six in south-western Sichuan province.

State news agency Xinhua said 460 mm (18.1 in) fell in the capital’s Fangshan district, with the capital as a whole averaging 170 mm.

It said 14,500 people, mostly in outlying districts, had to be evacuated.

“There could be further large-scale storms or extreme weather,” the Beijing city government’s website said.



A dramatic footage shows the terrifying ordeal pilots and air passengers endured while landing at Loiu Airport in Bilbao as high winds batter northern Spain this week.

Footage of planes landing at Loiu Airport in Bilbao shows aircraft being blown sideways and shaking almost uncontrollably as pilots battle to bring them down safely on to runways.

While one intrepid pilot manages to successfully guide his plane on to the landing strip, another is forced to pull back into the air as the huge crosswind means he just cannot hit the runway.

Footage of planes landing at Loiu Airport in Bilbao shows aircraft being blown sideways and shaking almost uncontrollably as pilots battle to bring them down safely on to runways

Footage of planes landing at Loiu Airport in Bilbao shows aircraft being blown sideways and shaking almost uncontrollably as pilots battle to bring them down safely on to runways

The State Meteorological Agency reported that winds have reached 40 mph at the airport, while high winds of 80 mph were reported in the rest of the Basque region.

Air travel had been affected, with four planes being re-routed to different airport, according to AENA, the airport authority.

Pilot heading towards Bilbao, however, have had to struggle on the airport remained open during the hazardous conditions and no flights were cancelled.

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