Woman Found Dead In Landslide After Storm Batters France

French firemen search for a 71-year-old woman following a landslide after heavy rains in Nice, southern France, on November 3, 2019.
Yann COATSALIOU / AFP

 

A 71-year-old woman was found dead Monday after being engulfed by a landslide in the French city of Nice, as the south of the country counted the cost from a brutal storm.

Storm Amelie brought freak winds, downpours and monster waves to southern France over the weekend. The woman, 71, who died in her own back yard, was the only reported fatality.

The storm dropped trees on roads and railway tracks and ripped loose live electrical wires, leaving tens of thousands of people without power for hours on end, authorities said.

About 60 rescuers worked through the night in search of the woman, who was reported missing after a landslide buried her back garden as she was sweeping during a brief respite of heavy rains over Nice, said emergency services spokesman Eric Brocardi.

They moved more than 80 m3 of soil mixed with concrete blocks from a collapsed retaining wall before finding her body.

Sixteen residents of the same neighbourhood, where other landslides have since occurred, have been evacuated as a precaution.

Weather service Meteo France said winds as strong as 163 km/h (100 mph) were recorded in the southwest coastal departments of Gironde and Landes Sunday, and 121 km/h in Bordeaux.

Six people sustained minor injuries as Amelie pummelled the Atlantic coast.

Several trains were cancelled and several delayed for hours after about 50 trees came down on the lines, said rail operator SNCF.

One Killed, Thousands Displaced In Rohingya Camp Landslides

Bangladesh flag

 

Monsoon-triggered landslides in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh have killed one person and left more than 4,500 homeless, aid officials said Sunday.

About 35 centimetres (14 inches) of rain fell in 72 hours before the landslides started Saturday in camps around Cox’s Bazar that house more than 900,000 of the Muslim minority who fled Myanmar, the UN said.

Twenty-six landslides were reported in makeshift camps built on hills near the border with Myanmar. Trees there have been torn up to build huts and for firewood, leaving the terrain unstable.

UN refugee agency official Areez Rahman said about 30 shanty camps have been affected by the storms. One woman in her 50s died after being hit by a wall that collapsed, he told AFP.

Nur Mohammad, a 40-year-old Rohingya in the main Kutupalong camp, said 12 relatives had fled their tarpaulin-clad huts on the hills to take shelter with him.

“My home is already overcrowded. I’m worried how I will feed all these people,” he said.

Officials said some 5,000 Rohingya on a strip of no man’s land between Bangladesh and Myanmar had also been badly hit by the storms.

“Children are suffering from diarrhoea and we don’t have enough drinking water,” camp leader Dil Mohammad told AFP by phone.

He said most of the camp was knee deep in water as Myanmar authorities had put a dam on a nearby river.

Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said on Sunday emergency preparations were being made.

Monsoon storms killed 170 people in the refugee camp in 2017.

Last year the UN refugee agency moved 30,000 Rohingya out of areas considered at high risk of landslides and floods.

Some 740,000 Rohingya fled a military crackdown in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017, joining about 200,000 already living in camps across the border.

Bangladesh wants to relocate up to 100,000 of the refugees to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal but this is opposed by the refugees and international rights groups.

AFP

PHOTOS: Storm Wreaks Havoc In Parts Of Abuja

PHOTO: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

A Storm wreaked havoc in the Galadimawa area of Abuja in the early hours of Saturday, destroying properties including houses, cars, churches, schools and stores.

The storm further intensified in the middle of the night with a whirlwind and woke residents of the community who couldn’t sleep till the morning.

According to a resident, Mrs. Abbey said immediately she heard the strange sound she couldn’t sleep and had to check her environment only to find out that the rood leading to her house had been destroyed by the storm.

She also lost her canteen to the storm, leaving her with nothing to start with again.

READ ALSO: Goods Destroyed As Fire Guts Shops In Ogba

Another resident, Mr. Tayo said he couldn’t go to church on Sunday morning as his property had been damaged by the incident.

He further asked the government to come to their aid.

See Photos Below:

Storm Kills 27, Injures Hundreds In Nepal

 

At least 27 people have been killed and hundreds injured after a freak storm hit southern Nepal, destroying houses, uprooting trees and toppling electricity poles, officials said.

The thunderstorm swept through the district of Bara and adjoining areas late Sunday killing at least 27 people and injuring more than 600, according to the home ministry.

“The winds took away everything, my home and my family,” Ram Babu Patel, 45, who lost his wife in the storm in a village in Bara, told AFP over the phone.

Prakash Tharu, a volunteer on the ground, described a scene of devastation in the villages.

“The storm destroyed everything in its path. Houses have no roofs and trees are all down,” Tharu said.

“There is a desperate need for food and relief.”

Local and district hospitals were inundated with injured victims coming in from the affected areas.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli expressed his condolences in a tweet and said that the government would do its best for treatment of the injured.

Storms causing such high casualties in spring are rare in Nepal.

AFP

68 Killed As Storm Ravage Philippines

 

About 68 people have died from a storm that struck the Philippines shortly after Christmas.

Civil defence have warned that the number of fatalities are expected to climb even higher, civil defence officials said Monday.

Fifty-seven people died in the mountainous Bicol region, southeast of Manila, while 11 were killed in the central island of Samar, mostly due to landslides and drownings, the officials said.

“I am afraid this (death toll) will still go up because there are a lot of areas we still have to clear,” said Claudio Yucot, Bicol civil defence director.

READ ALSO: Lion Kills Woman At Conservators Centre

The weather disturbance locally named “Usman” hit the country on Saturday. While it did not have powerful winds it brought heavy rains that caused floods and loosened the soil, triggering landslides in some areas.

Many people failed to take necessary precautions because Usman was not strong enough to be rated as a typhoon under the government’s storm alert system, Yucot said.

“People were overconfident because they were on (Christmas) vacation mode and there was no tropical cyclone warning,” he told AFP.

Although Usman has since moved westward away from the country, many affected areas were still experiencing seasonal rains, hampering rescue and recovery efforts, he added.

At least 17 people are still missing and more than 40,000 were displaced nationwide due to the storm, the civil defence office said.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The most powerful was Super Typhoon Haiyan which left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in 2013.

Philippine Storm Death Toll Rises To 22

The Philippines on the map

 

At least 22 people died from a storm that swept through the central Philippine islands at the weekend, authorities said Sunday, with rescue operations underway in flood-inundated communities. 

The death toll rose from four a day after the storm brought heavy rain to the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions, causing massive flooding and landslides, the government’s office of civil defence said.

Many of the deaths were due to landslides and drowning, it added, saying floods had yet to recede even as the weather disturbance known locally as “Usman” weakened into a low-pressure area.

“Most of the (affected) areas are underwater. We are sending troops and rubber boats to rescue families. In some areas the floods have reached the roofs of homes,” Claudio Yucot, head of the Bicol region’s office of civil defence, told AFP.

At least 16 people died in Bicol while six others were killed in Eastern Visayas, civil defence officials said.

More than 22,000 people fled their homes ahead of the storm, which destroyed rice and corn crops and left some roads and bridges inaccessible, according to regional disaster officials.

Government forecasters said Sunday that heavy rain would continue over the next 24 hours in the northern Philippines.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The most powerful was Super Typhoon Haiyan which left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in 2013.

AFP

Residents of US Beach Resort Seek Shelter From Storm

 Hurricane Florence makes landfall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 13, 2018. Hurricane Florence edged closer to the east coast of the Hurricane Florence edged closer to the east coast of the US Thursday, winds and torrential rains. Alex Edelman / AFP

 

 

With Hurricane, Florence downgraded on Thursday from a Category Four to a Category Two storm, and then once again, around fifty people left the evacuation shelter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

That was a bad idea, said Avair Vereen, a local nurse who had sought safety in the shelter with her seven children.

“They say if you stay (home), it’s at your own risk,” she said, noting that emergency services personnel said they could not risk their lives rescuing anyone who had disregarded official evacuation notices.

“It is scary. When somebody tells you something like that, it’s my cue to get out. There’s nothing like being in the street knowing that nobody is coming,” she said, rocking her eight-month-old baby in her arms.

The shelter had been set up in a school and was offering temporary refuge from the elements to around 400 people on Thursday, although it had a capacity for up to 1,200 in the popular seaside resort.

“We’re recommending people to stay here. It’s not safe to go back,” said Rebecca Torriani, a Red Cross spokeswoman.

Vereen was taking that recommendation at face value — she and her children live in a mobile home in an open field, with nothing to protect it from the hurricane.

“If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing. But can’t replace us, so we decided to come here,” said the 39-year-old.

“A lot of people left this morning because they said it was down to Category Two but a Two can still do a lot of damage,” she said, noting that even in the lower classification, Florence’s winds would be buffeting at 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour).

“I wouldn’t risk it. It can still change. It can go back up,” she said.

– Staying safe –

A few yards down the hallway, huddled in blankets, Tony Winborne echoed her concern about those who decided to leave the shelter.

“I hope they made the right decision. We could be here and it actually turns out not to be that bad, but it is better safe than sorry,” said the 37-year-old tailor.

Meteorologists and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were warning residents not to let their guard down, since, even with lessened wind speeds, Florence could still dump massive amounts of rain and a storm surge of more than nine feet (three meters) on the exposed coastline.

“The storm surge forecast with this storm has not changed,” warned Brock Long, the head of FEMA.

He said the massive rains meant that even areas away from the coast would be affected.

“The infrastructure is going to break,” he said. “The power is going to go out. It could go out for a number of days, it could go out for weeks. It’s very hard to say at this point.”

Even so, many residents of Myrtle Beach proudly recalled how they had weathered a number of storms in the past and we’re confident they could ride out Florence too.

None more so than Adam Williams, a 38-year-old security guard watching his 17-year-old son surf the first big waves as the storm approached.

“If it was a Category Four and we were going to get a direct hit, yes, we wouldn’t be here. But we’re going to be okay,” he said.

AFP

18 Killed As Fresh Storms Hit North India

 

Fresh wind storms swept across northern India killing at least 18 people and leaving a trail of damage, officials said Saturday.

The latest in a series of freak storms that have left hundreds dead battered Uttar Pradesh state late Friday with winds of 100 kilometers (60 miles) an hour toppling walls, power pylons and thousands of trees.

Sixteen people died in the state, according to T.P. Gupta, a spokesman for the Uttar Pradesh disaster management department. He said most of the deaths were caused by falling trees and walls.

There was one more death blamed on the storm in New Delhi and another in the northern city of Chandigarh.

India’s most populous state has been battered by storms since April that have killed more than 200 people. More than 100 have died elsewhere in the country from the dust and wind storms.

Storms are customary during the summer months but the intensity and death toll has been higher than normal this year.

The Indian Meteorological Department has warned that more storms could hit in coming days as temperatures soar across the country ahead of the annual monsoon season.

The temperature in Rajasthan’s Churu district hit 49.7 Celsius (121 Fahrenheit) on Friday, according to private weather forecaster Skymet.

The monsoon arrived in the southern state of Kerala on Tuesday and should bring cooler weather as it moves north, weather experts said.

AFP

Three Dead, 77,000 Flee As Storm Ravages Philippines

Villagers wade through a flooded street in Brgy Calingatngan, in Borongan, on easterm Samar in central Philippines on December 16, 2017. ALREN BERONIO / AFP

At least three people were killed and tens of thousands were driven from their homes by floods as Tropical Storm Kai-Tak pounded the eastern Philippines on Saturday, cutting off power and triggering landslides, officials said.

Kai-Tak, packing gusts of up to 110 kilometres (62 miles) an hour, hit the country’s third-largest island Samar in the afternoon and tore through a region devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan four years ago, the state weather service said.

Local officials reported three deaths on neighbouring Leyte island — a two-year-old boy who drowned in the town of Mahaplag, a woman buried by a landslide and another person who fell into a flooded manhole in Ormoc city.

Samar and Leyte, with a combined population of about 4.5 million, had borne the brunt of Haiyan in 2013, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing.

Bus driver Felix Villaseran, his wife and four children hunkered down in their two-storey house in the Leyte city of Tacloban along with 11 relatives whose homes were flooded from the incessant rain.

“We have yet to shake off our phobia. I hope to God we don’t have a repeat of that,” Villaseran, who lost 39 cousins in the Haiyan onslaught, told AFP by telephone.

“My missus stockpiled on groceries before the storm hit, but since we also have to feed these three other families we’re now running low on food,” he added.

 

– 77,000 evacuated –

Military trucks drove through rising floodwaters on Samar and Leyte to rescue trapped residents, with more than 77,000 people now in evacuation centres, local officials said.

Strong winds toppled trees and power pylons, knocking out power throughout the region while floods, small landslides and rock falls blocked roads and buried some homes, local officials and witnesses said.

Farmland in the mainly rural region was also under water, while seven people were injured by landslides and flying objects, the regional civil defence office said in a report.

A spokeswoman for the national government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council told AFP it was trying to confirm reports of two other deaths from landslides and floods on the islands of Biliran and Dinagat.

“It was like a flashback again for residents of Tacloban city,” its vice mayor Sambo Yaokasin told Manila television station ABS-CBN by telephone, referring to the Haiyan disaster.

The station broadcast images of flooded streets and corrugated iron roofing sheets flying off homes.

“Nearly half the villages here are flooded,” Marcelo Picardal, vice governor of Eastern Samar province told ABS-CBN in a telephone interview.

Three other people were missing in Ormoc after being swept away by floods on Saturday, city mayor Richard Gomez told CNN Philippines television in an interview.

“We need a lot of water and a lot of blankets,” Gomez added, citing widespread flooding that may have contaminated the tap water system of the city of 200,000 people.

The state weather service said more heavy rain was expected in the eastern Philippines in the coming hours with Kai-Tak forecast to slice across the rest of the central Philippines over the weekend.

Ferry services on the storm’s path were suspended due to rough seas, the civil defence office in the area said.

About 20 typhoons or weaker storms either make landfall in the Philippines or reach its waters each year, bringing annual misery and death and consigning millions of survivors to perennial poverty.

AFP

New Storm, Hurricane Maria Threatens Eastern Caribbean

People walk past smashed boats on September 16, 2017 at Marigot shipyard on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin after the island was hit by Hurricane Irma.
AFP PHOTO / Helene Valenzuela

Hurricane Maria has barrelled towards the storm-battered Eastern Caribbean and was expected to strengthen on Monday as it churned along a path similar to that of megastorm Irma earlier in the month.

The new storm, which the US National Hurricane Center warned could become a “major hurricane”, threatens the French territory of Guadeloupe, which was the staging area for relief operations for several islands hit by Irma.

Guadeloupe was to go on “red alert” Monday with schools, businesses and government offices ordered closed.

Warnings were also triggered for Dominica, St Kitts, Nevis, the British island of Montserrat and France’s Martinique.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb warned in Paris on Sunday that “we will have major difficulties” if Guadeloupe is hard hit, noting that the territory “was the logistical centre from where we could supply Saint Martin and organise all the air bridges.”

15 people died from Irma on Saint Martin, an island shared by France and the Netherlands.

Officials in Guadeloupe predicted severe flooding in low-lying areas and urged people living there to move to higher ground.

France, Britain and the Netherlands have been criticised for the pace of relief efforts and failure to contain lawlessness in their overseas territories amid widespread shortages of food, water and electricity after Irma.

 

Culture of risk

In the Guadeloupe capital Pointe-a-Pitre, local official Josette Borel-Lincertain said authorities had ample experience preparing for hurricanes.

“We have a culture of risk, we know what needs to be done,” she said.

Collomb said an additional 110 soldiers would be deployed to the region to reinforce some 3,000 people already at work tackling security problems, rebuilding infrastructure and supplying food and water to hurricane-hit islanders.

He said up to 500 more people could be sent if needed.

The Category Five Irma left around 40 people dead in the Caribbean before churning west and pounding Florida, where at least 20 people were killed.

As of 0600 GMT, Maria was a Category One hurricane, the lowest on the five point Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph) winds.

The storm was about 145 kilometres (90 miles) northeast of Barbados and moving at 13 mph (20 kph), the NHC said.

Martinique was placed on “orange alert” from Monday with high seas and heavy rain expected to cause flooding. Schools and universities will be closed, authorities said.

Tropical storm warnings were in place in Antigua and Barbuda, Saba and St Eustatius, and St Lucia. The tiny island of Barbuda was decimated by Hurricane Irma September 5-6 when it made its first landfall in the Caribbean as a top intensity Category Five storm.

The NHC said Maria could produce a “dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves” that will raise water levels by four to six feet (1.2 to 1.8 metres) when it passes through the eastern Caribbean.

It also forecast a maximum potential rainfall of 20 inches (51 centimetres) in the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night — conditions that could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

A second hurricane, Jose, is also currently active in the Atlantic and has triggered tropical storm watches for the northeastern United States.

Hurricane Irma broke weather records when it sustained winds of 295 kilometres per hour (183 miles per hour) for more than 33 hours.

Many scientists are convinced that mega storms such as Irma and Harvey before it are intensified by the greater energy they can draw from oceans that are warming as a result of global climate change.

AFP