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Tue, 20 Oct 2020
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25,000 affected by heavy rainfall, floods and landslides across Guatemala - 6 inches of rain in 24 hours

Heavy rain from 12 September 2020 triggered several landslides in Guatemala City, damaging homes
Heavy rain from 12 September 2020 triggered several landslides in Guatemala City, damaging homes.
Heavy rainfall has affected several departments of Guatemala since 12 September, causing flooding and landslides.

According to figures from Guatemala's meteorological agency INSIVUMEH, Yepocapa in Chimaltenango department recorded 154.9 mm of rain in 24 hours to 13 September. During the same period, Mazatenango in Suchitepéquez recorded 125.7 mm of rain, El Tigre in Peten 125.3 mm and La Aurora Airport in Guatemala City 76 mm.

In a statement of 16 September, the country's National Coordination System for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) said that over 25,000 people have been affected by floods, landslides or rain-related incidents. As of 16 September, 11 people were evacuated and over 100 homes damaged but no fatalities were reported.


Heavy snow and high winds shut down French ski resorts as Storm Eleanor reaches the Alps

A sign on the road to Les Menuires and Val Thorens reads
A sign on the road to Les Menuires and Val Thorens reads "Special equipment required"
Many resorts in the French Alps were only open for limited skiing on Thursday, and some were closed completely, as Storm Eleanor reached the mountains this week.

As well as high winds causing chairlifts and gondolas to be closed for safety reasons, heavy precipitation - both snow and rain - raised the avalanche warning to level 5, denoting the highest level of risk, in many French destinations.

The linked resorts of Tignes and Val d'Isère were among the worst affected. With the avalanche risk at 5, visitors to Tignes were asked to stay indoors until around 11am on Thursday morning until given the all-clear. The ski area for both resorts was closed all day, with no lifts running, and the road to Bourg St Maurice was closed until late afternoon.


351 sea turtles found dead in 6 months on coast where 137 sea lions died in Mexico

sea turtle

File pic
Environmental groups say a total of 351 loggerhead sea turtles have been found dead so far this year on the same stretch of Baja California coast where authorities found a total of 137 dead, beached sea lions last week.

The Mexican Center for Environmental Law and the Center for Biological Diversity said Friday the deaths showed the need for a ban on net and line fishing in the Gulf of Ulloa area off the Pacific coast.

Authorities had previously said the sea lions did not show signs of injuries from getting caught up in fishing nets or lines.

But the activists said that nets are one of the main causes of sea turtle deaths.

Source: AP

Comment: Additional info translated via Google:
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) reported that 351 loggerhead turtles were also found dead from January to June of this year on San Lázaro beach, the same place where the corpses of 137 stranded sea lions were found in Comundú, Baja California Sur.
See also: Mystery surrounds death of 137 sea lions washed up on beach in Baja California Sur, Mexico


US West Coast wildfires continue to rage: At least 36 people dead, nearly 5 million acres torched - smoke cloud reaches East Coast

11 states are reporting 87 large fires

Raging wildfires are still wrecking havoc along the West Coast, and now there are almost 90 wildfires in nearly a dozen states, the National Interagency Fire Center reported Tuesday.

So far the fires have burned an estimated 4.8 million acres, with a majority of the damage occurring in California, Oregon, Washington, and now Idaho.

According to the NIFC, firefighters have been able to contain six large fires — one in Montana, two in Oregon, and three in California.


Wildfires sweep into Brazil park harboring jaguars

An injured jaguar drinks from a river in Mato Grosso State, Brazil, as the region suffers its worst fires in more than 47 years

An injured jaguar drinks from a river in Mato Grosso State, Brazil, as the region suffers its worst fires in more than 47 years
Wildfire has infiltrated a Brazilian state park known for its population of jaguars as firefighters, environmentalists and ranchers in the world's largest tropical wetlands region struggle to smother record blazes.

The fire had surrounded the Encontro das Aguas (Meeting of the Waters) park in the Pantanal, located at the border of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul states, but for a time rivers helped keep the blazes at bay. Then wind carried sparks into the park and flames have been wreaking destruction for over a week.

There is little outlook for any near-term help from rainfall, said the Mato Grosso firefighters' spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Sheila Sebalhos.

"The forecast isn't good," Sebalhos said by phone from the state capital of Cuiaba, after spending weeks in the fire zone. "High speeds of those winds that change direction many times throughout the day are favoring the rapid spread (of fire)."

Some 200 jaguars have already suffered injury, death or displacement because of the fires, according to Panthera, an international wild cat conservation organization.

Cloud Lightning

Struck by lightning 7 killed in Madhya Pradesh, India

Seven people, including three from a family, were killed on Tuesday evening when they were struck by lightning in Damoh district, which is located 264 kilometres (km) east of the state capital Bhopal, in Madhya Pradesh's (MP) Bundelkhand region, said police.

Five of the deceased belonged to Chhoti Lamti village under the jurisdiction of the district's Tejgarh police station. They were identified as Lakhan Yadav (35), his wife Savitri Bai (32), their son Narendra (7), Jalam Adivasi (31) and Prem Bai (50).

Tejgarh police station in-charge Vikas Singh Chauhan said, "The deceased were working in their agriculture fields when lightning struck them. Another son of the Yadav couple, who is 12-year-old, was also struck by the lightning. He is undergoing treatment in the district hospital."

Similarly, lightning claimed two more lives in Kunwarpur and Sataria villages in the district, an official said.

MP Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the leader of the opposition in the state assembly Kamal Nath have condoled the death of the lightning victims.

Cloud Lightning

At least 42 killed by lightning, rain related incidents in 2 states of India in 24 hours

As many as 42 people have lost their lives in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in lightning and rain related incidents in the last 24 hours.

While 29 people lost their lives and 11 suffered injuries in different districts across Bihar, 13 deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh.

Kaimur district in the south Bihar reported the highest number of casualties, accounting for the death of five people. Three each died in Rohtas, Bhojpur, and Gopalganj districts. Fifteen deaths were reported from 10 other districts.


Hundreds rescued after deadly Hurricane Sally wreaks havoc on US Gulf coast

Gulf Shores in Alabama hosted Sally's landfall and its torrential rain
Gulf Shores in Alabama hosted Sally's landfall and its torrential rain
Hurricane Sally hit land near the Florida-Alabama line on East Coast USA on Wednesday, killing at least one person, swamping homes and forcing the rescue of hundreds.

The death happened in Orange Beach, Alabama, according to mayor Tony Kennon, who also told The Associated Press that one person was still missing.

Lumbering in at just 3 mph, the storm made landfall at 4.45am close to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

She cast boats onto land or sank them at the dock, flattened palm trees, peeled away roofs, blew down signs and knocked out power to more than 540,000 homes and businesses.

By the afternoon, authorities in Escambia County, Florida said at least 377 people had been rescued from flooded areas.


55-ton sperm whale washes ashore at South Ballina, Australia

dead whale
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast is urging people to stay away from Patchs Beach at South Ballina after a whale washed up late yesterday.

Crown lands was today joined by members of the public helping to recover the deceased mammal, which weighs more than 50,000 kilograms.

"The whale is a sperm whale and it's about 17 metres long certainly the largest one that I've heard of in New South Wales before...We're really keen to learn as much science from this animal as we possibly can," Susan Crocetti from National Parks and Wildlife Service said.

There's no telling how the whale died.

A post mortem report will be completed.


Deadly flash floods in Kampala, Uganda

At least 2 people died after flash floods caused chaos in the city of Kampala, capital of Uganda.

Heavy rainfall began around 08 September, triggering flash floods which swamped the city's roads and caused major disruption to traffic.

Police said they recovered two bodies in the Clock Tower area of the city on 11 September. It is thought the bodies were carried by flood water from different places

Meanwhile a building under construction collapsed in Makindye division on 11 September. Police said a number of people were trapped under the rubble but rescue efforts were underway by a joint team of police and fire services. It is not know if the building collapsed as a result of heavy rain. As of 15 September, no fatalities had been reported.