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Mon, 20 Sep 2021
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3 fatalities after floods and landslides in 7 departments of Colombia

Floods destroyed over 20 homes in Briceño, Antioquia Department, Colombia, Late July.
© DAGRAN Antioquia
Floods destroyed over 20 homes in Briceño, Antioquia Department, Colombia, Late July.
Three people have died in recent floods in Meta Department, Colombia, while Civil Defence reported flooding and landslides in 7 departments across the country over the last 2 weeks.

Flooding has affected the municipalities of El Dorado, Mapiripán, Villavicencio and Acacías in Meta Department from 10 August 2021. Civil Defence said 3 people lost their lives in floods in Acacías, while around 80 people were affected in Mapiripán.

The last 2 weeks has seen flooding or landslides in 7 departments across the country, affecting around 5,000 people.


Major magnitude 6.9 earthquake - South Atlantic Ocean, South Sandwich Islands

Major magnitude 6.9 earthquake at 10 km depth

Date & time: 16 Aug 2021 11:10:36 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Monday, 16 Aug 2021 9:10 am (GMT -2)
Magnitude: 6.9
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 58.45°S / 23.42°W (South Atlantic Ocean, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands)


1,000 evacuated from their homes as wildfire in Ávila ,Spain affects 10,000 hectares

The fire in Navalcruz is reported to be the worst in Spain so far this year

The record high temperatures in Spain over the weekend of August 14 and 15 have been accompanied by a series of wildfires affecting various parts of the country, the worst of them affecting over 10,000 hectares of land in and around Navalacruz in the province of Ávila (Castlila y León).

Serious fires have also been keeping emergency services busy in Madrid, Castellón and numerous other provinces, but the one which broke out on Saturday morning alongside the N-502 in Navalacruz is by some distance the most extensive and is threatening forest land and livestock as well as villages and towns. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the municipalities of Riofrío, Sotalbo, Solosancho, Sobledillo and Villaviciosa and are being housed temporarily in public buildings and pavilions made available by the Town Hall of Ávila.


Greece wildfires: New blazes burning outside of Athens

Local residents stand on a hill as flames approaching at Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 185 kilometers (115 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Aug. 8
© AP
Local residents stand on a hill as flames approaching at Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 185 kilometers (115 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Aug. 8
Yet more wildfires broke out in Greece Monday, with two blazes triggering evacuation alerts for settlements to the southeast and northwest of the Greek capital.

Fanned by strong winds, the first blaze, which broke out Monday morning in the Keratea region southeast of Athens quickly burned through shrubland and was headed toward a national park in the Sounion area.

Three settlements in the area were ordered evacuated, while the fire department sent dozens of firefighters, as well as six water-dropping planes and four helicopters. Local officials appealed to people not to approach the area.

On the other side of the capital to the northwest, another blaze broke out in the Vilia area just after noon, triggering an evacuation alert of another three settlements. Strong winds were predicted to last until at least the evening, potentially hampering the firefighting effort.


Israel: Sky over Jerusalem fills with smoke as massive forest fire breaks out

Huge Jerusalem-area wildfire burns into the night

Huge Jerusalem-area wildfire burns into the night
The sky appeared filled with clouds of smoke following a large forest fire near Beit Meir, western Jerusalem, on Sunday.

Aeroplanes could be seen flying overhead, dumping loads of fire retardant in efforts to quench the blaze, which was exacerbated by high temperatures and strong winds.

More than 2,000 nearby residents have reportedly been evacuated, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett telling security forces to evacuate communities without question, regardless of any doubts they may have.

Cloud Precipitation

Thousands displaced by flooding along Shabelle River, Somalia

Floods in Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia, August 2021.
Floods in Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia, August 2021.
Humanitarian organisations in Somalia report that flooding along the Shabelle River has forced thousands of families from their homes. Two young children reportedly died in the floods.

Non-governmental organization African Relief & Development (ARD-AFRICAN) reported flooding along the Shabelle River in areas between Jowhar and Balcad in Middle Shabelle region from 11 August 2021.

Several villages have been affected including Boodaale, where 2 children reportedly died and over 500 families moved from their homes to higher ground. Other villages along the river, including Xawaadleey, were also affected. A estimated total of 2,000 families have been displaced and 400 hectares of crops destroyed, ARD-AFRICAN said.

As of 15 August 2021, the Shabelle River at the measuring station in Jowhar was above moderate risk level (5 metres) standing at 5.10 metres, its highest level so far this year. High risk level here is 5.25 metres. The river has increased steadily over the last 3 weeks since levels fell in June and July. As of 27 July levels stood at just 2.5 metres.


Observations of Fukutoku-Okanoba volcano in Japan confirm 16 km plume from latest eruption

Major submarine eruption from Fukutoku-Okanoba volcano captured by the Japan Coast Guard

Major submarine eruption from Fukutoku-Okanoba volcano captured by the Japan Coast Guard
The renewed explosive activity continues.

As we reported in the latest report, the volcano produced the submarine explosion on 13 August.

The Japan Coast Guard made a flight observation that confirmed the height of the eruption column.

The spectacular white steam and gas plume rose to estimated 16 km (53,000 ft)! altitude and spread into an umbrella cloud.

Cloud Precipitation

Severe flooding hits Turkey's Black Sea region, AGAIN! Third such event within 4 weeks - Death toll rises to 58 (UPDATES)

Road collapse in Bartın

Road collapse in Bartın, Turkey
One month after floods and landslides killed six in Turkey's Black Sea region, heavy precipitation took hold in the region's central parts on Tuesday and Wednesday. A woman went missing in Bartın, one of the provinces hit worst by rainfall that triggered floods on Tuesday. Floods were also reported in Karabük and Kastamonu provinces.

In Bartın, floodwaters inundated a large number of houses and businesses, sweeping away vehicles after severe precipitation late on Tuesday. The heaviest damage was in Ulus district. Part of a road connecting the province to Karabük collapsed while bulldozers waded through floodwaters to save 20 people trapped in their houses. Search and rescue crews were deployed to the flood-hit areas. The province's governor Sinan Güner told reporters that they started receiving first reports of flood damage and stranded people around 3:00 a.m. He was speaking to reporters on Wednesday on a road closed due to landslides. "We rescued people stranded in their houses near river beds. Our crews also saved people trapped in their cars," he said. Güner said that an elderly woman went missing in Akören Söküler village after her wooden house had almost collapsed due to floods that carried her away. "There are many bridges, roads to villages and houses collapsed in the region," he lamented. The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) announced that 13 people were injured due to the collapse of a bridge on a road connecting Bartın and Karabük provinces.

Comment: Update 12 August 2021

Euronews reports that the death toll has risen to 17.

Bianet.org reports on some of the local rainfall numbers:
Precipitation on August 11-12

According to the reports of the General Directorate of Meteorology, on August 11, 2021, the amount of precipitation received by districts was as follows: Bartın Ulus - 90 mm; Kastamonu Küre - 198 mm, Pınarbaşı - 167 mm, Azdavay - 145 mm, İnebolu - 123 mm, Abana - 122 mm, Bozkurt - 117 mm; Sinop Merkez - 104,6 kg, Ayancık - 301,03 kg, Boyabat - 76,6 mm, Dikmen - 54 mm, Erfelek - 78,6 mm, Gerze - 72,4 mm, Merkez - 83,8 mm, Türkeli - 223,23 kg. The heavy rainfall is expected to subside in the region as of 6 pm today (August 12).
Update2 August 14: The Daily Sabah carries this AP report:
Deaths in northern Turkey floods rise to 44 as rescuers push on

© AP
At least 44 people died from disastrous floods and mudslides in northern Turkey, the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said Saturday.

Torrential rains that pounded the Black Sea provinces of Bartın, Kastamonu and Sinop on Wednesday caused flooding that demolished homes, severed at least five bridges, swept away cars and rendered numerous roads unpassable. AFAD said 36 people were killed in Kastamonu, seven in Sinop and one in Bartın.

Nine people remained hospitalized in Sinop, and one person was missing in Bartın province, according to the agency.

Rescue teams and sniffer dogs continued the painstaking task of trying to locate residents. AFAD said 5,188 personnel, 27 rescue dogs, 19 helicopters and two search planes were at the disaster spots.

About 2,250 people were evacuated across the region, some lifted from rooftops by helicopters, and many were being temporarily housed in student dormitories, authorities said.
Update3 August 15: Reuters reports:
Death toll from northern Turkey floods rises to 58

Flash floods that have swept through towns in the Turkish Black Sea region have killed 58 people, authorities said on Sunday, in the second natural disaster to strike Turkey this month.

The floods brought chaos to northern provinces just as authorities were declaring wildfires had been brought under control after raging through southern coastal regions for two weeks.

Forty-eight people died as a result of floods in Kastamonu province, another nine people died in Sinop and one in Bartin, the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said.

Drone footage by Reuters showed massive damage in the town of Bozkurt in Kastamonu province. Emergency workers were searching demolished buildings for the missing.

Torrents of water tossed dozens of cars and heaps of debris along streets, destroyed buildings and bridges closed roads, and cut off electricity to hundreds of villages.

More than 2,000 people were evacuated from affected areas, some with the help of helicopters and boats, the AFAD said.
Here is a report on the deluges that hit northern Turkey last month: Floods and landslides hit Turkey's Black Sea region for second week in a row


Three volcanoes are erupting at the same time in Alaska

Active lava fountains spew from the Great Sitkin volcano in Alaska, on Aug. 5.
© Peggy Kruse
Active lava fountains spew from the Great Sitkin volcano in Alaska, on Aug. 5.
Along a remote, roughly 800-mile stretch of Alaska's Aleutian island chain, three volcanoes are erupting at the same time, with at least two spewing low levels of ash and steam.

The simultaneous eruptions have been going on for more than a week but do not currently pose a threat to nearby communities and have not disrupted any air travel so far, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Still, the volcanic activity has made for a busier-than-usual time across the Aleutian Islands, the vast archipelago that juts westward from the Alaska Peninsula and acts as a border between the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.

"Alaska has a lot of volcanoes, and we typically see maybe one eruption every year, on average," Matthew Loewen, a research geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, told NBC News. "To have three erupting at once is less common, but it does happen."


Major magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits Haiti - At least 304 dead, hundreds injured (UPDATES)

Major magnitude 7.1

Major magnitude 7.1 earthquake at 10 km depth

Earthquake data:

Date & time: 14 Aug 2021 12:29:09 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Saturday, 14 Aug 2021 8:29 am (GMT -4)
Magnitude: 7.1
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 18.34°N / 73.44°W (Arrondissement d'Aquin, Sud, Haiti)

Comment: RT reports:
At least 227 dead, 'hundreds' injured and missing in devastating Haiti earthquake

A scene from earthquake-hit Haiti, August 14, 2021
© Facebook / Many Hands for Haiti (MH4H) 7912
A scene from earthquake-hit Haiti, August 14, 2021
At least 227 people have died following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti. The death toll is a provisional figure and will likely rise, as buildings in several towns have been leveled.

Haitian civil protection official Jerry Chandler announced the death toll in a press conference on Saturday, hours after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook the island nation's southern peninsula.

The death toll will likely rise as search and rescue efforts continue. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a red alert for estimated casualties, stating that "high casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread."

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a state of emergency for one month, and said earlier that he would mobilize "all the resources" of his administration to help, while, in Washington, President Joe Biden has authorized a US response under USAID Administrator Samantha Power.

Buildings collapsed and streets were littered with debris in several Haitian towns, while the shockwave was felt as far afield as Cuba and Jamaica.
UPDATE August 15: ITV reports:
Haiti earthquake: At least 304 deaths and hundreds injured after 7.2 magnitude quake

The death toll in Haiti has risen to 304 after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the country.

At least 1,800 others have also been injured as rescue workers pull people to safety from the rubble.

Prime minister Ariel Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the country and said some towns were almost completely razed after the quake on Saturday.

He said he would not ask for international help until the extent of the damages was known.

Mr Henry said: "The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble.

"We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people."

The epicentre of the quake was about 78 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the US Geological Survey said.

The prime minister said the International Red Cross and hospitals in unaffected areas were helping to care for the injured, and appealed to Haitians for unity.

Mr Henry also said he wanted "structured solidarity" to avoid the confusion after the 2010 earthquake, when aid was slow to reach residents and as many as 300,000 were killed.

Among those killed in Saturday's quake was Gabriel Fortune, a longtime lawmaker and former mayor of Les Cayes. He died along with several others when his hotel, Le Manguier, collapsed, the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported.

Philippe Boutin, 37, who lives in Puerto Rico but visits his family every year in Les Cayes, said his mother was saying morning prayers when the shaking began, but was able to leave the house.

The earthquake happened during the festivities to celebrate the town's patron saint. Mr Boutin said the hotel was probably full and the small town had more people than usual.

"We still don't know how many people are under the rubble," he said.

Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of Port-au-Prince, said she was woken up by the earthquake which shook her bed.

She said: "I woke up and didn't have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run. I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbour went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street."