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Fri, 06 Dec 2019
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Rescuers hunt for Indonesian flood victims as toll rises to 57

Rescuers combed through debris and mud for victims of flash floods that inundated villages in Indonesia's East Java as the death toll rose to 57, officials said.

Thousands sought shelter, medical care and food on Tuesday in the wake of the disaster, which environmentalists have blamed on rampant illegal logging on the island of Java, one of the world's most densely-populated.

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Drought looms over Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has warned that a drought is looming large over the country due to widespread failure of rainfalls in the short-rain season.

The unpredictably sporadic rainfalls, that stretched between October and December last year, are expected to continue over the next two months, up till the start of the country's long-rain season, TMA said.

The three Tanzanian annual seasons also include a dry spell in between June and September.

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Bushfires raze homes as Australia reaches 47C

Bushfires razed at least 10 homes and threatened dozens more in south-eastern Australia yesterday as a heatwave brought temperatures of up to 47C (117F).

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Fires and floods leave America reeling

Wildfires driven by unseasonably warm and dry weather tore through parts of Texas and Oklahoma yesterday, reducing at least two border towns to cinders, destroying dozens of homes and threatening to overwhelm several populated areas including Oklahoma City. [...]

Adverse weather of a very different kind, meanwhile, was assailing California yesterday, as the West Coast was buffeted by its second major rainstorm in three days.

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Big freeze to sweep over China

China, already enduring its coldest winter in 20 years, is preparing for a cold snap that will see temperatures drop by as much as 16 degrees Centigrade (29 degrees Fahrenheit).

Northern China, where temperatures are already as low as minus 15-20 degrees Celsius, will feel the strongest effects of the cold front, which is sweeping in from Mongolia and western Siberia, the China Daily reported.

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Major earthquake hits South Pacific near Fiji

CANBERRA, Jan. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale hit under the South Pacific near Fiji on Tuesday, but it is unlikely to trigger a major tsunami and there were no reports of casualties or damages from the region.

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Storm Moves Into Southern California

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. - Homeowners shoveled away mud and other debris and authorities worked to repair damaged levees Monday after a pair of storms that flooded Northern California's wine country moved south.

The rain let up over the hard-hit region and moved into Central and Southern California, drenching the Rose Parade for the first time since 1955 and threatening mudslides on hills stripped bare by last summer's wildfires.

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Small Earthquake Shakes Southern Illinois

EQUALITY, Ill. - No major damage was reported after a minor earthquake shook areas around this small town in southern Illinois on Monday.

The quake struck at 3:48 p.m. and registered magnitude 3.6, according to Rafael Abreu, a geologist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Denver.

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Tornadoes Hit Parts of Eastern U.S.

Unseasonably warm weather brought severe storms to parts of the Ohio Valley and the South on Monday, spawning tornadoes, dropping hail and contributing to the death of a utility worker in Indiana.

Tornadoes were reported in Georgia and Kentucky. Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries in Georgia's Pike County, about 50 miles south of Atlanta.

Comment: Comment: Nothing to worry about folks! Tornadoes happen in January all the time! Go back to sleep!


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UK Prisoners skip lunch to help solve food shortages

Thousands of prisoners skipped their annual New Year's lunch yesterday and instead sent the food to hundreds of thousands of Kenyans affected by food shortages.

Most of the country's estimated 50,000 prisoners gave up their ration of beans and stiff porridge made from maize on the day that President Mwai Kibaki declared the food shortages a national disaster in an attempt to speed up relief efforts.

Prisoners wanted to help after watching starving Kenyans on television, reading about food shortages in newspapers and discussing the situation with visiting relatives.