Life Preserver

Nigeria: Four Killed, 1800 Displaced in Bauchi Floods

© Unknown
Four people have been killed while 1800 others were displaced as result of a heavy downpour that resulted to flooding in Kari town of Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The rainfall was said to have lasted for six hours.

Secretary of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar, disclosed the figures yesterday in Bauchi while answering question from newsmen.

He said: "Among the victims include a mother and her three-year-old child whose house caved in during Sunday's six-hour rains in Kari, a town that is located along a stream in Bauchi state. Another person whose house caved in with him also died instantly while we were carrying out rescue operation."

Abubakar said Kari Primary School had been converted into a camp to provide relief to about 1,800 people who had been displaced by the flood. He said about 150 mud houses and hundreds of livestock and ten cars were washed away by the floods.

Cloud Lightning

Video: 'Monster' hail storm in China

Giant hailstones struck parts of China causing damage to cars and buildings.


Canada: Most Powerful Tornado in Years Kills Man in Goderich, Ontario

Goderich Ontario tornado
© Geoff Robins/Canadian PressA police officer surveys tornado damage in Goderich, Ont., on Sunday. One man died, dozens were hurt and the community's downtown was devastated.
Dozens injured in southwestern Ontario community

The most powerful tornado to hit the province in years swept through the southwestern Ontario town of Goderich Sunday afternoon, killing one person and devastating the picturesque community on the shores of Lake Huron.

Downtown businesses, century-old buildings and several churches lost their roofs and upper floors as the twister ripped through the town.

Images show downed power lines, trees and debris strewn across streets, while witnesses described cars being picked up and thrown like toys.

Cloud Lightning

It's getting stronger: Hurricane Irene upgraded to Category 2 as it leaves Dominican Republic and nears U.S. south-east mainland

A rapidly strengthening Hurricane Irene was roaring off the Dominican Republic's northern coast last night, whipping up high waves and torrential downpours on a track that could see it reach the U.S. south-east as a major storm by the end of the week.

Irene grew into a Category 2 hurricane late yesterday and the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said it could reach Category 3 today and possibly become a monster Category 4 storm within 72 hours.

'We didn't anticipate it gaining this much strength this early,' said center meteorologist Chris Landsea, adding that the ocean's warm temperatures and the current atmosphere is 'very conducive' to energising storms.

Forecasters said it could still be that strong when it slams into the U.S., possibly landing in Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina. Irene is expected to rake the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas today and tomorrow.

© Getty ImagesPanic buying: Residents in West Palm Beach, Florida, are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene as it sweeps through the Caribbean

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US: Electrifying moment lightning hit New York bridge as spectacular storm hit the city

New York's night sky was lit up by bolts of lightning flashing through the darkness during a fierce thunder storm on Friday night.

And one photographer was able to capture the moment one of those bolts struck the George Washington Bridge.

The city endured heavy rain and ferocious claps of thunder and flashes of lightning for most of Friday evening leading into a warm and bright Saturday which saw many bask in temperatures of around 82F.

But Sunday night brought more wet and wild weather as once again severe thunderstorms, rain and hail fell on the city, bringing a soggy end to the weekend.

© Zachary TolbertStrikes: A photographer captured the exact moment a lightning bolt struck the George Washington Bridge on Friday night in New York
This was the second weekend in a row that the Big Apple was hit by severe weather.

At least seven inches of rain fell by JFK Airport last Sunday, and all through the city residents dealt with travel delays, dangerous road conditions and even some flooded basements.

Bizarro Earth

Hurricane Irene Marks First Big US Threat in Years

© AP Photo/NOAAAn image released by the NOAA made from the GEOS East satellite shows Hurricane Irene on Aug. 23, 2011 as it passes over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
The rapidly intensifying Irene that's already cut a destructive path through the Caribbean is the first hurricane to seriously threaten the U.S. in almost three years, a worry for some emergency management officials who hope people haven't become complacent about the dangers.

Predictions by the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Irene was likely to become a major Category 3 hurricane Tuesday. By Thursday as it roars toward the U.S. coast over warm open waters, it could become a Category 4, NHC hurricane specialist John Cangialosi said late Monday. Winds in such a storm can blow from 131 to 155 mph (210-249 kph).

The last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Ike, which pounded Texas in 2008.

For now, the first Atlantic hurricane of the season had maximum sustained winds early Tuesday around 100 mph (160 kph) and was centered about 50 miles (85 kilometers) northeast of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The hurricane was moving west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph) and could eventually land in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina.

Bizarro Earth

Hurricane Irene Spotted From Space

Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, was seen from space today (Aug. 22) as it roared past Puerto Rico.

Irene formed as a tropical storm east of the Leeward Islands on Aug. 20. By early Aug. 22, the storm had strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Irene had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph), with higher gusts. The storm was located about 150 miles (240 kilometers) west-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image at 11:20 a.m. local time (15:20 UTC) on Aug. 22. Storm clouds cover part of the Dominican Republic, and all of Puerto Rico.

As of Aug. 22, Irene had cut power to more than a million residents of Puerto Rico, according to ABC News. The Miami Herald reported that heavy rains had pushed at least five rivers over their banks on the island. Citing continuing rains, downed power lines, and potential landslides, the Puerto Rico governor urged residents to stay indoors.

Cloud Lightning

Heavy Rain Kills Seven, Wrecks Property in Niger

Niger flood
© AFP/File, Boureima HamaPeople protect their houses from flood water in 2010 in Niger
Heavy rain has killed seven people and done considerable damage to property in Niger, the government and radio stations said Friday.

"The toll is two dead in the Maradi region and two others in Tillaberi," according to an official statement read on national radio, while the private radio Anfani announced the further deaths of three children aged between eight and ten when their house collapsed in a village in Maradi.

In the southern Maradi province, floodwaters destroyed almost 600 homes, a mosque and three business establishments, the communique added.

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'If you're in south Florida, get ready': Official warning as Hurricane Irene hits Puerto Rico and has U.S. mainland in its sights

'If you're in south Florida, now is the time to get prepared,' the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency warned on Monday.

National Hurricane Centre spokesman Dennis Feltgen urged south Florida residents to monitor the storm carefully, to double check their supplies of food and fuel and to review their hurricane plans.

Forecasters say because of its track, the mountains of Hispaniola will probably do little to weaken the storm that is projected to hit the U.S. mainland on Thursday or Friday.

© Associated PressHeading inland: A national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite image from 1.45am EDT shows patches of dense cloud from Tropical Storm Irene heading towards Puerto Rico
Irene is the first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season.

The heavily-populated south east Florida coast is in the direct line of numerous forecast cones.

However, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) stressed Irene's path still remains uncertain and it could make landfall anywhere from the Florida Keys to the Carolinas.

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New York, US: Violent Weather Damages Homes in Wayne and Cayuga Counties

© Susan McNamaraOfficials are investigating the possibility of a tornado touching down in Wayne County that caused damage to this house on Route 89.
Witnesses said a tornado blew through Wayne and Cayuga counties Sunday afternoon, cutting a crooked path through cornfields and woods and severely damaging the few homes in its way.

There were no reported serious injuries.

Fire officials said the tornado appeared to have traveled about five miles from South Butler, Wayne County, crossing Route 89 northeast to the town of Conquest in Cayuga County.

The National Weather Service has not officially classified the event as a tornado, but you can't convince Michael Dunn otherwise.

"I saw it. Oh yeah, it was a tornado," said Dunn, a volunteer with the South Butler Fire Department.

Dunn was in his yard working on his lawnmower when it suddenly became "pitch black - like someone turned the lights off. I could see the debris field around it," he said.

Then he turned and - dodging flying tree limbs - ran for the mobile home where he lives with his wife and two children, ages 10 and 8. He said he made them get in the bathtub and he stood in a doorway.