Catastrophic floods devastate Peru, raising death toll to 67
Heavy rain has been affecting several areas of Peru over the past four days, particularly its northern regions, causing deadly floods and wreaking havoc on the country’s infrastructure. Authorities are describing the floods as the worst since 1998. By the end of Friday, March 17, 2017, the death toll since the start of the wet season has climbed to at least 67.
More than 70 000 people have been left homeless and 500 000 affected as intense rains unleashed more than 10 times as much rainfall as normal, even for Peru’s wet season. Authorities have declared a state of emergency in about half of the country, particularly in the north.
Alicante hit by six months’ worth of rain in 24 hours, Spain
The province of Alicante, southeastern Spain saw a record amount of rain on Monday, March 13, 2017, and its worst floods in 20 years.
Streets of the city of Alicante quickly turned into rivers with dozens of cars submerged and abandoned in what local media is describing as historic rainfall.
In 24 hours, the city recorded 137 mm (5.39 inches) of rain, almost half it records in a whole year (311.1 mm / 12.24 inches), according to data provided by the State Meteorological Agency Aemet. The normal amount of precipitation in March is just 23 mm (0.9 inches).
At least one man had to be rescued from its vehicle after being swept away into the Serpis River. Schools across the province are closed at least until Wednesday. The famous Albufereta Beach has disappeared in its central part as huge amounts of water kept rushing in
Month’s worth of rain in one night, deadly floods hit Burundi
Heavy rain has caused widespread damage in Burundi overnight Thursday, March 16, 2017, claiming lives of at least six people. Local media is reporting a month’s worth of rain in just a couple of hours.
“Torrential rains and strong winds struck several provinces last night,” the country’s vice president, Gaston Sindimwo, said Friday. “In the northwestern town of Mabayi, a landslide smothered several houses, and rescuers found five victims.”
In the capital Bujumbura, rains quickly flooded roads killing a soldier. Sindimwo described the event as a real disaster and added that several other people were injured. “We have so far counted 162 destroyed homes,” he said.
Dozens of people died across Burundi since September, Sindimwo concluded.
Powerful nor’easter leaves 16 dead across the US Northeast
A major cleanup is underway after a powerful, late-season winter storm dumped heavy snow to much of the Northeast this week. Although anticipated snowfall in several major cities fell short of estimates, much of the region was left paralyzed. As of Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the storm is blamed for at least 16 deaths.
The storm, named Stella by The Weather Channel (TWC), dumped between 30 and 106 cm (1 and 3.5 feet) of snow in places. More than 30 cm (1 foot) was measured in Portland, Maine, about 56 cm (22 inches) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and as much as 104 cm (41 inches) in Bridgewater and 106.6 cm (42 inches) in West Winfield, New York.
Stella grounded more than 6 000 flights, knocked out power to nearly 500 000 customers and by the time it reached Massachusetts, turned into a hurricane-force blizzard. In Wellfleet, Massachusetts, wind gusts of 127 km/h (79 mph) were recorded.
According to The Weather Channel, at least 16 deaths were attributed to the storm, as of March 15.
Twister forms at Brisbane Airport, Australia
A tornado has reportedly touched down near Brisbane Airport in Queensland, Australia on March 17, 2017, during a severe weather outbreak. Although BOM said evidence suggests the twister was a landspout, Higgins Storm Chasing group claims the phenomenon was actually a tornado. Debris was observed, but there were no reports of injuries.
A small thunderstorm developed West of Algester, SSW of Brisbane City around 13:00 local time on Friday afternoon, Higgins Storm Chasing group wrote in their post. The cell developed and intensified quickly as it interacted with very warm temperatures (up to 36 °C / 96.8 °F) and high humidity (dew points between 17 and 22 °C / 62.6 and 71.6 °F).
“But it wasn’t until the cell entered North-Eastern Brisbane and neared the Airport that it developed into a Supercell with a rotating updraft and base feature,” they said. “The Supercell then attempted to spawn a funnel cloud near Brisbane City which lead to several people in the area videoing the phenomenon trying to unfold. As it neared Brisbane Airport, it interacted with a sea breeze front perfectly that for rotation to become tight enough that a tornado was able to develop.”
10 injured after phreatic-magmatic explosion at Mount Etna
10 people, including BBC crew, scientists and tourists have been injured Thursday, March 16, 2017, after being caught in the middle of a phreatic-magmatic explosion at Mount Etna, Italy. The explosion took place at 11:43 UTC.
“The material thrown into the air fell back down, striking the heads and bodies of people who were the closest,” the president of the Italian Alpine Club chapter in Catania, Umberto Marino told reporters.