Fires, floods and storms: two days of extreme weather around the world


Floods, fires and storms wreaked havoc and destruction across the world on Thursday and Friday (August 18 and 19) in two days of extreme weather.

Wildfires scorched across eastern Spain as strong winds fanned flames that raged through the parched bush.

More than 400 people and 36 aircraft were working Thursday to control a wildfire that had burned more than 19,000 hectares (46,950 acres) forcing the evacuation and confinement of more than 1,000 people in nearby villages.

However, a fire in Vall d’Ebo, also in Valencia, was extinguished.

Torrential rains hit parts of New Zealand for a fourth day on Friday, forcing hundreds of people from their homes as rivers overflowed their banks and waterlogged ground became unstable.

Nelson, on the north coast of the South Island, was the hardest hit, with more than 400 homes evacuated and some declared uninhabitable due to rains.

The French meteorologist lifted a major storm warning for Corsica on Friday, a day after strong winds and rain battered the Mediterranean island, killing five people.

A decree on natural disasters is expected to be approved next week, which will help residents and businesses make insurance claims for damage caused by the storm, regional chief Gilles Simeoni told franceinfo radio.

Hail, heavy rain and winds peaking at 225 km/h (140 mph) swept across the island on Thursday morning, smashing boats and cars, uprooting trees and damaging homes.

Flooding caused by heavy rains in western China’s Qinghai Province has claimed 16 lives, state media reported Thursday, with 36 others missing.

Heavy and sudden downpours began Wednesday night in Datong Hui and Tu autonomous counties, home to 403,368 people, in Qinghai province, according to state broadcaster CCTV, causing flooding in the mountains and landslides. .

The rivers changed course and flooded villages and towns. More than 6,200 people have been affected by the floods.

Southern Italy has remained in the grip of a heatwave, with temperatures soaring to nearly 40C (104F) fueling wildfires on the island of Sicily.

Firefighters battled early Friday with a wildfire on Mount Grifone, on the outskirts of Palermo.

The smoke caused traffic jams on the motorway linking Palermo to Catania.

Two people were killed by falling trees in central Italy on Thursday as powerful storms battered several regions after weeks of extremely high temperatures, emergency services said.

Italy’s civil protection unit said bad weather would sweep across the south overnight and issued warnings for Friday for 11 of the country’s 20 regions.

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