Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Counting down to the NZ general election

National - unfit to govern


Seemorerocks


This is the most irrelevant election I have been through with not one party with a position on the most important issue of the day – the abrupt climate change freight train that is bearing down on us.

I have, however, not lost my social conscience.

Today the local newspaper, the Hutt News (owned by Fairfax a.k.a stuff.co.nz) was dropped into our mailbox.

Splashed very conspiculously on the front page was an advertorial for the ruling party thinly disguised as news.



Note how conspicuous the picture and quote from the PM Bill English is.

I don't see any reference (for 'balance') to Labour's transport policy.


This is an unashamed propaganda piece for local National candidate Chris Bishop who meantime doesn't have the decency to listen to possibly the biggest social issue in our community – youth suicide.




New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD and we have been told there is a park where young people (mostly girls from families with gang connections) go to hang themselves.


Chris Bishop, who is angling to represent the community, shows his disdain and disrespect by chewing gum, fiddling with a cellphone and even,a t one stage laughing.



Meanwhile, this is Jacinda Adern on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).



On this, and other key issues such as mining, foreign policy, security, spying and surveillance they are indistinguishable from the Tories.

If you look at other countries (instead of looking inwards as insular New Zealanders always do) you will see from the examples of Macron in France and (more relevantly) Trudeau in Canada there is very little to distinguish these liberals from their fascist counterparts.

Meanwhile, the Greens have sold out on abrupt climate change,

Instead of open corruption and crony capitalism we are likely to see many  of the same fascist policies delivered with a smile and a female voice.

In today's environment it can't be any other way


P.S I agree with Suzie Dawson of the Internet Party

The banksters don't really care whether Labour or National win. Both parties represent a continuation of the status quo

Global warming may be causing nэtural disasters

I suspect that I am not the only one who has wondered about the connection between the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the two earthquakes in Mexico that coincided with them.

"The bottom line is that as climate change tightens its grip, we must be prepared to expect the unexpected"

See also from Kevin Hester, Isostatic rebound and our rocky future

How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes
Global warming may not only be causing more destructive hurricanes, it could also be shaking the ground beneath our feet

Bill McGuire


16 October, 2016


Devastating hurricane? More than 1,000 lives lost? It must be climate change! Almost inevitably, Hurricane Matthew’s recent rampage across the Caribbean and south-eastern US has been fingered by some as a backlash of global warming driven by humanity’s polluting activities, but does this really stack up?

The short answer is no. Blame for a single storm cannot be laid at climate change’s door, as reinforced by the bigger picture. The current hurricane season is by no means extraordinary, and the last few seasons have actually been very tame. The 2013 season saw no major hurricanes at all and tied with 1982 for the fewest hurricanes since 1930. This, in turn, is no big deal as there is great year-on-year variability in the level of hurricane activity, which responds to various natural factors such as El Niño and the so-called Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, as well as the progressive warming of the oceans as climate change bites harder.


The current consensus holds that while a warmer world will not necessarily mean more hurricanes, it will see a rise in the frequency of the most powerful, and therefore more destructive, variety. This view was supported recently by Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane scientist at MIT, who pointed to Matthew as a likely sign of things to come.

Debate within the hurricane science community has in recent decades been almost as hostile as the storms themselves, with researchers, on occasion, even refusing to sit on the same panels at conferences. At the heart of this sometimes acrimonious dispute has been the validity of the Atlantic hurricane record and the robustness of the idea that hurricane activity had been broadly ratcheting up since the 1980s. Now, the weight of evidence looks to have come down on the side of a broad and significant increase in hurricane activity that is primarily driven by progressive warming of the climate. For many, the bottom line is the sea surface temperature, which is a major driver of hurricane activity and storm intensification. Last year saw the warmest sea temperatures on record, so it should not be a surprise. As Michael Mann, an atmospheric scientist at Penn State University, says: “It isn’t a coincidence that we’ve seen the strongest hurricane in both hemispheres [western and eastern] within the last year.” As the Atlantic continues to heat up, the trend is widely expected to be towards more powerful and wetter storms, so that Matthew might seem like pretty small beer when looked back on from the mid-century.

As with hurricanes, Pacific typhoons and the mid-latitude storms that periodically batter the UK and Europe are forecast to follow a similar pattern in an anthropogenically warmed world. Storm numbers may not rise, but there is likely to be an escalation in the frequency of the bigger storm systems, which tend to be the most destructive. An additional concern is that mid-latitude storms may become clustered, bringing the prospect of extended periods of damaging and disruptive winds. The jury is out on whether climate change will drive up the number of smaller, but potentially ruinous vortices of solid wind that make up tornadoes, although an apparent trend in the US towards more powerful storms has been blamed by some on a warming atmosphere.

Tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes and mid-latitude storms – along with heatwaves and floods – are widely regarded as climate change’s shock troops; forecast to accelerate the destruction, loss of life and financial pain as planet Earth continues to heat up. It would be wrong to imagine, however, that climate change and the extreme events it drives are all about higher temperatures and a bit more wind and rain.

An earthquake fault that is ready to go is like a coiled spring – all that is needed is the pressure of a handshake

The atmosphere is far from isolated and interacts with other elements of the so-called “Earth system”, such as the oceans, ice caps and even the ground beneath our feet, in complex and often unexpected ways capable of making our world more dangerous. We are pretty familiar with the idea that the oceans swell as a consequence of the plunging atmospheric pressure at the heart of powerful storms, building surges driven onshore by high winds that can be massively destructive. Similarly, it does not stretch the imagination to appreciate that a warmer atmosphere promotes greater melting of the polar ice caps, thereby raising sea levels and increasing the risk of coastal flooding. But, more extraordinarily, the thin layer of gases that hosts the weather and fosters global warming really does interact with the solid Earth – the so-called geosphere — in such a way as to make climate change an even bigger threat.

This relationship is marvellously illustrated by a piece of research published in the journal Nature in 2009 by Chi-Ching Liu of the Institute of Earth Sciences at Taipei’s Academia Sinica. In the paper, Liu and his colleagues provided convincing evidence for a link between typhoons barrelling across Taiwan and the timing of small earthquakes beneath the island. Their take on the connection is that the reduced atmospheric pressure that characterises these powerful Pacific equivalents of hurricanes is sufficient to allow earthquake faults deep within the crust to move more easily and release accumulated strain. This may sound far fetched, but an earthquake fault that is primed and ready to go is like a coiled spring, and as geophysicist John McCloskey of the University of Ulster is fond of pointing out, all that is needed to set it off is – quite literally – “the pressure of a handshake”.

Perhaps even more astonishingly, Liu and his team proposed that storms might act as safety valves, repeatedly short-circuiting the buildup of dangerous levels of strain that otherwise could eventually instigate large, destructive earthquakes. This might explain, the researchers say, why the contact between the Eurasian and Philippine Sea tectonic plates, in the vicinity of Taiwan, has far less in the way of major quakes than further north where the plate boundary swings past Japan.

In a similar vein, it seems that the huge volume of rain dumped by tropical cyclones, leading to severe flooding, may also be linked to earthquakes. The University of Miami’s Shimon Wdowinski has noticed that in some parts of the tropics – Taiwan included – large earthquakes have a tendency to follow exceptionally wet hurricanes or typhoons, most notably the devastating quake that took up to 220,000 lives in Haiti in 2010. It is possible that floodwaters are lubricating fault planes, but Wdowinski has another explanation. He thinks that the erosion of landslides caused by the torrential rains acts to reduce the weight on any fault below, allowing it to move more easily.

It has been known for some time that rainfall also influences the pattern of earthquake activity in the Himalayas, where the 2015 Nepal earthquake took close to 9,000 lives, and where the threat of future devastating quakes is very high. During the summer monsoon season, prodigious quantities of rain soak into the lowlands of the Indo-Gangetic plain, immediately to the south of the mountain range, which then slowly drains away over the next few months. This annual rainwater loading and unloading of the crust is mirrored by the level of earthquake activity, which is significantly lower during the summer months than during the winter.


Nepal earthquake: drone footage shows devastation in ancient town of Bhaktapur
And it isn’t only earthquake faults that today’s storms and torrential rains are capable of shaking up. Volcanoes seem to be susceptible too. On the Caribbean island of Montserrat, heavy rains have been implicated in triggering eruptions of the active lava dome that dominates the Soufrière Hills volcano. Stranger still, Alaska’s Pavlof volcano appears to respond not to wind or rain, but to tiny seasonal changes in sea level. The volcano seems to prefer to erupt in the late autumn and winter, when weather patterns are such that water levels adjacent to this coastal volcano climb by a few tens of centimetres. This is enough to bend the crust beneath the volcano, allowing magma to be squeezed out, according to geophysicist Steve McNutt of the University of South Florida, “like toothpaste out of a tube”.

If today’s weather can bring forth earthquakes and magma from the Earth’s crust, it doesn’t take much to imagine how the solid Earth is likely to respond to the large-scale environmental adjustments that accompany rapid climate change. In fact, we don’t have to imagine at all. The last time our world experienced serious warming was at the end of the last ice age when, between about 20,000 and 10,000 years ago, temperatures rose by six degrees centigrade, melting the great continental ice sheets and pushing up sea levels by more than 120m.

The bottom line is that as climate change tightens its grip, we must be prepared to expect the unexpected

These huge changes triggered geological mayhem. As the kilometres-thick Scandinavian ice sheet vanished, the faults beneath released the accumulated strain of tens of millennia, spawning massive magnitude eight earthquakes. Quakes of this scale are taken for granted today around the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire”, but they are completely out of place in Santa’s Lapland. Across the Norwegian Sea, in Iceland, the volcanoes long buried beneath a kilometre of ice were also rejuvenated as the suffocating ice load melted away, prompting a “volcano storm” about 12,000 years ago that saw the level of activity increase by up to 50 times.

Now, global average temperatures are shooting up again and are already more than one degree centigrade higher than during preindustrial times. It should come as no surprise that the solid Earth is starting to respond once more. In southern Alaska, which has in places lost a vertical kilometre of ice cover, the reduced load on the crust is already increasing the level of seismic activity. In high mountain ranges across the world from the Caucasus in the north to New Zealand’s southern Alps, longer and more intense heatwaves are melting the ice and thawing the permafrost that keeps mountain faces intact, leading to a rise in major landslides.

Does this all mean that we are in for a more geologically active future as well as a hotter and meteorologically more violent one? Well, no one is suggesting that we will see a great surge in the number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. As always, these will be controlled largely by local geological conditions. Where an earthquake fault or volcano is primed and ready to go, however, climate change may provide that extra helping hand that brings forward the timing of a quake or eruption that would eventually have happened anyway.

As the world continues to heat up, any geological response is likely to be most obvious where climate change is driving the biggest environmental changes – for example, in areas where ice and permafrost are vanishing fast, or in coastal regions where rising sea levels will play an increasing role. Freysteinn Sigmundsson of the Nordic Volcanological Centre observes that the centre of Iceland is now rising by more than three centimetres a year in response to shrinking glaciers. Studies undertaken by Sigmundsson and his colleagues forecast that the reduced pressures that result will lead to the formation of significant volumes of new magma deep under Iceland. Whether this will translate into more or bigger eruptions remains uncertain, but the aviation chaos that arose from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 provides a salutary warning of the disruption that any future increase in Icelandic volcanic activity may cause across the North Atlantic region.



A cloud of ash rises from the volcano under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier in Iceland in May, 2010, causing chaos for millions of airline passengers as flights were cancelled across Europe. Photograph: Ingolfur Juliusson/Reuters

Volcanologist Hugh Tuffen, of Lancaster University, is worried about the stability of the more than 10% of active volcanoes that are ice-covered. He says that “climate change is driving rapid melting of ice on many volcanoes worldwide, triggering unloading as ice is removed. As well as encouraging magma to rise to the surface, leading to increased volcanic activity, removal of ice can also destabilise steep volcano flanks, making hazardous landslides more likely.”

The potential for more landslides is also likely to be a problem in high mountain ranges as the ice cover that stabilises rock faces vanishes. Christian Huggel of the University of Zurich has warned that “in densely populated and developed regions such as the European Alps, serious consequences have to be considered from [future] large slope failures”.

Looking ahead, one of the key places to watch will be Greenland, where recent findings by a research team led by Shfaqat Khan of Denmark’s Technical University reveal a staggering loss of 272bn tonnes of ice a year over the last decade. GPS measurements show that, like Scandinavia at the end of the last ice age, Greenland and the whole of the surrounding region is already rising in response to the removal of this ice load. Andrea Hampel of the University of Hannover’s Geological Institute, who with colleagues has been studying this behaviour, is concerned that “future ice loss may trigger earthquakes of intermediate to large magnitude if the crust underneath the modern ice cap contains faults prone to failure”.

More earthquakes in Greenland might not seem like a big deal, but this could have far wider ramifications. About 8,200 years ago, an earthquake linked to the uplift of Scandinavia, triggered the Storegga Slide; a gigantic undersea sediment slide that sent a tsunami racing across the North Atlantic. Run-up heights were more than 20m in the Shetlands and six metres along the east coast of Scotland, and the event has been blamed for the flooding of Doggerland; the inhabited Mesolithic landmass that occupied what is now the southern North Sea.

The submerged margins of Greenland are currently not very well mapped, so the likelihood of a future earthquake triggering a landslide capable of generating a major tsunami in the North Atlantic is unknown. Dave Tappin, a tsunami expert at the British Geological Survey, points out that one large, undersea landslide has been identified off the coast of Greenland, but suspects that there may not be sufficient sediment to generate landslides as large as Storegga. Nonetheless, the seismic revival of Greenland is certainly a geological response to climate change that we need to keep an eye on.

The bottom line in all of this is that as climate change tightens its grip, we should certainly contemplate more and bigger Hurricane Matthews. However, when it comes to the manifold hazardous by-blows of an overheating planet, and especially those involving the ground we stand on, we must also be prepared to expect the unexpected.

Bill McGuire is professor emeritus in geophysical and climate hazards at UCL. His current book is Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes.


Out of sight, out of mind: the devastation of Dominica

Compared to saturation coverage of Irma and Harvey it is very difficult to find much coverage about Dominica from international media.

Dominica devastation emerges with fatalities and ‘90% of buildings destroyed’

hurricane maria dominica seo 19 2327

19 September, 2017

One fatality is said to have occurred in Morne Prosper, and the other five in Dos Dane, a village close to Portsmouth.

WIC News understands 90% or more of the island’s buildings have been destroyed. When contact was lost, initial reports were that 70% had been damaged.
As well as buildings, trees have been uprooted and power lines have been ripped to the ground. It is understood that landslides have blocked a number of roads across the country.
Bath Estate and Coulibistrie has seen severe flooding, but the full picture across Dominica is slowly being revealed.
Sources in Mahaut have said that homes have lost their roofs – reflecting the state across the island – but there are no confirmed casualties.


Ross University School of Medicine, located in the Portsmouth area, has not reported any casualties – although, as with the rest of the nation, contact has been broken.
WIC News has been told that a helicopter from Martinique will visit Dominica tomorrow to survey the damage. It is expected that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and disaster management experts will be on the flight.
All communication towers are down, and are expected to be out of action for some time.
Information has trickled out of the island this afternoon via ham radio operators, who are the only people in contact with each other and the outside world.
For this reason there has not yet been an official government response to the disaster.

United Caribbean response

The region is mobilising to assist Dominica, with St Lucia to act as the main point of rescue due to Dominica’s airport being rendered unusable.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago has dispatched two emergency helicopters and crews to assist the government with search and rescue.
They have also sent a medical ship with supplies and food.
Speaking this evening, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne said: “The government and people of Antigua and Barbuda stand in solidarity with the government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica during this time of need.”
Dominica’s prime minister experienced the destructive power of Hurricane Maria during the night.
Skerrit posted live updates of the hurricane’s progress, writing on Facebook soon after Maria’s landfall that his home had suffered damage: “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.”
After being rescued, Skerrit wrote: “My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”


Heartbreaking statement from Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica: "We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds."

Strongest attacks on Syrian Army come from where opposition & US forces stationed – Russian MoD

Things are happening so quickly I am finding it difficult to keep up.


US Coalition Forces Shelling Syrian Forces in Deir Er-Zor



Israeli News Live

Syrian military claims they are coming under heavy shelling by US coalition forces after crossing the Euphrates river. That is what the US promised if the SAA crossed the river. But now will the situation descalate or get worse Russian air support has been very close to the Syrian army in crossing the River and US generals have promised a swift response if Russian strikes US forces on the ground



Strongest attacks on Syrian Army come from where opposition & US forces stationed – Russian MoD



Strongest attacks on Syrian Army come from where opposition & US forces stationed – Russian MoD
© Ruptly


The Syrian Army liberating the Deir ez-Zor region from terrorists is facing strong resistance and massive fire from areas where armed opposition groups and US forces are stationed, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Syrian Army continues to liberate the Euphrates valley to the east of Deir ez-Zor with the help of the Russian Air Force, the statement from the ministry says, adding that the government forces have already retaken more than 60 square kilometers on the left bank of the Euphrates from Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL).

The Syrian Army, however, faces resistance not only from jihadists, but also apparently from US-backed armed opposition groups, according to the statement



According to the reports of the Syrian Army commanders, the most vicious counterattacks and massive shelling are launched from the northern [part of the region] controlled by the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) and the US special forces that were deployed to the area to allegedly ‘lend medical assistance’ to these militants instead of liberating Raqqa,” the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said

He added that the Syrian Army also faced difficulties as it cut across the Euphrates River, where the water level surprisingly rose within several hours. Such water-level changes could only be the result of a deliberate flush at the dams that are also currently controlled by the armed groups backed by the US-led coalition, the major general said.

As the final defeat of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] in Syria draws near, it becomes increasingly more evident who really fights Islamic State and who just imitates a fight for three years,” he said. “Even if the US-led coalition is not willing to fight terrorism in Syria, it should at least not prevent those who really do that consistently and effectively [from fighting terrorist groups].”

The eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor was besieged by Islamic State for about three years. The blockade was lifted in early September by Syrian government forces, which brought relief to tens of thousands of people trapped in the city.

However, the liberation of Deir ez-Zor also intensified the race between legitimate Syrian government forces and the US-backed SDF umbrella group for control the oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province.

Following Damascus’ strategic victory, and while its forces continue to mop up pockets of IS resistance in the west of the city, the US-backed SDF announced a separate offensive east of Deir ez-Zor. SDF forces raced to Deir ez-Zor, which lies only 140km southeast of Raqqa, where the US-led coalition is conducting its main offensive against IS.



SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 19, 2017: SYRIAN ARMY DEVELOPS ADVANCE ON EASTERN BANK OF EUPHRATES






I never imagined that actor Morgan Freeman could be that much of a simpleton to fall for this idiotic propaganda. I have zero respect 4 him

Major storms in Japan, China, Vietnam and Romania

"The Day After Tomorrow" says it so pefectly!

Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico acting as "The Day After Tomorrow!" Another massive quake hits Mexico! Massive mag 7.1 hits again...


Another massive quake has hit Mexico for the second time in 3 weeks, a mag 7.1 - 5km ENE of Raboso, Mexico just 11 days after a massive mag 8.2 struck the west coast which was the biggest Mexican earthquake in 100 years.


According to La Times, today's quake is on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that did major damage to the capital.

While we are focusing on the Caribbean this is truly global weather!

500,000 people evacuated from Japan and China with heaviest rain in 40 years from Tropical Storm Talim

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite saw Extra-Tropical Storm Talim on Sept. 18 at 0254 UTC over southwestern Japan. Credits: NOAA/NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

19 September, 2017


Hundreds of thousands were evacuated Sunday after Tropical Storm Talim made landfall in Japan, packing strong winds and heavy rainfall.
Nearly a foot of rain has already fallen in parts of eastern Kyushu, according to weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.

The torrential downpours could result in flooding and landslides.
In Kagoshima Prefecture, 230,000 people were evacuated, EuroNews.com reports.

Nearly 60,000 were issued evacuation orders in parts of Oita and Miyazaki prefectures, the Japan Times reports.

"The mountains seem about to collapse," a resident of Asakura told EuroNews.
"I think it will be okay but I am still scared."

A 71-year-old man is reportedly missing in Oita prefecture, where more than 500 people have become stranded, Xinhuanet reports.

Operators of bullet trains reported stoppages due to power outages and the heavy rain, Bloomberg reports.

The storm caused flight cancellations Saturday after bringing high winds and significant rainfall to the country's southern islands.

China Airlines, Tigerair Taiwan and EVA Airways have all cancelled flights, Focus Taiwan reports. The storm will continue to affect Japan with heavy rain and gusty winds as it accelerates northeastward according to Dolce.

Before hitting mainland Japan, Talim caused more than 18,000 homes in the city of Miyako, located about 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo and home to 54,000 people, to lose power.

The highest 24-hour rainfall total in more than 40 years was recorded there Wednesday.

Trees were uprooted and power lines knocked down on Miyako Island and its neighbouring islands, the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper reported to SBS.com.
The Miyako-Jima Island airport clocked a wind gust of 108 mph late Wednesday, local time, and picked up a 24-hour record rainfall of 18.86 inches, notes weather.com meteorologist Jon Erdman. Over a two-day period, Miyako-Jima picked up 20.30 inches, also a record, there, dating to 1977. Talim pushed high surf toward the coast of China, where more than 200,000 people had been evacuated from the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang of Wednesday.
According to UNTV, the storm had already raised the tide more than 30 feet in Yuhuan, in the Zhejiang province. "We've evacuated all the people here, providing them with daily supplies," said Yongxing Community Committee of Sansha City deputy director Zhao Heng.

Typhoon Doksuri tore through Vietnam this weekend killing 4 with almost 100,000 evacuated and 123,000 homes destroyed


Photo indianexpress.com
19 September, 2017

Shaken residents in central Vietnam were piecing their homes and businesses back together yesterday after a powerful typhoon hammered large swathes of the country's coast, leaving at least four people dead.

Typhoon Doksuri tore through Vietnam on Friday afternoon, reducing structures to piles of debris and knocking out electricity and telecommunications in several provinces, in one of the worst storms to hit the country in years.

Residents woke up yesterday to find widespread destruction in normally idyllic coastal communities popular among beachgoers.

"I sat inside my house, covering my ears, I didn't dare leave as I was so scared," said Ms Mai Thi Tinh, whose restaurant in Ha Tinh province was completely destroyed.

"The power is still off so we can't do anything.

I don't know how long it will take to recover."

At least four people were killed and eight injured, according to Vietnam's Disaster Management Authority.

Photo naijatwitter.com

Some 123,000 homes were damaged, and trees and power lines were torn down in five hard-hit provinces, the disaster agency said.

"The wind was so bad that I hid under the bed.

I'm old but I'm afraid of death," said 70-year-old retired teacher Tran Ngoc Khang.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Ha Tinh province yesterday to survey the damage.

"We have to quickly mobilise forces to repair houses and damaged schools...
We have to ensure people can get back to normal life," he said on state-run Vietnam Television. Nearly 80,000 people were evacuated as the storm bore down, while the government deployed a quarter of a million troops and a fleet of vehicles and shpis.

Forecasters warned of a risk of flooding and landslides as the storm swept through the central and northern parts of the country.

Vietnam's central coast is routinely lashed by storms, especially during the tropical storm season from May to October.

Vietnam has already been hit by severe weather this year, with 140 people dead or missing in natural disasters since January, according to official figures.

After an unseasonal heatwave with temps well above 30deg C powerful storms kill 8 and injure 70 in Western Romania as winds reach 100km/h

Photo wacotrib.com

19 September, 2017


Eight people lost their lives and almost 70 were injured as powerful storms hit Western Romania on Sunday evening.

The wind reached speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour bringing down hundreds of trees, electricity poles, and tearing household roofs.

The most affected areas were Timis and Arad counties, in Western Romania, where six people were killed in the storm.

In Timisoara, a woman died after being hit by the branches of a tree at the city zoo.

Another man lost his life after a billboard fell on his car, according to local Mediafax. Some 27 more people were injured in Timisoara, where the wind was so powerful that it even overturned trucks on the road.

Two people were also killed in Bistrita-Nasaud county, in Northern Romania.
One of them was hit by a tree in the city's park.

In Alba county, over 15,000 households were left without electricity as the powerful wind broke the electricity lines.

Six people were also injured in Alba.

Romania has experienced unusually hot weather for this time of year in the last few days, with temperatures reaching 34 degrees Celsius in the Southern regions on Sunday.

The weather is expected to turn bad in the next few days and rain may take over the country.