Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

India – The death toll in the recent floods in Gujarat, India has risen to at least 81 people with thousands of pilgrims being airlifted from the Uttarakhand region. Choppers airlifted nearly 8,500 people from the Hindu shrine of Badrinath and the Sikh pilgrimage Hemkund Sahib, located in Chamoli district.

Bangladesh – At least 23 people have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains that lashed southeastern Bangladesh, officials said on Sunday. Tens of thousands of people were marooned on higher ground as flood waters submerged areas around Cox’s Bazar and the hilly district of Bandarban.

Philippines – At least 25,000 persons in 15 villages of Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao province have been displaced by floods, which in some areas were as bad as neck deep, officials said. Mayor Ramdatu Angas said the local government has declared a state of calamity in the entire town as flood water from the Ala River has been rising due to the torrential rain in the mountains of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.

Environment

Protection of Glass Sponge Reefs

As far as conservationists can tell, glass sponge reefs remain the only large reef extant from the Jurassic period of the Earth. They have evolved into a natural habitat for many species. In addition, they provide nursery grounds and refuge area for various life forms. That glass sponge reefs of the size discovered in the Hecate Strait which span over 1,000km and measure up to 25m. Glass sponge reefs of this size are exceptionally rare.

In an effort to preserve this vital ecosystem, the Canadian Government has moved to designate the glass sponge reefs of the Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait as Marine Protected Areas.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Hundreds of lightning strikes overnight have sparked three dozen new wildfires in Northern California, authorities said Sunday.

The 36 blazes triggered by 800 lightning strikes were small and quickly put out, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 firefighters continued to make progress on five large wildfires around the state.