Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific Ocean

Tropical depression Six is located approximately 144 nm southeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

NewsBytes:

New Zealand – Cyclone Ita devastated West Coast forests. The totara forests on New Zealand’s west coast appear to have taken the biggest hit from Cyclone Ita, with several parts of forests completely flattened. The full scale of the destruction Ita wrought upon the West Coast’s native bush and tree population may not be known for weeks.

USA – Tornadoes ripped through the south-central United States on Sunday, killing at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma and wiping out entire neighbourhoods, authorities said as rescue workers searched in darkness for survivors.

Sixteen of the victims were in several suburbs of Little Rock in Arkansas, officials said.

One other person was killed in the town of Quapaw in the north-east of Oklahoma where officials said many buildings were badly damaged.

Tornadoes also struck in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.

Winds ripped houses off their foundations and flipped cars on top of the rubble in the small town of Vilonia in central Arkansas’ Faulkner county, one of the worst-hit communities, television pictures showed.

Arkansas authorities said at least 10 people had died in Faulkner and six more across the state – the first reported fatalities of this year’s tornado season. Another person was killed in neighbouring Oklahoma.

“An entire neighbourhood of 50 or so homes has been destroyed. Many homes are completely gone except the foundation … There is more devastation like this in other parts of Arkansas,” state congressman Tim Griffin told Reuters.

Cable television’s Weather Channel showed videotape of mangled, overturned cars, some with people still inside, lining miles of Interstate 40 near Mayflower, 22 miles northwest of state capital Little Rock.

Motorists searched crushed vehicles for victims while others stood dazed on the road. Authorities closed the route.

A tornado hit the east side of Mayflower at around 7.30 pm, killing at least one person, tearing up trees and bringing down power lines, making it difficult for the emergency services to find stricken areas in the dark.

74480996 reuters

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