Tag Archives: evacuated

Tens of thousands evacuated amid Indonesia floods


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Israeli PM evacuated from rally after rocket fired from Gaza

Israeli PM evacuated from rally after rocket fired from GazaIsrael said a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into its southern territory Wednesday, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be hustled from a stage during an election rally in the city of Ashkelon. The Israeli military said its air defense system, known as Iron Dome, intercepted the rocket. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz posted a video on its website showing Netanyahu being taken to a shelter as he was campaigning hours before the primaries of his Likud party.



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Italian city evacuated as World War Two-era British bomb is defused

Italian city evacuated as World War Two-era British bomb is defusedItalian authorities ordered the biggest peacetime evacuation in the country since World War Two on Sunday to defuse a massive unexploded British bomb that was partially damaged when discovered in the southern city of Brindisi. The historic evacuation displaced some 53,000 residents  —more than half — of the coastal city on the Adriatic,  due to the high risk that the 440-pound ordnance containing 40 kilograms of dynamite could explode. The chances of detonation were increased after the munition was damaged on November 2  by a bulldozer excavating for a remodel of a cinema.. The bomb is believed to have been dropped on the city in a 1941 air raid, during the period of World War Two when Italy was still allied with Germany and Royal Air Force  bombers based in Malta were targeting Naples, Brindisi and Bari in order to disrupt Axis shipping lanes. According to the Italian defence department, it is just one of thousands of unexploded ordnances that still lie dormant and undiscovered throughout Italy. Earlier this month more than 10,000 Turin residents were evacuated for the deactivation of a similar British bomb, as were 4000 residents of the northern city of Bolzano in October.  In the month and a half since the unexploded bomb was discovered in Brindisi, city officials put into place a strict evacuation plan with a 1,617 metre “red zone” around the damaged bomb, which was reinforced with an external structure last week. The city's airport, train station, hospitals and prison were shut down as part of the operation on Sunday.   By  mid-morning the bomb had been successfully defused by a team of more than a dozen Italian army explosives experts, who used a special metal key that was carefully turned with remote-controlled technology, as the mayor and other security officials watched drone footage of the operation from a nearby situation room. The bomb is expected to be set off tomorrow in a remote location outside the city.



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180,000 evacuated as wildfire and electricity blackout hits California wine country

180,000 evacuated as wildfire and electricity blackout hits California wine countryA total of 180,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from a huge swath of northern California's wine country as the state was hit by a destructive wildfire and the biggest electricity black out in its history. The Kinkade fire covered an area of 40 square miles and predictions of high gusts, known as the "diablo winds," fueled fears it could spread further. Some 77 buildings, including 31 homes, had already burned to the ground, and the fire was only 10 per cent contained. The blaze encroached on wineries in Sonoma County, a region full of internationally renowned vintners. Thousands of firefighters were battling the fire and a state of emergency has been declared. Dominic Foppoli,mayor of the town of Windsor, said: "This is a life-threatening situation and a danger to our entire town." Pacific Gas & Electric, the energy company, decided to shut down power as a precaution to 2.35 million people. Gavin Newsom, the governor of California gov, called the black out "infuriating and unacceptable." He said: "We are going to do our best to get through these high wind events and get these lights back on, and do everything in our power to make sure PG&E; is never in a position where they're doing this to us again." The Democrat governor has blamed the bankrupt utility for lackluster investment in its infrastructure. A winery on fire in Healdsburg, California Credit: AFP According to the US National Weather Service the area was facing an "historic wind event" which could lead to "erratic fire behaviour" and send embers for miles. Warnings were issued that the gusts could knock down power lines and spark more devastating wildfires. A total of the 24 lives lost when a wildfire swept through the region two years ago. Sheriff Mark Essick, in Sonoma County, pleaded with residents in the evacuation zone to leave immediately. He said: "I'm seeing people reporting that they're going to stay and fight this fire. You cannot fight this. Please evacuate." Prisoners and hospital patients were among those evacuating. Jon Robinson, 52, a resident, said: "Before this, we planned on staying. But I'll tell you what, it's just too nerve-racking." Scott Paris, a cafe owner, said the electricity shutdown would lose him tens of thousands of dollars in business. He said: "We're scrambling to get enough generators. If this is the new normal, it's going to drive up a lot of costs. It drives up stress." Florida was sending 100 electric workers to help PG&E; restore power to areas with outages caused by the wildfires. What sparked the current fire is unknown, but PG&E; said a 230,000-volt transmission line malfunctioned minutes before the blaze erupted, amid bode-dry conditions, on Wednesday. Flames engulf a building in Sonoma County Credit: Bloomberg Its chief executive Andrew Vesey said: "Any spark, from any source, can lead to catastrophic results." Last year, 85 people died in the fire that destroyed the California town of Paradise, the deadliest US blaze in a century. Officials concluded that a PG&E; transmission line sparked that fire. The Kinkade fire was burning along steep hillsides in rugged terrain north of San Francisco. A separate fire, the Tick Fire, has been raging in suburban Los Angeles. Nearly all the 50,000 residents ordered to evacuate were allowed back home after winds began to ease. Marcos Briano, 71, a resident who found destroyed homes on his street, said: "I'm thankful that nothing happened to my house, but I feel bad for my neighbours."



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Tens of thousands evacuated as wildfires rage in California

Tens of thousands evacuated as wildfires rage in CaliforniaCalifornia firefighters battled through the night to contain a fast-moving wildfire driven by high winds that was threatening to engulf thousands of buildings. Around 40,000 people were told to flee the Tick Fire, which was raging across 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) just north of Los Angeles. The fire erupted as much of the state was under a red-flag warning because of gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity which make perfect conditions for wildfires.



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Tens of thousands evacuated as wildfires rage in California

Tens of thousands evacuated as wildfires rage in CaliforniaSome 50,000 people were ordered to flee their homes north of Los Angeles on Thursday as a fast-moving wildfire driven by high winds erupted and raged out of control. The so-called Tick Fire near Santa Clarita, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, broke out in the early afternoon and quickly consumed 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares), fire officials said. The blaze burned several homes and structures and forced the closure of a major highway and a number of roads, as some 500 firefighters backed by air tankers and helicopters battled the flames. There were no immediate reports of injury. A firefighter prepares to fight a wildfire as it overtakes a home Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP "We are urging everybody to evacuate at this time," a spokesman for the fire department said. The fire erupted as much of the state was under a red flag warning because of gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity which make for perfect conditions for wildfires. In northern California wine country, some 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate after a brush fire erupted late Wednesday, quickly growing from a blaze of a few hundred acres into a 16,000-acre inferno, California fire officials said. About 500 responders battled the fire fed by wind gusts topping 70 miles per hour (113 kilometers per hour). Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for the community of Geyserville and nearby vineyards after the fire started in a mountainous area and quickly spread, crossing a highway and moving toward homes, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said. "If you're in Geyserville, leave now," the sheriff's office advised, citing an extraordinary threat to life and property. Winds out of the north were driving the fire as firefighters struggled to save homes. Tick Fire burns near Santa Clarita Credit: ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/REX/REX By early evening, the fire was five percent contained and several structures had burned, fire officials said. The blaze – 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of San Francisco – came amid official warnings that much of northern California and parts of the south were under imminent threat of fires into Friday because of blustery, dry weather and high temperatures. Another brush fire in San Bernardino County, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, also prompted evacuation orders as it quickly burned 75 acres. Power was cut to some 180,000 customers in the northern part of the state Thursday and similar preemptive shutoffs affected thousands of customers further south due to conditions that are ripe for wildfires. Power companies warned that additional power cuts could be ordered to reduce the risk of accidental fires. The strong winds in the north were expected to subside Friday but are forecast to pick up again on Sunday, the National Weather Service warned. Many residents of Geyserville said they barely had time to gather their belongings as the monster fire quickly approached the town, with embers igniting fires throughout the region. "We thought we were a couple of miles from the fire," Dwight Monson, 68, told the Los Angeles Times. "But guess what – the winds." He said by the time his family got in their cars and escaped to the valley below, the flames were on the edge of their ranch. A Cal Fire firefighter hops over a locked gate while working the Tick Fire Credit: Getty Images North America/Mario Tama PG&E;, the state's biggest utility, said in a statement that it had informed regulators that a jumper on a transmission tower near where officials said the fire had started was broken. The company – which has been held responsible for numerous wildfires in the state – said that even though power to nearly 28,000 customers in Sonoma County, including Geyserville, had been shut down on Wednesday, some of the high-voltage transmission lines were still operating when the fire broke out. "We relied on the protocol and we still, at this point, do not know what exactly happened," PG&E; CEO and president Bill Johnson told a news conference. This week's fires have erupted as the state is still recovering from deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that killed more than 100 people. The fires have been fueled by years of drought and dry vegetation. "This is an emotional time for many people," Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick told a news conference Thursday. "It's only been two years since the fires that devastated our community. For many this will be a very stressful and anxious time." Evacuations Issued For Parts of Sonoma County As Kincade Fire Spreads Credit: Getty Images North America/Justin Sullivan And the worst is yet to come. Even as PG&E; Corp. restores power to customers in Northern California that went dark on Wednesday, it was preparing to cut the lights again across much of its territory this weekend in anticipation of the strongest wind storm in years. It may prove to be the biggest, longest blackout planned yet to keep power lines from sparking fires. Millions are facing as many as two days in the dark. “None of us wants to be living without power,” PG&E; Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said at a media briefing late Thursday. “But we have a single, simple and I think really important objective at work here, which is to avoid catastrophic wildfire.” Utilities have been taking more extreme measures to prevent wildfires since PG&E;’s equipment sparked a series of blazes that devastated California in 2017 and 2018, saddling it with an estimated $ 30 billion in liabilities and forcing the company into bankruptcy. The widespread nature of the latest shutoffs, however, has ignited a debate over how far California is willing to go to keep fires from erupting amid increasingly warm and dry weather. PG&E; is warning that this weekend’s shutoffs could rival those of Oct. 9, when a record 2 million people lost service for about a day. This time, the company is warning counties that the power may be out for two days. Earlier on Thursday, California Gavin Newsom said this week’s blackouts seemed necessary, given how strong winds blew, but questioned the scale of the shutoffs. PG&E; brought down almost 180,000 customers starting Wednesday and had restored power to most by late Thursday. Edison International and Sempra Energy have kept about 40,000 homes and businesses near Los Angeles and San Diego in the dark as winds shift south.



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Millions evacuated as Super Typhoon Hagibis slams into Japan – throwing Rugby World Cup into chaos

Millions evacuated as Super Typhoon Hagibis slams into Japan - throwing Rugby World Cup into chaosAt least six million people were told to evacuate their homes as Super Typhoon Hagibis smashed into Japan on Saturday, triggering mudslides, flooding and the heaviest rain and winds in 60 years. Within hours of the typhoon making landfall at around 7pm local time (11am UK), at least two people were dead, nine were missing and more than 80 were injured, according to local media. Officials warned that the storm could be the most powerful to hit Japan since one of the worst typhoons on record devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas in 1958, killing more than 1,200 people. Even before the storm hit, there were reports of at least one death, with a 50-year-old man killed when his car overturned in strong winds in Chiba Prefecture, an area just east of Tokyo still recovering from a strong typhoon which hit last month. Four others, including two children, were also injured by a tornado in the same area. One resident there told NHK: “When the winds suddenly hit, they blew the roof off my house. The noise was awful. One of my three children was injured but is now in a hospital.” Even before the typhoon hit, strong winds brought havoc to areas such as Chiba, near Tokyo  Credit: Katsuya Miyagawa/Kyodo News The typhoon had been brewing over the Pacific Ocean with recorded winds of more than 145 mph. Authorities issued warnings that with gusts likely to exceed that figure, some houses were at risk of being blown down.  The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of as much as 30 inches of rain in the 24-hour period until midnight on Saturday.  Television footage showed images of damage to roofs and walls of buildings in storm-hit spots across Japan. More than 16,000 homes, mainly along the Pacific coastline, were without electricity.  Some residential areas along the coast in Shizuoka were also reported as being submerged up to around knee height in tidal surges. The approaching typhoon caused rivers to overflow in the area, with reports of at least one person swept away, and widespread landslide warnings also in place. Three people were missing in Gunma Prefecture after a landslide swept through six houses. The weather system passed directly over Tokyo, one of seven regions subject to the non-compulsory evacuation orders – and where a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit just ahead of the typhoon's arrival.  Around 17,000 Self-Defence Forces personnel were on standby across the country for potential deployment on rescue operations. Even as the typhoon moved away from the capital late on Saturday, one expert warned of further flooding as several surrounding prefectures began releasing water from dams, letting it flow downstream. "The situation is now worse than this evening," Nobuyuki Tsuchiya, director of the Japan Riverfront Research Centre, told Reuters. About 1.5 million people in Tokyo live below sea level. Japan's national rugby team waded through floodwater to reach the pitch for practice, with a decision still to be made on Sunday's matches Credit: Japan Rugby Football Union/Reuters A study by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers in June 2018 concluded that a huge storm surge in Tokyo Bay could lead to 8,000 deaths and cause damage estimated at Y115 trillion (£84 billion).  Much of the damage would be to infrastructure, such as underground railway lines, roads and bridges, as well as structures on vulnerable reclaimed land in the bay.  A disaster simulation prepared by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2018 suggested that more than 80 square miles of the city could be inundated in a worst-case scenario, accounting for one-third of the entire city. In low-lying areas, water levels could rise as high as 32 feet above mean sea level.  The government’s estimations are based on data from Typhoon Muroto, which struck the city in September 1934, killing 3,066 people, injuring a further 13,000 and leaving 200,000 people homeless.  Authorities in central Japan called on residents of coastal regions to evacuate to higher ground inland and alerts were sent out to mobile phones through messaging systems and are running on television and radio broadcasts.  Train services in and around Tokyo were cancelled throughout Saturday, along with long-distance bullet train services. Japanese airlines grounded all domestic and international flights out of Narita and Haneda, the two airports that serve the capital, while theme parks and many shops closed their doors. There are fears for low-lying coastal areas, with residents warned they should move to higher ground inland Credit: Kyodo News/AP A number of companies, including car makers Toyota and Honda, have halted production.  Saturday’s Rugby World Cup game between England and France in Yokohama has been cancelled, along with the Italy-New Zealand clash in Toyota City.  A decision is due to be made at midnight on games scheduled for Sunday, including the all-important Scotland-Japan game, which will decide which nation emerges from the group stages of the tournament. The looming super typhoon has also triggered a frenzy of last-minute buying, with store shelves emptied of bread, instant noodles, bottled water and other perishable foods. Stores in some areas have also reportedly run out of batteries and packing tape that is being put across windows to reduce the possibility of flying glass.  Super Typhoon Hagibis – the Tagalog word for “speed” – is the second major storm to hit Japan in just over a month.  Typhoon Faxai struck eastern Japan on September 9, killing three people, leaving more than 40 injured and leaving scenes of devastation in its wake. At the peak of the storm, more than 930,000 people were without power and it took two weeks for some areas to have electricity restored.



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Tens of thousands evacuated as California wildfires rage

Tens of thousands evacuated as California wildfires rageWind-driven wildfires forced the evacuation of about 100,000 people in southern California Friday and destroyed dozens of structures and homes as authorities warned it could take days to extinguish the flames. One man in his 50s died of a heart attack as he struggled to save his home in the Porter Ranch area, fire officials said. “This is a very dynamic fire,” Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas told a news conference.



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CORRECTED-Hurricane Dorian lashes Bahamas, a million evacuated along U.S. east coast

CORRECTED-Hurricane Dorian lashes Bahamas, a million evacuated along U.S. east coastHurricane Dorian battered the Bahamian islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama early on Monday, peeling off roofs, toppling cars and snapping power lines as rising floodwater threatened to engulf houses. The second-strongest Atlantic storm on record was forecast to pound the archipelago through the day, then move towards the east U.S. coast – where authorities ordered more than a million people evacuated in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. The slow-moving, category five storm left the Bahamian islands covered with twisted metal and splintered wood.



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A person reportedly died and 320 passengers and crew had to be evacuated after a cruise ship in Russia caught on fire

A person reportedly died and 320 passengers and crew had to be evacuated after a cruise ship in Russia caught on fireThe ship was reportedly docked in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday when the fire began in the cabin of one of the ship's mechanics, Fontanka reported.



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