Hundreds of fires burning across the Island of Sumatra release plumes of smoke that blow towards the southwest.
Clearing land for timber and agriculture is likely to blame for Indonesia’s latest bout of fires. According to data from Global Forest Watch – a new online system that tracks tree cover change, fires, and other information in near-real time – roughly half of these fires are burning on land managed by oil palm, timber, and logging companies – despite the fact that using fire to clear land is illegal in Indonesia.
Australia – February 10th, 2014
Fires – Day/Night Images
Thousands of firefighters in Australia are battling wildfires across the country’s south-east which have destroyed dozens of homes and set a coal mine alight.
The worst of the fires spread in swirling winds across the state of Victoria, which faced its worst threat since the Black Saturday fires in February 2009 which killed 173 people.
The fires, which include a blaze with a front more than 24 miles long, have spread across the state and reached the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.
Thousands of people were evacuated across the state, more than 30,000 residents spent the night without power and some rural train services were suspended. No lives have been reported lost but further losses of homes are expected.
In Kilmore, a town about 35 miles north of Melbourne, residents said the damage was “horrendous”.
Firefighters from interstate and from New Zealand joined the battle, as authorities deployed more than 200 tankers and 21 aircraft. Police are investigating nine cases of arson, which may have contributed to the 150-odd fires that have broken out in recent days.
Milder conditions have assisted fire crews but about 48 blazes in Victoria remain out of control. A fire has broken out in an open-cut coal mine in the Latrobe Valley, east of Melbourne, which is likely to take several days to control.
Source “The Telegraph”
Italy – November 17th, 2013
Visible in the center of this image is Mount Etna, in Sicily, Italy. A white cloud of ash and steam can be seen spewing forth from the volcano, which is already erupting for the third time in 2013 (previous ones were on 11 April and 26 October). Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity.
Typhoon Danas (23W) – October 7th, 2013
A tropical depression formed northeast of Guam. It strengthened into Tropical Depression 23W on October 3. Late on October 4, the JMA upgraded it to Tropical Storm Danas. The PAGASA gave the name Ramil as it pass through the corner of the Philippine area of responsibility on a short matter of time very late on October 6 as a Category 3 typhoon. On October 7, Typhoon Danas entered warm waters as it became a Category 4 typhoon.
Tropical Storms 22W and 23W (Danas) – October 6th, 2013
Typhoon Danas is forecast to strike Japan at about 18:00 GMT on 8 October. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near 35.2 N, 132.3 E. Danas is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 120 km/h (74 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.
Typhoon Wutip (20W) – September 30th, 2013
At least 70 people have been reported missing after a typhoon caused three fishing boats to sink in the South China Sea, Chinese state media say.
Five boats carrying more than 150 people encountered strong winds from Typhoon Wutip on Sunday, Xinhua news agency says citing maritime officials.
A rescue operation is under way and reports say 14 people have been found.
The storm is expected to make landfall in central Vietnam on Monday and thousands have been evacuated there.