At least 900 homes in Illinois were either destroyed or badly damaged by Sunday's tornadoes (12th), a figure that state officials say is likely to grow. In all, the National Weather Service says, at least 15 tornadoes hit Illinois on Sunday, with 65 tornadoes reported provisionally across the country. The death toll still stands at six. Severe weather pounded the USA Midwest with tornadoes, intense thunderstorms, and giant hail threatening 53 million people across 10 states and leaving tens of thousands without power. A National Football League game between the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago was suspended amid high winds and heavy rain. Winds of over 70mph lashed such strong storms are rare (but not unknown) this late in the year because there usually is not enough heat from the sun to sustain the thunderstorms.
A severe storm has been blamed for up to a dozen deaths in the US and could threaten travel for millions over the approaching Thanksgiving holiday. The icy storm started in the western states and has caused at least 10 fatal road crashes. Hundreds of flights in Texas were cancelled amid freezing rain, which is expected to move east this week. Three members of singer Willie Nelson's band were reported injured in a Texas bus accident during heavy rains on Saturday. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, cars slid around the road in the snow Oklahoma received up to 25 cm of snow, while weather warnings were issued for Arkansas on Monday as the weather system moved east across the nation.
At least 18 people, including four children, have been killed in flooding on the Italian island of Sardinia after a cyclone and heavy rain on the 18th-19th. A number of people are reported missing after rivers burst their banks. Cars were swept away and bridges collapsed. The area around the north-eastern city of Olbia was worst-hit - in some places the water was up to 3 m deep. Cyclone Cleopatra brought more than 440 mm of rain in 90 minutes overnight into Tuesday morning. "We're at maximum alert," Giorgio Cicalo, an official from Sardinia's civil protection authority, said. "We haven't seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades - especially because it's been across the whole island." The storm caused extensive damage to farms in Sardinia and disrupted a number of flights to and from mainland Italy.
Nine people are believed to have been killed after heavy snowfalls caused a building to collapse in Heilongjiang Province in north-east China on the 26th. Elsewhere the snow is continuing to cause traffic disruption, flight cancellations, and school closures.
Typhoon Haiyan is battering the central Philippines with sustained winds of up to 315 km/h on the 8th. Meteorologists say that if initial estimates based on satellite images it could be the most powerful storm ever to make landfall. The storm has forced millions to seek shelter in 20 provinces and at least three people have died, officials say. The authorities have warned that more than 12 million people are at risk from the category-five storm, including in Cebu, the country's second largest city with a population of 2.5 million. The typhoon arrived with gusts of up to 275 km/h, the Philippines' weather service said in its bulletin, issued at 05:00 local time (21:00 GMT). The US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, which typically gives higher readings as they are based on a shorter period of time, said shortly before Haiyan's landfall that its maximum sustained winds were 315 km/h (195 mph), with gusts up to 380 km/h (235 mph).
The authorities in the Philippines are struggling to bring relief to some of the areas worst affected by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the deadliest storms ever to hit the country. Up to 10,000 are said to have died in Tacloban city and hundreds elsewhere (as of the 14th the death toll was over 3600). Hundreds of thousands are displaced. The typhoon flattened homes, schools and an airport in Tacloban. In many areas there is no clean water, no electricity and very little food. Thousands of troops have been deployed to the disaster zones and military cargo planes are flying in supplies. However, rescuers are hampered by debris and damaged roads. Houses have been flattened by the massive storm surge that accompanied Typhoon Haiyan. The storm was so powerful that it washed large ships ashore in the city of Tacloban; a storm surge up to 10m high swept away vehicles. The nearby town of Palo was also devastated.
Tropical Storm Haiyan, which killed thousands as a typhoon in the Philippines, has made landfall in north Vietnam, near the border with China on the 11th . It still carried gusts of up to 98 mph as it arrived close to the Ha Long Bay tourist destination. Nearly 900,000 people had been evacuated from regions at risk. Reports say at least 13 people have been killed and 81 injured. The typhoon has decreased markedly in strength from the Category Five storm that swept through the Philippines in a day, causing mass destruction. In China, Xinhua reported that the National Meteorological Center had issued a red typhoon warning - the highest alert in its four-color typhoon warning system. More than 13,000 people were evacuated from the major tourist resort of Sanya on Hainan. More than 200 flights at Hainan's airports have been cancelled or delayed.
The death toll from a tropical cyclone that hit Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region at the weekend has risen to 140, and the final figure could be 300 on the 12th. Weather experts at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the cyclone, which made landfall on Saturday, brought unusually heavy storms. Latest rainfall data shows the cyclone has subsided after flooding the towns of Eyl, Dangaroyo and the Puntland capital, Garowe, though heavy rains are still expected inland. The cyclone's heavy torrential rains caused flash floods that led to the loss of about 100,000 livestock. Many fishing boats were swept into the Indian Ocean. The FAO said about 65% of Somalia's population depended on livestock. Winds of 50-100 km/h lashed the coastline Sunday into early Monday along with rough surf and coastal flooding.
Tropical Depression 32W produced extreme rainfall and deadly flooding across parts of central Vietnam on the 18th. Rainfall totaled over 500 mm in Hue, while over 425 mm fell in Da Nang. The National Floods and Storms Control Agency confirmed that 41 people died in the latest round of flooding, while about 80,000 people were forced from their homes.
Tropical Cyclone 05B (Lehar) made landfall in India this morning. Lehar weakened as it interacted with more wind shear than previous days on the 28th. Lehar was the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane at its peak. The storm made landfall between Nellore to the south and Visakhapatnam to the north. This same area received rain from Tropical Cyclone Helen in the past week.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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