Tropical Storm Matthew, the thirteenth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, hit Central America over the weekend. The storm made its initial landfall in a sparsely populated region near the eastern tip of Honduras and northern Nicaragua at around 18:00 UTC on September 24. Matthew subsequently moved across Honduras before re-emerging in the Caribbean Sea and making its second landfall in Belize on 25 September. Matthew was tropical storm status as it moved across Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize, minimising the winds associated with the system. However, Matthew’s heavy rainfall triggered flash floods and landslides across a region already suffering the consequences of an unusually intense rain season.
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Tropical Storm Matthew, the thirteenth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, developed on September 23 in the western Caribbean Sea and is currently located approximately 230 miles (375 kilometers) east-southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Matthew currently packs sustained winds of around 50 mph (85 kmph). The storm is travelling in a westerly direction, and a gradual turn to the west-northwest is expected over the next 48 hours. On this forecast track, Matthew is expected to be near or over northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras later today. The NHC said tropical storm-force winds extend 45 miles (75 kilometers) from the center of the storm.
Hurricane Earl has strengthened to category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the center of Earl is located around 150 miles (240 kilometers) north north-west of San Juan Puerto Rico and around 290 miles (470 kilometers) east south-east of Grand Turk Island.
Danielle has strengthened over the last 24 hours to become the second hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, and the storm is currently located approximately 1,110 miles (1,790 kilometers) east of the Lesser Antilles, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Danielle packs sustained winds of around 100 mph (160 kmph) and is currently traveling in a westerly direction. Danielle is expected to take a turn to the west-northwest and then the northwest over the next 24 hours. The storm is also forecast to strengthen during this time as it moves into a favorable environment for intensification, and the NHC says Danielle could become a major hurricane by Wednesday. The NHC said hurricane-force winds extend 30 miles (45 kilometers) from the center of the storm while tropical storm-force winds extend 115 miles (185 kilometers).
Tropical Storm Danielle, the fourth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, developed at 21:00 UTC on August 22 and is currently located approximately 850 miles (1,365 kilometers) west of the Cape Verde Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Danielle packs sustained winds of around 60 mph (95 kmph). The storm is traveling in a west-northwest direction and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours as the storm strengthens. The NHC said tropical storm-force winds extend 85 miles (140 kilometers) from the center of the storm.
China’s worst seasonal flooding for a decade has left more than 2,100 people dead or missing country-wide and has necessitated the evacuation of a more than 12 million others, according to Chinese government sources. Reports say that to date, the flooding, triggered by unusually severe monsoonal rains, have caused tens of billions of dollars in damage across 28 provinces and regions of China. The current flooding is reported to be the worst experienced in China since 1998, when more than 4000 people died and 18 million people were displaced.
Tropical Storm Colin, the third named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, developed at 09:00 UTC today and is currently located approximately 945 miles (1,525 kilometers) east of the Lesser Antilles, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Colin packs sustained winds of around 40 mph (65 kmph). The storm is traveling in a west-northwest direction and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours as the storm slightly strengthens. The NHC said tropical storm-force winds extend 35 miles (55 kilometers) from the center of the storm.
Plane Crash, Tripoli, Libya: An Afriqiyah Airways plane carrying 104 passengers and crew on an international flight crashed as it attempted to land at Tripoli International Airport on May 12, killing all but one person on board. Afriqiyah Airways said Flight 8U771 was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew. The sole survivor, a child reported to be Dutch, is being treated in a hospital. The Airbus A330-200 was flying from Johannesburg in South Africa to the Libyan capital when it crashed just short of the runway around 06:00 local time (04:00 UTC) after a nine hour flight, the airline said. Eyewitnesses said the aircraft started to break up as it came in to land in clear weather before totally disintegrating. Two flight recorders have been recovered and an investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash. Market sources quoted by Insurance Day said the aircraft had an insured value of USD123 million on a policy led by Catlin. Insurance Day added Afriqiyah Airways is thought to have a liability policy with a USD1 billion limit.
Explosion and Fire at Offshore Oil Rig, Gulf of Mexico: An explosion and large fire on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 workers missing and 17 others injured on April 20. The blaze on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which broke out around 22:00 local time (03:00 UTC on April 21), sent flames and smoke high into the sky about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Seventeen workers were injured, three critically, and the 11 missing men are now feared dead. Reports said the rig, which is owned by Transocean Ltd, was under contract to the oil giant BP at a cost of USD533,000 (EUR395,000) a day and doing exploratory drilling. The rig was listing badly as it was consumed by flames and it eventually sunk on April 22, leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The well is currently leaking oil at a rate of about 1,000 barrels per day. Reports said the rig was built in 2001 in South Korea at a cost of about USD350 million. Transocean said the 400-by-250-foot (120-by-80 meter) rig was located around 42 miles offshore Venice, Louisiana, on Mississippi Canyon block 252.
Hurricane Alex: Hurricane Alex made landfall near Soto La Marina and La Pesca in Mexico’s Tamaulipas State at around 02:00 UTC on July 1 (22:00 on June 30 local time) with sustained winds of around 105 mph (165 kmph), equivalent to a category 2 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The NHC said Alex was the first hurricane to reach category 2 status in June in the Atlantic since Hurricane Alma in 1966. At landfall, the NHC said hurricane-force winds extended 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the center of the storm while tropical storm-force winds extended 205 miles (335 kilometers), the NHC said. Early estimates of insured losses suggest the insurance industry could payout between USD100 million and USD200 million for the damage caused by Alex.
Floods in Southeast France: Heavy rain on June 15-16 has triggered severe flash floods in southeastern France, killing at least 22 people according to the latest estimates from local authorities. The damage and disruption has been widespread, with hundreds of homes inundated and thousands reported to be without electricity or phone lines. Officials said around 10 people remain missing and they fear the death toll could rise. The southeastern province of Alpes Cote d’Azur has been particularly badly affected, with officials in the Var department saying that damage is severe. Reports said that between 1,500 and 2,500 people were forced to evacuate their homes and spend the night in schools or other temporary shelters, and some 104,000 houses remain without electricity in the aftermath of the flooding.
Tropical Storm Bonnie, the second named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, developed on July 22 and is currently located approximately 155 miles (250 kilometers) southeast of Miami in Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Bonnie packs sustained winds of around 40 mph (65 kmph). The storm is traveling in a west-northwest direction and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours as the storm slightly strengthens. The NHC said tropical storm-force winds extend 85 miles (150 kilometers) from the center of the storm.