Displaying items by tag: devastation

Hurricane Beryl, the earliest recorded storm to reach Category 5, is finally weakening after devastating the southeastern Caribbean, killing at least ten people and destroying 90% of homes on Union Island in the Grenadines. The speed with which the storm intensified is attributed to climate change. Beryl has caused enormous destruction, including three deaths in Grenada, three in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and two in northern Venezuela. Grenada’s Carriacou island is nearly cut off, with extensive damage to infrastructure. A UN executive said, ‘It’s clear that the climate crisis is pushing disasters to record-breaking new levels of destruction’. The number of hurricanes in the 2024 season is predicted to be well above average, with 17 to 25 named storms. For further details, see

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 14 June 2024 12:24

Brazil: aftermath of catastrophic floods

Carla Rambo, middle-aged and exhausted, is trying to clear her damaged store in Porto Alegre, which was inundated for weeks after the catastrophic floods in early May. The floodwaters, carrying dangerous bacteria, have led to eight deaths and nearly 2,000 suspected cases of leptospirosis. Her business is one of 45,000 affected, with damages estimated at $91 million. A nearby shop owner recounted staying in her premises without electricity, fearing looters - with good reason, as there was widespread looting and damage. The disaster is considered the worst-ever climate event in the region, with reconstruction costs potentially reaching $4 billion. More than 90% of Rio Grande do Sul’s municipalities were affected; 600,000 people were displaced, with 50,000 still in shelters. Recovery is slow, hindered by ongoing rains and infrastructure issues. President Lula has promised $10 billion for recovery, with an additional $1 billion from a national development bank.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 10 May 2024 05:46

Brazil floods: 75 dead, over 100 missing

Massive floods have devastated a state in the south of Brazil, resulting in at least 75 deaths and 103 people missing. Over 88,000 residents have been displaced; 16,000 have sought refuge in schools and temporary shelters. The floods have caused extensive damage and significant disruptions to electricity and communications. Over 800,000 people are currently without a water supply. The state’s governor, calling the devastation unprecedented, has called for a comprehensive reconstruction plan, while President Lula has emphasised the importance of proactive disaster management. This environmental disaster is the fourth major flooding event in the state within eight months.

Published in Worldwide

The southern Orenburg region in Russia is facing its worst flooding in decades, with 55 cities and towns affected and thousands evacuated. Entire neighbourhoods have been submerged, with volunteers and emergency workers rescuing trapped individuals and animals. The crisis, which caught authorities off-guard, is likely to worsen, as the Ural River is expected to rise even higher. A state of emergency has been declared; the damage to houses is severe, with estimates exceeding 21 billion rubles (£178 million). The flooding, triggered by snowmelt and rainfall, breached protective dams, leading to thousands of evacuations. There are claims that the authorities knew the likelihood of flooding in advance, but took no preventative action. Some promises of compensation and dam reconstruction have been made, but locals remain disillusioned, demanding accountability for the crisis.

Published in Europe
Friday, 05 April 2024 09:51

Taiwan: aftermath of major earthquake

Taiwan is grappling with the aftermath of its strongest earthquake in 25 years, leaving over 35 people missing and more than 660 trapped. The quake, measuring at least 7.2, struck near Hualien on 3 April, causing buildings to teeter and collapse. Rescuers have evacuated 77 people from tunnels, and the search for the missing continues. Many are seeking shelter in tents because of the ‘terrifying’ aftershocks. At least ten people have died, and over a thousand injuries have been reported. After some factory evacuations by major chipmaker TSMC, there have been fears of disruptions to the supply chain, but work is expected to resume after inspections have taken place. The earthquake's impact underscores Taiwan's vulnerability to natural disasters and the resilience of its people in the face of adversity.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 22 February 2024 20:50

Syria / Türkiye: one year after the earthquakes

6 February was the anniversary of two earthquakes that brought mass destruction to south Türkiye and northwest Syria, with over 50,000 lives lost. There were 1.7 million people in Hatay province, home to Türkiye’s largest Christian community; now there are only 250,000, as residents have moved to stay with relatives or find shelter elsewhere. A SAT-7 team who revisited the area found many who stayed living in ‘cities’ of container units. Rebuilding is under way, but the pace is slow and the task colossal. Although destruction was less widespread in Syria, many factors are preventing recovery. After twelve years of conflict, over four million people in the area were in need of humanitarian aid even before the quakes struck. Government corruption, international sanctions, and a collapse in the value of the Syrian currency have compounded the problem. The Bishop of Aleppo, Magar Ashkarian, said that although the earthquake had increased Christian migration abroad, denominations have come closer: ‘We live together in a very close relationship and try to help entirely without discrimination’.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 04 January 2024 20:59

Japan: devastating earthquake

Scenes of devastation emerged along Japan’s western coast as rescuers raced to save residents trapped in the rubble of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on 1 January which triggered multiple aftershocks and killed dozens of people. Buildings collapsed, fires broke out, and tsunami alerts were given as far away as eastern Russia. The disaster has claimed at least 57 lives. While warnings of tsunamis along the coast were lifted, the northern part of the Noto Peninsula remains isolated due to a destroyed road. Prime minister Fumio Kishida announced efforts to secure transportation routes, including aerial and marine transport, to send supplies and personnel to the affected areas. The city of Wajima, home to over 27,000 people, is among the hardest-hit areas, with 15 confirmed fatalities and widespread destruction. The next day, all 367 passengers and twelve crew members of a Japan Airlines jet successfully disembarked after it collided with a coastguard plane on its way to provide earthquake relief. The crew have been praised for their calmness and professionalism. See

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 12 May 2023 10:01

Extreme weather

On 10 May heavy storms caused flash flooding in southern England and a major incident was declared in Somerset. On 11 May yellow warnings of thunderstorms and flash flooding were issued from Kent to Scotland. South and East Anglia has issued 36 ‘expected or possible’ flood alerts. Dozens of homes were evacuated after mudslides. Torrential rain is causing treacherous driving conditions, damage to homes and businesses, blocked roads and disrupted rail services. Teams are checking flood gates and clearing waterway drains’ trash screens. More rain is forecast for 12 May. People are urged to sign up for flood warnings, continue to monitor weather reports, and not attempt to drive through flood water. Pray that people check the road situation before going on a journey. A farm lost 200 chickens, garden walls and outbuildings were demolished, cars floated away, and people living in low-lying properties were stranded. May God give the rescue services stamina and wisdom.

Published in British Isles

Alberta announced a state of emergency after wildfires forced 30,000 people from their homes and their jobs, leaving behind all they own in an ‘unprecedented’ crisis. Thousands more must be prepared to leave on a moment’s notice as 110 fires, fanned by strong winds, raged. By 7 May over twenty communities had been evacuated and 301,000+ acres burned. Pray for Albertans, living in one of the world’s largest oil-producing regions, as they closely monitor dangers to facilities. Ottawa is providing federal assistance where needed. Pray for those who are trapped and need to be rescued by helicopters and boats. Pray for good communication between the various emergency agencies bringing aid and providing shelter. Pray for the firefighters battling over 25 fires that were still out of control on 11 May. Pray for God to give his peace to those fearfully watching smoke in the distance. Pray for those debating whether to flee or stay and firefight.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 06 April 2023 21:29

USA: many more tornadoes

Residents across a wide swath of the USA experienced destruction from fierce storms which spawned 52 tornadoes in 11 states, killing at least 32 people, between 2 and 3 April. Storms tore a path through the Arkansas capital, and the roof of a packed Illinois concert venue collapsed. People throughout the region were stunned by the extent of the damage. Pray for families mourning the loss of loved ones, desperately waiting for news of others fighting for their lives, and sorting through the rubble of their homes and businesses. President Biden declared broad areas as major disaster areas. Arkansas declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard for destroyed neighbourhoods. Then on 5 April, a tornado with 130 mph winds tore through Bollinger County, Missouri. It will take days to confirm the number of all the recent tornadoes and deaths.

Published in Worldwide
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