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Natural disasters and accidents around the world

Every day Investopress editors bring you a selection of news from around the world so you keep up to date with the most important current events in politics, economy, natural disasters and more
posted onJuly 7, 2018
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California wirldfires force evacuations, claim homes and life

Several wildfires racing across California, Colorado, New Mexico and other Western states, have forced thousands to evacuate from their homes, with one person killed in a blaze near California's border with Oregon. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency citing “extreme peril” to people and property as the state struggles through a record-setting heatwave. 

The Klamathon Fire ignited on Thursday, July 5, and had burned 3240 hectares (8000 acres) and remained only 5 percent contained as of Friday morning (local time), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). 

The County Fire - which ignited on June 30 in Yolo county - is burning in Napa and Yolo counties and remains the largest active fire in California as of Friday. The blaze has burned some 35,765 hectares (88,375 acres) as of Friday afternoon, and is reportedly only 37 percent contained.  

Fires have raged through more than 2.8 million acres in the United States this year through Thursday, above the average of about 2.4 million acres for the same period over the last 10 years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. 

Wildfires are frequent in northern California from May through November. A series of wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties left 44 dead and destroyed thousands of homes in October 2017. 

The weather service forecast called for continued hot weather for much of Northern California on Saturday. 


At least 49 killed as record heavy rain hits Japan

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Forty nine people have been killed,  five people have sustained serious injuries and 48 are unaccounted for in western and central Japan as record torrential rain  pounds the area, public broadcaster NHK said on Saturday, with more than 1.6 million evacuated from their homes. 

Some 48,000 members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces, police and firefighters have been searching for the people trapped or wounded in landslides and flooding triggered by the heavy rain. 
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), an active seasonal rain front has been causing torrential rain in most eastern and western regions of Japan, which could continue until Sunday. 

Japan was also hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake on Saturday evening outside of Tokyo, but there were no immediate reports of damage after the quake,  

Japan's meteorological agency said no tsunami warning was being issued.  

Japan sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where many of the world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded. 

UPDATE 08/07/2018 21:00

The death toll from the rains in Japan rose to 81 people on Sunday,  media reports and the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

UPDATE 09/07/2018 11:55

The death toll reached 100 on Monday, with many still missing the government's spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Monday.

UPDATE 09/07/2018 21:01

The death toll  has risen to at least 112. The EU-Japan summit due on Wednesday in Brussels to sign a free trade agreement was postponed due to floods. It will take place next week in Tokyo, the European Commission announced on Monday.


Canada's heatwave claims 54 lives

A record breaking heatwave has killed 54 people in eastern Canada as record-breaking temperatures rip through North America.

Most of the victims lived alone, had health issues and and lived in the upper floors of apartments that have no air-conditioning, Dr David Kaiser of Montreal’s Regional Public Health Department told Reuters. 

The heatwave began on June 29 as heat warnings are still in effect across southern Quebec, Ontario and the rest of the Atlantic region. 

In 2010, about 100 people were killed by a heatwave in the Montreal area. 


Thailand tourist boat disaster: 41 dead, 15 missing

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At least 41 people are dead and 15 more are missing two days after a tourist boat sank off the Thai resort island of Phuket after it was  hit by five-metre (16-foot) waves. It was carrying 105 people, including 93 tourists, mostly Chinese. 

“Deceased: 41. Missing: 15,” the Thai government said in a statement on Saturday.

The Thai navy, marine police, and fishing vessels are continuing search-and-rescue operations.
A yacht carrying 41 people also sank due to bad weather in the same area, but all aboard were rescued.


With reporting by Reuters and news agencies