HD Weather News #50

February 16, 2023
3-5 minutes

Floods and rains in Mozambique

Heavy rains and storms have hit the city of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, and surrounding areas, causing flooding and damaging roads and houses. According to the National Institute of Disaster Management, 2,400 families have been affected. The human toll is one death, a person electrocuted by electrical cables coming into contact with the water during the floods.

These heavy rains have also caused water to flow from the overflowing rivers downstream, leading to the planned evacuation of 24,000 people from the low-lying areas of the Incomati and Umbelúzi rivers.

According to the government agency Aguas do Sul, some parts of South Africa recorded more than 300 mm of rain in 24 hours up to February 9. The city of Goba, located in the province of Maputo, recorded 98.5 mm of rain and Calichane, located in the same province, recorded 165.6 mm.

ⓒAlfredi Zuniga / AFP

Landslide in Peru

After heavy rains, landslides occurred on February 5, 2023, in the Arequipa region, in the south of Peru, causing serious human and material damage.

According to the latest report from the National Civil Defense Institute (Indeci), 16 people were killed, there were also 27 injured and 20 missing, with more than 12,000 affected. All the victims come from the Mariano Valcarcel district, in the province of Camana.

The damage is particularly severe in the cities of Miski, San Martin, Secocha and Uraski, where many roads, homes and schools have been destroyed or damaged.

The regional governor of Arequipa declared that there was a strong probability that miners had been trapped in collapsed gold mines. The local authorities of Arequipa called for the declaration of a state of emergency for a natural disaster by the central government in Lima.

ⓒALDAIR MEJIA / Peruvian Presidency / AFP

Snow and avalanches in Austria

Austria was hit by avalanches and snow slides from Saturday 4th to Sunday 5th February. These phenomena caused the death of eight people in the western tourist area of Austria, where the winter season is in full swing on an unstable snow cover. Additional deaths occurred after snow slides.

The first reported death was that of an Austrian 59-year-old, who was driving his agricultural tractor to clear the snow. He was found dead in an avalanche area despite the efforts of the rescue services. Another death was recorded after the search for a 62-year-old man who was skiing. Two other skiers, aged 29 and 33, including a guide, were also swept away and found dead.

The number of deaths due to avalanches clearly shows the need to take measures to prevent accidents in risk areas.

Gabrielle Storm in New Zealand

The cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand on Monday, February 13th, causing strong winds and torrential rains. More than 10,500 people were displaced and 140,000 were left without electricity. Four people died and around 300 people were evacuated by the army after taking refuge on rooftops. Floods and landslides affected the North Island, where more than three-quarters of the country's five million inhabitants live, causing major disruptions to communications and infrastructure. The New Zealand army deployed three helicopters to rescue workers, families or pets perched on wet roofs to escape the rising waters. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins called Gabrielle "the most significant meteorological event to occur in New Zealand this century". A national state of emergency was declared for a week.

Cyclone damage in video.

ⓒGerrard Ellmers

Floods in Australia

Intense precipitation has been reported in several regions of Australia, including Audley Royal National Park, which recorded 74 mm of rain in 1 hour, and Bellambi, a suburb of Wollongong, recording 96 mm of rain in just one hour.

The New South Wales State Emergency Service received more than 500 calls for help. In addition, many roads were closed and delays reported at Sydney Airport.

The Illawarra region was particularly affected, with more than 350 incidents and 21 rescues recorded. Regarding the human toll, two people have died.

Fires in Chili

Since the beginning of February, Chile has been facing forest fires fueled by high temperatures, exceeding 40°C, as well as strong winds. Regarding the balance sheet, the fires have already burned an area of 424,000 hectares, twice the size of the Yvelines, resulting in the death of 24 people and 2,750 injured. In addition, in terms of material, they destroyed nearly 1,480 houses, leaving more than 5,950 people homeless. Nearly 300 fires are still ongoing.

Several countries, including the United States, Spain, Argentina, Mexico and France, have offered their help to extinguish the flames, by sending material means (planes, trucks, helicopters, drones...) but also human (fire experts, military, firefighters...).