Jan 4, 2020

Death toll rises in Indonesia following landslides and flooding

Photo: Bay Ismoyo/AFP via Getty Images

At least 53 people have died and more than 173,000 remain displaced after landslides and floods hit Indonesia's capital Jakarta as rescuers search for people trapped under tons of mud, officials told AP on Saturday.

The state of play: This is the worst flooding to plague the area since 2007, when 80 people died in 10 days, AP notes. Monsoon rains and rising rivers which started on Dec. 31 have flooded multiple districts surrounding Jakarta.

  • Weather conditions, blackouts and mudslides are making it difficult for rescuers and villagers to search for people in the Bogor district, AP writes.
  • Water rose as high as 6.5 feet in Bekasi, Indonesia, a city outside of Jakarta, according to AP.

The big picture: Indonesia is struck by deadly floods each year, however this year’s deluge has been especially harsh, with approximately 397,000 people seeking shelter.

What to watch: More rain is anticipated for the capital in the days ahead, according to Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

  • The Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics Agency said on Friday that climate change elevates the risk of extreme weather and cautioned that heavy rain could last through mid-February, with an expected peak between Jan. 11-15, per Reuters.
  • The number of fatalities is expected to increase, with at least three people believed to be buried in another landslide in Cigudeg village in Bogor district, AP notes.

Go deeper: Floods kill 21 people and displace 30,000 in Indonesian capital

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Deadly storms pummel Midwest and South

Computer model simulation of water vapor and winds over the Southeast, Jan. 11. Credit: Earth Simulator

At least 11 people have died in severe storms that brought tornadoes, high winds and rain through parts of the South and Midwest, AP reports.

Where it stands: Severe thunderstorms were still possible over Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi through Sunday morning, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Sporadic damaging gusts" and tornadoes were possible for far eastern Georgia and parts of the Carolinas Saturday night, the National Weather Service said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 12, 2020

In photos: Brazil heavy rain and floods kill dozens and displace 30,000

A flooded street from the overflowing of the Das Velhas River in Sabara, Brazil. Photo: Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

Days of heavy rains, floods and landslides in southeast Brazil have killed at least 54 people and displaced 30,000 others, AP reports.

The big picture: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the military had been mobilized
to help as over 100 cities had declared a state of emergency, per CNN. While rains were dissipating Monday, they're expected to return later this week in some places, AP notes.

See photosArrowJan 28, 2020

Puerto Rico hit by magnitude-5.0 earthquake

Workers clean the debris from the Immaculate Conception Church after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on Jan. 11. Photo: Pedro Alejandro Granadillo Hernanadez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck the southern coast of Puerto Rico Saturday, per the U.S. Geological Survey.

The big picture: Gov. Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency on Jan. 7 after two earthquakes measuring magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8 hit the U.S. territory. The island has been rocked by a series of tremors since.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 26, 2020