Wildfire in Australia 95% Contained; Heavy Snow, Cold Impacts Refugees in Lebanon
South Australia Bushfire Burns 12,500 Hectares
An estimated 3,000 emergency services and support personnel in South Australia had their work cut out for them over the week as they battled the Sampson Flat bushfire just southeast of Adelaide (CFS). As of reports on January 7, the bushfire (which started the morning of January 2) had burned through an estimated 12,500 hectares and was approximately 95% contained. According to media reports, more than 100 people required hospital treatment and at least 38 homes had been destroyed (BBC). On January 2, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology indicated that the fire danger ratings for South Australia had been in the “catastrophic” range due to a widespread heat wave and gusty winds (BOM). Firefighters will continue to monitor hotspots as anticipated strong winds and thunderstorms may impact the area.
Relief Operations Underway as Refugee Camps Hit by Winter Storm
Syrian refugees in Lebanon continue to be impacted by severe winter storms that, over the past week, have brought heavy snow and rain, strong winds, and bitter cold temperatures to the region (UNHCR, TWC). Emergency shelters have been opened and relief operations are underway, though road closures due to snow have hampered efforts in some areas. Approximately 400,000 refugees live in makeshift camps in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley which was heavily blanketed by snow on January 7. According to reports, two refugees have died due to exposure during the storm (ReliefWeb).
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: Kenya (Northern), Somalia (Southern), Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, United States (Southwest), Jamaica
Biomedical: West Africa
Wildfire: Australia (Adelaide), Chile (Valparaiso)
Flood: England (Northern), Malaysia (Eastern), Scotland, Zimbabwe, Australia (Western)
Severe Weather: Bolivia (Western), Malaysia, Thailand (Northern), Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Labrador, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick), United States (Central, Eastern), Malawi
Volcano: United States (Hawaii)
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