World weather news

World weather news, November 2017

Tourists were given just 15 minutes to evacuate their hotels after a typhoon caused serious flooding and strong winds in Vietnam. Tourists staying in the holiday hotspot of Hoi An, on Vietnam's cental coast, said they were given short warning to exit the building after flooding from Typhoon Damrey became "more serious". Officials said 27 people have been killed as Typhoon Damrey struck Vietnam's central and southern regions. Footage from the city showed roads and properties submerged by water while rescue boats were scene travelling to the hotel to take occupants out one by one. Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm to hit Vietnam this year, made landfall on Sunday with winds of up to 90 km/h. It damaged more than 40,000 homes, knocked down electricity poles, and uprooted trees. The country's steering committee for disaster prevention said 626 houses had collapsed entirely in a trail of destruction that has forced the evacuation of more than 30,000 people.
The death toll from typhoon downpours and floods wreaking havoc along Vietnam's south-central coast has risen to 69 as the country prepares to host a world leaders' summit. Typhoon Damrey struck days before Vietnam is set to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Danang next weekend. It will bring together US President Donald Trump, China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin, among other leaders. While Danang itself was spared the worst damage, muddy floodwaters have submerged the hardest-hit provinces and swamped nearby Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was due to host APEC spouses later this week.
In the Indian capital, Delhi, residents woke up to a blanket of thick grey smog. Visibility is poor as pollution levels reached 30 times the World Health Organization's recommended limit in some areas. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) declared "a state of medical emergency" and urged the government to "make every possible effort to curb this menace". The levels of tiny particulate matter (known as PM 2.5) that enter deep into the lungs reached as high as 700 micrograms per cubic metre in some areas on Tuesday, data from the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research website shows. The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, has asked his education minister to consider shutting down schools for a few days. Delhi sees pollution levels soar in winter due to farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana states burning stubble to clear their fields. Activists say very little has been done to stop the practice despite Delhi facing severe pollution for a number of years. Low wind speeds, dust from construction sites, rubbish burning in the capital and firecrackers used in festivals also contribute to increasing pollution levels.

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Last updated 9 November 2017.

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