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Niger floods kill 51, drive thousands from their homes


People clear debris from damaged shops after floods caused by torrential rain in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture

Prepare for the next disaster with mutual support agreements. People clear debris from damaged shops after floods caused by torrential rain in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon Full story:

Niger floods kill 51, drive thousands from their homes

Severe flooding in Niger this month has killed 51 people and destroyed thousands of homes after torrential rains caused rivers to burst their banks, authorities said on Monday.

Floods are common during Niger’s rainy season, when overflowing rivers and streams sweep away homes and destroy crops.

Since flooding started earlier in August, over 26,000 houses have collapsed, killing 37 people, while 14 others drowned, the ministry for humanitarian response said in a statement. President Mahamadou Issoufou visited District 5 of the capital Niamey on Monday, which had been flooded by the adjacent Niger River. Residents stood ankle-deep in brown water that had swept through their homes, a Reuters reporter said.

In a later statement, Issoufou said urgent steps were needed to support the 281,000 people affected by the floods across the country. Largely desert, Niger is one of the world’s least developed countries…


Catastrophic bushfires unlikely in spring 2020 but wet conditions and grass regrowth could pose risks

Australia is unlikely to see a return of the historic and widespread bushfires of the 2019 spring over the next three months thanks to wetter conditions lowering the risk of major fires, an official outlook report has said.

The outlook for September, October and November, released on Monday by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, is in contrast to the same report released 12 months earlier that showed large areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria were at a high risk of dangerous bushfires. Parts of southeast Queensland face an increased risk of bushfires this year, the report said, but the likelihood of dangerous conditions is considered to be at normal levels for much of the rest of the country.

Weather and climate conditions suggested there was an increased chance of above-average rainfall over the coming months…


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