Italy: Divers recover 32 more bodies of migrantsView gallery LAMPEDUSA, ITALY – OCTOBER 06: Italian military personnel disembark from a boat carrying the bodies of some of the African migrants killed in a shipwreck off the Italian coast in the harbour of Lampedusa on October 6, 2013 in Lampedusa, Italy. The search for bodies continues off the coast of Southern Italy as the death toll of African migrants who drowned is expected to reach over 300 people. The tragedy has brought fresh questions over the thousands of asylum seekers that arrive into Europe by boat each year. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)LUCA BRUNO 2 hours ago LAMPEDUSA, Italy (AP) — Italian divers on Sunday recovered 32 more bodies of migrants who died when a fishing boat with some 500 people onboard sank within sight of the tiny island of Lampedusa.Italy’s integration minister, Congolese-born Cecile Kyenge, watched as soldiers transferred body bags from boats and onto trucks to be brought to the makeshift morgue. There the survivors of the tragedy were bidding farewell to the other 111 deceased fellow travelers who were recovered from the sea on Thursday. Their coffins stood in three lines at the island’s airport, each with a single red rose save for four white caskets for children topped with a teddy bear.The divers went back into the sea on Sunday to look for some of the 200 people still missing, following a two-day suspension caused by bad weather. The latest recovery brought to 143 the number of people confirmed dead.Financial police Maj. Leonardo Ricci said that the search would continue „as long as the sea is calm and there is light.”The migrants, mostly from Eritrea, were aboard the 20-meter (65-foot) fishing boat that sank early Thursday after passengers panicked by flames set to draw the attention bolted to one side of the boat, capsizing it. Hundreds were flung into the sea, many who could not swim, while many were trapped in the hull. Survivors told rescuers they were in the sea for three hours; many clung to empty water bottles to stay afloat and some were too weak to grab lifesavers thrown to them.”We cannot deal with this tragedy alone, but together with Europe. We must give answers to those who flee, need protection, and come here for help,” Kyenge told reporters.Earlier, Kyenge visited the survivors at a refugee center in Lampedusa. Most of the 155 survivors remain at an overcrowded center on the island, many sleeping in the open. Two have been transferred to hospitals in Sicily.Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost point and just 70 miles (113 kilometers) from Tunisia, is a frequent destination for migrants trying to reach safe haven from misery and strife in Africa and the Middle East. Tens of thousands arrive there each year seeking refugee status in Europe.Survivors of Thursday’s tragedy have told authorities that a boat with lights had circled them but did not communicate or offer assistance. A Dutch lawmaker has called for an investigation into reports that a boat did not help the stranded migrants. There is no evidence that people on that boat knew that the fishing vessel was in distress.___Associated Press writer Colleen Barry contributed from Milan. Andrea Rosa and Oleg Cetinic contributed from Lampedusa, Italy.
Syria’s 1,000 tonnes of chemical weaponsView gallery
2 Storm-Delayed Cruise Ships Head to New Orleans NEW ORLEANS October 6, 2013 (AP)Carnival Cruise Lines says two cruise ships delayed by the storm system Karen should get to New Orleans within 30 minutes of each other Sunday — a day earlier than previously expected.The storm, which dissipated Sunday, delayed arrival by a day for the Carnival Elation and less than half a day for the Carnival Conquest.The company says the Conquest is expected to reach New Orleans at 1:30 p.m., and the Elation at 2 p.m.Carnival says passengers may leave Sunday or stay on the ships until Monday morning.The company says both ships will leave Monday on shortened cruises. The Elation’s will be cut from five to three days, and the Conquest’s from seven to six. Carnival says those passengers will get partial refunds.
South Louisiana eyes tropical depressionView galleryKEVIN McGILL and STACEY PLAISANCE 8 hours ago NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former Tropical Storm Karen, since downgraded to a depression, lumbered off Louisiana’s extreme southeast coast early Sunday as it threatened to unleash heavy rains on low-lying areas.All tropical storm warnings were discontinued earlier in the weekend after the system had been downgraded from a weak tropical storm off the north-central Gulf Coast.The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was expected to move later Sunday near or over parts of southeastern Louisiana and then head over or just south of coastal Mississippi and Alabama to the Florida Panhandle in coming hours.Forecasters and emergency officials warned residents to keep an eye on developments in case things changed.Ahead of the storm, squalls of rain hit workers sandbagging low sections of the flood-prone town of Lafitte, La., along Bayou Barataria.Lafitte resident April Terrebonne decided to stay at her house, but took precautions.”We’ve been preparing for the water, if it does come up. We’ve moved everything, and we’re just getting prepared,” she said.The weakening storm system had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph) early Sunday after being downgraded over the weekend from a tropical storm. It was about 165 miles (270 kms) west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River before dawn.The National Weather Service said Karen was drifting to the northeast near 2 mph (4 kph) and cross near or over the Florida Panhandle sometime Monday.View gallery.”Red flags warn swimmers to stay out of the Gulf of Mexico as a squall from Tropical Storm Karen move …Storm surges and localized flooding were possible along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. It added rainfall accumulations of up to 3 inches were possible on the central Gulf Coast and in some Southeastern states through Monday evening near or in the storm’s path.In low-lying Plaquemines Parish, La., officials changed an evacuation order from mandatory to voluntary Saturday afternoon. More than 80 evacuees from the area, at the state’s southeastern tip, had taken refuge at a public shelter, which would remain open Saturday.They gathered in an auditorium where they rested on cots, watched for weather updates on TV and chatted outside on the front steps.”I don’t really know what to expect, but they told us to evacuate, so we got out,” said Dana Etienne, 27, of Phoenix, La., who was at the shelter with her three young children.Coastal authorities closed flood gates along waterways that could be affected by tides driven by the storm. In New Orleans, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continued closing barriers designed to keep surge out of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal — scene of catastrophic flooding in 2005 when flood walls failed during Hurricane Katrina.Col. Richard Hansen of the corps said more gates along various canals could be closed, and warned boaters not to get caught on the wrong side of those gates „If there is a gate in the system, it may not be open when you decide to come back in,” Hansen said.At the Port of New Orleans, port officials working with the Coast Guard said they were optimistic that vessel traffic at the mouth of the Mississippi River, halted since Friday morning, would resume Sunday. The port remained busy, officials said in a news release, with some of the nine ships at dock there still working cargo. Two Carnival cruise ships that had to delay weekend arrivals were expected Monday.Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brett Carr said the Mississippi National Guard was demobilized Saturday and emergency operations were being scaled back.____Plaisance reported from Lafitte, La. Associated Press reporters Melissa Nelson in Pensacola, Fla.; Tony Winton in Miami; Holbrook Mohr in Biloxi, Miss.; and Jay Reeves in Dauphin Island, Ala., contributed to this story.
Upper Midwest struck by unusual autumn tornadoes, snowstormPlay videoGreg McCune 18 hours ago By Greg McCune CHICAGO (Reuters) – The upper Midwest was recovering on Saturday from an unusual autumn wallop from a fierce snowstorm that trapped dozens of people in vehicles in western South Dakota and a swarm of tornadoes that left at least 15 people injured in rural Nebraska and Iowa.More than 80 motorists remained stranded in western South Dakota after a blizzard rolled out of the Rocky Mountains and dumped up to three feet of snow on parts of the Northern Plains.”Our priority right now is to get those people to a warm location,” said Alexa White, spokeswoman for the Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management Office in South Dakota. „Many of them are out of gas in their vehicles.”To the east, emergency responders combed through debris in Iowa and Nebraska after 18 reports of tornadoes touching down overnight, including some cutting a swath as wide as a mile.View gallery.”Traci Krus looks at a pictures of her family that she found in her damaged home Saturday Oct. 5 2013 …Fifteen people were injured in Wayne, Nebraska, including one man who suffered broken bones when his pickup truck was hit by a tornado, according to Nebraska emergency management spokeswoman Jodie Fawl.Fawl said the twister did millions of dollars of damage – pummeling a local airplane hanger, farm implement supply businesses and several homes.”There are corn and soybean fields littered with debris all over the place from houses and buildings that were damaged,” Fawl said.In Iowa, Woodbury County Emergency Management Director Gary Brown said that several tornadoes touched down, destroying more than 20 homes and damaging 40 to 60 farms. There were no serious injuries, he said.It was unclear how many tornadoes touched down in all, said Billy Williams, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The number of 18 listed by the weather service could include duplicate reports.Heavy snow strands motorists in Black Hills of Dak …Play video.”None of the tornadoes hit a major populated area, officials said.The snowstorm in South Dakota left four-wheel-drive vehicles, snow plows and even rescuers in fire trucks stuck, White said. Fire stations opened as emergency shelters.About 380 miles of Interstate 90 were closed from western South Dakota to northeastern Wyoming, according to transportation departments in both states.The National Weather Service, which is running on a reduced staff because of the federal government shutdown, issued blizzard and severe winter storm warnings across the northern part of the Great Plains for Saturday.It also warned of a risk of severe thunderstorms later on Saturday in nine states stretching from Wisconsin to Arkansas, although the threat of tornadoes was diminished.View gallery.”
Many along Gulf Coast dropping storm preparationView gallery Red flags warn swimmers to stay out of the Gulf of Mexico as a squall from Tropical Storm Karen moves offshore at Gulf Shores, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. The beaches remained open, but authorities said dangerous underwater rip currents made the waters too dangerous to enter. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)JANET McCONNAUGHEY and STACEY PLAISANCE 1 hour ago NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Much of the Gulf Coast was returning to normal Sunday as the storm Karen, downgraded to a tropical depression, lumbered off Louisiana’s extreme southeast coast.The storm threatened to unleash heavy rains on low-lying areas, but southeastern Louisiana parishes had lifted evacuation orders, and Plaquemines Parish closed a shelter where more than 80 people had taken refuge Saturday.”We got some rain, no street flooding, so we’re looking pretty good. … We’re not expecting any flooding,” Plaquemines Parish spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell said Sunday morning.All tropical storm warnings had been discontinued. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm would likely downgrade further and move later Sunday near or over parts of southeastern Louisiana. It was drifting to the northeast near 2 mph with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph, and was expected to cross near or over the Florida Panhandle sometime Monday. Rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches were expected.Even as some preparations were dropped, forecasters and emergency officials warned residents to keep an eye on developments.Wind and waves uncovered tar balls on the beaches of Grand Isle, La., and crews headed out Sunday to check on them, Mayor David Camardelle Jr. said. He was sure they were from the 2010 Gulf oil spill. „After a spill like that in the Gulf of Mexico, anytime low pressure stirs up the Gulf it comes back and stirs up the oil on the beach. Tar balls have been spread all over. We always expected it,” he said.In Lafitte, La., Mayor Timothy Kerner said he was relieved the storm lost steam and didn’t continue to push up the tide in his flood-prone community. The water lapped at the edge of the main roadway through town in some low-lying areas but stopped short of flooding streets and lawns.”Everything’s good,” Kerner said Sunday morning. „It’s looking really good for Lafitte. The tide is already starting to recede, so we’re in great shape.”Kerner said crews would work to remove the sandbags placed in low-lying stretches of shoreline along Bayou Barataria, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. He said the precautionary measure was worth it: „It’s always easier to pick up sandbags than to clean up a flood.”Some of the flood gates closed Saturday to protect waterways from storm-driven tides were reopened Sunday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had not done so by 9 a.m., but Plaquemines Parish was opening the floodgate at Empire, about 40 miles up the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico.Vessel traffic at the mouth of the Mississippi River, halted since Friday morning, resumed at 12:15 a.m. Sunday, the Coast Guard said.The Port of New Orleans remained busy, port officials said in a news release, with some of the nine ships at dock there still working cargo. Two cruise ships delayed by the storm were expected at New Orleans on Sunday, Carnival Cruise Lines said in a news release.In Mississippi, Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brett Carr said the state’s National Guard was demobilized Saturday and emergency operations were being scaled back.Similar action was taken in Florida, with the state emergency response team returning to normal operations. Pensacola saw wind and some clouds Sunday, though the surf was less rough than earlier in the weekend.In Alabama, intermittent heavy rains moved across the coast and winds were brisk, but the weather didn’t keep tourists off the beach. A few people fished in the surf.Authorities said dangerous rip currents were still present, and double red flags flew to indicate no one should enter the water. Stephie Burford of Warrior, Ala., kept one hand on her visor, the other holding her coffee, as she went for a morning walk on the sand.”This wind is just tearing you up,” she said. I didn’t even consider bringing my beach umbrella or coming out here to do anything but just walk because the wind is so bad.”____Plaisance reported from Lafitte, La. Associated Press reporters Melissa Nelson and Suzette Laboy in Pensacola, Fla., and Jay Reeves in Gulf Shores, Ala., contributed to this story.
Kentucky Flooding: 82 Evacuated, Boat Rescues Underway Published: Oct 6, 2013, 0:03 PM EDT Associated PressWikipedia A view of downtown Louisville. Rescue crews evacuated 82 people from their homes in Jefferson County, Ky., after heavy rainfall caused flash floods, officials said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dozens of people in homes hit by flooding of low-lying areas around Louisville and Jefferson County had to be evacuated overnight, some by rescue personnel using boats, authorities said Sunday.
„We had about 82 people that we assisted because of flooding in specific areas,” said Duncan, with the local emergency management agency for the city and the county. „We had 12 rescues and 250 assists. Everybody’s safe and we had no injuries.”
She said most had to be taken from their homes but personnel also helped stalled motorists safely get out of vehicles that had stalled on swamped roads. Several of those evacuated took shelter in a high school and others in a church.(MORE: Current Weather Forecast)The spokeswoman for the Emergency Management Agency and Metro Safe for the Louisville and Jefferson areas says rain remains a continuing threat until the front clears out by Monday. She said weather reports indicate another inch or inch and a half of rain could still fall later Sunday as another portion of the system sweeps the region.Duncan said waters had receded somewhat in the early hours Sunday when rain lightened up.Nevertheless, she said a large arts show that started Friday in Louisville was shut down around 5 p.m. on Saturday and was canceled Sunday, the last day of the event.The drenching rainstorms were part of a cold front sweeping the area late Saturday, prompting flash flood warnings for more than two dozen counties in and around Louisville and parts of southern Indiana. Some of the watches remained in effect early Sunday.Louisville Metro officials listed several streets and thoroughfares that were at least partly closed off because of flooding. Photographs posted on social media sites showed floodwaters partly submerging cars and at least one swollen creek swirling with dark brown waters.MORE FROM WEATHER.COM: Typhoon Produces Monster Waves Play Video
China Evacuates 417,000 People Ahead of Typhoon Fitow Published: Oct 6, 2013, 1:12 PM EDT Associated PressHuge wave hits the dike as Typhoon Fitow moves to make its landfall in Wenling, east China’s Zhejiang province on October 6, 2013. China was on its highest alert for Typhoon Fitow on October 6. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING — Hundreds of thousands of people in southeast China were evacuated and fishing vessels called back to shore on Sunday because of an approaching typhoon, authorities said.Typhoon Fitow is expected to make landfall early Monday between Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, according to the National Meteorological Center.Provincial authorities said that by noon Sunday more than 65,000 boats had returned to port or moved to safer areas. Zhejiang’s provincial government said 289,000 people had been evacuated from fishing boats and coastal areas. Fujian’s government said 128,000 boat workers and dwellers had been evacuated, including 7,000 elderly people and children who were on fishing rafts.The typhoon will bring heavy or torrential rain to five provinces, Shanghai and Taiwan over the next three days, the meteorological center said. Some coastal areas may see rainfall of 250 millimeters (9.84 inches), it said.Another typhoon was blowing east of the northernmost Philippine province of Batanes on Sunday with sustained winds of 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour and gusts of 160 kph (100 mph), but was too far out in the ocean to affect any part of the country. Typhoon Danas may blow toward southern Japan later this week if it does not change direction, according to the Philippine weather agency.MORE FROM WEATHER.COM: Typhoon Produces Massive Waves Play Video
Pollution Disrupts Sports Events, Travel in China Louise Watt Published: Oct 6, 2013, 9:41 AM EDT Associated Press
„It’s not ideal in terms of pollution,” the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, said after overcoming the smog and Rafael Nadal to win his fourth China Open title.
„Yes, we’ve been talking about the weather conditions, but it is what it is, it’s something that has been the same for the last few years that I’ve been coming back here,” the Serbian told reporters at a post-match news conference.
At the Reignwood LPGA Classic, the first Ladies Professional Golf Association event held in China, tee times were delayed to allow some of the smog to dissipate, but some players, including Germany’s Sandra Gal, still donned masks.(MORE: World’s Most Polluted Rivers)In some areas of Beijing, visibility dropped to less than 500 meters (yards) on Saturday night and Sunday morning, according to the National Meteorological Center. It said the haze hanging over a large area of northern China, including Hebei province, which neighbors Beijing, and the port city of Tianjin would persist until Monday afternoon.The oppressive smog in the capital sparked a high pollution alert from the U.S. Embassy, which monitors air quality. In an email to American citizens, it said its readings had averaged more than 300 on its air quality index in the 24 hours beginning Friday evening and more than 400 overnight Saturday. Anything over 301 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scale is considered hazardous to health. It recommended people stay indoors and run air purifiers continuously.The smog came during one of China’s peak travel times — the Oct. 1-7 holiday known as Golden Week, when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel. The holiday is characterized anyway by long lines of traffic and delayed journeys, complicated further Sunday by the partial closure, according to state media, of six inter-provincial expressways, including one linking Beijing and Shanghai. Nearly 30 highways were also restricted around the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.Beijing Capital International Airport said four international flights were canceled Sunday morning, including to Mongolia and Russia, while three others were delayed. Two domestic flights were canceled and 20 delayed.The airport said on its microblog at lunchtime that flights were gradually returning to normal and that visibility was more than 800 meters (half a mile) and was expected to increase further to 1,000-1,500 meters (nearly one mile) on Sunday afternoon.MORE FROM WEATHER.COM: Most Polluted Cities1 / 27