High-impact of weather and climate events in January 2009


The information summarized has been culled from international press reports and is indicative only. For official information, including final statistics, readers are advised to contact the National Meteorological Service of the country in question.

Heavy rains, floods, flash floods, landslides, mudslides, lightning, storm, monsoon
Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, France, Fiji, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mozambique, Philippines, Spain, USA, Viet Nam

The state of Queensland was declared a flood disaster zone, as a result of monsoon storms.

Brunei Darussalam
At least two people were killed in floods and landsides caused by heavy rains and thunderstorms with property damage of thousands of dollars.

Costa Rica
A landslide killed several rescue workers around the village of Cinchona, where houses had been destroyed by an earthquake.

France, Spain
A storm killed 21 people in France and Spain and caused power outage to nearly a million homes.

Torrential rains and floods killed eight people and forced the evacuation of thousands from their homes. The livelihoods of over 22 000 sugar-cane farmers were lost.

A landslide killed at least 34 people; 60 others were reported missing.

At least 250 people were killed when a ferry capsized in a severe storm.

Floods triggered by torrential rains killed 19 people.

At least nine people were killed and about 200 000 others displaced in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains.

Viet Nam
Floods triggered by rains killed at least five people with 10 others declared missing.

Heavy rains and high winds in Washington state caused widespread avalanches. More than 30 000 people were advised to leave their homes.

Heavy snow, fog, avalanche - Belgium, Poland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain

At least one person died as temperatures plunged below freezing.

At least 10 people were frozen to death as temperatures reached –25°C.

A snowstorm forced the closure of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Germany, Spain
At least 12 people were killed in severe snow and cold that swept across Europe. In Spain, Madrid airport was closed, while several rivers in Germany froze.

At least five people were killed as temperatures fell to 4°C in the north and north-east. Dense fog disrupted air traffic.

United Kingdom
Heavy snow caused disruption to the transport system; hundreds of flights were cancelled.

Heat wave

At least 17 people died in a heat wave in the state of Victoria as temperatures reached 43°Celsius.  Power was cut to more than 500 000 homes and businesses when an electricity substation.


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