Wildfires continue to rage in California, as drought in Australia shows no signs of abating
Brendan JonesWed 1 Aug 2018 21.30 BST
Following a summer of severe weather, Typhoon Jongdari is the latest storm system to batter those regions of Japan already devastated by flooding. Winds in excess of 100mph (160km/h) and torrential rain made landfall in Mie Prefecture, Honshu, during the early hours of Sunday morning, local time. Tens of thousands of people had already been ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm, but it was reported that dozens were injured. Large waves on the coast caused landslides and damaged roads, while some vehicles were swept away.
On the other side of the Pacific, unprecedented wildfires continued to wreak havoc in California. One fire in the northern parts of the state killed five people and forced the evacuation of more than 30,000. Weather conditions remained very dry and gusty winds allowed fires to spread rapidly.
Droughts are affecting many parts of the world, from the US and Canada to north-west Europe. Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, have been enduring drought since February and some water supplies are down to a third of their normal levels. The threat of a developing El Niño – a weather pattern that can enhance drought in eastern Australia – is now a serious cause for concern.