Hurricanes, wildfires & volcanoes, oh my! From Mexico to Indonesia

Hurricanes, wildfires & volcanoes, oh my! From Mexico to Indonesia

MEXICO CITY — Mother Earth is wreaking havoc in several destinations around the world, with everything from hurricanes and volcanic eruptions putting a dent in travellers’ plans.

Tropical Storm Earl is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall, probably in Belize, forecasters said Wednesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Earl  was threatening to bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico, Belize and Honduras, and was likely to blow past Honduras’ Roatan Island, a popular tourist destination, on Wednesday afternoon.

All three of those countries issued tropical storm warnings for some areas, and a hurricane warning was issued for part of Mexico.

Early Wednesday, the storm was centred about 120 miles (105 kilometres) east of Roatan, with maximum sustained winds near 65 mph (100 kph) and was moving west near 14 mph (22 kph).

In California, locals and travellers are dealing with another kind of natural disaster: wildfires. A deadly wildfire that continues to spread near California’s scenic Big Sur was started by an illegal campfire, a fire official said Tuesday.

Fire information officer Deborah McClain said investigators determined the blaze started July 22 in a day camping area of Garapata Park where campfires are prohibited. Officials are still trying to determine who started the fire and are asking for information from campers who were in the area before the massive blaze charred more than 69 square miles and destroyed 57 homes, McClain said.

More than 5,400 firefighters from across California are fighting the blaze that is threatening 2,000 structures. It was 25 per cent contained Tuesday.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated it will take until the end of August to extinguish a blaze that also led to the rescue of 11 hikers.

All California state parks in the area were closed until further notice.

Finally, in Indonesia, eruptions at three volacnoes have darkened skies in parts of the archipelago and disrupted some flights.

Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island near Bali, the Sinabung volcano on Sumatra Island and Mount Gamalama in the Moluccas chain of islands have all erupted in the past couple of days.

No one has been injured, but flights at two airports have been disrupted. Sultan Babullah airport in Ternate, the capital of North Maluku province, was closed Wednesday and Lombok’s international airport was closed for several hours on Tuesday.