Weekly Wrap-Up: Wildfires Scorch West, Deadly Tornado Strikes East

By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
July 27, 2014; 7:02 AM ET
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The above image shows the fires across across central Washington.

This week, Typhoon Matmo raged across areas of Taiwan and China, bringing damaging wind gusts up to 100 mph and flooding downpours. In addition, a tornado devastated a Virginian camp ground, claiming the lives of two campers and a commercial aircraft crashed in Mali, Africa.

Tropical Storm Matmo strengthened into a typhoon and slammed Taiwan with its highest wind gusts on Tuesday after making landfall.

The cyclone then crossed Taiwan and emerged over the Formosa Strait, or Taiwan Strait, before making a second landfall on Fujian Province, China, late Wednesday afternoon, local time.

Even after weakening into Wednesday and Thursday and blasting areas of southeastern China, Matmo's fury still persisted, bringing torrential rainfall to the region.

The heaviest rain fell across the higher terrain of the east and interior Taiwan, rainfall of 2 to 4 inches fell around Taipei.

Matmo's rainfall continued northeastward over the Korean Peninsula.

A motorcyclist passes under a fallen tree from strong winds of passing Typhoon Matmo in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. The eye of Typhoon Matmo made landfall in eastern Taiwan early Wednesday bringing with it heavy rains and winds with gusts over 140 kilometers (85 miles) per hour. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Early Thursday morning, a tornado ripped through the Cherrystone Campground in Northampton County, Virginia, claiming the lives of two campers.

As of Thursday afternoon, a storm survey team from the National Weather Service confirmed the tragedy was the result of an EF-1 tornado that touched down in the area.

Victims were taken to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Nassawadox, Virginia. Peter Glagola, the hospital spokesperson said in a tweet that 26 people, including 11 children, were treated following the violent storms.

Also on Thursday, a commercial airliner carrying 116 people disappeared from radar while traveling Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital.

There were no survivors, French President Francois Hollande said, referring to the passengers of Air Algerie Flight 5017.

Approximately 50 minutes after takeoff, the airline reported that contact had been lost with the plane as storms pushed southward of the area.

Wreckage from the aircraft was reported to have been discovered later in the day.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said the plane vanished over northern Mali in northwest Africa, according to The Associated Press. The cause has not yet been determined, though the flight encountered thunderstorm cells with frequent lightning across southern Mali.

No Survivors Found After Air Algerie Flight 5017 Crash in Mali
Matmo Brings Flooding Rainfall, Damaging Winds to China, Taiwan
US Lightning Deaths Climb to 15 So Far in 2014

"There were two widely-separated thunderstorm complexes from southern Mali into northern Burkina Faso," AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani said. "The strongest of these was only 50 miles or so northeast of Ouagadougou."

As thunderstorms erupted across Africa, in the United States, dry and hot weather prevailed across the central Plains.

Late Thursday evening, a 10-month-old girl died after being left in a hot car in Kansas Thursday night, according to the Associated Press, as high heat gripped the area.

Sedgwick County Police found the girl in a car parked outside a home in the Wichita area. Police reported she was left in the car for about two hours.

Temperatures climbed as high as 90 F Thursday evening.

Temperatures are expected to climb even higher in the central U.S. over the next several days.


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