In case you missed it: Astronaut captures striking images of California wildfires from space; Indonesian earthquake death toll tops 310

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
August 10, 2018, 2:26:16 PM EDT

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Heat raged across much of Europe this week, breaking records and leading to dangerous impacts.

Lisbon, Portugal, set an all-time record high when the mercury hit 111.2 F (44.0 C) over the weekend. Several wildfires broke out during the heat wave, including a major fire near the town of Monchique in the Algarve region of southern Portugal.

Resorts in the popular tourist area have been forced to evacuate, and homes have been destroyed. Dozens of people sought medical treatment due to the fire.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted several photos this week showing barren, beige land stretching across Central Europe as the continent continues to deal with extreme summer heat.

"What should have been green, is now all brown. Never seen it like this before," he tweeted.


The oppressive heat contributed to a fire in Valencia, Spain, along the southeastern coast of the country.

The fire spread to more than 7,000 acres.

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A car burned in the wildfire in Barx village, near Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)


Earthquake aftershocks continue to rattle the Indonesian island of Lombok this week as more than 310 people have been killed since last week's 6.9 magnitude earthquake.

Aftershocks have triggered landslides and destroyed more buildings. People have been reportedly sleeping in outdoor, open spaces in fear of more collapses.

Officials say more than 150,000 are now homeless.

Some people in isolated areas had been waiting for emergency services for days as the destruction prohibited access. On Thursday, villagers in Kopang Daya medis were finally able to reach the area with with portable X-rays and other supplies, according to the AP.

Indonesia is located in the Ring of Fire, which is an area prone to frequent earthquakes.

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A man inspects the ruin of his house destroyed by an earthquake in North Lombok, Indonesia, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)


Monsoonal rain struck southwestern India with deadly force this week, killing nearly two dozen people.

The rain inundated Kerala, turning streets into raging waterways and causing several landslides. More than 2 inches of rain fell in several areas in less than 24 hours.

Some landslides cut off access to villages and towns, resulting in the army being called in to clear debris.

Rising water levels have pushed many dams to near capacity, according to the Times of India.

Severe storms struck the eastern coast of the United States this week, wreaking havoc in some areas.

More than two dozen people were rescued amid strong storms after several sailboats capsized on Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte.

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No one was injured. All boaters were part of a sailing school.

Three people were struck by lightning in New York City's borough of Queens this week as thunderstorms erupted over the area.

Two of the men were playing soccer at the time the were struck, according to ABC7. A 30-year-old man was listed in critical conditions after suffering burns, while a 42-year-old man was listed in stable conditions.

The third man was struck about 4 miles away and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

As of Friday, Aug. 10, there has not been a reported updated on their conditions.

A lightning strike also started a fire near a Long Island Rail Road substation on Tuesday evening, according to local officials.

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The bolt from a lightning storm hits the spire on top of the One World Trade Center tower in New York City, late Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


So far this year, 15 people in the United States have been killed due to lightning.

The California wildfires continue to rage as the Mendocino Complex fire grew to the state's largest blaze on record this week, growing to more than 300,000 acres.

Seventy-five percent of the state was shrouded in smoke this week as more than a dozen fires burn. Smoke drifted as far as Oregon.

Russian astronaut Oleg Artemyev captured dramatic images of the fires from space, showing the expansive smoke plumes and charred land.


Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, the territory released an online report on Thursday confirming that more than 1,400 people died as a result of the storm.

The staggering figure is more than 20 times the official death toll, which stands at 64.

The government has faced criticism for inaccurately counting the number of Puerto Ricans who died in the months following Maria as a result of lack of power and access to hospitals.

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