Lufthansa cancels all NY flights due to hurricane

German airline Lufthansa on Saturday cancelled all flights to and from New York for the rest of the weekend as the US East Coast braces for the landing of hurricane Irene.

Lufthansa cancels all NY flights due to hurricane
Photo: DPA

The company also cancelled all flights to and from Boston and Philadelphia for


Seven flights from Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf were to have flown to John F. Kennedy and Newark airports on Saturday, Lufthansa said.

But American authorities announced on Friday that all New York airports would be closed for arrivals as of midday on Saturday.

For Sunday, 11 Lufthansa flights to New York, Philadelphia and Boston have been scrapped, the company said on its website.

The Category Two hurricane, packing winds of 100 miles (160 kilometres) per hour, was set to slam into the coast of North Carolina on Saturday before

churning up the eastern seaboard towards Washington, New York and Boston.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered an unprecedented mass evacuation and the closure of the subway while US President Barack Obama cut

short his summer vacation and returned to Washington.

Lufthansa, on its website, said it is carefully monitoring the situation. Flights to Washington, D.C. are still operating, but due to the unpredictable situation last-minute cancelations may occur, the company said.

AFP/The Local/mw

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2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.