Television footage showed flooded roads across the state, people kayaking through the streets, water engulfing houses up to the windows and rivers overflooding. Video posted on social media and broadcast on local TV showed an entire house being swept away in floodwaters in the state’s centre.
Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said people living in so-called red zones in the northwest and northeast of the island needed to leave immediately as the volcano pumped out more smoke and steam.
The Japanese meteorological office issued its highest rain alerts in three prefectures on Kyushu island, prompting some local governments to order residents to evacuate.
One of dozens of major blazes burned across the West as critically dangerous fire weather loomed in the coming days. It grew in size to nearly 468 square miles (1,212 square kilometres).
The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 overthrew the then-ruling Taliban as punishment for harbouring the Al Qaeda militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks that year.
More than 70,000 people have already been evacuated, but huge crowds remain outside Kabul airport hoping to flee the threat of reprisals and repression in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
At least 200 firefighters battled the Alisal fire, which had scorched 21 square miles (54 square kilometres) along coastal Santa Barbara County and was only 5% contained, county fire officials said.
Authorities urged people to stay well away from the blaze, near the village of Gonfaron, about 50km (30 miles) west of the Riviera tourist town of St Tropez.
The deaths were caused either by gun shots or in stampedes, the Taliban official said on Thursday, and he urged people still crowded at the gates of the facility to go home if they did not have the legal right to travel.