While conditions finally seem to be settling for Serbia and other Balkan states, winter is hitting the United State, notably California, with a vengeance.  The state had more than 18 inches (45.7cm) in one blizzard, generating a high risk of avalanches in the area.  Though the highest risk of avalanches is to skiers, these slope failures can cause severe property damage too.  Snow also hit Henryville, Indiana on the heels of a devastating rash of tornado that destroyed hundreds of homes and claimed 52 lives.  Also this week, a tropical storm in Madagascar has cut short the lives of 65 people there.  In Australia, more than 13000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to flood fears. The Warragamba Dam in Sydney, which has not overflown in 13 years has so done.

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