Earth Changes


Waterspout seen amid Hong Kong's crazy downpours: a foot of rain in 16 hours


Waterspout near Kau Yi Chau
Just in case you weren't aware of how nasty the weather has been the last few days - perhaps you live and work in a mall or are a duck - we have photographic evidence.

A Hong Kong resident spotted a waterspout (basically a mini tornado-looking thing over water) near Kau Yi Chau, an uninhabited island just west of Victoria Harbour, at around 8am yesterday morning.

An active southwesterly airstream that brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to Hong Kong yesterday is said to be to blame/thank for the phenomenon.

According to radar data from the Hong Kong Observatory, we were experiencing particularly heavy rain at the time. You don't say?

Cloud Precipitation

PHOTOS: Hail, rain, wind sweep across parts of Saskatchewan, Canada

© Submitted by Theodore Halter
Damage in Kerrobert.
The thunderstorm that rolled through Wednesday afternoon didn't last long, but it was intense with strong wind, lightning, heavy rain and small hail.

In Kerrobert, north of Kindersley, large hail and strong wind tore down trees and ripped siding off homes and businesses.

Patsy Kiss, manager of the Wild Goose Motel in Kerrobert, watched the clouds roll in.

"I said to my husband and the girl working the office, 'Oh, hoho! are we in for one wicked hail storm," she said.

"It was coming from the west and I seen it coming. The clouds were just white and I thought, 'Oh, are we gonna get it' and we did."

Golf-ball sized hail fell from the sky for 15 minutes combined with wind and rain. Kiss said nearly all the homes in Kerrobert have siding ripped off. She guessed that two thirds of the homes have broken windows.

© Theodore Halter
Damage in Kerrobert.


Anthrax outbreak kills over 100 animals at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

© U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Agriculture officials in Nakuru County, Kenya are investigating an anthrax outbreak that has killed scores of animals at Lake Nakuru National Park.

According to local media, more than one hundred buffaloes and two rhinos have died in the past five days.

In addition, officials have killed animals suspected of having the lethal bacterial disease. Bacillus anthracis, the agent of anthrax, was confirmed by Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarians at the Lake Nakuru National Park.

Nakura County Executive for Agriculture Dr. Stanley Chepkwony said, "We are also warning people not to come into contact with these animals or their meat products."

Anthrax is a bacterial pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Some of the more common herbivores are cattle, sheep,goats, horses, camels and deers. Anthrax is a very serious disease of livestock because it can potentially cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a very short time. Affected animals are often found dead with no illness detected.

It infects humans primarily through occupational or incidental exposure with infected animals of their skins.


Fast-spreading wildfire closes entrance to Glacier National Park in Montana, prompts evacuations

© Corey R. Lewis /CNN iReport
A fast-spreading wildfire forced the closure of an entrance to Glacier National Park in Montana and prompted the evacuation of two campgrounds and a motor inn inside the park at the height of the summer tourist season, officials said on Wednesday.

Shuttle bus drivers and others first spotted the so-called Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire on Tuesday just east of a popular hiking site, Logan Pass, park officials said in a statement. The blaze has since charred about 2,000 acres (809 hectares) in the park, officials said.

Park authorities shut down the St. Mary entrance at the eastern end of the park and about 20 miles (32 km) of roadway from that entrance to an area called Big Bend, said Katelyn Liming, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the blaze.

Some visitors who were on the road were forced to abandon their vehicles to escape the fast-moving blazes on Tuesday, and one vehicle was engulfed by flames, although no injuries have been reported, officials said.

Cloud Grey

Enormous cloud envelopes Moscow skyline

© Via instagram@chudinov_a
With Muscovites already having complained about the weather in the Russian capital for most of July, on Wednesday the constant change of sunny and rainy weather several times in one day resulted in spectacular scenes in the skies above the city.

© Via instragram@milavoronina


5 volcanoes in Indonesia erupt simultaneously - Ash clouds force airport closures


Raung exploded to life earlier this month
Eruptions of ash at five volcanoes shrouded the skies over parts of the Indonesian archipelago Wednesday, forcing three airports to close.

Mount Raung on Java island blasted ash and debris up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) into the air after rumbling for several weeks, government volcanologist Surono said.

Ash erupted also from Gamalama and Dukono mountains on the Moluccas islands chain, Sinabung volcano on Sumatra island and Mount Karangetang on Siau island, darkening the skies, Surono said.

A total of more than 13,000 people have been evacuated due to the volcanic eruptions since last month, mostly from around the slopes of Sinabung in Tanah Karo District, added Surono, who uses a single name.

"Our evaluation showed there is no extraordinary natural phenomenon that triggered simultaneous eruptions of the five volcanoes," Surono said, adding that all the eruptions are natural and normal occurrences in a nation with about 130 active volcanoes.

Comment: Nothing to see here folks! It's just increasing climate chaos on the way towards sudden glacial rebound! Move along!

Red Flag

French beach on alert after third recent shark sighting off Perpignan


The beach is not far from the town of Perpignan, near the Spanish border.
Lifeguards in southern France are on alert after spotting a shark just metres from the shoreline of a popular beach - the third such sighting in recent days.

There's something lurking beneath the surface in the waters of southern France.

Red flags were raised at the Plage du Bocal du Tech, near the town of Perpignan in southern France, on Saturday after a shark was spotted near the shoreline.

The sighting marked the third in ten days at the beach, which isn't far from the Spanish border.

"At first I thought it was a swimmer doing the backstroke, then I saw the churn in the water, and fish jumping out of the sea," one beach goer told the France Bleu Roussillon radio station.

Cloud Precipitation

Central Alberta struck by golf ball-sized hail, heavy rain

© Twisted Chasers
Hwy 2 is covered in hail North of Ponoka
Several threatening funnel clouds seen around Calgary area

Damage is being assessed after a number of central Alberta communities were hit with heavy rain and golf ball-sized hail.

The severe weather was also packing high winds last night when it tore through Red Deer, Lacombe, Ponoka, Rimbey, Bentley and Rocky Mountain House, damaging vehicles, windows and other property.

Storms also struck the Lloydminster area.


Elephant tramples 2 people to death, injures one in Dumka, India


Asian elephant
Two persons were today trampled to death and another was injured by a wild elephant at separate places in Dumka district.

The elephant killed a 33-year old man, Suniram Baski, at Aamgachhi kurua village and a 25-year-old woman, Savati Tudu, at Silanda village in Jama block of the district, Divisional Forest Officer Abhishek Kumar said.

Another man suffered serious injuries in its attack at Kulapathar village and was admitted to a hospital in Dumka, he said.

The DFO said the elephant, which strayed from a herd and entered the villages late last night, also destroyed two houses.

A team has been sent to drive the animal into the forests, he added.

Source: Press Trust of India

Cloud Precipitation

7 die as floods sweep central Burma


Overflowing water from the damaged Thit Kae Dam washes out a road in Sai Pyn village, Yin Marbin district, Sagaing Region.
Severe flooding in central Burma has killed seven rescue workers and displaced thousands of villagers as unusually heavy rains swept through the region over the weekend.

Inn Daw, Kawlin, Kantbalu, Kyun Hla and Butalin townships of Sagaing Division were thrashed by rains throughout the past week, as rains hit the low lying farmlands nonstop since last Tuesday.

"The water levels of the Mae Za and Mu rivers rose up and the floods worsened on Saturday as nearby dam [reservoirs] overflowed," an official from the Sagaing Division administrative office told The Irrawaddy, requesting not to be named.

According to the official, at least 150 villages across five townships were affected, displacing more than six thousand people and damaging as many as 30,000 farm plots. The total deaths have not yet been tallied, though seven rescue workers died while trying to retrieve trapped villagers, he said.