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Tue, 23 Aug 2016
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Attention

Kangaroo attacks two-year-old baby girl in Point Vernon, Australia

© Getty
A child has been rushed to hospital after being attacked by a kangaroo
A kangaroo has attacked a two-year-old baby girl in the garden of a Queensland home in Australia - leaving the young tot with face and chest injuries.

Terrified neighbours rushed to the aid of the child after hearing screams as the wild animal bore down on her.

Witness Renee Harris explained: "I ran out and saw the young toddler on the ground with the kangaroo on top.

"I ran across the road and the mum ran over, everyone was screaming.

"It came for me. I was just so scared."

The child was grabbed by her mother before emergency services were called.

Another witness took to Facebook to say the young girl's mum was also lucky not to have been hospitalised.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes claim four lives in eastern Nepal

Lightning bolts killed four people and injured as many in different districts of the Eastern Development Region on Sunday.

In Kanchanpur VDC-4 of Saptari district, Laxmi Mukhiya (60) died on the spot while her grandson Dev Mukhiya sutained injuries when lightning struck them at their home on Sunday afternoon, police said. Dev is receiving treatment at a local health facility.

In Chhinamakhu VDC-4 of Bhojpur district, Rajiv Shrestha (18) died and Prem Shrestha (27) sustained injuries when a bolt struck him. The injured is receiving treatment at a local health post.

While in Katunje VDC-8 of Okhaldhunga district, Nirmaya Sarki (65) died after a lightning bolt struck her at her home, police informed.

In Deusa VDC-2, Solukhumbu district, Lal Kumar Rai (30) died and his three-year-old daughter got injured when lightning struck them, police said. While in Ilam, Ram Bahadur Rai (38) of Majhua, Deumai-3, sustained injuries when lightning struck him. Rai is under tretment at a local health facility.

Cloud Lightning

Fatalities from U.S. lightning strikes this year at highest since 2010

A pair of fatalities from lightning strikes over the weekend lifted the U.S. death toll from such accidents this year to 29, the most since 2010, the National Weather Service said on Monday.

The latest lightning-related deaths occurred in Colorado and Michigan on Friday, the NWS said in a report. With four months left in the year, the 2016 toll has already surpassed last year's 27.

Eight people have died from lightning this month, making it the deadliest August since 2007. In July, typically the month with the most fatalities, 12 people were killed by lightning.

"People are outside, enjoying beaches in the summer time,"

said John Jensenius, an NWS lightning safety specialist based in Gray, Maine.

"There's not much variance in lightning activity," he told Reuters, saying the rise was due more to behavior.

Fridays have been the deadliest day of the week this year, which Jensenius said was unusual. Typically, the highest number of incidents occur on Saturdays and Sundays, when Americans are outside barbecuing and enjoying other weekend activities.

Cloud Lightning

Woman dies following strike by lightning in Presque Isle County, Michigan

A 21-year-old woman who was struck by lightning in Presque Isle County has passed away, according to the National Weather Service.

The woman was struck Friday afternoon at Grand Lake.

The East Grand Lake Fire Department says there were heavy storms at the time of the lightning strike near the north end of the lake.

The fire department says the woman was sitting on a wooden swing near a beach house when she was struck. Rescue personnel on scene performed CPR.

The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment and had a heartbeat and blood pressure. The fire department says she was later flown to another hospital from there.

The NWS tells us on Monday, the woman has passed away.

Fire

Greece's fire services fight six large blazes

Greece's fire service was battling at least six large blazes in different parts of the country on Friday, their efforts hampered by strong winds which fueled the flames.

One was in the area of Aiges in the prefecture of Achaia in the Peloponnese. A team of 25 firefighters, manning 11 engines, were involved in that effort.

Another team of 13 firemen, with five fire engines, were dispatched to tackle a blaze in the area of Ambeliko near Karditsa in central Greece.

Twenty firemen with nine fire engines were sent to deal with a blaze in the area of Koutsoheri, Aitoloacarnania.

Meanwhile, firefighters battling a blaze close to Mega Spilaio, near Kalavryta, had managed to bring the fire under partial control by late evening.

The fire service was still struggling to put out two fires on Friday evening - one in the area of Metaxada in Messinia prefecture, and the other near the village of Kyparissos in Laconia.

Black Cat

2 people killed by leopard in 3 days in Murbad, India


Leopard
Murbad has been left in shock ever since the death of two elderly villagers in two separate leopard attacks over the weekend. Such instances of man-leopard conflict have not been witnessed in the area in seven years, and local residents — both, human and animal — are shaken to the core. According to reports, the forest department sought orders to shoot the leopard from wildlife headquarters at Nagpur, and have been given a go ahead.

Highly unusual

The first incident took place on Friday evening. With no eyewitnesses or evidence to prove what exactly happened to provoke the animal, officials are still trying to understand the unusual circumstances under which the attack took place. For one, it was still daylight when the leopard attacked tribal farmer, Mirabai Ware (55). She was in an open area, returning from her neighbour's house just 300 metres from her own home, when the leopard is thought to have pounced on her and dragged her away. "Family members followed the trail of blood till they found her body in the bushes," said a forest official.

Attention

Wombat attack leaves woman with horrific bite in Canberra, Australia

© Getty
Wombats are small marsupials with stumpy legs who are not known to be vicious
A woman has been hospitalised with more than 20 bites after she was viciously attacked by a WOMBAT.

Kerry Evans was out walking with her dogs on a home-lined street when she saw what looked like a rock in a garden.

The 58-year-old said that, as she and her two English springer spaniels Murphy and Pirate got closer to the object in Canberra, Australia, she realised it was wombat - a badger-sized furry marsupial.

Public servant Kerry was stunned when the animal suddenly turned on her and her dogs, charging them and biting Murphy.

Kerry fell to the ground tripping over the dog leads - and that's when the animal turned on her, launching a sustained attack as the terrified dogs tried to get out of the way.

The attack, at about 7.30pm last Monday, only stopped when two samaritans came to Kerry's aid and she was able to get to her feet and escape.

Attention

Walker finds dead minke whale in Cotes-d'Armor, France

A walker made a grisly discovery during a Sunday-morning stroll along the seafront at l'Ile Grande à Pleumeur-Bodou, Côtes-d'Armor - the decomposing body of a 7m whale.

A security cordon has been placed around the animal, identified as a minke whale which is thought to have been dead for at least a week, while experts work to establish the cause of death and remove the body.

It is thought the body that washed up on the Côtes-d'Armor shore was that of a dead whale that was spotted in the sea off the coast of the Île de Batz, near Roscoff. Experts say sea currents could have brought the body

Minke whales are a regular sight in the Channel, but they are more usually seen out in the Atlantic

Fire

SOTT Exclusive: The growing threat of underground fires and explosions

© Mbusi Ka-Mphezulu/AENS
The Council for Geoscience is on its way to investigate this strange ground fire in Limpopo.
A couple of weird underground fires recently caught our attention. Scientists from South Africa's Council for Geoscience are gathering in Limpopo, the country's northernmost province of South Africa to investigate the mysterious appearance of a lava-like fire, which has injured three people after burning unabated for three weeks at Zaaiplaas Village in Sehlakwane.

Last month the Limpopo Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) received a call from the Sekhukune District Municipality regarding the emergence of an unusual fire, consisting of mud and grey ash in a damp wetland area on the outskirts of the village.

The fire has steadily burnt through an area larger than a rugby field, transforming the wetland into what looks like an active volcanic field. A community member, Mbusi Ka-Mphezulu, posted photos on Facebook of a lava-like substance glowing from underneath the ground. He said,
"While we were doing ANC work this is what we saw, the ground is on fire. It is like a volcano. People of Sehlakwane please take note of this unusual stuff."
In a Times LIVE article, unusual seismic activity, tree roots burning underground or the ongoing drought conditions, which have dried out the wetland, have all been pointed to as possible sources for the mysterious 'volcano' fire phenomenon.

USA

2016 is already a year of extreme weather disasters for the United States

© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Travis Guedry and his dog Ziggy glide through floodwaters keeping an eye out for people in need on August 17, 2016 in Sorrento, Louisiana. Tremendous downpours have resulted in disastrous flooding, responsible for at least seven deaths and thousands of homes being damaged.
The United States has already seen some of the most extreme weather disasters this year, and 2016 is only half over.

Just this week, the Blue Cut wildfire raged in Southern California, destroying dozens of houses and forcing over 80,000 residents to evacuate.

Also recently, at least 11 people were reported to have died from the catastrophic flooding in south Louisiana. About 30,000 people have been rescued since Friday, when heavy rains started to submerge communities. The flood, which is said to be one of the worst in Louisiana history, had damaged at least 40,000 homes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released a report saying that as of July 2016, weather disasters have already caused $8-billion worth of losses across the U.S. NOAA has listed eight weather and climate disasters (2 flooding events and 6 severe storm events), with losses exceeding $1 billion each, including deaths and significant economic impact among affected areas. These weather events are all notable effects of climate change.

The Blue Cut wildfire and the Louisiana flooding are only two of the most catastrophic weather disasters that plagued the country. Here are the other deadly climate catastrophes that hit the U.S. so far in 2016.

Comment: For more coverage on the extreme weather affecting the planet, check out the monthly SOTT Earth Changes Summaries. Last month:

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - July 2016: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs