Earth ChangesS

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Massive avalanche in France kills 4 and injures 3 while 2 skiers remain missing

On Sunday, February 25, a massive avalanche occurred around 12:30 p.m. in the Val d'Enfer valley, in the Sancy Massif in France. Local emergency services were deployed immediately but, unfortunately, four people have been confirmed dead and three others injured, while two are still missing. The seven rescued people were found thanks to several members carrying emergency beacons. One of the three injured was confirmed to have deployed her airbag.

A group of nine members of the Vichy French Alpine Clubs had set out on Sunday and were caught in an avalanche not far from Mont Dore. According to Sébastien Dubourg, mayor of Mont-Dore, the area where the avalanche occurred, known as Val d'Enfer, is known to be dangerous, "It's a funnel... the mountain is unfortunately stronger than us," he stated in a press conference.

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At least four killed by landslide triggered by torrential rain in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Landslide location
Landslide location.
A landslide has left at least four people dead and six others injured in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi on February 26 morning.

According to the provincial disaster mitigation agency, the disaster, affecting more than 20 people in Bastem Utara, was triggered by torrential rain that hit the area on February 25 evening. More than 10 motorcycles and two cars were buried, with the roads damaged.

The agency also warned of the possible occurrence of subsequent landslides due to the current weather.

Disasters like floods and landslides often occur in Indonesia during the rainy season.



Florida bird rescuers shocked by rare visitors: Puffins

An Atlantic puffin was rescued from the beach in Ponce Inlet, Florida
© Michael BrothersAn Atlantic puffin was rescued from the beach in Ponce Inlet, Florida and treated at the Volusia County Marine Science Center's Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary, but did not survive its emaciated condition.
Atlantic puffins arrive on beaches more than 1,000 miles from home

One question keeps surfacing this month, as reports of a certain quirky and beloved seabird keep popping up along Florida's east coast: A puffin?

The black and white seabirds with the bright orange beaks are almost unheard of anywhere in the Southeast, but at least four puffins have been seen along Florida's east coast beaches since Feb. 8, shocking bird rescuers and others.

Bird watchers know one of the easiest places to see an Atlantic puffin is to head for the islands off the coast of Maine, but something odd has happened this winter.

A flurry of seabirds usually seen most often off the Northeastern coast - including puffins, razorbills and dovekies - have surprised birdwatchers along the Southeastern coast from the Carolinas to Florida. Experts say the birds' wayward path could possibly be linked to offshore storms or winds that stirred up colder water near the coast.

Before February, only five Atlantic puffin sightings had ever been reported in Florida, all weakened birds found stranded on beaches, said Andrew Kratter, collections manager of birds at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Cloud Lightning

Two climbers killed by lightning on Mount Manglayang, Indonesia

Two climbers camping at Batu Kuda, Mount Manglayang in West Java were struck and killed by lightning on Friday night.

The victims, both students, have been identified only as MRAP and BAP, from Bandung-based Padjadjaran University.

"They died as a result of being struck by lightning on Friday night," Cipta Endyana, deputy dean of the university's Faculty of Geology, said on Sunday, as quoted by

Besides MRAP and BAP, another student, A, was hospitalized.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods, landslides hit Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

Flash floods and landslides again hit several regions in Sumbawa District, Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara Province (NTB) on Saturday (February 24) afternoon, according to Sumbawa Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD).

Acting Head of BPBD-Sumbawa Office Muhammad Nurhidayat informed that heavy rainfall triggered floods and landslides at 4.30 p.m. local time, affecting the villages of Labangkar and Ropang in Ropang Sub-district.

"The flash floods and landslides were induced by high-intensity rain in the upstream area of Ropang Sub-district," he remarked in Mataram City on Sunday.

In Labangkar Village, he said, the floods inundated dozens of houses and were followed by landslides that resulted in material losses.

Nurhidayat then noted that a total of 30 families were affected by the floods, while four houses were damaged by the landslides in Labangkar.

Cloud Precipitation

Parts of Queensland, Australia grappling with flash flooding after heavy rain

North Queensland battered by 300mm of rain as towns cut off by flooding
© Queensland Fire and EmergencyNorth Queensland battered by 300mm of rain as towns cut off by flooding
Parts of Queensland continue to battle flash flooding following wild weather across the north, with flood warnings in place in several areas.

Flash flooding has cut off businesses, homes and major highways in Northern Queensland after a night of wet weather.

More than 300 millimetres of rain was recorded near Tully in North Queensland yesterday, while more rain and potential flash flooding is predicted to occur in the area today.


Baby girl dies after attack by stray dogs in Delhi, India

dog attack
In an incident that is set to revive the debate over stray dogs, an infant has died in an attack by a pack of stray dogs in Delhi. One-and-a-half-year-old Divanshi suffered serious injuries on her legs and face after at least three stray dogs attacked her in Tughlakabad area.

Her family members heard her scream and chased the dogs away. She was rushed to a hospital, but doctors declared her dead. The body has been sent for autopsy and police are investigating the matter.

Attacks by stray dogs on pedestrians, especially children, have triggered demands for immediate steps by civic authorities. In some area, animal lovers feeding the strays have also come under fire over such incidents.


Wild elephants trample two to death in Assam, India

Two persons were trampled to death by wild elephants in Assam's Goalpara district, police said on Saturday.

They said the two victims, including one female, were travelling on a motorbike when they encountered a herd of wild elephants near a bridge in the Gualguli area on Friday night.

"They were on their way to their homes in Gualguli from Lakhipur when they encountered the herd. They tried to flee but were chased by the pachyderm and killed, as per our preliminary investigation", police said.

On being informed, police rushed to the spot and recovered the bodies.



Juvenile gray whale dead after stranding itself at La Jolla, California

A young gray whale that washed up at La Jolla shores on Thursday afternoon has been confirmed dead.

According to reports, the whale beached itself in a shallow low-tide area. When the calls began to come in from beachgoers, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rushed to the scene to see if there was anything to be done to help the juvenile back into deeper waters. The whale was still alive, but its situation was dire. Sadly, NOAA officials believe that the whale was dead by 8:30 p.m.

NOAA told reporters from CBS8 that the whale was only a few years old, measuring 24-feet long and weighing around 11,000 pounds. At maturity, gray whales can be as large as 50-feet long and 90,000 pounds.


Amazing footage of waterspout spotted off coast of Jersey, UK

A twister was spotted off Jersey's south coast this afternoon as the Island was hit by a severe hail storm.

Several Islanders captured images of the waterspout (a tornado which forms over water) as it tracked east.

This video was captured by Caroline Duffy as she landed back at Jersey Airport.