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Fri, 13 Dec 2019
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Snowy howl: Blizzard strands 1,000 near Grand Canyon, delays Thanksgiving travelers - almost 2 feet of snow dumped

Grand Canyon and Tusayan were without power Friday following a snowstorm.

Grand Canyon and Tusayan were without power Friday following a snowstorm.
Some 1,000 people were stranded without heat or power in a small Arizona town near the Grand Canyon on Friday during a major winter storm that threatened to disrupt travel for millions as it moves east one day after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Town Council of Tusayan, just south of Grand Canyon National Park, declared a state of emergency early on Friday morning, citing the power outage and nearly two feet (60 cm) of snow that has made roads impassable.

"We are working to arrange emergency shelter at the National Park, in buses, and at other locations," said Mayor Craig Sanderson said in a written statement.


Comment: According to the website Current Results (weather and science facts) the average total snowfall in November for Grand Canyon Village is 4.7 inches over 1.9 days - so this latest storm has produced roughly 5 times more snow than would normally be expected in the area for the entire month (and apparently in just a single day).


Arrow Down

Avalanche following heavy snowfall kills 3 shepherds in Pakistan

avalanche
Three people were killed when they were hit by an avalanche in Phander valley of Ghizer district.

According to police, Mirza Nazir Shahbaz and Mirza Hassan, all residents of Dalomal Phander, were at Chishi Nullah to bring their yaks on Wednesday when the avalanche hit them.

The local volunteers and police personnel rushed to the area and retrieved the bodies. The deceased were shifted to Dalomal village to burial.

The intermittent snowfall has paralysed routine life in upper parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. The snowfall has disconnected Astore, Skardu, Ghizer and Shigar from other areas.

Arrow Down

Two Indian Army personnel killed in avalanche on Siachen glacier

Representative photo
© Defence Ministry/AFP
Representative photo
Two personnel of the Indian Army were killed in an avalanche in Siachen glacier in Ladakh early on Saturday, PTI reported. The avalanche hit an Army patrol unit at an altitude of about 5,500 metres in the southern part of the glacier, defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

An avalanche rescue team managed to locate and pull out all members of the patrol. Army helicopters were also pressed into service to evacuate the personnel, Kalia said.

On November 18, four Indian Army personnel and two civilians were killed in an avalanche in the northern part of the Siachen Glacier


Snowflake Cold

Winter storm blankets much of the U.S. in heavy snow

snow
Wintry weather bedeviled Thanksgiving weekend travelers across the United States Saturday as a powerful and dangerous storm moved eastward, dumping heavy snow from parts of California to the northern Midwest and inundating other areas with rain.

One storm-related death was reported in South Dakota, and three children were missing in central Arizona after a vehicle was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek.

The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to drop 15-30 centimeters of snow from the northern Plains states into Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Blizzard conditions early Saturday were already buffeting the High Plains. The city of Duluth, Minnesota, issued a "no travel advisory" beginning at noon Saturday because of a major snow storm it termed "historic."


Arrow Down

Mont Blanc avalanche: Two skiers die in accident on Italian Alps

Although police have yet to release their identities, they have confirmed that both victims were Italian
© Getty
Although police have yet to release their identities, they have confirmed that both victims were Italian
Two people have died in an avalanche on Mont Blanc, according to reports.

The victims were thought to have been skiing off piste when the avalanche hit at an altitude of around 10,000 feet, according to Rai News24.

The bodies of the two skiers were recovered by mountain rescue teams after the avalanche struck on the Italian side of the Alps on Saturday.

A fellow skier witnessed the accident near the Pointe Helbronner peak and alerted authorities.

Rescue teams rushed to the scene in helicopters, but were unable to save them by the time they had arrived.


Attention

Third whale in two months found dead in River Thames, London

The mammal was found motionless on the river banks under Battersea Bridge

The mammal was found motionless on the river banks under Battersea Bridge
Stranded minke discovered by members of public near Battersea Bridge in London

A dead whale has been found in the River Thames for the third time in the past two months.

The marine mammal - believed to be a minke - was spotted swimming up and down the river in London by several members of the public on Friday.

A dog-walker later found it lying motionless in shallow water near Battersea Bridge at around 9.30pm and it was later confirmed dead when a rescue team arrived.

Seismograph

6.4-magnitude earthquake strikes Albania: Major damage as buildings collapse, at least 50 dead - UPDATES


Comment: An aftershock has struck further up the Balkan peninsula; a 5.4M in Bosnia.


A car is seen on fire after a car alarm short-circuited following a strong earthquake in Tirana, Albania, November 26, 2019
© Silver Turku/via REUTERS
A car is seen on fire after a car alarm short-circuited following a strong earthquake in Tirana, Albania, November 26, 2019
A powerful earthquake has hit Albania in the middle of the night, forcing people to run into the streets. Dozens of people have been reported injured and several buildings collapsed, while others appeared to crack.

The 6.4-magnitude quake struck between the port town of Durres and the capital Tirana, at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles), according to the US Geological Survey.

Witnesses said residents were rushing out of their houses in panic, but an unknown number of people could still be trapped inside buildings.

One person has died after jumping from a building, Defence Ministry spokesperson confirmed.

Officials said that the most damage was seen in Durres, while at least 50 people in Tirana had to be hospitalized.


Comment: Update: AP reports:
Rescuers comb building rubble after Albanian quake kills 18

Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019
© Hektor Pustina
Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019
Rescue crews with excavators searched for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings and hotels Tuesday after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least 18 people and injured more than 600.

The magnitude-6.4 quake was felt across the southern Balkans and was followed by multiple aftershocks, with several above magnitude 5. In nearby Bosnia, another temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 struck southeast of the capital Sarajevo, causing only minor damage.

The quake in Albania knocked down apartment buildings and hotels while people slept, and rescue crews worked into the evening to free people believed trapped. There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried in the rubble, as neighboring countries and European Union nations sent search-and-rescue crews to help.

Local television stations showed footage in the early hours after the quake of a young boy being rescued from a collapsed building in the coastal town of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana. An excavator moved a broken slab of concrete and the boy cried and shouted in pain as local men pulled mangled reinforcement bars out of the way trying to try to free his leg from the rubble.

Rescuers hold the body of a five-year old girl after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019
© Visar Kryeziu
Rescuers hold the body of a five-year old girl after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019
Hours later, live TV footage showed people cheering as another child was found alive in a collapsed building in Durres where a body had been located earlier. In total, 43 people had been rescued from the rubble of buildings by Tuesday evening.


Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said more than 600 people had been treated for injuries, including nine hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

"It is a dramatic moment where we should preserve calm, (and) stay alongside each other to cope with this shock," Prime Minister Edi Rama said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, which struck just before 4 a.m. local time, had an epicenter 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the capital, Tirana, at a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles). Scores of aftershocks were recorded, including three with preliminary magnitudes of between 5.1 and 5.4.

The worst-hit areas were Durres, where 11 of the dead were found in collapsed buildings, and the northern town of Thumane, where another five bodies were pulled from the rubble, the Defense Ministry said. In total at least three hotels, a residential villa and an apartment building collapsed in Durres, and one apartment building in Thumane.

Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania
© Visar Kryeziu
Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania
One person died after jumping from his home to escape in Kurbin, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the capital, while another person was killed on a road that collapsed in the northern town of Lezha.

"Search and rescue work continues at all sites where buildings have collapsed," Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said in a televised statement. "But these are extremely difficult operations, where you have to work slowly because there is a high risk of further collapse, endangering not only residents, but also those trapped, and the rescuers themselves."

Seismologist Rrapo Ormeni of Albania's Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment, said a 6.4 quake was considered a strong one.

A man passes next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
© Hektor Pustina
A man passes next to a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Durres, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
"Damage at the epicenter will be considerable because of its high energy, the magnitude it has," Ormeni said. "Such quakes are felt in a wider area due to (their) major depth and magnitude. It has been felt all around the territory of our country but also abroad, up to Bulgaria, Bosnia, Italy and other (countries)."

The quake was also felt in neighboring Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Greece, and parts of southern Serbia.

Authorities called on people in the most affected areas to stay out of their homes and avoid driving to allow emergency vehicles free access. Many residents reported cracks in their apartment walls.

Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
© Hektor Pustina
Rescuers search at a damaged building after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Thumane, western Albania, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
All government agencies were on alert and "intensively working to save lives at the fatal spots in Durres and Thumane," Rama said. About 400 soldiers were setting up tents in Durres and in Fushe Kruje near Thumane in the north to house survivors left homeless by the quake.

Rama said neighboring countries, the European Union and the United States had offered help. By Tuesday evening, rescue teams from neighboring Kosovo, Montenegro, Italy, Greece and Romania had arrived.

Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, France, Estonia, Turkey and the Czech Republic also offered help, while the EU delegation to Albania said additional EU assets were on standby should they be needed.

"My thoughts are with the victims and all the people affected by the disaster," EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said.

At least three apartment buildings and the power distribution station were damaged in Thumane, knocking out power in the morning. The electricity supply was restored later in the day.

An earthquake in September in roughly the same area damaged hundreds of homes.
Update: wsbtv.com on November 28 has this AP report:
Hopes are fading of finding anyone else alive beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in Albania two days after a deadly quake struck the country's Adriatic coast, with the death toll rising after more bodies were pulled from the ruins overnight.

Prime Minister Edi Rama on Thursday put the death toll at 39, after authorities said six more bodies were recovered from the northwestern town of Thumane, and another two from the port city of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana. More than 650 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn Tuesday.

Authorities say the search operation has ended in Thumane, with no more people believed to be missing in the collapsed buildings there. It continues, however, in Durres.
Update: Global News carries this latest report by AP on November 30:
Search for Albania earthquake victims ends as death toll rises to 50

The search and rescue operation for earthquake survivors in Albania has ended, the prime minister said Saturday, with the death toll at 50 and no more bodies believed to be in the ruins.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said preliminary figures showed more than 1,465 buildings in the capital, Tirana, and about 900 in nearby Durres were seriously damaged in Tuesday's 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn quake.

About 2,000 people were injured. One woman remained in a coma, according to health officials.

Preliminary figures estimate at least 4,000 people are homeless.


About 2,500 people from damaged homes have been sheltered in hotels. Others have been taken to neighboring Kosovo or have moved to eastern areas of Albania.

The prime minister has pledged all homeless will be in "stronger homes" in 2020.


The first seriously damaged building has been demolished, and a dozen others are expected to follow. Assessment experts from Greece, France, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia are involved.

A new draft law will sentence all investors, architects and supervisors to seven to 15 years in prison for violating construction norms. That and corruption in Albania's burgeoning building industry have been blamed for much of the quake's effects.

The government has set up financial compensations for families of the dead, including 1 million Lek ($9,000) per family, special pensions for elders and scholarships for children.



Cloud Precipitation

Floods displaced over 2,000 in Terengganu, Malaysia after 15 inches of rain in 24 hours

Flood rescues and evacuations in Terengganu, Malaysia, November 2019.
© Government of Malaysia
Flood rescues and evacuations in Terengganu, Malaysia, November 2019.
Flooding in Terengganu State in eastern Peninsular Malaysia has displaced over 2,000 people according to disaster agencies.

Floods hit the area after heavy rainfall from 27 November. Parts of Besut District recorded as much as 400mm of rain in 24 hours on 29 November. The Besut river in the district exceeded danger levels on 29 November, standing at 35.20 metres (danger mark is 35m) near Keruak. The Dungun in Kuala Jengai was also above the danger mark (21 metres), standing at 22.45 metres as of 30 November, 2019.

A total of 2,296 people from 648 families have been evacuated to relief centres in the districts of Besut (1,148 people), Setiu (553), Hulu Terengganu (112) and Dungun (483).

They are being given temporary shelter at 40 flood relief centres which have been opened in four districts, with 21 of the centres in Besut.


Tornado2

Footage of large waterspouts near Split, Croatia

waterspouts
Sometimes, waterspouts develop on the Croatian Adriatic sea and while these incredible sights are not all that uncommon at this time of year when the weather tends to be unstable, have you ever had the chance to get a clear view of one, and film some waterspouts near Split?

The weather in Dalmatia at this time of year can be pretty all over the place. From warm sunny days that require the removal of jackets and the placement of sunglasses in the middle of November to extreme winds like jugo and bura blowing tables and chairs down the streets. All this can happen in just one day. While this is irritating for residents and tourists alike, it makes for some amazing photos and videos.


Cloud Precipitation

One person dead as heavy rains hit northern Mexico

Flooding in Mazatlán on Thursday.

Flooding in Mazatlán on Thursday.
Mazatlán hit hard with extensive flooding after 91mm of rain

Heavy rains from Cold Front No. 18 have killed one person and flooded dozens of communities in Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora and Baja California.

The death occurred in the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, when a woman was swept away by the current while attempting to cross a flooded stream on Thursday.

Floods, overflowing rivers and landslides forced the evacuation of 150 people in the municipalities of Batopilas, Chínipas and Urique, triggering a request by Chihuahua Civil Protection for an emergency declaration to obtain federal resources.