Earth ChangesS

Cloud Precipitation

At least 13 killed in stone quarry collapse triggered by heavy rain in India's northeast

A stone quarry collapsed Tuesday in India's northeast due to heavy rains triggered by a tropical storm, killing 13 quarry workers, officials said, while 16 remain missing.

Senior police officer Rahul Alwal said rescuers recovered the bodies of those killed from the quarry in Melthum, some 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the state capital Aizwal, and were able to pull out two workers alive from the debris.

Alwal said rescue workers are digging through the rubble to try and reach the trapped workers while looking for more survivors

Mizoram houses many stone quarries where raw material is mined for road and building construction. Many companies, however, extract stones without getting the required environmental clearance.


Dead humpback whale washes ashore near Manzanita, Oregon

A dead humpback whale washed ashore
© Oregon State ParksA dead humpback whale washed ashore at Nehalem Bay State Park on Monday, May 27, 2024.
Officials are urging people to avoid a stretch of the north Oregon coast after a dead humpback whale washed ashore Monday morning.

The whale came ashore on the sands of Nehalem Bay State Park, just south of Manzanita, prompting warnings from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

All three agencies issued warnings Monday on posts to social media as well as signs on the beach. The area where the whale washed ashore is also a protected area for endangered snowy plovers, making it especially vulnerable to intrusions.

"We're asking people to please stay away from the carcass so it remains undisturbed," Michael Milstein, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, said Monday. "We intend to do an initial exam today to see what we can learn about possible cause of death."


Yellow-crowned night heron from North America turns up in County Mayo, Ireland

The yellow crowned night heron was spotted in Belcarra
The yellow crowned night heron was spotted in Belcarra
Birdwatchers near and far are making their way to the village of Belcarra, near Castlebar, following the sighting of a rare North American bird.

A yellow crowned night heron nestled in the trees above the village riverside sparked excitement among locals and bird enthusiasts in the area.

The sighting of the bird is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland, with only a couple of sightings recorded across mainland Europe.

Almost 50 bird watchers arrived in the Mayo village from the UK over the weekend in hopes of catching a glimpse of the animal.

Arrow Down

Best of the Web: More than 2,000 people killed by massive landslide in Papua New Guinea (UPDATES)

Locals were trying to sift through the rubble with what equipment was still to hand on Friday
© Ninga Role/AAP/IMAGOLocals were trying to sift through the rubble with what equipment was still to hand on Friday
More than 100 people are believed to have been killed Friday in a landslide that buried a village in a remote, mountainous part of Papua New Guinea, and an emergency response is underway, the South Pacific island nation's leader and news media said.

The landslide reportedly hit Kaokalam village in Enga province, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, at roughly 3 a.m., Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Residents said estimates of the death toll were above 100, although authorities have not confirmed that figure. Villagers said the number of people killed could be much higher.

Prime Minister James Marape said authorities were responding and he would release information about the destruction and loss of life when it was available.

Comment: Update May 26

Al Jazeera reports:
The International Organization for Migration has increased its estimate of the death toll from a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to more than 670.

Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the United Nations agency's mission in the South Pacific island nation, said on Sunday the revised death toll was based on calculations by Yambali village and Enga provincial officials that more than 150 homes had been buried by Friday's landslide.

The previous estimate had been 60 homes.

"They are estimating that more than 670 people [are] under the soil at the moment," Aktoprak said.

"The situation is terrible with the land still sliding. The water is running and this is creating a massive risk for eveyrone involved," added Aktoprak, who is based in capital, Port Moresby.

Local officials had initially put the death toll on Friday at 100 or more. Only five bodies and a leg of a sixth victim had been recovered by Sunday, while seven people, including a child, had received medical treatment.

Authorities are trying to establish evacuation centres on safer ground on either side of the massive swath of debris.

Meanwhile, emergency responders were moving survivors of the massive landslide to safer ground as tonnes of unstable earth and tribal warfare, which is rife in the country's highlands, threatened the rescue effort.

Damage to infrastructure also made it more difficult for rescue and relief efforts to reach the area, according to Justine McMahon, a CARE Australia humanitarian group representative in PNG.

"The ground is quite unstable, making it difficult for rescuers to get in. The main road has also been cut off by about 200 metres [656 feet], hampering relief," she told Al Jazeera.

Car-sized boulders

Heavy earth-moving equipment are yet to arrive at the mountainous location 600km (370 miles) northwest of Port Moresby.

At some points, the landslide - a mix of car-sized boulders, uprooted trees and churned-up earth - was thought to be 8 metres (26 feet) deep.

Aid agencies said the catastrophe had effectively wiped out the village's livestock, food gardens and sources of clean water.
Update May 27

AP reports:
A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by last Friday's landslide and has formally asked for international help.

The government figure is roughly triple the U.N. estimate of 670 killed by the landslide in the South Pacific island nation's mountainous interior. The remains of only five people had been recovered by Monday, local authorities reported. It was not immediately clear why the tally of six reported on Sunday had been revised down.

In a letter to the United Nations resident coordinator dated Sunday and seen by The Associated Press, the acting director of the country's National Disaster Center, Luseta Laso Mana, said the landslide "buried more than 2,000 people alive" and caused "major destruction" in Yambali village in Enga province.

Cloud Precipitation

Cyclone floods villages, blows away roofs and cuts power in Bangladesh and India - 7 killed, 800,000 evacuated

A cyclone has flooded coastal villages, blew away thatched roofs and left hundreds of thousands of people without power in southern Bangladesh and eastern India.

At least seven deaths as a result of the cyclone have been reported.

Dozens of Bangladeshi villages were flooded after flood protection embankments either washed away or were damaged by the storm surge, TV stations reported. Nearly 800,000 people had been evacuated from vulnerable areas in Bangladesh on Sunday.

Authorities have given no casualty figures yet, but Dhaka-based Somoy TV reported that at least seven people died. Two others were missing in a boat capsizing, the station said.


Late May snowfall in Talas, Kyrgyzstan

A snowfall was reported in Kopuro-Bazar village in Talas district on May 26, local residents report.

The village is located in a mountainous area. A sudden cold snap and snowfall occurred on May 26.


Indonesia's Mount Ibu erupts again, spews ash cloud miles high

At least 1,800 residents in seven villages were evacuated, according to local authorities, who have recommended that a 4.35 mile (7 km) radius be cleared.

Ibu's activities follow a series of eruptions of different volcanoes in Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and has 127 active volcanoes.



Best of the Web: 20 tornadoes kill at least 19 people across 4 states in America

Scenes from a Shell gas station and travel stop on I-35 at the Lone Oak exit near Valley View, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Scenes from a Shell gas station and travel stop on I-35 at the Lone Oak exit near Valley View, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Children were among the seven deaths reported in Texas after a tornado hit a travel stop and RV park. Officials have also confirmed at least eight storm related deaths in Arkansas, two in Oklahoma and two in Kentucky.

At least 19 people were killed during a severe weather outbreak over Memorial Day weekend that brought tornadoes and tennis-ball-sized hail and knocked out power to thousands across the southern Plains overnight on Saturday.

The worst of the storm hit in the overnight hours when at least 20 tornadoes were seen by radar or in person across the region, according to the FOX Forecast Center. Storm damage was reported in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The National Weather Service reported that a long-track, supercell thunderstorm spawned multiple tornadoes.

Some of the most devastating damage in Texas happened outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said in a news conference that seven people were killed and more than 100 were injured. The sheriff said that two children were among the dead.

This is the deadliest tornado in Texas state history since 2015. The NWS gave it a preliminary rating of EF-2 with 135 mph winds. Another tornado that devastated Montague County was also rated a preliminary EF-2.


Six-year-old girl mauled to death by stray dogs in Uttar Pradesh, India

dog attack
In a heart-wrenching incident reported from Uttar Pradesh, stray dogs mauled a six-year-old girl to death while her toddler brother was injured in Kanpur district of the state on Sunday night, an official said.

The incident took place late on Sunday night where the stray dogs attacked the siblings in CTI Basti of Govind Nagar police station area.

An official said that the siblings 6-year-old Khushi and 2-year-old son Bhola were playing outside their house on Sunday night when a pack of stray dogs attacked them causing grievous injuries to both of them. The children's parents Chhotu, who works as a waiter at weddings and Pooja, who works as a manual scavenger were away for work when the attack took place. Locals, who heard the screams of the children rushed to the spot and chased away the dogs. But by then the girl had succumbed while her brother has been admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills Colorado rancher and 34 head of cattle

A lightning strike killed a rancher and more than 30 cows and calves Saturday in Jackson County.
© Shannon LukensA lightning strike killed a rancher and more than 30 cows and calves Saturday in Jackson County.
A lightning strike killed a Colorado rancher and 34 head of cattle over the weekend, officials said Sunday.

Mike Morgan, 51, was feeding his cattle from a trailer when he was struck and died on the scene despite life-saving efforts, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.

The lightning bolt struck on wide open pasture outside the town of Rand, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of Denver, said George Crocket, the county coroner.

The strike also bowled over around 100 head of cattle that had bunched around the trailer loaded with hay, said Crocket. "All but the 34 got up," he said.

Morgan's father-in-law and wife were nearby but survived the blast, said Crocket.

The incident stunned the small, tightknit community where most everybody knows everybody, Crockett said.