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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Louisiana braces for Harvey's rain

Rescue boats help flood victims in Houston, Texas after Tropical Storm Harvey.
New Orleans officials on Monday ordered city facilities and schools closed as the state braced for Harvey's rains and wind. And the city's mayor issued a warning. "Based on the weather, and out of an abundance of caution, I am recommending that everybody stay home tomorrow," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Monday afternoon.

The outer bands of Harvey, which remains a tropical storm, are expected to shower New Orleans with heavy rains days after the storm flooded Houston and pummeled east Texas, forecasters say. New Orleans is under a flash-flood watch and could see localized flooding, according to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

The city could see 4-8 inches of rain over the next 48 hours, he said. "If all goes well, we won't see catastrophic flooding like in Houston," Ward said. "We'll only see minor flooding."

Comment: Houston declares flash flood emergency, unprecedented 1.2m rainfall - UPDATES

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Two dead, 25 missing after landslide in Bijie, China

A landslide in Southwest China struck 34 homes, leaving 2 dead and 35 missing
A landslide struck some 34 homes in southwest China on Monday, killing two people and leaving another 25 missing in the latest natural disaster to hit the country, according to the local government.

Rescuers pulled six people out of the rubble, including the two who died, in a township in Bijie city in Guizhou province, authorities said in a statement on their website.

A search is continuing and local authorities sent tents, quilts and camp beds to the site, it said.

A video posted on the Twitter account of the official People's Daily showed the side of a hill collapsing, with dirt rushing across the outskirts of the town as onlookers shouted in fright.

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Eight killed in landslide at gold mine after heavy rain in Burkina Faso

© Felix Dlangaman
FILE: Gold is one of Burkina Faso's main exports
A landslide at an gold mine in central Burkina Faso that followed heavy rains has killed eight people, local authorities said on Sunday.

The accident happened on Saturday at Nagrire, "leaving eight people dead and five slightly injured," said Bernard Bouda, mayor of nearby Gogo commune, who travelled to the scene of the tragedy.

The dead were buried on the spot and the wounded taken to hospital in Gogo, a local judicial source said.

The landslide came after heavy rains in the region in recent days, which burst a dyke in the area, the source added.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical low headed toward Carolina coast likely to grow stronger becoming a tropical storm

© National Weather Service
A tropical low headed toward the coast of the Carolinas on Monday and Tuesday could grow stronger, becoming a tropical storm.

A tropical storm watch was issued for the North Carolina coast Sunday evening.

The National Hurricane Center on Sunday reported that an elongated area of low pressure, previously over northeast Florida, had emerged over the western Atlantic and was about 60 miles east of the coast of Georgia.

Showers and thunderstorms associated with the system increased and became better organized, meaning the low will likely become a tropical depression or storm Sunday night or Monday before it merges with a cold front. If it becomes a storm, it will be called Tropical Storm Irma.


Hurricane Harvey aftermath: Army Corps of Engineers will release water from two Houston dams to prevent more severe flood damage

© Adrees Latif / Reuters
Residents wade through flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017.
The US Army is beginning to release water from two Houston reservoirs which have risen too quickly as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey. The move will cause flooding to nearby homes.

The water is being released from the Addicks and Barker dams into Buffalo Bayou, the main body of water running through Houston.

The move is necessary in order to prevent uncontrolled water flowing from the dams, the US Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement.

"If we don't begin releasing now, the volume of uncontrolled water around the dams will be higher and have a greater impact on the surrounding communities," said Colonel Lars Zetterstrom, Galveston District commander of the Corps, as quoted by Reuters.

Cloud Precipitation

Homes, cars and roads damaged by massive hailstorm in Grado, Spain

Massive hailstorm damages cars and homes n Spanish town
Windows were broken and roads damaged during a huge hailstorm in Spain this weekend.

On Saturday for five minutes hailstones fell from the sky with such ferocity residents in Grado had to duck for cover for their own safety.

The northern Spanish town was also battered by rain during one of the worst weekends of weather in Spain this year.

The town in Asturias has over 10,000 people and homes were left with broken windows and damaged roads.

No Entry

Damage from Hurricane Harvey shuts down major US oil refineries

© Rick Wilking / Reuters
An oil tank damaged by Hurricane Harvey near Seadrift, Texas, August 26, 2017.
Ten crude refineries around Houston and Corpus Christi in Texas are closed in the wake of torrential rains, and devastating flooding brought about by Hurricane Harvey during the weekend.

The shut refineries normally have a daily capacity of nearly two million barrels of crude, according to a report by S&P Global Platts.

There are dozens of refineries along the US Gulf Coast as well as other plants turning oil into gas, diesel, and other petrochemicals. Nearly one-third of the nation's energy capacity is centralized in the region.

Royal Dutch Shell closed its Deer Park refinery in southeastern Houston. It is one of the biggest in the US with a capacity of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd).


Mystery explosions reported off the coast of Digha, India

Digha coast
Two mysterious explosions were reported off the Digha coast in West Bengal's East Midnapore district this morning. Some hotels located close to the coast are reported to have developed cracks on walls, and glass panes shattered from the impact.

The explosion sites are said to be well out in the sea, and not within visible range from the coast.

The sound and shock waves from the explosions caused panic in the tourist hotspot of Digha. People left homes and hotel rooms and rushed out on to the streets.

Police sources said they have found no material evidence on land, reinforcing assumptions that the explosion site was quite some distance off the coast.

Further details are awaited.

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Large sinkhole nearly swallows couple in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Sphiwe Mbense's vehicle can be seen in the background after it nearly fell into the sinkhole with him and his girlfriend inside
The Mzingazi travellers narrowly escaped with their lives after part of the road on the R34 caved in, forming a massive sinkhole.

A Richards Bay couple are lucky to be alive after their vehicle nearly sank when a stretch of the John Ross Parkway (R34) caved in on Friday afternoon, resulting in a massive sinkhole, reports the Zululand Observer.

Traffic was brought to a standstill as the gaping hole could be seen on the part of the road heading towards Richards Bay (before the Mondi traffic lights), leaving motorists stuck for hours on the parkway.

The sinkhole itself stretches about five metres in length, crossing the entire length of the double lane towards Richards Bay.

Ice Cube

Heavy sea ice stops another sailing expedition to the North Pole in August

© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
The Arctic Mission had set out with the objective to reach the the north pole by sailboat to prove there was global warming melting the Arctic sea ice. Problem is they are already bogged down in feet thick sea ice a couple of weeks out of Alaska. This is due to growing sea ice extent versus prior years and below normal temperatures registered the entire melt season of 2017.

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