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Sat, 08 May 2021
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Earth Changes


Fifth whale washes up dead in San Francisco Bay in less than a month

A dead whale was discovered on a beach near Fort Funston on Friday, the fifth deceased whale to be found around San Francisco Bay in less than a month.

April is the start of gray whales' northern migration, so finding dead whales on the shores of the bay is not unusual, but after four were found in the span of nine days just a few weeks ago, experts began to worry.

"It's concerning," Giancarlo Rulli of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito had said. "The fact that we've responded to four dead gray whales ... is concerning."

A video of the fifth dead whale was post to Twitter:


Spring snow hits the Sierra

A springtime snow hit the Sierra on Sunday. After a dry winter with little rain or snow, some were happy to see the winter weather return.


Wild elephant attacks claim 3 lives in Sri Lanka

Two lives were lost in the village of Ulhitiya within 24 hours as a result of wild elephant attacks, highlighting the need to solve the growing conflict.

D.M. Hemalatha, 54, the second casualty in the wild elephant attack, had been living in a neighbour's residence after her house was destroyed by wild elephants last year.

The incident had taken place within a kilometre from the residence of Heen Manika, another resident who was killed by a wild elephant, less than 24 hours earlier.

Meanwhile, an elephant attack was reported from the Kurulubadda area in Polonnaruwa as well.


Signs and Portents: Extremely rare two-headed calf born in North Macedonia

The young cow has a condition called polycephaly

The young cow has a condition called polycephaly
An extremely rare two-headed calf has been born in North Macedonia.

The baby cow has a condition called polycephaly, and consequently has fused skulls, two pairs of eyes and one pair of ears.

The unique multi-headed animal is even able to suck milk simultaneously using its two mouths, as reported by Reuters.
Farmer Vasko Pestrovski knew something was different when the calf was being born in his barn in Lazec, a small village in the Bitola municipality, last week.

He said: "Early in the morning we heard that the cow was about to deliver. When she delivered, we saw the calf was rather extraordinary, with two heads.


Thousands affected by rising levels of Lake Tanganyika, Burundi

Lake Tanganyika from Bujumbura to Congo hills
© Avaadhesh under CC BY-SA 4.0
Lake Tanganyika from Bujumbura to Congo hills
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported on 25 April 2021 that flooding from the rising Lake Tanganyika had affected thousands of families in areas of Burundi over the last few weeks.

Levels of the lake have been slowly rising since February 2021. Heavy rainfall since the start of April has worsened the situation with further rainfall predicted until mid-May.

As of 19 April 2021, the level of Lake Tanganyika at the port of Bujumbura stood at 776.45 metres above sea level. The average level is 772.7 metres. Media said if the level exceeds 777 metres, areas around Bujumbura port will be flooded.

UNOCHA reported around 8,000 families have been affected and 2,000 displaced by flooding in lakeside communities including Bugarama, Kanyenkoko, Muhuta, Nyanza-Lac, Gatumba, Rukaramu, Kibenga, Gisyo and Kabondo.

Eye 2

Woman swallowed by python as she checked on her cornfield in Sulawesi, Indonesia

A woman in Indonesia was swallowed whole by a python as she checked on her cornfields last week. According to The Washington Post, citing the Jakarta Post, the woman's name was Wa Tiba and lived on Muna Island off the coast of Sulawesi. She left her home Thursday night to visit her cornfield about a half mile from her home.

Reticulated pythons are common in the area, but it was actually wild boars that Wa had been worried about initially because they'd be destroying her crops, according to the Jakarta Post's report.

When Wa didn't return, her sister went out to find her and found Wa's footprints, flashlight, slippers, and machete. On Friday, 100 villagers from Persiapan Lawela searched the area and found a 23 foot-long snake with a very swollen belly. The villagers killed the snake, cut it open, and found Wa inside intact. She probably didn't die inside the snake: A reticulated python secures its prey with a bite, then wraps its body around the victim, squeezing down until the victim cannot breathe, before consuming, according to the Associated Press.

Pythons are the longest snake in the world and usually only eat smaller mammals. However, a similar incident happened last year to a farmer from the nearby village of Salubiro on Sulawesi Island, according to The Washington Post.


'Ten times' as many wildfires recorded in Siberia than usual

Siberia wildfire

A field of dry reeds went up in flames on the suburb of Omsk in Western Siberia
Omsk region emergency services said number of wildfires is seven to ten times above the 'norm'.

A field of dry reeds went up in flames on the suburb of Omsk in Western Siberia, possibly as a result of an outdoor weekend barbecue.

It took eighteen firefighters to stop the fire.

Comment: Extremes of weather are wreaking havoc across the planet, with regions seeing heavy flooding and unusual cold that is then followed by stretches of unseasonably warm and exceptionally dry conditions:


6.4-magnitude earthquake hits 200 km SW of Haveluloto, Tonga

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 jolted 200 km southwest of Haveluloto, Tonga at 22:28:00 GMT on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 234.01 km, was initially determined to be at 21.6857 degrees south latitude and 177.064 degrees west longitude.


120-year-old April snow record broken in Cincinnati

Record snow
Good morning Greater Cincinnati, we have snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service is reporting that 2.3 inches of snow fell at the Cincinnati- Northern Kentucky International Airport. This broke the previous daily snowfall total of 1.5 inches set in 1901. Totals may be higher than that in some areas.

Unfortunately, the cold snap isn't over yet.

A freeze warning is in effect for all of Greater Cincinnati from 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday. The National Weather Service said sub-freezing temperatures as low as 29 are expected.

"Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing," the National Weather Service said. "Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold. To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above- ground pipes to protect them from freezing."

Comment: "Record-Shattering Cold" across Central US


Dozens rescued after rivers overflow in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Flood rescues in Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 2021.
© Civil Defence Bolivia
Flood rescues in Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 2021.
Overflowing rivers have caused flooding in several areas of Cochabamba Department in central Bolivia over the last few days.

Civil Defence and the Bolivian Navy evacuated families in the municipality of Ivirgarzama and surrounding areas after flooding began from late 23 April 2021.

Flooding also blocked parts of the Cochabamba - Santa Cruz highway (National Route 4) at the Chimoré-Ivirgarzama sector, causing major transport disruptions. A bus and several other vehicles were trapped in the waters and than 50 passengers and motorists had to be rescued.