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Mon, 30 Jan 2023
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2 girls killed in avalanche, snow-landslides disrupt life in Kashmir

Two girls were buried alive under an avalanche in Kargil, while air and road connectivity with the Kashmir Valley was cut off on Monday due to snowfall and landslides on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

The Kashmir Valley and higher reaches of Jammu were witnessing heavy snowfall, while the plains were having rain since last night. Train services in the valley have also been suspended.

Electricity supply in several areas was snapped due to snow and rain.

Bodies of the two girls buried under the avalanche on Sunday were recovered on Monday. The police said the bodies were recovered with the help of locals. The deceased girls have been identified as 11-year-old Kulsum and 23-year-old Bilques. They were buried under the avalanche in Tangole hamlet in Panikhar area of Kargil district of Ladakh.

Cloud Precipitation

Cyclone Cheneso hits Madagascar - at least 25 dead with over 83,000 affected - roads to capital destroyed (UPDATE)

© L'Express de Madagascar
Schools are closed, traffic is difficult and sometimes impossible, even for emergency services.
Several districts of Mahajanga, in the northwest of Madagascar, have flooded as well as the roads that connect them to the capital, Antananarivo.

Cyclone Cheneso continues to hit the island with more than 15,000 people affected to date.

"I left my house because it was destroyed by the strong winds of the cyclone. The house tilted, so I ran away. My house was totally destroyed," said flood victim Bonne Fehy.

Comment: Update January 30

From the same news source:
Tropical storm in Madagascar: At least 25 dead, roads flooded and crops destroyed

Two dozen Madagascans have died and tens of thousands been left homeless since a severe tropical storm made landfall last week and swirled for days off the island's western coast, official records showed Sunday.

Cyclone Cheneso smashed into northeastern Madagascar 10 days ago, bringing heavy winds and triggering downpours that have caused extensive flooding.

Over the week it has tracked south-eastwards, extending damage to houses, schools and cutting off several national roads.

Twenty-five people are now known to have died and 21 others are still missing, according to an update from Madagascar's risk management office.

At least 83,181 people have been affected, with nearly 38,000 displaced from their homes.

Cheneso -- which temporarily intensified to a tropical cyclone in recent days with winds of 118-166 kilometres per hour (73-103 miles per hour) -- "has started to lose its purely tropical characteristic," according to the southwest Indian ocean Regional Specialist Meteorological Centre based in the French overseas island of La Reunion

Storm Cheneso made landfall on January 19, packing winds of up to 110 kilometres per hour.

It is the first tropical storm of the current cyclone season in southern Africa -- which typically runs from November to April -- to hit the cyclone-prone large Indian ocean island.


Zambia - "Catastrophic situation" after floods hit southern and central provinces

Floods in Zambia, 27 January 2023.
© DMMU Zambia
Floods in Zambia, 27 January 2023.
Wide areas of Southern and Central Provinces in Zambia are underwater after long-term rainfall caused rivers to overflow. Disaster authorities in Zambia have described it as a "catastrophic situation".

On 27 January 2023, the country's Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) conducted an aerial survey of affected communities in Bwengwa, Namwala, Monze in Southern Province, and Mumbwa district in Central Province. DDMU reported widespread damage to homes, farmland and livestock. Many communities are isolated leaving them without access to healthcare and education. Furthermore, sanitation facilities have been completely submerged, exposing the population to a high risk of waterborne diseases, DDMU said.

DDMU added that affected communities require an emergency intervention in particular delivery of both food and non-food relief items. The Government has assured that a multi-sectorial response will ensure recovery, rehabilitation and restoration.


3-meter-high flood submerges Indonesia's North Sulawesi, almost 18 inches of rain in 48 hours - 5 killed (UPDATE)

Basarnas Manado evacuated flood victims.
© ANTARA/HO-Humas Basarnas Manado
Basarnas Manado evacuated flood victims.
One people died after floods 80 to 300 cm high destroyed dozens of homes in Indonesia's North Sulawesi on Friday.

"Heavy rains in several areas of Manado City have caused the Tondano River to overflow, and flooding cannot be avoided," said Abdul Muhari, spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

At least five sub-districts have been flooded, and 33 houses in six sub-districts have experienced landslides, as the authorities continue to assess the situation on the ground.

Comment: Update January 30

Floodlist reports:
Indonesia - 5 Killed in North Sulawesi Floods and Landslides

At least five people died after flash floods swept through areas of Manado City in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, on 27 January 2023.

Disaster authorities in the country reported heavy rain and the overflow of the Tondano watershed inundated around 400 homes. Flood waters were up to 3 metres deep in some areas. A total of 1,021 people were displaced in the districts of Tikala, Paal 2, Tuminting, Singkil and Wanang. One person died in the floods and a bridge was severely damaged.

Furthermore heavy rain in the area caused multiple landslides in the area, severely damaging over 50 houses and public buildings. Disaster authorities reported 4 people lost their lives as a result.

The Manado City Government has declared an emergency status.

The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (Badan Meteorologi Klimatologi dan Geofisika Indonesia - BMKG) reported Sam Ratulangi International Airport, located 13 km northeast of Manado recorded 238 mm of rain in 24 hours to 27 January and 216.7 mm in the following 24 hour period.

Six people died after heavy rain triggered floods and landslides in Manado City on 16 January 2021.

Two people died and at least 155 households were affected by floods and landslides in the city in March 2022.


Dead sperm whale washes ashore at Kaua'i beach in Hawaii

This photo of the beached whale at Lydgate Beach on the east side of Kaua‘i was posted publicly on Facebook at 7:33 a.m. Saturday by Dennis Esaki.

This photo of the beached whale at Lydgate Beach on the east side of Kaua‘i was posted publicly on Facebook at 7:33 a.m. Saturday by Dennis Esaki.
Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources and Kaua'i County are responding to a dead palaoa, or sperm whale, that was beached at Lydgate Beach on the eastern coastline of Kaua'i.

The beach is located off Kūhiō Highway, or Highway 56, north of Hanamāʻulu and Līhuʻe.

The whale was first reported Friday evening on the reef off the beach. High tide brought it ashore Saturday morning, according to a news release from the state Land Department.

Native Hawaiian practitioners have been conducting cultural protocols as heavy equipment is attempting to move the 56-foot, 60-ton carcass onto the beach. Spectators are being kept back and are asked not to cross the yellow tape during the continuing operation.

Ice Cube

Scientists struggle to understand why Antarctica hasn't warmed for over 70 years despite rise in CO2

Scientists are scrambling to explain why the continent of Antarctica has shown Net Zero warming for the last seven decades and almost certainly much longer. The lack of warming over a significant portion of the Earth undermines the unproven hypothesis that the carbon dioxide humans add to the atmosphere is the main determinant of global climate.

Under 'settled' science requirements, the significant debate over the inconvenient Antarctica data is of necessity being conducted well away from prying eyes in the mainstream media. Promoting the Net Zero political agenda, the Guardian recently topped up readers' alarm levels with the notion that "unimaginable amounts of water will flow into oceans", if temperatures in the region rise and ice buffers vanish. The BBC green activist-in-chief Justin Rowlatt flew over parts of the region and witnessed "an epic vision of shattered ice". He described Antarctica as the "frontline of climate change". In 2021, the South Pole had its coldest six-month winter since records began in 1957, a fact largely ignored in the mainstream. One-off bad weather promoter Reuters subsequently 'fact checked' commentary on the event in social media. It noted that a "six-month period is not long enough to validate a climate trend".

A recent paper from two climate scientists (Singh and Polvani) accepts that Antarctica has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite an increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gases. It is noted that the two polar regions present a "conundrum" for understanding present day climate change, as recent warming differs markedly between the Arctic and Antarctic. The graph below shows average Antarctica surface temperatures from 1984-2014, compared to a base period 1950-1980.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

New Zealand - State of Emergency as record rain causes flood havoc in Auckland - 10 inches of rain in 18 hours - 4 killed (UPDATE)

Flooding blocked highways around Auckland after record rain on 27 January 2023.
© Waka Kotahi NZTA Auckland & Northland
Flooding blocked highways around Auckland after record rain on 27 January 2023.
A state of emergency has been declared in Auckland, New Zealand after record rain caused widespread flooding on 27 January 2023.

"It only took a half-day to beat the previous daily rainfall record," the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said.

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, said in a statement, "I'm pleased an emergency declaration has been made due to flooding in Auckland tonight. All relevant govt agencies are working flat out to help in an extraordinary set of circumstances. The emergency response is underway and the Government is ready to assist as needed."

Major roads have been blocked by flooding, landslips or stranded vehicles, causing severe traffic disruption across the Auckland Region. Auckland Airport's international terminal has been closed due to flooding.

Comment: Update January 29

7NEWS Australia reports:
Record floods in New Zealand claim at least four lives

Australian disaster relief experts will travel to New Zealand in the coming days after record floods swamped homes, inundated Auckland Airport, and claimed at least four lives.

Arrow Down

Woman dies in Italy avalanche after near-miss in another snow-slip last year

Arianna Sittoni, 30, was swept to her death by an avalanche in the Lagorai mountain chain in Val Orsera, Trentino Province
© Newsflash
Arianna Sittoni, 30, was swept to her death by an avalanche in the Lagorai mountain chain in Val Orsera, Trentino Province
A keen mountain climber who narrowly avoided death in a snow-slip last year has died in an avalanche in Italy.

Arianna Sittoni was swept to her death by an avalanche in the Lagorai mountain chain in Val Orsera, Trentino Province, on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, who lived in Viarago, had gone to practise ski mountaineering with guide Guido Trevisan, 46 when tragedy struck.

Arianna was completely submerged as a result of the avalanche, while Guido was left with a pocket of air underneath the snow.

He was conscious when he was rescued and taken to hospital with a broken leg. His condition is reported to be serious but not life-threatening.


Snow closes a number of roads on Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Spain - 50cms (19.6 inches) of snowfall in 24 hours ( UPDATE)

Snow is forecast to fall for most of the day and overnight

10 centimetres of snow fell on Saturday night in the Serra de Tramuntana and at 9 a.m. it was still snowing with a number of roads closed.

According to the Aemet met. office it could continue to snow throughout the day with the snow line falling below 600 metres - last Saturday it snowed in Palma at sea level.

The 112 emergency service is discouraging drivers from travelling to the area to avoid traffic jams and incidents.

Comment: Update January 29

From the same news source:
Up to fifty centimetres of snow in the Tramuntana Mountains

Snow at the Cúber reservoir.
© G. R. V.
Snow at the Cúber reservoir.
On Sunday morning, the met agency Aemet reported there having been up to fifty centimetres of snow over a 24-hour period at 1,200 metres in the Tramuntana Mountains.

In its 9am update, Aemet added that there had been 15 centimetres at 800 metres. The Council of Mallorca's roads department issued advice that the MA-10 between kilometre 29 and 45 (Sa Calobra-Ses Barques mirador) was still blocked.

The amber alert for heavy snow in the mountains will cease to be active from 10am on Sunday. However, the forecast for the mountains (in Escorca) for the rest of the day is for a high probability of precipitation with snow falling at 900 metres.

From 6 days prior: Polar freeze in Spain brings temperatures of -15°C and snow in Ibiza


90cm (3 feet) of snowfall dumped in 72 hours on ski resorts in Japan

Ski areas in Japan have been reporting big snowfalls over the weekend, with snowfall totals on slopes around Myoko Kogen topping the totals with 90cm (three feet) of snowfall in 72 hours.

Japan has re-opened to international skiers this winter after three years of border closures due to the pandemic, upto now though snow cover has been good but not epic.

The country has been having a bit of a weather roller coaster, similar to many other ski nations around the world, having seen record warm temperatures earlier this month.