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Thu, 29 Jul 2021
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Earth Changes


Mass death of hundreds of flamingos at drying Turkish lake

Hundreds of baby and adult flamingos were found dead on a dried part of Lake Tuz (Salt Lake) in the central Turkish province of Konya over the past week, prompting renewed emphasis on the impact of drought on the ecosystem.

The lake - the second largest in Turkey and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world - is among the favorite habitat of migratory animals and has long been a hatching ground for flamingos. Though it is shallow and gets little precipitation throughout the year, its salty nature is conducive to the nesting of migratory birds. However, the drought stemming from climate change has led to a recession of lake's waters, making finding food a challenge for flamingos.

Carcasses of birds now dot the lake's parts in the Cihanbeyli district of Konya. The birds had arrived to the lake in March for their incubation season. Mehmet Emin Öztürk, a nature photographer who is a frequent visitor to the area in the summer, says Lake Tuz had been "a paradise for flamingos, but now (it has) turned into a nightmare."

Arrow Down

Sinkhole almost devours 2 cars in Manhattan, New York

An image of two cars falling into a sinkhole
© Kathy Clark
An image of two cars falling into a sinkhole this weekend on the Upper West Side.
Two cars parked on the Upper West Side nearly took a one-way journey to the center of the earth this weekend when a sinkhole opened up and collapsed the street.

The sinkhole half-swallowed the two cars parked at West 97th Street and Riverside Drive on Sunday.

Mark Levine, a council member and the Democrat nominee for Manhattan Borough President, took to Twitter to comment on the scene, "But this yet another reminder: NYC simply must invest more in upgrading our outdated infrastructure."

The UWS sinkhole did not cause any injuries as there was nobody in either of the cars when it opened up, and the vehicles were removed by Sunday afternoon.

The cause of the sinkhole was unknown as of Monday morning, and the Department of Transportation is in the process of restoring the street.

Cloud Precipitation

Plane damaged in hailstorm over Milan, Italy

External view of the damaged flight deck windows.
Storm leaves aircraft windows cracked and fuselage damaged but all passengers safe, says airline

An Emirates flight had to turn around shortly after take-off in Italy on Tuesday when a hailstorm damaged the plane.

Flight EK205 left Dubai for New York via Milan at 9.51am.

Minutes after take-off in northern Italy, a hailstorm forced the pilots to head back to Malpensa Airport as hailstones battered the aircraft.

No injuries were reported, Emirates said.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 7 cattle in Estonia

Six cows and a bull were killed after being struck by lightning at a farm in Pärnu County, newspaper Maaleht reported on Tuesday.

Saareõue OÜ farm, which breeds and raises Aberdeen Angus cattle, lost seven animals - a bull, three cows and three one-year-old heifers - overnight during a thunderstorm. The owners are convinced they were killed by a lightning strike.

The owners discovered the animals under a tree where they had been sheltering and described the scene as looking like a horror movie.

"You think that such things happen somewhere in South America or the Amazon, but you can't think that it could happen on your farm," said Maarja Baumann, owner of Saareõue OÜ, who said the situation could never be prevented as it cannot be predicted where lightning will strike.

The farm now quickly needs to find a new breeding bull but finding one which meets the required standard may be difficult, the newspaper reported.

Cloud Precipitation

'100-year flood' hits parts of Philadelphia region as storm dumps torrential rain

Rescuers in Bensalem, Bucks County
© 6abc
Dozens of residents were left stranded on roads and in their homes as torrential rain stalled cars and invaded their homes and rescuers in rafts sailed along the roads which turned to rivers to help those in need. Pictured: Rescuers in Bensalem, Bucks County
Parts of our region were swamped by a series of storms on Monday that the National Weather Service called a rare "flash flood emergency."

According to forecasters, Monday's storms dumped 6 to 10 inches of rain in just 3 to 4 hours, swelling the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Burlington County, New Jersey.

"Widespread and life-threatening flash flooding is occurring. This is an extremely dangerous situation," the weather service's Monday afternoon warning said. "Do not venture out unless it is an emergency or to move to higher ground."

The torrential rain flooded neighborhoods throughout Bucks County. The areas greatest impacted by the storm received 6"-10" of rain in around 3-4 hours. According to the NWS, this is estimated to be a 100-Year Flood-- meaning each year there is about a 1% chance of seeing this much rain.


Thunderstorms wreak havoc across Switzerland and Germany

Fallen trees and broken branches have buried and heavily damaged cars near Zurich
© Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP
Fallen trees and broken branches have buried and heavily damaged cars near Zurich.
Heavy summer thunderstorms have caused widespread damage and flooding in Germany and Switzerland.

Swiss police reported that a local airport hangar in the southern town of Magadino had partially collapsed due to strong winds and heavy rain overnight. No injuries have been reported, but several planes were damaged, the authorities said.

Meanwhile, trees were blown onto roads and rail tracks in Zurich, causing travel chaos for commuters.

Switzerland has also warned citizens that several rivers could burst their banks, while some Alpine passes were temporarily closed due to heavy snowfall.

More than 4 centimetres of rain fell on Zurich overnight and over 3.1 centimetres of rain fell in just 10 minutes on nearby Waldegg, according to broadcaster SRF.

Cloud Lightning

Jogger killed by lightning strike in Miaoli City, Taiwan

Rubber sole?

Rubber sole?
A man died after being struck by lightning while jogging when a thunderstorm hit the area in Miaoli City yesterday evening, July 13.

The Miaoli City Fire Department received reports that a man had been struck by lightening on a pathway atop the riverside levee bank opposite the National Miaoli Agricultural and Industrial Vocational High School at 6:25 pm.

Fire department paramedics found the 31-year-old man, named Liu, without vital signs, and with injuries consistent with that of a lightning strike. The concrete pathway where Liu lay was badly damaged, and one of Liu's sneakers had been blown off and was badly damaged.

Liu was bleeding from his ears, had abdominal bruising, and there were lacerations and a puncture wound to his right calf. Liu was rushed to hospital but was declared dead shortly after arrival.


Heavy floods and rainstorms happen again in China

The entire city of Beijing came to a standstill. Hundreds of flights were canceled and schools closed, as the city faced the biggest storm of the year, on Sunday. About 15 thousand people were evacuated from their homes.

Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds caused flooding, stopped public bus lines and forced tourist sites to close.

Beijing authorities have issued stay-at-home orders for everyone on Monday. And they are asking companies to let employees work from home.

Heavy rains have also caused problems in other Chinese cities. It is in Hebei province, which borders Beijing. Floods have submerged parts of the city, blocking roads and sewer pipes. More extreme weather conditions are expected in the coming days.


Body of suspected bear attack victim found on Hokkaido forest road in Japan - 2nd such fatality in 10 days

In this June 2015 file photo, a brown bear is seen in the Hokkaido town of Shari.
© Mainichi/Hiroaki Homma
In this June 2015 file photo, a brown bear is seen in the Hokkaido town of Shari.
The body of a person believed to have been attacked by a brown bear was found along a forest road in the town of Takinoue, Hokkaido, on July 12, police said.

Hokkaido Prefectural Police's Monbetsu Police Station is trying to identify the individual and the cause of their death. The gender of the body was not immediately known.

According to the police station, an employee of the district forest office called police at around 2:30 p.m. on July 12, saying, "Someone has collapsed."

The body had sustained wounds to the head, and a backpack and other belongings were found nearby. Animal dung was also spotted near the scene.

Comment: From the same news outlet on July 3:
Body of suspected bear attack victim found in Hokkaido town

An unidentified body has been found in bushes in a Hokkaido town in what appears to be a bear attack, police said.

The remains, of unknown sex, were found in the Hokkaido town of Fukushima at around 10:20 a.m. on July 2. As it is severely damaged with some parts missing, Hokkaido Prefectural Police's Matsumae Police Station suspects that the person was attacked by a brown bear. A woman in her 70s in the neighborhood is missing, and police believe the body may be hers. They are working to identify the body.

According to the police station, the woman left her home on the morning of July 1 to work in her farm field. She did not come home that evening and her relatives contacted police the following morning. The body was found approximately 30 meters from the field during a search by officers and town hall staff.


Girl dies following dog attack at home in Belgium

dog attack
An 8-year-old girl died last night in the Belgian village of Stribe Brackenes after being attacked by a dog. This was reported by various French-speaking media. The girl was alone with the dog at home and was found by her mother when she came home.

The mother found her daughter in critical condition when she returned home around 11 p.m. The girl died of her injuries in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Firefighters and police who arrived at the scene noticed that the dog - the American Stafford - was still very aggressive. According to the prosecutor, the officers had no choice but to shoot the dog.

There were two other dogs in the same house but they did not appear to be involved in the attack. The three dogs belong to the mother's partner. A judicial investigation has begun.