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Wed, 28 Sep 2016
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Earth Changes


Major landslides triggered by Typhoon Megi leave dozens missing in China

© Stringer / Reuters
People take a boat as Typhoon Megi causes flooding in Fuzhou, China
Chinese news outlets are reporting that around 30 people are missing after Typhoon Megi struck the east of the country on Wednesday, less than a day after battering nearby Taiwan.

The typhoon made landfall at Quanzhou city in Fujian province in the early hours of Wednesday morning bringing winds of up to 118km per hour, China Central Television (CCTV) reports.

Heavy rainfall and powerful winds were widespread in the southeast of the country. The treacherous conditions triggered landslides in Secun village, Zhejiang on Wednesday evening, destroying more than 20 houses and leaving at least 27 people missing, according to Xinhua news agency.

At least four people were killed and more than 500 injured when the typhoon barreled through northeastern Taiwan on Tuesday. Almost 4 million homes were left without electricity and nearly 300,000 houses were without water, Taiwan's Central News Agency said.

Megi is the 17th typhoon this year and it comes less than three weeks after Super Typhoon Meranti wrecked havoc in the Philippines, Taiwan and China.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

70,000 people displaced by severe flooding in North Korea after Typhoon Lionrock

© n/a
"About 600,000 people have some level of immediate effect from the disaster"
More than 70,000 people displaced by severe flooding in North Korea nearly a month ago are urgently in need of supplies and shelter before winter sets in, a Red Cross official in Pyongyang said Wednesday.

The floods were caused by a typhoon that hit the country's northernmost province late last month. Officials estimate that more than 130 people died and another 400 are missing. Typhoon Lionrock, amplified by a low-pressure system in the area, created floods that submerged, severely damaged or destroyed 30,000 homes and displaced 70,000 people.

"The disaster was pretty horrendous for the people affected," Chris Staines, head of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in North Korea, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "About 600,000 people have some level of immediate effect from the disaster."

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills runner on trail near Austin, Texas; total lightning fatalities for U.S. in 2016 now 36

© 123RF
An Austin woman who was found dead on Sept. 25 in Travis County has been ruled death by a lightning strike.

Michelle Ann Wolfe, 37, was discovered by a runner around 5:36 p.m. on River Place Boulevard in west Travis County. The Travis County Sheriff's Office says there were no signs of foul play.

Detectives said a fallen tree limb near Wolfe's body appeared to have been burned. The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office has determined she died accidentally by a lightning strike.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there has been an average of 51 lightning strike deaths each year in the U.S. over the past 20 years.

KXAN meteorologist David Yeomans reported that July is the deadliest month relating to lightning strikes in the U.S. The National Weather Service reported 11 lightning-related deaths across the country during the span of two weeks in July this year.

Blue Planet

Iconic natural rock arch collapses onto beach in Morocco

© Stringer
Moroccans survey the huge pile of debris after the collapse of one of the archways at Legzira beach, near Sidi Ifni.
They were among Morocco's best-known natural wonders: two immense rock archways towering over Legzira beach on the Atlantic coast. But on Friday afternoon one of them collapsed.

A massive pile of red rubble now sits where the famous archway used to stand, dominating the popular beach near Sidi Ifni, south of Agadir.

Often cited as one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Legzira is famous for Atlantic sunsets punctuated by the rock structures jutting out from the cliffs.

They were formed over thousands of years through erosion by the sea.

The iconic rock arch of Legzira beach, Morocco
But the action of the waves may also have caused the arch's downfall. A large crack appeared on its southern face in March after a chunk fell off, reported ifnipress.com.


Magnitude 5 earthquake hits Kalamata on Greek coast

Kalamata, Greece
An earthquake measuring 5 points on the Richter scale shook Kalamata on Wednesday morning, bringing memories of the 1986 tremors that killed 22 people.

The tremors were felt in Kalamata at 10:17 am, while several towns and villages in southwestern Peloponnese felt the effect. According to seismologists, the epicenter of the earthquake was in the Messinian Gulf sea, 14 kilometers south of Kalamata and had a depth of 19 kilometers.

Meanwhile, just before midnight tremors measuring 5.4 points on the Richter shook the islands of Dodecanese, mostly felt in Rhodes. However, seismologists said on Skai radio that the two earthquakes are not related.

Comment: The U.S. Geological Survey also reported 2 other earthquakes in a 24 hour period measuring above magnitude 4 in the regions of Greece and Turkey.


Third right whale found dead off Maine coast in 3 days

The carcass of an endangered right whale found floating off Boothbay Harbor sits Sunday in a tractor-trailer that transported it from the Portland waterfront to Benson Farm in Gorham, creating a bit of an overnight spectacle in the streets along the way.
Federal fisheries managers and conservation groups raised concerns Tuesday about threats to endangered right whales after two were found dead off the Maine coast and a third was disentangled from fishing gear near Cape Cod.

The spate of three incidents reported in a three-day span is renewing the focus on a whale population that has been growing but remains in a precarious position. Fisheries managers will also be studying the two entanglements, one of which is being now blamed for the death of a female whale just entering its reproductive years.

Saturday, the same day that Maine Marine Patrol and Coast Guard crews were towing the 43-foot-long whale into Portland Harbor, a second, badly decomposed right whale was reported about 8 miles off Mount Desert Rock south of Mount Desert Island. And just two days earlier, whale disentanglement specialists freed a third right whale from hundreds of feed of fishing line and buoys near Provincetown, Massachusetts. That whale survived and swam away.

So on Tuesday, representatives with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several conservation organizations took the unusual step of highlighting the cases to raise awareness.


Furious elk (moose) attacks man and breaks his arm in Sweden

Elk in Sweden
A man in northern Sweden had to seek hospital care after a violent attack by an elk.

Presumably, the man had imagined he would have a nice and calm morning walk with his dogs when he left his house in Svappavaara, north-west of Kiruna, at around eight o'clock in the morning.

Instead, he ended up having to go to hospital with a suspected broken arm after a furious elk cow launched a sudden assault on him, reported newspaper Norrbottens-kuriren on Tuesday.

"The man said he was attacked by the elk. He escaped the initial attack, but it came back and he then took a nasty blow to the arm," said police spokesperson Börje Öhman.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

Severe hailstorm hits the town of Cleve, South Australia

Hail at Cleve
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued across parts of South Australia on Septemeber 28 with winds of up to 140km/h predicted.

Nine News reported almost 4000 properties in the state are without power, with the Eyre Peninsula the hardest hit so far.

The Bureau of Meteorology put out an alert for the Adelaide area, warning of thunderstorms causing reduced visibility, flash flooding & wind gusts.

The video shows a severe hail storm hitting what appears to be the town of Cleve, SA.

Video credit goes to: Facebook/Julie Minge


Waterspout caught on camera off Orange Beach, Alabama

© Sydney Elizabeth
Sydney Elizabeth lives in Indiana, according to her Facebook page. She said she'd never even heard of a waterspout.
Orange Beach was the perfect place to be for lucky beachgoers in Alabama.

Many people posted their photos of a waterspout that formed in near Orange Beach Tuesday.

Sydney Elizabeth lives in Indiana, according to her Facebook page. She said she'd never even heard of anything like it.

"This was the coolest thing ever! I guess it's called a waterspout," she wrote.


2 hunters injured in separate bear attacks in Montana

Bear attacks left two Montana hunters injured over the weekend in separate encounters.

The first incident occurred Saturday when a man hunting near in the Cabin Creek area of Gallatin County was calling for elk. He received minor injuries from a bear assumed to be a grizzly, said a Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks news release.

The second attack was Sunday morning. A bear believed to be a female grizzly with two cubs mauled a man who was bow hunting elk on the north side of Tim Miner basin north of Gardiner, the release said.

Both hunters were treated at local hospitals and released.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks did not attempt to locate the bears involved. The attacks were determined to be non-predatory and natural responses to close encounters between bears and humans. The bears would have been located if they were suspected repeat offenders or if they were injured during the incidents, said Andrea Jones, FWP spokesperson.