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Tue, 18 Feb 2020
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Earth Changes


SOTT Earth Changes Summary - January 2020: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Wildfires continued to rage across Australia through January, leaving 70% of the country covered in a smokey haze. New South Wales and Victoria were the most affected states with more than 2,000 houses destroyed, and thousands displaced.

The rain has since brought some respite, but there are still more than 50 active fires. And if that was not enough, flash floods, giant hail, and dust-storms hit the country adding to the destruction caused by the ongoing fires.

A significant number of impressive meteor fireballs were filmed this month, along with increased reports of loud "booms" or 'explosions in the sky', highlighting that there could be even more meteor fireballs events that are not reported, or pass unnoticed.

Seismic and volcanic activity reached an interesting peak this month, a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit eastern Turkey. At least 31 people were killed and more than 1,600 injured.

Puerto Rico was hit by two powerful shallow earthquakes of 5.8 and 6.4 magnitude that left one person dead, a path of destroyed buildings, and island-wide power cuts. The triggered seismic swarm hasn't stopped yet.

A 6.4 magnitude tremor also shook Xinjiang, China, causing one dead, and damage in several buildings.

Last but not least, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck 80 miles from Jamaica, shaking people in the Caribbean and as far away as Miami.

Even if the media is reporting that "a number of countries just witnessed their warmest January", the amount of snow in the northern hemisphere was certainly far from "normal". See it for yourself in this month's SOTT Earth Changes Summary...

Arrow Down

Sinkhole swallows truck in Grand Ledge, Michigan


Sinkhole takes out salt truck (not for a meal)
A giant sinkhole out in Grand Ledge needed a crane to get a salt truck out of it.

The worker was said to be turning around in the old gas station on Saginaw and Jenne Street, just down the road from Grand Ledge Schools and it has residents worried.

"This gas station, back in the year 2005 had a gas leak and they ended up digging the tanks out," Rick Jones, Former State Senator/ Sheriff sai.

Jones says he's been a resident of Grand Ledge for 40 years and has seen the old gas station transform into a mechanical shop and then into nothing. Now, it sits as state property but the real concern is that it's in a school zone.


'This is a truly historic storm' - 3 feet of snow falls on Vail Mountain, Colorado

ski lift
No friends on powder days, they say. But there are plenty of strangers.

As of 5 a.m. Friday, Vail Mountain had seen 17 inches in 24 hours. By the end of the day, that number was up to 31 inches, according to Greg Johnson, vice president of mountain operations at Vail Mountain. Some parts of the mountain saw up to 36 inches.

"This is a truly historic storm," Johnson said. "The snow hasn't let up all day, so we're expecting great conditions throughout the weekend and into next week."

Comment: Also in Colorado, Steamboat Resort received 18 inches of snow in 24 hours on the same day.

Cloud Lightning

Two people killed after being struck by lightning in South Africa

Two people from Qweqwe village outside Mthatha were killed after being struck by lightning while three others from Mhlontlo municipal area were rushed to hospital after a house collapsed on them after a thunderstorm swept through villages in the OR Tambo district last weekend.

District municipal spokesperson Zimkhita Macingwane said the number of people left homeless by the strong rains accompanied by gale force winds had risen to 48, according to the latest information from their disaster management unit.

"Two people were struck and killed by lightning at Qweqwe village in ward 31 of KSD on Sunday," she said."


60 inches of snow in 4 days at Apex Mountain, British Columbia - Most snow in 40-plus years

Apex Mountain Resort sees most snow in 40-plus years.
© Apex Mountain Resort Instagram
Apex Mountain Resort sees most snow in 40-plus years.
James Shalman likens the conditions at Apex Mountain Resort to skiing on clouds.

"You're skiing in this kind of weightless powder zone, the snow is blowing up over your shoulders, it truly is what you live for as a skier or snowboarder," Shalman, Apex general manager, said from the top of the hill Friday.

Apex Mountain has smashed through snowfall records this week, seeing over 150 centimetres in the last four days, and it's still coming down.

"We just happen to be in this little storm cell, and it just hit us, in a great way," Shalman said.

He has been at Apex for 20 years and can't recall a bigger, longer-lasting dump of snow, and he's been talking to locals in the lift lines whose memories stretch even further.


Mysterious "cloud rosettes" only visible from space captured by NASA off coast of western Australia

cloud rosettes
© NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview
NASA's Aqua satellite spotted these actinoform clouds over the Indian Ocean.
Some natural wonders aren't as obvious as the Grand Canyon or Victoria Falls. A NASA satellite caught sight of a series of striking "cloud rosettes" over the Indian Ocean. It looks like an unseen hand turned cloud formations into a flower arrangement.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured the breathtaking view on Jan. 29, and the space agency's Earth Observatory shared it as an image of the day on Friday. The clouds appeared off the western coast of Australia.

Comment: A variety of unusual and normally rare phenomena are being sighted in our skies with an increasing frequency these days: Also check out SOTT radio's:


6.2-magnitude earthquake rocks Papua New Guinea

Seismologists said coastal residents near the epicentre would have felt 'quite strong ground shaking' as the tremor was close to the shore of Papua New Guinea

Seismologists said coastal residents near the epicentre would have felt 'quite strong ground shaking' as the tremor was close to the shore of Papua New Guinea
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea today, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake hit just after 4pm local time at a depth of 19 miles some 75 miles south of Kokopo, the capital of PNG's East New Britain province, the USGS said.

Despite the earthquake strike close to the shore no tsunami warning was issued, authorities said.

Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Trevor Allen said coastal communities near the epicentre would have felt 'quite strong ground shaking' as the tremblor was close to the shore.

But, he said, the area was relatively sparsely populated and flexible building design locally helped limit exposure to damage from quakes.


Storm Ciara's hurricane-force winds batter UK transport

High winds from Storm Ciara whip up foam onto the road at Caswell Bay near Swansea
© Phil Rees/Rex/Shutterstock
High winds from Storm Ciara whip up foam onto the road at Caswell Bay near Swansea.
Hurricane-force winds have rocked Britain's transport network, causing the cancellation of trains, flights and ferries and prompting warnings of power cuts and a risk to life from falling debris.

The arrival of the weather front known as Storm Ciara, along with heavy rain and winds of more than 80 miles per hour, also comes with a heightened risk of flooding.

Heathrow airport said it had agreed with airlines to "consolidate" the flight schedule in a bid to minimise the number of cancelled flights.

British Airways was offering rebooking options for customers on domestic and European flights flying to and from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City while Virgin Atlantic also posted a list of cancelled flights on its website.

At least 10 rail companies sent out "do not travel" warnings, and nearly 20 others have told passengers to expect delays as strong winds were expected to damage electrical wires and clutter train tracks with broken tree limbs and other debris.

Rail companies issuing warnings against travel included Gatwick Express, Great Northern, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink, Grand Central Hull Trains and TransPennine Express.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flooding after torrential downpours cause havoc in Johannesburg and Gauteng, South Africa

Floods in Gauteng Province, 08 February 2020.
© Gauteng Province Community Safety
Floods in Gauteng Province, 08 February 2020.
Torrential downpours in South Africa have caused havoc on roads around Johannesburg and Gauteng Province. In some areas flooding has prompted residents to evacuate their homes.

Dozens of roads have been flooded in and around Johannesburg, including parts of the M1 De Villiers Graaff motorway. Some motorists were forced to abandon their cars submerged under water.

City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Service (EMS) said on 08 February: "Heavy rainfall since yesterday has resulted in flash floods in some parts of Johannesburg. We urge residents to exercise caution on all roads, low lying areas and near rivers. Officers from all Fire Stations along with police are attending to various incidents citywide."


Shallow 6.1-magnitude quake hits off Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolted 124km SSE of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands at 14:32:57 GMT on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 16.12 km, was initially determined to be at 60.0165 degrees south latitude and 25.4811 degrees west longitude.