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Thu, 27 Feb 2020
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Snowflake

Unusually heavy snowfall in Kurdistan region of Iraq blocks border crossing, main roads

Snow covers the Kurdistan Region's border town of Haji Omaran, Feb. 13, 2020.
© Kurdistan 24
Snow covers the Kurdistan Region's border town of Haji Omaran, Feb. 13, 2020.
The main road at the Fishkhabour international border crossing in the province of Duhok has been blocked due to unusually heavy snowfall that has covered most cities in the Kurdistan Region, as well as several others southward in Iraq where snow is rarely seen.

Local sources reported that transportation has been closed due to snow accumulation, stopping travelers and transport of goods between the Kurdistan Region and Syria.

The Fishkhabour border crossing is located on the Tigris River in Zakho district, 85 km west of Duhok city. It was established in 1991 and remains a key gateway connecting the Kurdistan Region to Syria, though the volume of goods passing through is limited.


Attention

Mexico's mighty Popocatepetl volcano erupts in nighttime explosion

Popocatepetl volcano erupts

Popocatepetl volcano erupts
Mexico's mighty Popocatepetl volcano erupted Thursday, with a dramatic show of lava flying from its crater and an ash column rising some 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) into the night sky.

According to reports, the explosion occurred at 00:55 local time (06:55 GMT).

Popocatepetl is 5,426 meters (17,802 feet) tall and is the second-highest mountain in Mexico and the fifth-highest in North America.

El Popo, as it is affectionately known locally, is one of Mexico's most active volcanoes.


Attention

Strange animal behavior: Group of wallabies viciously attack four-year-old boy in Cairns, Australia

Queensland boy Elijah Deacon has been hospitalised with deep cuts in a wallaby attack.
© Riana Deacon
Queensland boy Elijah Deacon has been hospitalised with deep cuts in a wallaby attack.
A four-year-old boy has been left bloodied and traumatised after being attacked by wallabies in far north Queensland.

Elijah Deacon's mother was forced to fight off the mob after he suffered deep scratches and bites.

Elijah was playing with his brother at a sports field in Cairns when the animals chased him down and knocked him to the ground.


His distraught mother, Riana, has told 7NEWS the attack was relentless and vicious.

She says she managed to fight the animals off, before they started chasing her.



Doberman

Six-year-old killed by stray dog in Pakistan

dog attack
A six-year-old boy was killed in Multan's Shershah after a stray dog attacked him.

The boy, Sujawal, had gone into the fields to play when the dog attacked him, his family said.

Residents want the culling campaign to be restarted in the area. But the District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Munawar Abbas believes the reason for the attacks is because people have kept the dogs as pets.

The Multan Metropolitan Corporation has informed the provincial health department multiple times of the failure of the culling campaign.

Seismograph

Japan is rattled by 5.2-magnitude earthquake near Fukushima

EArthquake japan fukashima February 2020
© USGS
Japan was rattled by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake off the country's east coast on February 12, 2020
Japan was rattled by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake off the country's east coast today

The US Geological Survey said today's earthquake had struck at a depth of around 50 miles under the sea.

One witness told earthquake monitoring service EMSC that the quake produced a 'weak but long shake' lasting about 10 seconds.

Another said their heater had moved around on its four wheels while making a sound. Officials in Fukushima prefecture warned residents that there could be aftershocks and directed them to official public safety advice.

Energy company TEPCO, which runs four nuclear power plants in the prefecture, said it was awaiting further information about the earthquake's impact.

In 2011, Fukushima was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl when a 9.1-magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami.

The wave flooded the nuclear power plant and caused a massive meltdown, spewing out radiation that forced 160,000 people to flee their homes.

Japan is located on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries.

Snowflake

Heavy snowfall, avalanches leave 21 dead, 7 missing in Afghanistan (UPDATE)

snow
The collapse of mud houses in remote mountainous Daikundi province caused deaths, six from single family

Heavy snow and avalanches claimed at least 15 lives, including six people of a single family in Afghanistan, an official confirmed on Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Assadullah Sarwari, regional head of the Afghanistan Disasters Management Authority in central Daikundi province said, avalanches have caused death and destruction in the past 24 hours.

He confirmed the death of 15 people, including six members of a single-family. "Among the victims included two pregnant women who died because of their inability to reach to hospital for the delivery", he said.

Comment: Update: News18 reports on Feb 14th:
At least 21 people were killed after a series of avalanches struck a central province in Afghanistan, authorities said Friday.

According to Ahmad Tameem Azimi, spokesman of the ministry for disaster management, seven people remain missing following the avalanches in central Daykundi province on Thursday. Ten people have been injured.

The 21 killed were all from two families in the area, Azimi said. At least 50 houses were destroyed. Azimi added that search and rescue teams have been working since Thursday to find the missing and help the victims.

He said the number of dead was expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts. Most highways have been closed for weeks, due to heavy snowfall and fears of avalanches.

This winter in Afghanistan has been harsh, with heavy snowfall, avalanches and flash flooding. Thursday's deaths bring the death toll from avalanches and flash floods in the country in the past two months to 72.

Scores have also been injured and 2,400 houses have been swept away in flash floods since the start of winter. Afghanistan has suffered through more than four decades of war and conflict since the Soviet invasion in 1979.

But natural disasters such as landslides, floods and avalanches have also taken a heavy toll on a country with little infrastructure or development outside of its major cities. Environmental degradation has also worsened the problems.



Snowflake

Flake news: Big snow at Showdown, Montana - 28 inches in 24 hours

snowfall
Showdown Montana reported on Wednesday that it received 28" of snowfall in the last 24 hours.

Showdown said in an email that "it was all hands on deck at Showdown today for snow removal, with almost all employees dredging waist deep in powder all morning."

They have received 238" of snowfall so far this season.

Showdown is open Wednesdays - Sundays; closing day this season is scheduled for April 5.


Cloud Precipitation

Bolivia: Floods hit La Paz and Potosí Departments - up to 8 inches of rainfall in 24 hours

Restricted parking

Restricted parking

Heavy rain has affected several parts of Bolivia over the last few days, triggering floods in La Paz and Potosí departments.

Bolivia news agency ABI reported flooding in Achocalla in La Paz Department, where 1 person died and around 12 homes were destroyed after a river broke its banks. The government has provided food and relief supplies to 21 affected families.

Authorities in La Paz department said that flooding had damaged a bridge in Mecapaca.

Floods were also reported in the south of the country. The government said flooding in Cotagaita, Potosí Department on 06 February had damaged or destroyed 250 homes, affecting hundreds of people.


Comment: In the month prior: At least 6 dead as severe weather triggers floods, landslides and lightning strikes in Bolivia


Windsock

209 mph wind gust recorded at California peak may have set record

Kirkwood Mountain Resort in California

Kirkwood Mountain Resort in California
A gust of 209 mph was recorded atop a California peak on Sunday, a potential record that wowed forecasters monitoring a cold storm that moved south through the state dumping snow, rain and hail.

The blast of wind was captured around 7:45 am by an instrument at 9,186 feet (2,800 meters) on Kirkwood Mountain south of Lake Tahoe, said National Weather Service forecaster Alex Hoon.

He and his colleagues at the NWS office in Reno, Nevada watched in surprise as wind speeds across the crest of the Sierra Nevada hit 150 mph and kept rising.

"It went up and up," Hoon said. It could take months for state climatologists to verify the record, he said.

Cloud Precipitation

Australia: Floods in southern Queensland as rivers rise

Jandowae floods, Queensland 12 February, 2020.
© QLD FSES
Jandowae floods, Queensland 12 February, 2020.
The heavy rain continues to fall in South East Australia, with flooding affecting parts of southern Queensland over the last few days. This follows severe flooding in parts of New South Wales after days of heavy rain from 07 February.

Several parts of Queensland's Sunshine and Gold Coast areas recorded more than 170mm of rain in 24 hours to 13 February. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Marcoola recorded 231.8mm of rain during this period, Nambour 200.8mm and Southport 177mm.

Queensland's State Emergency Service (SES) said it carried out 19 swift water rescues and responded to over 300 calls for assistance.

Warnings were issued for communities near the Coomera River at Oxenford, where river levels jumped to 3.02 metres (major flood stage is 2.5 metres).