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Mon, 24 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Southeast Alaska's ever-deepening snow: 'a real problem and a real hassle'

Ice hangs off of Stan Savland’s Lemon Creek home on Tuesday, Jan. 4, in Juneau.
© Rashah McChesney/KTOO
Ice hangs off of Stan Savland’s Lemon Creek home on Tuesday, Jan. 4, in Juneau. Svaland cleared some of the overhanging snow off of his roof in an attempt to keep it from falling and damaging his oil tank, but a several-hundred pound piece hit him in the leg on the way down.
Winter weather is in full effect across Alaska, but unusually high snow accumulation is testing Southeast. Usually some snow melts between storms, but that's not happening this winter.

Long icicles dangled under a block of snow piled on top of Stan Savland's home in Juneau's Lemon Creek neighborhood. Savland and his son knocked a piano-sized chunk of snow and ice off the roof with a steel bar this week.

Savland says warming from the attic created an ice dam that blocked the snow from sliding off his metal roof. He estimates more than three feet of ice and snow teetered above his fuel tank. So he took matters into his own hands.

"We put some protection by the oil tank, and it basically bounced off the protection and then bounced out, hit me in the leg and knocked me down," he said. "We accomplished our goal but kind of got caught in the crossfire."

Snowflake Cold

Mt. Bachelor in Oregon sets snowfall record (nearly 5 feet in 72 hours)

Heavy snow, high winds blow into region; Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Bachelor
In a month's time, Mount Bachelor has gone from having no snow on the ground to setting a record for the most snowfall in a few days, thus raising the danger from tree wells in the wake of a recent skier's death.

The resort said it has received nearly five feet (58 inches) in the past 72 hours, including nearly a foot overnight, and "the winds continue to howl." Mt. Bachelor's morning update stated said the wind and conditions will dictate how many lifts can open. Higher-elevation lifts have been closed for several days due to the winds. Parking lots also were reaching capacity due to the amount of snow piled up there.

"It's really nice for actually being at the mountain, but I think my car is just completely stuck in the parking lot," snowboarder Kian Knight said Wednesday.


Signs and Portents: Villagers flock to see two-headed calf in southern India

The calf lies on sacking next to its mother at a farm in Gangaikondan, south India

The calf lies on sacking next to its mother at a farm in Gangaikondan, south India
A baby calf with two heads, four eyes and two mouths has become a local attraction in Gangaikondan, south India.

A video taken on January 1 shows lines of curious spectators queueing up to see the newborn creature lying in a shed with its mother.

A woman can be seen bottle feeding the calf, while another holds its head up so it can drink the milk.

The farmer, identified only as Murugan, is having to bottle feed the newborn as its two heads are too heavy for it to lift, leaving it unable to suckle from its mother.

Cloud Lightning

Two lightning strikes kill 5 in Tanzania - one bolt killing 4 children

At least five people, including four children, have been killed by lightning strike in Tanzania's western district of Kibondo in Kigoma region.

A statement on Wednesday by the Kigoma regional Police Commander, James Manyama, said the four children were hit by lightning on Tuesday at 6 p.m. local time in Kibuye village.

"All the four children who were playing under a mango tree were from different families," Manyama told a press conference.

The fifth victim, a woman, was struck by lightning at her farm on Tuesday evening.

Manyama urged parents and guardians not to allow their children to play under trees during the ongoing rains to avoid being hit by lightning.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods hit Iran's southern region, relief operations underway in 87 Iranian cities - at least 8 dead

In Iran, flash floods have left at least eight people dead and 14 injured in the southern region of the country, according to the officials, the deluge is expected to last until later this week. The spokesman for the national rescue service has said that the floods and the rainfall reported in the past few days led to an increase in casualties and deaths.


At least 10 fatalities from snowfall, flooding reported across Afghanistan

Heavy snowfall and flooding in various parts of Afghanistan have taken the lives of at least 10 people, said authorities.

Heavy snowfall and flooding in various parts of Afghanistan have taken the lives of at least 10 people, said authorities.
Based on reports, around 10 people have died and more than 30 others have been injured in avalanches and weather-related accidents in Badakhsan, Bamyan, Nimroz, Farah, Jawzjan and Faryab provinces.

Meanwhile, the Salang Pass Protection Department says that heavy snowfall in the south of Salang has closed the Kabul-North highway, and in the past 24 hours, this route has been opened only Intermittently to the traffic.

In the past 24 hours, more than twenty provinces of the country have witnessed heavy snowfall, and a deadly avalanche in the Raghistan district of Badakhsan killed five people and caused significant financial damage.

"It has been three days now that transportation routes have been closed due to heavy snowfall, and many people have died due to floods," said Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Badakhshan.

Cloud Precipitation

Army steps in to help flood affectees as heavy rains wreak havoc in Balochistan, Pakistan

Emergency imposed after heavy rains lash southwestern region

Emergency imposed after heavy rains lash southwestern region
Following flash flooding in coastal areas of Balochistan, Pakistan Army along with other forces stepped in to assist the civil administration in rescue and relief operations.

Reports in local media said heavy rains have been brought by a strong westerly wave that has entered the western and upper parts of the country which left several parts in Balochistan inundated.

A statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the Army troops immediately assisted civil administration in rescue and relief efforts including dewatering of various areas and shifting of stranded tourists and their vehicles in flooded areas to safer places.

Eye 1

Diver killed in crocodile attack at beach in Colombo, Sri Lanka

A 57-year-old man, who was diving in Dehiwala beach, had been snatched away by a crocodile yesterday morning, Police said.

He was diving into the sea to catch ornamental fish when a group of fishermen spotted him being grabbed by a 14-foot-long crocodile.

The fishermen tried to rescue him, but the man died after sustaining severe damage to his chest.

They said the body has been placed at the Colombo-South Teaching Hospital.

The victim had been identified as a resident of Ratmalana.


Tens of thousands of dead starfish wash up on coast in Pembrokeshire, Wales - 'I have never seen something like this before'

Tens of thousands' of starfish wash up on Pembrokeshire coastline

Tens of thousands' of starfish wash up on Pembrokeshire coastline.
Tens of thousands of starfish have been discovered washed up along the Pembrokeshire coastline in a huge mass stranding.

The creatures were spotted along the beach from Coppet Hall in Saundersfoot all the way up to Tenby and there are reported to be tens of thousands of them.

Giles Davies, an amateur nature photographer, shared a snapshot of the starfish along the shore.

He said: "I have never seen something like this before. It's really sad to just see that in nature, because you're looking at deaths in the thousands of one species.

"That would kind of make sense because Tenby is the first place where the tide turns in Wales, so when you get strandings they come to shore generally in that area. But it's the sheer volume, you're always going to get winter tides where stuff will come ashore."


Humpback whale washes ashore along Tajiguas Beach, California

Rare Sight Could Help Researchers Studying Cetacean Mammals in Santa Barbara Channel
© Kevin Loughran
Rare sight could help researchers studying cetacean mammals in Santa Barbara Channel
Locals taking an early-morning oceanside walk at Tajiguas Beach last week were in for a huge surprise when they found a 44-foot-long humpback whale washed up onto the sand.

Kevin Loughran, a resident who has lived in the area for nearly 30 years, takes a walk along the beach every day; shortly after sunrise, he received a call from a friend who had seen the whale. "I went down to see what was going on, and there she was," he said.

Loughran said this was the first time he had seen a whale washed up in the area, though it was more common to see smaller animals like seals and pelicans or, even more commonly, abandoned panga boats.

The whale — a young female humpback —had washed up during the morning high tide on New Year's Eve, and Loughran said he wanted to make sure the proper authorities knew about it. He contacted the Channel Islands Cetacean Research Unit, which studies abandoned or stranded whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the Santa Barbara Channel.