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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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Snowboarder dies in central Oregon avalanche

Paulina Peak, OR.
© SnowBrains
Paulina Peak, OR.
A snowboarder died after an avalanche south of Bend, Oregon, at Paulina Peak Wednesday afternoon.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Wall told KTVZ that a person had died several hours after a call for help was received by dispatchers.

Three snowboarders had used snowmobiles to reach the area and were snowboarding down the 7,984-foot (2,433-meter) peak, located east of La Pine and the highest point on the Newberry Volcano, when the avalanche happened, according to Wall.


Rare waterspout swirls over Darwin Harbour, Australia

A waterspout was seen swirling near Darwin Harbour in the Northern Territory on Wednesday, March 15.

Credit: Taryn Hirst via Storyful

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Indonesia - 4 dead, 7 missing after floods and landslides in Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi

Floods in Musi Rawas Regency, Indonesia, March 2023
© BPBD Musi Rawas Regency
Floods in Musi Rawas Regency, Indonesia, March 2023
At least 4 people have died and 7 are missing after floods and landslides in the provinces of West Java, South Sulawesi, Lampung and South Sumatra in Indonesia over the last few days.

Meanwhile, search and rescue operations at the site of the massive landslide in Serasan, Natuna Regency, have found the bodies of 46 victims. As of 12 March, 9 people were still missing.

West Java Province

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) reported heavy rain caused a large landslide in Empang Village, South Bogor District in West Java Province on 14 March. The Bogor City Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) reported that the landslide material then buried 6 houses and 1 place of worship. As a result, 17 people were buried under the rubble. Eleven people have since been found safe. Two of the victims died and 4 others are still missing.

Cloud Precipitation

Turkey - 14 dead, 5 missing after flash floods in Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman (UPDATE)

Floods in Adıyaman province, Turkey, March 2023.
© Government of Adıyaman Province
Floods in Adıyaman province, Turkey, March 2023.
Disaster authorities in Turkey report at least 1 person has died and 4 are still missing after torrential rain caused flash flooding in parts of the southeastern Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman provinces.

Flooding struck on 15 March 2023 following heavy rain. According to figures from Turkey's General Directorate of Meteorology, in a 24-hour period to 15 March, Karaköprü in Şanlıurfa recorded 104.5 mm of rain and Çelikhan in Adıyaman recorded 125.6 mm. Areas of neighbouring Malatya Province also recorded very heavy rain, with Doğanşehir recorded 151.4 mm during the same period.

Local media reported the rivers broke their banks in Adiyaman Province. Türkiye's disaster management agency AFAD, police, gendarmerie and municipality teams were evacuating residents from flooded areas. One person died and 4 were reported missing in Tut District. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

Comment: Update March 16

From the same source:
Disasters authorities in Turkey report that at least 14 people have now died in the flood that swept through areas of Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman in the southeast of the country on 15 March 2023.

Floods in Şanlıurfa, Turkey, March 2023.
© Police Turkey
Floods in Şanlıurfa, Turkey, March 2023.
Initial reports from yesterday suggested 1 person died and 4 were missing in the Tut District of Adıyaman Province. Turkey's Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said search and rescue teams found the body of a second victim and search operations are continuing for the 3 remaining missing people. The victims are thought to have died when floodwaters inundated a container home sheltering earthquake survivors.

In order to carry out search and rescue activities, a total of 346 personnel, including 15 vehicles, 14 professional divers and 140 search and rescue personnel have been deployed to the area. In addition, pumping equipment and 6 rescue boats were assigned.

Elsewhere in the province, the government reported a bridge had collapsed on the Adıyaman-Çelikhan Highway which has been closed.

At least 12 people have died in floods in the city of Urfa (officially Şanlıurfa) and areas of Şanlıurfa Province, AFADF reported. Bodies were found in a flooded basement apartment and inside vehicles trapped in a flooded underpass. A further 2 people are missing. AFAD said emergency services received 562 calls for assistance.

Damage in the city is considerable, with multiple vehicles wrecked and buildings and roads damaged. City streets were left strewn with flood debris. Water marks left by the muddy floodwater were above head height in some of the narrower streets of Şanlıurfa.

As of 15 March, floodwaters remained in some areas with some buildings only accessible by boat. Residents were told to move to higher floors and not to remain in the basements or ground floors of buildings. Police and emergency teams have evacuated several buildings.

Pumping equipment, 25 boats, 23 search and rescue vehicles, 17 professional divers and 162 search and rescue personnel are working in the area, AFAD said. Reinforcements have been brought in from other provinces.

Several government ministers including the interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, visited affected areas on 15 March to see the damage and destruction caused by the floods. Schools and some government offices have been closed. The full extent of the damage will only be known once official damage assessments have been carried out.


Shallow 7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Kermadec Islands, causes small tsunami


The epicenter of the earthquake
A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake has struck the Pacific Ocean near the Kermadec Islands, far north of New Zealand's mainland, seismologists say. Small tsunami waves were observed at a nearby island.

The earthquake, which struck at 1:56 p.m. local time on Thursday, was centered about 195 kilometers (121 miles) southeast of Raoul Island, the largest of the Kermadec Islands, or 1,125 kilometers (700 miles) northeast of Auckland.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0, down from 7.1 in an earlier assessment. It struck about 22 kilometers (14 miles) below the seabed, making it a shallow earthquake.

Tsunami alerts - which were initially issued for the Kermadec Islands, Fiji, New Zealand and Tonga - were canceled when it was determined there was no longer a threat.

Cloud Lightning

Records smashed as lightning strikes rain down on France

More than 9,500 lightning strikes hit France on Monday (March 13), a figure not seen on a single day in March since records began 35 years ago.

Monitoring service Météorage recorded the strikes, which numbered 9,549, beating the previous record of 9,134 in March 2001.

The French storm observatory, Keraunos, said Monday was "the stormiest day of the previous 15 years". A statement on its website read: "The indicator of storm severity was at 19.7 for the day of March 13, 2023, which makes it the stormiest day since the start of our data in 2009."

Cloud Precipitation

Colombia - Floods damage hundreds of homes in Cesar Department

Flood damage in Curumaní, Cesar, Colombia, March 2023.
Flood damage in Curumaní, Cesar, Colombia, March 2023.
Days of heavy rain triggered severe flooding in parts of the Cesar Department in Colombia where hundreds of homes have been damaged.

Colombia's National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) reported heavy rainfall from 08 March caused flooding in the municipality of Curumaní on 11 March. The Animito, San Pedro, and Palmar rivers and the San Ignacio and the La Cubana streams all broke their banks, UNGRD said.

More than 600 homes have been severely damaged in affected areas. Many residents have lost material possessions.

Wide areas of crops have also been damaged.

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Brazil - 8 killed, homes destroyed after landslide in Manaus, Amazonas

After the landslide in the Jorge Teixeira neighbourhood of Manaus, Brazil, March 2023.
© Prefeitura de Manaus
After the landslide in the Jorge Teixeira neighbourhood of Manaus, Brazil, March 2023.
Heavy rains in areas of the state of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil on 12 March triggered deadly landslides in the state capital Manaus.

The government of Manaus said at least 11 houses were destroyed after a landslide in the Jorge Teixeira neighbourhood. Eight bodies were located under the rubble and debris. Three people were rescued alive.


Still more snowfall in the Alps - 5 feet of snow after weekend snowstorm

It is snowing again in the Alps following the huge snowfalls in France, as well as some ski areas in western and northern Austria, Italy and Switzerland at the weekend.

The snowfall today (Tuesday 14th March 2023) is more widespread than the weekend falls, with many areas further east in Italy and Switzerland as well as in Austria posting good falls down to the valley floor.

The snowfall follows a temperature spike yesterday which saw many areas see afternoon highs of +10 to +15C on lower slopes, and is expected to just last a day or so before drier weather for the rest of this week.

The weekend snowstorm brought up to 1.5 metres (five feet) of snowfall to ski areas in the northern French Alps. Avoriaz, Cervinia, La Rosiere and Tignes were among the resorts posting the biggest jumps in their upper slope base depths (at least a metre each). Avalanche danger levels have also risen to 3 (considerable) or 4 (high) on the scale to a maximum of 5.

Tignes had the deepest upper slope base in Europe, up 109cm (nearly 4 feet) compared to this time last week.


First nor'easter of the season dumps heavy snow (3 FEET), cuts off power to hundreds of thousands across US Northeast

Neighbors clear their driveways in near whiteout conditions on Tuesday in East Derry, New Hamphsire.
© Charles Krupa/AP
Neighbors clear their driveways in near whiteout conditions on Tuesday in East Derry, New Hamphsire.
The season's first nor'easter has dropped nearly 3 feet of snow over parts of the US Northeast as of Tuesday evening, piling on trees and power lines and causing power outages for tens of thousands in the frigid weather with more snow possible into the night.

More than 240,000 customers across the region were without electricity as the sun went down Tuesday, including in New York, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us.

Areas from upstate New York into southern New England have reported snowfall totals of at least 2 feet since Monday night, and parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine could see another 6 to 12 inches through the night, according to the Weather Prediction Center.