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Tue, 09 Mar 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

5 million in northern Mexico without power as winter storm in Texas freezes natural gas pipelines

Mexico looks like Canada

Mexico looks like Canada
Freezing weather in the US state of Texas left almost five million people in northern Mexico without power early on Monday, as a shortage of natural gas disrupted electricity production.

Mexico's government-owned utility, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), said on Monday its operations were interrupted as the winter storm in Texas froze natural gas pipelines.

Mexico uses gas to generate about 60 percent of its power, compared with about 40 percent in the United States, and the country built pipelines to take advantage of cheap natural gas from its northern neighbour.

A deep freeze across Texas during the weekend took a toll on the energy industry in the largest US crude-producing state, shutting oil refineries and forcing restrictions from natural gas pipeline operators.


Snow storm pummels Japan, disrupts travel

A strong winter storm has lashed northern Japan and coastal regions, whipping off roofs, flooding homes and disrupting transport.

A severe blizzard battered the northern island of Hokkaido on Tuesday and a storm surge inundated homes in part of the island, according to the Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper.

A gust of 162km/h was recorded at Cape Erimo on Hokkaido and 135 km/h in the city of Sakata, Yamagata prefecture.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of "the most powerful blizzard in years," which could produce white-out conditions, for part of the island through Wednesday.


Mount Etna spews lava fountains into the sky in its latest explosive activity

Mount Etna, the ancient volcano located in Sicily, Italy, was filmed spewing lava to the sky on Monday.

In a video provided by RT's Ruptly video agency, dark orange lava can be seen shooting out of the top of Mount Etna and dripping down its sides.

According to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, which observes the volcano, the eruption came from the south east crater, with activity from the other craters, too.


Rare multiple waterspouts filmed in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

© Everton Luís Sparremberger
Multiple tornadoes have been recorded in the Lagoa dos Patos region in the past few hours. Tornadoes over water (waterspouts) were observed in municipalities such as Tavares and Mostardas. The phenomena caused no damage or casualties.


Texas blizzard has now produced a 'snownado'


A "Snownado" in East Texas
Things are bad in Texas right now. There's a massive blizzard blanketing the state, along with single-digit temperatures and statewide blackouts.

But perhaps nothing was as terrifying as seeing the word "Snownado" come across my Twitter timeline.

In the East Texas town of Gun Barrell City witnesses recorded what looked like a tornado in the middle of the blizzard. The now-dubbed "Snownado" swirled above Cedar Creek Lake for a bit before dissipating.

Here is a video capturing the event that was thankfully uploaded to the Internet:

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3 more people die in avalanches in the U.S. - total of 25 for the season

This image provided by Colorado Avalanche Information Center shows an avalanche that killed an unidentified snowboarder on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, near the town of Winter Park in Colorado.

This image provided by Colorado Avalanche Information Center shows an avalanche that killed an unidentified snowboarder on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, near the town of Winter Park in Colorado.
The deaths of two Colorado men caught in avalanches and a third in Montana over the frigid Presidents Day weekend show how backcountry skiers and others in the Rocky Mountain wilderness risk triggering weak layers of snow that have created the most hazardous conditions in a decade, forecasters say.

At least 25 people have been killed in avalanches in the United States this year — more than the 23 who died last winter. Typically, 27 people die in avalanches in the U.S. annually.

Avalanche forecasters say they have rarely seen the danger as high as it is now — and it will grow as more snow moves into the Rockies, adding weight and stress on a weak, granular base layer of snow that's susceptible to breaking apart and triggering especially wide slides on steep slopes.

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Three children killed by landslide in Pakistan

Three children were crushed to death by a landslide in Rahim Yar Khan Tuesday.

According to police, the accident took place in Firoza's Chak 239.

The police said the children were playing when a landslide struck. They died on the spot. Their bodies have been shifted to a hospital.

The deceased were aged between three and eight years, the law enforcers said.

Snowflake Cold

Startling numbers reveal the rarity of the frigid temperatures across much of the US

A woman walks through falling snow in San Antonio, Texas, the United States on Sunday, February 14, 2021
© Eric Gay/AP Photo
A woman walks through falling snow in San Antonio, Texas, the United States on Sunday, February 14, 2021
A historic cold outbreak has led in the coldest air in decades across the United States, reaching all the way to the Rio Grande and bringing record amounts of snow and ice to the Deep South.

Here are some of the records that have been broken across the United States by the cold weather as well as some of the more interesting statistics recorded due to the extreme temperatures.

Extreme cold yet a record high

There was a 130-degree spread in temperatures across the US yesterday, from 90 degrees in Florida to 40 below zero in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

And while hundreds of record lows are being set in the central US, Miami hit a record high heat index of 91 on Sunday.

Comment: Ice, snow, bitter cold hits millions as major storm pummels swaths of U.S.


Heavy snowfall grips Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul snowstorm
© AA Photo
Municipality crews throw salt on overpasses during snowfall at the Cevizlibağ metrobus station in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 14, 2021.
A long-rumored and feared cold front coupled with heavy snowfall arrived in Istanbul late Saturday after moving in from the country's northwestern Thrace region on the way.

By midnight, much of the city was covered in white as the Asian districts of the 15-million megapolis were last to receive heavy snowfall.

The Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's (IBB) Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) had previously warned Istanbulites that the snowfall could last for five days with a severe drop in temperatures. Despite the ongoing weekend and nighttime curfews throughout the nation, traffic levels remain high due to decreased public transport ridership over COVID-19.

A blanket of snow covered much of Istanbul on Sunday morning, which weather forecasts say will increase in density throughout the day. Except for brief respites, the snowfall is expected to linger until Thursday.


Shallow M6.7 earthquake reported off Vanuatu

Vanuatu earthquake map

Earthquake data:

Date & time: 16 Feb 2021 11:49 am (GMT +11) local time (16 Feb 2021 00:49 GMT)
Magnitude: 6.7
Depth: 14.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 17.75°S / 167.76°E (Coral Sea, Vanuatu)
Primary data source: USGS