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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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Three Gorges Dam flood alert after heaviest rainfall

China faces its worst floods in 70 years after weeks of heavy rain; disasters have been declared in 24 areas, including the upper reaches of the Yangtze; 7,300 homes have collapsed and damage exceeds 20.7 billion yuan.

Three Gorges Dam
© Wang Gang / ImagineChina via AFP
An aerial view of Three Gorges Dam, which has a reservoir 170 metres deep, in Zigui county, Yichang city, in central China's Hubei province. File photo taken in October 2019.
A flood alert has been raised near China's famous Three Gorges Dam after the country suffered its heaviest rainfall in 70-80 years. Torrential rain has been causing chaos throughout China's southwest this month, with many rivers overflowing and mass evacuations.

Heavy rains over the past three weeks have led to disasters being declared in 24 provinces and municipalities, especially near the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the Three Gorges Dam.

This is reportedly the largest flooding since 1949 and has caused serious challenges to the world's largest dam.

In Chongqing, authorities dredged 100,000 tonnes of silt overnight as levels rose.

Three Gorges is located in Sandouping Town, near Yichang City in Hubei Province in central China. It is 38 kilometres from the downstream Gezhouba Water Conservancy Project at the eastern end of the Three Gorges Reservoir.

Qijiang Online, the media outlet in the area, quoted Zhao Yunfa, deputy chief engineer of the overflow dispatch communications centre at the Three Gorges Project, who said: "The flood storage capacity of the Three Gorges is limited. Do not pin your hopes on the Three Gorges Dam."

Info

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Dust-pocalypse arrives & Scotland misses targets

dust
Termed "historical dust intensity" the Saharan Dust Cloud now begins to blanket the Caribbean which will then move over the S.E USA through the weekend. Scotland misses emissions targets because the country had to burn more fuel during record cold winter of 2018. Stay healthy during the dust event its the biggest in over one hundred years.


Sources

Seismograph

5.8 magnitude earthquake shakes California

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was measured 17km from Lone Pine, Calif.
© USGS
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was measured 17km from Lone Pine, Calif.
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit California around 10:45 a.m. local time Wednesday.

The epicenter was near Cartoga, about 180 miles north of Los Angeles.

People at several businesses near Lone Pine and Bishop told ABC News the while the shaking was "intense," they didn't see any damage.

Some shaking was felt in LA.

This comes a day after a 7.4 magnitude quake hit Mexico, near the resort of Huatulco, killing at least six people and damaging hundreds of homes, according to The Associated Press. At least six others were hurt, including two people in Mexico City, more than 300 miles from the epicenter.

Cloud Lightning

7,347 lightning strikes in winter over Tasman Sea, New Zealand as storm hits North Island

Flooding on the Coromandel Peninsula at the start of June.

Flooding on the Coromandel Peninsula at the start of June.
There have been thousands of lightning strikes off the top of the North Island.

Niwa Weather said there were 7347 lightning strikes in the Tasman Sea west of the country by about 3.30pm Wednesday.

Shortly after 7pm, MetService forecaster Sonja Farmer said most lightning was still to the west of Northland although there had been at least one strike in the Far North around the Karikari Peninsula.

"Most of the lightning at the moment is offshore but everything is sinking down over the country, so that all should get closer," she said.

Black Cat

Woman killed in leopard attack in Nainital, India - 3rd such death in district in a month

Stock image of leopard
© Getty
A 54-year-old woman, identified as Bhagwati Devi, was killed by a leopard in Nainital's Kathgodam police station area on Monday morning. This is the third death in a leopard attack in the Nainital district in just a month's time.

According to locals, the attack took place in district's Sunkot village when Devi was going to a temple with her son Navin. "The entire area is surrounded by forests and leopards have been spotted around the village earlier as well. Devi was going to the village temple with her son when the leopard suddenly jumped out of the forest and attacked her," said Manish Gauni, a panchayat member of the village.

Attention

Strong M7.5 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico - shaking felt 400 miles away - at least 5 dead (UPDATE)

quaker mexico 7
© Andres Stapff/Reuters
People stand on the street in Mexico City after the earthquake.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake has rattled large swaths of southern and central Mexico, according to the country's national seismological service.

The quake struck the southern state of Oaxaca at 10.29am local time ( 1429 BST) on Tuesday but was felt more than 400 miles away in the capital, Mexico City, where buildings shook and panicked residents fled on to the streets.

Mexican newspapers said there were no immediate reports of damage in the capital. Claudia Sheinbaum, the city's mayor, tweeted: "So far no major incidents [reported]."

The situation near the quake's epicentre in Crucecita, Oaxaca, was not immediately clear.

Comment: The US Tsunami Warning Center has issued a warning for the potential threat of tsunami waves for the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Footage and more details from Twitter:














UPDATE:The Guardian on June 24 reports:
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake has rattled large swaths of southern and central Mexico, killing at least five people.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said one person was killed in a building collapse in Huatulco, Oaxaca, while state governor Alejandro Murat said a second person was killed in an apparent house collapse in the mountain village of San Juan Ozolotepec and a third died in circumstances he did not explain.

Federal civil defence authorities reported two more deaths: a worker at the state-run oil company, Pemex, fell to his death from a refinery structure, and a man died in the Oaxaca village of San Agustin Amatengo when a wall fell on him.


Pemex also said the quake caused a fire at its refinery in the Pacific coast city of Salina Cruz, relatively near the epicenter. It said one worker was injured but the flames were quickly extinguished. Churches, bridges and highways also suffered damage during the quake.

López Obrador said there had been more than 140 aftershocks, most of them small.

Mexico's national seismological service said the quake struck the southern state of Oaxaca at 10.29am local time (1429 BST) on Tuesday but was felt more than 400 miles away in the capital, Mexico City, where buildings shook and panicked residents fled on to the streets.

"It really moved," said Francisco Aceves, the owner of an import-export firm in Mexico City who was on the 22nd floor of an office block when the quake struck.

Mexican newspapers said there were no immediate reports of damage in the capital, where memories of a 2017 earthquake that felled buildings and killed more than 300 people are still fresh.

"So far no major damage has been reported - just the collapse of a few walls and building fronts," Claudia Sheinbaum, the city's mayor, said in a video from Mexico City's emergency response centre.

Richard Hanson, a 44-year-old American who runs an NGO in Oaxaca's state capital called Tejiendo Alianzas, said: "It started really slow ... and then very quickly it notched up very fast."

"Our fan was moving around a lot, you could hear the noise of the walls and the earth moving, things stared falling off the shelves in the kitchen and crashing and breaking on the ground."

Outside Hanson said "people were running out of buildings, screaming and getting on the ground ... Some people were just running to any open space."

Photographs from the state capital showed rubble strewn streets and the partially collapsed facade of one historic building.

The earthquake's epicentre was just east of Huatulco, one of Mexico's top tourist destinations, where beaches had only just reopened last week after closing because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reuters said Tuesday's quake set off a tsunami warning for a radius of 1,000km (621 miles) on the Pacific coasts of Mexico and Central America, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Murat told Milenio Televisión the quake had triggered landslides, cut off road links between some towns and damaged some buildings, including one hospital that had been treating Covid-19 patients. Murat said the sick were being moved elsewhere. But no major buildings in the state capital appeared to have been severely damaged.



Boat

3 dead after severe flooding in western regions of Ukraine

flood
Overflowing rivers have caused severe damage in parts of western Ukraine after heavy rain over the last few days.

According to a statement from the country's Interior Ministry, flooding has affected the western regions (oblasts) of Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Zakarpattia and Lviv after heavy rainfall 22 to 23 June. Three people have died in flooding in Verkhovyna district, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, where roads have been blocked and areas cut off.

Emergency services are carrying out rescue and relief operations in affected areas. Overflowing rivers have destroyed bridges and roads. Power lines have been damaged, as have hundreds of homes.

State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES) reported on 24 June that a total of 165 settlements in 15 districts have been affected in Ivano-Frankivsk. SES have rescued or evacuated over 350 people and pumped flood water from thousands of damaged homes.


Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain causes floods in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina

Serbia flooding
© YouTube/No Comment TV (screen capture)

Heavy rains and surging rivers have hit Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Around 700 houses were flooded in western and central Serbia, according to state RTS television.

Rivers have also burst their banks and there are increasing concerns over the possibility of landslides.

A landslide in neighbouring Bosnia cut a key road connecting Tuzla and the capital Sarajevo.

Floods also have hit a western area in Bosnia, damaging roads, bridges and houses in the Balkan country.

Both Serbia and Bosnia were hit by major flooding in 2014.


Attention

450 billion locusts have been killed this year, but devastating swarms still ravage Africa, India and the Middle East

A man takes pictures of a swarm of locusts in Allahabad, India
© SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP via Getty Images
A man takes pictures of a swarm of locusts in Allahabad, India, on June 11, 2020.
Massive swarms of locusts have devastated large swathes of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East since January, threatening food supplies for millions.

This year, Kenya had its worst infestation in 70 years, and India, Ethiopia, and Somalia had the worst infestations they've had in 25 years.

The reason for the outbreaks, according to The New York Times, is climate change, which has caused warmer weather and more rain — ideal conditions for locusts to thrive.

Alongs with the weather, poor monitoring due to armed conflicts — especially in war-torn Yemen, where the current outbreak began — and a lack of resources caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has led to locusts swelling in numbers that haven't been reported in decades.

Without more intervention, locusts could cause millions of people in 23 countries to go hungry by December, according to NBC News.


Comment: Devastating swarms of locusts now headed for the Middle East - UN forecaster


Biohazard

Most intense Saharan dust cloud in 50 years hits the Caribbean

Sahara dust cloud
© Twitter
A massive plume of Saharan dust has shrouded swathes of the Caribbean, turning blue skies into a milky-brown haze and sparking health warnings across the region as air quality fell to unhealthy levels.

A vast cloud of Sahara dust is blanketing the Caribbean as it heads to the U.S. with a size and concentration that experts say hasn´t been seen in half a century.

Air quality across most of the region fell to record "hazardous" levels and experts who nicknamed the event the "Godzilla dust cloud" warned people to stay indoors and use air filters if they have one.

"This is the most significant event in the past 50 years," said Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist with the University of Puerto Rico. "Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands."

Many health specialists were concerned about those battling respiratory symptoms tied to COVID-19. Lázaro, who is working with NASA to develop an alert system for the arrival of Sahara dust, said the concentration was so high in recent days that it could even have adverse effects on healthy people.


Comment: 'Abnormally large dust cloud' making 5,000-mile trek across Atlantic