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Sun, 24 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes


Brrrrr! Spring snow for parts of South Africa

Very cold, windy and wet conditions and light snowfall are expected on Monday over parts of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and interior of the Western Cape.

The South Africa Weather Service issued a yellow level 1 alert for damaging wind between Plettenberg Bay and Maputo and along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline.


Thirteen dolphins die after beaching on Skye, Scotland

Thirteen dolphins have died after they beached on Skye, two months after the UK's largest stranding of pilot whales in the Outer Hebrides.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue was warned of unusual activity in a pod of common dolphins in Dunvegan Bay on Monday. Some of the animals became "stuck in deep mud". This weekend experts will try to find why the dolphins became stranded.

The deaths follow the UK's biggest pilot whale stranding when 54 creatures died on the Isle of Lewis in July. Only one whale was successfully refloated despite the efforts of rescue teams at Traigh Mhor, North Tolsta. Diggers were used to take the dead mammals from the remote beach to a landfill site.

Among the dead was a female pilot whale.

(More here)

Comment: 3 days earlier: Concern for dolphins spotted 40 miles inland in River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, UK


Concern for dolphins spotted 40 MILES inland in River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, UK

Common dolphins swimming in the River Great Ouse, near Bluntisham in Cambridgeshire.
© Jon Heath
Common dolphins swimming in the River Great Ouse, near Bluntisham in Cambridgeshire.
Dolphins have been spotted about 40 miles inland in the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire. It is the furthest they could travel upstream on the river, and may be the furthest inland that the species has ever been seen in the UK.

It is believed the two dolphins are a mother and calf, and their sighting on the Ouse, around Bluntisham and Earith, has prompted concerns for their wellbeing.

Jon Heath, the county bird recorder for Cambridgeshire, who took these pictures and regularly contribute to the Cambridge Independent's nature coverage, went to see them after they were spotted by photographer Simon Stirrup on Thursday.

Comment: 3 days later: Thirteen dolphins die after beaching on Skye, Scotland


Shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake hits near Indonesian island: USGS

A shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit near the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Saturday, the United States Geological Survey said.

The tremor hit at 9:43 pm local time (1443 GMT) at a depth of 9.9 kilometres, according to the USGS.

Indonesia's geophysics agency (BMKG) reported no immediate tsunami but warned of possible aftershocks. It initially reported a magnitude of 6.3.

"I was having a good sleep (when the earthquake jolted). I jumped out of bed immediately," said Qamariah, a 41-year-old housewife in Central Sulawesi's Malei village.

Cloud Precipitation

2 dead, dozens of buildings flooded in 3 Japan prefectures in wake of Typhoon Yun-yeung

A car is seen resting next to a toppled fence in the wake of Typhoon Yun-yeung following flooding of a river in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki on Sept. 9, 2023.
© Mainichi/Naohiro Koenuma
A car is seen resting next to a toppled fence in the wake of Typhoon Yun-yeung following flooding of a river in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki on Sept. 9, 2023.
Two people have been confirmed dead in the wake of heavy rain from Typhoon Yun-yeung, which weakened into a tropical depression on the evening of Sept. 8, while 77 buildings were flooded above or below floor level in Chiba, Ibaraki and Fukushima prefectures, where linear precipitation zones were observed, Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported.

At around 6:15 a.m. on Sept. 9, a man apparently aged in his 70s or 80s was found collapsed in a ditch in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki, and was showing no vital signs. He was later confirmed dead. According to the Iwaki Fire Department and other sources, a woman in her 70s also suffered light injuries when evacuating from her home. The Iwaki Municipal Government reported that one structure was totally destroyed by a landslide, while many cases of flooding were also confirmed.


Waterspout spotted off coast of South Carolina

© Jim Iseman
People in the Myrtle Beach area got a glimpse of a waterspout that formed off the coast on Friday.

As of around 12:30 p.m., the storms that produced the twister are rolling onshore from the Atlantic Ocean.

A waterspout is described as "a whirling column of air and water mist" by the National Ocean Service. They can form in fair weather or stormy weather.

When a waterspout reaches land, the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning.


Schools shut in China's Shenzhen as record rain flood streets, subway stations - 18 inches of rainfall in just 12 hours

Heavy rain started on Thursday, flooding
© Weibo
Heavy rain started on Thursday, flooding Shenzhen. A red alert was in place on Friday.
All schools, some subway stations and offices in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen were shut on Friday, as residual storm clouds from Typhoon Haikui unleashed historic rainfall for a fourth day.

China Meteorological Administration said heavy rainfall would continue to fall until early Saturday in the central and southwestern areas of Guangdong, the home of Shenzhen and one of China's wealthiest provinces.

Residents holding onto safety lines waded cautiously through knee-deep floodwaters late on Thursday in Shenzhen, a metropolis of 17.7 million people, videos from state-backed Xinhua showed.

Rescuers also cordoned off overflowing manholes, carried a child from a stranded vehicle and guided others to move their motorcycles through the murky waters, the videos showed.

A rainfall log showed 465.5 millimetres of rain fell in Shenzhen over a 12-hour period, the highest since records began in 1952. Daily rainfall in the city located in the Pearl River Delta linking Hong Kong to China's mainland was expected to exceed 500 mm, Shenzhen media said.

Comment: Nearby a day earlier: Sudden torrential rain hits Hong Kong, causing severe floods - 6 inches of rainfall in just 2 hours


Magnitude 6.6 earthquake near Kermadec Islands, no tsunami risk to New Zealand

Authorities say a now magnitude 6.6 earthquake near the Kermadec Islands does not pose a tsunami threat to New Zealand.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said: "Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the earthquake is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will pose a threat to New Zealand."

NEMA said the quake happened about 9pm and was at a depth of 69km. It earlier said the quake was magnitude 7.0 at a depth of 33km.

It said the 6.6 magnitude was provisional and may be increased or decreased as more seismic data becomes available.

The US Geological Survey's Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre also said there is no tsunami threat from the earthquake.


Flamingos found in Ohio after being blown across US by Hurricane Idalia

flamingo seen in Kentucky
© Social media
A screengrab from video of a flamingo seen in Kentucky, September 2023
Unprecedented sightings of the tropical birds swept off course by the category-three storm

Flamingos have been found in America's Midwest after being blown across the country by a hurricane.

The birds, thought to have travelled from as far as Mexico, first started to be spotted in Florida as a result of Hurricane Idalia and have now landed as far away as Ohio.

Experts have said that they have "never seen anything like this".

"We will get a flamingo or two following storms [but] this is really unprecedented," Jerry Lorenz, of the bird research group Audubon Florida, told US media.

The birds appeared in Florida when Idalia hit the state as a category-three hurricane after crossing the Caribbean last month.

Cloud Precipitation

Sudden torrential rain hits Hong Kong, causing severe floods - 6 inches of rainfall in just 2 hours

Heavy rain caused flooding in Chai Wan and other areas.

Heavy rain caused flooding in Chai Wan and other areas.
Torrential downpours suddenly hit Hong Kong on Thursday night, causing severe flooding in parts of the city that left commuters trapped in their vehicles in traffic jams and pedestrians stranded on streets turned into rivers.

The Observatory raised its highest-level black rainstorm warning, while Shenzhen authorities released a statement cautioning that water from the reservoir across the border would be discharged at midnight, which might cause flooding in the New Territories.

Videos being shared on social media showed scenes of Hong Kong streets turning into rushing rivers and people being caught up in flooding around the city, while one clip showed a swamped underground railway station.