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Thu, 27 Apr 2017
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Severe weather reports in U.S. tally 5,000+ so far this year; more than double the average

© YouTube/the Weather Channel (screen capture)
Weather Disasters Costing U.S. Billions. The first three months of 2017 have proven to be very costly, after a series of weather disasters ranging from tornadoes to floods to crop-killing freezes.
The U.S. has endured a destructive start to 2017 from the multiple severe weather outbreaks since January.

There have been 5,372 preliminary reports of severe weather across the United States in 2017 through April 8, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC). That figure includes reports of tornadoes, large hail and wind damage.

This is more than than double the average of 2,274 for the same period of time during the past 10 years (2007-2016). In that decade, only 2008 had about the same number of severe weather reports by this point in the year with 5,242.

The animation below shows how the occurrences of wind damage, large hail and tornadoes have piled up month-by-month this year. Portions of the South have been hit the hardest, but the Midwest has also seen a high concentration of severe weather reports.

Comment: For more coverage on the extreme weather affecting the entire planet, check out our monthly SOTT Earth Changes Summaries. Last month:

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - March 2017: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Girl attacked in her house by wild boar in Maharashtra, India

Sensation prevailed in Kalidaulat Khan village of Pusad tehsil in the district on Sunday when a wild boar attacked a two-and- half-year-old girl while she was playing in her house.

The wild boar further dragged the girl Sharvari Sharad Darode for some distance. However, hearing her screaming, her mother and villagers rushed to rescue the girl. As the mob ran towards wild boar, it left the girl and fled in the forest.

Sharvari was badly injured in the incident and wash rushed to Government Hospital at Pusad. It is gathered that the village is adjacent to forest area and many wild animals stray in to human localities in search of water. Some days ago, a leopard had also entered the village.


Pit bull attacks, injures woman and 2 grandchildren in Cassopolis, Michigan

Police say a southern Michigan woman and her two young grandchildren were hospitalized following a pit bull attack.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office says 44-year-old Jennifer Hansford of Cassopolis was injured Sunday evening when the dog attacked her as she tried to save her 2-year-old and 7-year-old grandchildren from the animal.

Hansford and the older child were taken to a Niles hospital for treatment. The 2-year-old was airlifted to a South Bend hospital with severe head trauma and later moved to Riley Children's hospital in Indianapolis.

Arrow Down

5 missing following landslide in Nganjuk Regency, East Java

Landslide in Banaran Village, Pulung District, Ponorogo Regency, East Java, Indonesia, April 2017.
Heavy rainfall on 08 April caused a landslide in Indonesia that has left several people missing.

The landslide occurred on 09 April in the hamlet of Dlopo, near the village of Kepel in Nganjuk Regency, East Java. Five people are thought to be missing and authorities are carrying out search operations.

Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency, BNPB, reports that the landslide occurred on a hillside where there are no settlements. However, the landslide buried people working in paddy field at the edge of a river. The slide also caused a blockage of the river for a short time. Landslide debris in the river has since been removed.

Slopes in the area are known to be prone to landslides. In 2015 large cracks, some 20 cm wide and 200 metres long, were found in some of the hillsides. In January this year the cracks were found to have grown wider and locals were warned to avoid the area.


85-yr-old man mauled to death by pack of stray dogs in Kerala, India

In continuing incidents of stray dog attacks in Kerala, an 85-year-old man was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs at Thiruvilam village in Thiruvananthapuram district, the police said today.

The deceased, Kunhikrishnan, had left his home at 9 AM yesterday, saying he was going for a hair cut, it said. When he did not return home till night, family members began a search for him and his body was found bitten by stray dogs late at night.

The elderly mans face and right hand were found bitten off, police said adding the man seemed to have put up a fight against the animals.


New landslide discovered near massive 2014 landslide in Oso, Washington

© Washington State Dept of Natural Resources
Geologists say a landslide has caused this slope near Oso to drop 4 feet since Tuesday.
A stretch of Highway 530 will remain closed through the Monday morning commute as geologists continue to evaluate a landslide south of the highway near Oso in rural Snohomish County.

Geologists from the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were investigating the landslide Friday and Saturday, trying to get a sense of how fast it could be moving.

Signs of a slide were first discovered Tuesday by state Department of Transportation workers, who noticed cracks on a hillside road. DNR workers investigated Friday and saw signs of movement.

Cracks in the roadway were about 6 inches wide Tuesday, but had spread to 2 feet wide by Saturday. The hillside has dropped about 4 feet vertically, officials said. It is unclear if that shift occurred slowly or suddenly, state geologist Dave Norman said at a news conference Saturday.

Arrow Down

Enormous sinkhole swallows bus and car in Chennai, India

B Gunaseelan, a bus driver with the Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation, sensed a flat tyre soon after he had stopped the bus at the Thousand Lights bus stop on Chennai's Mount Road on Sunday. He alerted the conductor and looked out of the window: it was not the tyre, the road was caving in.

Gunaseelan immediately asked all passengers to get off. "I still didn't know that the boring work of Chennai Metro Rail tunnel was under way. As we helped the passengers get off, the front part of the bus kept sinking into the crater," he said. As those on the bus disembarked, R Pradeep, a physician who was following the bus, drove into the crater.

On realising that the road was caving in, he tried to drive past the crater, but was trapped inside it with the doors of his car jammed. Pradeep escaped unhurt as people stepped in and brought him out of the car.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods in Karonga, Malawi leave 4 dead and crops destroyed

© Government of Malawi
Flooding in Karonga, Malawi, April 2017.
The government in Malawi has said that 4 people died following floods in areas of Chief Kyungu, Wasambo, Kilupula and Mwirang'ombe in Karonga district.

The flooding occurred 04 April 2017. As of 06 April a further 3 people were still missing and 6 reported injured.

Officials say that 5,520 households were affected and about 1075 hectares of crops fields, including rice, maize and cassava, were damaged.

Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima visited the area and assured the victims that government will do everything to support them.

"We will make sure that the necessary relief items are provided. In addition, we will tighten security in the camps and provide all facilities necessary for human living including sanitation," Chilima said.

Bizarro Earth

'Massive contamination': Sensitive wetlands blackened by coal dust from Queensland port after Cyclone Debbie rains

© Mackay Conservaton Group
Satellite imagery released by the Queensland government shows serious harm has occurred the the Caley Valley wetlands which adjoin Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie in 2017. (Left) 14 May 2016 (Right) 1 April 2017.

Expert says sensitive Caley Valley wetlands blackened by coal-laden water from Adani's nearby port after rain from Cyclone Debbie

Coal dust released from Adani's Queensland coal port after Cyclone Debbie appears to have caused "massive contamination" of sensitive wetlands, an academic expert says.

A vast swathe of the Caley Valley wetlands has been blackened by coal-laden water released from nearby Abbot Point port after Debbie's torrential rains inundated its coal storage facilities last month.

Satellite imagery of the coal spill last week prompted an investigation by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), which said the port operator appeared to have acted in line with a temporary licence to release the excess water.

The caveat was that the licence did not "authorise environmental harm", an environment department spokeswoman said.

Norm Duke, a principal research scientist at James Cook University's TropWater unit and an expert in diagnosing contamination of wetlands, said an aerial image of the area showed "there's undoubtedly going to be environmental harm".

Cloud Lightning

Family of 3 killed by lightning bolt in Kenya

Grief has gripped a village in Nambale Constituency following the death of three members of the same family who were struck by lightning.

A man, his wife and their four-month baby died on the spot in Tatira village on Saturday.

The bodies were taken to Kocholia District Hospital mortuary. Their relatives are now appealing for help to bury them

. The area has been experiencing heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm for the past one week.

Aluku Isi, a brother to the dead man, said they were unable to raise the mortuary fees and could not afford coffins. "We are unable to give them a decent send-off due to financial constraints," Isi said yesterday.

Comment: Elsewhere lightning strikes have killed individuals recently in Bangladesh and in Jammu, India, while 3 were killed in the latter country on the 4th of April.