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Mon, 25 Sep 2023
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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.

Cloud Precipitation

10 dead, 4 missing as floods hit central Greece (UPDATES)

Floodwaters cover a car and the yards of houses in Milina village, Pilion region, central Greece, Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
© Thanasis Kalliaras
Floodwaters cover a car and the yards of houses in Milina village, Pilion region, central Greece, Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
At least one person died and another went missing in central Greece, which has been hit hard by landslides and floods caused by heavy rains, local media reported on Tuesday.

One person was swept away by a flooded stream in the province of Volos, while another, a 70-year-old livestock farmer, died as a result of a landslide caused by heavy rain in the region, the public broadcaster ERT reported.

In Volos, where a hospital was also flooded, many drivers were trapped in their cars, and the fire department worked intensively to rescue them, it said, adding that the drainage network could not absorb the record level of rainwater.

Comment: Update September 7

The Associated Press reports:
Severe flooding in Greece leaves at least 6 dead and 6 missing, villages cut off

Widespread flooding in central Greece left at least six people dead, six missing and dozens trapped, with severe rainstorms turning streams into raging torrents, bursting dams, washing away roads and bridges, and hurling cars into the sea.

Flooding triggered by severe rainstorms also hit neighboring Bulgaria and Turkey, with rescue teams in Turkey on Thursday recovering the body of a 53-year-old man who had been missing since floods gushed through a campsite near the border with Bulgaria, sweeping away bungalows. The recovery brought the death toll in Turkey to eight, and to a total of 18 in all three countries since the rains began Tuesday.

In Greece, authorities deployed divers and swift water rescue specialists as residents in some villagers took refuge on the roofs of their homes to escape floodwaters that rose to more than 2 meters (6 feet).

Around 60 people were airlifted to safety, the fire department said, including some who told local media they had spent the night and most of Thursday on roofs without food or water. The helicopters, which were continuing with rescue operations in the wider Karditsa area, had been unable to fly earlier due to frequent lightning, authorities said.

At least three villages in central Greece were completely cut off by floodwaters, with residents dialing in to radio stations to report homes collapsing and to appeal for rescue.

The body of one man missing for a day was recovered from a stream on Thursday, and hours later the fire service said it discovered the bodies of two women in the Karditsa area. The three deaths brought the country's overall toll from the floods to six since Tuesday.

Vassilis Kikilias, Greece's minister for climate crisis and civil protection, said more than 885 people had been rescued so far and six were reported missing. The military said it had deployed more than 25 boats to rescue people trapped by floodwaters, while seven helicopters and a military transport plane were on standby.

"Our country finds itself, for the third day, dealing with a phenomenon the likes of which we have not seen in the past," Greek government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis said, noting that some areas received more than twice the average annual rainfall of Athens in the space of 12 hours.

"The state's absolute priority at the moment is the rescue ... of people from the areas hit by the bad weather and the protection of critical infrastructure," Marinakis said.

Fire department spokesperson Vasilis Vathrakogiannis said swift water rescue specialists and divers from the department's disaster response units, as well as the army, were participating in rescue efforts and trying to reach remote areas despite roads having been washed away.
Update September 8

AP reports:
The death toll from severe flooding in central Greece rose to 10 people Friday, while another four remained missing, the country's civil protection minister said. Rescue crews in helicopters and boats ferried hundreds of people from inundated villages to safety.

Flooding triggered by rainstorms also hit neighboring Bulgaria and Turkey, killing a total of 22 people in all three countries since the rains began Tuesday.

In Greece, the rainstorms turned streams into raging torrents that burst dams, washed away roads and bridges and hurled cars into the sea, and many of the flooded areas were left without power or drinking water. Authorities have said some regions received twice the average annual rainfall for Athens in the space of just 12 hours.

Although the rainstorms had stopped by Friday, floodwater continued to rise after the Pineios River burst its banks near the city of Larissa, one of Greece's largest cities with a population of around 150,000, triggering evacuation orders for several areas.

"The situation is tragic," Larissa resident Ioanna Gana told Greece's Open television channel, adding that water levels in her flooded neighborhood were rising "minute by minute."

Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the Pineios River levels were "keeping us on constant alert."

"Great care must be taken by all as the flooding could intensify at any moment," he said.

By late Friday, officials said that more than 2,500 people had been rescued, including 420 plucked from the flooded areas by helicopter from 14 villages.

More than 1,000 rescuers and 20 helicopters were involved in the operation, including three Swiss helicopters that had been in Greece to assist in efforts to battle recent deadly wildfires. They were being used to ferry food and water to inundated villages, Kikilias said.

Much of the affected region was fertile farmland where key food crops are grown, and experts have voiced fears that the overall cost of the flooding could significantly exceed 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion).

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who canceled his annual state of the economy speech scheduled for the weekend and was visiting the flooded areas on Friday, said that he had contacted the European Union to request financial assistance from the 27-member bloc for rebuilding.

"Our first priority over the next few days is to ensure we can evacuate our fellow citizens from areas where they might be in danger," Mitsotakis said.

Hundreds of people were trapped in villages unreachable by vehicle as roads were washed away or severed by rockfalls. Rescue crews helped young children, the elderly and people on stretchers from helicopters as they landed in a staging area in the town of Karditsa. Local media showed scenes of devastation.

Rescuers chest-deep in water carried an elderly evacuee on a stretcher on their shoulders, while residents of villages left without electricity or drinking water dialed in to Greek television and radio stations, appealing for help and saying people were still trapped without food or water.

In the Pilion area, residents and tourists were ferried to safety by sea late Thursday as all access roads to some villages were severed.

Two of the four people still listed as missing Friday were a young Austrian couple who vanished from Pilion's coast. Residents said they had come to Greece to be married and have their honeymoon, and were probably swept away with the bungalow they had been staying in when floodwaters struck on Tuesday.

Authorities have deployed swift water rescue specialists and divers as floodwaters rose above two meters (six feet) high in some areas, leaving many houses flooded up to their roofs. Residents of some villages have reported buildings collapsing completely.

Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rain in Spain causes major flooding - 9.4 inches of rainfall in 24 hours - 5 dead, 3 missing (UPDATES)

One man had to be rescued from his car by a firefighter in Spain's eastern Castelló province
One man had to be rescued from his car by a firefighter in Spain's eastern Castelló province
Several weather warnings have been issued across Spain as heavy rain causes major flooding across parts of the country.

Maximum red weather alerts are in place in the Madrid, Toledo and Cádiz regions.

Sunday's football match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla was suspended due to the torrential rain.

Residents in Madrid have been asked to stay at home due to "the exceptional and abnormal" rainfall, the mayor said.

In the Spanish capital alone, firefighters have been called to alleviate the situation in flooded roads 190 times.

Comment: Update September 4

From Floodlist:
A slow-moving storm brought torrential rainfall and strong winds to parts of Spain from 02 September 2023. Emergency crews have responded to thousands of incidents across the regions of Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia, Castile and León, Castilla-La Mancha and around the capital, Madrid.

As of 04 September, authorities had report numerous evacuations, high-water rescues, missing persons and fatalities.

In a 24-hour period to 03 September, the storm, referred to as "Depresión Aislada en Niveles Altos," or DANA, by Spanish authorities, dumped 217.7 mm of rain in Alcanar and 243.4 mm of rain in Mas de Barberans, both located in Catalonia. The total seen in Mas de Barberans is the highest in 23 years.

Other areas of the country also saw significant rainfall totals during the same period, according to figures provided by the State Meteorological Agency AEMET, including:

San José del Valle, Cádiz: 172.2 mm

San Rafael, Segovia: 147.8 mm

Estación de Tortosa (Roquetes), Tarragona: 117.2 mm

Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid: 104.9 mm

Cebreros, Ávila: 96.0 mm

Toledo, Toledo: 91.8 mm

La Pobla de Benifassà-Fredes, Castelló/Castellón: 83.2 mm

Update September 5

The Australian Associated Press reports:
Five dead, three missing after storms damage Spain

A search and rescue is underway to find three people missing after a deadly storm triggered heavy flooding in Madrid and Toledo killing at least five, official say.

In the province of Toledo, south of Madrid, the bodies of three men were recovered on Monday, the government of the Castilla-La Mancha region said.

One of the victims died inside a vehicle and another was found dead in a garage lift. The body of a 50-year-old was recovered from a stream.

Over the weekend, two men aged 31 and 34 died after drowning in raging water while trying to climb a gorge in north-eastern Spain.

Meanwhile, a search was continuing for a man who was travelling with his wife and two children in the Madrid region on Sunday evening.

Their vehicle was swept away by the waters of the Alberche river, which had burst its banks. The wife and daughter were able to save themselves while 10-year-old son was able to take refuge in a tree and was found there after several hours.

Besides the father, at least two further people were still missing on Monday.

Over the weekend Spain was hit by storms with raging winds, heavy rain, lightning and hail.

Flights were delayed and railway traffic was suspended, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at train stations in Madrid, Malaga and other cities.

Many roadways, streets and parks were closed, while countless houses and garages were flooded with water and mud. Parts of facades and roof tiles fell onto the streets and trees were uprooted.

In Catalan municipality of Alcanar, a total of 215mm of rain was recorded on Sunday, according to the meteorological office, with the roughly 10,000 residents banned from leaving their homes for several hours due to dangerous flooding.

In Madrid, underground rail services and road traffic were still impacted by the storm's aftermath. Emergency services in the Madrid region have so far dealt with 2157 incidents and firefighters have conducted 1390 operations.

Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha are set to ask the Spanish government to declare a disaster area in the affected municipalities.


2 killed, 8 injured in black bear attacks in less than a month across Kashmir, India

Asiatic black bear

Asiatic black bear
The constant movement of wild animals towards human habitation has carried panic among people. In recent days black bear attacks increased throughout the Valley. It is to be believed that the conversion of the bear's natural habitat to orchards and farmlands is the primary reason for the attacks over past three decades.

Other reason is blockade of several border areas with fencing and other barriers that restrict movement of animals. People living in remote areas across Kashmir are living in fear after increasing black bear attacks.

Today on September 6, a man was injured after being attacked by a bear in Pachgam nard Kund area of South Kashmir Kulgam district. He has been identified as Manzoor Ahmad from Pachgam.

Earlier on September 4, a 40 year old man was attacked and injured by a black bear in Drangsoo Village in Mawar area of Kupwara district. Officials said the injured man was identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat.


Three people rescued off Australian coast after yacht damaged by multiple shark attacks

Great white shark
Three people have been rescued in the Coral Sea off the coast of Cairns, after their catamaran was damaged during several shark attacks.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) coordinated the rescue early Wednesday morning roughly 835km off the coast of Cairns, after receiving a distress beacon.

In a post to social media, the crew, who were on a round-the-world expedition called Russian Ocean Way, which they were documenting online, said they were first attacked by sharks on 4 September, leaving the rear left "cylinder" of their nine-metre inflatable catamaran damaged.

"As a result, [it] completely submerged under water," a post on the crew's Instagram account reads.


Large waterspout spotted off coast of Greek island

A large waterspout was recorded coming ashore on the Greek island of Evia on Tuesday, September 5, local media reported.

Credit: Xrusa Xeila / Taverna Zoi Limnionas via Storyful

Cloud Precipitation

Five killed following deadly flash flood in Istanbul, Turkey

At least five people were killed after heavy rain flooded streets and homes in parts of Turkey on Tuesday, September 5.

Floods hit the city of Istanbul after heavy rains, with roads in three districts turning into lakes and rivers, and several metro stations were flooded. Four people are believed to have been killed in the flooding, authorities said.

Cloud Precipitation

Brazil - Thousands displaced, 37 dead after storms and floods in Rio Grande Do Sul (UPDATES)

Floods in Nova Bassano, Rio Grande do Sol,
© Município de Nova Bassano
Floods in Nova Bassano, Rio Grande do Sol, Brazil, September 2023.
Severe weather over the last few days has taken its toll on areas of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil where authorities report hundreds of people have been evacuated and at least 4 people have lost their lives.

Strong winds, hail and heavy rain have affected the state over the last few days. State authorities reported multiple locations recorded more than 200 mm of rain in a 72-hour period to 04 September, including Passo Fundo (291.6 mm), Água Santa (221.6 mm), Ijuí (217.6 mm), Entre-Ijuís (207.4 mm) and Vacaria (202.2 mm).

Severe flooding has impacted communities in the municipalities of Santo Expedito do Sul, Lajeado do Bugre, Nova Bassano, São Jorge, Bento Gonçalves, Caxias do Sul and Ibiraiaras, among others. Further flooding is expected as river levels are high and in some cases still rising. State Civil Defence issued flood warnings for communities living close to the Antas, Taquari and Caí rivers.

Comment: Update September 6

Reuters reports:
Cyclone rains in Brazil's south kill 22, leave cities completely flooded

An extratropical cyclone has been battering southern Brazil, flooding homes, swelling rivers and claiming the lives of nearly two dozen people, state authorities said on Tuesday.

Luana da Luz is among hundreds of Brazilians who have packed up their belongings in an effort to escape the rising waters.

"Since dawn, we saw that (the water) was going to flood (our house) and we were putting things on top of the table, on top of the wood stove, but it didn't help," said Da Luz, a resident of the town of Passo Fundo in the southern state of Rio Grande Sul, where state authorities have confirmed the deaths of 21 people.

Video obtained by Reuters showed houses in Mucum submerged by rising water, while streets and rivers were also flooded.

Dozens of homes had their roofs damaged by a hailstorm and hundreds of people are without contact in Rio Grande do Sul.

Brazil's federal government has announced some measures to respond to the disaster, and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promised his government would do whatever is necessary to "save people from these problems."

"I feel devastated. I lost everything," said Dice Reginatto, from the city of Nova Bassano in Rio Grande do Sul. "There are many people who lost much more, but here at home I have nothing left."
Update September 7

Floodlist reports:
The flood situation has deteriorated in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil, where the governor, Eduardo Leite, has now declared a state of emergency.

Heavy rain fell in the state from 02 September. As of 05 September, at least 4 people had lost their lives and around 350 people were displaced from their homes.

The state's Civil Defence warned of further flooding. Rising rivers, swollen by further heavy rain, resulted in severe flooding in multiple parts of the state, in particular in the Caí and Taquari river basins.

Visiting affected areas on 06 September, Governor Eduardo Leite described the situation as "devastating".

"We saw communities completely submerged. It's heartbreaking, there's a lot of destruction. I had to hold back the tears at times. And we know that more deaths can be seen. This situation hurts and touches us. But we must stand firm to give all the support to the population", said the governor.

The state government has so far confirmed 37 fatalities, including 14 in Muçum, 9 in Roca Sales, 3 in Lajeado, 2 in Estrela, 2 in Ibiraiaras, 3 in Cruzeiro do Sul, 1 in Mato Castelhano, 1 in Passo Fundo, 1 in Encantado and 1 in Santa Tereza.

State Civil Defence said floods and storms have impacted communities in 79 municipalities. A total of 56,787 people have been affected, with 5,894 people displaced.


A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake shakes northern Chile

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook northern Chile on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 8:48 p.m. local time, and its epicenter was 41 kilometers (25 miles) south-southwest of Coquimbo, Chile. The quake had a depth of 41 kilometers (25 miles).

Chile's national emergency office did not report any damages or injuries.

Chile is located in the so-called "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific and experiences frequent earthquakes. In 2010, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake and subsequent tsunami claimed 526 lives.

The Associated Press