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Sat, 12 Jun 2021
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Earth Changes


Lobster diver survives being swallowed whole and spat out by Humpback whale off Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Michael Packard got caught in the mouth of a humpback whale for 30-40 seconds before escaping (Photo Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images)
© Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images
Michael Packard got caught in the mouth of a humpback whale for 30-40 seconds before escaping
A US lobster diver thought he was going to die after getting caught in the mouth of a humpback whale before it surfaced and spat him out.

Michael Packard, 56, was diving off Cape Cod in Massachusetts on Friday and about 45ft below the surface when he found himself inside the closed mouth of the giant creature.

He spent 30-40 seconds inside it before escaping "very bruised" but otherwise unharmed.

Describing the terrifying ordeal the diver said he "felt this huge bump, and everything went dark" and initially thought he'd been attacked by a shark but then realised he couldn't feel teeth.

It then dawned on him he was in a whale's mouth. He told the Cape Cod Times: "I was completely inside; it was completely black.

Cloud Precipitation

Severe summer rainstorm and hail batters Greece - month's worth of rain in just 40 minutes

A major summer storm hit Greece, particularly Attica, where Athens is located, on Friday afternoon, battering the country with heavy rains.

The rainstorm seemed to come out of nowhere on Friday afternoon, as sunny, clear blue skies suddenly turned grey and cloudy in Athens.

Around 2:00 PM, torrential rains hit the region, bringing with them hail and lightning.

The rainstorm, which produced what is usually a month's worth of rain in Greece in just 40 minutes, caused major traffic jams across Athens, and even left large swaths of the city without power.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 4 in Bihar, India

Four persons died after lightning struck them near Fatuha railway station in Patna on Friday.

A video of the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, shows a group of men standing under a tree when lightning strikes them.

According to the police, all victims were rushed to Patna Medical College and Hospital. Two of them died on the way while another two succumbed to injuries during treatment.

Police said victims were residents of Purulia district in West Bengal and were gypsies. They had taken shelter under a tree as it was raining.


Wrong place, wrong time: Sulphur-bellied warbler turns up for the first time ever in UK - 4,000 miles from normal range in Asia

Sulphur-bellied Warbler on Lundy Island

Sulphur-bellied Warbler on Lundy Island
TWITCHERS hired boats to take them to an island — after a rare bird flew 4,000 miles to spend summer in Britain for the first time.

One handed a skipper £1,000 to ferry him to see the revered sulphur-bellied warbler, which had come all the way from Tibet.

Some skived off work and paid £120 an hour to hire vessels, while another drove five hours overnight.

Snapper Ashley Howe was among the few who made it in time to Lundy off Devon on Tuesday.

He captured stunning pictures of the brown and yellow bird before it flew off.

He tweeted: "Mega Views!! Sulphur-bellied Warbler on Lundy Island this evening. First for Britain."


Snowfall and cold temperatures as Newfoundland bears "June-uary" weather

Photos shared by Petrina Balsom on Twitter show

Photos shared by Petrina Balsom on Twitter show "June-uary" settling in over the Heart's Content Barrens
Just days after Newfoundland was bathed in temperatures in the mid to high 20°s, people were left reeling Thursday with the sudden appearance of "June-uary" weather.

Rainfall mixed with wet flakes, and was in some cases replaced with snow, as temperatures dipped near the freezing mark.

The snow began to work its way eastward across the island throughout the day, resulting in some accumulation along central and northeastern regions. Drivers were advised to use caution as conditions along roadways also deteriorated.

By mid-afternoon, photos began surfacing of thick layers of accumulation along the Northern Avalon, while areas of higher elevation throughout metro were also subjected to the late reminder of winter.

Cloud Lightning

3 killed by lightning strikes in Bangladesh

Three people were killed by lightning strikes on Thursday during a storm in Babu Dying and Nachol areas in Chapainawabganj.

The storm took place between 4pm and 5pm.

Among the deceased, Abdur Rahman, 60, and Mesbaul Haque, 45, were from Bottolahat Shonkarbati area in Chapainawabganj municipality area, and Farzana, 13, was from Alishapur village in Nachol upazila's Fatehpur union.

Moudud Alam Khan, engineer and Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila project implementation officer, said Abdur Rahman and Mesbaul Haque were struck by lightning when they were picking mangoes during the storm in Baby Dying area in the upazila's Jhilim union.

Farzana, a school student, on the other hand, was struck by lightning while she was returning home at around 4pm, said Alishapur Ward Member Abdus Sattar.

All three died on the spot, the officials said.


2 tourists injured in Mexico crocodile attack

Two British women are recovering from a crocodile attack in a lagoon along Mexico's southern Pacific coast, an official said Wednesday.

The two women, apparently sisters, were visiting the Manialtepec lagoon near the surf and beach destination of Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca when the attack occurred late Sunday, according to Said Silva, the head of the local civil defense office.

The lagoon is known for its stands of mangroves and for brackish waters that turn bioluminescent at some times of the year.

Silva said witnesses told officials that the two Britons were swimming when one was attacked by a crocodile. The second woman was injured trying to assist the first.

Arrow Down

15-foot sinkhole opens up in parking lot of business in New Jersey

A large sinkhole disrupted business in a community in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Wall Township Police responded to calls of a 15-foot sinkhole which opened just before 12:30 p.m. in the rear parking lot of a commercial business on State Highway 35.

The on-scene investigation found that the 6-foot-deep sink hole had developed just 30 feet from the rear of the building.

The front tires of a parked car ended up partially inside the sink hole.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills 300 sheep during heavy downpours in Himachal Pradesh, India

Torrential rain and strong winds wreaked havoc in parts of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday night.

Kangra town received the highest 103mm of rainfall followed by Palampur and Paonta Sahib that got 70mm each. Dharamshala received 58mm of rainfall, Malan and Arki 44mm each, Shahpur 38mm, Joginderngar 33.5mm, Sundernagar 17mm and Sarkaghat 16mm. State capital Shimla got 11mm of rainfall.

The meteorological department has forecast heavy to very heavy rains over the coming days. "Adverse weather will prevail till June 16 with heavy to very heavy rain likely in most parts of Himachal Pradesh," said Shimla meteorological centre director Manmohan Singh.

A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms and lightning has been issued till June 13.

Livestock bear brunt in Baijnath

Nearly 300 sheep and goats were killed by lightning in the Manai Dhar area of Baijnath subdivision.


Uttarakhand flood was caused by rare rock and glacier avalanche

The Tapovan Vishnugad hydroelectric plant
© Irfan Rashid, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir
The Tapovan Vishnugad hydroelectric plant was damaged by a debris flow
The 2021 flood in Uttarakhand, India, that resulted in over 200 dead and missing was the result of an avalanche that dropped about 27 million square metres of rock and glacier ice from the nearby Ronti mountain.

On 7 February 2021, residents of the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand saw a plume of dust coming down through the valley followed swiftly by a massive amount of water that damaged two hydropower projects. They extensively filmed the events of that day, broadcasting it in real time.

"It's not that this is the first time that a flood happened, but it is the first time that a flood happened in February. It snows in the region in winter and floods generally happen in the monsoon season which is between June and August," says Kavita Upadhyay, an independent journalist and water policy expert in India.

Dan Shugar at the University of Calgary in Canada and his colleagues used satellite images and sensor data to trace the source of the flood and found that it was triggered by an avalanche consisting of about 80 per cent bedrock and 20 per cent glacier ice that dropped almost 2 kilometres to the valley below, then continued travelling down, picking up trees and other debris along the way.

Comment: Himalayan glacier bursts in India causing flash flooding & destroying dam, 150 feared dead