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Thu, 29 Oct 2020
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Earth Changes


Severe flooding affects 800,000 people in South Sudan

Many areas flooded since July, river levels still rising, making crisis worse, says Medecins Sans Frontieres

Severe flooding in South Sudan is affecting the lives of roughly 800,000 people, leaving them without adequate food, water or shelter, Medecins Sans Frontieres said Tuesday.

"Many areas [in South Sudan] have been flooded since July, while river levels are continuing to rise, worsening the crisis," the Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders -- an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization -- said in a statement.

Putting efforts to provide medical care in the affected areas of Upper Nile, Jonglei, Greater Pibor, and Unity states, the MSF said the need for medical care in South Sudan "are increasing with a sharp rise in malaria cases and fears of outbreaks of other diseases."


Wind-fuelled wildfire in Southern California leads to evacuation order for 100,000

Weather conditions are hampering efforts to bring the fires under control
Weather conditions are hampering efforts to bring the fires under control
A fast-burning wildfire has triggered evacuation orders for 60,000 Southern California residents, as hundreds of thousands elsewhere across the state endured a second straight day of power shutoffs due to heightened fire risks from high winds. The Silverado fire sparked early in Orange county, quickly jumping a highway and exploding to 4,000 acres. The fire had doubled in size within two hours, with strong wind gusts pushing flames along brushy ridges in Silverado canyon toward thousands of homes. The latest threats came amid California's worst wildfire season on record in terms of landscape burned, with more than 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) scorched since the start of the year, along with thousands of homes destroyed and 31 lives lost.

Comment: Four million acres burned in California wildfires

Cloud Precipitation

Flood death toll rises to 43 in Cambodia, 369,208 hectares of crops submerged

Flood recorded on the outskirts of Phnom Penh
Flood recorded on the outskirts of Phnom Penh
Flash floods in Cambodia have claimed 43 lives and forced the evacuations of 47,580 others so far, the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said in a report on Tuesday.

Seasonal rains, exacerbated by tropical storms, have caused floods in 19 of the kingdom's 25 cities and provinces since the beginning of the month, the report said, adding that 594,388 people have also been affected.

"As of Monday evening, the floods have killed 43 people, including 26 in Banteay Meanchey province," it said.


Up to 32 inches more snowfall in the Alps


Ski areas in the Alps and Pyrenees have reported another pre-main-season snowfall to start this week, with the snow falling down to resort level at many areas. There was heavy snowfall in the Western Alps and Pyrenees on Monday and then heavier snow further East by Tuesday morning.

Although few are publishing official snowfall stats yet, numbers varying from 5-20cm (2-8 inches) were widely reported although some said they had had 80cm (32″) by Tuesday morning.

About 25 ski areas are now open in the Alps and Scandinavia and the first ski areas have also opened in Canada and the US for 20-21, where widespread snowfall across the continent has also been reported.


It's only October, but the snow is already falling atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Snow on Mauna Kea was seen around 4 p.m. Monday
© Mauna Kea Weather Center
Snow on Mauna Kea was seen around 4 p.m. Monday
Some wet and unstable weather brought thunderstorms and heavy rain to the western half of the state this week.

But over on Hawaii Island, it was a different scene as snow fell atop Mauna Kea.

A light dusting was captured by cameras at the Mauna Kea Weather Center on Monday around 4 p.m. It's believed to be the first snowfall of the winter season.

The Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station said the road was closed Monday night, which is often a result of snowy or icy conditions making travel up the mountain unsafe.

More snow could be possible in the coming days as temperatures are set to linger near freezing.


Dog attacks, kills infant sleeping with parents in Hampton, Virginia

dog attack
Authorities are investigating after a reported dog attack claimed the life of a baby early Monday morning.

Hampton police were called around 3:15 a.m. to respond to a report of "a vicious canine that had killed an infant" in the first block of Scotland Road, officials said. Responding officers found a "small infant that had sustained injuries consistent with a canine attack," according to the Hampton Police Division.

The infant's parents said they were sleeping in their bed with the child when "a large amount of motion" woke them, investigators said. The child's father told police that when he woke, he saw "extensive injuries to the child" and immediately euthanized the dog.

Comment: The last 9 months has seen an extraordinary number of fatalities as a result of canine attacks on people right across the world, many by trusted, long-time family pets. As human behavior becomes increasingly crazy perhaps this is being echoed in the animal kingdom? And not least by those creatures most chiefly associated with man?

The monthly headlines below:



Newborn baby killed by dog in Hamilton, New Zealand

dog attack
Witnesses to the aftermath of a dog fatally attacking a newborn baby say nothing could've prepared them for what they saw.

Emergency services rushed to the child's aid on Sunday evening after they were bitten by a dog at an address in the Hamilton suburb of Enderley. They were then transported to Waikato Hospital with critical injuries.

On Tuesday morning, police confirmed the baby had died overnight and the matter had been referred to the Coroner.

The baby was just one day old at the time and the mother was still wearing her hospital band.

Snowflake Cold

Record low temps from Idaho to Montana to Wyoming to Colorado to South Dakota

Casper, Wyoming and Denver annihilate previous records.

"Denver's Monday high expected around 17F (-8.3C)," says reader Pieter. "That would be 14 degrees beneath the prior record for lowest high for the date, per Denver Post. That's a pretty good indication of how freaky this storm is given the wide boundaries for Colorado's 'normal' weather variability."

Meanwhile, according to reader Adoni, "Billings, Montana, fell to 16F on Saturday morning, comfortably busting the previous record of 19F set back in 1976 (solar minimum of cycle 20)."

Cloud Precipitation

Jamaica impacted by days of severe weather from Tropical Storm Zeta

The area of Papine to Bull Bay.
© National Works Agency
The area of Papine to Bull Bay.
Over the weekend, Jamaica was pounded by heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Zeta which led to two fatalities, many roads destroyed, residents displaced and calls from locals urging the government to address the concerns over the island's poor infrastructure.

The severe weather began on Friday, October 23, when the Meteorological Service issued a flash flood warning for low-lying and flood-prone areas including St Andrew. The heavy rains resulted in two fatalities after a house was swept away in Shooters Hill, St Andrew. The bodies of the father/daughter duo, Romeo Leachman and his 15-year-old daughter Saneeka Leachman, were found under the remains of his house which was swept away in a landslide.

The conditions continued over the weekend but the bulk at the destruction was done on Sunday when a flash flood warning was issued for all parishes and almost an entire day of rain caused flooding across the island and forced many residents to evacuate their homes and find shelter.

Cloud Precipitation

Typhoon Molave leaves 13 missing, displaces thousands in the Philippines

Upright chair after typhoon

Upright chair after typhoon
A fast-moving typhoon blew away from the Philippines on Monday after leaving at least 13 people missing, forcing thousands of villagers to flee to safety and flooding rural villages, disaster-response officials said.

The 13 people missing from Typhoon Molave included a dozen fishermen who ventured out to sea over the weekend despite a no-sail restriction due to very rough seas. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The typhoon was blowing west toward the South China Sea with sustained winds of 125 kilometers (77 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph). It roared overnight through island provinces south of the capital, Manila, which was lashed by strong winds but escaped major damage.

At least 25,000 villagers were displaced, with about 20,000 taking shelter in schools and government buildings that were turned into evacuation centers, the Office of Civil Defense said, but officials added that some have returned home in regions where the weather has cleared.