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Tue, 18 May 2021
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Deadly landslide after heavy rain in West Sumatra, Indonesia - at least 7 people killed

land
At least 7 people have died after heavy rain caused a landslide West Sumatra, Indonesia.

According to the country's disaster agency BNPB, a landslide struck a mining area of Sangir Batang Hari District, South Solok Regency, West Sumatra, on 10 May 2021 after heavy rain. Conditions are making access to the area difficult for rescue teams.


Water

Taiwan rations water, drills extra wells amid record drought

Taiwan Drought

Taiwan Drought
Some households in Taiwan are going without running water two days a week after a months-long drought dried up the island's reservoirs and a popular tourist lake.

Authorities are drilling extra wells and using military planes to dump cloud-seeding chemicals in hopes of triggering rain. The government has allocated money to extract drinkable water from the sea.

Farmers who need to flood paddies to raise rice, lotus root and other thirsty crops have been hit hard.

"The lotus flowers and seeds I planted don't produce well," said Chen Chiu-lang, a farmer in the southern city of Tainan standing in a dry paddy field.

Rainfall in the seven months through February was less than half the historic average after no typhoons hit Taiwan in 2020 for the first time in 56 years, according to the government.


Water

California declares drought emergency across vast swath of state

Houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville last month in Oroville, California.
California has expanded a drought emergency declaration to a large swath of the nation's most populated state amid "acute water supply shortages" in northern and central parts of California.

The declaration, expanded by Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, now includes 41 of 58 counties, covering 30% of California's nearly 40 million people. The US drought monitor shows most of the state and the American west is in extensive drought just a few years after California emerged from a punishing multiyear dry spell.

Officials fear an extraordinary dry spring presages a wildfire season like last year, when flames burned a record 6,562 sq mi(16,996 sq km).

The declaration comes as Newsom prepares to propose more spending on short- and long-term responses to dry conditions. The Democrat last month had declared an emergency in just two counties north of San Francisco - Mendocino and Sonoma.

The expanded declaration includes the counties in the Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake watersheds across much of the northern and central parts of the state.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides about a third of the state's water, was at just 59% of average on 1 April, when it is normally at its peak.

Comment: The droughts in California often tend to be followed by devastating flooding: California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?


Snowflake

Forecast of 16 inches of May snow prompts 'winter storm warning' in Colorado

snow
A winter storm warning has been issued for parts of Colorado after the National Weather Service has predicted between eight and 16 inches of snow in parts of the state through Tuesday afternoon, with higher totals possible in isolated areas.

Areas impacted by the warning include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Medicine Bow Range, the mountains of Summit County, the Mosquito Range, the Indian Peaks, and the Front Range foothills. The warning is currently in place from 3 PM on Monday through 3 PM on Tuesday. A few places of interest this warning includes are the Eisenhower Tunnel, Breckenridge, Mount Evans, Georgetown, and Estes Park.

See a full map of the storm prediction below:

Cloud Lightning

Lightning sends chunk of I-10 through truck's windshield in Walton County, Florida

A lightning strike hit I-10 Monday morning, sending a piece of the road through a truck's windshield. Both occupants were injured.
© Walton County Fire Rescue
A lightning strike hit I-10 Monday morning, sending a piece of the road through a truck's windshield. Both occupants were injured.
Two people were injured by lightning in Walton County, Florida, just after 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. The way in which they sustained their injuries just probably isn't what you're thinking.

As heavy thunderstorms rolled through the Florida Panhandle, there were numerous lightning strikes occurring -- including plenty that were cloud-to-ground. One of those strikes happened to hit the eastbound side of I-10 around mile marker 81.

Upon impact, the lightning strike sent a chunk of the interstate flying through the air.

That debris went through the windshield of a Ford pickup traveling on I-10 before then exiting through the back window. Both the windshield and back window were shattered by the force of the impact.

Snowflake Cold

Hungary records its coldest April of the 21st century

snow
© György Varga/MTI
April this year was the coldest this century, and it was the 15th coldest since 1901, Hungary's weather service said on Sunday.

The month was 2.9 C. cooler than the average of 11.4 C. recorded between 1991 and 2020, the service said on its website and on Instagram.

April was especially capricious this year, witnessing snow and even snowdrifts.

Several other records were also broken during the month, with 80.7mm of rain drenching Tokaj, in eastern Hungary, on the first day of the month, while in Budapest, the record for the hottest day (26.1 C.) was broken on the same day.

On April 15, the coldest day, the mercury did not get above -0.6 C. in Kekesteto in the north of the country.

Ice Cube

Mass deaths of reindeer on Yamal peninsula in Russia might be linked to climate change, scientists believe

First reports about winter rains followed by lengthy spells of extremely cold weather on Yamal appeared in December 2020.
© Arctic Lab Yamal
First reports about winter rains followed by lengthy spells of extremely cold weather on Yamal appeared in December 2020.
Thousands of domestic and wild animals perished because they couldn't get to forage locked under ice.

New ideas to rescue reindeer herding are urgently needed for the Yamal peninsula, said members of the scientific expedition that just returned from the trip to its northern tundra.

'The perished reindeer were observed all around the northern tundra, among them were wild reindeer who also suffered from icing and lack of forage. Herders showed us that their hooves were worn out because they had to dig through ice so much', said researchers Alexandra Terekhina and Alexander Volkovitsky from the Arctic Research Station in Labytnangi, part of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology.


Boat

Today the desert of Saudi Arabia looks like a big river!

floods
Natural disaster 8 May 2021. Today the desert of Saudi Arabia looks like a big river! Flood in Taif, Mecca.


Attention

Lost young whale seen swimming upstream in Thames after being freed overnight

The whale is between three to four metres long.
© Richard Frank
The whale is between three to four metres long.
A small whale which was freed in Richmond overnight is being monitored after it was seen swimming upstream in a different stretch of the River Thames.

The whale, thought to be a young minke whale, was first spotted at Richmond Lock and Weir at around 7pm on Sunday.

Hundreds of people gathered after the mammal, which was between three to four metres long, became stuck on the lock's boat rollers.

The Port London Authority (PLA) told Sky News the whale was freed at 1am after a joint operation by the London Fire Brigade, a Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) crew, and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

It has now been spotted at Teddington Lock where Twitter user Fiona Adams said the RNLI was in attendance.

"The whale has returned up river to #Teddington Lock. @rnli_teddington in attendance monitoring the situation. Husband monitoring from a safer distance on shore," she wrote.


Cloud Lightning

4 children die, another 4 injured in lightning strikes in Jharkhand, India

lightning
Four children died in lightning strikes in Ramagrh and Latehar districts on Sunday. Ramgarh SDPO Kishore Kumar Rajak said two children identified as Vikas Bhuiyyan (10) and Kundan Bhuiyyan (8) were killed in Maliagadha area under Mandu police station. Both the kids were collecting mango beneath the tree during the storm when lightning struck.

Police said that they received a report regarding the deaths from the locals and the autopsy of the bodies would be carried out soon.

In another incident at Latehar, Karan Singh (12) and Pankaj Singh (10) died under the Manika police station while four others identified as Ranjan Singh (6), Satyam Singh (5), Anita Kumari (7) and Rupesh Singh (12) were injured when lightning struck while they were playing in the open field. The injured are undergoing treatment at the local government hospital. The incident happened in Sadhwadih village.

Earlier in the day, the weather office had issued a statewide alert on thunderstorm and lightning and warned people against venturing out in the open during storms.