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Wed, 12 Aug 2020
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Earth Changes


6.3-magnitude earthquake hits Prince Edward Islands region south east of South Africa

earthquake graph
© Phil McCarten / Reuters
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 jolted Prince Edward Islands region at 2336 GMT on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 41.7458 degrees south latitude and 42.3821 degrees east longitude.


508 deaths, 12.6 million people affected by floods across India - at least 300,000 hectares of crop damaged

Since the onset of monsoon, over 500 people have died across the country because of the ongoing floods and flood-related incidents. At least 1.26 crore people have been affected, and approximately 5,22,908 people have been displaced. Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh are the states that have been affected the most.

Bihar continues to be affected by floods as river overflow from Nepal has inundated more areas. According to the situation report published by the Ministry of Home Affairs' Disaster Management Division on August 4, over 59.68 lakh people have been affected by the floods, and 19 people have died. One thousand one hundred and eighteen villages have been affected. A total of 4,40,507 people have been evacuated, and 38 relief centres have been opened. The relief camps are currently housing 28,664 people.

Cloud Precipitation

Thousands displaced by further floods in South West State, Somalia after unusually strong rainfall season

Lower Shabelle floods, July 2020, Somalia.
Lower Shabelle floods, July 2020, Somalia.
Further flooding has struck in parts of Somalia, with over 10,000 people affected in South West State over the last few days.

Wide areas of the country have seen unusually strong "Hagaa season" rainfall which has caused flash and riverine flooding in particular from mid July. Since then, 6 fatalities have been reported and at least 120,000 people displaced and 191,000 affected in Hirshabelle, South West, Jubaland States and Banadir region.

Cloud Precipitation

17.5 million affected, 630 killed by floods in South Asia

17.5 million affected by floods and threatened by disease in South Asia

17.5 million affected by floods and threatened by disease in South Asia
Monsoon floods are robbing millions of people of their homes and livelihoods, with mounting risk of more deadly disease outbreaks when health resources are stretched to breaking point by COVID-19.

So far almost 17.5 million people have been affected and more than 630 killed by major floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal according to government figures. Half of Bangladesh's districts are underwater, leaving nearly 1 million families stranded and cut off in their villages. Flooding and landslides in Nepal have left almost 200 people dead or missing. In India, almost 12 million people are affected by the floods mainly in the northern states of Assam and Bihar.

Feroz Salah Uddin, Secretary General, Bangladesh Red Crescent said: "This is one of the biggest monsoon floods we have faced in many years and the worst may be yet to come as we face growing risks of malaria, dengue, diarrhea as well as this worsening COVID-19 pandemic."


Thousands of hectares of forest in Algeria ravaged by fire - 1,216 wildfires in 2 months

Algeria's president on Sunday ordered an "immediate" investigation into forest fires that have ravaged thousands of hectares across the country in recent days, his office said. The enquiry aims to "determine the causes of fires that have ravaged vast stretches of forest". Local media have reported that the fires also destroyed homes, but the statement from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune's office made no mention of such incidents.

Cloud Precipitation

Flood situation worsens in Bihar, India with 6.6 million currently affected

An aerial view of the flood-affected Darbhanga district of Bihar on Wednesday.

An aerial view of the flood-affected Darbhanga district of Bihar on Wednesday.
Overflowing rivers inundate new areas in the State; CM makes aerial survey

The flood situation in Bihar deteriorated on Wednesday as waters from overflowing rivers originating in Nepal inundated fresh areas and the number of affected people rose to 66.60 lakh across 16 districts, a government bulletin said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made an aerial survey of the affected areas of north Bihar and visited a village in Darbhanga district, which has been hit by the calamity.

Cloud Lightning

Two men killed by lightning strike while cutting tree limbs in Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington police say two men were killed after they were struck by lightning while cutting tree limbs Wednesday morning.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, the incident happened in the 6200 block of North Bradley Overlook in the Bradley Creek area around 11:50 a.m.

The homeowner, 77-year-old Ralph Thomas Wallace, and his friend, 42-year-old Moo Saw Kefauver, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

A nearby house also suffered damage from the strike, including a small attic fire, but no one was injured.


Three cranes collapse at India's biggest container port near Mumbai

Cranes collapse in Mumbai

Storms have brought floods and mudslides to Mumbai as well as causing the collapse of three cranes at JNPT.
Three cranes collapsed at India's largest container port on the outskirts of Mumbai due to strong winds on Wednesday, police and port officials said.

Heavy rainfall has hit India's west coast since Monday night, flooding parts of the financial capital. Wind speeds picked up on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

No one was injured when the cranes collapsed at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said in a Tweet.

The port is still assessing the impact of the collapse on the operations, its chairman, Sanjay Sethi, told Reuters.


Comment: Less than a week ago a giant crane collapsed at another Indian shipyard killing at least 11 people.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rainfall batters Mumbai, India - nearly 8 inches in 4 hours, flooding stops trains

train flood
Heavy rain overnight and this morning battered several parts of Mumbai, leading to flooding and travel chaos.

This is the heaviest spell of rain in the financial capital since 2005, Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray told NDTV.

"198 mm rain in four hours is a huge amount of rain. Any city in the world will collapse with such rain," Mr Thackeray said. The local trains, a lifeline for Mumbai's 20 million residents, have been stopped in the city and all offices, except emergency services are closed.

Mumbai and a few neighbouring district are on red alert for "extremely heavy rainfall" today and tomorrow. Apart from Mumbai, the alert has been issued for Thane, Pune, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. The rain and its severe impact come at a time Mumbai is struggling with coronavirus cases.


Dead humpback whale washes up on Aptos beach, California

Dead humpback whale on Platforms beach in Aptos.

Dead humpback whale on Platforms beach in Aptos.
A dead humpback whale roughly 36 feet long drifted Thursday afternoon onto Platforms Beach in Aptos. Gabriel McKenna, public safety superintendent for California State Parks said they don't have a cause of death.

"State Parks is evaluating expedient ways of removing the dead whale from the beach," he said. "We are working in conjunction with Long Marine Lab and NOAA."

State Parks advised the public to stay away from the whale and view from afar to ensure safety.

On Tuesday, the whale remained at the beach. McKenna confirmed that they are monitoring the weather and tides to determine when they can safely tow the whale back out to sea, likely later this week.