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At least 310 killed on Indonesia's main island of Java after shallow magnitude 5.6 earthquake (UPDATES)

People injured during an earthquake receive medical treatment in a hospital parking lot in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia (
© AP
People injured during an earthquake receive medical treatment in a hospital parking lot in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia
At least 46 people have died and hundreds left injured after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia's main island of Java on Monday.

The head of the country's disaster agency BNPB said up to 700 have been injured from the earthquake.

Earlier, a government official, Herman Suherman, said at least 300 were injured from the earthquake and said this figure was from just one hospital.

He pointed out that there were four hospitals in the area, in comments that indicate the casualties and those injured from the earthquake could rise.

The national disaster agency had earlier reported 14 deaths.


Comment: Update November 22

The Guardian reports:
Indonesia earthquake: rescuers search for survivors as death toll rises to 252

Indonesian rescue workers were racing to reach people still trapped in rubble one day after an earthquake struck the main island of Java, as the death toll rose to 252.

Monday afternoon's quake, centred in the Cianjur region of West Java province, struck at a depth of 6.2 miles (10km), triggering landslides and damaging buildings, including thousands of homes.

The number of people killed is unclear. In an Instagram post on Tuesday the local government said 252 were confirmed dead, with 31 missing, 377 injured and 7,060 displaced.

Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, said the majority of the dead were children, many of them students taking extra lessons. "So many incidents occurred at several Islamic schools," he said. Authorities were operating "under the assumption that the number of injured and [dead] will rise with time".

Provisional data released by the authorities and cited by Save the Children said about 51 education sites were affected, including 30 elementary schools, 12 junior high schools, one high school, five vocational schools and one special school.

At a local hospital, overwhelmed by the number of patients, the injured lay on the floor on mattresses and blankets, or under makeshift tents. On Monday night, victims were treated in the dark, under torchlight, due to widespread power cuts.

Rescuers carry an injured victim of the earthquake at a hospital in Cianjur, Indonesia.
© Adi Weda/EPA
Rescuers carry an injured victim of the earthquake at a hospital in Cianjur, Indonesia.
"Everything collapsed beneath me and I was crushed beneath this child," Cucu, a 48-year-old resident, told Reuters from the crowded hospital parking area. "Two of my kids survived, I dug them up ... Two others I brought here, and one is still missing," she said through tears.

BNPB said at least 25 people were still buried under the rubble in Cianjur as darkness fell on Monday. Efforts to reach victims been complicated by power failures, damaged roads and more than 80 aftershocks.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers had been deployed to assist in rescue efforts, Dedi Prasetyo, the national police spokesperson, told the Antara state news agency. "Today's main task order for personnel is to focus on evacuating victims," he said.

Officials were working on Tuesday to reach the area of Cugenang, which had been blocked off by a landslide.

The earthquake damaged at least 2,200 homes and displaced more than 5,000 people, the national disaster agency (BNPB) said. It said it had confirmed the deaths of 62 people, but had not verified 100 additional victims.

Mus Mustopa, who lives in Padaluyu, a village in Cianjur, told Indonesia's Kompas TV he helped a family recover the body of an 80-year-old woman who had died in the quake. It happened suddenly, he said. "I wasn't prepared and saw houses reduced to rubble ... Some 50 houses are damaged, with around 10 being heavily damaged."

Several landslides were reported across Cianjur.

Ima Mafazah, a volunteer with the Indonesian Red Cross, said tremors continued late into the evening on Monday. "Until now, the earthquake still happens, but not as big as before. A minute ago it happened again. Many people don't want to stay at their homes," she said, adding that people were traumatised, afraid and sleeping outside.

Homes had been damaged across a wide area and access was difficult due to cracked roads, said Mafazah. Nurses had been sent by the Indonesian Red Cross on motorbikes to reach the injured in four of the worst-affected areas, about one hour from the main town, that were otherwise inaccessible.

The US Geological Surveys's Pager system estimated that up to 242,000 people were exposed to "very strong shaking" and up to 978,000 people to "strong shaking". The quake was felt 60 miles (100km) away in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, where high-rise buildings swayed.

Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, told Agence France-Presse that panicked workers ran for the exits of their building in Jakarta as the quake struck. "I was working when the floor under me was shaking. I could feel the tremor clearly," she said.

Indonesia is especially vulnerable to earthquakes because of its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", the most seismically and volcanically active zone in the world.

In February, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 others in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a quake of similar magnitude killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report
Update November 25

AP reports:
Indonesia earthquake toll reaches 310 as more bodies found

The death toll from an earthquake that struck Indonesia's Java island early this week rose to 310 after rescuers found more bodies under landslides, an official said. At least 24 people remain missing.

In devastated towns in western Java, residents gathered near badly damaged mosques for Friday prayers. Others held prayers along with rescuers between the tents at evacuation centers.

Bodies were recovered Friday in two areas of mountainous Cianjur district where landslides triggered by Monday's quake brought tons of mud, rocks and broken trees, said Henri Alfiandi, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

More than 1,400 rescuers have been searching through the rubble since the magnitude 5.6 quake, which injured more than 2,000 people.

The head of the National Disaster Management Agency, Suharyanto, who uses one name, said rescuers will continue searching until rebuilding begins.

"We will do it up to the last person. There is no reduction whatsoever, in strength, enthusiasm, or the equipment," Suharyanto said.

He said distribution of food and other aid is improving and is reaching more people in 110 evacuation locations.

The disaster agency said the earthquake damaged at least 56,000 houses and displaced at least 36,000 people. Hundreds of public facilities were destroyed, including 363 schools.

An earthquake of that strength would not typically cause such serious damage. But Monday's quake was shallow and shook a densely populated area that lacks earthquake-resistant infrastructure.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin known as the "Ring of Fire."



Cloud Precipitation

Saudi Arabia: Devastating Jeddah storm sweeps away cars, cuts road to Mecca - 7 inches of rain in just 6 hours - 3 TIMES ANNUAL mean (UPDATE)

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Heavy rains in Saudi Arabia's coastal city of Jeddah on Thursday delayed flights, forced school closures and shut the road to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, state media reported.

Jeddah, a city of roughly four million people located close to the Red Sea, is often referred to as the "gateway to Mecca", where millions perform the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages each year.

Images posted to social media on Thursday showed cars being swept along streets through raging torrents of water.


Comment: Update November 25

Floodlist reports:
Severe flash flooding struck in western parts of Saudi Arabia after torrential rain on 24 November 2022. The city of Jeddah in Mecca Province recorded 179 mm of rain in 6 hours. At least 2 fatalities have been reported as a result of floods in the city.

Flooded streets caused havoc in the city of Jeddah in Mecca Province on 24 November. Police and Civil Protection were called to rescue drivers and remove stranded vehicles. Flights were delayed at King Abdulaziz International Airport and several homes were left without electricity. Authorities closed schools and universities in affected areas of the Province.

In a statement, the government of Mecca Province said 2 people had died in the floods in Jeddah and urged residents to remain indoors unless for urgent needs.

Saudi Arabia's National Center for Meteorology said the city of Jeddah recorded 179 mm of rain between 08:00 and 14:00 on 24 November. The total exceeded the amount of rainfall registered in 2009 when over 120 people died in flash floods in the city. Around 90 mm of rain fell in a 4 hour period on 25 November 2009.

According to figures from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the mean total rainfall for November in the city is 23 mm. The annual mean total rainfall is 55.6 mm.

Heavy rain also affected areas of the neighbouring Medina Province. Saudi Civil Defense said emergency teams rescued 5 people after a vehicle was swept away by flood waters in a rural area of Medina.



Snowflake Cold

Mongolia warns of extreme cold in coming week

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Large parts of Mongolia are expected to see extreme cold from the coming Monday and through the entire week, with expected overnight temperatures of 39 to 47 degrees Celsius below zero, the country's weather agency said Friday.

The weather agency said that heavy snow and snow storms are hitting the country's eastern and western parts, urging the public, especially nomadic herders and drivers, to take extra precautions against possible disasters.

Mongolia's climate is strongly continental, with long and frigid winters. A temperature of minus 25 degrees Celsius is standard during winter. Unstable weather events are also common in the country throughout the year.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 2 in Harare, Zimbabwe

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Lightning deaths ... Zimbabwe has one of the world's highest lightning deaths blamed on granite outcrops which produce an electrical charge
Two people died after being struck by lightning in Harare on Tuesday - a rare occurrence in an urban area, police said.

Leonard Matipano, 33, was planting a maize crop in a field in an open space near Ridgeview, Belvedere, when he met his death.

National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said two brothers, Phillip Chiundudzi ,43, and Prosper Chiundudzi, 27, were struck by lightning while hiding from rain under a shed at Habakkuk Church at Retreat Park in Waterfalls.

Philip succumbed to his injuries upon admission at a local hospital while Prosper was admitted at the same hospital in a serious condition.

Snowflake

Heavy snowfall in 3 states of Australia just days before start of summer - 16.5 inches reported

Perisher in alpine NSW recorded a staggering 25cm of snow on the slopes overnight

Perisher in alpine NSW recorded a staggering 25cm of snow on the slopes overnight
With only a few days to go until summer officially starts, residents in several states woke to subzero temperatures and a fresh blanket of snow on the ground.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the cold snap is expected to continue in the NSW alpine area on Thursday.

Ski resorts in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania reported their heaviest fall since the end of the snow season in October.

On Wednesday morning, Perisher in alpine NSW, recorded a staggering 25cms of snow had fallen on the slopes overnight.

The latest powder dump takes the total to an eye-popping 42cm of snow over the past week, with summer just a week away.


Comment: Another report from a day earlier: Late heavy spring snowfall in Australia & New Zealand - foot of snow reported


Snowflake

Northern Hemisphere snow cover is 2nd highest in 17 years

Northern hemisphere snow cover.
© National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Northern hemisphere snow cover.
Snow cover is present from Minnesota all the way to Siberia.

The Northern Hemisphere is off to a good start for snow cover this season.

A check of Northern Hemisphere snow cover shows we're at the second-highest snow cover level in the past 17 years, since 2005.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover seasonal data
© NOAA
Northern Hemisphere snow cover seasonal data
You can see on the map below how there's snow cover from Minnesota, all the way north to the Arctic Circle across North America.

Cloud Lightning

Nearly 100,000 lightning strikes in New Zealand over the last week - one bolt ignites vehicle

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Over the last week, New Zealand saw 91,349 lightning strikes, MetService said today.

That's an average of one lightning strike every seven seconds between last Wednesday and yesterday.

"Every region got a few sparks... except for the Canterbury High Country," the forecaster tweeted.

They added that 27,413 (30%) of those strikes were recorded over land.


Boat

Italy - Floods and storm surge prompt rescues and evacuations

Flood rescue in Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany
© Vigili del Fuoco, Siena
Flood rescue in Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany, Italy, 22 November 2022.
A wave of severe weather swept across Italy from 22 November 2022, including strong winds, high waves, storm surge and heavy rain. Emergency services carried out 2,500 interventions in 8 regions.

Italy's fire service Vigili del Fuoco reported a total of 2,500 interventions due to severe weather in 24 hours to 23 November 2022, including 715 in Lazio Region; 480 in Campania; 470 in Sardinia; 200 in Sicily; 300 in Veneto; 210 in Emilia Romagna and 180 in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Local media said the severe weather was brought by Storm Denise, which also affected the French island of Corsica. Many of the interventions were in response to damage caused by strong winds, including roofs ripped off buildings, and downed trees, branches and power lines. Vigili del Fuoco reported winds of more than 100 km/h in Trieste in Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. Stormy weather and roughs seas also affected areas in Sicily where ferry services were disrupted from the port at Milazzo.


Arrow Down

Portugal - 2 dead after heavy rains trigger landslide in Esposende

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Authorities in the municipality of Esposende in Braga District of northern Portugal report that 2 people have died after a landslide following heavy rainfall.

Civil Protection in Portugal said a landslide and large rocks destroyed part of a single-family home in Palmeira de Faro in Esposende early on 23 November 2022. Two people died and 4 people were rescued unharmed.

A team of over 40 personnel from various emergency services worked for 16 hours to find the bodies of the deceased. Five engineers from the University of Minho were also at the scene.

The landslide also damaged neighbouring homes and residents of 3 houses were evacuated for safety concerns.


Doberman

Toddler mauled to death in another pit bull attack in South Africa - 3rd such fatality in 10 days

PIT BULL ATTACK
A 15-month-old boy has been mauled to death in a pit bull attack in Gonubie Farm, East London on Wednesday, November 23.

Police say the toddler was playing in a neighbour's yard when the dog attacked him.

"According to police reports, the boy was playing with the neighbor's dog on the farm when the pit bull spotted a passer-by walking his dog. After failing to leave the yard, the pit bull is alleged to have returned to the child and bit him in the upper body," said Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana.

He added that after the incident, the paramedics were called to transport the child to a nearby hospital, where he was reported to have succumbed to injuries sustained.

Comment: Details of the other attacks: