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Wed, 20 Oct 2021
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

At least 27 New Jersey residents killed in Ida flooding, 4 people missing

Hurricane Ida - Central Jersey
© Alexander Lewis / MyCentralJersey
Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on many towns in Central Jersey, with many still recovering. Many roadways are still flooded.
Ida's flooding claimed the lives of at least 27 people in New Jersey, with four people still missing across the state, and the death toll is likely to rise.

Two of those missing have been identified as Nidhi Rana and Ayush Rana, who were last seen in the Passaic area.

Anthony Johnson has more on the deaths and people missing
in New Jersey after Ida battered the Tri-State.


Snow falls in South Africa as temperatures plummet

Snow had blanketed the landscape at Lake Naverone by Tuesday afternoon.
© Southern Drakensberg/Facebook
Snow had blanketed the landscape at Lake Naverone by Tuesday afternoon.
Snow lovers have been delighted with yet another winter wonderland scene in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg on Tuesday.

Snow fell in the Southern Drakensberg, Lesotho and parts of the Eastern Cape on Tuesday leading to a flurry of photographs of the latest snowfall being shared on social media.

SA Weather Services Forecaster Lehlohonolo Thobela told the South African that the snow had started falling earlier on Tuesday but it was expected to be short-lived and to clear up overnight. He said snow had fallen in the Southern Drakensberg, parts of the Eastern Cape and in the Lesotho highlands.


Rare snowfall recorded on several roads in Ecuador

A heavy snowfall was registered this Monday, September 6 in some localities of the country.

A heavy snowfall was registered this Monday, September 6 in some localities of the country.
A heavy snowfall was registered this Monday, September 6 in some localities of the country. The unusual meteorological phenomenon caused the closure of roads and the consequent paralysis of the circulation of vehicles.

The Quito-Papallacta road was one of those affected by the snowfall, from 03:05, and for safety reasons it was closed to traffic, reported ECU-911. The same happened on the Guaranda-Ambato highway.

According to the report of the emergency service, several units and relief teams were deployed in order to coordinate traffic control and safety actions and thus avoid any accident.

Comment: Some context to illustrate just how unusual this snowy situation is for the country:
Where is there Snowfall in Ecuador?

Conditions are not suitable for snow across most of Ecuador. In the west, the coastal lowlands are generally warm and enjoy year-round average temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). Even on higher ground in the capital city of Quito, the year-round average temperature sits at 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).

The seasons in Ecuador can broadly be divided into the dry season (between June and September) and the wet season (from October to May). Give the year-round ambient temperatures, snow is almost unheard of across the vast majority of Ecuador's landmass. Even at higher altitudes into the Andes, it is simply too warm for snow to form and fall.

The only glimpse of snow travelers can look forward to is at the peaks of Ecuador's highest mountains. At over 20,000 ft (6,096 km) above sea level, the summits of these mountains are capped with snow throughout the entire year.


Shallow magnitude 6.0 earthquake at 10 km depth off Tonga

Very strong magnitude 6.0 earthquake at 10 km depth

Date & time: Sep 7, 2021 09:49:57 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Tuesday, Sep 7, 2021 10:49 pm (GMT +13)
Magnitude: 6
Depth: 10.0 km

Epicenter latitude / longitude: 19.4°S / 176.11°W↗ (South Pacific Ocean, Tonga)

Cloud Precipitation

Over 60 people killed in floods and landslides in 4 weeks across Nepal

Flood damage in Nepal, 2021.
© United Nations Population Fund in Nepal
Flood damage in Nepal, 2021.
Hundreds of homes were damaged and residents rescued after flash floods in areas of Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on 06 September 2021. Meanwhile officials in the country report that over 60 people have lost their lives in flood and landslides over the last 4 weeks.


Flooding began in Kathmandu after heavy rainfall late 05 to early 06 September. Some areas saw more than 120mm of rain in around 8 hours. The September average for Kathmandu is around 200 mm.

Local media, quoting police sources, said that over 380 houses were damaged and more than 200 people rescued by teams from police and military across the city. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

The worst of the flooding was in areas along rivers in the city, in particular the Bagmati and Manohara. Flood water in Bhaktapur, situated between the Kasan and Hanumante rivers, caused residents to evacuate their homes. Parts of Lalitpur were also affected. The Bagmati at Khokana in Lalitpur reached 4.5 metres on 06 September, well above the danger mark of 4 metres.


Mount Fuji's first snowcap of the season comes almost a month early

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji's first snowcap of the season has arrived one month early.

Japan's 3,776m mountain was capped with white snow 25 days earlier than normal and 21 days earlier than last year.

Aerial footage captures the iconic mountain's symmetrical cone lightly dusted in fresh snow while its basaltic rock face remains clear.

A Kofu Local Meteorological Office staff member noticed a slightly blanketed white top in the early hours of this morning (September 7).

Local governments had received reports of snow on the summit since the day before, but clouds blocked meteorological observations from taking place.


Peeved pachyderms: Report says 3,310 people died due to wild elephant attacks in last 7 years across India - Rise in number of deaths 'alarming'

As many as 3,310 people have died due to attacks by wild elephants in the last seven years. The data was revealed by the ministry of forest, environment and climate change in response to an RTI application.

Kerala-based RTI campaigner K Govindan Nampoothiry, in his RTI query, has sought details about the death toll due to the wild pachyderm attacks in the last seven years.

The reply revealed that Odisha has the maximum number of deaths, followed by West Bengal, Assam, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.

While Odisha registered the maximum deaths, 589, during 2014-15 to 2020-21 (as per the data up to December 31, 2020). In West Bengal, 562 people have died in wild elephant attacks. It is followed by Assam (479), Chhattisgarh (413) and Jharkhand (480).

"The highest number of deaths was reported in 2019-20; 585 people were killed by wild elephants, reveals the RTI document. While in 2016-17, 516 and in 2017-18, 506 people lost their lives," Nampoothiry told India Today.

Comment: Just to underscore this rising trend in fatal elephant attacks, see this June, 2021 report concerning the situation on the nearby island of Sri Lanka:
55 people killed in 6 months due to human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka

Fifty-five people were killed across Sri Lanka within the past six months over the human-elephant conflict, local media reported on Tuesday.

A total of 158 wild elephants were also killed in the period.

According to a report by Sri Lanka's Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the 158 elephants were killed from electrocution, explosive baits called "Hakka Patas," and gunshot wounds, among others.

The DWC said earlier this year that the deaths of elephants caused by the human-elephant conflict had declined in 2020 in the country after it recorded the world's highest number of elephant deaths due to human actions in 2019.

Official statistics showed that 318 elephants were killed in 2020 compared with 407 in 2019, which ranked Sri Lanka as the world's number one country for elephant deaths due to conflicts with humans.

A total of 112 persons were killed due to elephant attacks in 2020, recording a drop of 8 percent in human deaths since 2019.

Killing wild elephants in Sri Lanka is a criminal offense but there have been regular reports of angry villagers poisoning or shooting them.

Official records showed the population of wild elephants in Sri Lanka is estimated at 7,500.

Cloud Precipitation

Storm destroys agricultural infrastructure and citrus and vegetable crops in the north of Castellon, Spain

Ava-Asaja warned that the storm that hit the Region of Valencia, which brought torrential rains, lightning and strong wind gusts, has caused localized damage to the agricultural sector, especially in the Castellon region of Baix Maestrat and in the northern part of the term of Vinaròs, bordering Alcanar, and to a lesser extent in inland areas of Valencia. In other areas, the rains have generally been beneficial, contributing to increase the size of the productions yet to be harvested, clean the trees, save on irrigation and refill the aquifers.

Ava-Vinaròs associates report some severe losses, mainly of citrus and seasonal vegetables, both in the form of losses of up to 100% of the harvest and even in the uprooting of young trees. In the case of fields flooded by water, producers will have to deal with additional costs to save their productions due to the need for fungicide treatments. Part of the affected area, which could exceed 2,000 hectares, according to an initial assessment, had already been hit by a hail storm back in early August.

Comment: Related: Water, water everywhere: Heavy rainfall causes destructive flash floods in Spain - 3 inches of rain recorded in just 30 MINUTES


Dead humpback whale washes ashore in Point Reyes, California

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
The body of a 35-foot long female Humpback whale remains in the surf in a remote section of Ten Mile Beach in Point Reyes.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

When a whale washes ashore, we humans tend to wonder, or even assume, that somehow, we might be to blame. Was the cause environmental? A ship strike? A loose piece of fisherman's netting?

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 2 women in Gambia

Two women at Njoben Tukulorr village, Niani District, Central River Region of The Gambia were reported dead after they were struck by the Friday night thunderstorm.

Three other people only fainted and survived.

According to eyewitnesses, there were iron bowls and plates which reflected and attracted the lightning before it fell down on them.

Hawa Daffeh, CRR North disaster management coordinator for the National Disaster Management Agency presented five thousand dalasis to the deceased families' as charity on behalf of her office. She extended her office's condolences to the bereaved families.