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Thu, 29 Oct 2020
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Signs and Portents: Rare two-headed snake found at Florida home

two-headed snake
A rare two-headed snake was discovered at a home in Florida, state wildlife officials said.

The southern black racer was found at a home in Palm Harbor, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said.

The snake was being cared for and monitored by FWC. It has a low chance of survival in the wild since its brains will make different decisions, making feeding and escaping from predators difficult.


Storms and floods leave 22 dead, thousands affected in Mozambique

The government in Mozambique reports that 22 people have died and 12 injured after heavy rains, and strong winds in several regions of the country since the beginning of October 2020.

Government spokesperson and Deputy Justice Minister, Filimao Suaze, said 16,657 people from 3,695 families have been affected by floods in the provinces of Niassa, Nampula, Zambézia and Manica and in Maputo city. Almost 2,000 homes were damaged and 922 completely destroyed. Schools and health centres were also damaged.

According to the minister, flooding also affected areas of Doa district in Tete province due to an overflow of the Zambezi river.

At least 13 people died in flash floods at Rapale district in the province of Nampula after the Meluli river broke its banks on 12 October. Eight other fatalities were a result of buildings collapsing during heavy rain and strong winds and one other fatality was a result of lightning strike, the minister said.


Tornado hits Beirut Port, near explosion site

First rains of the season in Lebanon bring along frightening whirlwinds to the destroyed Beirut port area. Some viral videos are circulating on the web of the whirlwind/tornado at the site of the explosion at Beirut Port.

On 4 August 2020, a massive amount of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut port city, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 203 deaths, and around 6,500 injuries.


More mysterious red auroras captured around the Arctic Circle

Auroras are still glowing red @ Utsjoki, Finnish Lapland
© Rayann Elzein
Taken on October 17, 2020 @ Utsjoki, Finnish Lapland
Spoiler alert: We do not know the answer to this question. Where did all the red auroras come from? For much of mid-October, Earth's magnetic field has been very quiet. Extremely quiet. There should have been no auroras at all, yet around the Arctic Circle, photographers recorded scenes like this.

Photographer Rayann Elzein of Utsjoki, Finland, took the picture on Oct. 17th. "I photographed similar displays on Oct. 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th," says Elzein. "On each occasion, geomagnetic activity was very low (with K-indices no greater than 0 or 1)."

Red auroras appear when particles from space strike oxygen atoms near the top of Earth's atmosphere. However, as Les Cowley explains, the very slow atomic transitions which produce red photons in the aurora zone are easily interrupted. Even experienced observers rarely see them.

Elzein has been chasing auroras in Finland for 10 years. He prides himself on going out in all conditions--even when geomagnetic activity is nominally low. "I can't recall ever seeing so much red on top of the green layer before," he says.

In Tromsø, Norway, aurora tour guide Markus Varik had a similar experience. "Activity was extremely low on Oct. 17th when pink and red colors appeared. After years of guiding, I have never seen anything similar to this."

Comment: Rare red auroras captured over Utsjoki, Finland

Arrow Up

Bezymyanny volcano on Russia's Kamchatka peninsula begins to erupt

Russia volcano eruption
© YouTube/Пятый канал Новости (screen capture)
The eruption of the Bezymyanny volcano on Russia's Kamchatka peninsula began at 08:22 local time (23:22 Moscow time on Wednesday), a spokesman for the Kamchatka branch of the geophysical service of the Russian Academy of Sciences told TASS on Thursday.

"According to preliminary estimates, the volcano spewed ash to an altitude of ten kilometers. An autonomous video surveillance camera at the Kirishev station recorded the beginning of the eruption. Since the volcano is currently partially covered by clouds, more exact information about the eruption will be available when we receive data from satellites," the spokesman said.

According to the spokesman, the eruption began as was anticipated by the Kamchatka branch of the Russian expert council on earthquake prediction. The intensification of the giant mount's activity began in early October.

Bezymyanny is one of 29 active volcanoes of Kamchatka. Its height is about 2,800 metres above sea level. Its eruptions are explosive. They occur one or two times a year and may last from several hours to several days. In recent years scientists have managed to predict the periods of its activity intensification rather correctly. Its previous powerful eruption occurred on March 15, 2019.


Waterspouts, torrential rains hit Greek Islands

A waterspout, or sea tornado, forming above the Greek island of Naxos.
© Naxos Press
A waterspout, or sea tornado, forming above the Greek island of Naxos.
Heavy rains, waterspouts and other extreme weather phenomena, including flooding on Crete, were recorded around the Greek islands in the Aegean on Wednesday as much of the country experienced severe storms.

Just past noon on Wednesday, a waterspout, also called a sea tornado, was visible hovering over the sea around the Cycladic island of Naxos. These rotating winds appear to reach down to the sea and take it up as they spiral into the air, but in reality the water inside the spout originates in the clouds above and snakes its way down to the sea.

Comment: Freak storm carpets Crete motorway with hail

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 9 people, 47 sheep in Karnataka, India


Picture for representational purpose only
As many as nine people, including four women, were killed in lightning strikes as thunderstorm lashed parts of north Karnataka on Tuesday.

Two women were killed in the lightning strike at Bhairapur village in Siruguppa taluk, Ballari district, when they were removing weed at a chilli farm. Similarly, two shepherd women were struck dead by lightning at Chikkaulligeri in Saundatti taluk of Belagavi district. Deceased have been identified as Yellavva Inchal (30) and Bhagavva Kadakol (50). Revanna Malagi has suffered severe burns in the incident.

As many as 47 sheep belonging to Srikant Dalawai of Hukkeri were killed in a lightning strike near Naviluthirtha.

Arrow Down

Massive 23-metre deep sinkhole discovered in south Edmonton, Canada

A sinkholin south Edmonton will take at least “several months” to repair, according to EPCOR.

A sinkholin south Edmonton will take at least “several months” to repair, according to EPCOR.
A massive sinkhole has opened up in south Edmonton at the intersection of 61 Avenue and 109 Street, leading to road closures that are expected to last for months.

EPCOR said the hole in the Parkallen neighbourhood opened up on Oct. 12, as a result of an "underground void" that had been discovered on Oct. 8 during an inspection of a sewer trunk line.

The hole, which is visible from the Global 1 helicopter, is approximately three metres long, one metre wide and 23 metres — or 75 feet — deep.


1,100 crashes, spinouts during October snowstorm in Minnesota - largest early storm in state history with 9 inches dumped

The Minnesota State Patrol says hundreds of crashes have happened so far during Tuesday's snowstorm, which may be one for the record books.

Between 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., there have been 493 crashes on Minnesota roads. Forty-eight of those crashes resulted in injuries, including one serious injury near Motley. There have been 614 vehicle spinouts and 22 jackknifed semi-trucks.

This storm system, which has dropped up to 9 inches of snow in parts of metro, is Minnesota's largest early season storm in recorded history. It's also the second largest October snowfall, with the historic 1991 Halloween blizzard coming in first.


Iceland's capital Reykjavik is rattled by powerful 5.6-magnitude earthquake

The Krysuvik geothermal area near Reykjavik

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the quake struck at 1.43pm today and was centred near Krysuvik, about 20 miles south of the capital (Pictured: The Krysuvik geothermal area near Reykjavik)
Iceland's capital Reykjavik has been rattled by a 5.6-magnitude earthquake a week after rumblings were detected at the volcano which grounded 900 flights in 2011.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the quake struck at 1.43pm on Tuesday and was centred near Krysuvik, about 20 miles south of the capital. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was being interviewed on live television from her home when everything around her started shaking.

'Oh my God there's an earthquake,' she said as she grabbed hold of the desk in front of her and gasped.

'Well this is Iceland!' The 44-year-old PM said as she laughed off the bang, saying she was 'perfectly fine' and 'the house was still strong.'

Meanwhile, the parliament in Reykjavik was also rocked by the seismic movements, sending an MP addressing the house rushing for cover.