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Fri, 20 Oct 2017
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Powerful Hurricane Ophelia heads for Ireland - Updates

© Handout/AFP/Getty Images
A satellite image shows Hurricane Ophelia approaching the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricane Ophelia picked up pace as it marched toward Ireland, where it's forecast to bring strong winds and heavy rains this week. Ophelia weakened from a Category 3 to a Category 2 hurricane early Sunday, with sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (105 mph).

But the storm accelerated on its way to the British Isles and was moving quickly northeast at 56 kilometers per hour (35 mph).

"Preparations to protect lives and property should be rushed to completion by this afternoon," the National Hurricane Center warned in its Sunday 5 a.m ET (10 a.m. Dublin time) advisory.

The center said Ophelia gale force winds were expected in southern Ireland by early Monday, spreading gradually north across the country during the day. Hurricane-force winds are forecast to arrive by Monday afternoon, spreading inland into Monday night.

"Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30% stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be even greater," the center said.

Ophelia is also forecast to produce 2 to 3 inches of rain with isolated totals nearing 4 inches through Tuesday across western Ireland and Scotland."

A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves," the center warned.


Update - October 16

Three people have been killed in Ireland after hurricane-force winds battered the country. The storm has wreaked havoc across the island, leaving 385,000 homes and businesses without power. Irish authorities issued a status red weather warning on Sunday night, designating Ophelia a 'national emergency' as gusts of up to 170kph (106mph) ripped through the country. Reports tell of roofs being ripped from various structures, including one football stadium in Cork City. Falling trees have also made some of the country's major roads impassable. The storm made land on the country's south coast early on Monday, before moving northwest throughout the morning, spreading east in the afternoon.

2 + 2 = 4

Collapse of global warming deception triggers an avalanche of revisionism

We will see an increasing number of people changing their positions on global warming as the global warming ship sinks. It will take various forms including; articles appearing that subtly shift previously held positions; reevaluation of data; or finding new evidence that allows a change and perhaps worst of all those who say they knew the science was wrong all along but did not consider it important to speak out; dredging up a sentence or two from their writings that they claim showed they knew. The level of inventiveness will astonish as rats desert the sinking ship.


'Hungry bear' crisis leaves two people dead in the far east of Russia

© Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Kamchatka brown bears, which live in Russia’s far east.
Two people have been killed by bears in Russia's far east as increasingly large numbers of the animals are approaching humans due to a lack of food sources.

Authorities on Sakhalin Island last week said 83 bears had to be shot dead because they were hostile. That figure is nearly three times higher than last year.

"This has never happened before," a forestry worker told Agence France-Presse, asking not to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

"There are not enough fish, berries, nuts," he said, adding that overfishing of salmon was partly to blame.

"There should not have been any fishing nets installed at all this summer, there are so little fish, but they installed them anyway," he said.

Comment: See also these two related reports from September: Oil worker killed and eaten by hungry brown bears as beasts besiege towns and villages in Russia

Boy mauled to death by brown bear in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia


New fears Bali's Mount Agung could erupt at any moment as volcanic activity soars and magma rises to the surface

There are fresh fears that Bali's Mount Agung (pictured) could erupt after the volcano reached peak earthquake activity, with thousands of tremors a day
There are fresh fears that Bali's Mount Agung could erupt after the volcano reached peak earthquake activity today.

Up to 1,000 tremors have been recorded in the area each day, with the frequent movements indicating a flow of magma towards the surface, Perth Now reports.

It comes as Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupted on Sunday, causing evacuations and spewing ash half a kilometre into the air.

The activity at Mount Agung is being closely monitored by airlines, with travel to Bali expected to be severely affected should an eruption occur.

An emergency operations centre has been set up at Bali's International Airport, with travel insurance companies also imposing restrictions on policies in the wake of the warnings.


Mount Sinabung spews clouds of ash and prepares to erupt as authorities plan for emergency evacuations in Indonesia

Lava flows from crater of Mount Sinabung during an eruption in Karo, Indonesia, on Sunday
A huge volcano in Indonesia erupted on Sunday, spewing hot ash into the air.

Thousands were evacuated after Mount Sinabung in Karo, Indonesia, started erupting and spewing ash half a kilometre into the air.

The volcano began erupting in 2010 after lying dormant for four centuries.

A large eruption in May 2016 killed seven people.


La Palma volcano in the Canary Islands hit by hundreds of earthquakes in 15 hours

La Palma was hit by 44 earthquakes over a magnitude 2.1 from Friday evening
A shock map has been released by Spanish authorities showing where the tremors hit in the area surrounding the deadly Cumbre Vieja.

There were 44 earthquakes recorded up to 2.1 magnitude hit between Friday at 1.52pm and Saturday to 4.17am.

But experts believe the total number, including ones too small to be located, within the seismic storm was 352.

The quakes follow another seismic storm the weekend before. which saw around 50 tremors in three days, between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter Scale.


Whale carcass washes up at Wurtulla, Australia

© Glen Bowden
Boardriders clubs and residents are fearful a whale carcass buried at Wurtulla on the weekend has the potential to attract sharks onto one of the region's most popular surfing beaches.

The whale appeared to have already attracted a lot of attention from sharks, and was missing large portions of its bulk by the time it washed ashore at Wurtulla.

Surfers this morning have reported large chunks of whale flesh had also washed ashore at Kawana Pocket on the southern side of Point Cartwright.

A petition launched by Windansea Boardriders with support from Kawana Boardriders had attracted more than 500 signatures within a couple of hours of it being launched with State MP Jarrod Bleijie saying his office had also been inundated with calls.


Humpback whale carcass found near Ucluelet, British Columbia

© Shannon Floucault
Shannon Floucault snapped this photo of a washed up Humpback whale carcass near Muscle Beach last week.
A humpback whale carcass has washed up on a Twin Rivers beach near Ucluelet.

Photos of the carcass were being shared on the Salmon Beach Village Facebook page Sunday afternoon and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers were reportedly at the site taking samples from the whale on Saturday.

Local marine mammal researcher Wendy Szaniszlo told the Westerly News on Sunday that the photos suggest, "It's definitely an adult humpback and it's definitely a male," but further information is still being determined.

"To me there was nothing obvious for any kind of sign of a human interaction," she said.


Four refugees trampled to death by wild elephants in Bangladesh

© Getty
Charging elephant
Wild elephants trampled sleeping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in the early hours of Saturday, killing three children and a woman in the second such incident since the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar in just a few weeks.

Many trees on the forested hills of Balukhali in southern Bangladesh, where the incident took place, have been chopped down to house the massive influx of Rohingya Muslims escaping violence in neighbouring Myanmar.

Tarpaulin and bamboo shelters have been built on elephant walkways in some areas, sparking environmental concerns, as the country struggles to accommodate an unprecedented number of people.

Besides those killed, four refugees from neighbouring tents were injured and were in critical condition at Sadar Hospital in Cox's Bazar, the town's additional superintendent of police Afrujul Hoque Totul told Reuters.


Boy who died in County Antrim, Northern Ireland may have been attacked by family dog

© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
An 11-year-old boy who died in Co Antrim yesterday may have been attacked by his family's pet dog.

Police have launched an investigation over the tragedy which unfolded at about 12.20pm at a house in Queen's Avenue in Glengormley.

Ambulance crews were called to the property and said a boy with "lacerations to the head" was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

It was later confirmed the child had died.

A 38-year-old man is in custody assisting police with their inquiries. A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.