Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 23 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Aerial images show destruction of Tonga's volcanic eruption, tsunami

tonga volcano before after

Aerial images show the Tonga volcanic island split in two after a massive eruption on January 15, 2022
Aerial images taken of Tonga on Tuesday offered the first glimpse of the destruction inflicted by the volcanic eruption and tsunami — as the government revealed all homes on one of its islands were wiped out and at least three people had been killed.

In its first statement since the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted three days ago and triggered 49-foot tsunami waves, the Tongan government said the kingdom of islands had suffered an "unprecedented disaster."

At least three people have been confirmed dead, including British charity worker Angela Glover, 50, and two Tongans — a 65-year-old woman and 49-year-old man — who lived on separate low-lying islands.

Comment: And the most dramatic comparison of all:
tonga volcano comparison
© Copernicus/ESA/Sentinel Hub, PlanetLabs/Maxar

Bizarro Earth

Tonga volcano eruption created puzzling ripples in Earth's atmosphere

Comment: We're through the looking glass here people!

Powerful waves ringing through the atmosphere after the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai are unlike anything seen before.
Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-West satellite captured the explosive eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai.
Scientists are racing to understand a puzzling series of massive ripples in Earth's atmosphere triggered by the eruption of the Tongan volcano at the weekend. Satellite data shows that the event — which some fear might have devastated the Pacific-island nation — provoked an unusual pattern of atmospheric gravity waves. Previous volcanic eruptions have not produced such a signal, leaving experts stumped.

"It's really unique. We have never seen anything like this in the data before," says Lars Hoffmann, an atmospheric scientist at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre in Germany.

The discovery was made in images collected by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), mounted on Nasa's Aqua satellite, in the hours after the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano on 14 January.

They show dozens of concentric circles, each representing a fast-moving wave in the gases of the atmosphere, stretching for more than 16,000 kilometres. The waves reached from the ocean surface to the ionosphere, and researchers think that they probably passed around the globe several times.

Cloud Precipitation

Madagascar - 10 killed after heavy rains trigger floods and landslides in Antananarivo

Disaster authorities in Madagascar report at least 10 people have lost their lives after heavy rainfall caused floods and landslides in Analamanga Region, including the capital Antananarivo.

According to the national disaster agency, Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC), heavy rain struck during the night of 17 January 2022. Antananarivo recorded over 75mm of rain in 24 hours to 18 January 2022.

BNGRC reported widespread damage in the capital and surrounding areas, including collapsed houses and bridges, damaged infrastructure and inundated farmland.


Twin earthquakes in western Afghanistan kill at least 22

Two earthquakes rattled Afghanistan's western Badghis province along the border with Turkmenistan on Monday afternoon, killing at least 22 people, a local official said.

There were fears the death toll could rise further as the first rescuers reached some of the remote villages struck by the tremors in what is one of Afghanistan's most impoverished and underdeveloped regions.

Chief of the province's culture and information department, said scores of homes were destroyed in the quakes.

The US Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 quake at 2 p.m. and a second, magnitude 4.9 at 4 p.m. local time. They struck 41 kilometers (25 miles) east and 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 2, injures 3 in Malawi

Lightning on Sunday killed two people while three others have sustained various degrees of injuries in Mchinji.

The Station Officer (SO) for Mchinji Police Station, Charles James Mpezeni, confirmed the development, saying the injured are currently receiving treatment at Kapiri Mission Hospital.

Mpezeni said the victims who include a 24-year old woman and children below the age of 13.

"They were in the house of their grandmother shelling groundnuts while it was raining heavily with thunderstorms," he explained, adding that lightning struck the five of them and all collapsed before they were taken to Kapiri Mission Hospital where the two died upon arrival.

According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), over 30 people have lost their lives to lightning since the onset of this rainy season.

Source: Nyasa Times

Cloud Precipitation

Montevideo in Uruguay under water following unprecedented heavy rains, a month's worth of rain in 2 hours - nearly 6 inches in just an HOUR

Social media users had been reporting all night that the situation was getting critical in different areas

Social media users had been reporting all night that the situation was getting critical in different areas
Some areas in the city of Montevideo dawned Monday literally under water following unprecedented heavy rains which caused damages to various homes and a traffic chaos, in addition to power outages, which reportedly affected some 12,000 users.

The storm reached its fiercest moment at around 6am, although social media users had been reporting all night that the situation was getting critical in different areas.

Sources from Uruguay's weather agency Inumet quoted by local media reported unofficially that in two hours more than 100 millimeters of rain had fallen in Montevideo. In two hours Montevideo experienced what usually takes a whole month to fall, it was reported.

Comment: Floodlist reports on January 18:
Uruguay - Floods in Montevideo After 150mm of Rain in 1 Hour

Residents evacuated their homes and cars were swept along city streets in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, after torrential rain caused flash floods on 17 January 2022.

Flood rescue Uruguay January 2022.
© Uruguay Ministerio del Interior
Flood rescue Uruguay January 2022.
Interim mayor of Montevideo, Federico Graña, said the flooding was the result of "an extraordinary meteorological event" with between 90 and 150 mm of rain falling in just 1 hour early on 17 January. The city's average monthly rainfall for January is 92 mm.

The heavy rain was accompanied by strong winds which downed trees and power lines, leaving 20,000 without electricity across the region. Traffic and public transport were severely disrupted. The neighbourhoods of Malvín, Carrasco, Buceo, Punta Gorda and Punta de Rieles were particularly badly affected. Areas of the department of Canelones were also affected.

Uruguay's Ministry of Interior reported 164 people had evacuated their homes. Firefighters attended 248 interventions across affected areas, including 67 incidents of fallen trees and 9 downed power poles.

The storms and heavy rain follow a period of extreme high temperatures in the country. The country's meteorological agency Instituto Uruguayo de Meteorología (INUMET) reported temperatures of 44°C in Florida on 14 January, thought to be an all-time high.


Tonga eruption likely the world's largest in 30 years - scientist

Tonga eruption
© AFP/National Institute of Information and Communication
Footage taken by Japan's Himawari-8 satellite, January 15, 2022.
Early data from Tonga's violent volcanic eruption suggests it is the biggest since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, volcanologist Shane Cronin says.

The eruption of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano, about 65km north of Nuku'alofa, on Saturday shot thick ash and steam 20km skywards.

University of Auckland volcanologist Professor Shane Cronin said scenes on the ground would have appeared apocalyptic after the eruption: ash clouds blotting out the sun, thunderclaps of booming shockwaves and thousands of lightening strikes.
"The clouds that people could see in the distance, the booming noises and then the waves coming from the first tsunami...The next step is when the ash clouds spread across Tongatapu, and that ash cloud is so dense with fine ash particles that it blocks the sun completely, so it gets really dark."
Cronin said rain, small pebbles and many centimetres of ash would have rained down. "This is an eruption best witnessed from space," he said.

Comment: See also:

Snowflake Cold

Greater Toronto Area digs out as over a foot of snow hits overnight

A photo of cars stuck along Highway 401 west of Keele Street on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.
A photo of cars stuck along Highway 401 west of Keele Street on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.
A major winter storm is creating havoc with cars, trucks and buses getting stuck in the snow all around the Greater Toronto Area.

The snow came down quickly overnight with vehicles no match against the storm.

It's estimated that over 30 cm of snow fell overnight and during the morning commute forcing police to shut down major highways.

But as Marianne Dimain reports, the kindness of strangers is helping people keep moving as their cars get stuck in one of the biggest snow storms to hit southern Ontario in years.

Snowflake Cold

Winter snow storm batters US south-east as more than 250,000 lose power

People go for a walk as snow falls Sunday, January 16, 2022, in Nolensville, Tennessee.
© AP
People go for a walk as snow falls Sunday, January 16, 2022, in Nolensville, Tennessee.
A winter storm combining high winds and ice was sweeping through parts of the south-east of the US, knocking out power, felling trees and fences and creating treacherous driving conditions.

Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. More than an inch of snow fell per hour in some parts of the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Centre.

The storm was making air travel extremely difficult in some parts of the south of the country.

The nation's hardest-hit airport - Charlotte Douglas International - remained open around dawn on Sunday, the airport said in a weather briefing.

But more than 1,000 Sunday flights in Charlotte were cancelled - more than 80 per cent of the airport's Sunday schedule, according to the flight tracking service flightaware.com.

Ice Cube

Tonga eruption could have 'cooling effect' on southern hemisphere - scientist

Hunga Tonga volcano  january 2022
© Agence France-Presse
The effects of the undersea volcanic eruption in Tonga, January 14, 2022, was felt across the Pacific.
It is possible the Tongan volcanic eruption could lead to a slightly cooler winter and possibly beautiful sunsets in the southern hemisphere this winter.

When a volcano erupts, it releases huge amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2) into the air, which bounces some of the sun's radiation away.

Climate scientist Jim Salinger has researched the impacts of major volcanic eruptions, including Pinatubo, on the climate in New Zealand. He said it was not nearly as large eruption as Pinatubo, and would not have a global impact on the climate, but there could be some local effects in the Southern Hemisphere.

Dr Salinger said it could take a few months to kick in and have cooling of about 0.1 to 0.5 degrees, lasting until spring.