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Sat, 31 Oct 2020
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Earth Changes

Ice Cube

South-east Queensland hit by very dangerous thunderstorms as hail up to 14cm pummels the region

Huge hail stones lined up on a handrail at a house at Willowbank, west of Brisbane
© Maddison McIntosh
Huge hail stones lined up on a handrail at a house at Willowbank, west of Brisbane.
Hail up to 14 centimetres has been reported at Forestdale, south of Brisbane, as parts of south-east Queensland were pummelled by a series of very dangerous and "life threatening" thunderstorms this afternoon.

Hail storms also battered southern Sydney and parts of the New South Wales south coast were warned about flash flooding as an "unstable" weather system moved across the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued warnings for people in parts of Queensland's Wide Bay, Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt regions earlier this afternoon.

The BOM warned the situation was volatile and continuing to change quickly

The areas likely to be hit hardest stretch from the Queensland border to north of the Sunshine Coast and communities further inland.

Comment: World's largest hail record may be challenged by exceptionally large 8+ inches hailstones that hit Tripoli, Libya on Oct 27


Tropical Storm Zeta leaves 6 people dead, millions in the dark

Tropical Storm Zeta

Tropical Storm Zeta
More than 2 million homes and businesses were still without power Thursday evening after Zeta, which came ashore Wednesday in Louisiana as a strong Category 2 hurricane, wreaked havoc across seven states Thursday.

The storm ripped off roofs, knocked down power lines and trees and flooded streets as it roared through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia early Thursday. Heavy rain and winds also pounded eastern Tennessee and the Carolinas throughout the day.

At the height of the outages, more than 2.6 million homes and businesses were without power. In Georgia alone, more than 550,000 customers remained without electricity as of 5:30 p.m. according to poweroutage.us., after the number reached more than 1 million earlier. Alabama had more than 414,000, and Louisiana was reporting about 444,000 outages. More than 300,000 remained without power in North Carolina and South Carolina reported more than 125,000 customers without electricity. More than 55,000 outages were reported in Virginia.


Greece-Turkey earthquake: Huge 7.0-magnitude tremor felt across both countries - at least 26 killed (UPDATE)

The quake shook Izmir, on Turkey's Aegean Sea
© Mehmet Emin Menguarslan / Anadolu Agency
The quake shook Izmir, on Turkey's Aegean Sea coast.
A major 7.0-magnitude earthquake has rattled Greece's Dodecanese Islands, the US Geological Survey (USGC) has said, with the tremor felt miles away in the capital of Athens.

Initial estimates by the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) put the magnitude of the earthquake, which struck north of the eastern island of Samos at around 11:50 GMT, at 6.7.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on Friday but video footage on social media showed buildings in the Turkish city of İzmir had been seriously damaged.

Comment: Update: An AFP report carried by Channels Television on October 31 states:
Search and rescue teams search the rumble of a collapsed building for survivors on October 31, 2020, in Izmir, after a powerful earthquake struck Turkey’s western coast and parts of Greece.
Search and rescue teams search the rumble of a collapsed building for survivors on October 31, 2020, in Izmir, after a powerful earthquake struck Turkey’s western coast and parts of Greece.
26 Dead, Buildings Collapse As Major Earthquake Hits Turkey, Greece

Rescuers dug through heavy blocks of concrete with their bare hands Saturday in a desperate search for survivors from a powerful earthquake that leveled buildings across Greece and Turkey, killing at least 26 people.

The quake struck late Friday afternoon, causing a mini-tsunami on the Aegean island of Samos and a sea surge that turned streets into rushing rivers in a town on Turkey's west coast.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude tremor hit 14 kilometres (nine miles) off the Greek town of Karlovasi on Samos.

Felt in both Istanbul and Athens, it also created a diplomatic opening for the two historic rivals, with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis placing a rare call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to offer his condolences and support.

Hospital patients on the street

Much of the damage occurred in and around Turkey's Aegean resort city of Izmir, which has three million residents and is filled with high-rise apartment blocks.

Parts of entire apartments, including toys, pillows and shattered appliances, spilt out on the streets, where survivors huddled in tears, many too shocked to speak.

Aerial footage showed entire city blocks turned to rubble.

"I thought: Is it going to end? It felt like 10 minutes like it was never going to end," said Gokhan Kan, a 32-year-old courier.

"I was terrified not for myself in that moment but for my family, my wife and four-year-old son."

Izmir's mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN Turk that 20 buildings had collapsed, with officials focusing their rescue efforts on 17 of them.

Turkey's disaster relief agency reported 24 deaths and 800 injuries, while in Greece two teenagers died on their way home from school on Samos when a wall collapsed.

The scenes of devastation suggested the toll could rise.

One Izmir hospital rolled some of its patients — still strapped into their beds and hooked up to drips — out on the street as a precaution.

Turkey's religious affairs directorate opened its mosques to help shelter some of those left homeless by the disaster.

'Remain calm'

Images on social media showed water rushing through the streets of one of the towns near Izmir from an apparent sea surge.

Thick white plumes of smoke towered over various parts of the city where big buildings had collapsed.

Rescuers, helped by residents and sniffer dogs, used chainsaws to try to force their way through the rubble of one destroyed seven-floor building.

At another site, Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli managed to establish mobile phone contact with a girl buried under the debris.

"We ask you to remain calm," he told her in televised footage. "We will try to lift the concrete block and reach you."

NTV television said up to six people were trapped at the site, including the girl's cousin.

The region's governor said 70 people had been pulled out alive by Friday evening, although how many more were missing remained unknown by sunset.

Rescuers set up tents in a small park away from the cracked and damaged buildings for families to spend the night in safety and relative warmth.

"Because we live in Izmir, we have pretty warm weather, we can make it through today, we can make it through tomorrow," said Cemalettin Enginyurt, a retired soldier. "But we can't think of anything on the long term, we are helpless."

- 'Earthquake Diplomacy' -

On the Greek island of Samos, near the quake's epicentre, people rushed out into the streets in panic.

"It was chaos," said deputy mayor Giorgos Dionysiou. "We have never experienced anything like this."

The Greek civil protection agency told Samos residents in a text message to "stay out in the open and away from buildings".

Greece and Turkey are situated in one of the world's most active earthquake zones.

The two neighbours also suffer from historically poor relations despite both being members of the NATO military alliance.

But the quake saw a spurt of what pundits immediately termed "earthquake diplomacy", with calls exchanged by their foreign ministers and then, hours later, the Greek prime minister and Erdogan.

"Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together," Mitsotakis said on Twitter.

"Thank you, Mr Prime Minister," Erdogan tweeted in reply. "That two neighbours show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life."

The US State Department said Washington was "heartened" by the newfound cooperation.

France, whose President Emmanuel Macron has sparred repeatedly with Erdogan in the past year, said it stood in "full solidarity" with the two countries.

In 1999, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey's northwest, killing more than 17,000 people, including 1,000 in Istanbul.

In Greece, the last deadly quake killed two people on the island of Kos, near Samos, in July 2017.

Snowflake Cold

26-year October cold record broken in Delhi, India

Delhi record cold
Winter has knocked in North India including Delhi. Scientists from the Meteorological Department of India (IMD) said the national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 12.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday. October has not seen such a low temperature in the last 26 years. This was observed due to the light layer of clouds and the slow wind.

According to IMD, the normal minimum temperature at this time of the year is 15-16 ° C. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD's regional forecasting center, said, the last low temperature in Delhi in October was recorded in 1994. On October 31, 1994, the city's minimum temperature was recorded at 12.3 degrees Celsius. On October 31, 1937, the city recorded its lowest temperature of the month - 9.4 degrees Celsius.

Senior IMD scientist said that the absence of cloud cover was the reason for the temperature being below normal at this time of the year. He said, the main reason behind this is that we did not have much cloud cover, due to which the surface cools rapidly. The minimum temperature is likely to be around 12 ° C in the next two-three days.


Philippines orders evacuation as world's strongest 2020 typhoon approaches

Infrared satellite image of Super Typhoon Goni
© RAMMB/CIRA/Colorado State University
Infrared satellite image of Super Typhoon Goni at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, October 30, 2020, when it was a category 5 storm with 180 mph winds.
Philippine officials on Saturday ordered evacuation of thousands of residents in the southern part of the main Luzon island as a category 5 storm that is the world's strongest this year approaches the Southeast Asian nation.

Typhoon Goni, with 215 kph (133 miles) sustained winds and gusts of up to 265 kph (164 mph), will make landfall on Sunday as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines since Haiyan that killed more than 6,300 people in November 2013.

Pre-emptive evacuations have started in coastal and landslide-prone communities in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, while Albay provincial government would order residents in risky areas to leave their homes, Gremil Naz, a local disaster official, told DZBB radio station. "The strength of this typhoon is no joke."

Typhoon Molave last week killed 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of the capital Manila, which is also in the projected path of Goni, the 18th tropical storm in the country.

Authorities are facing another hurdle as social distancing needs to be imposed in evacuation centres to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, next only to Indonesia.

Comment: Goni put on an extremely impressive bout of rapid intensification beginning at 0Z October 28, strengthening by 145 mph - from a 30-mph tropical depression to a 175-mph super typhoon, in 54 hours reports Yale Climate Connections.

According to Sam Lillo, only five storms in the global tropical cyclone database have achieved a 145-mph increase in 54 hours or less: Typhoon Vera in 1959 in the northwest Pacific; Hurricane Linda in 1997 in the northeast Pacific; Cyclone Zoe in 2002 in the southeast Pacific; Hurricane Wilma in 2005 in the Atlantic, and Hurricane Patricia in 2015 in the northeast Pacific.

Arrow Down

At least 7 killed in landslide triggered by heavy rains in El Salvador, over 30 missing

At least seven people have been killed in a landslide sparked by heavy rains in El Salvador and more than 30 more are suspected missing under a deluge of mud, the government said on Friday.

The mudslide hit the village of Los Angelitos in the municipality of Nejapa, around 17 km (11 miles) north of the capital, San Salvador, after heavy rains overnight loosened the earth on the flanks of the San Salvador Volcano.

"At about 11 o'clock at night there was thunder and suddenly, we felt like there was a quake, it was when (the landslide) was coming," said Ricarda Sibrian, 43, who told Reuters she had lost her daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law.


Karymsky volcano erupts emitting ashes 6 km high in Russia's far east

Karymsky volcano

Karymsky volcano
The Karymsky volcano in Kamchatka, a peninsula in far eastern Russia, erupted Friday, emitting ashes 6 km high, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team reported.

"A moderate eruptive activity of the volcano continues," the response team said in a statement. "The plume extended for 24 km to the northeast of the volcano."

The team designated an orange code to the volcanic activity, warning that it could affect low-flying aircraft.

There has been no evidence of ash reaching nearby settlements, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing the regional headquarters of the Russian Emergencies Ministry.


Scientists estimate only 366 right whales remain on Earth

North Atlantic right whale
North Atlantic right whale
Federal scientists are adjusting their estimate of how many endangered North Atlantic right whales are left on the planet down to 366 as of Jan. 2019. That's a loss of 46 whales since the previous January.

And conservation groups say that since Jan. 2019, scientists have documented 11 more right whale fatalities. The whales are being killed by ship strikes and entanglements with fishing gear.

Federal regulators are expected soon to propose new rules for the Northeast lobster fishery that will aim to avert the animal's extinction. But Maine's lobster industry is resisting new regulations that could endanger safety and revenues.

Conservation groups are suing the feds for quicker action under the Endangered Species Act and other laws.


Pit bull terrier kills deaf and mute boy in Cape Town, South Africa

A deaf and mute boy unable to call for help has reportedly been mauled to death by a neighbour's dog.

Luqmaan Jardien, 3, was alone in his Cape Town home with his neighbour's dog when the tragedy unfolded.

The three-year-old South African, born to deaf and mute parents, had reportedly been dragged into the garden by the animal when the incident was first spotted by a neighbour.

"I looked out the bathroom window and I saw Luqmaan lying there and the dog was busy biting him in the neck," said the neighbour, who asked not to be identified.

She alerted Luqmaan's uncle, who then rushed to the boy's aid.

Comment: View in addition the end of this report for a listing of the exceptional number of fatalities caused by dog attacks across the world so far in 2020.

Snowflake Cold

Over the past 7 days, the United States broke 3,782 low temperature records vs just the 518 max

Man walking in snow

Between Oct 20 and Oct 26, the United States set 3,434 new DAILY low temp records (vs the 517 max), 234 new MONTHLY low temp records (vs just the 1 max), as well as 114 ALL-TIME low temp records (vs the big fat 0 max).

For decades it has been hammered into us that extreme cold events and severe snowstorms will be "a thing of the past", that a steadily warming world will see the back of recording breaking lows and all time heavy snows.

But now, after an undeniable increase in Arctic outbreaks over recent years, some members of the AGW party have felt the need to "tweak" the narrative.

In an affront to all logic and reasoned thinking, a catastrophically warming world now also means regular outbreaks of severe polar cold.

Comment: See also: