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Tue, 21 Jan 2020
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Earth Changes


Elderly farmer mauled to death by pet Boerboel in South Africa

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
The Boerboel had never shown signs of aggression but bit his owner to death. He was later shot in order for police and a doctor to enter the premises to attend to the victim.

An elderly Northern Cape farmer was killed by his pet boerboel on Saturday afternoon, reports Vaal Weekblad.

80-year-old Piet Lategan died in his house, after his fiancé managed to drag him inside after the attack.

According to local publication FiND iT, Lategan's daughter Betsie Swanepoel said that when it began to rain and hail this past weekend, Piet wanted to get a blanket to cover one side of his car, to protect it from the hail.

"My father and his fiancé, Santa Venter, 64, went outside to cover the car when their pet Boerboel bit her dress. She grabbed her dress from the dog's grip.


Puerto Rico hit with 5.8 magnitude earthquake in largest of flurry of temblors in region - UPDATE: Island hit by second, stronger quake

Comment: It's weird how this happened right after Trump assassinated Iran's number 2...

Cars were crushed under a home in Guanica that collapsed after Monday's earthquake
© AP Photo/Carlos Giusti
Cars were crushed under a home in Guanica that collapsed after Monday's earthquake.
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the southern coast of Puerto Rico early Monday, cracking homes and triggering landslides after a flurry of smaller quakes rattled the region over the past two weeks.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

It was the largest of a flurry of temblors that first began the night of Dec. 28, with quakes ranging in magnitude from 4.7 to 5.1. The lesser quakes had already left some homes damaged.

After the 5.8-magnitude quake hit the region, a string of smaller temblors, including a magnitude 5 quake, shook power lines and frightened residents into the streets.

Pictures of the damage showed cars crushed under a collapsed house, caved-in roofs and other homes standing lopsided after partially collapsing.

Comment: Shallow 4.5-magnitude earthquake hits Puerto Rico amid rare seismic activity

UPDATE 7 Jan 2020

Another strong quake has hit Puerto Rico, this one a 6.5M.


6.4-magnitude earthquake hits southwest of Indonesia's Aceh province

Indonesian students take cover during an earthquake and tsunami drill at a school in Banda Aceh November 14, 2019
Indonesian students take cover during an earthquake and tsunami drill at a school in Banda Aceh November 14, 2019.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake was registered on 7 January southwest of Indonesia's Aceh province, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) said.

The epicentre was located at a depth of 20 km, 16 km SSW of Sinabang, Indonesia.

There have been no immediate reports about damage or casualties due to the earthquake.


Day turns to night as violent dust storm batters Cordoba, Argentina

Dust storm in Cordoba, Argentina
© Twitter / @InakiFrias30
Several towns and cities in Cordoba, Argentina were battered by a sudden and violent dust storm which ripped roofs from houses, felled trees and blocked out the sun.

Shortly before 7pm local time on Sunday, locals noticed a rather foreboding cloud heading straight for the city of Rio Cuarto. Temperatures fell dramatically, and darkness descended as residents fled the sudden downpour of hail and debris.

The violent dust storm enveloped the city in minutes, bringing with it downpours of up to 37mm of rain in some areas, as well as hail. Nearby communities in Serrano and Buchardo experienced rainfall measuring 40mm.


SOTT Earth Changes Summary - December 2019: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

ecs dec 2019
© Sott.net
The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, was held last month in Madrid, Spain. But not even Greta and her truant school friends could stop the climate chaos around the world last month.

After an unusually chilly start to the summer, Australia is experiencing record breaking bushfires that caused devastating damage in December 2019. The fires have torched towns, displaced thousands and caused the deaths of a billion or so animals so far.

Also last month, at least 150 houses were destroyed by fast-moving woodland fires in the Chilean city of Valparaíso. Again! That city has now been hit with wildfires three times in the last 5 years. Residential areas were still burning on Christmas Day.

Last month, there was snow cover across nearly half of the lower 48 states of the US - 46.2 percent of the country's landmass - the largest area for early December since snow cover records began in 2003. The snow cover reached as far south as Mexico's northern regions.

Iceland also recorded record snow cover of 30 FEET in December, while 8,000 vehicles were stranded in Kashmir as a result of 3 feet of snow.

Atlantic storms Elsa and Fabien wreaked havoc in western and central Europe, killing 9 people and causing widespread damage. Fabien also caused severe flooding in Venice where a sudden downpour of 3 inches combined with high tides to inundate the medieval city.

Heavy rain, floods and landslides caused severe damage to homes and livelihoods around the world last month: 150 people were killed in Kenya; 4 died in Khuzestan Province, Iran; thousands were affected in Nariño and 8 missing in Tolima, Colombia; Beirut city was paralyzed and 50 houses were under water in Sigi, Indonesia.

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit southern Philippines, killing at least one person and causing several injuries. Roads and buildings, including the local government office, were damaged.

All that and more in this month's SOTT Earth Changes Summary...

Snowflake Cold

Intense snow blizzard strikes the western half of Iceland

Goðafoss, North Iceland in a blizzard
© Zhana-Aul
Goðafoss, North Iceland in a blizzard
A relatively short but intense snow blizzard event is expected across the western half of Iceland tomorrow morning, Saturday, Jan 4th. The event is related to the rapidly intensifying cyclone to the northwest of Iceland, creating dangerous heavy snowfall and severe winds with blizzard conditions across the Southern Peninsula, the capital Reykjavik, Snæfellsnes and Westfjords. Heavy snowfall changes to rainfall during the day due to strong warm advection from west to east, but remains over the Highlands.

The pattern responsive for this severe event is a new trough developing from the Labrador Sea towards southern Greenland, developing an intense cyclone towards Iceland. Conditions will worsen significantly with the rapid intensification of the cyclone. A strong ridge expands to the south across the rest of North Atlantic and west-southwest Europe.

Comment: Just under 3 weeks ago: Up to 30 FEET deep snow banks in Iceland - 'We've never before had snow on this scale'


Spooky 'devil face' captured amid Australia's bushfires

Spooky 'devil face' in Australian bushfire
Craig Calvert (L) sent this photo to Sunrise on Friday.
Devastated dairy farmer Craig Calvert, who spent 13 hours fighting fires threatening his property in Victoria, has shared an eerie image of the blaze which depicts "a big devil face" in the billowing smoke.

"I'm not really into hokey pokey spooky stuff but there's a big devil face right in the fire," he told Sunrise on Friday.

"It's just ridiculous, you won't believe, I don't believe it."

Calvert, from Sarsfield, has "extensive fire experience" and "knew it was going to be bad" when fires approached his property earlier this week.

"We had fireballs coming over, jumping. Some of them were 50 metres to 100 metres across," Calvert told Sunrise.

"It didn't even burn the trees. It was burning the gas on top of the trees - It was almost like white flame."

Comment: Aussie police say arsonists & lightning real cause of bushfires, NOT climate change


Summer snow falls on hills in Southland, New Zealand

snow map
Snowfall for 6 hrs ending Tuesday 07 Jan at 1am NZDT

Snowfall for 6 hrs ending Tuesday 07 Jan at 1am NZDT
Southlanders could be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of winter as they woke to snow on the hills on Monday morning.

Snow fell in the high country in Northern Southland overnight on Sunday as a January cold snap continued in the province.

Out on the coast, Metservice issued a strong wind warning for southwest gales up to 120kmh for coastal Southland, Clutha and Stewart Island, warning gusts in exposed places could bring down trees and powerlines.


King penguin turns up on beach in Tasmania, Australia 1,500 kilometres from home

The penguin is in a healthy condition, experts say.
© James Smith
The penguin is in a healthy condition, experts say.
A king penguin has been spotted more than a thousand kilometres from its home on a southern Tasmanian beach, but a wildlife expert says it may not be lost.

The closest king penguin colony is on Macquarie Island, about 1,500 kilometres south of Hobart.

Marine Conservation Program wildlife officer Dr Julie McInnes said the sighting at Seven Mile Beach was exciting.

"It's a pretty rare thing to see king penguins up here in Tasmania, it's quite a way north from the usual range," Dr McInnes said.

"It's not unheard of, we have seen them a couple of times in different parts of the state."

Dr McInnes said it was not clear if the bird was lost — it may have come ashore to rest after a big fishing trip, or was undergoing its annual moult.

Comment: Three months ago another King Penguin turned up thousands of kilometers from home at Cape Point Beach in South Africa


Two different seal species from the Arctic turn up in south-west Ireland

The male Hooded Seal was first seen at Toormore, Co Cork, on New Year's Day
© Helen Tilson/Schull Sea Safari
The male Hooded Seal was first seen at Toormore, Co Cork, on New Year's Day
Two extremely rare visitors from the Arctic paid visits to beaches on the westerly coasts of Cos Cork and Kerry last week.

The first of these was a male Hooded Seal, which appeared at Toormore beach, west of Schull, on New Year's Day. Apparently in good health, the animal measured more than 2 metres in length and was estimated to weigh around 300 kg.

Sexed as a male due to the distinctive, elastic balloon-like nasal cavity on the top of its head, which only males possess, the seal was observed (and filmed) inflating this sack on a few occasions.

It stayed on the beach for the remainder of the day, where it was monitored by volunteers to ensure its rest was undisturbed by onlookers, before swimming off from Toormore the following day (2nd) - it hasn't returned there or been seen anywhere else since.

While principally an Arctic species, Hooded Seal spends much of its life well away from land and has been seen as far south as the Mediterranean Sea. There are six previous Irish records: two historical occurrences are cited from Co Mayo in 1836 and Co Galway in 1898, with more recent sightings involving juveniles in Co Wexford in September 2001, Co Waterford in October 2006, Co Dublin in July 2012 and Co Donegal in 2016.

Comment: There was another unusual marine mammal migration from the Arctic region just last month: Killer whales migrate from Iceland to Italy for the first time in recorded history