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Sun, 17 Oct 2021
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15 dead after floods and mudslides in Merida, Venezuela

Flood damage in Merida, Venezuela, August 2021.
© Government of Merida
Flood damage in Merida, Venezuela, August 2021.
At least 15 people have died after heavy rain caused foods and mudslides in the state of Mérida in western Venezuela.

Hours of heavy rain fell on the steep slopes surrounding the Mocotíes Valley Area late on 23 August 2021. Mudslides and overflowing rivers inundated communities in the valley below. Powerful floods dragged cars through streets, buried roads with mud, rocks and debris and damaged or destroyed homes. Power supply has been cut in affected areas.

Governor of the state, Ramon Guevara, reported 11 fatalities in the municipality of Tovar and two in the municipality of Antonio Pinto Salinas. Officials later reported 2 fatalities in Sucre municipality. Six people are thought to be still missing.


Attention

Signs and Portents: Rare two-headed turtle and 6 albino turtles hatch at conservation centre in London, Ontario

Sam Arevalo of the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority holds up two rarities: An albino baby snapping turtle and a two-headed map turtle.
© Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
Sam Arevalo of the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority holds up two rarities: An albino baby snapping turtle and a two-headed map turtle.
It's a hatching season unlike any other for the Turtle Team at the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA), whose main goal is to repopulate endangered turtle species like the spiny softshell turtle and others.

Scott Gillingwater, a species at risk biologist for UTRCA, says it's been a successful hatching season with the roughly 4,500 spiny softshell turtles they'll be raising -- and some unique newborns including a two-headed map turtle and six albino snapping turtles.

"That could be genetic, it could be pollutants, but I think the reason we're seeing more than typical is because we are being successful in our efforts. We're bringing in more eggs. There's always a higher chance the more eggs you have," said Gillingwater.


Seismograph

Strong mag. 6.0 earthquake off Kuril Islands, Russia

quake
Strong magnitude 6.0 earthquake at 39 km depth

Date & time: 24 Aug 2021 05:37:52 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Tuesday, 24 Aug 2021 4:37 pm (GMT +11)
Magnitude: 6
Depth: 39.0 km

Epicenter latitude / longitude: 48.74°N / 154.96°E↗ (North Pacific Ocean, Russia)

Snowflake Cold

Routes cut and dozens stranded by heavy snowstorm in Neuquén, Argentina

The snow covered Caviahue and the temperature dropped to minus 20 degrees

The snow covered Caviahue and the temperature dropped to minus 20 degrees
The heavy snowfall that occurred in recent days in the Andean region began to cause complications. There were around 50 people stranded in the Bariloche bus terminal and the Municipality of Neuquén reported that the terminal of the capital city receives services from long-distance companies that left for the different areas of the province, but that they had to return because they did not can circulate.

For now, traffic on Route 237 was cut off due to the complicated situation in the Collón Cura area. This route connects Bariloche with Piedra del Águila and the cities of the Alto Valle.

In addition to route 237, the National Highway suspended traffic on routes 40 and 22 where the inconvenience to circulate due to accumulation of snow persists .


Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 4 youngsters, another kills 3 adults in Bangladesh

lightning
At least seven people including four teens were killed and three more injured in separate incidents of lightning strike in Sadar and Chirirbandar upazilas in Dinajpur on Monday.

The deceased were identified as Sajjad, 13, son of Ainul Islam, Atiq, 16, son of Bablu Mia, Mim, 10, son of Saju Mandal, Apon, 16, of Kalipur area, Abdur Razzak, 28, son of Saimul Islam, Nur Islam, 26, son of Moksed Ali and Abbas Ali, 25, son of Altaf Hossain.

Police said the children were playing in the ground at Upasahar of Sadar upazila around 3:30pm while the thunderbolt struck them killing three on the spot and injuring several others.

Black Cat

Tiger eats man after dragging him off toilet in Khabarovsk, Russia

Tiger footprints and Mikhail's bloodied clothes and innards were found at the scene
© Getty
Tiger footprints and Mikhail's bloodied clothes and innards were found at the scene
A tiger is believed to have attacked and wounded a logger before dragging him away into the forest, locals fear.

Logger Mikhail Shabaldin, 41, was sitting on the toilet while at work in a remote Russian village before vanishing.

Tiger footprints were found at the scene in Khabarovsk, the eastern region which borders China.

A terrifying video of Mikhail's shocked colleague reacting to pieces of toilet paper and even the missing man's bloodied clothes and innards has led locals to fear for the logger's fate.

Majestic amur tigers - the world's largest felines - prey wildlife and humans alike in Russia, China and North Korea.

Fire

Massive wildfires devastate protected area of Bolivian forest

An area equivalent to twice the size of greater London has already burned in the Santa Cruz region

An area equivalent to twice the size of greater London has already burned in the Santa Cruz region
An area twice the size of greater London has burned in an area home to an isolated indigenous community, near the Brazil border.

More than 1,000 square miles of Bolivian forests have been destroyed by wildfires, authorities say.

So far 280,000 hectares, an area equivalent to just less than twice that of greater London, has been devastated in a southeastern region bordering Brazil and Paraguay.

As of Friday, Bolivia's Santa Cruz fire department said 15 fires have yet to be contained and continue to threaten, among others, the Nembiguasu conservation area.


Snowflake

August snow on Togwotee Pass, Wyoming

Togwotee Pass
© WYDOT
Togwotee Pass, Aug 22
It's 7:40 am on Sunday, August 22nd, and there is snow on Togwotee Pass. Not necessarily a surprise considering the cooler temps we've had recently.

Fire

Lightning reportedly causes explosion and fire at Pemex oil platform in Gulf of Mexico


Comment: Update Monday 23 August

This explosion killed five, and another two are still missing.


pemex fire explosion august 2021
© Facebook / Código Veracruz Noticias
This is not the first incident for the company in recent months. In early July, the company's underwater pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico burst, followed by an underwater fire, which caused a mesmerizing sight dubbed the "eye of fire" by the media.

An explosion followed by fire occurred on Sunday at an oil platform of the Mexican oil company Pemex, six people were injured, local media reported.

Also, the media reported an alleged statement by the company operating the facility on fire, indicating that the cause was a bolt of lightning striking the ethylene tower.

Comment: News reports show that there have been fires at the Pemex facility in 2015 and 2019 - and there may be more - in addition to the two fires in 2021.

Similar incidents in the last few years: See also: SOTT Exclusive: The growing threat of underground fires and explosions


Seismograph

Major magnitude 7.1 earthquake - South Sandwich Islands Region on 22 August - 2nd within 24 hours

maps
Major magnitude 7.1 earthquake at 10 km depth

Date & time: 22 Aug 2021 21:33:20 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Sunday, 22 Aug 2021 7:33 pm (GMT -2)
Magnitude: 7.1
Depth: 10.0 km

Epicenter latitude / longitude: 60.4°S / 25.05°W↗ (South Atlantic Ocean, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands)

Comment: The earlier event: Major magnitude 6.8 earthquake - South Atlantic Ocean, South Sandwich Islands, 21 Aug