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Tue, 15 Jun 2021
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Earth Changes


Suspected fatal shark attack in New Caledonia - 3rd such death for the islands this year

Great white shark
Rescue services in New Caledonia were Thursday searching for the body of a fisherman believed to have been killed by a shark, following a spate of fatal attacks in the South Pacific territory this year.

The alarm was raised on Wednesday after fishermen told emergency services they had seen a shark attack a fisherman diving off a beach on the Nouville peninsula northwest of the capital Noumea.

"Our boat is still there but nothing has been found and no one has yet gone to the police or the gendarmerie to report a disappearance," Alexandre Rossignol, head of communications for civil defence, told AFP.

Witnesses recounted the attack to the newspaper Les Nouvelles-Caledoniennes.

"It was very fast. We saw eddies on the surface, it was a shark that was attacking," one witness said. "We saw the fins flapping above the water and then nothing more."

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 3, injures 5 in Cambodia

Three people were killed and five others injured when a lightning struck a house in Sala Visey commune's Koki village in Kampong Thom province's Balaing district on May 27.

District governor Vannak Sopheanit said all of the dead and injured were men aged 35 to 67. One of the injured was in critical condition.

"They were all workers hired to construct a road in the commune. When it rained, they ran to take shelter under a house nearby and was struck by lightning," he said.

According to a report from the National Committee for Disaster Management, in January-April lightning strikes killed at least 19 people and 21 cattles.


'Limnic eruption' threatens to smother Kivu area with deadly gas in DR Congo, 600,000 people evacuated

© REUTERS/Djaffar Al Katanty
A Congolese family evacuate from recurrent earth tremors as aftershocks following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano near Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo May 27, 2021.
Thousands have fled the Congolese city of Goma after the region's military governor ordered a partial evacuation and scientists warn of a potentially catastrophic limnic eruption, which could smother the area with deadly gas.

On Friday morning, Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, was almost deserted, with shops closed and just a handful of people on the streets.

Ndima Kongba, the military governor of North Kivu province, ordered the evacuation of the city of 600,000 people on Thursday amid fears of further volcanic activity after Saturday's eruption.

Comment: Other volcanic and seismic activity of late:


M4.2 quake shakes Lake Tahoe, comes amidst uptick in activity in region

quake tahoe
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake has shaken the Lake Tahoe area Friday morning.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck just before 8:30 a.m. and was centered about 5 miles southeast of the unincorporated community of Dollar Point.

This puts the epicenter of the quake right in the middle of Lake Tahoe.

Comment: On the 17th May CBS Sacramento reported that the increase in quakes appear to reflect the region being in an active period and that it may foreshadow larger quakes:
Frequent earthquakes across Northern California over the last several weeks have sparked questions about the natural disasters ahead.

State Geologist Steve Bohlen with California Geological Survey says the region has recently experienced earthquakes in rapid succession.

"We happen to be in a bit of an active period right now," said Bohlen.

At the end of April, a 3.8-magnitude earthquake hit the center of Lake Tahoe, followed by a 4.7-magnitude earthquake in Truckee, which was felt from Sacramento all the way to Reno.

"That was the biggest one I felt since I was out here. There were some lights and stuff swinging, something fell off the wall," said Ryan Callahan, who was at the Tourist Club in Truckee when the earthquake hit.

Seismologists tracking the activity say there's another, uncommon threat as well.

"There is a Tsunami hazard around Lake Tahoe," said Bohlen, who explains a magnitude-7 earthquake coming from the lake, though unlikely, could cause Tsunami-like waves.

"It would be significant emergency response effort in the Tahoe area if a magnitude-7 were to occur," he said.

How would you know if a Tsunami hit?

"If you feel an earthquake for [an] extended period of time, you really ought to think about moving to higher ground as quickly as possible," he said.

"It's an interesting idea thinking there could be a tsunami in Lake Tahoe," said Logan, who's visiting North Lake Tahoe this week.

But Tsunamis aren't something to sell your lakefront house over. Bohlen says just be prepared.

"Californians should have a safety kit with food, water...have a family plan of how to get together...when cellphones are down," he said.

An early warning system called Shake Alert could give precious extra seconds when an earthquake does hit.


Carcass of 18-ft-long whale washes up on coast of Gujarat, India

The whale's postmortem was not possible

The whale's postmortem was not possible since the carcass is in a decomposed form.
An 18-feet-long carcass of a whale was washed ashore at Malvan near Nargol beach in Valsad on Wednesday. Forest officials could not confirm the species of the whale since it is decomposed.

Locals spotted the carcass early on Wednesday and they alerted forest officials. A team of forest officials visited the spot and collected samples for further investigation to find out if the whale was killed or died naturally.

"Its postmortem is not possible since the carcass is decomposed. We will try to find out if it is natural death or if it was killed," deputy conservator of forest Yadu Bhardwaj told TOI.

Comment: Other whales have washed upon recently on a beach of New Zealand on May 26 ( 2 pygmy sperm whales) and on the coast of Alaska on May 25 (a beluga).


It's almost June, but fresh snow falls on Vernon's Silver Star Mountain, British Columbia

© SilverStar webcam
It may almost be June, but Vernon's Silver Star Mountain received a fresh dusting of snow this morning.

Webcam images from the resort show snowing falling as of 8 a.m. and the village covered in white.

The Star wrapped up for ski season over the Easter long weekend and is preparing for its summer bike park opening on June 25.

Down in the valley, today's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and a high of 15 C.


Tiger kills yet another in a district of Maharashtra, India - 17th this year

A tiger claimed yet another human life in forest near Saigaon-Kalamgaon village under South Bramhapuri range on Wednesday morning.

The victim Bhaurao Dodkuji Jambhule (42), a resident of Chichkheda village, had gone to forest compartment no. 165 in Vandra beat with others to pluck tendu leaves, when a lurking tiger killed him on the spot.

South Bramhapuri RFO, AP Mendhe, rushed to the spot and removed the body after inquest formalities. An ex gratia of Rs20,000 was given to the kin of the deceased.

This is 20th human kill in predator attacks in the district this year. Of these, 17 were killed by tigers, two by leopards and one in elephant attack.


Mother, daughter killed in wild elephant attack in Nepal

A woman and her daughter were killed when a wild elephant fatally attacked them in Bardia on Monday night.

The animal that had barged into a human settlement near Bardia National Park attacked Chanda BK, 37, and her three-year-old daughter Dipika BK of Geruwa Rural Municipality at around 10 pm.

The critically injured mother daughter duo was rushed to Nepalgunj Teaching Hospital, Kohalpur in Banke district where they breathed their last during treatment.

The incident had taken place while the two were sleeping in the courtyard of their house to escape the heat inside.

Snowflake Cold

Sneaky late-May wet snow in Ontario catches many by surprise

Sneaky late-May wet snow in Ontario catches many by surprise

Sneaky late-May wet snow in Ontario catches many by surprise
Many in southern Ontario were caught off guard Friday morning once they awoke to a frightening scene -- wet snow, freezing rain and ice pellets.

With temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark in parts of the region, a low-pressure system that tracked south of the province Friday morning helped usher in wet snow, freezing rain, ice pellets to parts of the region. Much of the frozen precipitation is falling in higher terrains in the south.

"This pattern of a ridge to the north and low tracking to the south of the Great Lakes is your typical pattern where you can get freezing rain and ice pellets. This setup would be quite normal in the winter," said Nadine Hinds-Powell, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

"What is unusual though is that it is this late in spring and the cold air intrusion into the moisture is this far south in Ontario."

There were reports of ice pellets and large snowflakes less than 10 km northwest of Milton, Ont., on the escarpment, with a light dusting on some surfaces.

Cloud Precipitation

Number of Indian districts affected by cyclones tripled after 2005

cyclone Yaas

Cyclone Yaas
More than 75 per cent of Indian districts are hotspots for extreme climate events. On the east coast, more than 90 per cent of districts are hotspots for cyclones, floods, droughts and their associated events; these districts are home to over 250 million people.

On the back of recent cyclone Yaas hitting the eastern coast, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has done an independent analysis in West Bengal and Odisha.

According to a CEEW study, after 2005, the yearly average of the number of districts in India affected by cyclones tripled and the cyclone frequency doubled. In the last decade alone, 258 districts were affected.

The cyclone hotspot districts are primarily concentrated along the eastern coast. These include Baleswar, East Godavari, Howrah, Kendrapara, Nellore, North 24 Parganas, Paschim Medinipur, Puri, Sivaganga, Tuticorin, and West Godavari.

In east coast districts, the frequency of cyclones and storm surges has increased seven-fold in the last 50 years. Since 2005, the number of districts affected has increased five-fold on a decadal basis.