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Fri, 20 Apr 2018
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15-foot deep sinkhole closes road in western North Carolina

W NC sinkhole
© WSOC
A large sinkhole has forced crews to close a busy street in Lenoir.

Neighbors said the 15-foot deep hole first opened up beneath Westview Street late Sunday after heavy rain over the weekend.

The city has placed barricades across the road to block traffic but there is no word from the city yet on when repairs to the road will begin, or how much it will cost.

Igloo

France: This winter it snowed too much, to the point of preventing ski resorts from breaking attendance records

Some years, the professionals of altitude compete with incantations to hope to see it arrive. This season, the snow has (almost) fallen too much on the Southern Alps.

"We could have done better if the weather had been better. There were even several days of closures due to the storm" summarizes Pascal Lequenne, director of the Auron tourist office, where the turnover of ski lifts, the second highest ever recorded, still climbed 15%.

Comment: 'Forget global warming, prepare for Ice Age'


Ice Cube

Restaurant with visitors inside swept away down the Volga River by giant ice sheets in Samara, Russia

ice cafe
A restaurant in Samara, Russia, took an unplanned trip down the Volga River after ice streams untethered the eatery from the shoreline and pushed it downstream. It was filmed being towed back to shore, with no injuries reported.

Videos posted to YouTube and social media by eyewitnesses show the 'Old Wharf' restaurant, in Samara's historic city center, being carried down the Volga River by a giant sheet of ice. The restaurant was occupied at the time of the accident, according to local media reports.


Attention

New activity notice issued for Kilauea volcano in Hawaii

USGS: Lava within the west pit at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō has continued to rise since HVO’s previous overflight (March 27) and has formed a perched lava pond (center) contained within a levee.

USGS: Lava within the west pit at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō has continued to rise since HVO’s previous overflight (March 27) and has formed a perched lava pond (center) contained within a levee.
Observations suggest that the magma system beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō has become increasingly pressurized. A new vent could form at any time.

On Tuesday, scientists issued a new Volcanic Activity Notice for Kilauea on Hawaii Island.

According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, observations suggest that the magma system beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō has become increasingly pressurized. If this activity continues, USGS says, a new vent could form at any time. The new vent could be on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, or along adjacent areas of the East Rift Zone.


Snowflake Cold

Coldest and snowiest April on record around the Great Lakes

ccold weather
The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes have never seen an April like this. Extreme winter conditions have refused to relent even into the month's second half, testing the patience of local residents.

Scores of records for both snow and cold have fallen. Minneapolis; Madison, Wis.; and Marquette, Mich., are among the many towns and cities experiencing their coldest-ever April. And Minneapolis; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Green Bay, Wis., were recently dealt record snowfalls for the month.

And, with the wintry pattern lingering for a few more days, more records for extreme winter weather are likely to fall.

Snowflake Cold

Chicago records its coldest start to April in 137 years

weather map
© National Weather Service
No one alive today has experienced the start of an April in Chicago as cold as this one.

It has been 137 years since the first 17 days of April have been as cold and snowy as they've been in 2018, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Nizzo.

This April is the second-coldest on record, trailing only April 1881, Nizzo said.

Snow is forecast to continue Wednesday night into early Thursday, making for slippery driving as a slushy mix accumulates. About an inch can be expected on grassy areas and elevated surfaces, according to the weather service.

Music

'Strange trumpet sounds' heard in the skies of Osijek, Croatia

Trumpeting sounds in Croatia
© YouTube/FCHollywoodFCB
On April 13, 2018, YouTube user 'FCHollywoodFCB' recorded strange trumpeting sounds in the the skies of Osijek, Croatia. A commenter on the video reported they heard the same sounds in Germany the same day.


Snowflake

Otherworldly 17-meter-deep snow corridor in Japan

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route: The 90-kilometer sightseeing route, which stretches along the Japan Alps, opens every April to November.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route: The 90-kilometer sightseeing route, which stretches along the Japan Alps, opens every April to November.
One of the world's wildest mountain drives, Japan's Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route has reopened to tourists for another season.

Stretching across the Toyama and Nagano prefectures north of Tokyo, the 90-kilometer sightseeing route -- dubbed the "Roof of Japan" -- offers incredible views of the 3,015-meter Mt. Tateyama and 2,478-meter Mt. Akazawa-dake peaks, while providing access to everything from Japan's highest altitude hot spring to the country's highest waterfall.

But the route's biggest attraction is the unbelievable Snow Wall Walk, located along the pathway in Yuki no Otani (or Great Valley of Snow).


Cloud Precipitation

Disasters caused by heavy rains kill 41, injure more than 160 in Rwanda since March

flood
At least 41 people were killed and more than 160 others were injured across Rwanda by disasters triggered by heavy rains since March, Rwanda's Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs said on Monday.

The disasters also killed more than 600 animals, destroyed property including school structures, more than 3,000 houses and more than 1,700 hectares of plantations, said Philippe Habinshuti, director of disaster response and recovery of the ministry.

The destruction and deaths were mainly caused by floods and lightning, Habinshuti told media.

Comment: Lightning bolt kills 16 at Seventh-Day Adventist church in Rwanda


Arrow Down

More cracks reported in Kenya as Africa's geographical divide deepens

Crack on the outskirts of Naivasha town in Nakuru County, Kenya.
© Daily Nation
Crack on the outskirts of Naivasha town in Nakuru County, Kenya.
A month after a huge crack was reported in Kenya's Rift Valley, another two-kilometre fault line has cracked open on Monday on the outskirts of Naivasha town in Nakuru County where farms have been swallowed.

Local media reports say at least 16 families have moved to safe grounds as several acres of crops were destroyed by the crack that was filled with water believed to be from rains in other parts of the country, reports Daily Nation.

"The heavy rains pounding this region have contributed in a way to the fault line ... It's a 20-foot deep fault line that runs across several agricultural farms. The families were asked to leave primarily for their safety," said Naivasha assistant county commissioner Joseph Opondo on Tuesday.

Comment: Miles-long crevice opens up overnight near Nariobi in Kenya's Rift Valley