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Tue, 26 Jul 2016
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Cloud Precipitation

129 killed and more than 8.6 million people affected as extreme rains flood China

© Darley Shen / Reuters
A woman with a body of a dead pig at a flooded farm in Xiaogan, Hubei Province, China, July 22, 2016.

Some 8.6 million people have been affected by destructive floods and landslides caused by heavy rain in China, local media report. They add that at least 129 people have been killed and the death toll is likely to rise.

The worst-hit was Hebei province in northern China, Xinhua news agency reported. Some 52,000 homes collapsed in the area. Hebei has about 73 million residents.

At least 114 people have been killed and 111are still missing in the province, according to the People's Daily newspaper.

The city of Xingtai alone saw nine people killed, with 11 more unaccounted for.


Minke whale carcass washes up at St John's Point, Northern Ireland

The whale that washed up at St John’s Point
The carcass of 26ft-long minke whale has washed ashore on rocks at St John's Point in County Down.

The body of the huge creature, which is believed to have been dead for around a week, was discovered by a member of the public on the foreshore near Killough.

A team from Newcastle Coastguard Station was sent to the scene to measure and photograph the body.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, Ian Enlander, from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, said: "In the summer, minke whales move south from the west of Scotland into the Irish sea, where there is plenty of food for them.

"They're often sighted off Islandmagee as they migrate toward the Isle of Man.

"It appears that this young male minke died after its tail became entangled in some discarded fishing gear."


Humpback whale found dead in Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia

© Elle Mitaros
The humpback whale beached at Shoalwater Bay.
A shark warning has been issued for Rockingham after a dead eight-metre humpback whale washed ashore in Shoalwater Bay.

The warning was issued this morning from Surf Life Saving WA, after a shark sighting was reported at around 10am off Port Kennedy beach.

The carcass beached on the sandbar between Seal Island and the mainland, after it was first reported around 500m off-shore. The Department of Parks and Wildlife reported a 2.5m tiger shark had been seen circling the dead whale before it beached.

A statement from the Department of Parks and Wildlife last night after the discovery of the carcass said it could have lured the shark.

"It is possible the decomposing carcass will act as an attractant that could lead to sharks coming close in to shore," the statement read.

The Department of Fisheries is monitoring the situation and providing advice to relevant authorities.


Pack of dogs maul 3-year-old boy to death in Dilkon, Arizona

Dog attack victim Kayden Colter Begay
Shaken by a vicious dog mauling that killed a 3-year-old boy on the Navajo Nation, local leaders are expressing anger over the attack, saying encounters with stray and feral animals on the vast reservation are all too common and more could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

A report from the Navajo Nation Animal Control Program confirmed the child was attacked in the area of Dilkon, Arizona, on July 14 by a pack of dogs, but it does not list the dogs' breeds or indicate whether they were strays or had an owner. Citing the report, a spokeswoman for Navajo President Russell Begaye said five dogs mauled the boy before authorities arrived on the scene in response to a telephone message of a fatal canine attack.

Two dogs were shot and killed on site, and the other three were euthanized at an animal shelter in Fort Defiance, Arizona, according to the report. All of the dogs tested negative for rabies.

"People have told me that they had reported on these dogs before, but nobody came around until (the attack) happened," said Cecil Hubbell, president of the Navajo Nation's Wide Ruins Chapter, where the boy lived with his mother. "People overlook these things. They don't check up on it, and now we got a 3-year-old boy that is gone."

Better Earth

Chinese researchers find world's deepest sinkhole found in South China Sea

© People's Daily
Chinese researchers claim to have found the world's deepest underwater sinkhole, located near the hotly disputed islands of the South China Sea.

Also known as a blue hole, it measures 300.89 meters (988ft) in depth, far surpassing the previous record held by Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahama Islands, which is 202 meters deep.

Measuring 130 meters in diameter, the hole was discovered at a major coral reef near the Paracel Islands, which both China and Vietnam have claims on, as part of an exploration project which ran from August 2015 until June.


Waterspout fimed off Wilmington Island, Georgia

According to the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, a waterspout has been spotted off Wilmington Island.

CEMA warns that residents and boaters in the Skidaway, Wassaw and Wilmington island areas should be careful. According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, the waterspout was spotted in Wassaw Sound and can "very briefly move over land and lift light objects."

According to NOAA's National Weather Service, the best way to avoid a waterspout is to move at a 90-degree angle to its apparent movement.

No Entry

Straight outta Ghostbusters: Mysterious green foam bubbles out of sewers in Bluffdale, Utah

The Salt Lake County Health Department immediately sent its emergency response team to Bluffdale, Utah after residents spotted this mysterious green foam bubbling from a storm drain in the neighborhood.
A mysterious green foam has left neighbors of one Utah neighborhood more than a little concerned after it was spotted bubbling from a storm drain on Thursday.

The Salt Lake County Health Department immediately sent both its emergency response team as well as scientists to test the bright green foam after it was reported in the Bluffdale neighborhood.

Early reports indicated that the foam was caused by a toxic algae bloom that currently covers 90 percent of Utah Lake - and has already caused more than 100 people to fall ill.


Raging wildfire burns more than 3,300 acres north of Los Angeles, forcing hundreds of evacuations

As of last night, no deaths or injuries were reported except one injury of a fireman
An out-of-control wildfire is eating up thousands of acres of land outside of Los Angeles and hundreds of firefighters are still battling the raging flames by land and air.

The quick moving Sand Fire broke out Friday about 2pm on northbound 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita, also known as Antelope Valley Freeway, 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

The fire has so far claimed over 3,300 acres, according to the fire department. There have been no deaths reported thus far and only one injury, that of a fireman.

The fire is being battled by four water-dropping helicopters and two fixed-wing firefighting aircraft were also called in to attack the blaze. Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service were also assisting in the firefight, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The blaze is being fueled by a heat wave with temperatures reaching between 108 and 112 degrees Fahrenheit and wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar, home of more than 400 rescued exotic animals, including lions and tigers. It was evacuating on Friday


String of earthquakes hits Kyrgyzstan

© File photo
An earthquake occurred today in Alay district, Osh region of Kyrgyzstan. Press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported.

According to it, the seismic station of the Institute of Seismology of the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan registered tremors with the force of 3 points in the epicenter at 6.26 a.m. The focus was located on the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, on Trans Alai ridge. No injuries or damage were recorded.

As noted, this is the second consecutive earthquake in the area. On July 20 at 6.55 p.m. there have been tremors with the force of 3.5 points in the epicenter. No victims and destruction were also recorded.

Comment: Yesterday too, a magnitude 4.3 hit the country. Last month, a 6.4 hit Kyrgyzstan, and in December of last year, a 7.2. This comes a week after Merkel's visit to the Central Asian nation, and the same day that the exhibition-fair making its way through the Silk Road countries. On the border, Tajikistan just arrested 2 individuals attempting to join Daesh, and Russia's military base has been put on high alert.


Strange skies: Beautiful iridescent clouds appear over Santiago, Chile

© Roberto Antezana
This eerie iridescent cloud appeared over Santiago de Chile at sunset on July 15, 2016.

This is one of the most unbelievable rainbow cloud I have ever seen in my life!

Cloud iridescence is a fairly uncommon phenomenon when colors appear in a cloud, most often altocumulus, cirrocumulus, lenticular clouds and cirrus clouds.

Comment: Though beautiful, these clouds may be an indication of the cooling atmosphere caused by ice crystals. Impending ice age, anyone?

What causes iridescent clouds?