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Cloud Lightning

Record snow brings travel chaos to China and Korea

Image
© Lee Sang-hak/AP
Seoul, South Korea: Passengers wait in front of a screen that shows cancelled flights at Kimpo Airport
Planes were grounded and thousands of schools were forced to close as the heaviest snow in over six decades blanketed Beijing and Seoul on Monday, with temperatures plummeting across much of Asia.

One person was killed and at least two others were missing in the mountains of central Japan after heavy snow.

With temperatures falling in several Asian countries, Indian officials said over 40 people had died in a cold snap that has gripped parts of the north and prompted authorities to shut thousands of schools and dole out firewood.

Parts of China experienced heavy snow flurries, with the capital Beijing recording its heaviest daily snowfall in nearly six decades on Sunday, the state Xinhua news agency reported.

The Central Meteorological Administration reported that up to 30 centimetres (12 inches) had fallen on Beijing and Tianjin over the weekend. While skies were clear in the capital Monday, more snow was expected in northeast China.

Bizarro Earth

Solomon Islands - Earthquake Magnitude 7.2

Image
© USGS

Date-Time:
Sunday, January 03, 2010 at 22:36:30 UTC

Monday, January 04, 2010 at 09:36:30 AM at epicenter

Location:
8.912°S, 157.307°E

Depth:
30.5 km (19.0 miles)

Distances:
105 km (65 miles) SSE of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Isl.

210 km (130 miles) WSW of Dadali, Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands

295 km (185 miles) WNW of HONIARA, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

2100 km (1310 miles) NNE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia

Bizarro Earth

Peru - Earthquake Magnitude 5.7

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Sunday, January 03, 2010 at 20:39:12 UTC

Sunday, January 03, 2010 at 03:39:12 PM at epicenter

Location:
8.876°S, 77.695°W

Depth:
104.9 km (65.2 miles)

Distances:
75 km (45 miles) NNW of Huaraz, Peru

100 km (60 miles) ENE of Chimbote, Peru

365 km (225 miles) NNW of LIMA, Peru

960 km (600 miles) S of QUITO, Ecuador

Bizarro Earth

Thousands of dead octopuses wash up on Portugal beach

Dead octopus Portugal
© BBC News
Thousands of dead octopuses have washed up on a beach in northern Portugal, in what is being called an environmental disaster.

They cover a 5-mile stretch of Vila Nova de Gaia beach - no reason has yet been found for their appearance.

The authorities have warned the public not to eat them.

Comment: Something is happening in the Atlantic. This doesn't bode well.


Bizarro Earth

Strong earthquake shakes Tajikistan

At least 10,000 people have been left homeless in Tajikistan after an earthquake hit the Gorno-Badakhshansky region in the east of the country.

The Emergency Situations and Civil Defence Committee said no casualties were reported after the magnitude 5.3 quake struck about 10 villages in the Pamir Mountains.

Azimdzhon Shamsiddinov, the deputy head of the Vanj district, on Sunday, said: "1,050 residential buildings were destroyed in our region."

Cloud Lightning

Snow paralyses Beijing as China braces for big chill

Image
© Agence France-Presse
Temperatures could fall as low as -16 degrees in Beijing over the next few days
A freezing front swept over much of northern China Sunday with snowstorms snarling road and air traffic, schools set to stay closed, and some of the lowest temperatures in decades forecast in coming days.

Snow storms were expected to continue through Monday and the mercury was set to plunge in the next 48 hours when China returns to work following a three-day New Year holiday, the Beijing meteorological station said.

Gale force winds sweeping down from Siberia could result in temperatures as low as minus 16 degrees Celsius (three degrees Fahrenheit) in the capital on Monday and Tuesday, it added.

In some parts of northern China temperatures were expected to drop as low as minus 32 degrees Celsius.

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Wild Thunderstorms Lash Victoria

Image
© Ben Swinnerton
Lightning lashed Melbourne for two consecutive nights.
Wild thunderstorms have lashed Victoria for the second night in a row, causing flooding and lightning to strike houses.

Areas northwest of Melbourne received up to 60mm of rain, while the storms also brought down trees and power lines.

Gisborne, about 50km northwest of Melbourne, was worst affected, with the State Emergency Service receiving more than 60 calls for flash flooding.

SES operations manager Tim Wiebusch said extra crews were needed to help clean up.

"The word back we've had from the crews is it's large storm water drains that aren't coping with the downpour,'' Mr Wiebusch said.

Bizarro Earth

Storm Pounds Canadian Maritimes

Image
© CBC News
A snowplow clears streets in downtown Halifax on Saturday.
A storm is battering most of the Maritimes, wreaking havoc on travel and power lines.

Snow, ice pellets, freezing rain and rain have been falling most of the day in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I., creating treacherous road conditions in some areas.

High winds are also being experienced right across the region, resulting in blowing snow and whiteouts.

No major accidents have been reported, but RCMP on Saturday reminded motorists to drive carefully.

Confederation Bridge officials were restricting certain types of vehicles from crossing the bridge linking Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, effective 6:30 p.m. local time, due to high winds.

Bizarro Earth

Ocean Storm Brings Deep Snow To New England

An ocean storm was backing into northern New England on Saturday, and forecasters said it will likely stick around through the weekend.

It's expected to bringing bursts of heavy snow to Maine and the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, with accumulations up to a foot and a half in places.

Meteorologist David Glenn said most storms approach the area from the south, but because this one is coming in from the east, it will likely hang around longer.

The snow was expected to increase in intensity throughout the day and so were the winds. Forecasts called for gusts up to 45 mph Saturday night that could create drifting snow, while coastal areas were seeing higher tides than normal and could get some flooding.

Cloud Lightning

Hundreds Flee Australia Flooding


More than 1,000 people have been evacuated from an outback town in the Australian state of New South Wales, after days of flooding.

Two areas of the state have been declared natural disaster areas after days of heavy rains swelled rivers and left farms cut off.

As water levels threatened to reach 5.5m (18ft), up to 1,200 people were moved from the town of Coonamble.

It comes after summer wildfires wreaked havoc on the other side of the country.