Earth ChangesS


Heavy April snowfall in northern Albania

Spring has officially sprung, but winter still seems to be present in a part of the north of the country. The heavy snowfalls have continued with high intensity even during today's day where, in addition to the problems they bring to traffic, they also offer stunning views.

The snow covered the city of Puka today, where it is reported that the rains that started in the early hours of the morning and continue even now, have brought the thickness of the snow up to 25 centimeters. So far there are no problems in this area.

Snow is also reported to be present on the Bogë-Theth axis, where snowplows have come out and are working on its full opening. Currently, vehicles are driven with winter tires.


Snowflake Cold

Fresh April snow and black ice: the onset of winter is causing chaos in parts of Germany

Winter conditions in April: Snow, hail, black ice and heavy rain caused numerous accidents in traffic on Saturday. For this Sunday, the German Weather Service (DWD) announced heavy snowfall in the low mountain ranges - and also warned of black ice. In Bavaria in particular, there could be traffic disruptions and the risk of tree damage due to the high snow loads. In the Free State it could snow heavily in the morning, especially in the north and in the Alps, even down to lower altitudes.

In East Westphalia-Lippe, a number of trees snapped under the weight of snow on Sunday night. As the police reported, this created around 20 danger spots. Local fire brigade helpers removed the fallen trees and cleared the streets. In Extertal and Leopoldshöhe, drivers drove their vehicles off the road in snow and slippery conditions and ended up in a ditch. Nobody got hurt. In the early hours of the morning, several centimeters of snow had fallen in parts of Ostwestfalen-Lippe, and even ten centimeters in Horn-Bad Meinberg, a police spokesman said.


Best of the Web: China issues 'once in a century' flood warning for Guangdong's Bei River zone - April rainfall records already broken in many places

Shaoguan is one of the areas hardest hit by the rising waters
© WeiboShaoguan is one of the areas hardest hit by the rising waters
Residents in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong are on high alert for flooding, with authorities forecasting water flows in a major river to hit "once-in-100-year" levels on Monday morning.

The provincial flood and disaster prevention department said on Sunday afternoon that floodwaters in the Bei River, a southern tributary of the Pearl River, were expected to peak at 37.3 metres (122 feet) by 1am, or about 5.8 metres above the warning line.

Warning levels had already been exceeded at 20 monitoring stations along the waterway by Saturday evening.

Northern and western Guangdong have been battered by intense rainstorms since Friday, breaking rainfall records for April in many places.

The cities of Qingyuan, Shaoguan, Huizhou and capital Guangzhou have been particularly hard hit, prompting flood alerts and rainstorm warnings for three days in a row.


Shocking collapse of a mosque's minaret during a severe storm in Çankırı, Türkiye

In Çankırı, the strong wind resulted in toppling trees, shattering apartment windows, and even causing the collapse of a minaret at Bademlik Mosque.


Symbolism? Bald eagle eats 2 of its hatchlings in West Virginia (Near the site of bloodiest battle of the Civil War)

A female bald eagle on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, with a rainbow in background, earlier this season.
© JENNA DORSEY / U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICEA female bald eagle on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, with a rainbow in background, earlier this season.
In a tragic turn of events, two baby bald eaglets that hatched this week at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, were killed by their bald eagle father, who ate them.

One of eaglets passed away Monday night, while the other died shortly after being born on Friday, the National Conservation Training Center said.

"While this behavior was unusual, there's much we don't know," NCTC said in a social media post Friday. "This nest has brought us joy for years, raising countless eaglets for two decades. While this year's nesting season was not easy, it has offered a rare glimpse into the complexities of nature and the challenges that bald eagles face."

A spokesperson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the death of the second hatchling to USA TODAY Friday and explained that such incidents, though rare, are not unusual, especially among birds of prey. The spokesperson added that the population of the bald eagle, which is also the national symbol of the United States, has continued to soar, with an estimated 316,700 individual bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

Comment: A short distance away just across the Potomac river in Maryland is the American Civil War site of the Battle of Antietam (Battle of Sharpsburg) which took place on September 17,1862 - the bloodiest day in American history. See:
Battle of Antietam

Cloud Lightning

Storm-related incidents kill 65 in Pakistan, including 28 by lightning strikes - April rain doubles historical average (UPDATE)

At least 41 people have died in storm-related incidents across Pakistan since Friday, including 28 killed by lightning, officials said on Monday.

Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned of landslides and flash floods because more rain is expected in coming days.

Punjab, Pakistan's largest and most populous province, witnessed the highest death toll, with 21 people killed by lightning between Friday and Sunday.

"I have asked the NDMA to coordinate with the provinces... and for the NDMA to provide relief goods to areas where damages occurred," Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Monday.

People living in open, rural areas are more at risk of being struck by lightning during thunderstorms.

At least eight people were killed in Balochistan province, including seven struck by lightning, where 25 districts were battered by rain and some areas were flooded.

Comment: Update April 17

AFP reports:
At least 65 people have died in storm-related incidents including lightning in Pakistan, officials said, with rain so far in April falling at nearly twice the historical average rate.

People stand beside a makeshift stall set up on the bank of a stream, which is overflowing following heavy rains, on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, April 2024.
© APPeople stand beside a makeshift stall set up on the bank of a stream, which is overflowing following heavy rains, on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, April 2024.
Heavy downpours between Friday and Monday unleashed flash floods and caused houses to collapse, while lightning killed at least 28 people.

The largest death toll was in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 32 people have died, including 15 children, and more than 1,300 homes have been damaged.

"All the casualties resulted from the collapse of walls and roofs," Anwar Khan, spokesman for the province's disaster management authority, told AFP on Wednesday.

Villagers whose homes were inundated with water were forced to seek refuge on higher ground, including on the shoulders of motorways, creating makeshift tents with plastic sheeting and bamboo sticks.

"In April, we have observed highly unusual rainfall patterns," Zaheer Ahmad Babar, spokesperson for the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told AFP.

"From April 1st to April 17th, we experienced precipitation levels exceeding the historical average by 99 percent," he added, citing data from the past 30 years as a comparison.

Most of the country experienced a pause in rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, but more downpours are predicted in the coming days.

Snowflake Cold

From hot to freezing in a day in Slovenia

Snow on a blooming meadow in Ljubljana.
© Nebojša Tejić/STASnow on a blooming meadow in Ljubljana.
Shorts are out and winter coats and gloves are back in in Slovenia after temperature rollercoaster brought down readings by up to 26 degrees Celsius in a single day in a new record.

After more than ten days of unseasonably warm, summer-like weather with temperatures hitting 30C and over, the country saw an abrupt change in weather on 16 April with icy temperatures, winds, rain and snow.

The weather forecast turned out to be accurate this time, but many still were caught unprepared, ending up shivering and with hands numb with cold.

The U-turn in weather also caused some damage and traffic disruption due to strong winds and snowing. Temperature dropped below freezing point in many places.

The Environment Agency's readings show that temperatures in the afternoon on 16 April were 25 degrees Celsius lower than the previous day in certain parts of the country.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy downpour and flash floods hit southeast Iran

After torrential rains and major flooding hit United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, the same wave of severe weather arrived in Iran and hit hard the southern and southestern provinces of Bandar Abass, kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan on late on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rivers burst their banks and dams were full of water as huge floods washed away people's properties in some areas in Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan provinces on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the search and rescue teams saved three people who had been announced missing in the floods earlier today in Kerman Province.

Sistan and Baluchestan which borders Sea of Oman was also hit earlier this year in March by flash floods.

The chairman of roads administration of Sistan and Baluchestan province told reporters that the floods had blocked the roads between twenty villages in the province.


6.3 magnitude earthquake hits western Japan, no tsunami warning issued

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 struck off southwestern Japan on Wednesday night, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no tsunami warnings or reports of damage.

The USGS put the epicentre of the quake in a channel that separates the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku, about 18 kilometres (11 miles) west of Uwajima, at a depth of about 25 kilometres.

Agence France-Presse


Indonesia's Ruang volcano erupts, forces evacuation of 800 to nearby Islands

Indonesia's Ruang Volcano
Indonesia's Ruang Volcano
Nearly 800 individuals have been evacuated because of the eruption of the Ruang volcano, located on the Sangihe Islands in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. It's part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is known for its frequent volcanic eruptions and seismic activity.

The eruptions at the Ruang volcano occurred multiple times since Tuesday (Apr 16). As the magma rose to the surface and erupted, it produced various volcanic materials, including lava flows and ash clouds. The delicate situation prompted the authorities to elevate the alert level to the second highest.

Heruningtyas Desi Purnamasari from Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) reportedly told Reuters that recent earthquakes on the island triggered the eruptions. This resulted in the emission of dangerous "explosive hot clouds" reaching heights of 1.8 km.

"We must clear the island because we anticipate there could be more eruptions. No activity is allowed within four kilometres from the crater," Purnamasari said.