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Sat, 26 May 2018
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Earth Changes


Merapi volcano in Indonesia erupts for the 2nd time in 2 weeks

This picture taken on May 20, 2018 shows the Mount Sinabung volcano spewing ash into the air and lightning from its crater in Karo.
© Anto Sembiring
This picture taken on May 20, 2018 shows the Mount Sinabung volcano spewing ash into the air and lightning from its crater in Karo.
Indonesia's most volatile volcano spewed smoke and ash early Monday in the latest of several eruptions in less than two weeks.

Mount Merapi on the main island of Java erupted twice, sending a column of volcanic material up to 1,200 meters (3,930 feet) into the air and making ash fall in several villages, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the disaster mitigation agency spokesman.

He said the alert level of the volcano was not raised, which is at a normal level with no eruption expected in the foreseeable future.


Dog bites affect over 2.7 million people in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
Two years ago, a Rajya Sabha committee went to the extent of putting out newspaper advertisements, inviting suggestions from various stake holders to deal with the dog menace in MPs' areas in Delhi.

It is not known whether the move eased the situation or not for the MPs' there. But in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 31 members to the Upper House of Parliament, dog bites continue to be a big public health problem, affecting more than 27 lakh people every year, according to health department sources.

While the killing of more than a dozen children by feral dogs in Sitapur in back-to-back incidents has only brought the problem to the fore in its worst form, on an average, not less than 100 people are bitten by dogs in each district every day, as per a rough estimate.

The state's health department does not compile any data on statewide cases of dog bites, according to director, medical and health, Padamakar Singh.

Comment: See also: Sitapur dog attacks in India: Eight-year-old succumbs to injuries - local death toll increases to 14

Cloud Lightning

'Loud boom', gaping hole and smell of smoke leaves Nebraska family puzzled

Mystery boom and hole in ceiling in NE
Fire chased a Lincoln family from their home Saturday leaving a mystery and a gaping hole in its wake.

Fire crews were called to the 7100 block of S. Hampton Road around 6:30 a.m.

Battalion Chief Leo Benes said the family had been awakened earlier by a "loud boom" but couldn't find anything wrong with the house. It wasn't until later that the smell of smoke got their attention. They called the fire department and evacuated.

Benes said the initial thinking is that a lightning strike might have been the culprit but that's still just speculation. The mystery still looms.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods and heavy rain affect 5,000 in Guatemala

Floods in Guatemala, May 2018.
© Cruz Roja Guatemala
Floods in Guatemala, May 2018.
Civil protection in Guatemala (System of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction - CONRED) reported on 18 May that almost 6,000 people had been affected by heavy rain and flooding over the last 3 days.

The country's National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) said that over 100 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in 6 different locations on 15 May and in 3 different locations the next day.

CONRED says that there have been 19 incidents of flooding and damaging rainfall, affecting 5,594 people. The worst affected departments are Chiquimula, El Progreso, Guatemala, Petén, Quetzaltenango, Sacatepéquez, Sololá, San Marcos and Suchitepéquez.

Cloud Precipitation

Erratic seasons and extreme weather devastating crops around the world

Blueberry blooms damaged by the April 6th freeze.
© Debbie Roos
An example of crop damage: Blueberry blooms damaged by frost in April 6th 2016.
China: Pineapple market may recover Although this is normally the peak season in Xuwen for pineapple supplies to the market, according to fruit farmers in Xuwen the retail of pineapples is in a "severe winter". Earlier this year a cold wave hit Xuwen, just as pineapples began to appear on the market. The product quality suffered, and the price dropped. In some places Xuwen pineapples even became unmarketable.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains, landslides kill 5 in Sri Lanka, while Cyclone Sagar kills 15 in Somaliland

Heavy monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have killed five people, prompting authorities to warn against landslides and floods in low-lying areas after spill gates had to be opened across the Indian Ocean island.

Lightning killed three people, a landslide a fourth, and the fifth death was the result of a fallen tree, said officials at the country's Disaster Management Centre.

The centre's spokesman, Pradeep Kodippili, said flooding has forced the evacuation of people in areas where several rivers are overflowing, while four districts are on "red alert" for possible landslides.

People in those four districts have been cautioned to be vigilant," Kodippili told Reuters.

The army has sent more than 100 soldiers with more than 25 boats to tackle the emergency, its spokesman, Sumith Atapattu, told Reuters.

Comment: Rare cyclone in Gulf of Aden brings flooding to Yemen, Somalia, Djibouti


Kilauea volcano growing more hazardous - spewing lava causes first major injury

Kilauea volcano grows
A volcano on Hawaii's Big Island that is oozing and spewing lava and exploding with ash and gas has become more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock flowing into the ocean and flying lava causing the first major injury.

Kilauea began erupting more than two weeks ago. It has burned dozens of homes, forced people to flee and shot up plumes of steam from its summit that led officials to distribute face masks to protect against ash particles. Lava flows have grown more vigorous in past days, in one instance spattering molten rock that hit a man in the leg.

The man was outside his home on Saturday in the remote, rural region affected by the volcano when the lava "hit him on the shin, and shattered everything from there down on his leg" said Hawaii County mayor's spokeswoman Janet Snyder told Hawaii News Now TV.

Lava flying through the air from cracks in the earth can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces can be lethal, officials said.


Dead humpback whale found at Ocean Shores, Washington

A dead humpback whale washed ashore at Ocean Shores, Wash., on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
© Cascadia Research
A dead humpback whale washed ashore at Ocean Shores, Wash., on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
A dead humpback whale washed ashore Sunday morning at Ocean Shores.

John Calambokidis, senior research biologist with Cascadia Research Collective, said the whale, a young female, was entangled in crab gear, which may have caused its death.

The dead whale was seen floating off shore Friday and was reported to the Coast Guard. It was found washed ashore Sunday morning.

Calambokidis described the whale as 28 and a half feet long and estimated that it was 1 to 2 years old.

The whale will eventually be buried.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flood strikes again in Ankara, Turkey - 2nd such event in 2 weeks

A mass clean up operation is underway after heavy rainfall caused parts of Ankara to flood. Roads turned into rivers as rain came down on the Turkish capital city.

Dramatic footage showed people standing on top of their vehicles waiting for help. The flood waters damaged local shops causing severe damage.

Firefighters have been helping the operation to save people stuck in the floods and clean up the city.

Comment: Just 2 weeks ago: Unexpected flood hits Ankara, Turkey - vehicles float down streets

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes have killed at least 50 people and 52 cattle across Cambodia so far in 2018

A dead cow after being hit by lightning.
© Swift News
A dead cow after being hit by lightning.
Lightning strikes have killed at least 50 people thus far this year, a government official said on Friday.

Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said in a statement that since January, 50 people have been killed and another 37 injured, while 52 cattle were killed and more than ten houses were damaged.

"Everyone must be careful during rainstorms and beware of lightning," he said. "Most will occur in April, May and June. It is a dangerous period for natural disasters."

Shortly after Mr Vy's statement was issued, two more people were killed as they slept after being struck with lightning at their home in Ratanakkiri province's Veun Sai district.