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Sat, 25 Feb 2017
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Earth Changes

Cloud Grey

Incredible 'breaking wave' clouds amaze as they form across the sky over Palmerston North, New Zealand

© Carl Gadsby
The "breaking wave" clouds, also know as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves, which formed over the eastern side of Palmerston North early today.

Waves were breaking in the Palmerston North sky this morning in a relatively uncommon phenomenon.

Unsurprisingly the formation is dubbed "breaking wave clouds" but its official title is Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, named after Scots-Irish scientist Lord Kelvin William Thomson and German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz.


Arrow Down

Avalanche kills seven people near Lowari Tunnel, Pakistan

An avalanche killed seven persons and injured many in Ziarat area near Lowari Tunnel, District Chitral Valley on Sunday, police confirmed the incident.

The official also confirmed that the dead bodies of the seven persons who were mechanics and technical staff of Sambu Korean construction company had been recovered. Seven persons rescued were rushed to the District Hospital.

Deputy Commissioner Chitral Shahab Hameed Yousafzai informed APP, that avalanche triggered by continous heavy snowfall hit a nearby mountain rock on the top of a workshop of SAMBU Construction Company of Korea, working in construction of 8.5 km long Lawari tunnel.

Workshop was hit by land sliding and avalanche at 11.00 a.m as a result 14 people were burried under the debris and heavy stones and rocks. Chitral Levies, Chitral Scouts and Chitral Police along with local volunteers took part in rescue operation and they recovered seven bodies and seven other injured were rescued and were rushed to Peshawar for medical treatment.


Heavy snowfall kills another 25 in northern Afghanistan

Twenty-five people were killed by snowstorms and avalanches in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, just days after more than 100 people died due to heavy snowfall across the country, according to an official.

This time round northern Faryab province bore the brunt of freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Ammanullah Zafar, director for security in the province, told Anadolu Agency the province's Kohistan district had been worst hit. "We can confirm that 25 people have died in this unprecedented heavy snow," Zafar said.

He said police along with National Disasters Management Authority teams were trying hard with their limited resources to save the lives of several residents in the area, particularly the stranded passengers on the inter-district highways and the people stuck up in the mountains.

Comment: See also: Series of avalanches kill over 100 across Afghanistan

Cloud Precipitation

California storm death toll increases to 5 as rain pummels Bay Area

© Getty
Firefighters prepare to transport a patient by ambulance at the scene of a car stuck in flooding as a powerful storm moves across Southern California on February 17, 2017 in Sun Valley, California.
The death toll in the recent powerful California rainstorms rose to five as the weather system moved to pummel the northern portion of the state.

In Thousands Oaks, rescuers discovered the body of a man in his 20s who was swept away by floodwaters, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said Saturday. On Friday, one person was found dead in Victorville in a flooded vehicle, a 55-year-old man was electrocuted in Sherman Oaks when a power line fell and two people died after a traffic accident in San Diego because of water on Interstate 15.

Meteorologists have called the storm "bombogenesis," an intense extra-tropical cyclonic low-pressure area, or "a weather bomb." They say the system is one of the strongest in years.

The storm flooded roadways in Los Angles and San Diego as power remained out and cars were underwater. At least 8 inches of rain fell on roads in San Diego.

On Friday, two cars plunged into a massive sinkhole in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles.


Seabirds dying of starvation around Iceland

© Sigurdur Olafsson
According to a RUV report an unusual number of dead black seabird is washing up on the northern shores of Iceland this winter. The birds are washing up emaciated so biologists conclude the most likely cause of death to be malnutrition. It's not unusual that seabirds wash ashore over the winter months but reports about the unusually high number in some areas are startling.

Yann Kolbeinsson biologist with the Icelandic Institute of Natural History said the bird is found dead mostly on the shores in areas in the north of the country. "Its all kinds of black seabirds, mostly it's the Common Murre and the Razorbill, but we have received reports and seen photos of dead Puffin, Thick Billed Murre and Little Auke. But the largest numbers of deaths seem to be of the Common Murre." Kolbeinsson informs, he goes on to tell that malnourishment seems to be the most likely explanation, all thought this has not been verified with extensive research.


Kilometres of Cooloola coastline covered by dead fish in Australia

Many thousands of fish, thought to be a small species of leatherjacket, have washed up dead along the Cooloola Coast.
No-one seems to know the cause of a mass fish kill along kilometres of the Cooloola Coast.

Thousands of dead fish were reported to Department of Environment and Heritage Protection between Teewah and Double Island Point.

And thousands more have been reported to The Gympie Times as lining the tide line along more than 1km at Rainbow Beach.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers from Rainbow Beach had also noted dead fish during their beach patrols, an EHP representative said on Friday.

The representative said the department had received two reports so far through its pollution hotline, involving large numbers of fish between Teewah and DIP.


Four-year-old boy killed by dog pack in Punjab, India

A four-year-old boy of Kerowal village in Tarn Taran district was killed in a stray dog attack while he was on his way to a dargah. The victim, Maninder Singh, was a pre-nursery student.

His uncle Ranjit Singh said he went to a dargah after coming back from school and was attacked by a pack of dogs. He sustained grievous injuries on his head and neck and was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Ranjit Singh said his brother didn't keep well and the victim's mother worked. The district administration marked an inquiry into the incident.

Deputy commissioner, Tarn Taran, D P S Kharbanda said they couldn't kill stray dogs due to existing laws.

"But I have deputed a SDM to catch all stray dogs and leave them in a dog pond," he said. Local MLA Harmeet Singh visited the house of the deceased and assured help to the family.


Mysterious oarfish sightings stoke earthquake fears in the Philippines (PHOTOS)

© Jude Cyril Roque Viernes / Facebook
Three oarfish, which normally live deep near the ocean floor, have been found in the Philippines, sparking fears among locals that it may be a sign of an impending large earthquake.

Oarfish, which can grow to over 56 feet (17 meters) in length, are usually found at depths of between 200 to 1,000 meters, but since February 8, three have been found off the northern coast of Mindanao island, in the south of the archipelago.

The latest leviathan was found on Saturday on a beach in the city of Cagayan de Oro, measuring around 15 feet long, though it later died, according to ABS.

Comment: Also see: A few more noted sightings of this elusive and ominous fish from 2016 from around the globe:

Cloud Precipitation

Severe storm batters Sydney and parts of New South Wales: Three women struck by lightning, large hailstones cause property damage

Tennis ball sized hail fell in the northwestern Sydney suburb of Castle Hill.
Three women have been struck by lightning and widespread damage has been inflicted by a hailstorm that swept through Sydney and parts of NSW. The storm cell hit the city's northwest about 4pm on Saturday, depositing golf ball- and even cricket ball-sized hailstones accompanied by wild winds and heavy rain.

Rouse Hill, Kellyville and St Ives bore the brunt, with the hail damaging roofs, smashing car windows and bringing down trees.

A retirement village in Glenhaven, near Kellyville, copped some of the worst of the battering, with "significant damage" to the roof, the NSW State Emergency Service said.

Meanwhile three woman in their 60s were taken to hospital after they were struck by lightning in Bowral, in the state's southern highlands.

SES volunteers have been stretched thin, with more than 630 calls for help relating to leaking roofs, hail damage, broken skylights and downed trees. "We've got hundreds of volunteers out at the moment, they've been working hard since yesterday's storms," SES spokeswoman Sue Pritchard told AAP. The phones had been ringing off the hook, she said, with at least 100 calls still banked up by 7pm.


Man critically injured by shark on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

A man has been critically injured in a shark attack in Australia while spear fishing on the Great Barrier Reef.

The 26-year-old was repeatedly bitten on his left leg by what his friends thought was either a bull or tiger shark.

The attack occurred while the man was diving near Hinchinbrook Island, off the Queensland coast.

Following the attack the man's friends took him by boat to the mainland town of Cardwell where paramedics stemmed the bleeding and stabilised his condition.

He was then flown by helicopter to Cairns Base Hospital, some 90 miles to the north.