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Sun, 24 Sep 2017
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Earth Changes


Disappearance of North Atlantic right whales from winter breeding grounds a mystery for scientists

© Center for Coastal Studies/NOAA
There are only about 500 North Atlantic right whales in existence
Scientists are at a loss to explain one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale — why the animals are disappearing from their usual breeding grounds off the southeastern United States.

Usually, right whales spend the winter in their breeding grounds off Florida and Georgia.

Before 2011, more than 200 right whales were spotted in the area each year. In 2017, there were just seven.

"How tough can it be to find 200 whales? Apparently pretty tough," said Jim Hain, senior scientist at Associated Scientists at Woods Hole, located near Falmouth, Mass.

It's just one of the many puzzles these leviathans present to researchers.


Humpback whale dies off Port Macquarie, New South Wales

© Matt Attard
Dead whale washes up on Nobbys Beach, Port Macquarie
A 12 metre, 18 tonne adult humpback whale rescued after being entangled in fishing rope off Shelly Beach on Sunday, September 17 has died.

The whale struggled throughout the night to return out to sea after being freed but died and washed close to shore at Nobbys Beach on Monday morning.

Marine Rescue Port Macquarie and an ORRCA Marine Mammal and Rescue crew with the assistance of National Parks and Wildlife and police closed off Nobbys Beach to co-ordinate a tow out to sea operation.

With an outgoing tide and increasingly dangerous surf conditions, the tow out to sea plan was abandoned.

Cloud Precipitation

Thunderstorms and golf ball-sized hail strike Split, Croatia

© Break Time Nautical
Did you SEE that?

Chances are if you were in Split this morning just before 11:00, you witnessed one hell of a thunderstorm.

Rain fell from the sky at rapid rates, and increasingly high winds blew the colossal droplets from left to right, and every which way possible.

Lightning sparked the sky, thunder rumbled the floor beneath us, and the hail that followed - the monstrous, golf ball-sized hail - began to slap our roofs, dent our cars, and nearly crack our windows.

Cloud Precipitation

Typhoon Talim causes flooding and landslides in Japan; Oita sees 7 inches of rain in 5 hours

Residents are evacuated from their home in Oita, Japan after heavy rainfall
Typhoon Talim made landfall over the western coast of Kagoshima prefecture, Kyushu island, Japan, on 17 September with winds of up to 162km per hour. It then continued moving over eastern Kyushu, eastern Shikoku, western and northern Honshu, weakening. Talim reached the northern island of Hokkaido by early (local time) Monday 18 September.

High levels of rainfall have been reported across several areas. According to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) figures, 179 mm of rain fell in 5 hours in Oita, Oita prefecture, on Sunday, 17 September. As Talim moves north, JMA warnings are in place for potential landslides and flooding in parts of Hokkaido and Tohoku.


FDMA says that 1 house was completely destroyed in Kagawa. Around 250 houses have suffered some damage. As many as 113 homes have been flooded in Okayama, 25 in Kagawa and 37 in Ehime.

Strong winds and heavy rain conspired to cause major disruption to public transport. Train services, including the Bullet trains, and dozens of flights have been cancelled.

Arrow Down

Huge sinkhole opens up in Lady Lake, Florida

A massive sinkhole has opened up at American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake.
A massive sinkhole opened up late Saturday afternoon at American Legion Post #347 in Lady Lake.

The sinkhole was estimated to be 70 feet across and growing. It is located in a retention basin about 100 yards from the parking area at the American Legion and is visible from County Road 466 and Rolling Acres Road.

Lady Lake police, Lake County sheriff's deputies and Lady Lake maintenance personnel were all on the scene Saturday night, monitoring the situation.

The sinkhole was located across from Recreation Plantation RV Park.

A sinkhole had swallowed part of a driveway this past Tuesday at a residence at Recreation Plantation. The sinkhole, located at Lot 229, was estimated to be 10 feet-by-10 feet-by 10 feet.


Florida's Withlacoochee River flooding forces evacuation

© unknown
Major flooding is threatening residents along the Withlacoochee River, emergency officials reported Sunday.

At 12:30 p.m., the river reached 16.8 feet at a gauge near U.S. 301, nearly five feet above its flood stage, elevating the flood status to "major." Waters are still rising, and National Weather Service forecasters predict major flooding to last at least through Friday.

Some 1,900 properties could flood, according to Hernando County spokeswoman Virginia Singer.

A voluntary evacuation order is in effect for endangered residents. Officials urged those in low-lying areas who see flood waters to leave now.

The Enrichment Center at 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd. in Brooksville is operating as a shelter for evacuees.
© waterweather.gov


Surfer bitten by shark in Ponce Inlet, Florida

A shark bit a man surfing in Volusia County on Saturday.

Volusia County Beach Safety officials said a shark bit a 28-year-old man Saturday afternoon.

The Melbourne man was surfing in 8-foot deep water near the jetty in Ponce Inlet when he was bitten on his left foot, officials said.

The man was taken to Halifax Hospital with several lacerations to the top and bottom of his foot.

Officials did not release the name of the man injured.


Attacked by 12 stray dogs for hours an 8-year-old boy succumbs to injuries in Maharashtra, India

Site of the incident
In a tragic incident, an eight-year-old boy died in Bhiwandi in Thane district of Maharashtra today after being mauled by stray dogs.

The incident took place near a dumping ground in Kamatghar locality. Source said that about 12 dogs attacked the boy for around two hours.

The deceased has been identified as Niraj Yadav, who is a resident of Kene village near Bhiwandi.

Following the incident, the boy was rushed to a private hospital from where he was referred to Thane civil hospital.

Niraj succumbed to his injuries on his way to the hospital


Maria upgraded to Category 1 hurricane as it tracks toward Barbados & St Lucia

© Christophe Ena / Reuters
Weather experts say the island of St Martin, which suffered extensive damage when Hurricane Irma hit, is potentially in Maria’s path.
The Caribbean is braced for more catastrophic weather after tropical storm Maria strengthened to a hurricane as it tracks towards Barbados and St Lucia.

Maria was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by the National Hurricane Center at 9 pm UTC.

The governments of Barbados and St Lucia earlier warned citizens that tropical storm Maria could hit in the form of a hurricane within 36 hours.


Eight dead, dozens injured as fierce storm hits western Romania

Emergency workers stand around a car that was destroyed by a traffic sign blown over by heavy winds, in Timisoara, Romania, during a violent storm on Sept. 17, 2017. The impact killed the driver.

A strong storm killed eight people and injured at least 67 in western Romania as winds of up to 100km/h also brought destruction to parts of Serbia and Croatia
, officials said.

Road and rail traffic in parts of Romania was halted by fallen trees.

Several hospitals, schools and apartment buildings had roofs damaged and dozens of towns and villages were left without electricity.

Some of the casualties were people strolling outside or coming out of supermarkets, the emergency services said.

A group of tourists was stranded for an hour in a chairlift in the northern county of Maramures.

In Serbia, a man went missing on his boat on the Danube river near Belgrade and six people, including a five-year-old child, were injured by falling trees.

Arcing from power lines, caused by the high winds, triggered several wildfires.