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Thu, 27 Oct 2016
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At least 11 deaths reported and tens of thousands of homes destroyed by floods in central Vietnam

Floods surround houses in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province after torrential rain submerged tens of thousands of houses.
At least 11 people have died and several more are missing in heavy flooding in central Vietnam, state media said on Saturday, with tens of thousands of homes completely submerged by water.

The communist government has ordered local authorities to mobilise the army and police to rescue trapped residents following heavy downpours, state-run Vietnam television reported.

The channel said at least 11 had died in the flooding with some 27,000 homes under water in the region.

Local official Nguyen Huu Hoai said the death toll was seven in Quang Binh province, but added that conditions were improving.


Surfer survives shark attack off Caloundra, Australia

A surfer has survived a terrifying shark attack just 10 metres from the shore while lying on his board in the water at a popular tourist beach on the Sunshine Coast.

University student Cooper Hallam said he was 'hit hard' from the rear left side and then took two or three bites to his body before he could react and fight off the shark.

The attack took place at Kings Beach, in Caloundra, late on Saturday afternoon.

Photographs of Mr Hallam's wounds were uploaded to the Dorsal Shark Reports Facebook page along with a description of the attack.

'Shark was obviously small, couldn't fit jaws around my waist, but still enough to give me the fright of my life,' he wrote.

'Further inspection of the bite looks like the sharks jaw size is around the diameter of a dinner plate.'

'Still very rattled... Not freaking out quite as much as my Mum though.'

Photographs of the man's wounds were uploaded to the Dorsal Shark Reports Facebook

Comment: See also: Shark attack on surfer off Ballina, Australia; 6th attack for the area in 21 months


Typhoon Sarika leaves two dead, thousands stranded in Philippines

© EPA/NASA/NOAA/Goddard MODIS Rapid Response / HANDOUT
Typhoon Sarika approaches the Philippines
A powerful typhoon slammed into the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, knocking out power and isolating villages amid floods and toppled trees.

Typhoon Sarika, locally known as Karen, blew into Aurora province early Sunday and was barreling fast through heavily-populated agricultural provinces with sustained winds of 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour and gusts of 220 kph (136 mph), officials said.

Mayor Nelianto Bihasa of Baler, a popular surfing town in Aurora, said howling wind ripped tin roofs off many houses and knocked down trees and electric posts, causing power outages and blocking access roads to some villages.

Coastal villagers were warned early to move to safer areas and there have been no immediate reports of casualties other than two injured residents, he said.

In eastern Catanduanes province, a man drowned after being swept by strong river currents and a farmer died after his head hit the ground in fierce wind, provincial safety officer Gerry Beo said.

Three fishermen were reported missing, he said.


Shallow 5.5 magnitude earthquake rattles northern Greece

© Athens Institute of Geodynamics
An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale striked near the city of Ioannina in northern Greece at 11.14pm local time according to the Athens Institute of Geodynamics. The epicenter was located 10km deep at the village of Pogoni, north west of Ioannina. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily and other neighboring regions.

Cloud Lightning

Rare red sprites captured on video over northern Italy

© OGVT - Observatoire géophysique, Val Terbi
Red Sprites captured on film by Swiss observers over northern Italy

Comment: Website Space Weather noted a geomagnetic storm on Friday 14th October 2016 (though it began early on Thursday 13th):

'GEOMAGNETIC STORM UNDERWAY: Auroras are dancing around the Arctic Circle on Oct. 14th as Earth slowly exits the magnetized wake of a CME that struck two days ago. Currently, geomagnetic storms are flickering between categories G1 and G2.

WHAT'S NEXT? On Oct. 15th, another disturbance is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. This time it's coming from a coronal hole -- a gap in the sun's atmosphere from which solar wind flows:

© NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture on Oct. 13th. It shows the dark coronal hole pointing almost directly at Earth. At the leading edge of the emerging solar wind stream is a co-rotating interaction region (CIR)--that is, a transition zone between slow- and fast-moving solar wind. Shock waves and density gradients in CIRs often do a good job sparking auroras, so when it arrives on Oct. 15th polar auroras are likely'

More documentation of this increasing phenomenon: For a deeper understanding of the changes occurring on the planet read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk


Woman suffers leg injuries in shark attack off Maui, Hawaii; 5th such incident for the area so far this year

A 66-year-old Washington state woman was injured in a suspected shark attack in waters off Charley Young Beach in Kihei this morning.

Maui County Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said the woman sustained injuries to her lower leg, and was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center in serious condition after the attack, which occurred shortly before 10 a.m.

The woman, a part-time Kihei resident, had been snorkeling in waters about 40 feet from the shore at a depth of seven feet when the attack occurred, according to a state Department of Land and Natural Resources news release.

A nearby stand-up paddleboarder heard the woman yell for help an responded to the scene. The paddler pulled the woman onto the board and brought her to shore. Also, a visitor from Washington state swam out to assist her.

Two nurses and a firefighter from the mainland who were on vacation treated the woman on the beach before lifeguards arrived, according to a Maui County Fire Department news release.


Dead Blainville's beaked whale found on beach in Taiwan

Blainville's beaked whale
Coast guard personnel and residents move the carcass of an 800-kilogram whale to the high-water mark on a beach in offshore Kinmen County, in order for the whale to be dissected and analyzed.

The 4-meter long Blainville's beaked whale was found on the shore near Kinmen Airport on Oct. 13.

Dead Blainville's beaked whale


22 homes destroyed and hundreds evacuated in northern Nevada wildfire

© Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee
Hand crews finish up work on the Emerald Fire along Highway 89, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 near Lake Tahoe, Nev.
A trio of wind-whipped wildfires burning along the Sierra Nevada on Friday destroyed 22 homes north of Carson City, forced hundreds of evacuations at Lake Tahoe and temporarily closed a major highway connecting Reno to the mountain lake.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval declared a state of emergency as hundreds of firefighters battled the most dangerous fire, which is still threatening hundreds of structures in the Washoe Valley along Interstate 580 and U.S. Highway 395 between Reno and Carson City.

No serious injuries have been reported but four firefighters have been treated for smoke inhalation, said Tia Rancourt, spokeswoman for the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center.

The wildland blaze that continued to burn out of control Friday night has charred about 3 square miles of brush and timber. It forced the closures of numerous schools and roads, and triggered widespread power outages.

Federal disaster funds were approved late Friday to help cover firefighting costs in the parched area that has only recently shown signs of recovering from a five-year drought

About 500 firefighters were on the scene Friday night at the so-called Little Valley fire, which broke out about 1:30 a.m. in the mountains between Lake Tahoe and Washoe Valley about 8 miles north of Carson City.


Rare tornado hits Manzanita, Oregon

Tornado damages Manzanita
Two tornadoes struck the Pacific Northwest Friday as a major storm system closed in on Oregon and Washington State.

One began as a waterspout over the ocean, before moving overland and causing damage in the beach town of Manzanita, Oregon. A video shared on Twitter Friday afternoon appears to show the waterspout moving overland.

The National Weather Service Portland twitter account appeared to support the video's authenticity. Two men can be heard discussing the sight, and at one point one describes it as a "freaking twister."

Stunning video of the Tornado heading towards #Manzanita #CoastTornado #koin6news pic.twitter.com/rVLJg6P6l5

— Dan Tilkin (@DanTilkinKOIN6) October 14, 2016

Comment: See also: Rare tornado hits Oregon as Pacific Northwest braces for more extreme weather


6.4 magnitude earthquake recorded off Papua New Guinea

© Reuters
6.4 magnitude earthquake 144 km from Kimbe, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea

2016-10-15 08:03:38 UTC

UTC time: Saturday, October 15, 2016 08:03 AM

Your time: 2016-10-15T08:03:38Z

Magnitude Type: mwb

USGS page: M 6.4 - 145km NNE of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 0 people