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Sat, 18 Sep 2021
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Cloud Precipitation

Typhoon Conson leaves at least 12 missing, 12,000 affected in the Philippines

Flood rescue in Ormoc, Leyte Province, Philippines
© Coastguard Philippines
Flood rescue in Ormoc, Leyte Province, Philippines, September 2021.
At least 12 people went missing while 12,000 others have been affected by Typhoon Conson in the Philippines, emergency services reported Wednesday.

Conson entered the Philippine archipelago on Tuesday with sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 150 kmph.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a report that at least 24 houses have been damaged by the typhoon, which caused flooding and power cuts in several areas in the central region of the archipelago.

Oil Well

'This is big': 14-mile long oil spill in Gulf of Mexico investigated by Coast Guard

gulf slick
Black slick floats in the Gulf of Mexico • August 31, 2021
The US Coast Guard is responding to a 14-mile long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico discovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, officials said Saturday according to Bloomberg. The spill, which consists of a 4-mile black sheen and a 10-mile rainbow sheen, is located in federal waters off Port Fourchon, Louisiana, said Sam Jones, head of the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office.

"That's big," Jones said in an interview on Saturday. "It's the biggest one out there."

The Coast Guard said in a statement that crude is believed to be coming from a pipeline owned by Houston-based oil and gas exploration company Talos Energy, adding the agency was in the preliminary stages of investigation. In response, Talos said that while it's leading a response to the spill, it denied being responsible, saying the spill was coming from an unknown source in an area where it ceased production in 2017.
"Extensive field observations indicate that Talos assets are not the source. Talos will continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the source of the release and coordinate a successful response."
Talos said it deployed two 95-foot response vessels to conduct oil recovery operations at the site as well as an additional vessel and divers to help locate the source.

The "big" spill wasn't the only one: Jones said his agency had received 265 reports of spills and other incidents related to Ida, including 32 that appeared to be serious. Among them were two underwater pipelines, apparently transporting gas, and a gas well that blew in Three Bayou Bay in Jefferson Parish. The agency is investigating who owns those assets, Jones said.


Dixie Fire is blazing its way to becoming California's biggest ever

The Dixie Fire in northern California is on its way to becoming the largest wildfire in the state's history, officials say.

It has burned 917,579 acres and was only 59% contained as of Tuesday. Currently, the largest fire by acreage for the state is the August Complex, which burned 1,032,648 acres in 2020.

The Dixie Fire started on July 14 and has damaged or destroyed at least 1,282 structures, according to Cal Fire.

Of the top 20 largest wildfires since 1932, 17 have occurred since 2000; 11 since 2016; five in 2020 -- and three from this year.

"For September through December the entire state shows drier, more wind events, and large fire activity to continue for the next three months," said Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter.


Drone footage shows the extent of devastating fires burning in Amazon rainforest - well above historic average for 3rd consecutive year

Shocking drone footage has shown the dramatic impact fire is having in the pristine Amazon jungle in Brazil.

The footage, taken by Reuters on Sunday, show the aftermath of a massive fire in the Apui, Amazonas State region.

Satellites registered 28,060 fires in the Brazilian Amazon in August.

According to official government data, fires burned well above the historic average for the third consecutive year.

The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and critical to the world's ecosystem due to the vast amount of carbon dioxide that its plant life absorbs and stores.


Another glacial outburst flood begins on Iceland

The Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron. Archive photo
© Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson
The Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron. Archive photo
A glacial outburst flood, a.k.a. jökulhlaup, from the Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron in Vatnajökull glacier started yesterday, mbl.is reports. As a result, an alert phase of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management was declared in the area at noon yesterday.

The glacial outburst flood from the Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron comes in the wake of another flood from the western one, which began September 2 (see our report here).

A flood from the eastern cauldron has not occurred since 2018, and this one is expected to be about as large that year's flood. The flood in 2015 was considerably larger and caused more damage.

Comment: Also pertinent: Flooding & sulphuric smells at rivers in Iceland linked with change in geothermal & volcanic activity

Cloud Lightning

24 tea garden workers critically injured in 2 lightning strikes in West Bengal, India

Representative image of a lighting strike.
© Petr Hykš
Representative image of a lighting strike.
Twenty-four tea garden workers in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district were critically injured in lightning strikes when they were plucking leaves, officials said on Tuesday.

Seventeen women were injured in a lightning strike in Diana tea garden in the Banarhat police station area on Monday evening, they said.

All of them received severe burn injuries and were admitted to the Mal super-speciality hospital, they added.

It was raining, suddenly the women plucking leaves fell to the ground as a thunderbolt struck them, the tea garden's medical officer M.K. Soni said.

Cloud Precipitation

Ida latest: 71 dead in 8 states, power slowly returns after storm

Sand and debris covers a road in a damaged neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida
© John Locher/AP
Sand and debris covers a road in a damaged neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Sept. 6, 2021, in Grand Isle, La.
The nation is still grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Aug. 29 and knocked out power to more than 1 million in Louisiana.

At least 71 people have died due to the storm -- which hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane -- as well as the devastation it left across eight states.

In Louisiana, 15 have died due to the storm's wrath. The Louisiana Health Department confirmed two more storm-related deaths Tuesday in St. Tammany Parish: a 68-year-old man who fell off a roof while making repairs to damage caused by Ida and a 71-year-old man who died due to a lack of oxygen during an extended power outage.

In the Northeast, at least 52 have died. The Harrison Police Department in Westchester County, New York, confirmed on Monday the recovery of a woman's body who went missing during last week's flooding.


Mexico hit by powerful shallow 7.0-magnitude earthquake, killing at least one

Powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes southwestern Mexico

Powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes southwestern Mexico
A powerful earthquake has struck south-west Mexico near the beach resort of Acapulco, killing at least one man who was crushed by a falling post, and causing rock falls and damaging buildings.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said a 7.0 magnitude quake struck 11 miles (18km) north-east of the resort of Acapulco, Guerrero, in the early hours of Wednesday sending people running into the street for safety.

The quake shook the hillsides around the resort, downing trees and pitching large boulders on to the road.


Wildlife officials investigate mass die-off of snow geese in western Nunavut, Canada

snow geese
© Nature Trust of B.C.
Snow geese
Officials with the Canadian Wildlife Service are looking into the cause of a mass die-off of snow geese near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

Waterfowl biologist Eric Reed said "a few hundred" dead snow geese were found at Starvation Cove, 30 kilometres west of Cambridge Bay in late August. The cause of the deaths is unknown.

"We're still trying to get people out there and and hopefully get some samples, get some more information as to what happened," he said.

There have been several other die-offs of snow geese in recent years, including another one near Cambridge Bay in 2017 and one near Gjoa Haven, Reed said.


85-year-old woman dies three weeks after dog attack on Hawaii Island

dog attack
On Hawaii Island, the elderly Puna woman who was attacked by several dogs last month died from her injuries.

Family members identified her as 85-year-old Dolores Oskins. She died Sunday at the Hilo Medical Center — three weeks after the incident.

She was bit on Aug. 14 while looking for her lost dog in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Dogs from a nearby lot charged her, biting her on her head, neck, and arms.