Earth ChangesS


Seismograph

Shallow magnitude 6.0 earthquake near Aleutian Islands, Alaska

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A very strong magnitude 6.0 earthquake occurred in the North Pacific Ocean near Amukta Island island, USA, in the early morning of Sunday, May 19, 2024 at 12.35 am local time (GMT -9). The quake had a very shallow depth of 30 km (18 mi) and was not felt (or at least not reported so).

No significant damage or impact is expected from this quake and no particular alert was issued.

Cloud Precipitation

Germany: Floods hit large parts of Saarland

Many roads, including the A620 Autobahn in Saarbrücken, were inundated and closed
© Harald TittelMany roads, including the A620 Autobahn in Saarbrücken, were inundated and closed
Large parts of the German state of Saarland were hit by flooding on Friday. Fortunately, no one has been injured so far, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The ministry spoke of a "widespread flooding situation" with a focus on the southeastern part of the state. In the cities, the situation was tense in the state capital of Saarbrücken, in Saarbrücken-Russhütte, in Eppelborn, Neunkirchen, Gersweiler, St. Wendel, Saarlouis and Merzig.

In some places, residents had to be moved from apartments in isolated streets. Some nursing homes, such as one in Marpingen, also had to be evacuated.

Severe rain warnings were in effect for much of the west of the country on Friday, but Saarland ended up bearing the brunt of the downpour.

Due to the severe flooding in Saarland, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled a European Parliament election campaign appointment planned for Saturday in the state. Instead, he will visit parts of Saarland with state Premier Anke Rehlinger to get an idea of the situation on the ground, regional government spokesman Julian Lange said.


Cloud Precipitation

Flood again wreaks havoc in Afghanistan, another 50 killed in Gor province

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Flood has once caused devastation in Afghanistan. At least 50 people have died due to flash floods at many places due to heavy rains in Afghanistan's Gor province. A Taliban official gave this information on Saturday. The official said the death toll was based on preliminary information and could rise. Abdul Wahid Hamas, a spokesman for the governor of Gor province, said dozens of people were missing.

People suffered harm

Abdul Wahid Hamas said thousands of houses and properties were reported damaged in various areas, including the capital Firoz Koh, following Friday's floods. Hamas also reported that the province had suffered significant financial losses due to the destruction of hundreds of hectares of agricultural land due to the floods.


Snowflake Cold

Cold air blob makes 'full tour' of Alaska, prolonging winter weather

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Climate Specialist Rick Thoman said it hasn’t been a typical El Niño winter. Instead, there’s been what he calls a lot of “yo-yo weather.”
A strong parade of storms has been making its way through the northern Pacific Ocean, and the location of the jet stream has produced colder storms for Unalaska and the Aleutian region this spring. That's according to Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the International Arctic Research Center with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"Over the last six weeks, say, the Aleutians have been on the north side of the prevailing storm track, and so on the cold side of the storms," Thoman said. "If the jet stream was say 500 miles farther north, it would still be stormy, but it wouldn't be nearly as cold."

Cold air from above the North Slope brought another round of wintery weather to Western Alaska, the Eastern Aleutians, Kodiak Island and into Southcentral Alaska as well, according to Thoman.

"That was basically a blob of cold air that came down from the high Arctic from north of the North Slope, and it moved southwest through the Bering Strait down through the eastern Bering Sea, and is now actually moving into the western Gulf of Alaska," he said.


Boat

Flash flooding hits eastern France

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A red weather warning - the highest level - has been issued for eastern France after torrential rain and flash flooding hit several towns.

The département of Moselle - along the border with Germany and Luxembourg - has been placed under the highest level of weather alert for flooding.

The alert was issued after 66mm of rain fell in a single morning, causing flooding in several towns that swept away cars and inundated houses.

At 1pm, local emergency crews said they were responding to more than 1,000 calls from 177 different towns and villages and had carried out 400 rescue operations.


Cloud Precipitation

At least 4 dead in Houston after 'exceptionally' strong storm hits Texas: Mayor

A damaged building is shown in the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm that passed through downtown, May 16, 2024, in Houston.
© David J. Phillip/APA damaged building is shown in the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm that passed through downtown, May 16, 2024, in Houston.
At least four people died Thursday after an "exceptionally" strong storm hit Houston, according to Mayor John Whitmire.

Wind gusts reached 78 mph in the area.

Preliminary investigations indicate falling trees caused two deaths and a fallen crane caused one, according to officials.

Urging residents to stay home, Whitmire said the city was in "recovery mode" and schools will be closed in the Houston area on Friday.

More than 788,000 customers are without power in Texas on Friday morning.


Cloud Precipitation

Heavy floods cause chaos in northern Italy

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The rain impacted areas of northern Italy including Milan, Varese and Cremona.

Over 100 firefighters used dinghy boats to evacuate people following the floods.

Travel services were also severely disrupted.


Comment: See also: Flooding hits the city of Milan, Italy


Boat

Best of the Web: 151 dead, 104 missing and 600,000 homeless after heavy rains and floods in Brazil - Worst flood in over 80 years (UPDATED)

Aerial view of flooded areas in Encantado city, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, taken on May 1.
© AFPAerial view of flooded areas in Encantado city, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, taken on May 1.
At least 10 people have died in floods caused by torrential rains in Brazil's south, authorities said Wednesday, as rescuers searched for nearly two dozen individuals reported missing.

Deluges in the state of Rio Grande do Sul have displaced some 3,300 people in more than 100 municipalities, many of whom have been moved to shelters.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced he would visit the area, which governor Eduardo Leite said was dealing with "the worst disaster in the history of our state."

Leite said work was continuing to locate the missing even as more heavy rains were forecast.


Comment: Update May 3

The BBC reports:
A hydroelectric dam has collapsed in southern Brazil after days of heavy rains that triggered massive flooding, killing more than 30 people.

Officials say another 60 people are missing in Rio Grande do Sul state.

About 15,000 residents have fled their homes since Saturday. At least 500,000 people are without power and clean water across the state.

The burst dam triggered a two-metre (6.6ft) wave, causing panic and further damage in the already flooded areas.

The dam is located between the municipality of Cotiporã and the city of Bento Gonçalves.
Update May 4

CGTN reports:
The death toll keeps climbing from continuous rains in Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. At least 58 people have been killed, while another 67 remain missing according to the state's civil defense agency. The rains have triggered the worst floods in more than 80 years.

Update May 7

Reuters reports:
Rescuers rushed to evacuate people stranded by devastating floods across the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul on Tuesday, with 90 reported dead and desperate survivors seeking food and basic supplies.

On the outskirts of Eldorado do Sul, 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) from the state capital of Porto Alegre, many people who left their homes were sleeping on the roadside and told Reuters they were going hungry. Entire families were leaving on foot, carrying belongings in backpacks and shopping carts.

"We've been without food for three days and we've only just got this blanket. I'm with people I don't even know, I don't know where my family is," said a young man who gave his name as Ricardo Junior.

The flooding has hampered rescue efforts, with dozens of people still waiting to be evacuated by boat or helicopter from stricken homes. Small boats crisscrossed the flooded town searching for survivors.


The state's Civil Defense agency said the death toll has risen to 90 with another four deaths being investigated, while 131 people are still unaccounted for and 155,000 are homeless.

Heavy rains that began last week have caused rivers to flood, inundating whole towns and destroying roads and bridges.

In Porto Alegre, a city of 1.3 million inhabitants on the Guaiba river, downtown streets were under water.


Porto Alegre residents faced empty supermarket shelves and closed gas stations, with shops rationing sales of mineral water. The city distributed water in trucks to hospitals and shelters.

The floods have also impacted water and electricity services, with more than 1.4 million affected overall, according to Brazil's Civil Defense.
Update May 12

The Anadolu Agency reports:
The death toll from floods caused by heavy rains in Brazil has risen to 137, authorities reported Saturday.

Following heavy rains that have been affecting the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul since last week, the loss of life and property is steadily increasing.

According to a statement from the Civil Defense of the state, the number is 125 people still missing.

The number of injured has risen to 756, and more than 2 million people have been affected.

Additionally, the statement noted that more tha 600,000 people have been displaced.


The statement highlighted that hospitals have reached full capacity, necessitating additional support for patient care.
Update May 17

Xinhua News Agency reports:
As many as 151 people have died to date from south Brazil's worst climate disaster on record and another 104 people remain missing, the Civil Defense agency said Thursday.

Since torrential rains began to lash the country's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, on April 29, floods and mudslides have left some 600,000 people homeless.

Horse in an unstable condition.
Horse in an unstable condition.
In the last 24 hours, the number of fatal victims rose from 149 to 151 as 458 of the state's 497 cities were suffering from severe flooding, including the capital Porto Alegre, where the Guaiba River burst its banks and inundated most of the metropolis.

According to the Civil Defense agency's latest report, over 2.28 million residents have been directly impacted by the disaster in the state, which borders Argentina and Uruguay, and is a center of Brazilian agribusiness, as well as the top rice producer in Latin America.



Tornado2

Waterspout swirls just off the coast of Catalonia, Spain

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A large waterspout, caused by a column of cloud-filled wind rotating over water, was spotted off Cunit Beach in Catalonia.


Volcano

Indonesia's Semeru volcano erupts 5 times

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The Semeru volcano in Indonesia's East Java province erupted five times on Friday, spewing volcanic ash up to 900 meters over its peak, according to the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation.

"The first eruption was at 6.29 a.m. local time, with a column of white to grey ash as high as 500 meters heading to the southwest," said Semeru Volcano Monitoring Post officer Liswanto, Xinhua news agency reported.

The second eruption occurred at 6.50 a.m. local time, launching ash as high as 600 meters above its peak, while the third eruption occurred at 7.28 a.m. local time, releasing an ash column as high as 700 meters.

Volcanic ash was thrown up to 500 meters in the fourth eruption and 900 meters in the fifth, which happened at 7.57 a.m. and 8.05 a.m. local time, respectively.

Authorities have urged people to stay out of the danger zone within a 5 km radius and 13 km southeast of the crater to prevent harm from hot clouds, lava flows and lahars.

People are advised to avoid rivers that originate from the Semeru crater against possible cold lava flows.

IANS