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Tue, 21 Mar 2023
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Earth Changes


France reports 910 dolphins washed up on Atlantic coast since the start of winter

At least 910 dolphins have washed up on France's Atlantic coast since the start of the winter, an oceanographic institute reported Friday.

Over the past week alone, more than 400 of the marine mammals were found stranded along the coast, an "unprecedented" number, the Pelagis oceanographic observatory based in the western city of La Rochelle said in a report.

The figures were still provisional, it added.

Early examinations of the dolphins showed that some of them had been dead for days, and others for several weeks.


Indonesia's Merapi volcano erupts, spews hot lava

Indonesia's Mount Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes, erupted late Friday and continued to spew hot ash and other volcanic material on Saturday.

Footage of flaming lava pouring out of the crater and a tall column of hot cloud rising 1,300 metres into the air was taken by the government-run Merapi Volcano Observatory on Friday night.

The volcano continued to spew hot ash and hot lava was visible on Saturday.

"Residents should anticipate the disruption due to the volcanic ash from Mount Merapi eruption and please be on alert for the danger of volcanic mudflow, especially when it rains around Merapi," the country's volcanology agency said in a statement Saturday.

Source: AFP

Cloud Precipitation

Cameroon - Severe floods hit Buea, south west region

Powerful flash floods raced through streets in the city of Buea, the capital of the Southwest Region of Cameroon, on 18 March 2023.

Dozens of buildings and homes were destroyed or damaged, leaving families homeless. One person reportedly died after being dragged by flood water. A further five people were reported injured. The situation is still developing and authorities have yet to confirm any details or figures. Some local media sources said the death toll was much higher, while others reported at least 6 people were thought to be missing.

The city of around 300,000 inhabitants is situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Cameroon. Local observers said heavy rain on 18 March flowed down the steep slopes and into residential and business areas of the city. The city's poor drainage infrastructure was unable to cope. Buea experienced flooding in similar circumstances in March 2020.


At least 16 dead after magnitude 6.8 earthquake shakes Ecuador

Residents look at a building that collapsed after an earthquake struck Machala, Ecuador, on March 18, 2023.
© Jhonny Crespo/AP
Residents look at a building that collapsed after an earthquake struck Machala, Ecuador, on March 18, 2023.
At least 16 people died after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck southern Ecuador on Saturday afternoon, according to government officials.

The earthquake struck near the southern town of Baláo and was more than 65 km (nearly 41 miles) deep, according to the United States Geological Survey.

An estimated 381 people were injured in the quake, the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency of Ecuador tweeted on their official account.

In the province of El Oro, at least 11 people died. At least one other death was reported in the province of Azuay, according to the communications department for Ecuador's president. In an earlier statement, authorities said the person in Azuay was killed when a wall collapsed onto a car and that at least three of the victims in El Oro died when a security camera tower came down.


Ross's gull from the Arctic makes rare visit to local beaches in Chicago


Ross's gull
It was 8:15 on a Saturday morning when Woody Goss' phone started buzzing.

Annoyed, he checked the screen to find that one of his birding groups was puzzling over a small white gull with distinctive black markings. The bird looked like a Ross's gull—a very rare visitor from the high Arctic that last stopped for an extended visit at Chicago-area beaches in 1978.

But could it be?

Goss—a "gull person" among birders—had no doubt. He ran out of the house and drove from Lakeview to Rainbow Beach on the South Side "faster than I'll admit to a reporter."

And there it was, 2,000 miles from its icy home.

"This is about as good as it gets for me, not just as a birder, but in life," said Goss, 34.


4-year-old boy dies after being attacked by stray dog in Maharashtra, India

dog attack
A four-year-old boy, who was bit by a stray dog 22 days ago in Gangapur tehsil, succumbed to the infection resulting from the bite on Thursday.

The deceased has been identified as Dhanraj Sarode of Kodapur in Gangapur. He had sustained serious injuries in the attack on February 20. Police said the incident took place when the boy along with his mother Surekhabai had gone to their farm to water the crop.

In this incident, the boy sustained serious injuries and deep cuts on his face and upper body. His family rushed him to Government Medical College and Hospital in the city, where the medicos while following the standard operating procedure incubated him with rabies immune globulin.

"Despite giving the best available treatment, the boy's condition kept deteriorating. A couple of days ago, the team of his doctors indicated to the family about the situation going out of hand," said a medico from GMCH.

Based on the medico-legal case, a case of accidental death has been registered by Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar rural police. Following the incident, locals from the surrounding areas have expressed concerns about the stray dog, which they suspect of being ill, targeting people.


Woman fatally attacked by her neighbor's 2 Great Danes in Centre Township, Pennsylvania

dog attack
A Perry County woman was mauled to death Thursday by two Great Danes when she visited her neighbor's home to feed the pets, authorities said.

The attack happened around 5 p.m. in Centre Township, about 150 miles west of Philadelphia. Kristin Potter, 38, who had been feeding the dogs for their out-of-town owners, suffered multiple traumatic injuries in the attack, the Perry County Coroner's Office said. Her death was ruled accidental.

Both of the Great Danes were euthanized after the attack, police said. A third dog at the property was not involved in the attack. A Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson said there is an active investigation into the attack, but declined to provide additional details. It's unclear whether the attack happened indoors or outdoors.

Cloud Lightning

'We suffered a great loss': Farmer loses large part of income after lightning kills 21 cows in South Africa

Twenty-one cows were struck by lightning on a North West farm.
© Thusoitsile Lobaleng
Twenty-one cows were struck by lightning on a North West farm.
A North West farmer lost 21 cows after they were killed by lightning.

Eleven of the cows were pregnant.

The cows, worth around R260 000, were struck by lightning during heavy rain on Wednesday.

The owner of the cattle, Vincent Lobaleng, said 16 cows and five calves died at his Entry Farm near Morokweng.

Lobaleng lives in Morokweng and visits the farm regularly to assist the helper, who lives on the farm and looks after the cattle full time.

Lobaleng's nephew, Thusoitsile Lobaleng, said the helper discovered the carcasses on Thursday evening.


'Unfathomable': Millions of dead fish blanket river near Menindee, Australia in latest mass kill

Millions of fish have died in another mass kill in the lower Darling-Baaka river near Menindee, in New South West's far west.

Photos supplied by Menindee residents show dead fish - mostly bony bream, but also Murray cod, golden perch, silver perch and carp - blanketed across the river's surface.

It is the latest in a series of large-scale fish deaths that have prompted questions about the management of water levels in the Murray-Darling Basin. Menindee residents who spoke with Guardian Australia on Friday said the latest fish kill appeared larger than previous mass deaths.

About a million fish died during a sustained drought in the same area in 2019 after a rapid drop in temperature led to an algal bloom de-oxygenating the river.

Resident Graeme McCrabb said the scale of the mass kill on Friday was "unfathomable".

"It's horrendous here today," he said, speaking from the riverbank about 5km upstream of Menindee. "The river is just white. I'm looking at probably a kilometre or a kilometre-and-a-half of fish and they're all dead. It's unfathomable."

Cloud Precipitation

Cyclone Freddy dumped 6 months worth of rain in 6 days on Malawi - 326 killed, 200 still missing and 500,000 affected

Flooding in Nsanje, Malawi, 16 March 2023.
© Malawi Red Cross Society
Flooding in Nsanje, Malawi, 16 March 2023.
As the full extent of the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy becomes clear, disaster authorities in Malawi report a steep increase in the number of fatalities, people missing and people displaced from their homes.

Around 500,000 people are estimated to be affected by floods, mudslides and wind damage following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in southern Malawi. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Malawi estimated Cyclone Freddy dumped the equivalent of 6 months of rainfall in 6 days.

Affected areas now include Balaka, Blantyre City and District, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, and Zomba City and District.