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New Zealand - State of Emergency as record rain causes flood havoc in Auckland - 10 inches of rain in 18 hours - 4 killed (UPDATE)

Flooding blocked highways around Auckland after record rain on 27 January 2023.
© Waka Kotahi NZTA Auckland & Northland
Flooding blocked highways around Auckland after record rain on 27 January 2023.
A state of emergency has been declared in Auckland, New Zealand after record rain caused widespread flooding on 27 January 2023.

"It only took a half-day to beat the previous daily rainfall record," the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said.

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, said in a statement, "I'm pleased an emergency declaration has been made due to flooding in Auckland tonight. All relevant govt agencies are working flat out to help in an extraordinary set of circumstances. The emergency response is underway and the Government is ready to assist as needed."

Major roads have been blocked by flooding, landslips or stranded vehicles, causing severe traffic disruption across the Auckland Region. Auckland Airport's international terminal has been closed due to flooding.


Comment: Update January 29

7NEWS Australia reports:
Record floods in New Zealand claim at least four lives

Australian disaster relief experts will travel to New Zealand in the coming days after record floods swamped homes, inundated Auckland Airport, and claimed at least four lives.




Arrow Down

Woman dies in Italy avalanche after near-miss in another snow-slip last year

Arianna Sittoni, 30, was swept to her death by an avalanche in the Lagorai mountain chain in Val Orsera, Trentino Province
© Newsflash
Arianna Sittoni, 30, was swept to her death by an avalanche in the Lagorai mountain chain in Val Orsera, Trentino Province
A keen mountain climber who narrowly avoided death in a snow-slip last year has died in an avalanche in Italy.

Arianna Sittoni was swept to her death by an avalanche in the Lagorai mountain chain in Val Orsera, Trentino Province, on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, who lived in Viarago, had gone to practise ski mountaineering with guide Guido Trevisan, 46 when tragedy struck.

Arianna was completely submerged as a result of the avalanche, while Guido was left with a pocket of air underneath the snow.

He was conscious when he was rescued and taken to hospital with a broken leg. His condition is reported to be serious but not life-threatening.

Snowflake

Snow closes a number of roads on Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Spain - 50cms (19.6 inches) of snowfall in 24 hours ( UPDATE)

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Snow is forecast to fall for most of the day and overnight

10 centimetres of snow fell on Saturday night in the Serra de Tramuntana and at 9 a.m. it was still snowing with a number of roads closed.

According to the Aemet met. office it could continue to snow throughout the day with the snow line falling below 600 metres - last Saturday it snowed in Palma at sea level.

The 112 emergency service is discouraging drivers from travelling to the area to avoid traffic jams and incidents.

Comment: Update January 29

From the same news source:
Up to fifty centimetres of snow in the Tramuntana Mountains

Snow at the Cúber reservoir.
© G. R. V.
Snow at the Cúber reservoir.
On Sunday morning, the met agency Aemet reported there having been up to fifty centimetres of snow over a 24-hour period at 1,200 metres in the Tramuntana Mountains.

In its 9am update, Aemet added that there had been 15 centimetres at 800 metres. The Council of Mallorca's roads department issued advice that the MA-10 between kilometre 29 and 45 (Sa Calobra-Ses Barques mirador) was still blocked.

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The amber alert for heavy snow in the mountains will cease to be active from 10am on Sunday. However, the forecast for the mountains (in Escorca) for the rest of the day is for a high probability of precipitation with snow falling at 900 metres.

From 6 days prior: Polar freeze in Spain brings temperatures of -15°C and snow in Ibiza


Snowflake

90cm (3 feet) of snowfall dumped in 72 hours on ski resorts in Japan

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Ski areas in Japan have been reporting big snowfalls over the weekend, with snowfall totals on slopes around Myoko Kogen topping the totals with 90cm (three feet) of snowfall in 72 hours.

Japan has re-opened to international skiers this winter after three years of border closures due to the pandemic, upto now though snow cover has been good but not epic.

The country has been having a bit of a weather roller coaster, similar to many other ski nations around the world, having seen record warm temperatures earlier this month.


Snowflake Cold

166 people killed as cold wave sweeps Afghanistan, temperatures drop to -33 degrees Celsius (UPDATE)

afghanistan cold weather
© Omer Abrar/AFP
Children carry containers to fetch drinking water along a road during a cold winter day in the Yaftali Sufla district of Badakhshan province in Afghanistan on January 18, 2023
At least 70 people and tens of thousands of cattle have died due to freezing temperatures across Afghanistan, the country's Ministry of Disaster Management confirmed with Al Jazeera as Afghans reel from a spell of cold weather amid a humanitarian crisis.

The ministry said on Wednesday that 70 people and 70,000 cattle have died in the past week.

For the last two weeks, many provinces in Afghanistan have been witnessing exceptionally cold weather, with the central region of Ghor recording the lowest reading of -33C (-27F) over the weekend.

Comment: Update January 29

AFP reports:
Afghanistan's cold snap death toll rises to 166

One hundred and sixty-six people have died in a wave of bitterly cold weather sweeping Afghanistan, an official said on Saturday, as extreme conditions heaped misery on the poverty-stricken nation.

Afghanistan has been frozen by temperatures as low as -33 degrees Celsius since Jan 10, combined with widespread snowfall, icy gales and regular electricity outages.


Aid agencies had warned before the cold snap that more than half of Afghanistan's 38 million people were facing hunger, while nearly four million children were suffering from malnutrition.

The disaster management ministry said on Saturday the death toll had risen by 88 over the past week and now stood at 166, based on data from 24 of the nation's 34 provinces.

The deaths were caused by floods, fires and leaks from gas heaters that Afghan families use to heat their homes, ministry official Abdul Rahman Zahid said in a video statement. Some 100 homes were destroyed or damaged and nearly 80,000 livestock, a vital commodity for Afghanistan's poor, also died in the cold.



Doberman

2 separate pit bull attacks in Wilcox County, Georgia leave 1 dead

PIT BULL ATTACK
One woman is dead and another person was injured following two separate pitbull attacks this month.

That's according to a Wilcox County Sheriff's Office Facebook post Friday, which said the first attack happened on January 17 in Pineview. A female was injured after being attacked by two dogs. Both dogs were quarantined for 10 days, per state law, to ensure rabies was not a factor in the attack, and both dogs were humanely euthanized after that period following the owner's signing over of custody.

The second attack, which happened on January 24 outside of Pitts, resulted in an unidentified woman's death.


Seismograph

7 killed, over 400 injured as shallow 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocks northwest Iran

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter Scale struck northwest Iran, killing at least seven and injuring 440 people so far. As per the official news agency IRNA, the earthquake occurred in Khoy city near the Iran-Turkey border on Saturday at 9:44 PM (local time).

The tremors were reportedly quite strong and were felt in many areas of the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. It was also felt in several cities, including Tabriz, the provincial capital of neighbouring East Azerbaijan.


Cloud Precipitation

Flash flood in Maui, Hawaii after rainfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour

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Heavy showers have triggered a flash flood warning for Maui County.

The warning has been extended until 1 a.m. Saturday.

Emergency management officials said South Kihei Road has been closed from North Kihei Road to Waipulani Road until Saturday. Piilani Highway was also closed near Nuu. Several stream gauges along the windward side of Haleakala also indicated rapid rises in water levels.

Radar showed the heaviest showers — with rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour — in the Hana area and slopes of Haleakala.


Attention

The new year begins with a high number of manatee deaths (56) across Florida

A manatee comes up for air in Three Sister Springs in Crystal River, Fla. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.
© Lauren Whiddon / Fresh Take Florida
A manatee comes up for air in Three Sister Springs in Crystal River, Fla. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.
Lluvia and her calf, Morado, glide to the bottom of their habitat to munch on romaine lettuce; This is the first of the eight hours they spend eating each day.

They are the lucky ones, survivors of what wildlife experts fear could be another year of unusually high deaths among Florida's beloved manatees.

As late as Wednesday, state officials were reporting at least 56 manatee deaths in 2023 — compared to 39 in the same period last year, the second deadliest year on record. This year's dead include three from boat encounters, ten related to childbirth and eight from Florida's recent severe cold snap. Officials said they have yet to determine the cause of 29 of this year's deaths.


Comment: Related: Hundreds of manatees flood Florida state park as rivers remain cold


Attention

Diver killed in brutal shark attack after predator 'rips head and shoulders off' in Mexico

Manuel Lopez was diving in Tobari Bay, Mexico, when the great white attacked
© Getty Images/EyeEm
Manuel Lopez was diving in Tobari Bay, Mexico, when the great white attacked
A diver has been killed in brutal shark attack after a predator 'ripped his head and shoulders off'.

The grisly attack was the first fatal shark incident of this year and occurred on January 5 in Bahia de Tobari, Mexico.

Manuel Lopez was diving in the area, also known as Tobari Bay, when the great white measuring six metres, attacked him.

He reportedly had no air tank and was using air from above the water as he went scallop diving.