Earth ChangesS

Cloud Precipitation

Storm leaves 5 people dead and infrastructure flood damaged in Margate, South Africa

Heavy downpour in Margate saw water gushing through the streets.
Five people died in a storm that lashed Margate on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Sunday night.

This was confirmed by Ugu district municipality, which said search and rescue teams have been deployed.

Huge damage has been caused to water and roads infrastructure and an on-site assessment of the damages is under way.

Municipality spokesperson France Zama said a co-ordinated cleanup operation is in progress while the cost of the damage is being consolidated.

Municipality teams were on the ground to establish the extent of the damage.

Arrow Down

Large rock avalanche on Piz Scerscen in Switzerland

Early in the morning of 14 April 2024, a large rock avalanche occurred on the flanks of Piz Scerscen in the Swiss Alps, close to the border with Italy. Fortunately, the landslide occurred at about 7 am, when the slopes are sparsely occupied, such that there is no indication of any loss of life.

Initial estimates are that the landslide had a runout distance of about 5 km. The best image that I have seen is this one, taken by the Swiss Alpine Club:-

The 14 April 2024 rock avalanche on Piz Scerscen in Switzerland.
© SAC Bernina.The 14 April 2024 rock avalanche on Piz Scerscen in Switzerland.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 66 killed in Afghanistan as heavy rains set off flash floods (UPDATE)

People wait to cross a flooded area in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province
People wait to cross a flooded area in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province
At least 33 people have been killed over three days of heavy rains and flash flooding in Afghanistan, according to the government's disaster management department.

"From Friday onwards, because of the rains there were flash floods which caused high human and financial losses," department spokesman Janan Sayeq said on Sunday.

"The primary information shows that, unfortunately, in the floods, 33 people were martyred and 27 people got injured."

Most casualties were from roof collapses, as some 600 houses were damaged or destroyed. In addition, 200 livestock have perished, nearly 600km (370 miles) of road have been destroyed, and about 800 hectares (1,975 acres) of agricultural land have "flooded away", the spokesman added.

Comment: Update April 16

Arab News reports:
Extreme rainfall in Afghanistan and devastating flash floods have killed at least 66 people and damaged homes, infrastructure, and farmlands across most of the country's provinces, authorities said on Tuesday.

The storms, which started over the weekend, are adding to the challenges facing Afghanistan, which is still recovering from decades of conflict and natural disasters, including unprecedented droughts in the past four years, as well as a series of deadly earthquakes.

"According to primary reports from the provinces, at least 66 people lost their lives, and 36 others are injured," Janan Sayeq, spokesperson of the National Disaster Management Authority, told Arab News on Tuesday.

The number of reported casualties has doubled since Sunday, raising fears the actual toll could be higher. Many of the victims were killed when their homes collapsed on them.

Arrow Down

Congo landslide caused by heavy rains kills at least 15 and up to 60 others are missing

This picture shows the devastation after the landslide
© Facebook/SPEED/FileThis picture shows the devastation after the landslide
A landslide in southwest Congo caused by heavy rains killed at least 15 people and left as many as 60 others missing, local officials said Sunday.

Seven people were found alive after the landslide Saturday near the port near the town of Idiofa.

"There's a hill above the port, and the rain caused the earth on the hill to collapse," a local deputy elected official, Dhedhe Mupasa, told reporters Sunday.

Interim provincial Gov. Félicien Kiway told reporters a team was dispatched to help search for survivors and seven people were found alive and were hospitalized. A further 60 people were still missing, he said.

A local official said it was difficult to determine the exact number of people missing because the area was used as a marketplace every Saturday. The official described the area as a port where fishermen came to sell fish and buy soap.

The Associated Press


6.5-magnitude earthquake hits Papua New Guinea: USGS

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit northern Papua New Guinea early Monday, but there was no threat of a tsunami, US seismologists said.

The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 0656 local time (2056 GMT), was roughly 110 kilometres (68 miles) east-southeast of Kimbe on the island of New Britain, at a depth of 64 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said in a statement that there was "no tsunami threat". There were no immediate local reports of damage.

The region was rattled last month when at least five people were killed and an estimated 1,000 homes destroyed following a magnitude 6.9 earthquake.



Residents evacuated as flood waters rise in western Finland

Floodwaters in the village of Niemelänkylä in Ylivieska, Northern Ostrobothnia, on Sunday.
© Janne KörkköFloodwaters in the village of Niemelänkylä in Ylivieska, Northern Ostrobothnia, on Sunday.
In Northern Ostrobothnia, officials warned of flooding around the Kalajoki river as snow and ice thaw amid rising temperatures.

Water levels were expected to rise further on Sunday, especially in the village of Niemelänkylä in Ylivieska, the North Ostrobothnia Rescue Service said in a press release.

The Kalajoki river has overflowed its banks this weekend in the municipalities of Ylivieska, Alavieska and Kalajoki. Three people had to be evacuated on Saturday night from Niemelänkylä, 130km south of Oulu. No injuries were reported.

The rescue service predicted that floodwaters would peak on Sunday and Monday. However ice dams have formed in the river, making it difficult to predict flooding.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods hit Oman - at least 18 killed (UPDATES)

© The Royal Oman Police
The Royal Oman Police is responding to several reports of families and children trapped in Wadis due to the inclement weather conditions

Schools and colleges in Oman have been directed to function in distance mode on Monday, April 15, after heavy rainfalls resulted in flash floods in various parts of the country.

An order in this regard was issued by the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation on Sunday.

The order followed the National Committee for Emergency Situations Management's warning regarding the escalation of unstable weather conditions in the country.

Comment: Update April 15

Floodlist reports:
Heavy rainfall has caused widespread flash flooding in parts of Oman where authorities report at least 12 people have died.

According to figures from Oman's National Committee for Emergency Management, 90 mm of rain fell in Al Mudhaibi in the North Al Sharqiyah Governorate in a period from 14 to early 15 April. Figures from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) show 64 mm of rain fell at Marmul Airport in 24 hours to 15 April, while 59.2 mm fell in Qalhat, South Ash Sharqiyah Governorate.

Teams from Royal Oman Police (ROP) and Oman's Civil Defence and Ambulance Department Authority (CDAA) were called on to carry out multiple high water rescues. Many of those rescued were in vehicles trapped or swept away by fast-flowing wadi waters.

The Royal Oman Police rescued around 35 people stranded in the Wilayat of Ibra. Around 21 people were rescued after a school bus was trapped in flood waters in the Wilayat of Nizwa.

CDAA teams rescued 1,200 people from a school surrounded by flood waters in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi, North Al Sharqiyah Governorate. CDAA said all those rescued are in good health.

According to CDAA, at least 12 people have lost their lives in floods in Samad al Shan. A further five people were reported missing after being swept away by floods across areas of the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi. As of 15 April the body of one of the missing, believed to be a young child, was found.
Update April 16

AFP reports:
Torrential rains and high winds lashed parts of the Gulf on Tuesday as the death toll from storms in Oman rose to 18, many of them children.

Flights were canceled in Dubai, the region's financial hub, while schools were shut in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Flooding hit many areas of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, and cut off major roads, snarling traffic and leaving cars stranded.

Dubai's skies, usually electric blue and cloudless, darkened to night-like conditions in mid-afternoon as a second storm front blew in.

The storms were expected to continue on Wednesday, the UAE's National Center of Meteorology said.

Some inland areas of the desert country recorded more than 80 millimeters (3.2 inches) of rain, approaching the annual average of about 100 mm.


Toddler mauled to death by stray dogs in Hyderabad, India

dog attack
A two and half-year-old girl was mauled to death by stray dogs while she was playing outside an under construction apartment building at Gayatri Nagar.

According to police, the victim and her sister were attacked by two dogs while they were playing at the construction site where the children's father, a native of Chhattisgarh, has been working. The incident took place on April 12. The family originally from Chhattisgarh had shifted to Hyderabad five months ago for livelihood.

Police said the sisters were playing on the road when the two stray dogs attacked them. The child was rescued and taken to a local hospital. However, due to the severity of the injuries, she was referred to another government hospital here, where she was declared dead. A case was registered and investigation is on, they said.

Arrow Down

18 killed as landslide hits Indonesia's South Sulawesi

Eighteen people were killed, two others injured and several others missing after a landslide struck South Sulawesi province in central Indonesia on late Saturday night.

The Head of Operational Unit of the provincial Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency Amson Padolo confirmed the incident to Xinhua via phone on Sunday.

The search and rescue team was still looking for victims who might be trapped in the landslide.

Sulawesi has been hit by several dangerous landslide over the last few months.

In February, landslides hit a section of road connecting Luwu regency and Palopo city in South Sulawesi trapping at least 23 people with five victims found dead.

Source: Xinhua

Arrow Down

Huge sinkhole causes closure of Illinois 185 southeast of Hillsboro

50-foot-wide sinkhole at Deer Run Mine.
© Larry Schraut50-foot-wide sinkhole at Deer Run Mine.
Illinois 185 southeast of Hillsboro is closed due to the formation of a 50-foot-wide sinkhole at Deer Run Mine.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that Illinois 185 between Hillsboro and Coffeen is closed due to the sinkhole in a farmer's field adjacent to the road.

The sinkhole is located southeast of the John A. Graham Correctional Center.

This mine has had a long series of problems including underground fires, mine roof collapses, and the ongoing longwall mining sinking of land unevenly over what will be thousands of acres of really good farmland.