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Sat, 26 Sep 2020
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Earth Changes


1,000 firefighters, 15 aircraft battle huge wildfire in central Portugal - perimeter over 34 miles long


Proença-a-Nova fire spreads to two more municipalities
Almost 1,000 firefighters and 15 water-dropping aircraft battled a major wildfire in central Portugal on Monday, as strong winds pushed the flames through dense and hilly woodlands.

The blaze was in central Portugal around Proença-a-Nova, 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Lisbon.

The fire's perimeter stretched more than 55 kilometres (34 miles), local Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa told a news conference, adding that an "extraordinary" amount of tinder-dry vegetation was fueling the flames.


Green clouds captured over Abisko, Sweden after intense auroras

Green clouds captured on September 13, 2020 @ Abisko National Park, Sweden
© Chad Blakley
Green clouds captured on September 13, 2020 @ Abisko National Park, Sweden
Last night, auroras unexpectedly exploded over Abisko, Sweden. "It was a great display," says Chad Blakley of local tour guide service Lights Over Lapland. "But it wasn't the auroras that caught our eye." It was the clouds.

What happened? A crack opened in Earth's magnetic field. Solar wind poured in to fuel the display. Such cracks form often during weeks around equinoxes--a pheomenon known as the "Russell-McPherron effect." With the autumnal equinox only 1 week away, more green clouds could be in the offing. Stay tuned.


Floods and waterspout forms as rainstorm hits Malta

A sudden rainstorm hit Malta Sunday afternoon, with main roads becoming flooded and some beautiful natural phenomena occurring.

1. A waterspout formed just off Mellieħa coast, with the spout visible from Mellieħa Bay.


Waterspout filmed off Visakhapatnam, India

A waterspout occurred off the Visakhapatnam coast, at the Fishing Harbour on 13 September. According to the locals, this phenomenon was observed at 2 PM and gradually disappeared after a few minutes.

The visitors to the beach and those at the Fishing Harbour captured the videos of the waterspout on their mobile phones and shared them across social media.


Hundreds of thousands of migrating birds are dying in southern New Mexico

dead birds
A growing number of birds in southern New Mexico that have mysteriously died have wildlife experts scratching their heads.

"It appears to be an unprecedented and a very large number," said Martha Desmond, a professor at NMSU's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology. "It's very difficult to put a finger on exactly what that number is, but I can say it would easily be in the hundreds of thousands of birds."

Desmond is working with a group of wildlife experts from the Bureau of Land Management, NMSU and White Sands Missile Range to get to the bottom of why they've been seeing a sudden uptick in deaths. They said one potential reason could be the cold snap that passed through the state last week.

Comment: The Guardian reports:
Flycatchers, swallows and warblers are among the species "falling out of the sky" as part of a mass die-off across New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and farther north into Nebraska, with growing concerns there could be hundreds of thousands dead already, said Martha Desmond, a professor in the biology department at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Many carcasses have little remaining fat reserves or muscle mass, with some appearing to have nose-dived into the ground mid-flight.

Historic wildfires across the western states of the US could mean they had to re-route their migration away from resource-rich coastal areas and move inland over the Chihuahuan desert, where food and water are scarce, essentially meaning they starved to death. "They're literally just feathers and bones," Allison Salas, a graduate student at NMSU who has been collecting carcasses, wrote in a Twitter thread about the die-off. "Almost as if they have been flying until they just couldn't fly any more."

The south-western states of the US have experienced extremely dry conditions - believed to be related to the climate crisis - meaning there could be fewer insects, the main food source for migrating birds. A cold snap locally between 9 and 10 September could have also worsened conditions for the birds.

Any of these weather events may have triggered birds to start their migration early, having not built up sufficient fat reserves. Another theory is that the smoke from the wildfires may have damaged their lungs. "It could be a combination of things. It could be something that's still completely unknown to us," said Salas.

"The fact that we're finding hundreds of these birds dying, just kind of falling out of the sky is extremely alarming ... The volume of carcasses that we have found has literally given me chills."

The first deaths were reported on 20 August on White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Initially, incidents were thought to be unrelated, but thanks to online forums, ornithologists noticed that they were happening all across the region. Resident bird species such as curve-billed thrashers, great-tailed grackles and white-winged doves do not appear to have been affected.

Large avian mortalities during migration are rare and few have been as large as this one. Records - which go back to the 1800s - show these events are always associated with extreme weather events such as a drop in temperature, snowstorm or hailstorm. The largest event on record in the region was a snowstorm in Minnesota and Iowa in March 1904 that killed 1.5 million birds.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods leave 6 dead after days of heavy rain in Tunisia

At least 6 people have died in floods after days of heavy rainfall in Tunisia.

Heavy rainfall began around 05 September when Kairouan, capital of the Kairouan Governorate in the north of the country, recorded 89mm of rain in 24 hours. Monastir recorded 47.8 mm of rain, Mahdia 44.4 mm and Sidi Bouzid 58 mm during the same period. Mahdia recorded more than 40mm of rain in 24 hours in 4 separate days between 05 and 11 September. Institut national de la météorologie-Tunisie issued wanings for further heavy rainfall on 13 September.

Flooding and related fatalities were reported in the governorates of Monastir, Jendouba, Mahdia, Sidi Bouzid and Tunis, according to the country's Civil Protection Agency. Floods struck several districts of the capital, Tunis on 10 September. Some areas were under 1 metre of water, leaving roads impassable and buildings damaged.


Ice Age Farmer Report: Germany stops harvest, "Temporarily bans agriculture" as African Swine Fever reaches Europe

Germany institutes "Agriculture Ban" on all crops within 30km of first confirmed African Swine Fever (ASF), which will not only provide FOOD & SHELTER to the wild hogs spreading the virus, but deprive Germany of that food left in the ground. If this irrational response sets precedent as the virus spreads across west Europe, we will witness the deliberate shutdown of food production, contributing to major global food shortages. Start growing food today.


Cloud Precipitation

Over 30 dead or missing after floods and landslides in Bahrabise, Nepal

Nepal's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) reports that over 30 people are dead or missing after landslides and flooding triggered by heavy rainfall in Bahrabise municipality, Sindhupalchok District, overnight 12 to 13 September 2020.

According to the latest reports, 11 people have lost their lives and 20 are still missing. Five people have been injured. NDRRMA said that 17 families have been affected and 11 houses buried or swept away.

Teams from the military and police have been deployed to carry out relief and rescue operations, which have been hampered by inclement weather.

Nepal's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said the nearby weather station at Gumthang, Sindhupalchok District, recorded 77.6mm of rain on 12 September and 141.2 mm on 13 September.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 3 children and 7 goats in Uttar Pradesh, India

Three children were killed on Sunday after being struck by lightning in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Chitrakoot district, police said.

The incident took place in Chilimal village when the children had gone to the jungle to graze their goats, they said.

Superintendent of Police Ankit Mittal said the children, Nanbabu Nishad (12), Gudda Nishad (13) and Radha Devi (8) were struck by lightning around 2 pm.

A man, identified as Dharmendra alias Suraj, got injured while seven goats also died in the incident, the SP said.

Mittal said the bodies of the deceased have been sent for post-mortem.

Source: PTI

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 3 in Uttar Pradesh, India

A 20-year-old man and two boys were killed after being struck by lightning in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district on Saturday afternoon, police said

Shiv Pujan Pal, Kamlesh Pal (12) and Vinod Pal (8) were grazing their cattle in the jungle when the incident took place, Circle Officer (CO) Siyaram said

All the three suffered serious burns and were rushed to government hospital where they died during treatment, the CO said, adding the bodies have been sent for post-mortem.

Source: PTI

Comment: On the same day strikes caused the death of 2 individuals in West Bengal while
another was also fatally hit in Pakistan.