Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Snow, torrential rain lash Kashmir Valley

© Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
Torrential rains, gusty winds and snowfall on Monday wreaked havoc in several parts in Kashmir and left one BSF porter dead and three security forces personnel injured at a forward post in Gurez.

The rain, which started on Sunday evening, triggered avalanches in several parts of the valley and resulted in shooting stones on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, leading to its closure for traffic.

"An avalanche struck at a forward post at Kabul Gali, Gurez (in north-east of Srinagar) on the Gurez-Mushkoo-Drass side. A porter died and four others, including three paramilitary BSF men, were injured," Amir Ali, officer on special duty with Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, told the Hindustan Times.


Best of the Web: Christchurch spire crumbles as death toll rises in another devastating New Zealand earthquake

© Mark Mitchell/APCould it be any more symbolic? The second devastating earthquake to hit New Zealand's second-largest city in 5 months topples Christchurch Cathedral's spire.
Video taken moments after a large earthquake shattered central Christchurch. By Daniel Tobin:

Light Sabers

Flashback Meteorologist Kevin Martin Says Al Gore Is A Scammer, Global Warming Does Not Exist

SCWXA Owner and Meteorologist In Charge Kevin Martin challenges Al Gore on his global warming theory. Martin suggests that global warming is a scam for Gore and others to bank off of and there is no hard evidence that it really exists in the first place.

"A volcanic eruption similar to the one we saw in Russia during June 2009 lets out more carbon dioxide than we humans let out in five years", Martin said. "We just do not have the power to change the planet like Gore suggests. Gore's theory is flawed all the way around. We have lived a fraction of the amount of time this planet has been around and you honestly believe we know the natural cycles of this planet since it was made?"

Martin urges the public to take a step back and look to how long they've lived on the planet. Not one person on the planet can say what the 2000s B.C. were like can they? Of course not, and this is the argument Martin is talking about. The planet has gone through cold and warm episodes and it will continue to do so even after man.


India: Heavy Rains Lash Delhi

It was darkness at noon for the capital on Sunday as heavy rains accompanied by thunder squall lashed the city, taking by surprise Delhiites who were experiencing relatively warmer weather for the past few days.

Several areas of the capital were lashed by rains that started at around 3.20pm and continued for over an hour leading to waterlogging in various stretches. Some parts of the city also experienced hailstorm.

Though the morning was sunny, clouds and darkness descended on the city along with rains, prompting motorists to switch on the headlights of their cars.

Traffic was not affected much due to rains and waterlogging as it was a Sunday and vehicular movement was less on the roads.

Cloud Lightning

Rains, wind keep mercury down in northern India

Heavy rains accompanied by thunder squall today caught Delhiites unaware, while chilly winds and rains brought down temperature in northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.

The national capital, where rain led to water-logging in various stretches, received a total of 8.6 mm rainfall in a span of few hours, the MeT office said.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 26.4 deg C, while the minimum settled at 10.3 deg C.

The intense cold wave sweeping Himachal Pradesh continued today with chilly winds blowing across the region.

The minimum temperature dropped to 1.7 deg C and 2.2 deg in capital Shimla and Solan, while Sundernagar, Bhuntar and Dharamsala recorded a low of 4.8 deg C, three deg below normal.

Keylong and Kapla in tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts recorded minimum temperatures of minus 8.1 deg C and minus 4 deg C.

Day temperature, however, rose to 8 deg C in Keylong, nine degree above normal.

The maximum day temperature dropped by few notches to stay at 11.6 deg C in Shimla, 14.5 deg C in Bhuntar, 16.4 deg C in Dharamsala, 17.4 deg C in Mandi and 17.3 deg C in Solan.


US: Storm Brings Foot of Snow, Ice to the Dakotas

South Dakota transportation officials on Monday reopened the section of Interstate 90 between Wall and Chamberlain that was closed Sunday due to a winter storm. I-29 between Sioux Falls and the North Dakota border remained closed.

The weekend storm dumped more than a foot of snow as well as freezing rain on parts of the Dakotas. Motorists were advised to use caution or not travel in many areas, including southern North Dakota.


US: Icy Weather Leaves 80,000 Without Power in Ohio

A mix of rain, sleet and snow that blew across northern Ohio and glazed roads and power lines with ice has left thousands of people in the dark.

First Energy spokesman Mark Durbin says more than 80,000 customers were without power Monday morning. About half of those are in the Toledo area, and the other half are in the Cleveland area.

Durbin says crews are working to fix power lines but it's likely some customers won't have their power restored until Tuesday.


Deadly 6.3 Magnitude Quake Rocks New Zealand, Topples Buildings

A strong quake hit New Zealand's second-biggest city of Christchurch on Tuesday for the second time in five months, toppling buildings, causing "multiple fatalities," trapping people beneath rubble and sparking fires.

Local TV showed bodies being pulled out of rubble strewn around the city center, though it was unclear whether any of them were alive, but police reported multiple fatalities after the 6.3 magnitude quake struck during the busy lunchtime.

"I was in the square right outside the cathedral - the whole front has fallen down and there were people running from there - there were people inside as well," said John Gurr, a camera technician who was in the center of the city when the quake hit.

"A lady grabbed hold of me to stop falling over ... It's not nice at all. We just got blown apart. Colombo Street, the main street, is just a mess ... There's lots of water everywhere, pouring out of the ground - its liquefaction - it's an absolute mess."


Thousands Flee as Philippine Volcano Erupts

Mount Bulusan
© Agence France-PresseMount Bulusan spews ash in the Philippine town of Casiguran in Sorsogon province. The volcano has erupted showering an entire town with ash, although there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, officials said
Thousands of people in the Philippines fled their homes as a volcano erupted on Monday, sending a spectacular column of ash high into the sky, residents said.

The eruption of Bulusan, a 1,559-metre (5,115-foot) volcano, turned mid-morning into night for about 20 minutes across largely farming areas around its slopes, regional army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc told AFP.

"There was a major ashfall. There was zero visibility," Cabunoc said.

State volcanologist Ramil Vaquilar told AFP that rumbling sounds accompanied the ash column that rose between two and 2.5 kilometres (1.2-1.6 miles) above the crater.

About 2,000 residents were evacuated from three farming villages in the area as the government banned people from within four kilometres of the crater, said Lieutenant-Colonel Santiago Enginco, the local army commander.

Thirty-eight high school students were treated for ashfall inhalation, Enginco said.

Bizarro Earth

Flooding Costs South African Farming $392 million

Floods in South Africa have cost the farming sector about 2.8 billion rand in damages, and farmers are hoping for a government bailout, an industry official said on Monday.

Heavy rains, mainly in January, killed more than 100 people and saturated farms in one of Africa's major food producers, leading the government to declare 33 municipalities disaster areas.

"The flood damages around the country run to about 2.8 billion rand, according to our assessments," Johannes Moller, president of Agri SA, told delegates at an agriculture conference.

He said crop losses accounted for 1 billion rand, while infrastructure losses on farms, mostly along the Vaal and Orange rivers, cost farmers about 1.8 billion rand in the Northern Cape, with the remaining 200 million in damages elsewhere in the country.

Moller later told Reuters they were hopeful government would provide financial assistance to get more than 1,000 commercial and emerging farmers back on their feet within 12 months.

"I'm quite hopeful that in the end that government will decide to give financial aid, because that's the only way that we can start rebuilding and do it within one season," he said.