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Thu, 02 Feb 2023
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Earth Changes


Indonesia struck by 7.6-magnitude earthquake

Indonesia was rattled by a 7.6-magnitude deep-sea earthquake that damaged village buildings in the lightly populated island chain of Tanimbar earlier today, prompting panicked residents to flee their homes.

Two school buildings and at least 15 homes were damaged in the Tanimbar islands, said Indonesia disaster agency officials, with one person injured.

"Local residents felt strong tremors for three to five seconds. There was panic when the quake shook so the residents left their houses," Abdul Muhari, a spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement, citing the local agency.

The quake struck at a depth of 130km at 2.47am local time in the Banda Sea, near the Tanimbar islands in Maluku province having a total population of 127,000 people, according to 2021 data. While a tsunami warning was put in place by local authorities, it was lifted after about three hours at 5.43am.

Cloud Precipitation

Indonesia - Deadly flash floods on Java Island

Disaster authorities in Indonesia report at least 2 people have died after flash floods in Central Java Province on the island of Java. Flooding has also affected parts of Banten Province over the last few days.

Central Java Province

Flooding struck in Tembalang District, Semarang City, on 06 January 2023 after heavy rain caused an embankment along the Pengkol River to break, folding a housing complex. Semarang City Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) said teams worked diligently to rescue one person from a flooded house. Unfortunately, the victim sustained injuries and passed away, authorities said.

A total of 147 residents were affected by the floods, which have since receded but left behind large amounts of debris, garbage and mud carried by the currents.


7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Vanuatu in Pacific

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu on Sunday, trigguring a tsunami warning in nearby waters.

The quake was centered 15 miles from Port Olry and hit at a depth of 17 miles at 11:32 p.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Vanuato is about 606 nautical miles east of the Solomon Islands and 933 nautical miles from Australia.

Vanuatu has a population of 280,000 and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes frequently occur.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for coasts within186 miles of the epicenter but it wast later withdrwan.

No initial reports of damage or casualties were reported.

In November, the Solomon Islanda was hit with a 7.0 earthquake.

Bizarro Earth

Sinking land forces hundreds to leave Indian temple town

Sink Hole
© Associated Press
A motorist navigates his way through a crack on a road in Joshimath, India, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. Authorities have stopped all construction activity and started shifting hundreds of people panicking after seeing a temple collapse and cracks in over 600 houses due to subsidence of land in a northern Indian hilly town, officials said on Saturday.
Authorities in an Indian Himalayan town have stopped construction activities and started moving hundreds of people to temporary shelters after a temple collapsed and cracks appeared in over 600 houses because of sinking of land, officials said Saturday.

Residents of Joshimath town in Uttarakhand state say they started noticing cracks in houses, especially after 2021 floods in the region. No injury was reported in the temple collapse late Friday and those living nearby had vacated the area a day earlier.

Himanshu Khurana, a district administrator, said more than 60 families have been moved to government relief camps. The number is likely to go up to 600 families, media reports said.

Television images also showed cracks in roads, hampering the movement of vehicles.

Arrow Down

1 snowmobiler killed, 1 missing in Colorado avalanche

One snowmobiler died and another was missing Saturday after becoming buried in an avalanche in unincorporated Grand County, Colorado, officials said.
© Grand County Sheriff's Office
One snowmobiler died and another was missing Saturday after becoming buried in an avalanche in unincorporated Grand County, Colorado, officials said.
A 58-year-old man was killed and another man is missing after they were struck by an avalanche in the north-central Rocky Mountains on Saturday, authorities in Colorado said.

The pair were riding snowmobiles when a wave of snow hit them on the east face of Mount Epworth in Grand County, about 6 miles east of Winter Park, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The avalanche was reported about 2:15 p.m., and responding sheriff's deputies, search-and-rescue crews, ski patrol members, and local good Samaritans found the 58-year-old from northern Colorado buried in snow, the Grand County Sheriff's Office said.

They couldn't revive him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the office said in a statement. The man's identity was expected to be released later by the county coroner, it said.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flooding chaos in downtown Porto, Portugal following 20 minutes of intense rain

Absolute chaos was unleashed yesterday in downtown Porto following little more than 20 minutes of intense rain.

Meteorologists estimate that 25 litres of water per square metre fell in this small time period, transforming parts of the city into a raging river.

Considering northern areas have up till now avoided the kind of flooding horrors experienced in urban areas of Lisbon just before Christmas, Saturday's deluge has seriously worried city authorities.

Deputy mayor Filipe Araújo admitted that "for the first time" water rose 'up' to the surface and did not drain into the underground river.

"We have a river that passes below that normally transports (rain) water. If we don't detect ways of correcting (the problem), it could happen again..." he said.


Another humpback whale washes onto beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey - 4th within 5 weeks

A dead humpback whale washed ashore Saturday morning on Mississippi Avenue in Atlantic City.
© Mike Lopez
A dead humpback whale washed ashore Saturday morning on Mississippi Avenue in Atlantic City.
It appears another dead whale has been beached along the Jersey Shore; this latest incident in Atlantic City.

This marks the second time in two weeks a (presumed) humpback whale has washed ashore in the World's Play Ground.

Another, 30-feet in length, was found on the Chelsea Avenue beach on December 23rd, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

Following that incident, NOAA Fisheries' Greater Atlantic regional office surmised rough surf and recent storms off the coast were to blame, according to NJ.com.

Comment: Reports of the other beached whales:

Cloud Lightning

Dangers to life, property remain high in California as storm onslaught continues

storms jan 2023 California flooding
© Accuweather
AccuWeather meteorologists warn that a moisture-packed system set to arrive early next week could be the strongest in a Pacific storm train that has been rolling since the end of 2022.

Another atmospheric river will bring heavy rain and mountain snow to California and neighboring states into early next week.

California has faced a frenzy of storms that have unleashed deadly impacts since the end of 2022, and AccuWeather meteorologists say the onslaught is far from over. One storm in the bunch is poised to aim a firehose of moisture at the Golden State early in the new week, potentially leading to "catastrophic" flooding, in addition to widespread mudslides and road closures, forecasters say.

"The impacts from this storm cannot be understated," AccuWeather Meteorologist Joe Bauer said.

Comment: A summary and good storm preparation advice from a local station:


Two feet of snow in Rawlins, Wyoming takes days to remove

In some areas the snow banks in the middle
© City Of Rawlins
In some areas the snow banks in the middle of the road are five feet high. Normally, these banks are not much higher than one-foot.
A snow storm that shutdown much of I-80 earlier this week left the south central city of Rawlins with an unusual amount of snow.

About two feet of snow fell in Rawlins between Sunday night and Wednesday morning, and the snow drifts were several feet deep. Even people with four-wheel drive were getting stuck in roadways.

Michael O'Brien, the utilities supervisor for the City of Rawlins, and his crew helped remove much of the snow. He said typically the area gets only a couple inches of snow in a storm.

"With this amount of snow though, it was very difficult," he said. "I mean, we had everybody from all different departments, different vehicles, every department had a vehicle out there, backhoe skid steer somewhat, trying to remove snow in places."


Snow piles up at Palisades Tahoe Ski resort - 5 feet in 7 days

Palisades Tahoe
© Blake Kessler
Palisades Tahoe
If it's raining in the Bay Area, that usually means in it's snowing in Tahoe.

Palisades Ski Resort just had a record amount of snowfall over the weekend, and it got even more Wednesday.

In the past seven days, nearly 5 feet of snow has piled up in Tahoe.