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Tue, 25 Feb 2020
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Earth Changes


Iraq - Iran border town buried by heavy snowfall

Haji Omaran, a town on the mountainous Iraq-Iran border, has experienced exceptionally heavy snowfall in recent days.

The usually bustling border town has been left eerily quiet. Schools and other official institutions have shut their doors, and shops are markets are closed.

Snow has piled up so high that it has jammed doors and windows, leaving some residents unable to leave their homes. Some have had to tunnel their way out.

"If someone gets sick there is no aid here," said Sleman Baboli, chieftain of a nearby village. There were no shovels to clean the roads. If someone gets sick, how can we take him to the doctor?"

Comment: Also recently in the same region: 70 villages in southeastern Turkey buried by up to 6 meters (20 feet) of snow


Newfoundland got over 335 cm (11 feet) of snow this winter & it's not even over yet

City of St Johns
© Twitter
City of St Johns
Canadian winters can be nasty pretty much everywhere in the country. However, some places have felt the brunt of this season more than others. Newfoundland snow totals are more than 335 centimetres this winter and an active storm track is to blame for the wicked weather.

If you don't live in eastern-most province, count yourself lucky that you didn't have to deal with this brutal season.

The snowfall totals for most parts of the province were above average in December and January while February is on track to be near normal.

St. John's has already gotten more than 335 centimetres of snow dumped on it this winter which is almost 100 centimetres more than the average for the year.


Summer snow for Mt Taranaki, New Zealand

Mount Taranaki was cloaked in cloud and wearing a fresh dusting of snow on Sunday morning.
Mount Taranaki was cloaked in cloud and wearing a fresh dusting of snow on Sunday morning.
Mt Taranaki wore a dusting of snow and a kākahu (cloak) of cloud on Sunday morning following a weekend of occasionally heavy rain.

Friday night brought a downpour that hit both the Americarna cruise through New Plymouth and the concert by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands.

Saturday began with more rain, and although it brightened up during the day, the rain returned in the evening.

Some places were hit harder than others. At New Plymouth's Brooklands Zoo, 2.8 millimetres of rain was recorded in the 24 hours leading up to 3pm on Sunday, according to the Taranaki Regional Council's figures.

Cloud Precipitation

One dead after flash floods sweep vehicles off bridge in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Three vehicles were swept off a bridge by flash floods, claiming the life of a 28-year-old woman while others managed to escape to higher ground on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast on Saturday evening.

Heavy rain caused flooding in the Nonoti and Kwadakuza areas.

IPSS Medical Rescue were alerted to vehicles being washed off a low lying bridge in the Nonoti area, setting in motion a rescue operation. SAPS K9 search and rescue and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) were also notified.

Video footage of the search was shared by Dasen Thathiah on Twitter.


At least 8 people dead in eastern Turkey after 5.7 magnitude earthquake hits Iran border area

Wreckage of a mud-brick construction is seen after tremors from a 5.7-magnitude quake centered in northwestern Iran were also felt in Turkey's Van province
© Anadolu/Getty Images
Wreckage of a mud-brick construction is seen after tremors from a 5.7-magnitude quake centered in northwestern Iran were also felt in Turkey's Van province
The magnitude 5.7 earthquake kills eight people and leaves 21 others wounded, according to Turkey's interior minister.

At least eight people have been killed and 21 others injured in Turkey's Van province following an earthquake early Sunday, the country's interior minister has said.

Three of those killed were children, according to Suleyman Soylu, adding that some 1,066 buildings have collapsed.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority had begun rescue work, Soylu said.

"Search and rescue efforts are ongoing," he said.

The magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the Turkey-Iran border region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. The quake had a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the EMSC said.

Snowflake Cold

70 villages in southeastern Turkey buried by up to 6 meters (20 feet) of snow

village in Turkey
A village in Turkey is one of 70 now isolated after 6 metres, or 20 feet, of snow accumulated in parts of the region.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 8 dead after flash flood sweeps away scouts in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Rescue personnel look for missing scouts at a weir in Sembor River, Donokerto village, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Feb. 22.
© JP/Bambang Muryanto
Rescue personnel look for missing scouts at a weir in Sembor River, Donokerto village, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Feb. 22.
A joint search and rescue team reported on Saturday that eight students had died during a flash flood that swept away a group of scouts trekking on the banks of the Sembor River in Donokerto village in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

"Rescue team personnel have found eight bodies and are still looking for two more that are still missing," said Yogyakarta Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) head Lalu Wahyu Effendi on Saturday at noon.

The dead and missing students are all girls aged 12 to 15 years old. Meanwhile, 23 students were injured during the incident.


Global crop failures continue: In Australia this is going to be the WORST HARVEST ever recorded

Australia on a globe
Global food production is being hit from seemingly every side. Thanks to absolutely crazy weather patterns, giant locust armies in Africa and the Middle East, and an unprecedented outbreak of African Swine Fever in China, a lot less food is being produced around the world than originally anticipated. Even during the best of years we really struggle to feed everyone on the planet, and so a lot of people are wondering what is going to happen as global food supplies become tighter and tighter. The mainstream media in the United States is so obsessed with politics right now that they haven't been paying much attention to this emerging crisis, but the truth is that this growing nightmare is only going to intensify in the months ahead.

In Australia, conditions have been extremely hot and extremely dry, and that helped to fuel the horrific wildfires that we recently witnessed.

And everyone knew that agricultural production in Australia was going to be disappointing this year, but it turns out that it is actually going to be the worst ever recorded...
Australia's hottest and driest year on record has slashed crop production, with summer output expected to fall to the lowest levels on record, according to official projections released Tuesday.

The country's agriculture department said it expects production of crops like sorghum, cotton and rice to fall 66 percent — the lowest levels since records began in 1980-81.

Comment: See also:


Deadly gases detected at Eldvörp caves in Iceland, tourists warned to stay away

© Ellert Grétarsson
The Icelandic Met Office has issued a warning advising people to stay away from the Eldvörp caves of Reykjanes, on account of high levels of deadly gases which have accumulated therein.

To wit, the warning as is follows:

"We warn about cave excursions in the Eldvörp area on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Deadly gases were measured yesterday of CO2 as well as deadly oxygen levels in a cave close to a parking lot, popular for hikers."

Comment: The warning comes on the heels of a still active Earthquake swarm near the city of Grindavik and swelling at the Volcano Thorbjorn: Possible magma accumulation on Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland

Better Earth

Couple has been buying land near a tiger reserve and letting forest grow back so big cats can roam

Tiger reserve
Some twenty years ago, photographer Aditya Singh resigned from his job in civil services in Delhi and moved to the city of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan with his wife and artist Poonam so they could be closer to nature. It was there that they started a tourist resort to earn a living.

Over the years, the couple bought about 35 acres bordering the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve on one side. Farmers were selling their land because of predators, including tigers, in the area.

The area, called Bhadlav was barren and had little vegetation but has since been transformed into a lush green forest frequented by wild animals, including tigers.

After settling in Ranthambore, Aditya first visited the Bhadlav area with a BBC filmmaker and became aware that the farmers were selling their land because of the risk of predators searching for prey.

''As a result, farmers were selling their land," Singh told Mongabay India. ''I just bought this and did nothing to it except removing the invasive species. We allowed the land to recover and now after 20 years it has become a lush green patch of forest which is frequently visited by all kind of animals, including tigers, leopards and wild boars.''

For Poonam it was love at first sight when she visited Ranthambore with her husband. "My first sighting was a tigress with three cubs on a hill. It was magical. At the end of the trip, I just asked him if we can move to Ranthambore. He wanted it too and within months we moved. As far as this land is concerned, it was a dream that we both saw an achieved together to have our own area of wilderness," she told Mongabay-India.

Poonam managed the tourist resort with Aditya for twenty years and closed it in 2019.

An aerial photograph of their land shows the stark contrast between their lush green forest and the barren land surrounding them, including the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, with whom they share a boundary.