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Sat, 28 Mar 2020
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Earth Changes


Snow cyclone stuck over Sakhalin region in Russia

Roads closed. Flights cancelled. Several settlements lose electricity.

The regional department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations extended until the evening of Thursday, March 12, emergency warning of weather danger for almost all settlements in the region.

The cyclone brought with it heavy snowfall and an almost hurricane wind. Service on the Kholmsk-Vanino ferry line connecting Sakhalin and the mainland was disrupted. About two thousand inhabitants of the region were left without electricity. In the south of the island, traffic on several roads is blocked. Canceled flights.

Cloud Precipitation

Emergency declared as Egyptians brace for heavy rainfall, floods - UPDATES: 21 killed

Egypt floods
© AFP/Mohamed el-Shahed
Vehicles drive along a flooded portion of the ring-road highway that encircles the Egyptian capital Cairo and it's twin city of Giza, in Giza on 12 March 2020, amdist a heavy rain storm.
The Egyptian government has declared a state of emergency as the North African country braces for heavy thunderstorms and rain from Thursday to Saturday, Egypt Today reported.

Egypt's meteorological authority warned citizens of a wave of unstable weather that was set to hit the country on Thursday, 12 March 2020.

Citizens urged to heed warnings

Citizens have been advised to wear heavy clothes and refrain from participating in maritime activities, and from speeding on the roads. The call was made by Mahmoud Shaheen, the director of the country's weather forecasting department.

During a press conference on Wednesday, housing, utilities and urban communities minister Essam el-Gazzar said that demand on drinking water would be reduced in some areas and may be cut off if necessary, Egypt Today reported.

According to dailynewsegypt.com, Egypt's cabinet also issued a directive to temporarily close schools and universities across the country on Thursday due to the inclement weather.


Update: Fri. 13th: Asharq Al-awsat English reports:
Thunderstorms packing heavy rains and lightning caused widespread flooding across Egypt on Thursday, killing at least five people, officials said as authorities declared a holiday by shuttering schools, government offices and an airport.

Authorities shut down Luxor International Airport, a key hub for tourists, and three seaports — the Mediterranean port of Alexandria and the Red Sea ports of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.

Nile River cruises between the southern cities of Luxor and Aswan, which harbor most of ancient Egypt's monuments, were suspended and several key highways were closed.

The prime minister's office on Wednesday advised Egyptians to stay home.
Meanwhile authorities in neighbouring Israel have issued warnings over winds set to surpass 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph), dense dust clouds, and enough rain to cut off outlying cities and threaten large cities with severe flooding.

Update 2: Inquirer.net reports on March 13th:
Thunderstorms and flooding around Egypt entered a second day Friday, interrupting daily life in much of the country, including the capital Cairo, as the death toll rose to 21, authorities said.

Most of the victims were in rural areas and slums. At least six children died either from electrocution or when their houses collapsed on them.

Since the rains hit late Wednesday and early Thursday, social media has been inundated with images and video showing flooded roads and villages as well as water-filled apartments in some of Cairo's richest neighborhoods.

Chaos always accompanies bad weather in Egypt, raising questions about the country's poor infrastructure and dilapidated sewage and drainage systems.

To minimize the impact of bad weather, the government closed down schools and suspended work in businesses and government offices after forecasters warned of heavy rains and flooding across much of the country through Saturday.

Late on Thursday, Cairo's Water Authority announced it had suspended water service to the entire megacity because heavy rain had overwhelmed the vast sewage system. By Friday morning water had returned to some parts of the city.

The floods forced the country's railway authorities to suspend train service nationwide. Power outages were also reported in several parts of the country, including parts of Cairo.

Source: AP

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Massive sinkholes in Gauteng, South Africa swallowing homes, roads

One of the sinkholes which residents use to dump garbage.
© Ntwaagae Seleka
One of the sinkholes which residents use to dump garbage.
Residents from a Khutsong suburb outside Carletonville could soon be forced to leave their homes because of a sinkhole swallowing up giant portions of land, laying waste to properties and infrastructure.

Community leaders have accused the local Merafong City Municipality of ignoring geologists' reports which years ago said this the earth was likely to give way. The City confirmed that it plans to rehouse more than 25 000 residents.

Homes and streets have already completely disappeared in some parts, leaving residents in nearby areas worried that their properties could be next.

A stench from the broken sewer pipes hangs over the area. Some residents have taken to using the sinkholes as dumping sites.

In some places, owners have abandoned their homes which continue to fall into the sinkholes bit by bit. The situation is often worsened by heavy rain.

Black Cat

Mountain lion attacks person, bites deputy in Big Thompson Canyon, Colorado

A cougar
© Dreamstime
A cougar
The quiet of a recreational vehicle park along the lazy running Big Thompson River west of Loveland was shattered Wednesday afternoon when law enforcement shot and wounded a mountain lion that attacked a resident and a female deputy.

The animal was later killed by state wildlife officials.

The attacked occurred just after 2 p.m. at the Riverview RV Park, 2444 River Rim Road.

An eyewitness said the Larimer County Sheriff's Office deputy is lucky to be alive. She was transported to an area hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to LCSO spokesman David Moore.


Family pit bull terrier kills toddler in Portsmouth, Virginia

A Virginia toddler has died after a family dog bit her, authorities said.

According to WAVY-TV, the deadly attack occurred Monday afternoon in Portsmouth.

A 1-year-old male pit bull bit a 2-year-old girl, who died at a nearby hospital, police said.

Portsmouth police said the dog was a family pet, The Associated Press reported. Authorities said they have quarantined the animal.

Police and animal control officers are investigating the incident, according to the news outlets. No further information was immediately available.


Rare oarfish washes up in the Philippines sparking fears of impending disaster

Rare oarfish washes ashore in the Philippines on March 3, 2020. Picture via Youtube video

Rare oarfish washes ashore in the Philippines on March 3, 2020. Picture via Youtube video
A rare Oarfish washed ashore on a beach in the Philippines, sparking fears of an impending disaster.

The 14ft long creature was found by concerned locals on the sand in Surigao del Norte, Philippines, on March 3, 2020.

Locals transported the giant sea creature from the Punta Beach in the town of Tinago, Malimono, where it was treated but later died.

While residents believe the oarfish is a sign of an impending earthquake, local authorities said that the belief is baseless.


Dartmouth, Nova Scotia just got rocked by 2 rare earthquakes in a row

Dartmouth earthquake
It's been a shaky couple of days for Dartmouth. A Nova Scotia earthquake rocked the region not once, but twice in the same community less than two days apart. These seismic events are not common for the region and have left some residents baffled.

At 12:24 a.m. on March 3, a 2.6 magnitude earthquake rattled Dartmouth, just east of Halifax.

According to Global News, Halifax Regional Police got multiple calls from people in the area reporting their homes shaking and sounds similar to explosions.

Nick Ackerley, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, told Global News that events like this produce seismic waves when moving through solid rock and that can create the loud sounds that people hear.

Thankfully, no injuries or property damage was reported by emergency services that responded to the calls from residents.

This event comes less than two days after another earthquake shook that exact same part of Nova Scotia.

On March 1 at 8:38 p.m., a 2.6 magnitude quake was also felt by people in Dartmouth.

Having one seismic event in the Halifax region isn't something that happens often, let alone two within 30 hours of each other.

Ackerley said that the area is pretty far from any tectonic plate edges that could be rubbing together so these earthquakes are out of the ordinary.


86 dusky dolphins found dead on remote Namibian beach

Probe launched after 86 dolphins die on beach

Probe launched after 86 dolphins die on beach
Namibia said on Monday that 86 dusky dolphins, including two calves just days old, had been found dead on a remote beach and it had launched an investigation into what happened.

Marine biologist Kolette Grobler estimated that the mammals had been dead for about a week before they were found on Friday by commercial lobster fishermen at Hottentot Bay, some 40 km (25 miles) north of the southwestern coastal town of Luderitz.

"We suspect that one of them was injured or got sick and called on the others for help, and this might have caused them to accidentally beach themselves," Grobler said.

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Snowboarder dies in avalanche north of Anchorage, Alaska following heavy snowfall

Hatcher Pass and the historic Independence Mine site.
© Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media
Hatcher Pass and the historic Independence Mine site.
A 17-year-old man died after he was caught in an avalanche in Hatcher Pass Monday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The mountain pass, about an hour north of Anchorage, is a popular area for winter recreation.

Troopers said officers responded to the area near mile 16 of the Palmer Fishhook Road just after 4 p.m.

The agency says the man was snowboarding when he was caught and buried in an avalanche. Rescuers found him and brought him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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Avalanche kills at least 3 near Abbottabad in Pakistan

A landslide triggered by a massive avalanche in Gandla area of Nathia Gali near Abbottabad killed at least three persons and injured 16 other, Dunya News reported on Tuesday.

According to details, three vehicles were buried under the snow and mud at the site. Rescue teams along with Pakistan Army personnel and local administration reached the spot and retrieved three dead bodies, including a woman, and 16 injured persons from the two vehicles buried under the debris.

Rescue sources informed that one vehicle is still buried under the debris and search operation continues in the area to retrieved persons trapped in the vehicle.

Rescue sources said that most of the injured were in critical condition. The rescue teams shifted the injured to Murree Hospital and DHQ Complex Abbottabad.