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Sat, 16 Oct 2021
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Earth Changes


Peeved pachyderms: Report says 3,310 people died due to wild elephant attacks in last 7 years across India - Rise in number of deaths 'alarming'

As many as 3,310 people have died due to attacks by wild elephants in the last seven years. The data was revealed by the ministry of forest, environment and climate change in response to an RTI application.

Kerala-based RTI campaigner K Govindan Nampoothiry, in his RTI query, has sought details about the death toll due to the wild pachyderm attacks in the last seven years.

The reply revealed that Odisha has the maximum number of deaths, followed by West Bengal, Assam, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.

While Odisha registered the maximum deaths, 589, during 2014-15 to 2020-21 (as per the data up to December 31, 2020). In West Bengal, 562 people have died in wild elephant attacks. It is followed by Assam (479), Chhattisgarh (413) and Jharkhand (480).

"The highest number of deaths was reported in 2019-20; 585 people were killed by wild elephants, reveals the RTI document. While in 2016-17, 516 and in 2017-18, 506 people lost their lives," Nampoothiry told India Today.

Comment: Just to underscore this rising trend in fatal elephant attacks, see this June, 2021 report concerning the situation on the nearby island of Sri Lanka:
55 people killed in 6 months due to human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka

Fifty-five people were killed across Sri Lanka within the past six months over the human-elephant conflict, local media reported on Tuesday.

A total of 158 wild elephants were also killed in the period.

According to a report by Sri Lanka's Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the 158 elephants were killed from electrocution, explosive baits called "Hakka Patas," and gunshot wounds, among others.

The DWC said earlier this year that the deaths of elephants caused by the human-elephant conflict had declined in 2020 in the country after it recorded the world's highest number of elephant deaths due to human actions in 2019.

Official statistics showed that 318 elephants were killed in 2020 compared with 407 in 2019, which ranked Sri Lanka as the world's number one country for elephant deaths due to conflicts with humans.

A total of 112 persons were killed due to elephant attacks in 2020, recording a drop of 8 percent in human deaths since 2019.

Killing wild elephants in Sri Lanka is a criminal offense but there have been regular reports of angry villagers poisoning or shooting them.

Official records showed the population of wild elephants in Sri Lanka is estimated at 7,500.

Cloud Precipitation

Storm destroys agricultural infrastructure and citrus and vegetable crops in the north of Castellon, Spain

Ava-Asaja warned that the storm that hit the Region of Valencia, which brought torrential rains, lightning and strong wind gusts, has caused localized damage to the agricultural sector, especially in the Castellon region of Baix Maestrat and in the northern part of the term of Vinaròs, bordering Alcanar, and to a lesser extent in inland areas of Valencia. In other areas, the rains have generally been beneficial, contributing to increase the size of the productions yet to be harvested, clean the trees, save on irrigation and refill the aquifers.

Ava-Vinaròs associates report some severe losses, mainly of citrus and seasonal vegetables, both in the form of losses of up to 100% of the harvest and even in the uprooting of young trees. In the case of fields flooded by water, producers will have to deal with additional costs to save their productions due to the need for fungicide treatments. Part of the affected area, which could exceed 2,000 hectares, according to an initial assessment, had already been hit by a hail storm back in early August.

Comment: Related: Water, water everywhere: Heavy rainfall causes destructive flash floods in Spain - 3 inches of rain recorded in just 30 MINUTES


Dead humpback whale washes ashore in Point Reyes, California

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
The body of a 35-foot long female Humpback whale remains in the surf in a remote section of Ten Mile Beach in Point Reyes.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

When a whale washes ashore, we humans tend to wonder, or even assume, that somehow, we might be to blame. Was the cause environmental? A ship strike? A loose piece of fisherman's netting?

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 2 women in Gambia

Two women at Njoben Tukulorr village, Niani District, Central River Region of The Gambia were reported dead after they were struck by the Friday night thunderstorm.

Three other people only fainted and survived.

According to eyewitnesses, there were iron bowls and plates which reflected and attracted the lightning before it fell down on them.

Hawa Daffeh, CRR North disaster management coordinator for the National Disaster Management Agency presented five thousand dalasis to the deceased families' as charity on behalf of her office. She extended her office's condolences to the bereaved families.


Damaging floods hit Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India - 15 inches of rain in 24 hours

Heavy rain brought by a Low Pressure Area over the Bay of Bengal caused flooding in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in India from 06 September 2021. As much as 390 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Telangana.

Local media reported flooding in Karimnagar, Rajanna Sircilla, Khammam, Warangal and Bhadradri Kothagudem districts in Telangana. Heavy rain from the Low Pressure Area fell on ground already saturated by rainfall during the previous 6 days. Roads were swamped and traffic brought to a standstill in low-lying areas of Warangal city. Damaged roads left some rural areas isolated.

According to reports, at least 3 people have lost their lives as a result of the flooding in Telangana. In separate incidents, 2 people died in Bhadradri Kothagudem district and another in Warangal district.


2 killed in flash floods in Ecatepec, Mexico after almost an inch of rain in 90 minutes - 3rd such event within a week for country

Floods in Ecatepec, Mexico, 06 September 2021.
© Government of Ecatepec
Floods in Ecatepec, Mexico, 06 September 2021.
Two people have died and dozens of vehicles swept away after violent flash floods in the municipality of Ecatepec in Mexico.

Ecatepec municipality, officially Ecatepec de Morelos, is situated in the State of Mexico, around 20 km north of Mexico City.

Heavy rain fell during the afternoon of 06 September, triggering the flash floods in Ecatepec and parts of neighbouring Nezahualcóyotl. Authorities said 24 mm of rain fell in 90 minutes, mainly in the central area of ​​San Cristóbal and in the communities of the Sierra de Guadalupe.

Images shared on Social Media showed mud and flood water flowing through streets, dragging along vehicles and debris in Ecatepec. Many of the main roads in the area were blocked, causing chaos for drivers. Local authorities deployed trucks and buses to assist people stranded by the floods.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes the same lamppost 12 times within seconds in spectacular storm over Chinese city

A resident filmed the storm in the city of Qingdao in the province of Shandong on August 31

A resident filmed the storm in the city of Qingdao in the province of Shandong on August 31
Stunning video recorded the moment a single lamppost in China was struck by lightning at least a dozen times in a row during a powerful electrical storm.

A resident filmed the storm over the city of Qingdao in the province of Shandong on August 31.

The witness trained their camera phone on the incoming storm when the lightning bolts began striking the lamp post.

The multiple strikes took place in less than ten seconds, causing the witness to retreat back into the building.

Cloud Precipitation

Beijing's flood season precipitation hits 20-year high - 70% above average in 2021

Beijing's flood season ended on Aug. 31, with the highest average precipitation in recent 20 years, said the municipal meteorological bureau.

During the flood season, lasting from June 1 to Aug. 31, the average precipitation of China's capital reached 627.4 mm, approximately 70 percent more than that of the same period in ordinary years.

In 2021, Beijing has also experienced the rainiest July since 1951, as measured by average precipitation of 400.4 mm.

From June 1 to Aug. 31, the city reported 62 instances of precipitation, an increase of 30 percent from the same period last year, said the bureau.

Source: Xinhua


A five-year-old boy dies from a dog attack in Córdoba, Spain

dog attack
A five-year-old boy died this past dawn in Lucena (Córdoba) after being attacked by a dog, which gave him lethal bites. The event occurred around three in the morning when a Belgian Malinois dog attacked the child, who was sleeping inside a private country house where his family works as a landlady, he advanced the newspaper Lucena Today.

The dog, microchipped and owned by the owner of the farm, injured the child in the neck and chest. The emergency coordination center received the notice from the minor's parents shortly after the attack, which occurred in the country house located on the Rute road, an access to the Cordovan town.


Man suffers serious leg injury in shark attack off Grand Isle, Louisiana

Shark attacks
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a crew member from a fishing vessel after a shark attack about 35 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana on Friday.

The Coast Guard sector in New Orleans received a call at about 12:51 a.m. from personnel aboard the Moon Glow vessel.

According to personnel, a 64-year-old crew member sustained a severe leg injury from the attack. The man was reportedly untangling fishing nets from the vessel's propeller when he fell overboard and was attacked.