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Thu, 24 Jun 2021
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Worst flooding in 20 years hits northern Romania

Flooding in Satu-Mare County, northern Romani
© Satu-Mare County Government
Flooding in Satu-Mare County, northern Romania, 13 May 2021
A short period of torrential rain early on 13 may 2021 caused severe flash flooding in parts of northern Romania.

Local authorities in Satu-Mare County reported severe flooding in Răteşti and Supur. Authorities said tributaries of the Crasna river had broken their banks after 70 mm of rain fell in 3 hours early 13 May. The flooding was described as the worst in 20 years. Flood water was reportedly up to waist height.

As of 13 May, around 150 people had evacuated flooded homes in Răteşti and nearby Beltiug. Flooding in areas of Supur affected 49 households, with 7 people temporarily evacuated.

Tánczos Barna, Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, visited the affected areas. He said the volume of rainfall in such a short period is unprecedented in this region. Hundreds of livestock have been lost and over 1,000 affected households, some of them isolated. "It is practically a miracle that we have no loss of human lives," the Minister added.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 22 goats in Haryana, India

As many as 22 goats died when a tree under which they were standing was struck by lightning in Pirthipur village of Yamunanagar district.

The incident took place when Fazla of Taharpur Kalan village, Yamin and Shakeel, both residents of Jaitpur village, were grazing their goats in Pirthipur village on Wednesday afternoon.

A source said three goats of Fazla, Yamin and Shakeel were standing under a tree to take shelter from the rain. "In the incident 22 goats died and one had a narrow escape," the source added. The source said a veterinary doctor, a patwari and policemen visited the spot after getting the information of the incident to take stock of the loss.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills herd of 18 elephants in Assam, India

Elephants died after being struck by lightening near Bamuni Hills in Kandali, Nagaon district, in Assam on Wednesday night.

Elephants died after being struck by lightening near Bamuni Hills in Kandali, Nagaon district, in Assam on Wednesday night.
A bolt of lightning is believed to have killed a herd of at least 18 elephants in central Assam's Nagaon district on Wednesday night.

The incident happened in the hilly Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest in the Forest Department's Kathiatoli Range, officials said.

"The local staff said 18 elephants have died and lightning is most likely the cause," Assam's Chief Wildlife Warden, M.K. Yadava told The Hindu.

"There have been cases of lightning striking animals down. Lightning claimed five elephants in West Bengal some time ago, but this is huge," he said.

Solar Flares

Earth's magnetic field just struggled with a weak CME: Sign of the times

City blackout

On May 12, a weak Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) released from the Sun hit Earth. The event was supposed to pass by uneventfully — it would perhaps spark a few auroras, but nothing more. So how did a strong G3 geomagnetic storm ensue?

Nobody was expecting a level 3 event from this CME.

Nobody saw the KP Index hitting 7.

Comment: See also:


Shallow M6.6 earthquake strikes off Indonesia's Sumatra

Sumatra earthquake map
© Volcano Discovery

An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 struck off the northwest coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island on Friday, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) said.

The Indonesia earthquake was at a depth of 10 km (6.21 miles), GFZ said.

Indonesia's weather and geophysics agency, BMKG, put the quake at 7.2 magnitude and at a depth of km but said it had no potential to trigger a tsunami wave.

On Dec. 26, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake off the coast of northwest Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries.


Strong M6.0 earthquake strikes off Japan's Fukushima prefecture

Japan earthquake map
© Volcano Discovery
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has rattled northeastern Japan, but authorities have not issued a tsunami warning.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage to property on Friday and no abnormalities were found at the region's nuclear power facilities, including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The quake occurred at 8.58am (0958 AEST), its epicentre off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of 40 kilometres, the Meteorological Agency said.

In February, a magnitude-7.3 quake also struck the northeast, killing one person and injuring about 190 others.

Japan recently observed the 10th anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 quake and resulting tsunami in the same region on March 11, 2011, which left about 18,400 dead or missing.


Tropical storm Andres forms in Pacific, earliest on record; another busy Atlantic hurricane season expected

hurricane andres earliest 2021
© National Hurricane Center
Andres is the earliest eastern tropical Pacific (to 140°W) named storm formation on record
Tropical Storm Andres is the earliest named storm to develop in the eastern Pacific Ocean, surpassing Adrian in 2017. Andres became a tropical storm on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Andres formed off the southwest coast of Mexico Sunday, had sustained winds of 40 mph and moved out to sea at six mph.

"Increasing southwesterly to westerly shear and drier air to the west of the cyclone should prevent any significant additional strengthening," the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.


Rising rivers due to snow melt and ice jams flood homes in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

Ice jams and snow melt caused the Amur River to rise in Khabarovsk, Russia, May 2021
Ice jams and snow melt caused the Amur River to rise in Khabarovsk, Russia, May 2021
Disaster authorities in Russia report that homes have been inundated and residents evacuated after flooding from the rising Amur river in Khabarovsk Krai in the Far East region.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) in Khabarovsk Krai reported on 10 May that levels of the Amur River in the Khabarovsk Territory were rising as a result of snow melt and ice jams.

On 10 May the Amur reached 6.3 metres at Takhta, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. Danger levels are 5.5 metres.

As of 12 May, over 60 homes were flooded in Nikolayevsky District, prompting some evacuations. Areas of Ulchsky District were also flooded. As of 13 May, EMERCOM said teams have rescued or evacuated 116 people, including 32 children.

Cloud Precipitation

Severe floods displace thousands across Kenya

bridge connecting Migori and Homa Bay
Bridge connecting Migori and Homa Bay Counties at Riat-Oria Kenya, collapsed May 2021.
Severe flooding has affected wide areas of Kenya since the start of the "Long Rains" season in early April 2021. By 23 April, over 25,000 people had been didaplced according to the Red Cross. Further heavy rainfall from 08 May has worsened the situation, with flooding reported in Kakamega, Turkana, Homa Bay, Baringo, Busia, Siaya and Kisumu counties.

On 23 April the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported flooding in Tana River, Busia, Kisumu, Garissa and Marsabit Counties. IFRC reported 2 fatalities and 25,958 people (4,493 households) displaced. Wide areas of crops were damaged in the Tana River basin.

Further heavy rain from around 08 May has caused flooding in at least 7 counties. On 10 May, KRC said heavy rain over the weekend caused flooding in Homa Bay and Baringo counties.

On 11 May Kenya National Highways Authority reported several sections of roads in the Lake Victoria basin were affected by flooding, leaving some lakeside communities isolated.

Arrow Down

Hundreds homeless after landslide in Rwanda

Landslide damage in Nyamasheke district, Rwand
© Landslide damage in Nyamasheke district, Rwanda, May 2021. Photo: Western Province Government
Landslide damage in Nyamasheke district, Rwanda, May 2021.
Hundreds of people have been forced from their homes in Rwanda's Western Province after heavy rain triggered a landslide in Nyamasheke district.

The landslide struck on 09 May 2021 following a period of heavy rainfall. Over 100 homes were damaged, with 39 reportedly completely destroyed. Officials of Western Province Government said 631 people from 117 families were displaced as a result.

In late April a landslide in Gahunga Sector of Burera District, Northern Province left 1 person dead and damaged or destroyed around 200 houses, along with crops and livestock.

Heavy rainfall affected other areas of the country around this time. Capital Kigali recorded 84 mm of rain in 24 hours to 09 May.

On 10 May Meteo Rwanda warned of heavy rainfall (40mm to 120mm) between 11 and 20 May 2021 across the country, with intense rainfall activities expected in Northern part of the country.