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Tue, 26 May 2020
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At least 22 dead as Cyclone Amphan batters India and Bangladesh

Police officers carry a disabled man to a safer place following his evacuation from a slum area before Cyclone Amphan makes its landfall, in Kolkata, India, on May 20, 2020.
© RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI/REUTERS
Police officers carry a disabled man to a safer place following his evacuation from a slum area before Cyclone Amphan makes its landfall, in Kolkata, India, on May 20, 2020.
A powerful cyclone ripped through densely populated coastal India and Bangladesh, blowing off roofs and whipping up waves that swallowed embankments and bridges and left entire villages without access to fresh water, electricity and communications. At least 22 people were reported killed Thursday.

The cyclone weakened after slamming ashore Wednesday evening amid massive evacuations. Officials warn that relief and repair work will be made harder by the coronavirus pandemic, which has already sapped the health care system.

In low-lying Bangladesh, up to eight people have died while 12 deaths were reported in West Bengal state in India. Officials said two people died in India's Odisha state in the Bay of Bengal. Most of the deaths were due to the collapse of walls, drowning and falling trees in both countries.


Igloo

Antarctica's growing algae blooms

algae bloom antartica
© NASA . Operational Land Imager
The algae blooms as seen from space
The rise of the global temperatures has had a dramatic effect on our planet's polar regions, which are warming up faster than other parts of the Earth; the secondary effects of this distressing phenomenon can be quite visible.

Antarctica is changing colour as "green snow" caused by blooming algae is extensively forming and spreading throughout the region as a result of rising temperatures, a new study published by Nature Communications revealed.

The team of researchers from the University of Cambridge, the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Edinburgh combined satellite images and data from on-the-ground campaigns to create a map of extent of algae blooms on the continent.

Comment: Contrary to the ideological claims of 'global warming' in the article, there are a few additional points to consider - although they're not exhaustive: It was only 2 years ago that scientists discovered a 'super colony' of 1.5 million penguins in Antarctica so it would seem that wildlife in the region has yet to be fully mapped; Antarctic summers are becoming so much colder that it's moss forests are dying; geothermal vents and undersea volcanoes appear to be contributing to warmer areas in the Antarctic, despite overall cooling on our planet; then there is the seeming increase of algae blooms and dead zones throughout the planet, which in the past has been associated with global cooling and extinction level events; and so the above stated theory of 'global warming' as being a probable cause is highly unlikely.

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Windsock

Freak storm rips through Geelong, Australia

freak storm in Victoria, Australia
© Cain Trist
The State Emergency Service has received more than 160 calls for help from residents in Geelong, Ballarat and Stawell.
Residents of Victoria's southwest are counting the cost of a storm that came out of nowhere after midnight and tore through a whole suburb.

The freak storm, which hit Geelong about 1am yesterday, left more than 100 homes damaged, including as many as 30 in one street in the hardest hit suburb of Waurn Ponds.

Pictures show roofs shredded and ripped off homes. A council rubbish bin was lifted and thrown onto the roof of one home. A trampoline landed in a tree at another home.

At least four homes are now uninhabitable.

The State Emergency Service received more than 100 calls for help on Wednesday at Waurn Ponds and nearby Mt Duneed.

Across the state, the SES received more than 240 calls for help.


Seismograph

Very unusual seismic activity concerns scientists in South Korea

Korea earthquakes
© AP
Seismologists in South Korea are concerned about an unusual rash of earthquakes that have shaken the peninsula in recent weeks, with some suggesting that this sudden upsurge in seismic activity might be a precursor to a major — and potentially very destructive — earthquake.

The Korean Peninsula is not traditionally considered to be a part of the so-called Ring of Fire, the seismically active fault lines that run around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. However, seismologists are looking at whether shifting tectonic plates might become a new normal for the Koreas.

Last week, the Korea Meteorological Administration reported a magnitude 2.8 tremor in Wanju County, in the far southwest of South Korea. Although there was no damage reported from the weak quake and nobody was injured, this is the first time since December 2014 that a tremor with a magnitude above 2 has hit the region.

Seismograph

6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes central Mediterranean Sea

earthquake graph
© Phil McCarten / Reuters
Scientists say a strong earthquake struck in the central Mediterranean Sea region early on Thursday.

The Athens Institute of Geodynamics gave a preliminary magnitude of 5.9, while the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said it measured 6.2.

The tremor was recorded at 2.43 a.m. on Thursday about 238 kilometers southwest of the coast of Pylos, in region of Messinia, at a depth of just 10 kilometers.

No damage or injuries have been reported so far.

Snowflake

Cold spring storm brings back snow to Bogus Basin, Idaho

Several inches of snow Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020.
© Bogus Basin web cam
Several inches of snow Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020.
We all woke up to rain outside Wednesday morning as widespread moisture rotates around a low pressure center in Idaho. While we've had significant rain in the valley, rain transitioned over to snow overnight at Bogus Basin.

The snow stake at Bogus Basin shows several inches this morning with a blanket of white across the base area. A weather station near the Nordic Center reports one inch of precipitation in the past 24 hours. That would've equated to about a foot of fresh snow in winter months.


Boat

10,000+ residents flee Michigan county after TWO dams fail in a single day, unleashing massive flood


Comment: A 'one-in-500-year event', they're calling it.

As Corona madness grinds on, we expect ever more extreme weather phenomena to hit everywhere...


edenville dam flooding michigan
© TC VORTEX via Reuters
Water overruns Sanford Dam in Michigan on May 19, 2020
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for one county after two dams breached on the same day, warning that downtown Midland could be under nine feet of water in just 12 hours as thousands evacuate.

Both the Edenville and Sanford dams near Midland breached on Tuesday after several days of heavy rainfall, sending a torrent of water downstream along the Tittabawassee River and prompting the governor to issue an evacuation order for the area's 10,000 or so residents.

"If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe," Whitmer said in a statement, noting the state's National Guard had been activated and warning the city of Midland could be devastated by flooding as soon as Wednesday.

"This is unlike anything we've seen in Midland County. If you have a family member or loved one who lives in another part of the state, go there now."


Comment: See also: Floods in Illinois and Michigan after days of heavy rainfall - Chicago wettest May ever


Seismograph

'Anomalous seismic activity' and a tornado hit eastern Cuba

Cuba earthquakes
© Facebook/Enrique Diego Arango Arias
More than 20 earthquakes, some of them perceptible, and a tornado that caused material damage, were reported this Sunday in eastern Cuba.

According to the National Center for Seismological Research (CENAIS), until 7:30 pm (local time), 21 telluric movements had been registered in the eastern part of the island, "some of them perceptible by the population," in what is classified as "anomalous seismic activity."

The earthquakes were felt in the municipalities of Guamá, Palma Soriano, Tercer Frente, Contramaestre and Santiago de Cuba, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, in the municipalities of Media Luna, Bayamo and Bartolomé Masó, in the province of Granma, and in the city of Guantánamo in the province of the same name, reported CENAIS, which explains that so far no victims or material damage have been reported as a result of the quakes.

The largest of the tremors had a magnitude of 4.6 degrees and was recorded at 4:47 pm. It was located 20 kilometers south-southwest of the Santiago town of Chivirico, and just two hours later, a 4.2-magnitude aftershock was recorded. Both earthquakes are considered the seventh and eighth perceptible this year.

This seismicity, points out CENAIS, "corresponds to an activation of a segment of the Oriente fault to the south of the Guamá municipality, in the province of Santiago de Cuba."

Comment: Weird. We wonder how seismic activity may be linked to this tornado...


Seismograph

Sweden suffers one of its strongest earthquakes at Arctic iron ore mine

An aerial view of the Kiruna iron ore mine, where the earthquake hit
© LKAB.com
An aerial view of the Kiruna iron ore mine, where the earthquake hit.
Sweden has recorded its biggest ever earthquake caused by mining in the Arctic.

The quake measured magnitude 4.1 and forced the Kiruna mine, which is more than 100 years old, to be closed until further notice.

It is not the most powerful earthquake in Sweden overall, with the record held by an earthquake in Sjöbo in southern Sweden that measured 4.3.

Thirteen workers were in the mine when the tremor struck just after 3am on Monday, but no one was injured and all workers were able to drive out, local media said. The mine was quickly evacuated and all work stopped.

The epicentre was 1.9 miles (3 km) from the town, which is located in northern Sweden inside the Arctic Circle.

Several people in Kiruna reported noticing a severe tremor.

Fredrik Björkenwall, spokesperson for mine owners LKAB, said the quake could be felt around 12 miles (20 km) away.

Seismograph

Death toll in southwest China earthquake rises to four

SW China quake
© Chen Xinbo/Xinhua
A medical worker sprays disinfectants to collapsed houses in earthquake-struck Yakou Village in Xiaohe Township of Qiaojia County, Zhaotong, southwest China's Yunnan Province, May 19, 2020.
The death toll in a 5-magnitude earthquake that struck Qiaojia County in southwest China's Yunnan Province late Monday has risen to four, with 24 others injured, local authorities said Tuesday.

Rescue forces from the local public security, fire fighting, emergency response sectors have rushed to the quake zone.

The Yunnan provincial disaster reduction committee office and the provincial emergency response department have launched a level-four response for the disaster relief and sent a working group to the disaster area to assist and guide the earthquake relief work.

A mining rescue team from Zhaotong City is on the way to the disaster area. Meanwhile, the Zhaotong fire department has dispatched 91 fire fighters aided with 19 fire engines and four sniffer dogs to join the rescue.