Earth ChangesS


Emergency response initiated as sawfish deaths rise to 28 in Florida Keys

An emergency effort is kicking off next week to help save endangered smalltooth sawfish, as their reported deaths has risen to 28.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Wednesday that it will begin a program to rescue and rehabilitate distressed sawfish to prevent further loss of the species.

In a press release announcing the effort, NOAA explained that it would be the first of its kind.

"If the opportunity presents itself, this would be the first attempt ever to rescue and rehabilitate smalltooth sawfish from the wild," said Adam Brame, NOAA Fisheries' sawfish recovery coordinator.

In addition to the 28 mortalities, at least 109 sawfish have been reported acting abnormally.

Comment: Earlier report from 3 weeks prior: Bizarre fish behavior baffles experts in Lower Florida Keys


High avalanche danger in southern Alps following over 2 feet snowfalls in 24 hours

Vars has received 60cm (2 feet) of snowfall in 24 hours.
Vars has received 60cm (2 feet) of snowfall in 24 hours.
The avalanche danger has jumped from level 2 ('moderate') to a 'high' level 4 on the scale to 5 at ski areas across the region after several reported over two-feet (60 cm) of snowfall in about 24 hours on Tuesday-Wednesday this week.

Isola 2000, Serre Chevalier and Risoul-Vars in the southern French Alps were among the areas posting 60cm (24") accumulations on their higher slopes, with Les 2 Alpes also noting that the avalanche danger there had jumped to level 4.

Cloud Precipitation

Flooding in Lisbon causes chaos

Lisbon is being seriously affected by the bad weather today with streets flooding.

On social media, people are already sharing images of the chaos in the Portuguese capital. A video, captured on Rua das Pretas, in the parish of Santa Maria Maior, shows a river in the middle of the city. "A shame", reads the publication's caption.

The heavy rain has caused floods and flooding in other parts of the city, causing some traffic restrictions.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 18 dead as Cyclone Gamane strikes Madagascar - more than 20,000 displaced (UPDATE)

Cyclone Gamane
Cyclone Gamane
At least 11 people have died after Cyclone Gamane struck the African island nation of Madagascar.

About 7000 people were affected by the devastation caused by the cyclone, which reached the north of the island on Wednesday, the National Authority for Civil Protection said on Thursday.

The cyclone moved across the island with an average wind speed of 150km/h and heavy rainfall.

In some places, winds of 210km/h were measured.

Comment: Update March 29

Reuters reports:
A tropical cyclone that swept across the island of Madagascar this week killed at least 18 people and displaced thousands more, the country's disaster management office said on Friday.

Tropical cyclone Gamane, which crossed the northeast of Madagascar on Wednesday and Thursday, displaced more than 20,000 people, the National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) said in a report.

Three others were injured and four were still missing, it added.


Waterspouts spotted off the Oregon coast

At least two waterspouts were spotted Wednesday evening off the Curry County coast. One waterspout was near Brookings and the other was near Gold Beach.

Arrow Down

Giant sinkhole in Rome swallows two cars

Two parked cars were swallowed by a large sinkhole - 10 metres deep and 10 metres wide - which opened up in the Quadraro district of Rome in the early hours of Thursday.

Police and firefighters closed off the street, Via Sestio Menas, after the chasm opened up at around 01.00. There was nobody injured in the incident.

The vehicles, a Dacia and a Renault, were subsequently removed and the area remained cordoned off on Thursday morning.

It is far from the first time that such an event has occurred in Rome, with the city experiencing a sharp rise in the number of sinkholes in recent years according to the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research.

Cloud Precipitation

Aerial footage shows thousands of solar panels in Texas destroyed by hailstorm on March 15

Images captured by Fox affiliate FOX26 Houston KRIV show extensive damage to Fighting Jays Solar in Fort Bend County, Texas.
© FOX26 Houston KRIVImages captured by Fox affiliate FOX26 Houston KRIV show extensive damage to Fighting Jays Solar in Fort Bend County, Texas.
Thousands of panels on a solar farm southwest of Houston, Texas, were damaged by a powerful hailstorm on March 15.

Aerial footage showed rows of cracked photovoltaic cells at the Fighting Jays Solar Farm near Needville in Fort Bend County, local news channel KTRK reported on Saturday. Baseball-sized hail stones were observed falling in the area overnight, as per the Houston Chronicle.

The solar project, which began producing power for Texas's energy grid in 2022, generates 350 megawatts across 3,300 acres of land and is expected to power 62,000 homes.

It is one of many renewable energy installations across the state which has championed clean energy projects in recent years while benefiting the most from federal tax credits and incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.


Best of the Web: Wild swings: Snow falls on Malaga in southern Spain following a dramatic drop in temperatures overnight

Parts of Malaga have woken up to a blanket of fresh snow following a dramatic drop in temperatures overnight.

Whilst low-lying coastal areas have experienced much-needed significant rainfall, Malaga's high altitude areas have been hit by snowfall.

This morning, many of the region's mountains were covered in snow after unseasonably low overnight temperatures.

Snow settled in the Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Tejeda, Sierra Bermeja and the Torcal de Antequera National Park.

Snow was also visible from the cities of Ronda and Granada.

Comment: Related: Temperature extremes: From 30ºC to snow fall in Portugal


Best of the Web: Temperature extremes: From 30ºC to snowfall in Portugal

From 30ºC to snow fall
From 30ºC to snow fall
Several areas woke up covered in snow this morning, including Gerês, Paredes de Coura and Arouca.

Snow fell again in several parts of the country, after several days with thermometers tipping the 30ºC mark.

Castro Laboreiro, in the municipality of Melgaço, woke up painted white after the snow fell during the afternoon and night of Monday.

In Cabana Maior, Arcos de Valdevez, right on the doorstep of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, it also snowed, with several online users sharing images.

Comment: Related: Snow falls on Malaga in southern Spain following a dramatic drop in temperatures overnight


Marapi volcano (Western Sumatra): sudden powerful explosion showered summit area with lava bombs

The explosive eruption at the volcano persists.

A spectacular eruption took place from the summit crater early last night. At aboout 00:13 local time, a towering pillar of grey-to-black ash and glowing ejecta released from the vent could be seen via surveillance cameras in Agam.

The intense explosion sent incandescent pyroclastic material up to a considerable height, consequently showering the upper edifice with lava bombs. The ash column reached 4,400 meters altitude and drifted west-southwest.

In order to mitigate the current risk, people are advised to avoid the area within a 4.5 km radius of the Verbeek Crater.

The alert level for the volcano remains at Level III (Siaga) since 11 January.