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Mon, 28 Sep 2020
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Bug

Swarms of winged insects invade Siberian city, leaving Russians stunned

Winged insects invade Russian city
© vk.com / live_kras
A truly apocalyptic vista has emerged from the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk, after a massive horde of winged insects invaded its streets, forming gargantuan clouds in the air and swarming on the pavements.

Multiple videos of the insect invasion started making the rounds online on Monday, promptly becoming a viral topic in Russia. The bug buildup began in the city over the weekend, becoming particularly intense on Monday morning.


Seismograph

Shallow M6.1 earthquake strikes Fiji Islands Region

Fiji quake map
© emsc-csem
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolted 149 km NNE of Labasa, Fiji at 04:12:17 GMT on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 15.145 degrees south latitude and 179.7934 degrees east longitude.

Seismograph

Deep 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Russia's Kamchatka peninsula

Russia quake map
© Volcano Discovery
The large quake hit Russia's Kamchatka peninsula region on the country's far-east coast, over 6,200 km from Moscow. Specifically, the earthquake struck just 22km West North-West of Esso, Russia, which has a population of around 1,900, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

The EMSC said the quake hit at a depth of 320km - nearly 200 miles - at around 03:41 UTC, or 04:41 UK time.

There are no reports of damage or injuries at the time of writing.

However, there have been at least 14 reports of people feeling the quake, according to EMSC.

Accounts vary widely, with some reporting stronger feelings of shaking than others, with the duration of the quake also reported differently amongst people.

Seismograph

SECOND earthquake in a week hits UK town

Leighton Buzzard quake map
© EMSC
The latest Leighton Buzzard quake is thought to have been an aftershock from the magnitude 3.5 quake that was felt on September 8
A second earthquake in the space of a week has hit Leighton Buzzard, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS).

The tremor in Bedfordshire, which hit at 11.20pm on Sunday night, was measured by the BGS at magnitude 2.1.

It is thought to have been an aftershock from the magnitude 3.5 quake that was felt on September 8.

A BGS spokesman said: 'The most recent event was over 100 times smaller than the event on September 8 in the same area.

'The occurrence of smaller events from other previous UK earthquakes is not unknown.

'The small event that occurred in Bedfordshire last night could have occurred because all the stress in the rocks was not relieved by the event on September 8 in the same area or it caused a slight change to the stress regime in that location.

'There is constant ongoing research in the academic world on the issue of aftershock occurrence.'

Comment: 'Quite large' M3.3 earthquake felt across several towns in southern England


Fire

1,000 firefighters, 15 aircraft battle huge wildfire in central Portugal - perimeter over 34 miles long

WILDFIRE

Proença-a-Nova fire spreads to two more municipalities
Almost 1,000 firefighters and 15 water-dropping aircraft battled a major wildfire in central Portugal on Monday, as strong winds pushed the flames through dense and hilly woodlands.

The blaze was in central Portugal around Proença-a-Nova, 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Lisbon.

The fire's perimeter stretched more than 55 kilometres (34 miles), local Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa told a news conference, adding that an "extraordinary" amount of tinder-dry vegetation was fueling the flames.


Camera

Green clouds captured over Abisko, Sweden after intense auroras

Green clouds captured on September 13, 2020 @ Abisko National Park, Sweden
© Chad Blakley
Green clouds captured on September 13, 2020 @ Abisko National Park, Sweden
Last night, auroras unexpectedly exploded over Abisko, Sweden. "It was a great display," says Chad Blakley of local tour guide service Lights Over Lapland. "But it wasn't the auroras that caught our eye." It was the clouds.

What happened? A crack opened in Earth's magnetic field. Solar wind poured in to fuel the display. Such cracks form often during weeks around equinoxes--a pheomenon known as the "Russell-McPherron effect." With the autumnal equinox only 1 week away, more green clouds could be in the offing. Stay tuned.

Tornado2

Floods and waterspout forms as rainstorm hits Malta

WEATHER
A sudden rainstorm hit Malta Sunday afternoon, with main roads becoming flooded and some beautiful natural phenomena occurring.

1. A waterspout formed just off Mellieħa coast, with the spout visible from Mellieħa Bay.


Tornado2

Waterspout filmed off Visakhapatnam, India

waterspout
A waterspout occurred off the Visakhapatnam coast, at the Fishing Harbour on 13 September. According to the locals, this phenomenon was observed at 2 PM and gradually disappeared after a few minutes.

The visitors to the beach and those at the Fishing Harbour captured the videos of the waterspout on their mobile phones and shared them across social media.


Question

Hundreds of thousands of migrating birds are dying in southern New Mexico

dead birds
A growing number of birds in southern New Mexico that have mysteriously died have wildlife experts scratching their heads.

"It appears to be an unprecedented and a very large number," said Martha Desmond, a professor at NMSU's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology. "It's very difficult to put a finger on exactly what that number is, but I can say it would easily be in the hundreds of thousands of birds."

Desmond is working with a group of wildlife experts from the Bureau of Land Management, NMSU and White Sands Missile Range to get to the bottom of why they've been seeing a sudden uptick in deaths. They said one potential reason could be the cold snap that passed through the state last week.


Comment: The Guardian reports:
Flycatchers, swallows and warblers are among the species "falling out of the sky" as part of a mass die-off across New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and farther north into Nebraska, with growing concerns there could be hundreds of thousands dead already, said Martha Desmond, a professor in the biology department at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Many carcasses have little remaining fat reserves or muscle mass, with some appearing to have nose-dived into the ground mid-flight.

Historic wildfires across the western states of the US could mean they had to re-route their migration away from resource-rich coastal areas and move inland over the Chihuahuan desert, where food and water are scarce, essentially meaning they starved to death. "They're literally just feathers and bones," Allison Salas, a graduate student at NMSU who has been collecting carcasses, wrote in a Twitter thread about the die-off. "Almost as if they have been flying until they just couldn't fly any more."

The south-western states of the US have experienced extremely dry conditions - believed to be related to the climate crisis - meaning there could be fewer insects, the main food source for migrating birds. A cold snap locally between 9 and 10 September could have also worsened conditions for the birds.

Any of these weather events may have triggered birds to start their migration early, having not built up sufficient fat reserves. Another theory is that the smoke from the wildfires may have damaged their lungs. "It could be a combination of things. It could be something that's still completely unknown to us," said Salas.

"The fact that we're finding hundreds of these birds dying, just kind of falling out of the sky is extremely alarming ... The volume of carcasses that we have found has literally given me chills."

The first deaths were reported on 20 August on White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Initially, incidents were thought to be unrelated, but thanks to online forums, ornithologists noticed that they were happening all across the region. Resident bird species such as curve-billed thrashers, great-tailed grackles and white-winged doves do not appear to have been affected.

Large avian mortalities during migration are rare and few have been as large as this one. Records - which go back to the 1800s - show these events are always associated with extreme weather events such as a drop in temperature, snowstorm or hailstorm. The largest event on record in the region was a snowstorm in Minnesota and Iowa in March 1904 that killed 1.5 million birds.



Cloud Precipitation

Floods leave 6 dead after days of heavy rain in Tunisia

flood
At least 6 people have died in floods after days of heavy rainfall in Tunisia.

Heavy rainfall began around 05 September when Kairouan, capital of the Kairouan Governorate in the north of the country, recorded 89mm of rain in 24 hours. Monastir recorded 47.8 mm of rain, Mahdia 44.4 mm and Sidi Bouzid 58 mm during the same period. Mahdia recorded more than 40mm of rain in 24 hours in 4 separate days between 05 and 11 September. Institut national de la météorologie-Tunisie issued wanings for further heavy rainfall on 13 September.

Flooding and related fatalities were reported in the governorates of Monastir, Jendouba, Mahdia, Sidi Bouzid and Tunis, according to the country's Civil Protection Agency. Floods struck several districts of the capital, Tunis on 10 September. Some areas were under 1 metre of water, leaving roads impassable and buildings damaged.