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Sat, 25 Sep 2021
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Monumental floods and destruction in Pattaya, Thailand - 2nd deluge within 2 weeks

Pattaya awakened on Wednesday morning to what looked like a scene out of a Hollywood disaster movie.

All throughout the night the tropical storm wielded its wrath, dumping non-stop heavy rain all over the country and Pattaya was not spared.

The rain did not stop at dawn but kept pouring down all morning and through most of the day.

Pattaya streets are known to flood even with the slightest of rainfall, but with such a forceful blitz of rain throughout the night, the worst was about to hit the unsuspecting citizens that day.

By late morning, the extent of the devastation became more visible as water rose to new heights in almost every part of town.

Comment: For details of the earlier event on 27th August, see: Flooding in Pattaya, Thailand over 1 metre deep strands cars, floods homes

Cloud Precipitation

2 dead, 3 missing after floods in Tungurahua Province, Ecuador

© Bomberos Baños de Agua Santa
Flood damage in Baños, Tungurahua Province, Ecuador, September 2021.
Three people have died and 2 are still missing after flash floods in Tungurahua Province in central Ecuador on 05 September 2021.

Flooding struck in areas around Baños de Agua Santa (known as Baños) after heavy rain caused the La Estancia river to break its banks, according to Ecuador's National Risk and Emergency Management Service (SNGRE). Landslides were also reported in the area, and a bridge was severely damaged leaving around 50 people isolated in the La Estancia sector.

Five people were swept away in the floods. As of 08 September, rescue teams had located the bodies of 3 victims. Two people are still missing and search and rescue operations involving the local Fire Department and Red Cross were continuing.


Record rainfall floods streets in Lot-Et-Garonne, France - 2 month's worth of rain in a few hours (5 inches in 3 hours) - Floodwater over 2 metres deep

Nearly two months of rain fell in just a few hours in Lot-et-Garonne Department in southwestern France late on 08 September 2021.

Streets of the city of Agen were inundated with over 2 metres of water, according to the city government. Around 70 firefighters were deployed to the area and teams responded to around 130 incidents, mostly flooded cellars or buildings. No injuries or fatalities were reported. Local authorities opened the set up an evacuation centre in the town hall. According to local media reports, firefighters rescued around 20 people.

Areas of nearby Boé, Nérac and Marmande were also affected and several roads in the area closed. In Boé, part of the roof of a supermarket collapsed under the weight of the rain.

Météo France said between 19:00 and 22:00 on 08 September, the La Garenne station in Agen recorded a record 128.8mm of rain. As much as 80.5 mm of this total fell in just one hour. The 24-hour rain record previously was 73.6mm on from February 1990.

Comment: Only a week earlier on September 1, a similar deluge struck nearby in another part of southern Europe, see: Heavy rainfall causes destructive flash floods in Spain - 3 inches of rain recorded in just 30 MINUTES

Cloud Precipitation

17 hospital patients die after floods in Hidalgo, Mexico

Evacuations after floods in Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico, 07 September 2021.
© Coordinación Nacional de Protección Civil del Gobierno de México
Evacuations after floods in Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico, 07 September 2021.
Further flooding in central Mexico has caused the tragic deaths of at least 17 patients of a hospital in Hidalgo State.

Heavy rainfall on 07 September 2021 caused the Tula and Rosas rivers to break their banks in the municipality of Tula de Allende (known as Tula) in Hidalgo State, situated about 70 km / 45 miles north of Mexico City.

Flood waters swept through streets and into buildings, including the hospital of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). Flooding also knocked out power in the area including the hospital which was caring for several COVID-19 patients.

Cloud Precipitation

Typhoon Conson leaves at least 12 missing, 12,000 affected in the Philippines

Flood rescue in Ormoc, Leyte Province, Philippines
© Coastguard Philippines
Flood rescue in Ormoc, Leyte Province, Philippines, September 2021.
At least 12 people went missing while 12,000 others have been affected by Typhoon Conson in the Philippines, emergency services reported Wednesday.

Conson entered the Philippine archipelago on Tuesday with sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 150 kmph.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a report that at least 24 houses have been damaged by the typhoon, which caused flooding and power cuts in several areas in the central region of the archipelago.

Oil Well

'This is big': 14-mile long oil spill in Gulf of Mexico investigated by Coast Guard

gulf slick
Black slick floats in the Gulf of Mexico • August 31, 2021
The US Coast Guard is responding to a 14-mile long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico discovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, officials said Saturday according to Bloomberg. The spill, which consists of a 4-mile black sheen and a 10-mile rainbow sheen, is located in federal waters off Port Fourchon, Louisiana, said Sam Jones, head of the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office.

"That's big," Jones said in an interview on Saturday. "It's the biggest one out there."

The Coast Guard said in a statement that crude is believed to be coming from a pipeline owned by Houston-based oil and gas exploration company Talos Energy, adding the agency was in the preliminary stages of investigation. In response, Talos said that while it's leading a response to the spill, it denied being responsible, saying the spill was coming from an unknown source in an area where it ceased production in 2017.
"Extensive field observations indicate that Talos assets are not the source. Talos will continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to identify the source of the release and coordinate a successful response."
Talos said it deployed two 95-foot response vessels to conduct oil recovery operations at the site as well as an additional vessel and divers to help locate the source.

The "big" spill wasn't the only one: Jones said his agency had received 265 reports of spills and other incidents related to Ida, including 32 that appeared to be serious. Among them were two underwater pipelines, apparently transporting gas, and a gas well that blew in Three Bayou Bay in Jefferson Parish. The agency is investigating who owns those assets, Jones said.


Dixie Fire is blazing its way to becoming California's biggest ever

The Dixie Fire in northern California is on its way to becoming the largest wildfire in the state's history, officials say.

It has burned 917,579 acres and was only 59% contained as of Tuesday. Currently, the largest fire by acreage for the state is the August Complex, which burned 1,032,648 acres in 2020.

The Dixie Fire started on July 14 and has damaged or destroyed at least 1,282 structures, according to Cal Fire.

Of the top 20 largest wildfires since 1932, 17 have occurred since 2000; 11 since 2016; five in 2020 -- and three from this year.

"For September through December the entire state shows drier, more wind events, and large fire activity to continue for the next three months," said Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter.


Drone footage shows the extent of devastating fires burning in Amazon rainforest - well above historic average for 3rd consecutive year

Shocking drone footage has shown the dramatic impact fire is having in the pristine Amazon jungle in Brazil.

The footage, taken by Reuters on Sunday, show the aftermath of a massive fire in the Apui, Amazonas State region.

Satellites registered 28,060 fires in the Brazilian Amazon in August.

According to official government data, fires burned well above the historic average for the third consecutive year.

The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and critical to the world's ecosystem due to the vast amount of carbon dioxide that its plant life absorbs and stores.


Another glacial outburst flood begins on Iceland

The Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron. Archive photo
© Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson
The Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron. Archive photo
A glacial outburst flood, a.k.a. jökulhlaup, from the Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron in Vatnajökull glacier started yesterday, mbl.is reports. As a result, an alert phase of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management was declared in the area at noon yesterday.

The glacial outburst flood from the Eastern Skaftárketill cauldron comes in the wake of another flood from the western one, which began September 2 (see our report here).

A flood from the eastern cauldron has not occurred since 2018, and this one is expected to be about as large that year's flood. The flood in 2015 was considerably larger and caused more damage.

Comment: Also pertinent: Flooding & sulphuric smells at rivers in Iceland linked with change in geothermal & volcanic activity

Cloud Lightning

24 tea garden workers critically injured in 2 lightning strikes in West Bengal, India

Representative image of a lighting strike.
© Petr Hykš
Representative image of a lighting strike.
Twenty-four tea garden workers in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district were critically injured in lightning strikes when they were plucking leaves, officials said on Tuesday.

Seventeen women were injured in a lightning strike in Diana tea garden in the Banarhat police station area on Monday evening, they said.

All of them received severe burn injuries and were admitted to the Mal super-speciality hospital, they added.

It was raining, suddenly the women plucking leaves fell to the ground as a thunderbolt struck them, the tea garden's medical officer M.K. Soni said.