Earth ChangesS


Snowflake

Unexpected spring snow blankets high-altitude regions in Türkiye

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In a surprising turn of weather events in mid-May, various regions of Türkiye defied the imminent arrival of summer with snowfall.

Snowfall blanketed high-altitude areas, transforming landscapes into wintry wonderlands but also disrupting travel plans for tourists and locals alike.

One such incident unfolded in the Haldizen Valley on the Trabzon-Bayburt border, located in northern Türkiye. Here, the 1900-altitude Demirkapı Plateau, renowned for its lush flora, became enveloped in a white veil as snowfall descended upon the region.

The snowy weather also affected the 2,740-altitude Yedigöller (seven lakes) region, encompassing Dipsiz Lake, İkiz Lake, Kara Lake, Sarıçiçek Lake, Pirömer Lake, Aygır Lake and Balıklı Lake. Roads became impassable due to lingering snowfall from the winter season, prompting efforts by municipality teams to clear blocked roads to restore access.


Comment: A report from 2 days prior: Cyclone from Russia brought snow to Turkey - European Russia has coldest early May on record


Cloud Precipitation

Flooding hits the city of Milan, Italy

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The lamination basin of the Seveso river, which has been in operation since 6.30 am, has filled up on the outskirts of Milan due to torrential rain that has caused the city's other river, the Lambro, to break its banks and flood parts of the northern city, local officials said.

The Civil Protection's municipal operations centre has been active since Tuesday to monitor the level of the river and coordinate interventions in the city, where Civil Protection and MM teams are at work, also with water pumps, to guard the basin and subways.

In the meantime, the rain continues and the Lombardy Region's Natural Hazards Monitoring Functional Centre has confirmed the orange (moderate) criticality warning for hydrogeological and hydraulic risk for today as well.


Boat

Heavy floods claim at least 7 lives in Iran's second biggest city Mashhad

Several people are believed to have been trapped in the latest downpour
Several people are believed to have been trapped in the latest downpour to hit Khorasan in Iran.
Sudden floods around the Iranian city of Mashhad have taken the lives of at least seven people, with three more missing. Severe flooding warnings are now issued for the entire northern stretch of the country from May 16 to May 20.

Areas close to the northern border with Turkmenistan have seen heavy rainfall and large hail with streets, homes and shops all under more than 90cm of water in some locations.

At the same time, further rain is expected across central Asia, with more predicted close to the Afghan and Tajik border.

City fire brigade divers retrieved the bodies of a man and a woman, both approximately 50 years old, in the northern Iranian city, which has seen several recent days of floods and freak weather events in part due to the wetter regional climate this year.


Snowflake

Rare mid-May snow advisory issued in Gangwon, South Korea as region sees heavy snowfall of 16 inches

Parwangsan in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon Province, is covered in snow Thursday morning following a heavy snow warning issued Wednesday.
© YonhapParwangsan in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon Province, is covered in snow Thursday morning following a heavy snow warning issued Wednesday.
Gangwon experienced more than 40 centimeters (16 inches) of snowfall on Thursday, prompting an unprecedented mid-May snow advisory.

Overnight snowfall on Mount Seorak in Gangwon was over 42 centimeters by 6 a.m. on the same day. Hyangro Peak in Goseong County, Gangwon, also received 12.9 centimeters of snowfall by 1 a.m. on Thursday.

The snowfall began on Wednesday evening, leading the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) to issue a heavy snow advisory. This marked the first heavy snow advisory issued in mid-May or later since data collection began in 1996.

This marks only the second time in Korean weather history that such a warning has been issued in May, following the first occurrence in 2021.


Fire

Wildfires have led to the evacuation of thousands of Canadians

The view from one of our flight crews as they worked to evacuate patients from Fort Nelson last night.
© BC Emergency Health ServicesThe view from one of our flight crews as they worked to evacuate patients from Fort Nelson last night.
Wildfire season has arrived in full force in Western Canada, prompting evacuation orders and alerts in several towns in British Columbia and neighboring Alberta due to the danger of uncontrolled blazes.

Hundreds of residents in four neighborhoods in the southern end of Canada's oil sand hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, were ordered to evacuate with a wildfire threatening the community, authorities said.

A large wildfire is slowly approaching the major Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray and around 6,000 people in four suburbs have been told to evacuate, local officials said.

With over 100 active wildfires burning in Canada, wildfire smoke has drifted across the border into the United States, prompting Minnesota officials to issue the state's first air quality alert of 2024.


Cloud Precipitation

At least 67 dead, 20 missing in Indonesia flash floods, cold lava flow after hours of heavy rain (UPDATES)

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At least 28 people, including several children, have been killed and many others are missing after flash floods and cold lava flow from a volcano hit western Indonesia, according to rescue officials.

Basarnas search and rescue agency said in a statement on Sunday the disaster hit Agam and Tanah Datar districts in the West Sumatra province at about 10:30pm (15:30 GMT) on Saturday after hours of heavy rain, triggering a flash flood and a cold lava flow from Mount Marapi.

Cold lava, also known as lahar, is volcanic material like ash, sand and pebbles carried down a volcano's slopes by rain.

Abdul Malik, head of the provincial rescue agency, told Reuters 28 people were killed, including a three-year-old and an eight-year-old.

Four other people are still being searched in Agam district, he said.


Comment: Update May 13

The Independent reports:
At least 43 people died in flash floods triggered by heavy rains and torrents of cold lava and mud flowing down a volcano's slopes on Indonesia's Sumatra island.

Officials on Monday said another 17 people remained missing as the search and rescue operation continued.

Torrential rain on Saturday caused flash floods, landslides, and cold lava flow from Mount Marapi in three districts in West Sumatra province.

The deluge tore through mountainside villages and swept away people while submerging nearly 200 houses and buildings and damaging rice fields, said Abdul Malik, the chief of the provincial rescue team.
Update May 15

The Straits Times reports:
Indonesian rescuers raced on May 15 to find dozens of people still unaccounted for after heavy rains caused flash floods and washed volcanic debris into residential areas over the weekend, sweeping away houses and leaving 67 people dead.

Hours of torrential rain on May 11 caused mud and rocks to flow into districts near one of Indonesia's most active volcanos, destroying dozens of houses and damaging roads and mosques.

"Some of the missing ones have been found. According to the police identification, 67 people died," national disaster agency chief Suharyanto said on May 15 in a press conference, raising the death toll from 58.

He added that 20 people remained missing, with rescuers saying many of the retrieved bodies were found in or around rivers after being swept away by the deluge of volcanic material, mud and rain.

Men standing near a damaged house in Tanah Datar in the West Sumatra province
© ReutersMen standing near a damaged house in Tanah Datar in the West Sumatra province.
The mixture of ash, sand and pebbles carried down a volcano's slopes by rain is known in Indonesia as lahar, or cold lava.

Heavy equipment was deployed to clear debris from the areas worst hit by flooding and cold lava flows, which have affected transport access in six districts, said Mr Suharyanto, who goes by one name.

"We have been scouring the areas that cannot be reached with cars. The currents in the river are extreme, so the search is quite dangerous," Mr Ritno Kurniawan, a 38-year-old member of the local rafting community, told AFP.

"We usually find the bodies along the riverbanks, buried under volcanic material or rocks."

More than 3,300 people have been forced to evacuate from affected areas.



Doberman

4-day-old baby dies after dog bite in Greene County, Tennessee

dog attack
The Greene County Sheriff's Office said its investigating after a four-day-old baby died after being bitten by dog.

Sheriff Wesley Holt said the baby was bitten by the dog at a Greene County home and taken to Greeneville Community Hospital at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

The baby was then flown to UT Medical Center and died from its injuries, Holt said.

Holt said the baby has been taken to the Knoxville Regional Forensics Center for an autopsy.

Additional information has not been released.


Comment: Four days prior: Kids injured in dog attack, mother found dead in Quitman, Georgia


Attention

Dead whale washes up on Massachusetts beach

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Curious onlookers were gathered on a Massachusetts beach Tuesday morning after a dead whale was found washed up on the sand and rocks.

The carcass was found on a stretch of coast between Preston and Curious onlookers were gathered on a Massachusetts beach Tuesday morning after a dead whale was found washed up on the sand and rocks.

The carcass was found on a stretch of coast between Preston and Phillips beaches in Swampscott, according to police.

The New England Aquarium confirmed it is a humpback whale. It was not immediately clear how long it had been dead or how it died.

Last month, a dead whale was found on the beach in the Marblehead/Swampscott area.


Attention

Killer whales bang into 50-foot yacht off Morocco, forcing 2 on board to abandon ship before it sinks

White Gladis (left) and Black Gladis (right) have been implicated - along with Grey Gladis - in many of the attacks on vessels on the Portuguese and Spanish coast (file image of the orcas from 2020)
White Gladis (left) and Black Gladis (right) have been implicated - along with Grey Gladis - in many of the attacks on vessels on the Portuguese and Spanish coast (file image of the orcas from 2020)
A pack of killer whales sank a 50-foot yacht in Moroccan waters Sunday when the massive sea mammals slammed into the vessel and forced two sailors aboard to flee, officials said.

Spanish authorities said the crew members were rescued by a passing oil tanker that was alerted to the desperate situation after the boat sprang a leak during the orca encounter in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The two people were customers, and the vessel belonged to Spanish company Alboran Charter, according to the Washington Post.

The yacht, which was 14 miles from the Cape Spartel coast, later sunk to the bottom of the ocean in the latest orca attack that has prompted experts to warn other sailors of danger in the area.

Last October, a Polish tour agency's yacht was relentlessly hit by a herd of orcas for 45 minutes that led to "major damage and leakage," the agency said. The boat ended up sinking.

Volcano

Bozdag-Guzdek mud volcano erupts in Azerbaijan

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In Azerbaijan, the Bozdag-Guzdek mud volcano has erupted for the first time in 15 years. The mud eruption lasted nine minutes and produced seismic signals that were detected by the country's Republican Seismic Survey Center. The eruption occurred on May 13 at 2:13 a.m. local time.

The mud volcano has a vent 3.5 kilometers deep and is located near the Sangachal oil field. It is one of the largest oil and gas producing areas in Azerbaijan and is located near the city of Baku on the Absheron Peninsula. Consequently, the mud volcano has nothing to do with real volcanism or magmatism: its eruptions are linked to methane gas, of which there is more than enough in the area. This is also reflected in the high number of mud volcanoes, which promote organic compounds. There are over 700 known mud volcanoes in the world, half of which are in Azerbaijan.