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Sun, 29 Jan 2023
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

California storm death toll rises to 17 amid unrelenting rains

This aerial view shows a flooded neighborhood in Merced, California on January 10, 2023.
© Josh Edelson
This aerial view shows a flooded neighborhood in Merced, California on January 10, 2023. Power outages, school closures, mudslides, flooding, evacuations — the fifth in a parade of deadly storms driven by atmospheric rivers is hitting California, and residents and officials are struggling to cope with the deluge of water.
The California storm death toll has reached at least 17 as relentless rain forces evacuations in places like Montecito and Santa Cruz due to flooding and mudslides.

Full story: https://abc7chicago.com/california-we...

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Colombia - Massive landslide destroys homes, cuts major road in Cauca

landslide Rosas Cauca Colombia January 2023
© Municipality of Rosas
Landslide in Rosas Cauca, Colombia, January 2023.
Long-term heavy rainfall caused a massive landslide in the department of Cauca, southwestern Colombia, on 09 January 2023. Homes were destroyed and hundreds of victims were displaced.

The landslide occurred during the early hours of 09 January 2023 in the municipality of Rosas, Cauca Department. Disaster authorities said huge volumes of debris fell from slopes onto part of Highway 25 below, covering a 900-metre stretch of the road. Highway 25 is an important transport route between the cities of Pasto (Nariño department) and Popayán (Cauca department). The road is likely to remain closed for the next 2 weeks.

Colombia's National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) said several villages in the area are isolated. The Colombian Air Force was deployed to rescue victims by helicopter.

Bizarro Earth

Utah's Great Salt Lake is on the verge of collapse, and could expose millions to arsenic laced dust

Scientists say excessive water use is to blame, with 74% of diverted lakewater being used for unsustainable agricultural practices.
Great Salt Lake
© Reuters/Brian Snyder
Dry lakebed surrounding Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.
Utah's Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, could be set to disappear within the next five years, exposing millions of people to the toxic dust trapped in the drying lake bed, according to scientists.

The urgent warning, issued in a Jan. 4 report by a team of 32 ecologists and conservationists, says that the lake has lost 73% of its water and 60% of its surface area since 1850 and is facing "unprecedented danger." Without emergency measures to add an additional 326 billion gallons (1,234 billion liters) of water to the lake per year, or enough water to fill nearly 500,000 Olympic-size swimming pools, it could pass the point of no return by the end of 2024.

The Great Salt Lake provides a habitat for around 10 million migratory birds and brings Utah roughly $2.5 billion a year in economic activity, but, after drying at record rates since 2020, is currently sitting at 19 feet (5.8 meters) below its natural average levels, the report found. Scientists and conservationists pin the blame squarely on excessive water use by the region's alfalfa and hay farms, which take 74% of the many trillions of gallons of the total diverted lakewater to irrigate their vast operations, according to the report. If the lake is to be saved, overall water usage must be rapidly cut by 30 to 50%.


Man mauled to death by his own dogs in Lichtenburg, South Africa - 8th such fatality for the country in 8 weeks

dog attack
In yet another shocking dog attack, a 60-year-old man from Lichtenburg in the North West was mauled to death by his own dogs at the weekend.

The elderly man was killed by his three dogs at his home at about 3pm on Saturday.

Police have opened an inquest case to investigate circumstances leading to the incident.

According to police spokesperson Sam Tselanyane, it was alleged that during load shedding, the deceased's wife was busy on the other side of their house when she heard the dogs barking.

Comment: Details of the other 7 attacks:


Indonesia struck by 7.6-magnitude earthquake

Indonesia was rattled by a 7.6-magnitude deep-sea earthquake that damaged village buildings in the lightly populated island chain of Tanimbar earlier today, prompting panicked residents to flee their homes.

Two school buildings and at least 15 homes were damaged in the Tanimbar islands, said Indonesia disaster agency officials, with one person injured.

"Local residents felt strong tremors for three to five seconds. There was panic when the quake shook so the residents left their houses," Abdul Muhari, a spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement, citing the local agency.

The quake struck at a depth of 130km at 2.47am local time in the Banda Sea, near the Tanimbar islands in Maluku province having a total population of 127,000 people, according to 2021 data. While a tsunami warning was put in place by local authorities, it was lifted after about three hours at 5.43am.

Cloud Precipitation

Indonesia - Deadly flash floods on Java Island

Disaster authorities in Indonesia report at least 2 people have died after flash floods in Central Java Province on the island of Java. Flooding has also affected parts of Banten Province over the last few days.

Central Java Province

Flooding struck in Tembalang District, Semarang City, on 06 January 2023 after heavy rain caused an embankment along the Pengkol River to break, folding a housing complex. Semarang City Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) said teams worked diligently to rescue one person from a flooded house. Unfortunately, the victim sustained injuries and passed away, authorities said.

A total of 147 residents were affected by the floods, which have since receded but left behind large amounts of debris, garbage and mud carried by the currents.


7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Vanuatu in Pacific

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu on Sunday, trigguring a tsunami warning in nearby waters.

The quake was centered 15 miles from Port Olry and hit at a depth of 17 miles at 11:32 p.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Vanuato is about 606 nautical miles east of the Solomon Islands and 933 nautical miles from Australia.

Vanuatu has a population of 280,000 and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes frequently occur.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for coasts within186 miles of the epicenter but it wast later withdrwan.

No initial reports of damage or casualties were reported.

In November, the Solomon Islanda was hit with a 7.0 earthquake.

Bizarro Earth

Sinking land forces hundreds to leave Indian temple town

Sink Hole
© Associated Press
A motorist navigates his way through a crack on a road in Joshimath, India, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. Authorities have stopped all construction activity and started shifting hundreds of people panicking after seeing a temple collapse and cracks in over 600 houses due to subsidence of land in a northern Indian hilly town, officials said on Saturday.
Authorities in an Indian Himalayan town have stopped construction activities and started moving hundreds of people to temporary shelters after a temple collapsed and cracks appeared in over 600 houses because of sinking of land, officials said Saturday.

Residents of Joshimath town in Uttarakhand state say they started noticing cracks in houses, especially after 2021 floods in the region. No injury was reported in the temple collapse late Friday and those living nearby had vacated the area a day earlier.

Himanshu Khurana, a district administrator, said more than 60 families have been moved to government relief camps. The number is likely to go up to 600 families, media reports said.

Television images also showed cracks in roads, hampering the movement of vehicles.

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1 snowmobiler killed, 1 missing in Colorado avalanche

One snowmobiler died and another was missing Saturday after becoming buried in an avalanche in unincorporated Grand County, Colorado, officials said.
© Grand County Sheriff's Office
One snowmobiler died and another was missing Saturday after becoming buried in an avalanche in unincorporated Grand County, Colorado, officials said.
A 58-year-old man was killed and another man is missing after they were struck by an avalanche in the north-central Rocky Mountains on Saturday, authorities in Colorado said.

The pair were riding snowmobiles when a wave of snow hit them on the east face of Mount Epworth in Grand County, about 6 miles east of Winter Park, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The avalanche was reported about 2:15 p.m., and responding sheriff's deputies, search-and-rescue crews, ski patrol members, and local good Samaritans found the 58-year-old from northern Colorado buried in snow, the Grand County Sheriff's Office said.

They couldn't revive him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the office said in a statement. The man's identity was expected to be released later by the county coroner, it said.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flooding chaos in downtown Porto, Portugal following 20 minutes of intense rain

Absolute chaos was unleashed yesterday in downtown Porto following little more than 20 minutes of intense rain.

Meteorologists estimate that 25 litres of water per square metre fell in this small time period, transforming parts of the city into a raging river.

Considering northern areas have up till now avoided the kind of flooding horrors experienced in urban areas of Lisbon just before Christmas, Saturday's deluge has seriously worried city authorities.

Deputy mayor Filipe Araújo admitted that "for the first time" water rose 'up' to the surface and did not drain into the underground river.

"We have a river that passes below that normally transports (rain) water. If we don't detect ways of correcting (the problem), it could happen again..." he said.