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Tue, 20 Aug 2019
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Earth Changes


'Mystery illness' strikes Dutch wild boar

Wild boars
The boar are popular with visitors
As many as 70 wild boar have died of an unexplained illness at a nature reserve in the eastern Netherlands.

Only about 20 boar die of disease in the Hoge Veluwe reserve annually, but the figure so far this year is more than triple that, the Omroep Gelderland public broadcaster reports.

Erik Koffeman of the Gelderland Wildlife Management Department says the death rate is "unprecedented - experts have never seen anything like this before".

Wild boar are allowed to live in only a few parts of the country, in case they cause damage or disrupt traffic, and the Hoge Veluwe reserve alone has a population of more than 6,000, according to the local De Stentor newspaper.


China issues 'red alert' as super typhoon Lekima approaches

Typhoon Lekima
© Nasa Earth Observatory Handout/EPA
Typhoon Lekima was expected to dump 90cm (35m inches) on parts of Taiwan before hitting mainland China early on Saturday.

Strongest storm in five years has already cancelled 300 flights and cut power to 40,000 homes in Taiwan

China's weather bureau issued a red alert as super typhoon Lekima approaches Zhejiang province on the eastern coast, after forcing flight cancellations in Taiwan and shutting markets and businesses.

The National Meteorological Centre said the typhoon, the strongest since 2014, was expected to hit the mainland in early on Saturday and then turn north. It has issued gale warnings for the Yangtze river delta region, which includes China's financial hub of Shanghai, a city of 26 million people.

Taiwan has already cancelled flights and ordered markets and schools to close on Friday as the typhoon headed northwest, cutting power to more than 40,000 homes and forcing the island's high-speed rail to suspend most of its services.

The island's authorities issued landslide warnings after an earthquake of magnitude 6 struck its northeastern coast on Thursday, hours before the typhoon approached. It was forecast to bring rainfall of up to 90cm (35 inches) in its northern mountains.

Cloud Precipitation

'It's gut-wrenching': Summer storm pulverizes Taber corn crops near Lethbridge, Alberta

An image of the destroyed corn crop at Molnar Taber Corn and Pumpkins.

An image of the destroyed corn crop at Molnar Taber Corn and Pumpkins.
What would have been a bumper Taber corn harvest has been reduced to mush by a vicious hailstorm.

Jenn Molnar and other family members took shelter in the basement of their home when the nine-minute onslaught descended on their farm at Barnwell east of Lethbridge on Tuesday night.

They emerged to a scene of total devastation that will mean a near-total loss for them and frustration for corn-lovers who crave their sweet cobs every August and September.

"We were completely wiped out," said Molnar.

"The Taber corn crops are gone, there's nothing left for this year."


Huge waterspout filmed on Lake Erie

A waterspout was spotted moving over Lake Erie, near Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, in the early afternoon of August 7.

Amanda Briggs de Lavini of the Geneva-on-the-Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau shot this video from Township Park at the eastern edge of town.

The National Weather Service in Cleveland later tweeted her video, having earlier reported a chance of showers and thunderstorms in Geneva-on-the-Lake in the afternoon.


Credit: Amanda Briggs de Lavini via Storyful


Shallow magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits Turkey's southwest

An earthquake of 6.5 magnitude rocked Turkey's southwestern city of Denizli, the country's earthquake observatory said on Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear if there were any casualties. The Kandilli observatory said the earthquake took place 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) underground. The USGS said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.8.


Shallow magnitude 6.0 earthquake strikes northeastern Taiwan, leaves one dead

An elderly woman in New Taipei apparently died after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck northeastern Taiwan at 5:28 a.m. Thursday, according to the city's fire department.

The earthquake, with its epicenter at sea about 36.5 kilometers southeast of Yilan County Hall at a depth of 22.5 km, also caused delays to five south-bound trains operated by Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp., affecting 2,500 passengers.

Shortly after the temblor, President Tsai Ing-wen activated the emergency response mechanism set up after she took office in 2016.

After receiving briefings from the National Security Council, Tsai posted a message on her Facebook and other social media platforms reassuring the public that no major damage or casualties had been reported as a result of the earthquake.

Cloud Precipitation

Evacuations after floods and landslides hit Lombardy, Italy - 4 inches of rain in 2 hours

Floods and landslides in Casargo, Lombardy Italy, 06 August 2019.
© Government of Lombardy
Floods and landslides in Casargo, Lombardy Italy, 06 August 2019.
A landslide and flooding has forced 146 residents and tourists to evacuate homes and hotels in the commune of Casargo, Lecco Province in the Lombardy Region of Italy.

Heavy rain in the region triggered the landslide and flooding of the Varrone river on 06 August, 2019. Local media described an avalanche of debris and mud that has left homes, roads and vehicles damaged. The SP 67 road was completely blocked for some time.

Antonio Leonardo Pasquini, mayor of Casargo, said there were no fatalities. However the material damages are severe and the mayor has called for the government to declare a state of disaster.

According to ARPA Lombardia, the region's weather and environment agency, the weather station at Premana, about 2 km north east of Casargo, recorded 176mm of rain in 48 hours to 07 August, with 105mm of that total falling in around 2 hours during the evening of 06 August.

Comment: See also: Hundreds evacuated near Lake Como after landslide triggered by heavy rain hits Italian town


Volcano erupts near Tokyo for the first time in 4 years

Screengrab captured by Jiji Press from a Japan Meteorological Agency surveillance camera on Aug 7, 2019 showing an eruption of Mount Asama in central Japan.
© AFP / Jiji Press
Screengrab captured by Jiji Press from a Japan Meteorological Agency surveillance camera on Aug 7, 2019 showing an eruption of Mount Asama in central Japan.
A volcano near Tokyo erupted for the first time in four years, throwing ash and smoke nearly 2km into the sky and sparking warnings not to approach the mountain.

Mount Asama, about 140km northwest of the Japanese capital, exploded overnight and prompted the national meteorological agency to raise its alert level to three out of five, meaning people should avoid the crater.

The agency warned that large rocks and fast-moving flows of hot gas could affect a radius of 4km from the crater and that nearby towns could be hit by smaller rocks and ash depending on prevailing winds.


Taiwan braces for typhoon hours after M5.9 earthquake strikes

Keelung, Taiwan
© AFP/Hsu Tsun-Hsu
A bird's eye general view of the port of Keelung, where wind and rain warnings have been issued.
A powerful typhoon will hit Taiwan later on Thursday (Aug 8), bringing the risk of landslides and high seas, weather forecasters said, hours after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the island.

Typhoon Lekima, categorised at the strongest typhoon level by Taiwan's weather bureau, was expected to approach off the island's northeastern coast late on Thursday.

It was moving across the ocean in a north-northwesterly direction at 15kmh, weather officials said.

Lekima was carrying maximum winds of 227kmh, as it approaches Taiwan, the weather bureau said.

The bureau issued wind and rain warnings for greater Taipei, the northern port city of Keelung and other northern counties. It also put out a warning to seafarers off the south and east coasts.

Cloud Precipitation

Hundreds evacuated near Lake Como after landslide triggered by heavy rain hits Italian town

Overturned cars in Casargo, Italy
© Daniele Bennati/Ansa/AP
Overturned cars in Casargo, Italy
About 200 people have been evacuated after a landslide cascaded through an Italian mountain town, overturning cars in its path, firefighters said.

Images released by the firefighters show the chaos wrought by the mud that came down the steep streets in the town of Casargo, above Lake Como in the northern Lombardy region.

The landslide was triggered by heavy rain on Tuesday evening.