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Wed, 11 Dec 2019
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Earth Changes


Santa Barbara fire burns 4,200 acres, threatens thousands of homes

santa barbara fire
© Noah Berger/AP
A helicopter drops water on the Cave Fire burning in the Los Padres National Forest above Santa Barbara, Calif., on Tuesday.
A brush fire that broke out in Santa Barbara County, California, on Monday had grown to over 4,200 acres by late Tuesday morning after winds fueled the flames throughout the night.

The Cave Fire, as it has been named, started out in the Los Padres National Forest and swept over parts of Highway 154 near Santa Barbara's city limits, forcing officials to shut down the highway until further notice.

Firefighters were unable to contain the blaze as of Tuesday afternoon, officials said at an afternoon press conference.

Thousands of people had to evacuate their homes just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.

An incoming winter storm, expected to hit this part of Southern California late Tuesday night and last to Thursday, may help firefighters rein in the blaze.

Cloud Precipitation

Storms in France, Greece and Italy leave 'biblical' destruction

collapsed road from flooding Piedmont, Italy

A collapsed road in Piedmont. Two people are dead and two others are missing after a wave of storms in northern Italy
Nine people die as weekend of heavy rain brings landslides, floods and collapsed overpass

Greek media described the storms as leaving a trail of "biblical destruction" in some areas of the country while the overpass collapse in northern Italy brought back a chilling reminder of Genoa's Morandi bridge giving way during a thunderstorm in August 2018, killing 43 people.

Flash floods in France's Côte d'Azur claimed the lives of four people, while two others are believed to still be missing. Three of the victims were found in cars that were swept away in floods in the Var region, and the fourth was among a group being rescued by the fire brigade when the dinghy carrying them to safety capsized.

Comment: See also: At least six dead as Europe battered by storms, floods and a landslide

Cloud Precipitation

41 dead after heavy rain pounds Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo sparking landslides and floods

Residents stand near the scene of a landslide following torrential rains near the University of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo November 26, 2019.
© Kenny Katombe
Residents stand near the scene of a landslide following torrential rains near the University of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo November 26, 2019.
Forty-one people died in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa after torrential overnight rains, with some swept away by landslides, a top city official said Tuesday, giving a provisional toll.

"The loss, in terms of property and lives, is really huge," Kinshasa's vice governor, Neron Mbungu, told AFP, adding that the dead included a child who was electrocuted.

Three of the city's 26 districts were especially hit, he said.

A bridge connecting the districts of Lemba and Ngaba collapsed, and another was destroyed in the district of Kisenso, he said.

In Lemba, an AFP journalist saw a gigantic hole, about 10 meters (30 feet) deep and 20 meters (70 feet) across, where a road had been swept away.


Video of man attacked by pack of dogs in Delhi, India

A 50-year-old man walking towards his home after parking his car was attacked by a pack of dogs in the middle of the night in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar on Saturday. The incident was caught on CCTV cameras installed in the locality.

The residents of the area staged a protest on Monday after CCTV footage of the incident was posted on WhatsApp group of the residents' welfare association (RWA).


Blizzard slams Denver and Colorado's Front Range - with up to 33 inches of snow dumped, more on the way

A major snowfall for some areas and significant for others brings the Front Range to a near halt Tuesday morning as snow continues.

Here are some preliminary totals through 10 am Tuesday, which will climb higher in some cases.

09:00 am MST - 11/26/2019 3 NNE DRAKE, CO 33
07:30 am MST - 11/26/2019 4 ENE RED FEATHER LAKES, CO 32
07:00 am MST - 11/26/2019 11 SE ESTES PARK, CO 31.7
06:45 am MST - 11/26/2019 4 WSW DRAKE, CO 29
08:47 am MST - 11/26/2019 1 N GENESEE, CO 24.5
07:00 am MST - 11/26/2019 11 WSW LIVERMORE, CO 24
03:03 am MST - 11/26/2019 1 N MEEKER PARK, CO 24


Feral hogs kill woman in front yard of home in Chambers County, Texas

Authorities confirm an attack by wild hogs caused the death of a woman whose body was found in the front yard of an Anahuac home Sunday.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said in a press conference Monday afternoon the Jefferson County medical examiner's office formally ruled the cause of death as "exsanguination due to feral hog assault.

"We had suspected that," said Hawthorne. "My detectives and the criminal investigation team felt like that's what it was, but it was not something that we could even come close to announcing until we had the cause of death from the medical examiner's office."

The Chambers County Sheriff's Office said the body was discovered in the 400 block of State Hwy 61.
The woman was identified as 59-year-old Christine Rollins of Liberty.

Authorities say Rollins was the caretaker of an elderly couple who lives in the home where her body was discovered.

Cloud Lightning

Hail, lightning, wild wind as monster storm smashes through Sydney, leaving 76,000 without power

The storm sweeps across Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour

The storm sweeps across Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour
A severe, fast-moving thunderstorm swept across the Greater Sydney region on Tuesday afternoon, leaving 76,500 homes without power, causing widespread damage, and wreaking havoc on trains and roads.

The Harbour City was lashed by wild winds, lightning and hail, after a "monster" thunderstorm tore through large swathes of northern Sydney shortly before 2pm on Tuesday.

By mid afternoon, trains had stopped running between Gordon and Berowra on the T1 North Shore Line and Central Coast and Newcastle Line due to urgent power supply repairs at Hornsby, and fallen trees on the tracks at Gordon.

The freak storm only lasted two minutes in parts of northern Sydney, but the wreckage will take days to clean up.

Cloud Precipitation

Plane in Zambia smashed by hail, hit by lightning

Plane damage
Incredible images of the after-effects of a plane flying through a storm in Zambia have been shared on social media.

The Proflight DHC-8-300 was flying between Livingstone and Lusaka when it hit a severe storm. The plane was struck by lightning and pelted with hail.

Local news outlet Mwebantu shared the post of a passenger who was onboard.

"Just landed in Lusaka on a flight from Livingstone," wrote Savannabel.

Cloud Precipitation

Three die as storm front batters Greece

Torrential rains left damages in the town of Kineta, some 50 km southwest of Athens

Torrential rains left damages in the town of Kineta, some 50 km southwest of Athens
Three people have died in Greece as a storm front battered parts of the country, causing flooding and landslides, officials have said.

The bodies of two men were recovered after their yacht capsized and sank in the port of Antirion, near the city of Patras, a senior coastguard official said. Antirion lies 200 kilometres west of Athens.

Moving eastwards, the storm then caused flooding in the Halkidiki peninsula and the island of Rhodes, where a disabled elderly woman died in her home, the fire department said.

Gale-force winds also disrupted some ferry services on the Ionian Sea.

Arrow Down

Third sinkhole in three days appears in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A warning to Kuala Lumpur drivers: a third sinkhole has appeared in the city center this week (albeit somewhat less impressive than its cohorts), this time along Jalan Dewan Bahasa Pustaka.

City hall (DBKL) officials have blamed the relatively small patch of collapsed pavement on burst underground water pipes.

DBKL took to their Facebook account to warn commuters of potential delays along the stretch of road leading towards the intersection of Jalan Loke Yew and Hang Tuah. Drivers wanting to get to Jalan Imbi have been advised to use the overpass while repairs are being carried out.

Three sinkholes have appeared throughout the city in as many days, with the first reported on Sunday night after it dramatically swallowed up a woman's Perodua Myvi as she drove near Stadium Merdeka. No one was injured in the incident, which left a three-meter hole along Jalan Maharajalela.

Comment: Woman in car swallowed by sinkhole in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia