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Tue, 31 Mar 2020
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Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 2 teachers, injures 15 students in Uganda

Lightning struck dead two teachers and injured seriously 15 pupils at Queen Zainab primary school in Bugaya sub-county in Buyende district in eastern Uganda.

Babra Birungi and Mathias Wandyaka were killed on Wednesday evening during rainfall characterised by a hailstorm. Christine Babirye, a teacher at the school says the heavy rain forced pupils and teachers to lock themselves in the main hall.

"We experienced heavy rainfall with accompanied with a huge storm, which blew off the roof of the classroom. We decided to converge in the main hall where tragedy befell us," she said.


Army deployed as Northland, New Zealand experiences 'worst drought on record'

New Zealand troops prepare to help with drought relief in the Northland region
© Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
New Zealand troops prepare to help with drought relief in the Northland region.
The New Zealand army has been sent to Northland to assist in drought relief efforts after months without any rain.

The towns of Kaikohe and Kaitaia are the worst hit with severe water restrictions in place throughout February. Water is only allowed to be used for cooking, drinking or 40-second showers.

"We're running out of water", the Far North council website reads, saying its goal is to "urgently" reduce water consumption across the district by 25%. There has been no significant rainfall since November.

This week a deployment of soldiers from the New Zealand army arrived in the region and will be based in Kaitaia for two weeks. Weather forecasters predict no significant rain events for the region until the end of March.

Three medium-heavy army vehicles, each with tanks capable of carrying 5,000 litres of water, plus a hired vehicle capable of carrying 7,000 litres, are being used by the troops to deliver water to communities without town supplies. Emergency supplies will be being topped up at rural marae (Māori meeting house) and other community facilities.

The drought in Northland is the worst on record, said Kaitaia mayor John Carter, who described the situation as a "crisis".

"This is as probably as serious as it gets, this is the worst drought we've had on record," Carter told local media.

Comment: Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Southern Hemisphere drought connection between Southern Africa and Australia


Severe winter weather kills over 55,700 livestock in the province of Khuvsgul, Mongolia

livestock dead
Extreme wintry weather, known as dzud in Mongolia, has killed more than 55,700 livestock animals in the northwestern province of Khuvsgul alone since late last year, the provincial agricultural department said Monday.

"Dzud" is a Mongolian term to describe the frigid winter that comes after a dry summer and causes the death of a great number of livestock due to starvation or cold weather.

"A total of 55,764 livestock animals have died in 11 soums (a type of administrative district in Mongolia) of our province since late last year due to the severe wintry weather. Heavy snowfalls have hit the province 16 times since the beginning of November," the department said in a statement.

The agricultural department and other relevant provincial organizations have been distributing grass and fodder to local herders free of charge or at discounted prices, it added.


Alarming rise in dolphins washed up dead on Irish beaches - at least 37 so far in 2020

A dolphin found with a head wound on a beach near Durrus recently

A dolphin found with a head wound on a beach near Durrus recently
Locals were shocked to discover a dead dolphin, with what appears to be blue rope tied around its tail, washed up on Kilkilleen beach in Roaringwater Bay last week.

Julie Williams discovered the dolphin, while walking on the beach, which is popular with families in the area.

'I was shocked. The dolphin had been there a few days at this point I think,' Julie told The Southern Star.

'To see a beautiful animal like this with a rope tied around its tail is awful and would be a terrible sight to see for any young kids.'

The dead dolphin was reported to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who confirmed to The Southern Star that the numbers of dead dolphins found stranded on beaches in West Cork and Kerry has increased alarmingly in recent times.


Revelstoke Mountain in British Columbia sees 9.3 metres (30.5 feet) of snow this season and still counting

Coen Bennie-Faull sliding through the surreal landscape of Revelstoke’s alpine
© Tony Harrington
Coen Bennie-Faull sliding through the surreal landscape of Revelstoke’s alpine
It feels like everyone you talk to in snow circles in North America or Canada has Revelstoke on their radar right now. The word is also out in Australia and you'll not only hear a few Aussie accents in the lift lines and the cafes, you'll find a few of Australia's top freeskiers making the most of this BC powder town including Nat Segal, Billy Lloyd-Blainey and recent settler Coen Bennie-Faull.

And there's a few very good reasons why. So, let's start with the terrain. It's huge, the mountain claims the biggest vertical of any resort in North America. Incredible bowls are just a short hike. Like trees? They've got glades. Like to feel the burn? Try a top-to-bottom and let us know how your thighs feel.

Then bury all that varied and vast terrain with a deep layer of snow. This winter Revy has seen a clockwork delivery of copious amounts of snow chalking up their second snowiest season on record - 931cms so far and it's not stopping anytime soon.


Residents horrified as wildfire consumes all around them in nightmarish scenes in Argentina

Argentina wildfires
© Twitter / @machirulaPro
Evacuations are underway and firefighters have been deployed en masse after a wildfire broke out near the town of Esquel in Argentina's Chubut province. Residents watched in despair as their homestead became a fiery hellscape.

At least 90 firefighters are working tirelessly to extinguish the flames before the outbreak can spread any further. Firefighting planes, helicopters, along with numerous fire engines and tankers have been scrambled to help battle the blaze, which is spreading rapidly across the dry grasslands in the area. An eyewitness video shows the nightmare unfolding.

High temperatures in recent days rendered conditions perfect for such a bushfire to break out and the nearby highway Route 259 was closed temporarily as flames encroached on that main transport artery.


4 metres (13 feet) of snow in 3 weeks at Glencoe Mountain Resort in Scotland

A partially buried hut at Glencoe Mountain snowsports centre this week
© Keith Hill
A partially buried hut at Glencoe Mountain snowsports centre this week
The operators of a Scottish snowsports centre say they are enjoying the best snow conditions in six years.

Glencoe Mountain estimates about 4m (13ft) of snow has fallen over the past three weeks and ski lifts and equipment huts have been partially buried.

Recent heavy snowfalls across Scotland's mountain areas followed a winter largely marked by mild weather and little snow.

All Scotland's outdoor snowsports centres have benefitted from snowfalls.

Arrow Down

Massive sinkhole opens up in Toms River, New Jersey

A massive sinkhole opened on Windsor Avenue in Toms River March 2
© Toms River Police Department
A massive sinkhole opened on Windsor Avenue in Toms River, March 2
A massive sinkhole opened on Windsor Avenue Monday, shutting down the roadway, police said.

Windsor Avenue between League Road and Garfield Avenue will be closed "around the clock" while utility crews conduct repairs, Toms River police said in a Facebook post.

No one was injured as a result of the road collapse, police spokeswoman Jillian Messina said.


Elderly woman dies in vicious dog attack in Kerala, India

dog attack
An 87-year-old woman died in a suspected stray dog attack in Haripad on Tuesday. According to the police, the deceased is Rajamma, Vadekattu House, Pilappuzha.

It was a woman of the neighbourhood who found her in an unconscious state with severe dog bite injuries all over her body. The woman had arrived at Rajamma's house at 7pm to keep her company. But as she did not see the elderly woman inside her home, she alerted neighbours and launched a hunt, only to find her nearby with deep injuries on the back of her head and hands.

Though neighbours took her to Haripad Government Hospital, her life could not be saved. She was the headmistress of Aroor LP School.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 18 people killed by floods and landslides after 11 inches of rain in 12 hours in São Paulo state, Brazil

Landslide and flood damage in Baixada Santista region, Sao Paulo, Brazil 03 March 2020.
© Sao Paulo Civil Defence
Landslide and flood damage in Baixada Santista region, Sao Paulo, Brazil 03 March 2020.
At least 18 people have died and many more are missing after a storm and torrential rain hammered the coastal Baixada Santista region of São Paulo state, Brazil on 03 March, 2020.

State Civil Defence said that some areas recorded over 280mm of rain in just 12 hours.

Among the worst hit are the cities of Guarujá, Santos and São Vicente. Roads have been blocked by fallen trees or landslides and houses damaged or destroyed. Dozens of people have been displaced, including 156 in Guarujá and 18 in São Vicente.

Civil Defence said that as many as 30 people are missing, raising fears the toll could rise further. As of 03 March, 15 fatalities had been reported in Guarujá, with 22 people still missing. Two people died in Santos (6 missing) and one in São Vicente (2 missing).