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Sun, 09 May 2021
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Attention

Massive sinkholes open across Turkish farmland

Turkey sinkhole
© YouTube/VOA News (screen capture)
Massive sinkholes opened across the breadbasket of the Turkish plains, worrying farmers as the sinkholes creep closer to residential homes. The holes open when underground caverns created by drought can no longer contain the weight of the soil above. About 600 sinkholes have been counted along the Konya plain, nearly double the 350 counted last year. (AFP)


Camera

Rare V-shaped sun halo captured over Florida

Sunvex Parry arc taken on April 23, 2021 @ Viera, Florida, USA
© Dan Gore
Sunvex Parry arc taken on April 23, 2021 @ Viera, Florida, USA
You don't see this every day, especially not in Florida. On April 23rd, a pair of glowing V's appeared above the setting sun, both caused by ice crystals in the air. Dan Gore photographed them from Viera, FL.

"They lingered for about 5 minutes, then they were gone," says Gore. "It was a beautiful sight."

These are sun halos, one rare and one common. The lower 'V' is a common upper tangent arc created by sunlight shining through pencil-shaped ice crystals. The upper 'V' is a rare Parry arc created by similar kinds of ice crystals, but... To make the Parry arc, the crystals had to be horizontal, not rotate, and have two faces horizontal, too. It sounds improbable, and it is. That's why the Parry arc is so rare.

What's all this ice doing in Florida air? The crystals were located in cirrus clouds 5 to 10 km above the ground where the air is always freezing--even in Florida. Parry arcs prefer cold climates, but they can appear in the Sunshine State, too.

Comment: It is likely that atmospheric dust loading from increased comet and volcanic activity is contributing to the 'strange skies' we are witnessing, the cooling effect of which causes ice crystals to form. See also:


Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains kill 3 in Hai,Tanzania - over 4,000 displaced

storm
Three people are presumed dead, and nearly 4,000 have been displaced due to flooding after heavy rains pounded Weru-Weru and Masama wards in Hai District in the past few days.

The three people were in a family vehicle that was washed away by floods following a heavy rainfall, which hit the district on April 21 and swept away the Namwi river banks.

District officials say efforts to recover their bodies were still ongoing.

Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Anna Mnghwira said yesterday that the floods have destroyed nearly 700 homes, leaving over 4,000 people homeless.


Fire

Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupts, spewing ash up to 1,000 meters

volcano
The Sinabung volcano in Indonesia's North Sumatra erupted with a thick column of ash 1,000 meters above its peak to the east, the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center said on Monday.

The eruption occurred at 1:55 a.m. local time for 175 seconds.

At 1:44 a.m. local time on the same day, the mountain with third-level status also erupted with an ash column up to 500 meters high for 167 seconds.


Attention

Fifth whale washes up dead in San Francisco Bay in less than a month

dead
A dead whale was discovered on a beach near Fort Funston on Friday, the fifth deceased whale to be found around San Francisco Bay in less than a month.

April is the start of gray whales' northern migration, so finding dead whales on the shores of the bay is not unusual, but after four were found in the span of nine days just a few weeks ago, experts began to worry.

"It's concerning," Giancarlo Rulli of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito had said. "The fact that we've responded to four dead gray whales ... is concerning."

A video of the fifth dead whale was post to Twitter:


Snowflake

Spring snow hits the Sierra

snow
A springtime snow hit the Sierra on Sunday. After a dry winter with little rain or snow, some were happy to see the winter weather return.


Attention

Wild elephant attacks claim 3 lives in Sri Lanka

elephant
Two lives were lost in the village of Ulhitiya within 24 hours as a result of wild elephant attacks, highlighting the need to solve the growing conflict.

D.M. Hemalatha, 54, the second casualty in the wild elephant attack, had been living in a neighbour's residence after her house was destroyed by wild elephants last year.

The incident had taken place within a kilometre from the residence of Heen Manika, another resident who was killed by a wild elephant, less than 24 hours earlier.

Meanwhile, an elephant attack was reported from the Kurulubadda area in Polonnaruwa as well.

Attention

Signs and Portents: Extremely rare two-headed calf born in North Macedonia

The young cow has a condition called polycephaly

The young cow has a condition called polycephaly
An extremely rare two-headed calf has been born in North Macedonia.

The baby cow has a condition called polycephaly, and consequently has fused skulls, two pairs of eyes and one pair of ears.

The unique multi-headed animal is even able to suck milk simultaneously using its two mouths, as reported by Reuters.
Farmer Vasko Pestrovski knew something was different when the calf was being born in his barn in Lazec, a small village in the Bitola municipality, last week.

He said: "Early in the morning we heard that the cow was about to deliver. When she delivered, we saw the calf was rather extraordinary, with two heads.


Boat

Thousands affected by rising levels of Lake Tanganyika, Burundi

Lake Tanganyika from Bujumbura to Congo hills
© Avaadhesh under CC BY-SA 4.0
Lake Tanganyika from Bujumbura to Congo hills
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported on 25 April 2021 that flooding from the rising Lake Tanganyika had affected thousands of families in areas of Burundi over the last few weeks.

Levels of the lake have been slowly rising since February 2021. Heavy rainfall since the start of April has worsened the situation with further rainfall predicted until mid-May.

As of 19 April 2021, the level of Lake Tanganyika at the port of Bujumbura stood at 776.45 metres above sea level. The average level is 772.7 metres. Media said if the level exceeds 777 metres, areas around Bujumbura port will be flooded.

UNOCHA reported around 8,000 families have been affected and 2,000 displaced by flooding in lakeside communities including Bugarama, Kanyenkoko, Muhuta, Nyanza-Lac, Gatumba, Rukaramu, Kibenga, Gisyo and Kabondo.


Eye 2

Woman swallowed by python as she checked on her cornfield in Sulawesi, Indonesia

python
A woman in Indonesia was swallowed whole by a python as she checked on her cornfields last week. According to The Washington Post, citing the Jakarta Post, the woman's name was Wa Tiba and lived on Muna Island off the coast of Sulawesi. She left her home Thursday night to visit her cornfield about a half mile from her home.

Reticulated pythons are common in the area, but it was actually wild boars that Wa had been worried about initially because they'd be destroying her crops, according to the Jakarta Post's report.

When Wa didn't return, her sister went out to find her and found Wa's footprints, flashlight, slippers, and machete. On Friday, 100 villagers from Persiapan Lawela searched the area and found a 23 foot-long snake with a very swollen belly. The villagers killed the snake, cut it open, and found Wa inside intact. She probably didn't die inside the snake: A reticulated python secures its prey with a bite, then wraps its body around the victim, squeezing down until the victim cannot breathe, before consuming, according to the Associated Press.

Pythons are the longest snake in the world and usually only eat smaller mammals. However, a similar incident happened last year to a farmer from the nearby village of Salubiro on Sulawesi Island, according to The Washington Post.