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Cloud Lightning

Since May 15, lightning strikes have killed 315 in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India

On Saturday, IMD warned that intense thunderstorms and lightning are likely over south-east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, east Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, east Vidarbha and Odisha during the following 12 hours.
© Keshav Singh/HT file photo
On Saturday, IMD warned that intense thunderstorms and lightning are likely over south-east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, east Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, east Vidarbha and Odisha during the following 12 hours.
Weather conditions that are forming certain kinds of clouds and bountiful rains in the region that are encouraging paddy farmers to be out in the field planting the crop have together resulted in a quiet tragedy in east Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that has gone almost unnoticed during the Covid-19 crisis -- death from lightning strikes.

There were 26 deaths on Thursday in Bihar alone from such strikes (or flashes as they are called scientifically). On Friday, 15 people were killed in lightning strikes in different districts of the state. Another 21 people lost their lives and over 40 were injured due to lightning amid heavy rain and thunderstorms in seven districts of Bihar on Saturday. And at least 253 more people have lost their lives to lightning strikes and 49 have been injured in the past one and half months with 90% of the deaths recorded in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, according to data from the National Disaster Management Authority. The injured are undergoing treatment in local hospitals. Most of the casualties are farmers and labourers who were doing agriculture-related work in fields. Chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the loss of lives. He has announced an ex-gratia of four lakh rupees each to the next of the kin of the deceased. Kumar has ordered free treatment of injured persons.

Attention

Over 100 killed in monsoon landslide at jade mine in Myanmar - death toll reaches 172 (UPDATE)

myanmar mine landslide july 2020
© (AP Photo / Zaw Moe Htet)
Rescue workers use poles to carry a body shrouded in blue and red plastic sheet Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Hpakant, Kachin State, Myanmar. At least 162 people were killed Thursday in a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar, the worst in a series of deadly accidents at such sites in recent years that critics blame on the government's failure to take action against unsafe conditions.

A landslide caused by monsoon rains in Myanmar has killed no less than 113 people, the country's emergency services said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Xinhua news agency reported a death toll of 96.
The landslide came at about 8 a.m. local time (1:30 GMT) at a jade mine near the Hpakant township, located in the Kachin state.

Comment: Other news services have highlighted the fact that this landslide is one of many similar accidents at mines in Myanmar, noting that the industry is unregulated and exploits those who live in extreme poverty:
At least 162 people were killed Thursday in a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar, the worst in a series of deadly accidents at such sites in recent years that critics blame on the government's failure to take action against unsafe conditions.

The Myanmar Fire Service Department, which coordinates rescues and other emergency services, announced about 12 hours after the morning disaster that 162 bodies were recovered from the landslide in Hpakant, the center of the world's biggest and most lucrative jade mining industry. [..]

The most detailed estimate of Myanmar's jade industry said it generated about $31 billion in 2014. Hpakant is a rough and remote area in Kachin state, 600 miles north of Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon. [..]

The London-based environmental watchdog Global Witness said the accident "is a damning indictment of the government"s failure to curb reckless and irresponsible mining practices in Kachin state's jade mines."
Update: Elevenmyanmar.com reports on July 4:
Hpakant landslide death toll rises to 172

Hpakant landslide

Hpakant landslide
The total death toll from Hpakant landslide has reached 172, and search and rescue operations for the missing people are suspended due to the landslide risk, according to the local administrative organizations and rescue teams.

Myo Myint, deputy head of Hpakant Township Red Cross Association said: "We have to suspend search and rescue operations due to heavy rains and the landslide risk. Today, the bodies of 11 victims were recovered. According to the residents, the number of missing people is expected to exceed 250. The missing people may be buried in the mud. Search and rescue operations will continue tomorrow if the weather is fine."

Waikhar village administrator U Kyaw Min said: "The bodies of 67 victims killed in the landslide were buried. They are not ownerless. Ward administrators are still compiling the list of missing people."

Upper House MP U Cho (aka) U Khin Maung Myint said: "The bodies of victims who have the families are cremated. We are going to search for the ownerless dead bodies by sending their photos to other jade mining sites. Plan is under way to designate a no-go area for the dangerous mining sites. It has been raining here since 10 days. The main cause of this tragic incident is linked to excessive jade mining. I would like to request the people not to come to Hpakant in the rainy season."

Kachin State government donated Ks 50 million, Northern Command, Ks 50 million, Hpakant Gem Association, Ks 50 million and the KNGPC, Ks 10 million.

The army is planning to provide rice and other relief assistance to the victims.

According to the records, many scavengers died due to the landslides since 2000. Since 2010, the death toll from the landslides have killed around 100 to 300 every year. In December, 2015, the collapse of waste piles killed 114 scavengers. In 2020, nearly 30 people died due to landslides and the collapse of mud lakes.

According to the records of Kachin State government, there were 19 landslides in Hpakant Township in 2019, resulting in 93 deaths and 14 injuries.

Hpakant Township sees around 300,000 migrant workers coming from the four corners of the country.



Attention

Rare Sowerby's beaked whale dies after becoming stranded in Wicklow Harbor, Ireland

The male Sowerby's beaked whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor on Saturday.
© IRISH WHALE AND DOLPHIN GROUP TWITTER
The male Sowerby's beaked whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor on Saturday.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said that a male Sowerby's beaked whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor on Saturday morning after it had appeared to lose its bearings.

A rare whale has died after it became stranded in an Irish harbor on Saturday.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said that a male Sowerby's beaked whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor on Saturday morning after it had appeared to lose its bearings.

Sowerby's beaked whales are normally found in the North Atlantic and the one found in Wicklow Harbor was unable to survive in the shallower waters of the Irish Sea.


Arrow Down

Six people killed and one missing after landslide during heavy rainfall in Bajhang, Nepal

landslide
The landslide has displaced 400 people in the settlement and put 45 other households at risk of being swept away.

At least six people died and a person went missing in a landslide that occurred in Bajhang district on Saturday morning. Among the deceased, four are of the same family.

The landslide, which occurred at Mallesi Village in Ward No. 8 of Kedarsiyun Rural Municipality at around 1am, swept away 18 houses and damaged two others, locals say.

Rammati Jethara, 40, her 12-year-old son Prayag, her two daughters Shanti, 14, and Ashmita, 16, and 80-year-old Dale Jethara and 13-year-old Santu Jethara were buried to death, according to Suresh Jethara, a local resident.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill at least 43 people in a day in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India

Rainfall was recorded at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh, where at least 23 people were killed and 29 others injured after being struck by lightning.

Rainfall was recorded at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh, where at least 23 people were killed and 29 others injured after being struck by lightning. Representative image
North India witnessed predominantly sultry weather, with Punjab and Haryana recording above-normal day temperatures.

At least 43 people were killed after being struck by lightning in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as rains and thunderstorm occurred in several parts of the country on Saturday, officials said.

Instances of wall collapse, uprooting of trees and waterlogging were reported in Maharashtra as heavy rains lashed large parts of the western state, including Mumbai, for the second day on Saturday. However, there were no casualties.

North India witnessed predominantly sultry weather, with Punjab and Haryana recording above-normal day temperatures.

In the national capital, the mercury oscillated between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of the city.

Light rains and cloudy skies over the next three-four days are expected to keep the mercury in check in the national capital, Meteorological department officials said.

Comment: See in addition this report about fatalities from a day earlier: Lightning strikes kill 8 more in Bihar, India - death toll reaches over 100 in a week for the state


Snowflake

Big July snowstorm at ski resort in southern Norway - at least 14 inches dumped

snow

Summer snow in southern Norway
The Fonna (Folgefonn) Glacier in Norway was closed today due to a big snowstorm that deposited at least 35cm (14 inches) of fresh snow on the area (pictured above this morning).

The road up to the glacier was closed due to the snow.

Fonna is one of three glacier areas currently open to skiers in Norway and one of 11 in Europe.

It opened for the season about two months ago after teams took around two months to dig out exceptionally deep snow burying the road to it.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 8 more in Bihar, India - death toll reaches over 100 in a week for the state

Representative image

Representative image
More than 100 people have died due to lightning strikes in the state in the last week.

At least eight people were killed after being struck by lightning across Bihar on Friday, officials said.

The eight fatalities were reported from five districts, with Samastipur accounting for the highest number of three deaths, the Disaster Management Department said.

Two deaths were reported from Lakhisarai and one death each was reported from Gaya, Banka and Jamui districts, it said.

Seismograph

Two earthquakes shake East Hawaii

Hawaii earthquakes
© Los Angeles Times
The location and shaking intensity of a magnitude 4.1 earthquake Friday afternoon near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Two earthquakes, one Thursday night and another Friday afternoon, rattled East Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded the first, a magnitude-4.6 temblor located beneath Kilauea Volcano's south flank, at 11:20 p.m. Thursday.

The earthquake was centered about 4.3 miles south of Pu'u 'O'o at a depth of approximately 4.2 miles.

Very light shaking was reported throughout the Big Island, Maui, and Lanai. The U.S. Geological Survey's "Did you feel it?" service received more than 725 felt reports within the first hour after the earthquake.

According to HVO seismologist Ashton Flinders, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes.

"Aftershocks are possible and may be felt," Flinders said.

Kilauea's south flank has been the site of 20 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 years. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano's south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust.

This quake was likely an aftershock of the 2018 magnitude-6.9 earthquake as the volcano continues to settle.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain floods southern Japan, leaving many presumed dead, several missing

Japan floods
© AP/Kyodo News
The Japan Meteorological Agency downgraded its alert from the highest level it had initially posted to warn against floods.
Heavy rain in southern Japan has triggered flooding and mudslides, leaving at least two presumed dead, about 10 missing and dozens stranded on rooftops waiting to be rescued, officials say.

More than 75,000 residents in the southern prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima were asked to evacuate on Saturday following pounding rains overnight.

NHK television footage showed large areas of Hitoyoshi town in Kumamoto inundated in muddy waters that gushed out from the Kuma River.

Many cars were submerged up to their windows.

Mudslides smashed into houses and floodwaters carried trunks from uprooted trees.

Several people were standing atop a convenience store as they waited for rescuers.

"I smelled mud, and the whole area was vibrating with river water. I've never experienced anything like this," a man in a shelter in Yatsushiro city, western Kumamoto, told NHK TV.


Boat

Severe floods in China leave over 106 dead or missing - 15 million affected

Floodwaters surrounding a village in the Guangxi region of southern China, in a photo released last month by Xinhua, a state-run news agency
© Lu Boan/Xinhua
Floodwaters surrounding a village in the Guangxi region of southern China, in a photo released last month by Xinhua, a state-run news agency
Unusually intense rainfall has swept away buildings and ruined homes in southern China, affecting about 15 million residents. More downpours are forecast for Saturday.

In the inland Chinese city of Yichang, the murky water ran waist-high, stranding people in their cars and turning streets into canals. Near the metropolis of Chongqing, angry torrents of water swept away country roads. The tourist town of Yangshuo experienced a cloudburst that an official called a once-in-two-centuries event.

Weeks of abnormally intense rains have wrought destruction across southern China, leaving at least 106 people dead or missing and affecting 15 million residents in the worst flooding that parts of the region have seen in decades.

One of the hardest-hit provinces has been Hubei, whose capital, Wuhan, also had the first emergence of the coronavirus last year. Late last month, rescuers smashed car windows to free passengers trapped by floodwater in Yichang, a city in Hubei down the Yangtze River from the Three Gorges Dam, one of the world's largest.