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Tue, 18 May 2021
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Deadly flash floods after dam breaks in Slovakia following heavy rainfall

Flash Floods in Žarnovica District, Slovakia, May 2021.
© HaZZ
Flash floods in Žarnovica District, Slovakia, May 2021.
Emergency authorities report that one person has died in flash flooding which struck in Žarnovica district, Banská Bystrica Region of central Slovakia.

Severe flash flooding struck the village of Rudno nad Hronom in Žarnovica district on 17 May 2021. The dam of a reservoir near the village is thought to have broken after recent heavy rainfall.

The ensuing flood waters damaged homes and dragged vehicles through streets of the village. Slovakia's Fire and Rescue Service (HaZZ) said one person was swept away and was later found without signs of life. HaZZ also carried out some evacuations.

The Ministry of the Interior said that the flooding also destroyed multiple bridges and damaged gas connections. The mayor of the village declared an emergency situation in the village.


Attention

Surfer dies after being bitten by 4.5m great white shark off New South Wales, Australia

Great white shark
A surfer has died after he was mauled by a 4.5m great white shark off Tuncurry Beach on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

It's the first confirmed fatal shark attack in Australian waters this year, though it's believed another man was killed by a shark off South Australia in January.

Paramedics were called to the beach, just north of Forster, about 11:20am on Tuesday, after the man in his 50s was bitten while surfing.

Police say the man suffered serious injuries to his upper thigh.

He was pulled from the water but died despite the efforts of bystanders and emergency workers to revive him.


Ice Cube

Europe's extreme May freeze is set to continue

snow cover
Near-term models don't know whether they're coming or going. This meridional jet stream flow is throwing them for a loop. And after fooling many MSM publications into running headlines such as "Intense 10 day Heatwave set to strike Europe," the models have now flipped, and are forecasting yet more Arctic cold.

Below was the scene on May 8 in northern England:


"May time blizzard makes us shiver," tweeted the YorkshireSpeherdess, who runs a successful sheep farm.

"You can't believe this is May," she says in the video.

"It's just like the middle of winter."


Comment: See also:


Windsock

At least 16 dead as India's west coast hit by Cyclone Tauktae

Cyclone Tauktae
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Cyclone Tauktae intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" causing rough seas along the western coast of India, the nation's Meteorological Department (IMD) reported on Monday. The cyclone has so far killed at least 16 people and left a trail of destruction as it brushed past the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, authorities said.

The financial hub of Mumbai was lashed with heavy rain and strong winds, forcing authorities to suspend operations at the city's airport and to close some main roads due to flooding. Mumbai's urban rail system, one of the world's busiest, was also affected as tracks flooded. Witnesses saw trees uprooted and stranded cars and buses in the city.

Cyclone Tauktae brought gusts of up to 210 kmph that would put it on par with a Category 3 hurricane, rating it one level below the IMD's super cyclone category. The storm also forced Mumbai and Gujarat to temporarily suspend their COVID-19 vaccination drives.


Bizarro Earth

Multiple booming sounds, 'shock waves' heard, felt in Mount Airy, North Carolina

Mount Airy, NC
© ourstate.com
There are, apparently, things that go boom in the night in Mount Airy.

Only trouble is, no one can figure out just what is causing the booms.

Glenda Mayes, who lives on Newsome Street, said she's been hearing — and feeling — the loud noises and accompanying shock waves multiple times over the past few weeks. She said the most recent one was around 2 a.m. on May 1.

"It just about knocked me out of bed," she said, admitting that while that might be a bit of an exaggeration, the noise was extremely loud and shook her house.

She's not the only one hearing and feeling the booms.

"They felt something here, I'm not sure exactly what it was," said Mount Airy Police Department Sgt. J.W. Watson. While Watson said he didn't hear or feel anything — he works day shift while others at the station who did hear it work night — he said his colleagues did hear the noise, and felt the police department shake.

"Officers rode around the south end of town because they kept getting calls, but they never found the source of what it was," he said.

Mayes said the noises have been going on for several weeks, sometimes sending both her and her neighbors scrambling from their homes searching for the source.

Sun

Cooling atmosphere: Sun halos, sun pillars spotted in sky over central Pennsylvania

Sun halos and sun pillars are created from ice crystals in the sky refracting sun light, but the both look different and can form at different times of the day.
Sun pillar in Pennsylvania
© Erin
Sun halos are created when sunlight or moonlight is reflecting off ice crystals in the sky. These crystals will then form a halo around the sun. Most of the ice crystals are found in cirrus clouds or cirrostratus clouds. It usually forms a white circle or even sometimes you will see rainbow colors in the halo.

Black Cat

35-year-old farmer killed by tiger in Maharashtra, India - 12 such deaths for region this year

Tiger
A farmer was killed in tiger attack in the forest under Chichpalli range on Tuesday. This is the third incident of human kill in the area in one-and-a-half months.

There was brief tension at the spot as villagers, irked by repeated tiger attacks in the area, refused to lift the body for some time. Sources said Kirtiram Kulmethe (35) from village Janala had gone into the compartment no. 718 in Chiroli beat of the range.

A tiger moving through the area attacked and killed him on the spot. Foresters rushed to the spot upon getting information, but a large crowd of villagers had gathered by the time. Forest officials pacified them and removed the body.

Earlier, one Kalpana Wadhai from Agadi village was killed in a tiger attack on March 31 in the same area.

Later, Vanita Gedam from Janala village was injured by a tiger on May 4 while she was out to collect Mahua flowers. She died while undergoing treatment at Nagpur on Tuesday.


This is the 15th incident of human kill in predator attacks this year. Of them, 12 have been killed by tigers, two by leopards and one by elephant.

Attention

Humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach, British Columbia

A humpback whale known as Kayak,
© Josina Davis via the Marine Education & Research Society
A humpback whale known as Kayak, seen on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021.
A B.C. research and conservation group says a young humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday.

The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) said the female whale, known as Kayak or BCX0977, was believed to be about 18 years old when she died.

She was found on a beach near the mouth of the Tlell River on the east side of the largest island in the archipelago off B.C.'s north coast, the group said.

"We want to share her story to aid thinking of whales as individuals," the organization said in a Facebook post.
"Sightings of Kayak go back to 2004. She was older than a year then as she was not with a mother and calves stay with their mothers for a year. When we first saw her in 2007, our observation was that she was small / young."

Comment: Another dead whale was found off the coast of Majorca, Spain on May 16.

The whale's body was floating near Es Carnatge.

The whale's body was floating near Es Carnatge.



Tornado2

12 dead, 300 injured as tornadoes blast two Chinese cities, hitting houses & factories (UPDATE)

An ambulance in Wuhan
© China Daily via Reuters
An ambulance in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on February 14, 2020
Two tornadoes have ripped through central and eastern China, killing one person, injuring more than 60 people and causing significant damage in each locality, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

One person died and 21 were injured, two seriously, after a storm system struck the Shengze area of Suzhou city in eastern China's Jiangsu province.

Comment: Update: AP reports (via ABC News) on May 15:
Back-to-back tornadoes kill 12 in China; over 300 injured

Back-to-back tornadoes killed 12 people in central and eastern China and left more than 300 others injured, authorities said Saturday.

Eight people died in the inland city of Wuhan on Friday night and four others in the town of Shengze, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east in Jiangsu province, local governments said.

The first tornado struck Shengze about 7 p.m., damaging homes and factories and knocking out power, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The Suzhou city government, which oversees the town, said in a social media post that four people had died and 149 others had minor injuries. Shengze is near Shanghai on China's east coast.

Another tornado hit Wuhan at about 8:40 p.m. with winds of 86 kilometers (53 miles) per hour, destroying more than two dozen homes and triggering a power outage affecting 26,600 households, Xinhua said. Officials in Wuhan said at a news conference Saturday that eight had died and 230 were injured.

They said that 28 homes collapsed in Wuhan, another 130 were damaged and put economic losses at 37 million yuan ($5.7 million), the Hubei Daily newspaper said. Construction site sheds and two cranes were also damaged, while downed power lines knocked out electricity, Xinhua said.

Photos showed a swarm of rescuers searching through building debris in Wuhan after midnight Friday and workers clearing metallic debris at a factory in Shengze in the morning.

Wuhan is the city where COVID-19 was first detected in late 2019.

Tornados are rare in China. In July 2019, a tornado killed six people in the northeastern Liaoning province, and another tornado the following month killed eight on the southern resort island of Hainan.

In 2016, a tornado and accompanying hailstorm killed 98 people in the eastern Jiangsu province.
See also:


Arrow Up

Elephants are dying in droves in Botswana and scientists don't know why

Herd of Elephants
© MURALI NARAYANAN/500PX PRIME/GETTY IMAGES
African elephants walk through the Moremi Game Reserve in northern Botswana, where a second wave of mysterious deaths among the pachyderms has scientists scrambling.
Die-offs of African elephants have once again erupted in Botswana. In just the first three months of 2021, 39 have succumbed.

The mysterious deaths occurred in the Moremi Game Reserve, in the northern part of the country, nearly 100 kilometers from a region of the Okavango Delta, where about 350 African elephants died during May and June in 2020. Puzzled scientists have been calling for thorough investigations as the government sends mixed messages on the cause of death.

Anthrax and bacterial infections had been ruled out in the new deaths and "further laboratory analysis is ongoing," Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks reported in a March 24 news release.

However, the 39 recent deaths were linked, based on preliminary results, to the same cyanobacteria toxins blamed for last year's mass die-off, said Philda Kereng, Botswana's Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, in a March 30 state television address.

Remote sensing of areas of last year's mass die-off supports the cyanobacteria theory. From March through July 2020, cyanobacteria abundance increased continuously as water sources were shrinking, researchers report online May 28 in the Innovation. With climate change, bodies of water get warmer and toxic cyanobacteria thrive.

Other evidence points to a pathogen as well. "The 2021 elephant mortalities are again specific to elephants, as was the case in 2020," says Shahan Azeem, a veterinary scientist at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.