Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Deadly severe weather outbreak slams New Orleans with flash flooding, tornadoes across South - 10 inches of rain in just 7 hours

In Mississippi, one person was killed in Scott County and at least one other was injured in Grenada County in storm-related incidents across the state, emergency managers reported Wednesday afternoon.

A Flash Flood Emergency was issued for the city of New Orleans as part of a deadly severe weather outbreak that caused numerous thunderstorms and even tornadoes across the lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast.

Life-threatening flooding occurred Wednesday afternoon in the New Orleans metro area as several inches of rain drenched the city in just hours, sometimes falling at a rate of 1-3 inches per hour.

Emergency management reported numerous roads and underpasses in and around New Orleans were underwater and impassible from the late morning into the afternoon.

Dramatic videos showed first responders working to block off flooded roads to prevent vehicles from driving on them and getting submerged.


Russia, Kazakhstan evacuate 110,000 people as record floods set to worsen

More than 110,000 people have been forced to evacuate in Russia and Kazakhstan after fast-melting snow swelled the Ural River, Europe's third-longest, causing it to burst its banks and flood cities and towns along its path.

More than 97,000 people were evacuated in Kazakhstan alone, the emergencies ministry said on Wednesday, while at least 12,000 people have been moved to safety in Russia, mainly from the worst-hit Orenburg region.

A spokesperson in the Kazakh ministry said they were monitoring the situation in the Russian city of Orsk and water levels in the Ural River, which flows through Orsk and Kazakhstan, then into the Caspian Sea.

Both countries have been battling the rising waters for more than five days and declared a state of emergency. The Kremlin said the worst of the flooding was still to come in some parts of the Ural and Siberian regions.

Bizarro Earth

Best of the Web: Magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes Taiwan: 16 killed, over 1,100 injured - Aftershock mag 6.4 (UPDATED)

The island was hit by the strongest tremors in 25 years, its chief seismologist said
Hualien Earthquake
© TVBS / APA partially collapsed building in Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2024.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan on Wednesday morning, damaging buildings and triggering a tsunami warning.

The earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien Country at 7:58 am local time and was felt across the island, including its capital Taipei, officials said.

Wu Chien-fu, the head of Central Weather Administration's Seismological Center, said it was the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan since 1999. Despite its power, no casualties have been immediately reported.

Several tall buildings have partially collapsed. In other regions, the earthquake has triggered landslides.

Comment: Updates

NBC News reports:
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Wednesday off Taiwan, killing nine people, injuring hundreds and collapsing buildings in the island's most powerful tremor in at least 25 years.

The quake happened around 8 a.m. local time (8 p.m. Tuesday ET) at a depth of about 21 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was about 11 miles south-southwest of Hualien City on the island's east coast.

At least nine people died and 882 people were injured, Taiwan's fire department said. Officials said the number of casualties could rise in the coming days.

The earthquake also prompted tsunami warnings that were later lifted in Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.

Annie Lima, an American who has lived in Taiwan for almost 17 years and arrived in Hualien to visit friends on Tuesday, said she was still feeling aftershocks in the afternoon, hours after the initial quake.

"It was pretty scary," she told NBC News in an interview. "In all the years that I've lived here and in Southern California before that I've felt a lot of earthquakes, but this was by far the strongest and the most frightening."

When things started toppling, Lima said, she and her husband jumped to their feet and ran for the nearest doorway.

"Even there in a doorway on the second floor, we could barely keep our balance, you know, holding both sides of the doorway," she said. "And all around us things were falling off the walls and off shelves, smashing and crashing everywhere."

The damage was concentrated in the eastern Taiwan county of Hualien, near the quake's epicenter, where officials said they were working to free 131 people who were trapped.

Video on social media showed a building in Hualien that appeared to be nine stories tall partially collapsed and left standing at an angle. Another, appearing to have five floors, was similarly situated.
Update April 10

AFP reports:
The toll from a massive earthquake that struck Taiwan last week rose to 16 on Wednesday after three more bodies were recovered on a hiking trail, officials said.

The magnitude 7.4 quake that hit the island on April 3 also left more than 1,100 people injured, with strict building codes and widespread disaster readiness credited with averting an even bigger catastrophe.

Authorities discovered the three victims Wednesday as they worked to retrieve two other bodies buried under the rocks along the Shakadang Trail in eastern Taiwan's Hualien county, the quake's epicenter.

The new fatalities brought the toll from the quake to 16, according to the National Fire Agency. Three people remain missing.
Earthquake Track reported an aftershock of magnitude 6.4 about 13 minutes later.

Arrow Down

Avalanche leaves 3 dead in Austrian Alps

Helicopters and search teams headed to the scene near the village of Vent (file pic)
© FABRIZIO GANDOLFO/SOPAHelicopters and search teams headed to the scene near the village of Vent (file pic)
A major search and rescue operation is under way after an avalanche in the Ötztal Alps in western Austria.

Three people have been killed, and a fourth has been taken to hospital.

Austrian reports describe a snow slide of 180m (600ft) in length and 80m in width close to the village of Vent, not far from the Italian border in the province of Tyrol.

Police say 17 members of a Dutch ski group were in the area at the time, along with four local mountain guides.

Four of the Dutch group were buried by the avalanche, which took place close to the Martin-Busch Hut, at an altitude of 2,500m. Police said two of them had died before they could be rescued.


Signs & portents: Six-legged gazelle spotted in Israel

israel gazelle six legs portent
© Amir Balaban/SPNIA mountain gazelle with a pair of extra legs growing from its back, due to a genetic abnormality, is seen in a photo taken by conservationist Amir Balaban of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) and shared with media on April 8, 2024.
A rare six-legged mountain gazelle has been spotted in Israel. The male gazelle has an extra pair of legs growing from its back, but wildlife experts say it seems to be managing fine with the extra appendages.

The discovery was made by an Israeli army reservist who, in late March, spotted and then sent a photo of the bizarre looking creature to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, or SPNI, an environmental nonprofit organization, after noticing that it had "something strange on its back," according to the group.

Amir Balaban, a conservationist for SPNI, said in a news release shared with CBS News that the six-legged gazelle had "survived a complex litter and survived as a young individual, dealt with many predators that endanger young fawns, matured single and as an adult managed to lead an impressive life in the ."


Hundreds evacuated as Britain hit by more wind, rain and flooding

Mountainous waves lashed Llanfairfechan seafront
Mountainous waves lashed Llanfairfechan seafront
Britain has been hit by more storms, high winds and "unprecedented" flooding on the south coast.

More than 200 people were evacuated from the Medmerry holiday park in West Sussex and areas like Earnley, Littlehampton and Bracklesham after the River Arun burst its banks.

Littlehampton was badly hit with flooding damaging many properties.


First snow falls on Australian ski fields almost 8 weeks ahead of winter

Snow falling on Tuesday at Thredbo.
Snow falling on Tuesday at Thredbo.
The first snow of the year has fallen at Australian ski resorts in NSW and Victoria.

Thredbo and Perisher in NSW as well as Hotham, Mount Baw Baw and Mount Buller in Victoria also all reported a fresh dumping of the white stuff in the past 24 hours.

But there are still another couple of months until the reports open for skiing and snowboarding, with June the month they welcome visitors.

"Someone must've shaken up our snow globe overnight. Winter mode has been well and truly activated," Thredbo bosses posted on social media.

Perisher posted a photo showing they had had a few centimeters of snow.

Further south, Mt Buller confirmed a "dusting", saying it's 60 days until the June long weekend - when the season really kicks off.


Kenya floods: Bus full of passengers swept away by raging waters - all rescued

The passengers had been stranded since the early hours of Tuesday morning
© KENYA RED CROSSThe passengers had been stranded since the early hours of Tuesday morning
Emergency services have been rescuing passengers who were trapped in a bus that was swept away by floods on a busy highway in northern Kenya.

The bus, with about 50 passengers, was heading to the capital, Nairobi, from northern Wajir county, police said.

The driver had attempted to cross a flooded section of the road when it happened. The bus then became stuck in some mud surrounded by raging waters.

Some were rescued from the bus's roof in the nearly 10-hour rescue mission.

"All passengers aboard the bus have now been rescued," the Kenya Red Cross said, adding that it had been a "challenging" operation to save the lives of those "marooned by raging waters".

Cloud Lightning

Big temperature drop across France and 25,000 lightning strikes

The first of a series of turbulent weather changes begins today as temperatures across France fall by around 10C.

In central parts and around Paris, yesterday's (April 8) temperatures of 23C and 24C will be replaced with highs of just 12C or 13C.

In the east along the German border, the shift could be closer to 15C.

Only the Mediterranean coast and Brittany will remain mostly unaffected, with temperatures dropping between 3C and 4C compared to the start of the week.

In Brittany and the rest of France's western and northern coastline the storm named Pierrick is continuing to hit hard, bringing winds of 120 km/h to Normandy and high waves.

Comment: Related: Beach huts washed into the sea as storm batters Cornwall, UK


Beach huts washed into the sea as storm batters Cornwall, UK

Beach huts washed into sea as storm sweeps in
Beach huts washed into sea as storm sweeps in
With a Met Office yellow warning for wind across the South West in place due to storm Pierrick, named by Meteofrance, the beach huts at Castle Beach in Falmouth were washed into the sea.

High winds and towering waves in Cornwall has seen in beach huts being swept into the sea.
Predictions from the Met Office suggest general gusts of 45-55mph (72-89km/h), increasing to 60-65mph (97-105km/h) on exposed coasts, were likely to have been reached overnight. They also indicated that there could be some gusts in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and south Devon reaching up to 75mph (121km/h).

Porthleven's sea wall suffered damage with debris scattered across Harbour Road. While in Falmouth, at least two beach huts were swept into the sea, as the dramatic videos show. Falmouth Coastguard had issued a warning about a combination of strong winds, spring tides and storm surges.

Comment: Related: Big temperature drop across France and 25,000 lightning strikes