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Wed, 26 Jan 2022
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Earth Changes


Twin earthquakes in western Afghanistan kill at least 22

Two earthquakes rattled Afghanistan's western Badghis province along the border with Turkmenistan on Monday afternoon, killing at least 22 people, a local official said.

There were fears the death toll could rise further as the first rescuers reached some of the remote villages struck by the tremors in what is one of Afghanistan's most impoverished and underdeveloped regions.

Chief of the province's culture and information department, said scores of homes were destroyed in the quakes.

The US Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 quake at 2 p.m. and a second, magnitude 4.9 at 4 p.m. local time. They struck 41 kilometers (25 miles) east and 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 2, injures 3 in Malawi

Lightning on Sunday killed two people while three others have sustained various degrees of injuries in Mchinji.

The Station Officer (SO) for Mchinji Police Station, Charles James Mpezeni, confirmed the development, saying the injured are currently receiving treatment at Kapiri Mission Hospital.

Mpezeni said the victims who include a 24-year old woman and children below the age of 13.

"They were in the house of their grandmother shelling groundnuts while it was raining heavily with thunderstorms," he explained, adding that lightning struck the five of them and all collapsed before they were taken to Kapiri Mission Hospital where the two died upon arrival.

According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), over 30 people have lost their lives to lightning since the onset of this rainy season.

Source: Nyasa Times

Cloud Precipitation

Montevideo in Uruguay under water following unprecedented heavy rains, a month's worth of rain in 2 hours - nearly 6 inches in just an HOUR

Social media users had been reporting all night that the situation was getting critical in different areas

Social media users had been reporting all night that the situation was getting critical in different areas
Some areas in the city of Montevideo dawned Monday literally under water following unprecedented heavy rains which caused damages to various homes and a traffic chaos, in addition to power outages, which reportedly affected some 12,000 users.

The storm reached its fiercest moment at around 6am, although social media users had been reporting all night that the situation was getting critical in different areas.

Sources from Uruguay's weather agency Inumet quoted by local media reported unofficially that in two hours more than 100 millimeters of rain had fallen in Montevideo. In two hours Montevideo experienced what usually takes a whole month to fall, it was reported.

Comment: Floodlist reports on January 18:
Uruguay - Floods in Montevideo After 150mm of Rain in 1 Hour

Residents evacuated their homes and cars were swept along city streets in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, after torrential rain caused flash floods on 17 January 2022.

Flood rescue Uruguay January 2022.
© Uruguay Ministerio del Interior
Flood rescue Uruguay January 2022.
Interim mayor of Montevideo, Federico Graña, said the flooding was the result of "an extraordinary meteorological event" with between 90 and 150 mm of rain falling in just 1 hour early on 17 January. The city's average monthly rainfall for January is 92 mm.

The heavy rain was accompanied by strong winds which downed trees and power lines, leaving 20,000 without electricity across the region. Traffic and public transport were severely disrupted. The neighbourhoods of Malvín, Carrasco, Buceo, Punta Gorda and Punta de Rieles were particularly badly affected. Areas of the department of Canelones were also affected.

Uruguay's Ministry of Interior reported 164 people had evacuated their homes. Firefighters attended 248 interventions across affected areas, including 67 incidents of fallen trees and 9 downed power poles.

The storms and heavy rain follow a period of extreme high temperatures in the country. The country's meteorological agency Instituto Uruguayo de Meteorología (INUMET) reported temperatures of 44°C in Florida on 14 January, thought to be an all-time high.


Tonga eruption likely the world's largest in 30 years - scientist

Tonga eruption
© AFP/National Institute of Information and Communication
Footage taken by Japan's Himawari-8 satellite, January 15, 2022.
Early data from Tonga's violent volcanic eruption suggests it is the biggest since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, volcanologist Shane Cronin says.

The eruption of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano, about 65km north of Nuku'alofa, on Saturday shot thick ash and steam 20km skywards.

University of Auckland volcanologist Professor Shane Cronin said scenes on the ground would have appeared apocalyptic after the eruption: ash clouds blotting out the sun, thunderclaps of booming shockwaves and thousands of lightening strikes.
"The clouds that people could see in the distance, the booming noises and then the waves coming from the first tsunami...The next step is when the ash clouds spread across Tongatapu, and that ash cloud is so dense with fine ash particles that it blocks the sun completely, so it gets really dark."
Cronin said rain, small pebbles and many centimetres of ash would have rained down. "This is an eruption best witnessed from space," he said.

Comment: See also:

Snowflake Cold

Greater Toronto Area digs out as over a foot of snow hits overnight

A photo of cars stuck along Highway 401 west of Keele Street on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.
A photo of cars stuck along Highway 401 west of Keele Street on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.
A major winter storm is creating havoc with cars, trucks and buses getting stuck in the snow all around the Greater Toronto Area.

The snow came down quickly overnight with vehicles no match against the storm.

It's estimated that over 30 cm of snow fell overnight and during the morning commute forcing police to shut down major highways.

But as Marianne Dimain reports, the kindness of strangers is helping people keep moving as their cars get stuck in one of the biggest snow storms to hit southern Ontario in years.

Snowflake Cold

Winter snow storm batters US south-east as more than 250,000 lose power

People go for a walk as snow falls Sunday, January 16, 2022, in Nolensville, Tennessee.
© AP
People go for a walk as snow falls Sunday, January 16, 2022, in Nolensville, Tennessee.
A winter storm combining high winds and ice was sweeping through parts of the south-east of the US, knocking out power, felling trees and fences and creating treacherous driving conditions.

Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. More than an inch of snow fell per hour in some parts of the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Centre.

The storm was making air travel extremely difficult in some parts of the south of the country.

The nation's hardest-hit airport - Charlotte Douglas International - remained open around dawn on Sunday, the airport said in a weather briefing.

But more than 1,000 Sunday flights in Charlotte were cancelled - more than 80 per cent of the airport's Sunday schedule, according to the flight tracking service flightaware.com.

Ice Cube

Tonga eruption could have 'cooling effect' on southern hemisphere - scientist

Hunga Tonga volcano  january 2022
© Agence France-Presse
The effects of the undersea volcanic eruption in Tonga, January 14, 2022, was felt across the Pacific.
It is possible the Tongan volcanic eruption could lead to a slightly cooler winter and possibly beautiful sunsets in the southern hemisphere this winter.

When a volcano erupts, it releases huge amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2) into the air, which bounces some of the sun's radiation away.

Climate scientist Jim Salinger has researched the impacts of major volcanic eruptions, including Pinatubo, on the climate in New Zealand. He said it was not nearly as large eruption as Pinatubo, and would not have a global impact on the climate, but there could be some local effects in the Southern Hemisphere.

Dr Salinger said it could take a few months to kick in and have cooling of about 0.1 to 0.5 degrees, lasting until spring.



Volcano eruption in Tonga deemed 'once-in-a-millennium' event

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano
The eruption of an underwater volcano off Tonga, which triggered a tsunami warning for several South Pacific island nations, is seen in an image from the NOAA GOES-West satellite taken at 05:00 GMT January 15, 2022.
The underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption has already triggered a tsunami, a sonic boom and thousands of lightning bolts, and could now lead to acid rain

The massive explosion of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in Tonga on Saturday was its most powerful eruption since AD 1100. The after-effects have been felt around the globe and the damage is still being assessed.

The volcano, located about 65 kilometres north of Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, exploded with violent force at 5:10pm local time on 15 January. Satellite images show a mushroom cloud of ash billowing 30 kilometres high and later sweeping more than 3000 kilometres west to Australia.

Comment: Earth can unmake and remake itself at remarkable speeds. The now-destroyed island was just formed in 2015. It's arrogance on the part of the human race to think they have any control over the process.


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: An in-depth look at why Tonga erupted

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano erupted (pictured, satellite images of the volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday)

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano erupted (pictured, satellite images of the volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday)
An in-depth look at the Tonga eruption which sent ash to 95,000 feet and that ash cloud is heading to Australia. What does this mean for global agriculture and crop yields, food pricing and can we foresee any other large eruptions from now to 2024?



Heavy rainfall causes floods, cars washed away in Minas Gerais, Brazil

The heavy downpour in Uberlândia (Minas Gerais) on Sunday, January 16, flooded homes and businesses in the city.

The city of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, registered floods in several areas after heavy rainfall on Sunday afternoon, January 16.

Videos show the damage caused by the waters, which swept away cars and flooded homes and stores.

The Uberlândia City Hall said on social networks that an emergency task force was set up to mitigate the impacts of the rain.