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Tue, 18 Feb 2020
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Earth Changes


Storm Ciara latest: Six dead across Europe as hurricane-force winds sweep through the continent

Large waves in Plobannalec-Lesconil, France, as Storm Ciara was hitting western and northern Europe
© Fred Tanneau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Large waves in Plobannalec-Lesconil, France, as Storm Ciara was hitting western and northern Europe.
Six people across Europe have died because of hurricane-force winds brought by Storm Ciara after it reached the UK and northern mainland Europe on Sunday.

Casualties have been reported across the UK, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

The storm has also caused hundreds of flight and train cancellations, as well as left thousands of homes without electricity.

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Huge snowfalls in the Rockies - up to 5 feet in 4 days

Alta ski
There have been some huge snowfalls in Colorado and Utah over the past four days.

Accumulations of up to 1.5 metres (five feet) have been reported with Alta (pictured) and Snowbird in Utah big winners. Breckenridge and Loveland in Colorado also reported over 1.2 metre (four foot) powder accumulations. Most other resorts in the two states have had at least 50cm/20 inches of snowfall and many a lot more.


India, Pakistan should brace for 'twin invasion' of locusts from Horn of Africa & Iran, UN warns

© REUTERS / Njeri Mwangi
A swarm of desert locusts flying over a grazing land in Kenya.
Giant swarms of locusts may descend on both sides of the India-Pakistani border around spring-summer this year, a UN locust monitor said, amid an unprecedented plague already affecting the black continent.

Gargantuan tribes of desert locusts have been terrifying the residents of Yemen and Saudi Arabia and laying waste to countries in the Horn of Africa. UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calls the outbreak worst in 25 years for the Eastern Africa and worst Kenia in particular faces in 70 years.

After multiplying in the Horn of Africa, the swarms may migrate to Hindustan, where they may deliver a twin strike together with freshly hatched locust from southern Iran, FAO's Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman told IANS news agency on Monday.

"There is a potential risk that the swarms can move from the Horn of Africa, starting in about mid-May until about some time in July to meet those monsoon rains that arrive in Rajasthan in India and Cholistan-Tharparkar in Pakistan," he said.


Ultra-rare snow carpets Baghdad - only its second snowfall in a century

Ultra-rare snowfall carpets Baghdad

Ultra-rare snowfall carpets Baghdad
Residents of Baghdad rushed to have snowball fights or take photographs Tuesday as the Iraqi capital woke carpeted in white by only its second snowfall in a century.

The last recorded snowfall in the city was in 2008, but it was a quick and mostly slushy affair -- and prior to that, it had been a century since Baghdad saw any flakes. Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad.

The city''s iconic palm trees were daintily outlined in white, and the tarpaulins of the long-running anti-government protest camp in Tahrir Square in the city centre were sprinkled with snow.

People on their way to work stopped their cars to snap pictures or break out into impromptu snowball fights.


Fresh snow reaches mid-level of Hawaii mountain

Mauna Loa summit
© USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Mauna Loa summit
Maunakea and Mauna Loa got a fresh dusting of snow and ice overnight, and webcams show the frozen precipitation reached as far down as the mid-level area.

A light layer of snow could be seen at the "MK Visitor Center" cam at Halepohaku, commonly referred to as the Mid-Level area. The spot, located at the 9,300 ft elevation of the 13,800 ft. mountain, is usually without snow even when the summit gets covered.

Maunakea could not be seen from the Mauna Loa Observatory webcam at 1 p.m., but the lava in the foreground had a scattered dusting of snow as well. The observatory is located at just over 11,000 ft.


Erupting Piton de la Fournaise volcano pours molten lava across Reunion island

Piton de la Fournaise
© AP/Ben Curtis
A volcano on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is spewing red hot lava into the surrounding countryside and sending plumes of smoke into the air.

Dramatic footage filmed from a helicopter has captured the molten rock pouring out of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano and stretching across the striking landscape as smoke fills the air.

The squat volcano is one of the most active in the world, periodically erupting for long stretches of time. The current eruption began all the way back in October 2019 and is still going strong.


5-year-old dies after family pit bull terrier attack in Oro Grande, California

A 5-year-old boy died after he was attacked by the family dog at a home in Oro Grande Monday.

It happened just before 3:00 pm., on February 10, 2020, in the 15000 block of Portland Street.

According to the caller, the family dog was attacking a 5-year-old family member and would not let go.

The child succumbed to his injuries before law enforcement and fire officials arrived.
There were no other children present during the attack.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 9 people in Mozambique

Nine people died and five others were injured by lightning on Sunday at the administrative post of Chire, Morrumbala district, Zambezia province, in central Mozambique, the authorities reported on Monday.

"The victims were inside a church and participating in a religious service" on Sunday, Nelson Ludovico, a delegate from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) told Lusa.

The survivors were slightly injured, the source added, without giving more details.

With this incident, the number of deaths rose from 45 to 54 during the rainy season that began in October 2019, according to INGC figures.


Mother wrestles river otter after daughter, dog attacked inside home in South Lakeland, Florida

17-year-old Gwyn Ewert

17-year-old Gwyn Ewert
An alarming attack sent a girl to the hospital with multiple bite marks from an otter. The outraged otter forced its way into a home leading a mother to take action to make sure her family was safe.

We don't often hear about aggressive river otters, but by fighting its way inside a home in South Lakeland, experts said this otter was definitely not acting normal.

"My husband's like, 'Case, you just alligator wrangled an otter in the living room!'" said Casina Ewert, the victim's mother.

The otter learned that you don't mess with a mother's instincts.

"I think life is full of surprises, and you should just be ready for whatever," said Casina.

Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rain triggers flooding, landslides in São Paulo, Brazil - month's worth of rain in 3 hours

São Paulo floods

São Paulo floods
Torrential rain has caused flooding and landslides in the Greater São Paulo area, Brazil.

The state government said some places recorded more rain in 3 hours than normally seen in the entire month of February. According to Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INMET), Brazil's met agency, Barueri recorded 145.8mm of rain in 24 hours to 10 February. Mirante de Santana in São Paulo City recorded 121.8mm during the same period.

The rain caused the Tietê and Pinheiros rivers to overflow, with levels of the Pinheiros River at their highest for 15 years, according to the Empresa Metropolitana de Águas e Energia (EMAE).