Earth ChangesS


18 fatal shark encounters in 2023 highest for 20 years

In 2023, public records documented a total of 84 shark attacks, with 18 proving fatal; five of these fatalities were attributed to encounters with great white sharks. Christian Kemper of remarked, "There haven't been this many deaths in over 20 years. In some cases, the victims were completely consumed."

Among the 18 fatalities, four were surfers, three of whom hailed from South Australia. On May 13, 2023, Simon Bacanello, a 46-year-old teacher, disappeared during a great white shark attack while surfing, and his remains were never recovered. On October 31, Todd Gendle, 55, was struck by a shark described as "as long as a limousine."

Tragedy struck again on December 28 when 15-year-old Khai Cowley lost his life while surfing in South Australia. The final fatality occurred on December 30 when 39-year-old Jason Carter suffered a tiger shark attack while surfing on Maui. Despite being rushed to the hospital, he eventually succumbed to his injuries.

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Best of the Web: Additional feet of snow pile up in Buffalo area (6 FEET in 5 days) after western New York buried by prior snowstorm

Crews work around the clock to clear city streets of snow
Crews work around the clock to clear city streets of snow
Heavy lake-effect snow will continue for one more day downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in New York state.

Off Lake Erie, the snow band will stay south of Buffalo on Thursday morning, with snowfall rates as high as 1-2 inches per hour over the Buffalo Southtowns, the FOX Forecast Center said.

The band will then begin to move north around midday, once again bringing heavy snow to the city of Buffalo. During the afternoon, the snow band will move north of Buffalo before sliding back toward the city during the evening hours.

The lake-effect snow will end once the snow from the cross-country storm begins Thursday night. By this time, some locations south of Buffalo may end up with 7 feet of snow when combining the two lake-effect events this week.


6.4-magnitude quake hits Tonga

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 jolted 125 km NW of Fangale'ounga, Tonga, at 11:12 local time on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

There were no immediate reports of casualty or damage.

The epicenter, with a depth of 218.1 km, was determined to be at 18.928 degrees south latitude and 175.147 degrees west longitude, according to the USGS.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not immediately issue a tsunami warning based on the quake.

Pacific island countries such as Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu lie on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones where continental plates collide producing frequent seismic activities.


Colorado mountains: Over 4 feet of snow for some and more to come

Sweeping avalanche buried 10 cars, trapping people for an hour.
Sweeping avalanche buried 10 cars, trapping people for an hour.
Over the last week our January blast of Winter weather has buried many Colorado mountains with 1 to over 4 feet of snow. While the eastern plains delt with an Arctic blast, our mountain areas have seen multiple waves of heavy snow and wind over the last 8 days. Steamboat Springs for example picked up 50 inches of snow since Wednesday of last week. For the month Steamboat has seen over 76 inches of snow!

Heavy snow in the Winter Park Area caused the closure of Berthoud Pass for several days due to avalanches. Berthoud Pass back currently open after avalanches, some Colorado travelers still hoping to avoid hours-long detour

Cloud Precipitation

6 dead, 2 children missing in Bolivia floods

The water in Tipuani reached 2 meters
The water in Tipuani reached 2 meters.
Six people are dead and two minors are missing after heavy rains this week sparked flooding in the Bolivian town of Tipuani in the department of La Paz, authorities said Wednesday.

Flooding has led to the death of an elderly person who was unable to leave his home and a traffic accident in which "the vehicle ran aground and as a result one person died," Major Victor Ramirez, operational chief of police, told state-run television station Bolivia TV.

A public service vehicle fell into the river on Tuesday, leaving four dead, he added.


Child's death in dog attack leads to roundup, killing of strays in Salluit, Quebec

dog attack
A four-year-old boy in Salluit died after being attacked by four dogs while he was walking to his grandfather's home, Nunavik Police Service confirmed.

In response, more than 70 stray dogs have been captured and killed in the northern village since the Jan. 11 attack and the effort to round up stray dogs will continue, according to the village's treasurer.

In an interview, police Capt. Patrice Abel said the incident happened midday and that two of the dogs were known to the child and were not strays but had been left untied outside.

Officers were unable to determine whether the boy did something to provoke the dogs before they he was attacked, he said.


Monkeys have had just about enough of tourists so start attacking them on beach in Thailand

Terrifying footage shows the moment a troop of monkeys suddenly turned on beachgoers and started to attack them.

The wild and unexpected encounter was filmed at the Phi Phi islands in Thailand on Christmas Eve.

The video clip from the aptly named Monkey Beach shows how tourists wearing bikinis and swimsuits leapt to their feet when several monkeys - including babies - launched themselves at people's legs.

Visitors to Thailand are reminded that wild animals are unpredictable and may act defensively if they feel threatened or provoked.


Record 68 dog attack deaths in 2023 in the U.S. and Canada included also record 55 by pit bull

dog attack
Arguably the two most publicized and discussed dog attack fatalities in the U.S. and Canada during 2023, including a record 65 in the U.S. alone and an also record 55 by pit bull, were two that apparently did not happen.

If Jean Robinson, 76, and Allison Joy Cumming, 53, actually died by dog during the early morning hours of December 27, 2023, at their Pawsitive Dog Kennel training and boarding facility on Red Schoolhouse Road in Farmington, Maine, the U.S. dog attack body count for 2023 would rise to 70.

ANIMALS 24-7, logging the body count since 1982, delayed releasing our annual wrap-up of U.S. and Canadian dog attack deaths and disfigurements for two weeks while awaiting confirmation of how Robinson and Cumming died, reportedly more than five hours before their remains were discovered.

Arrow Down

Evacuation underway for stranded tourists after avalanches trap 1,000 people in China

Rescuers evacuated tourists on Tuesday from a remote skiing area in northwestern China where dozens of avalanches triggered by heavy snow have trapped more than 1,000 people for a week, state media said.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills boy on Fiji - 2nd such death in 2 days for the island

A 16-year-old high school student of Yanuya Island, Malolo, has died after he was struck by lightning last Saturday.

Police said the incident occurred at 5pm while the teenager was returning from a picnic on a boat in the Mamanuca waters.

He died instantly and his body is currently awaiting a post-mortem examination at the Lautoka Hospital mortuary.

In a separate incident, a 60-year-old farmer was found lying motionless in Sabeto last Thursday.

Police said it was believed he was struck by lightning at his cassava farm at Keoloya settlement.

Investigations into both incidents are continuing.

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