Earth ChangesS


Helsinki shuts down tram network after late April snowfall in Finland

The exceptional late spring snow meant many services were disrupted in Helsinki.
The exceptional late spring snow meant many services were disrupted in Helsinki.
Helsinki's tram network shut down completely on Tuesday, after freezing rain and snowfall iced up overhead power lines and jammed the points at various points around the network.

The freak April weather left several trams stuck along the number 15 line, and with winter maintenance machines already in storage for the summer, operators made the decision to cancel all tram services for the whole day.

Services are expected to re-start on Wednesday morning on a reduced timetable.

Many HSL bus services were also delayed or cancelled, with driving conditions described as 'very bad' by the Meteorological Institute.

Metro services and commuter trains were running normally, although K and I trains were on a reduced timetable.

"This is a very unusual situation, but this weather is also unusual," said Helsinki Region Transport (Finnish acronym HSL) press officer Johannes Laitila, who urged travellers to allow more time for their journeys.


Thick snow cover returns to parts of Lithuania

On Tuesday morning, parts of Lithuania woke up to several centimetres of snow.

According to the Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service (LHMT), it snowed practically all over the country on Monday.

According to the 8:00 data, the thickest snow cover was in the Panevėžys, Šiauliai, and Radviliskis districts, where it reached 12 - 17 centimetres.

The heavy snowfall resulted in a cover of wet snow on trees, wires, and various structures. It broke or bent tree branches, leaving some residents without electricity and some roads impassable.


Multiple early season wildfires burning in British Columbia (112) and Alberta (66)

Wildfire season is off to an early start in British Columbia's central Interior and Cariboo regions.

The B.C. Wildfire Service reported several wildfires over the weekend south of Quesnel and east of Vanderhoof.

The service says the largest of the fires is the Burgess Creek wildfire, located about 45 kilometres south of Quesnel and was estimated to be about half of a square kilometre in size.

The Prince George Fire Centre is reporting two wildfires, each covering an area of about eight city blocks, about four kilometres east of Vanderhoof.

The Wildfire Service is reporting 112 active wildfires in B.C.

The B.C. government says last year's wildfire season was the most destructive in the province's history as more than 28,400 million square kilometres of forest and land burned and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate.

An evacuation alert is in effect for some living near the Burgess Creek wildfire, one of 118 active wildfires in B.C. In Alberta, there are 66 active wildfires, with an evacuation alert issued for Saprae Creek Estates in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.


Food shortages and price hikes threaten the UK as extreme weather havoc strikes

Farmers in several regions of the United Kingdom have been unable to grow crops including potatoes, wheat, and vegetables throughout the crucial spring season due to record rains. The crops that have been sown are of lower quality, with some decaying in the soil.

The ongoing rainy weather has also resulted in a high death rate for lambs on the UK's hills, and some dairy cows have been unable to be moved out onto grass, resulting in less milk production.

Agricultural groups have stated that the UK will become increasingly dependant on imports; however, comparable wet weather in European countries such as France and Germany, along with the drought in Morocco, may result in less food to import.

Cloud Precipitation

71 percent of crops damaged due to rains and flood in 2023-24 Maha season in Sri Lanka

Due to the heavy rains and floods that affected the country during the 2023/24 Maha season, 68,131 hectares of land cultivated with vegetables and other crops have been destroyed.

The Department of Agriculture says that the amount of land where crops were damaged is 71 percent of the total cultivated land without paddy cultivation.

In addition to this, 100,000 hectares of paddy fields cultivated during the Maha season of that year were also damaged due to heavy rains and floods.

The Department of Agriculture also mentions that this situation affected the rapid increase in the price of vegetables in the first quarter of this year due to the large amount of damage to the vegetable crops due to the continuous rains received for about four and a half months last year.


Taiwan rattled by shallow 6.1 magnitude earthquake amid numerous tremors

Taiwan was hit with a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours of Tuesday local time (2:32 p.m. ET Monday), according to the island's Central Weather Administration.

The earthquake struck about a mile from Shoufeng Township, Hualien County, the USGS said, and is the latest in a series of earthquakes that had been shaking the island since Monday afternoon. There was no tsunami threat, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The latest quake shook buildings in the capital, Taipei; an AFP reporter said they could feel their building swaying.

"Glass panels of (the) bathroom and windows were making noises," another AFP staffer said.


Kenya Red Cross on high alert as estates, roads flood in Nairobi

Kenya is among countries in East Africa that experienced heavy rains in since January to April 2024.
Kenya is among countries in East Africa that experienced heavy rains in since January to April 2024.
The Kenya Red Cross has mobilized tactical teams to aid in search and rescue efforts in various parts of Nairobi affected by Saturday's heavy rainfall.

Households along the Ngong River bore the brunt as the river overflowed, causing significant damage to properties. Red Cross teams are conducting needs assessments in these areas to provide assistance.

"Last night's downpour has severely impacted hundreds of households along the Ngong River. The situation is dire, with water encroaching onto properties," the Red Cross warned.

The Red Cross said it was closely monitoring other affected areas, including Fuata Nyayo, Kibra, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Kayole Soweto, Lavington, and Kawangware.


Dead 40-foot gray whale found in San Francisco Bay off Alameda beach

A photo of the whale sighted floating off Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda over the weekend.
© Michael DevineA photo of the whale sighted floating off Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda over the weekend.
A dead 40-foot female gray whale was found floating near Alameda's Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach on Saturday evening.

The California Academy of Sciences reported the whale's carcass floating offshore Saturday evening, The Marine Mammal Center spokesperson Giancarlo Rulli told The Standard.

The carcass was stuck in mud or a sandbar early Sunday before dislodging and floating freely with the tide again.

Plans are underway to tow the carcass to Angel Island State Park for a necropsy to determine the cause of death, Rulli said.

The Marine Mammal Center is coordinating with local towing services, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard on the tow in the coming days. The Academy's team was able to take initial samples and measurements from the whale Sunday.


Wild buffalo attack kills one forest officer, injures another in Assam, India

In Assam's Kaziranga National Park, a forest officer died and another was injured in an attack by a herd of wild buffaloes. The incident occurred on Monday morning (April 15) as the forest officials were conducting their routine patrol in the forest area near the Elephant Camp.

"A group of aggressive wild buffalos suddenly attacked them. They managed to escape but two of them fell victim," officials said.

The forest officer who passed away was Apo Momin, a recent addition to the team. They were transported to a local sub-divisional civil hospital in Kaliabor. The injured officer was identified as Sonamani Rabha.

A senior official from Kaziranga National Park expressed shock at Momin's death, calling it an unfortunate incident.

Police mentioned that Apu Momin's body has been sent for postmortem examination.

Comment: A month ago: Farmer killed in gaur attack in Tamil Nadu, India


Eight-year-old boy mauled to death by stray dogs in Lodhran, Pakistan

dog attack
A pack of stray dogs brutally mauled and killed an eight-year-old boy in Mouza Bangla Hamidpur, a suburban area of Kehrurpaka in District Lodhran on Sunday.

According to media reports, the incident occurred when the boy went out of his home to play. The stray dogs attacked and seriously injured the boy, Arsalan, by biting him multiple times. The victim was rushed to THQ hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries on the way.

Medical Officer Dr. Zeeshan stated that the victim received severe injuries from dog bites on his neck, legs, and ears. However, the police reported that the family of the victim refused legal proceedings, declaring the incident an accident. Local residents revealed that despite an increase in dog bite cases, the district authorities remain unmoved. No concrete steps have been taken to date to address the issue of aggressive dogs, citizens added.

No dog-hunting campaign has been initiated in Kehrurpakka for over two years. Citizens expressed frustration, stating that while the district administration claims good governance, the reality is quite the opposite. Bloodthirsty dogs roam freely in the city and suburbs, posing a constant threat to residents.