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Wed, 18 May 2022
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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Mudslides and 28,000 lightning strikes as storms hit northwest France

Thousands of homes are still without power and a Normandy children's home was set alight by lightning. Other areas are now on storm alert.

Violent storms hit northwestern parts of France last night (Sunday, May 15) resulting in power cuts for 5,500 homes with 28,000 lightning strikes recorded between Manche (Normandy) and Maine-et-Loire (Pays de la Loire).

Some 5,000 of these homes were still without electricity this morning, as Enedis stated that "the biggest repairs need to be done [today]."


Tonga eruption was 'record atmospheric explosion'

Weather satellites captured the climactic eruption.

Weather satellites captured the climactic eruption.
The eruption of the Tonga volcano in January has been confirmed as the biggest explosion ever recorded in the atmosphere by modern instrumentation.

It was far bigger than any 20th Century volcanic event, or indeed any atom bomb test conducted after WWII.

The assessment comes in a pair of scholarly papers in the journal Science that have reviewed all the data.

Of recent history, it's likely only the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 rivalled the atmospheric disturbance produced.

That catastrophic event in Indonesia is thought to have claimed more than 30,000 lives. Fortunately, the 15 January climactic eruption of the underwater volcano at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (HTHH) in the south Pacific resulted in very few deaths, even though it too produced large tsunamis.

"Tonga was a truly global event, just as Krakatau was, but we've now got all these geophysical observation systems and they recorded something that was really unprecedented in the modern data," Dr Robin Matoza, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, told BBC News. He is the lead author on one of the papers.


This week in volcano news - Yellowstone earthquake, unrest at Andes supervolcano

Big Ben

Big Ben
In the last week, there was significant seismic activity at a supervolcano. One of these supervolcanoes has an ongoing intrusion of magma at 3 miles or 5 kilometers depth in Chile and could produce an eruption in the next several months.

Also, in Yellowstone National Park, a magnitude 4.2 quake occurred which led some people to speculate that it was volcanic in origin. And, in Australia, the nation's most active volcano produced a new eruption, sending a lava flow 2.5 kilometers downslope.

This video will discuss these volcano related news stories, as told and analyzed by a volcanologist.


Three-year-old boy dies following suspected dog attack in Rochdale, UK

dog attack
A police investigation has been launched after a three-year-old boy died after a suspected dog attack in Greater Manchester.

Officers were called out to a property in Carr Lane, Milnrow, at 1.15pm on Sunday. The boy was taken to hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Detective Superintendent Jamie Daniels said the force was probing "previous incidents involving dogs" at the property.

Det Supt Daniels, of GMP's public protection and serious crime division, said: "This is a tragic, devastating incident and our thoughts are with the family at this horrendous time.


Surprising snowfall in Sichuan, China creates amazing scenery in early summer

Unexpected snowfall on Mount Emei in southwest China's Sichuan Province has created amazing and unique scenery in early summer.

According to the local meteorology authority, the snowfall is measured as being medium level, with a thickness of two centimeters, which is rare on Mount Emei in the middle of May. Mount Emei is a famous UNESCO World Heritage site located in the southern part of the province.


Homeless man attacked, killed by dog in Austin, Texas

dog attack
A dog attacked and killed a man experiencing homeless in South Austin early Saturday, according to Austin police and officials from Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

EMS spokesman Captain Darren Nowak said medics were called to an area in the 4600 block of East Ben White Boulevard at 1:51 a.m., and the man was pronounced dead a short time later.

Details of the incident were not immediately available Saturday, and police said it is not clear what, if anything, prompted the attack. Investigators said they had confirmed the man's status as homeless and were working to locate his family.

Cloud Precipitation

India - 5 fatalities after heavy rain, floods and landslides in Assam and Meghalaya - 2 feet of rain in 3 days

Flooding in Cachar District, Assam, India, 14 May 2022.
© Assam Rifles
Flooding in Cachar District, Assam, India, 14 May 2022.
At least 5 people have died and thousands affected after heavy rain, landslides and flooding in parts of Assam and Meghalaya states in northeastern India.


Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) reported heavy rain, flooding and landslides affected around 25,000 people across several districts in the state from 13 May 2022. Three people died in a landslide in Dima Hasao district.

The overflowing Barak river flooded wide areas of Cachar District. ASDMA said around 21,00 people were affected, 70 homes destroyed and hundreds of homes damaged. Troops from the Assam Rifles conducted flood relief operations and rescued dozens of people from flooded areas of Balichara and Borkhola in Cachar District.


Blistering heatwave sweeps South Asia as mercury in Pakistan soars to 50C

An excavator tries to contain the fire as smoke billows from burning garbage on a hot summer day, at the Bhalswa landfill site in New Delhi, India, April 29, 2022.
© Adnan Abidi
An excavator tries to contain the fire as smoke billows from burning garbage on a hot summer day, at the Bhalswa landfill site in New Delhi, India, April 29, 2022.
South Asia was in the grip of an extreme heatwave on Friday, with parts of Pakistan reaching a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius as officials warned of acute water shortages and a health threat.

Swathes of Pakistan and neighbouring India have been smothered by high temperatures since April in extreme weather that the World Meteorological Organization has warned is consistent with climate change. On Friday, the city of Jacobabad in Sindh province hit 50C (122 degrees Fahrenheit), the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said, with temperatures forecast to remain high until Sunday.

"It's like fire burning all around," said labourer Shafi Mohammad, who is from a village on the outskirts of Jacobabad where residents struggle to find reliable access to drinking water. Nationwide, the PMD alerted temperatures were between 6C and 9C above normal, with the capital Islamabad -- as well as provincial hubs Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar - recording temperatures around 40C on Friday.


Woman attacked by a black bear while going to check her mail in Lafayette, New Jersey

A woman was injured Wednesday afternoon in Sussex County after she was attacked by a black bear while she was walking down a road to check her mail, officials said.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. in Lafayette on Gorney Road, according to a statement from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The 34-year-old woman saw two to three bears and was "involved in a physical encounter with one of them."

The New Jersey State Police said the bear charged after the woman, but the DEP said they could not confirm that as of 5 p.m. as the attack remained under investigation.


US army identifies 'inspirational' soldier killed in Alaska bear attack

Another soldier sustained minor injuries in the attack by the bear (not pictured). Alaska officials said a den with two brown cubs was found nearby.
© Jared Lloyd/Getty Images
Another soldier sustained minor injuries in the attack by the bear (not pictured). Alaska officials said a den with two brown cubs was found nearby.
The US army as identified a soldier who died earlier this week of injuries sustained during a bear attack in a military training area in Alaska.

The army said Staff Sgt Seth Plant, 30, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage following the mauling, which happened on Tuesday. Another soldier received minor injuries in the attack in a training area west of Anchorage.

Plant was from Saint Augustine, Florida, and was an infantryman from the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

The Alaska department of fish and game said a den with two brown bear cubs was found nearby.