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Fri, 29 Sep 2023
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Japan: Lightning strikes festival in Chiba, injuring 34

© Mainichi
Portable shrine-carriers battle in the ocean during the "Shiofumi" event of the "Ohara Hadaka Matsuri," three hours before the lightning strike in Isumi.
Chiba -- Lightning struck and wounded 34 people at a festival in Isumi, Chiba Prefecture, on Sept. 23, leaving two of them seriously injured, local fire department officials said.

The lightning strike occurred at around 6 p.m. at Ohara Elementary School during the "Ohara Hadaka Matsuri" (Ohara naked man festival), hitting 32 males and two females carrying portable shrines. A 65-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy were seriously injured.

The festival's executive committee told a news conference that the event's 18 portable shrines had been gathered onto the school grounds, and just as the festival was about to finish its climactic farewell ceremony, lightning directly struck two portable shrines that had been raised high into the air.

The injured were moved to the school's gymnasium and those requiring medical attention were sent to a hospital.

Bizarro Earth

5 killed as storm blasts through Haiti tent camps

© AP
An earthquake survivor tries to set up her tent after it fell down due to heavy rain in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010.
Port-au-Prince -- A freak storm blasted through Haiti's capital on Friday, killing at least five earthquake survivors as it tore down trees, billboards and tent homes, authorities said.

Three adults and two children were killed in the tarp, tent and shack camps that still dominate Port-au-Prince more than eight months after the Jan. 12 earthquake, civil protection head Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste told The Associated Press. Several more were injured.

"We are investigating to see how many tents and camps were damaged," Jean-Baptiste said.

The storm passed through the mountain-ringed bowl of the Haitian capital, exposing rubble-filled neighborhoods to wind and rain at levels far below a sustained tropical storm. But that was enough to provoke panic and chaos, especially in encampments still home to more than 1.3 million people.

Bizarro Earth

US: State Of Emergency Declared In Seven Wisconsin Counties

© Unknown
Buffalo, Jackson, Marathon, Portage, Wood Counties Added In Wake Of Flooding

Madison -- Gov. Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency in Buffalo, Jackson, Marathon, Portage and Wood counties on Friday following strong storms that caused flooding in the area.

Seven counties are currently under a state of emergency. Doyle announced a state of emergency in Clark and Trempealeau counties on Thursday.

According to state officials, Wisconsin's Emergency Management and Department of Natural Resources officials are working with the National Guard to assist in recovery efforts.

State officials say the declaration is a response to widespread flooding and storm damage in the affected counties. The storms caused damage to homes and businesses, flooding roads and bringing down power lines.

In Clark County, officials have reported at least three bridges washed away and damage estimates nearing $500,000.


Propaganda! Ocean Cold Snap Paused Global Warming in '70s, Study Says

Reasons for the chill were unclear, but it coincided with a sudden inflow of cold water from the Arctic.

© Zuma Press
Cold Oceans: Some skeptics say breaks in a warming trend of the 21st century cast doubt on findings by the U.N. panel of climate scientists that climate change is man-made.
A cold snap in northern oceans around 1970 may have caused a dip in world temperatures that briefly interrupted a trend of global warming, scientists said Wednesday.

Many experts had previously explained a slight global cooling around 1970 as a side-effect of a slow build-up of sun-dimming air pollution from factories, power plants and cars that cleared up in later years with stricter air pollution laws.

But scientists in the United States and Britain said an examination of temperature records revealed "a rapid drop in Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperatures of about 0.3 degree Celsius (0.5 F) between about 1968 and 1972."

The cooling was most in the North Atlantic. Reasons for the chill were unclear but it coincided with a sudden inflow of cold water from the Arctic.


Canada: Calgarians make the best of it as snow - yes, snow - clouds forecast

Fewer than 10 days remain in summer, and most Calgarians have been left wondering if it ever really began.

One year ago Thursday, the temperature soared to just over a blistering hot 30 C.

On the same day this year, meteorologists are forecasting a high of 5 C and a chance of snow.

Summer officially ends with the fall equinox Sept. 22, but for most Calgarians, summer never arrived at all.

"This is the worst summer I've seen," said Ronell Toledo, who moved to the city from the Philippines in 2004.

"Compared to other years, this year it's been damp and wet."

The poor weather didn't stop Toledo from heading out on the bicycle pathways between Rundle and Ogden with two buddies and their mountain bikes Monday.


Snowfall in Garhwal Himalayas nearly a month ahead of schedule

Gopeshwar - Nearly a month ahead of schedule, the higher reaches of Garhwal Himalayas today received snowfall, sending the mercury plummeting in Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts.

The hills around Badrinath and Kedarnath temples have received snowfall while lower areas received rainfall forcing the people to take out their woollens.

Usually, the Garhwal Himalayas experience snowfall during October.


Stadium lies in ruins after roof caves-in from weight of snow in New Zealand

© Wayne Calderwood
Heavy snow caused the roof of Invercargill's Southland Stadium to collapse.
Heavy snow has severely damaged one of Invercargill's most important venues.

The weight of snow caused the roof on the main netball court to collapse at the multi-purpose and world-class Stadium Southland this morning.

Stadium Southland General Manager Nigel Skelt said it was lucky it did not happen during a busy time of week.

"We've never had a snow fall this big before, in our history. We've been going ten years and unfortunately in this instant it just hasn't been able to sustain it.

"The result could've been far more catastrophic."


5.6 earthquake hits Waikato, New Zealand

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake has hit south Waikato tonight.

The quake struck 10 kilometres east of Tokoroa just before 8pm, at a depth of 200 kilometres.

It was widely felt throughout the North Island.


'Freak' cold snap in Britain as temperatures fall 12C below seasonal average, follows coldest August in 17 years

Britain will be hit by the first frosts of winter this weekend - with warnings of snow in the hills.

The freak cold snap has come weeks early, after the coldest August for 17 years. Temperatures could plummet to -1C (30F) at night - 12 degrees C below the seasonal average, forcing millions to switch the heating on.

The chilly conditions come before the official end of summer - the autumn equinox on September 23 - and will see Britons digging out their duvets to keep warm at night. Forecasters warned the Midlands and Wales would be worst hit and the cold snap is a headache for farmers still harvesting spring barley.


Up to a millions lambs could die as New Zealand freezes over

Farm lobby group Federated Farmers says this month's spring storm in Southland looks set to cause the agricultural sector greater economic losses than the Canterbury earthquake imposed on farmers, and they want the government to declare it an adverse event.

"Federated Farmers is now working with Agriculture Minister David Carter on a medium scale adverse event declaration," a federation spokesman said tonight.

Such a declaration could give help such as that provided to farmers in recent serious droughts, including funding for a rural support trust to offer financial advice.

Agriculture Minister David Carter will tomorrow visit the small farm the federation's national president, Don Nicolson, and his wife Gail run at Waimatua, southeast of Invercargill, and the farms of Matthew and Vanessa Richards and David and Alana Clarke.