Earth ChangesS


Iceland volcano: Grindavik's people may never return after volcano spills lava into town

iceland fissure
© Photo/The Coast Guard
The resilient community of Grindavik has for the past weeks and months experienced the relentless forces of nature, once again proving why Iceland is often called the "Land of Fire and Ice."

Three homes in this town on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland were destroyed last month when molten lava spewed through two fissures created by the Svartsengi volcanic system.

Once a thriving fishing village with vibrant sports teams and a youthful population, Grindavik now lies empty. Its people have fled and are beginning to face up to the realisation they may never be able live there again.


Chile declares state of emergency over deadly forest fires - at least 112 killed (UPDATE)

A state of emergency has been declared over raging forest fires in Chile.
© Javier Torres, AFPA state of emergency has been declared over raging forest fires in Chile.
About a dozen fires have been raging since Friday.

The blazes are concentrated in the Vina del Mar and Valparaiso tourist regions, where they have ravaged thousands of hectares of forest, cloaked coastal cities in a dense fog of gray smoke and forced people to flee their homes.

"We have preliminary information that several people have died, around 10," said Sofia Gonzales Cortes, state representative for the central region of Valparaiso.

In the towns of Estrella and Navidad, southwest of the capital, the fires have burned nearly 30 homes, and forced evacuations near the surfing resort of Pichilemu.

Comment: Update February 4

The Guardian reports:
Firefighters are wrestling with huge forest fires that broke out in central Chile on Friday. Officials have extended curfews in cities most heavily affected by the blazes and said the death toll has increased to 112 killed.

The fires have been burning with the highest intensity around the city of Viña del Mar, where a botanical garden founded in 1931 was destroyed by the flames. At least 1,600 people have been left without homes.

A person holds a flag that reads 'against' as voters take part in a referendum on a new Chilean constitution, in Santiago, Chile

Flames and smoke on the eastern edge of the city have trapped some people in their homes. Officials said 200 people have been reported missing in Viña del Mar and the surrounding area. The city of 300,000 people is a popular beach resort.

Late on Sunday, Chile's forensic medicine service updated the confirmed death toll to 112 people.

Drone footage filmed by Reuters in Vina del Mar area showed entire neighbourhoods scorched, with residents rummaging through husks of burnt-out houses where corrugated iron roofs have collapsed. On the streets, singed cars littered the roads.

Rodrigo Mundaca, the governor of the Valparaíso region, said on Sunday he believed that some of the fires could have been intentionally caused, replicating a theory that had also been mentioned on Saturday by the president, Gabriel Boric.

"These fires began in four points that lit up simultaneously," Mundaca said. "As authorities, we will have to work rigorously to find who is responsible."

The fires around Viña del Mar began in mountainous forested areas that are hard to reach. But they have moved into densely populated neighbourhoods on the city's periphery despite efforts by Chilean authorities to slow down the flames.

On Saturday, Boric said unusually high temperatures, low humidity and high wind speeds were making it difficult to control the wildfires in central Chile, which have already burned through 8,000 hectares of forest and urban areas.

Cloud Precipitation

Pakistan: Heavy rain causes urban flooding in Karachi

Urban flooding on Karachi’s main artery
Urban flooding on Karachi’s main artery Shahrae Faisal caused many vehicle to submerge under water.
Heavy rain wreaks havoc in Pakistan's Karachi. Downpour leaves roads submerged and over 700 power station out of service.

Arrow Down

3 killed, 13 injured in landslide during heavy rain in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Xinhua reported citing the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari that the cliff on the side of the road suddenly fell, hitting multiple vehicles in the middle of a traffic jam on the Tarutung-Sibolga national road on Saturday at 5 p.m. local time.

"Those who died were a husband, wife, and a toddler in a car," Muhari said.

Seven people were slightly injured and six others were seriously injured. All were taken to nearby medical facilities.

The landslide also damaged a house, five minibusses, a logistics truck, and a few motorcycles.


Grandmother mauled to death by two 'XL Bullys' in Essex, UK

Esther Martin, 68 (pictured) from Woodford Green, London - had previously told the dogs' owner that they were dangerous
Esther Martin, 68 (pictured) from Woodford Green, London - had previously told the dogs' owner that they were dangerous
A woman who was savagely mauled to death by two suspected XL Bully dogs last night was a grandmother visiting her grandson, MailOnline can reveal.

Essex Police officers were called to a property at Jaywick Sands, near Clacton-on-Sea, at around 4pm yesterday, where they found a woman who was seriously injured.

Officers believe she was attacked by two dogs, and the animals were later destroyed.

The police said the breeds are yet to be determined, but the family have claimed they were XL Bully dogs.

The woman died at the scene, and Essex Police said it was trying to establish the circumstances which led to the incident.

Cloud Precipitation

Ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily hits north western Queensland with dangerous flooding in Australia - foot of rain in 24 hours

Parts of the Gulf Country have been warned of potentially ‘life threatening’ flooding.
© Brian CasseyParts of the Gulf Country have been warned of potentially ‘life threatening’ flooding.
Ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily continues to threaten parts of Queensland with dangerous and "life threatening flooding", amid fears a new cyclone could be brewing off the east coast.

A severe weather warning was issued for the southwest Gulf Country near the Northern Territory on Saturday morning, as the system makes its way further southwest.

Meanwhile, the North Tropical Coast seems to be spared for now after the Bureau cancelled an earlier severe weather warning for the region.

The Bureau stated rainfall is "unlikely to exceed heavy rainfall thresholds later this afternoon" and the situation will continue to be monitored.

In the 24 hours to 9am Friday, more than 300mm of rain was recorded in some parts of the region, with the Bureau warning the weather system would likely bring heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding in western parts of the Gulf Country, north west, and Channel Country districts.


Pack of dogs euthanized after man dies in Fort Hall, Idaho

dog attack
A pack of dogs was euthanized after a man was found dead in the Gibson District of the Fort Hall Reservation Wednesday.

Bingham County Coroner Jimmy Roberts identified the man as 19-year-old Carlon Galloway.

While Roberts confirmed the man was attacked by the dogs, the official cause of death is under investigation. Circumstances surrounding the attack have not been released.

Roberts said the Shoshone Bannock Tribes Fish and Game Department euthanized several dogs on the scene.

"This is an isolated incident and there is currently no danger to the public," said Echo Marshall, a spokeswoman for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

The man's death comes one year after a 7-year-old was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in Fort Hall. The owners of the dogs were cited and the animals were euthanized.

The FBI is investigating Wednesday's incident.


Oklahoma rattled by shallow 5.1 magnitude earthquake

© Fox NewsOklahoma was hit by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake Friday night near Oklahoma City.
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook an area near Oklahoma City late Friday night, followed by smaller quakes during the next several hours, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The earthquake struck at 11:24 p.m. and was centered 8 kilometers (5 miles) northwest of Prague, Oklahoma, about 57 miles (92 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City, the agency said.

Residents across the state from Lawton to Enid to Tulsa reported feeling the shaking to the U.S.G.S.

The initial earthquake was followed by at least eight smaller temblors through Saturday morning, ranging in strength from magnitude 2.5 to 3.4, according to the geological survey.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 20 killed due to floods, landslides in southern Philippines (UPDATES)

The number of casualties due to landslides and flood-related incidents brought by the trough of the Low-Pressure Area (LPA) in the province of Davao de Oro has now reached six while two individuals are still missing.

Based on the report provided by the Provincial Local Government Unit of Davao de Oro (PLGU-Davao de Oro) following the initial assessment of the Provincial Disaster Reduction Risk Management Council (PDRRMC) as of Friday morning, February 2, 2024, two dead bodies were recovered in the municipality of New Bataan, three in Maragusan, and one in Pantukan.

In New Bataan, victims were identified as Mimai Pagantupan, 76, who allegedly drowned in floodwaters in her residence in Barangay Cagan, Andap, and Junjun Romagos who was reported to be buried alive in a major landslide in Barangay Camanlangan.

Comment: Update February 3

Agence France Presse reports:
The death toll from landslides and floods triggered by torrential rain in the southern Philippines in the past week has risen to 14, official tallies showed Saturday.

Rain has pounded parts of Mindanao, the country's second-largest island, on and off for weeks and forced tens of thousands of people into emergency shelters.

At least 10 people died in recent days in the mountainous gold mining province of Davao de Oro as it endured relentless downpours.

"I haven't experienced that kind of heavy and continuous rain before," provincial information officer Fe Maestre told AFP.

Of the 10 deaths in Davao de Oro, three were recorded in New Bataan municipality and another four people were killed in landslides in Maragusan and Monkayo municipalities, disaster officials told AFP.

Another three people drowned in separate incidents in Pantukan and Maco municipalities in Davao de Oro.

In the neighbouring province of Davao del Norte, a landslide buried four people inside a house in Kapalong municipality, rescue officer Jaiasent Cabactulan told AFP.
Update February 5

NDTV reports:
At least 20 people have died after days of torrential rains in parts of the southern Philippines, provincial disaster agencies said on Monday.

Thirteen people died in Davao de Oro province while two were missing, and seven people were killed in neighbouring Davao del Norte, disaster agency officials said.

A northeast monsoon and trough of a low pressure area brought rains in southern Mindanao region from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, resulting in deadly floods and landslides, data from the national disaster agency show.


Several waterspouts spotted off Canterbury coast in New Zealand

Waterspout spotted off Timaru on Saturday morning.
© Andrew BeazleyWaterspout spotted off Timaru on Saturday morning.
Several waterspouts have been spotted along the south Canterbury coastline this morning.

Andrew Beazley and his wife had been walking their dog on South Beach, Timaru, at 8am on Saturday morning when they spotted the waterspouts.

He told 1News they typically went down to the beach a few times a week, but "it's the first time I've seen anything like that off the coast."

The spouts were about "two [or] three kilometres" off the coast, he said.