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Sat, 23 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes


Mount Etna eruption leads to flight cancellations at Sicily's Catania airport

Lava flows from Etna.
© Salvatore Allegra/AP
Lava flows from Etna.
Flights serving the eastern Sicilian city of Catania were halted after an eruption from nearby Mount Etna, local authorities said, bringing fresh travel troubles to the crisis-plagued Italian airport.

The 3,330 metre high volcano burst into action overnight on Sunday, firing lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island. The lava flow subsided before dawn, but ash was still coming from one of the craters.

Flights to and from Catania, a popular tourist destination, were set to remain suspended until 6am on Tuesday morning, the airport operator said in a statement, dashing hopes they could resume on Monday night.



Russia's Far East suffers flooding, over 2,500 people evacuated

In this photo released by Russian Emergency

In this photo released by Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, Emergency service workers give assistance in a flooded village in Primorye region, Russia's Far East after heavy downpours flooded villages in the region in the aftermath of Typhoon Khanun.
Floods in Russia's Far East had forced the evacuation of more than 2,500 people by Monday, the ministry of emergency situations said, after Russia joined the list of countries battered by rainstorms in the wake of Typhoon Khanun.

After lashing southern Japan last week, Khanun weakened into a tropical depression as it swept across the Korean peninsula to make landfall in northeast China on Friday night, causing mudslides in Liaoning Province that killed at least 21 people.

In the Russian Far East, 28 settlements were cut off by Monday. Large stretches of roads and 4,620 houses were flooded in 15 municipalities, the ministry said on the Telegram channel.

The ministry said floodwaters had begun to recede in most parts of Primorye region, and the worst flooding was on the Malinovka river near the village of Rakitnoye. The Pacific coast port of Vladivostok is the administrative center of Primorye region.

Source: Reuters


Golf course damaged by baseball-sized hail in Renville County, Minnesota on August 11

The damage from last Friday's hailstorm is still being felt in Renville County. Crops, cars and homes took a beating as large pieces of hail pelted the area for several minutes.

Just north of Buffalo Lake, the hailstorm made it look like someone took a weed whipper to the crops. It shredded fields of green, along with fairways of green.

Mike and Laura Knodel own Oakdale Golf Club. They were hosting a tournament when the storm hit.

"And then all of the sudden, it went haywire," Mike said. "We blew the horn to get them off. Some of them got caught out there in it."


'Mud tsunami' crashes through Italian Alpine town during summer flash floods

Cars and campervans were damaged in the mudslide in Bardonecchia on Sunday

Cars and campervans were damaged in the mudslide in Bardonecchia on Sunday
This is the terrifying moment a 'tsunami of mud' crashed through an Italian Alpine town, sending people fleeing for their lives.

Dramatic video shows the churning river of mud forming a huge wave as it burst its banks and slammed into a street following heavy rain in the town of Bardonecchia, near Turin in the Val di Susa valley.

Horrified residents and tourists were sent running for their lives as the huge 'mud tsunami' smashed through a gate and sent debris flying towards them on Sunday evening.


Shallow 6.1-magnitude earthquake hits off Northern Mariana Islands

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolted 271 km SE of San Jose Village, Northern Mariana Islands at 1351 GMT on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 13.38 degrees north latitude and 147.54 degrees east longitude.


Maui wildfires leave trail of death and destruction

maui hawaii wildfires shelter
© Jorge Garcia/Reuters
A view of a War Memorial Gym turned into donation and medical shelter to aid victims of the Maui wildfires in Kahului, Hawaii, on August 11.
  • The official death toll has reached 99 in the wildfires on Maui and is expected to increase "significantly" in the coming days, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said on CNN. The blaze that devastated the historic town of Lahaina is now the deadliest US wildfire in over 100 years, officials said.
  • Officials will begin releasing the names of the deceased Tuesday, Maui County Police Chief John Pelletier said during a Monday news conference.
  • As residents sift through the ashes of what used to be homes and landmarks, some say the island is struggling to provide housing for those displaced by the fires.
  • Here's how to help victims of the wildfires in Hawaii.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

At least 21 killed, 6 missing in northern China after floods, mudslides (UPDATE)

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescue workers gather at the aftermath of a mudslide in Weiziping village of Luanzhen township on the outskirts of Chang'an district, Xi'an of northwestern China's Shaanxi Province on Saturday Aug. 12, 2023.
© Zhang Bin
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescue workers gather at the aftermath of a mudslide in Weiziping village of Luanzhen township on the outskirts of Chang'an district, Xi'an of northwestern China's Shaanxi Province on Saturday Aug. 12, 2023. The mudslide caused by torrential rains killed at least two people on the outskirts of Xi'an in western China, an official news agency said Saturday, while some trains in the northeast were canceled as a powerful storm lashed the region.
At least two people have been killed and 16 others are missing after mudslides and flooding in the northwestern Chinese city of Xian, on Saturday (August 12), reported state broadcaster CCTV. This comes a day after reports that nearly 80 people have been killed across several Chinese provinces, including the capital city of Beijing since storm Doksuri, a former super typhoon, made landfall in southern Fujian province back in July.

According to a report by CCTV, the Chinese city was "affected by short-term local heavy rainfall, at 18:00 (local time) on August 11...there was a sudden mountain flash flood and mudslide."

It added, "A preliminary inspection showed that, at present, two houses in the village have been washed away and infrastructure including roads, bridges and power supply have been damaged."

Chinese officials also rescued four people initially trapped by the mudslide, said the state media report, adding that the emergency response and rescue efforts were continuing on Saturday morning as 16 individuals remained missing.

Comment: Update August 14

CNN reports:
At least 21 people are dead and six others missing after a flash flood and landslide following torrential rains in the outskirts of northwestern China's Xi'an city, local authorities said Sunday.

The natural disaster, which took place in a mountainside village on Friday, also caused blackouts affecting 900 households and damaged roads, bridges and communications infrastructure, according to the the Xi'an City Emergency Management Bureau.


Tornado kills at least two in eastern China

A tornado and hailstorm killed at least two people and injured 15 in Jiangsu province, Chinese state media reported on Sunday (August 13).

Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed a tornado ploughing through farmland, leaving the roofs of houses damaged.

The storm struck in the afternoon near Yancheng city, a few hours' drive north of China's financial capital, Shanghai.

Extreme weather has grown more frequent in recent years in China, following a volatile summer that has brought record-breaking rain and extreme flooding in China.

Source: Reuters


Dead whale discovered near Long Branch one day after another washed up on Long Island coast

Work crews prepare to remove a whale
© Noah K. Murray
Work crews prepare to remove a whale from the beach in Long Branch, N.J. August 13, 2023.
Two more dead whales washed ashore late last week in the tristate, reigniting a politically charged debate whether wind farm sonar mapping could be responsible for the growing number of marine mammal deaths.

On Friday, a dead 30-foot whale washed ashore at Smith Point County Park in Long Island. A second dead whale was found in Long Branch.

Saturday's whale was first seen by boaters off Deal and Asbury Park. It eventually washed up near the Imperial House Condominiums. More than a dozen whales have now washed up in New York and New Jersey since December. Dozens more dead dolphins and porpoises have also come ashore in that time frame. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls it a continuation of the unusual mortality event - dating back to 2016.

Comment: Details of the earlier stranding: Dead whale washes ashore at Smith Point County Park, New York

Cloud Lightning

Bolt of lightning kills man at German beer garden

A man has died after a bolt of lightning struck a tree at a beer garden outside of the southwestern Germany city of Stuttgart, also leaving two people with injuries.

The 35-year-old man succumbed to his injuries on Sunday after he, an 11-year-old child and a 43-year-old woman were struck by lightning when sitting at a table under a tree on Saturday afternoon, police said.

Paramedics tended to the injured before they were taken to hospital. A rescue helicopter flew the boy to a hospital. He was now somewhat better, a spokesman said on Sunday afternoon.