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Skier killed in avalanche on mountain near Las Vegas, Nevada

Mount Charleston, NV.
© Quincy Koetz
Mount Charleston, NV.
A man skiing in the backcountry in the Mount Charleston area near Las Vegas died Monday in an avalanche, local law enforcement authorities announced Tuesday.

The skier, identified as Las Vegas resident Punan Zhou, was swept about 500 feet (152 meters) down Mummy Mountain before friends found him using a location-tracking device, said Sgt. Matt Marlow of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's search and rescue team.

Authorities on Monday initially described the man as an injured hiker.


Mammoth Mountain ski resort in California closed due to too much snow - 13 FEET in just 9 DAYS since start of year

© Patrick Griley/Mammoth Lakes Tourism
Thanks to continued snowfall, Mammoth Mountain, CA, has reported 40 - 54 inches from this current storm with an expected snow accumulation of 22 -28 inches today.

Mammoth Mountain has surpassed last year's season snowfall total and, with 419″ of fresh snow at the summit, is now officially the snowiest ski area on Earth. 310 inches have dropped at the Main Lodge, including 13 feet since January 1. The resort also has the deepest base in the country.

Mammoth has been closed today due to the intense snowfall conditions and very dangerous travel in the area. Roads have been heavily impacted and are not plowed. The resort will focus on avalanche mitigation work today and protecting our equipment. They plan to reopen tomorrow, January 11.

Snowflake Cold

Harsh winter weather sweeps across Central Asia - Temperatures in Kazakhstan are slipping to below -30 degrees Celsius

Utility workers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, clearing away snow on the street last week.
© Almaty city hall
Utility workers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, clearing away snow on the street last week.
The harshest phase of winter has descended with a snowy thud across all of Central Asia.

In Kazakhstan, highways are blocked. In Tajikistan, schools have been shuttered. Officials in Kyrgyzstan are pleading with apartment-dwellers to close windows to basements to avoid water pipes freezing. Trees and electricity pylons in Uzbekistan are crashing to the ground under the weight of snow.

Whole swathes of Turkmenistan, typically the warmest country in the region, are blanketed in white.

The movement on highways in Kazakhstan is so bad that Uzbek officials have even warned their own motorists against going there until the weather eases.

Cloud Precipitation

California storm death toll rises to 17 amid unrelenting rains

This aerial view shows a flooded neighborhood in Merced, California on January 10, 2023.
© Josh Edelson
This aerial view shows a flooded neighborhood in Merced, California on January 10, 2023. Power outages, school closures, mudslides, flooding, evacuations — the fifth in a parade of deadly storms driven by atmospheric rivers is hitting California, and residents and officials are struggling to cope with the deluge of water.
The California storm death toll has reached at least 17 as relentless rain forces evacuations in places like Montecito and Santa Cruz due to flooding and mudslides.

Full story: https://abc7chicago.com/california-we...

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Colombia - Massive landslide destroys homes, cuts major road in Cauca

landslide Rosas Cauca Colombia January 2023
© Municipality of Rosas
Landslide in Rosas Cauca, Colombia, January 2023.
Long-term heavy rainfall caused a massive landslide in the department of Cauca, southwestern Colombia, on 09 January 2023. Homes were destroyed and hundreds of victims were displaced.

The landslide occurred during the early hours of 09 January 2023 in the municipality of Rosas, Cauca Department. Disaster authorities said huge volumes of debris fell from slopes onto part of Highway 25 below, covering a 900-metre stretch of the road. Highway 25 is an important transport route between the cities of Pasto (Nariño department) and Popayán (Cauca department). The road is likely to remain closed for the next 2 weeks.

Colombia's National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) said several villages in the area are isolated. The Colombian Air Force was deployed to rescue victims by helicopter.

Bizarro Earth

Utah's Great Salt Lake is on the verge of collapse, and could expose millions to arsenic laced dust

Scientists say excessive water use is to blame, with 74% of diverted lakewater being used for unsustainable agricultural practices.
Great Salt Lake
© Reuters/Brian Snyder
Dry lakebed surrounding Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.
Utah's Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, could be set to disappear within the next five years, exposing millions of people to the toxic dust trapped in the drying lake bed, according to scientists.

The urgent warning, issued in a Jan. 4 report by a team of 32 ecologists and conservationists, says that the lake has lost 73% of its water and 60% of its surface area since 1850 and is facing "unprecedented danger." Without emergency measures to add an additional 326 billion gallons (1,234 billion liters) of water to the lake per year, or enough water to fill nearly 500,000 Olympic-size swimming pools, it could pass the point of no return by the end of 2024.

The Great Salt Lake provides a habitat for around 10 million migratory birds and brings Utah roughly $2.5 billion a year in economic activity, but, after drying at record rates since 2020, is currently sitting at 19 feet (5.8 meters) below its natural average levels, the report found. Scientists and conservationists pin the blame squarely on excessive water use by the region's alfalfa and hay farms, which take 74% of the many trillions of gallons of the total diverted lakewater to irrigate their vast operations, according to the report. If the lake is to be saved, overall water usage must be rapidly cut by 30 to 50%.


Man mauled to death by his own dogs in Lichtenburg, South Africa - 8th such fatality for the country in 8 weeks

dog attack
In yet another shocking dog attack, a 60-year-old man from Lichtenburg in the North West was mauled to death by his own dogs at the weekend.

The elderly man was killed by his three dogs at his home at about 3pm on Saturday.

Police have opened an inquest case to investigate circumstances leading to the incident.

According to police spokesperson Sam Tselanyane, it was alleged that during load shedding, the deceased's wife was busy on the other side of their house when she heard the dogs barking.

Comment: Details of the other 7 attacks:


Indonesia struck by 7.6-magnitude earthquake

Indonesia was rattled by a 7.6-magnitude deep-sea earthquake that damaged village buildings in the lightly populated island chain of Tanimbar earlier today, prompting panicked residents to flee their homes.

Two school buildings and at least 15 homes were damaged in the Tanimbar islands, said Indonesia disaster agency officials, with one person injured.

"Local residents felt strong tremors for three to five seconds. There was panic when the quake shook so the residents left their houses," Abdul Muhari, a spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement, citing the local agency.

The quake struck at a depth of 130km at 2.47am local time in the Banda Sea, near the Tanimbar islands in Maluku province having a total population of 127,000 people, according to 2021 data. While a tsunami warning was put in place by local authorities, it was lifted after about three hours at 5.43am.

Cloud Precipitation

Indonesia - Deadly flash floods on Java Island

Disaster authorities in Indonesia report at least 2 people have died after flash floods in Central Java Province on the island of Java. Flooding has also affected parts of Banten Province over the last few days.

Central Java Province

Flooding struck in Tembalang District, Semarang City, on 06 January 2023 after heavy rain caused an embankment along the Pengkol River to break, folding a housing complex. Semarang City Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) said teams worked diligently to rescue one person from a flooded house. Unfortunately, the victim sustained injuries and passed away, authorities said.

A total of 147 residents were affected by the floods, which have since receded but left behind large amounts of debris, garbage and mud carried by the currents.


7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Vanuatu in Pacific

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu on Sunday, trigguring a tsunami warning in nearby waters.

The quake was centered 15 miles from Port Olry and hit at a depth of 17 miles at 11:32 p.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Vanuato is about 606 nautical miles east of the Solomon Islands and 933 nautical miles from Australia.

Vanuatu has a population of 280,000 and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes frequently occur.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for coasts within186 miles of the epicenter but it wast later withdrwan.

No initial reports of damage or casualties were reported.

In November, the Solomon Islanda was hit with a 7.0 earthquake.