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Earth Changes


This week in volcano news: Supervolcano earthquake swarm - Ebeko erupts

In the last week, an earthquake swam began underneath the dangerous Long Valley supervolcano in California. In less than a week more than 400 quakes occurred at shallow depths. Meanwhile in Vanuatu, the Ambrym volcano is showing signs of unrest and is likely to produce a significant flank eruption in the near future. And, in the Kuril Islands, two volcanoes began new eruptions on the island of Paramushir. This video will discuss these volcano related news stories, as told and analyzed by a volcanologist.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly flash floods in Sochi, Russia

Flood damage in Sochi, Russia, June 2022.
© Government of Sochi
Flood damage in Sochi, Russia, June 2022.
At least 2 people have died and more are missing following severe flash floods in Sochi and surrounding areas of the Krasnodar Region in Russia.

The government of Sochi reported 85 mm of rain fell in a short period on 24 June causing rivers to break their banks in Lazarevsky district. Sochi officials said 14 settlements in Lazarevsky district were affected and a total of 98 houses damaged, along with roads and infrastructure. Areas of the village of Zubova Shchel were hardest hit, where the overflowing Reka Chimit river destroyed a bridge and swept away 2 vehicles.

Teams from the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) in Krasnodar Krai carried out search and rescue operations to find the occupants of the vehicles. As of 25 June, the bodies of two people had been found, while search operations continued for 4 people still feared missing.

Severe flood events struck in the region in July 2021, October 2018, and in June 2015.


Floods affect nearly 5 million, over 200,000 displaced in Assam, India - death toll rises to 118 (UPDATE)

Flood rescue in Assam, India, June 2022
Flood rescue in Assam, India, June 2022
Rivers are above the danger mark in at least 13 locations across the state of Assam in India. The Kopili River has reached record levels. Flooding has now affected nearly 5 million people across 32 districts and forced over 200,000 to evacuate their homes. Over 80 people have died in floods and landslides in the state since May.

The current spate of flooding began in mid-June. As of 20 June, Assam state disaster officials report flooding has impacted 4,772,140 people in 5,424 villages across 32 districts. Over 1 million of those affected are in Barpeta District. Nagaon and Darrang districts each have around 450,000 residents affected.

Disaster authorities have set up 810 relief camps providing temporary accommodation and 615 relief distribution centres providing food and other relief supplies. As of 20 June, 231,819 people had moved from their homes to relief camps, including 63,000 people in Barpeta.

Comment: Update June 25

The Wire reports:
Assam Flood Situation Remains Grim, Death Toll Rises to 118

A vendor wades through a flooded street, in Kamrup distric of Assam, June 24, 2022.
A vendor wades through a flooded street, in Kamrup distric of Assam, June 24, 2022.
The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Saturday with the death count rising to 118 and Silchar town in the Cachar district submerged for the sixth straight day, officials said.

Ten more people have died in the past 24 hours - two each from Barpeta, Dhubri, Karimganj and Udalguri districts and one death each from Cachar and Morigaon - due to floods and landslides.

The total population affected by the floods declined to 33.03 lakh in 28 districts as against the previous day's figure of 45.34 lakh in 30 districts, a bulletin issued by the Assam State Management Disaster Authority (ASDMA) said.

The situation improved marginally in some districts, as rivers showed a receding trend though the Brahmaputra at Dhubri and Kopili in Nagaon were flowing above the danger mark, the officials said.

The Cachar district administration is engaged in rescue operations in Silchar to evacuate marooned people to safety, with priority on shifting ailing persons to hospital, deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli said.

Packets with food, drinking water bottles and other essentials are being airdropped in the town by Indian Air Force helicopters, and this will continue till the situation improves, she said.

Two drones have also been deployed in Silchar for carrying out flood inundation mapping as well as to provide relief materials to the affected people.

Eight NDRF teams comprising 207 personnel from Itanagar and Bhubaneswar, along with an Army unit with 120 personnel and nine boats from Dimapur have been stationed in Silchar.

Nearly three lakh people are in distress in Silchar with an acute shortage of food, clean drinking water and medicines, the officials said.

The worst flood-affected districts in the state are Barpeta with 8,76,842 people in discomfort followed by Nagaon (5,08,475), Kamrup (4,01,512) and Dhubri (3,99,945), according to the ASDMA bulletin.

The deluge has hit 93 revenue circles and 3,510 villages, while 2,65,788 people have taken shelter in 717 relief camps, it said.

Relief materials were distributed from 409 delivery points among the flood-affected people, who have not taken shelter in the camps.

Altogether, 312 houses were damaged during the last 24 hours, the ASDMA said.

Large-scale erosion was also reported from several places, including Baksa, Biswanath, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Dibrugarh, Darrang, Golaghat, Hailakandi and Kamrup, it added.


'Mosquito tornado' storms Sichuan village in China, locals flock to see the phenomenon

‘Mosquito tornado
A "small tornado" appeared inexplicably above a village's farmland in Fawangsi Town, Hejiang County, Luzhou, Sichuan, drawing public attention.


Alligator attack leaves man dead as reptile drags victim into pond in Horry County, South Carolina

Authorities said Friday that an alligator killed
Authorities said Friday that an alligator killed a man in Horry County, South Carolina, after dragging him into a pond. Above, an alligator lays on grass near a canal in Everglades National Park, Florida, on September 30, 2021.
Local law enforcement said Friday that an alligator killed a man in Horry County, South Carolina, after dragging him into a retention pond.

The Horry County Police Department (HCPD) said in a statement on its Facebook that Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a water rescue call around 11:45 a.m. in the area of Excalibur Court outside Myrtle Beach.

Police officers and units from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources also came to assist. While at the scene, the units found that the alligator "took a hold of a neighbor who was near the edge of a retention pond and retreated" back into the water.


Coyote attacks 2-year-old girl at Fountain Valley Park, California

© Getty Images
Authorities are looking for a coyote who attacked a 2-year-old girl earlier this week in an Orange County park.

The attack, which was not reported immediately, happened at about 8:30 p.m. at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

Details about the girl's injuries were not immediately available.

Anyone with information was asked to contact 916-508-7095.

Cloud Lightning

Buildings destroyed as storm hits Baoding, China

High winds hit Baoding in Hebei, China on June 23rd 2022.

Buildings were destroyed, as roofs were torn off. Trees were uprooted, blocking roads.

Power shortages were reported as electricity supplies were affected.

Residents were advised to remain indoors for the duration of the storm.

Following the storm, debris filled the streets, causing further disruption.

Arrow Down

Probe launched after dozens of turtles and dolphins found dead in Guatemala

Dead Dolphin
© The Tico Times

As many as 65 turtles, most of them of the Olive Ridley variety, and 14 dolphins were discovered dead earlier this week on the Pacific coast of Guatemala and is being investigated by Guatemalan authorities, Guatemala's National Council of Protected Areas told AFP.

Despite being considered the most common species of sea turtle, the olive ridley is listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The organization cites several threats to the its survival, including human intrusion, pollution and climate change.

The entity, which did not specify the exact location of the findings, said that the first remains were detected on Monday and the last ones on Wednesday afternoon.

Blue Planet

'Meteotsunami' sees tide go wrong way in Welsh harbour: 'Water was rushing out like a river'

solva harbour tide meteotsunami

Water rushes out of Solva Harbour in Pembrookshire, Wales on June 23, 2022
A meteotsunami is likely to be responsible for water in Pembrokeshire "running out of the harbour rather than in", as witnessed by two Welsh residents.

Charles and Claire Davies, whose house overlooks Solva harbour, noticed a bizarre movement in the water at a time when the tide should have still been low.

Scientists have linked the "extraordinarily powerful" surges spotted by the retired couple to a tsunami-like phenomenon driven by disturbances in air pressure, often linked to extreme weather events.

Mr Davies, 69, told WalesOnline: "The water appeared to be running out of the harbour rather than in.

"We started to see this strange event where the water was surging in and out and in again."

Comment: More information:


Shepherd dies as heavy summer snowfall hits Pakistan

Shepherds start leaving summer grazing meadows in upper parts of Kaghan valley after the area received heavy snowfall.
© Dawn
Shepherds start leaving summer grazing meadows in upper parts of Kaghan valley after the area received heavy snowfall.
A shepherd was found dead while few others went missing after snowfall occurred in Chambar Banda area of Swat district on Friday.

Deputy Commissioner Swat informed that a young shepherd was found dead while two others were injured and some missing after unexpected snowfall occurred in Chambar Banda, Swat.

The dead shepherd belonged to Kabal tehsil.

The injured shepherds were shifted to DHQ Hospital Swat.