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Thu, 24 May 2018
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Earth Changes


After rare tropical cyclone Sagar devastates Somalia, a second aims for Oman

tropical cyclone near the Arabian Peninsula
© Joint Typhoon Warning Center
A satellite view of a tropical cyclone near the Arabian Peninsula that is expected to hit Oman later this week.
In less than a week's time, two tropical cyclones will have battered the Middle East in highly unusual locations.

Tropical cyclone Sagar slammed into northwestern Somalia over the weekend, after forming in the Gulf of Aden, killing at least 31 people in the region. The storm made landfall farther west in the North Indian Ocean basin than any previous storm on record.

Now, a second cyclone has spun up just to the east, due south of the Arabian Peninsula. The rapidly organizing storm is eyeing Oman's southern coast, where it may make landfall at hurricane-strength late this week.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center says the cyclone is over very warm waters, between about 87 and 90 degrees. "Extremely warm sea surface temperatures and favorable environmental conditions will lead to steady intensification," the center wrote in its latest update.

The center forecasts the storm to make landfall near Salalah along Oman's southeast coast between Friday and Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of more than 90 mph. Salalah is Oman's second-largest city with a population of about 200,000. Assuming the storm remains on its current track, the area can expect torrential rain, damaging winds and dangerously high seas.

Brian McNoldy, Capital Weather Gang's tropical weather expert, said that since 1980, only three "hurricane-strength" storms have made landfall within 100 miles of the Oman-Yemen coast, and none near Salalah.


Footage shows severe windstorm toppling tower crane in Astana, Kazakhstan

Astana wind storm

Violent winds caused damage to the Palace of Peace and Accord in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 22nd, 2018.
A severe windstorm struck Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, on May 22nd, 2018. Gusts of up to 90 kph (about 56 mph) toppled a tower crane and caused damage to cars and some buildings including the iconic Palace of Peace and Accord, a 62-metre high pyramid.

The violent winds were accompanied by a strong hailstorm. The mayor's office said 13 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the storm but warned that winds of a similar strength were expected today.


Lava haze: A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

kilauea haze hazard
© AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Plumes of steam rise as lava enters the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii Sunday, May 20, 2018. Kilauea volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock pouring into the ocean Sunday and flying lava causing the first major injury.
Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical reaction that creates giant clouds of acid and fine glass.

The lava haze, or "laze," is created when molten rock hits the ocean and marks just the latest hazard from a volcano that has been generating earthquakes and spewing lava, sulfur dioxide and ash since it began erupting in Big Island backyards on May 3.

The dangers have forced at least 2,000 people to evacuate and destroyed more than 40 buildings. It's also created anxiety for thousands of others about the possibility of lava heading their way or cutting off roads they depend on to get to work, school and grocery stores.

Here are key things to know about the latest volcanic threat:

Comment: See also:


First volcano-related injury recorded - man suffers serious burns from lava spatter

leilani estates lava rift
Lava fountains from the new fissure eruption at Leilani Estates on Kilauea, seen on May 5, 2018.
A man was seriously injured when he was hit with lava spatter while standing on his third-floor balcony - the first known injury related to Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruptions as new volcanic activity creates new threats in surrounding neighborhoods.

The homeowner on Noni Farms Road in Pahoa was hit with lava on the shin and taken to the hospital with serious injuries, Janet Snyder, spokeswoman for the Office of the Mayor, told Reuters.

"It hit him on the shin, and shattered everything from there down on his leg," Snyder said, adding that the lava spatter could weigh "as much as a refrigerator."

"And even small pieces of spatter can kill," she said.

No other information about the man and his condition were released as of Sunday morning.

Cloud Precipitation

Dramatic flooding in Dagestan, Russia

Torrential rain, preceded by hail, lead to floods in the areas: Akushinski and Levashinski in the Russian federal republic of Dagestan.

After the heavy rainfall, the Dargolakotti River came out of its bed and its waters flooded a number of settlements.

Many vehicles were blocked in the streets because of the flood. A local resident captures how the huge flood washed away a water tank and livestock.

There is no evidence of injured people. Substantial material damage has been caused.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rainfall turn streets into rivers in Krasnodar, Russia

Footage from Russia's Krasnodar show the aftermath of strong rainfall that hit the city on Monday, leaving buildings flooded and cars trapped under water.

Although the rain lasted for approximately 20 minutes, its intensity was enough to flood the roads and turn streets into streams of water.

Krasnodar's districts Yubileiny and Festivalny were especially hit hard. At least 10 drainage pumps were deployed to clear the areas.

No casualties have been reported, and according to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM), the situation has been brought under control.


9,191 people died of animal attacks across India in 2017-18 - the highest in 5 years

Charging elephant
© Getty
Charging elephant
Between April 2017 and March of this year, more than 9,100 people have been reported dead because of animal attacks, stings from reptiles and scorpions. This record is considered to be the highest in the last five years, as stated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a query to the Right to Information. This is just the reports telling the rates and there would be many more cases that couldn't have been possible to make it to the medical departments.

This brings to the average of 766 deaths every month for over 12 months. According to the latest received data, from April 2018, there have been more 143 animal bites and attacks that also resulted in deaths in India out of which 140 cases of them were found to be from the rural areas.

Comment: See also: Dog bites affect over 2.7 million people in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh


Remains of gray whale found near Bowerman Airport, Washington

female gray whale
© Jessie Huggins, Cascadia Research
The remains of a juvenile female gray whale were discovered near the western shore of Bowerman Airport on Monday. It's approximately 24-feet-long.

There was no indication of entanglement, said Jessie Huggins from Cascadia Research. She said it had probably been dead for a couple weeks, and that it was likely one or two years old.

You can view it from the furthest viewing point on the Sandpiper Trail with a good camera or binoculars.

Comment: A day earlier a dead humpback whale washed ashore at Ocean Shores about 10 miles further west of the above discovery.


Post mortem on pygmy sperm whale ashore in Melbourne, Australia

pygmy whale
A dead whale has been taken to a Melbourne zoo for a post mortem to find out how it washed ashore in the western suburbs.

The distressed 2.4-metre pygmy sperm whale was found by a commercial fisherman washed up around Kororoit Creek, Hobsons Bay, on Monday afternoon.

It was later euthanised after environment department and veterinary staff tried unsuccessfully for hours to save it by enticing it into deeper waters.

Department incident spokesperson Shane Vandenborn said the stressed whale was unable to swim unaided and would have drowned without intervention. Its body was taken to Werribee Zoo for an autopsy.

Source: Australian Associated Press


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Lava composition changes from Kilauea volcano & sulfur dioxide emissions increase 300%

Kilauea lava flow
© Daily Mail (screen capture)
The lava type on Kilauea has changed to very liquid, very fluid which moved miles and formed rivers of lava to the sea overnight. The lava is more like flowing water than lava at the moment. Sulfur Dioxide has also increased 300% and officials warn of toxic air filled with silica needles, a serious breathing hazard.

Comment: Kilauea volcano growing more hazardous - spewing lava causes first major injury