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Fri, 17 Aug 2018
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Earth Changes


More than 30 dead harbor seals wash ashore in southern Maine in 2 days

A dead seal on the shore at Bayview Beach in Saco on Sunday. This was one of several dead seals reported on the beach over the past two days.
© Shawn Patrick Ouellette
A dead seal on the shore at Bayview Beach in Saco on Sunday. This was one of several dead seals reported on the beach over the past two days.
Marine mammal experts are testing tissue samples for a potential common cause of the surge in carcasses found on the state's beaches this year.

Marine mammal experts are at a loss to explain why a large number of harbor seals have turned up dead on beaches in southern Maine this summer.

The most recent cluster of deaths was reported Monday when the carcasses of 11 harbor seals, mostly pups, were discovered on Bayview and Kinney Shores beaches in Saco. Those beaches are situated between Ocean Park and Ferry Beach State Park.

In the past two days, more than 30 dead harbor seals have washed ashore on southern Maine beaches, including Wells Beach and Ogunquit Beach, said Lynda Doughty, executive director of Marine Mammals of Maine, which investigated the Saco seal deaths.


"Dozens" dead as massive section of motorway bridge collapses during "violent cloudburst" in Genoa, Italy

genoa bridge collapse 2018

The shattered bridge spanned a stream into which much of the rubble fell
A motorway bridge has collapsed near the Italian city of Genoa, sending vehicles plummeting some 100m (328ft) to the ground and killing at least 11 people, local media report.

Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said it was likely to be "an immense tragedy".

Local emergency officials have been quoted as saying "dozens" died.

Video footage appears to show one of the towers holding up the suspension bridge collapsing in stormy weather.

The police linked the disaster to what they called a violent cloudburst.

The collapsed section had mostly fallen on to rail tracks below, officials told AFP news agency, adding that cars and trucks had also fallen.

Comment: There are also reports that sections of the bridge were being worked on:
Italy Tuesday, sending cars plunging nearly 300 feet to the ground and killing at least 11 people, officials said."

A section of a towering highway bridge collapsed in Italy Tuesday, sending cars plunging nearly 300 feet to the ground and killing at least 11 people, officials said.

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa occurred during strong storms moving through the area of northwest Italy, according to authorities.

At least 20 vehicles were on the bridge in a port section of the city when the span gave way, Amalia Tedeschi, a firefighter, told the Italian news agency ANSA. Tedeschi said two people were pulled from the rubble alive and taken to a hospital by helicopter.

Danilo Toninelli, Italy's transport minister, described the collapse as "an enormous tragedy."

Several witnesses posted videos of the collapse on social media. In one video, someone can be heard screaming "oh God!" and a flash could be seen as the concrete structure crumbled.

The collapse happened on part of the viaduct on the A10 highway, the country's national police, Polizia di Stato, said.

Witnesses said the bridge toppled after it was struck by lightning.

Italian authorities said that at the time of the collapse construction was occurring on the bridge and a crane was being used on the span, but it was too early to pinpoint what caused the bridge to fail.

The A10 highway, the main route between northern Italy and France, was closed in both directions as search-and-rescue teams searched for survivors of the horrific incident.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said about 200 firefighters were on scene searching for survivors.

Part of the bridge fell on top of the Genoa Garbage Collection Depot, raising fears that the death toll will climb.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was traveling to the scene, officials said.

The Morandi Bridge, which opened in 1967, is about a half-mile long.

Cloud Precipitation

'Unprecedented' flash floods kill dozens in Kerala, India

Kerala floods

The Shiva Temple in Kochi, Kerala state, is partially submerged on August 9
Dozens of people have been killed, and tens of thousands more evacuated, after "unprecedented" flash flooding in a tourist hotspot in southern India.

At least 37 people have died since heavy monsoonal rains first struck the state of Kerala on Wednesday, the state's relief commissioner P.H. Kurian told CNN on Sunday. The area, located on the tropical Malabar Coast, is famed for its network of idyllic waterways. Another 40,000 people living in low-lying areas have now been evacuated to 350 relief camps, as the downpour caused landslides and overflowed reservoirs.

Monsoon rains are to be expected in India this time of the year. But after days of abnormally heavy rains, authorities on Friday opened the shutters of water reservoirs in an effort to prevent potentially disastrous breaches. "Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc," explained Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a statement Friday.

"For the first time in history, 27 dams in the state had to be opened. Never before has the state witnessed a calamity of this scale," the minister added.

Comment: Flood, landslips kill 22 across Kerala, India


Waterspout caught on camera off Long Beach Island, New Jersey

© Ryan Dellane
A waterspout was photographed off northern Long Beach Island this morning.

The torrential rains that flooded much of Ocean County spawned the spout, seen from various vantage points along the island.

The National Ocean Service defines a water spout as a whirling column of air and mist. There are two types: fair weather, which are not associated with thunderstorms, and likely what onlookers saw today, tornadic.


Another shallow magnitude 6 earthquake hits Alaska - 2nd in under 24 hours

6.0 magnitude earthquake 172 km from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, United States

USGS page: M 6.0 - 65km SSW of Kaktovik, Alaska

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 17 people

6.0 magnitude, 11 km depth

Comment: This latest quake comes less than 24 hours after a magnitude 6.4 event struck the same area - the strongest ever to hit the region:
Alaska's North Slope was hit Sunday by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the region, the state's seismologist says. At 6:58am Sunday, the magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck an area 42 miles east of Kavik River Camp and 343 miles northeast of Fairbanks, the state's second-biggest city, the AP reports. The US Geological Survey says the earthquake had a depth of about 6 miles. State seismologist Mike West tells the Anchorage Daily News that the earthquake was the biggest recorded in the North Slope by a substantial amount. "This is a very significant event that will take us some time to understand," he says.

The previous most powerful quake in the North Slope was in 1995 at magnitude 5.2, West says. The jump from a 5.2 to Sunday's 6.4 is significant because earthquakes rapidly grow in strength as magnitude rises, he says. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake is 15.8 times bigger and 63.1 times stronger than a 5.2 earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey. "That's why at 6.4 this changes how we think about the region," West says "It's a little early to say how, but it's safe to say this earthquake will cause a re-evaluation of the seismic potential of that area." Later Sunday, another magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit at 1:15pm near the city of Kaktovik on Alaska's North Slope, the US Geological Survey says.

Eye 1

Mother Nature is not to blame - Five metropolises are sinking dangerously

Man wading in water
© Manuel Silvestri / Reuters
They may seem like impressive monuments to humanity's control over Mother Nature but did you know that many of the world's biggest and most famous cities are sinking into the sea?

Rising sea levels have put scores of cities at risk of being flooded out of existence. In many cases the city itself is also sinking, further adding to the danger.

Comment: Even if the article would like to give the readers the view that rising sea levels is the cause, then as the article goes to show, it is not sea level rising that is the cause, but rather the sinking of these cities due to excess water extraction and other natural causes.

Here's five of the most imperilled cities.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia's capital on the island of Java is home to 10 million people and has a whopping 13 rivers running through it. As much as 40 percent of the city is below sea level. The city also has the dubious title of the fastest sinking city in the world.

Comment: None of the above examples given by the authors support their assertions that it has something to do with rising sea levels.

Arrow Down

Massive sinkhole swallows cars in China

This is the moment 30 people come together to save their neighbour's car
© Asia Wire
This is the moment 30 people come together to save their neighbour's car
This is the moment 30 people come together to save their neighbour's car after the vehicle becomes trapped on the edge of a large sinkhole.

The road surface caved in on 11th August during heavy rains in Yan'an city, China.

The hole - measuring at least 5 metres in depth - opened up right behind the white people carrier, with footage shows rain and muddy groundwater sloshing around inside during the downpour.


Tornadoes filmed off French and Spanish coasts

Waterspouts have been spotted off the coasts of France and Spain in recent days.

Onlookers captured a tornado forming off the coast of Cassis in the south of France last week, before thunderstorms hit the region.

Another small waterspout was seen rocking docked boats off the coast of the Balearic island of Espalmador.

Cloud Precipitation

Flood kills 6 in the Philippines, over 59,000 displaced

Monsoon rains by recent storms in the past weeks worsen Philippine floods.
© Bloomberg
Monsoon rains by recent storms in the past weeks worsen Philippine floods.
At least six people died and tens of thousands fled their homes as monsoon rain triggered flooding in the Philippine capital and nearby areas, reminiscent of the deadly Typhoon Ketsana nine years ago.

About 1.1 million people have been affected by the weekend rain, with 59,100 of them moved to safer ground, the disaster monitoring agency said. President Rodrigo Duterte's scheduled aerial inspection of flooded areas this afternoon was canceled because of the weather, his communications team said.

Authorities shut schools in Metro Manila and other parts of the main Luzon island but kept financial markets open. Five dams in the island opened their gates at the weekend, according to the weather bureau, which may have worsened the flooding. The judiciary suspended work in the capital from noon on Monday.

Cloud Precipitation

Watch as massive landslide caused by heavy rains collapses onto road in suburban Beijing - More rain forecast

landslide beijing
Strong downpours caused a landslide in Beijing. Luckily no one was hurt, but the road was blocked for several hours.

Beijing authorities temporarily closed 168 different natural and architectural tourist sites near the Chinese capital in expectation of strong downpours, according to the capital's tourism committee.

Weather forecasters expect that up to 300 millimeters of precipitation will occur in the next 24 hours in some areas of Beijing and its neighboring provinces.

Comment: While some areas of the world suffer extreme drought, other areas are inundated with epic flooding, and as if that wasn't enough, sinkhole, earthquake and volcanic events are on the rise too: Also check out SOTTs monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - July 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs