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Thu, 21 Jan 2021
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Deadly landslides triggered by heavy rainfall kill at least 11 in West Java Province, Indonesia

Landslide in Cimanggung District,
© BPBD Sumedang Regency
Landslide in Cimanggung District, Sumedang Regency, West Java Province, Indonesia, 09 January 2021.
At least 11 people have died after heavy rain triggered landslides in western Indonesia.

Two landslides struck in quick succession in the village of Cihanjuang in Cimanggung District, Sumedang Regency in West Java Province on 09 January 2021.

According to the country's disaster authority BNPB, the first landslide occurred around 16:00 and the second at around 19:30 local time. BNPB blamed heavy rainfall and unstable soil conditions for the landslides.


Seismograph

6.0-magnitude earthquake hits near Vanuatu - 2nd strong quake on the planet within 3 hours

quake
Vanuatu is located near the Ring of Fire - an area around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean with high seismic activity, causing regular volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a quake has hit 49 km east of Lakatoro, Vanuatu and 194 kilometres northwest of the island nation's capital Port Vila. The epicentre of the tremor was located at a depth of 160 kilometres.

No tsunami warning has been issued by the authorities so far.

There also have been no reports of damage or casualties caused by the tremor.

Comment: Just under 3 hours earlier a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Argentina. The Vanuatu quake is additionally the second magnitude 6 to hit off the island in 2 days.


Seismograph

M6.1 earthquake hits near San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina

earthquake graph
© Phil McCarten / Reuters
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 jolted 42 km WNW of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina at 0354 GMT on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 202.77 km, was initially determined to be at 24.02 degrees south latitude and 66.6723 degrees west longitude.

Snowflake Cold

Cars stranded, trains affected by continued heavy snowfall across Japan - up to a meter of new snow in 24 hours

cars in snow
Vehicles were stranded and train services affected Saturday as heavy snow continued over parts of Japan, with the weather agency warning of further traffic disruption from slippery roads due to more snowfall through the weekend.

In central Japan, many cars were stuck. Around 120 vehicles were stranded on the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture due to an accident. About 80 cars could not move on the Noetsu Expressway in Toyama Prefecture, with a section temporarily closed, transport authorities said.

Separately, about 80 vehicles were stuck temporarily on part of the Hokuriku Expressway in Niigata Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo.



Cloud Precipitation

Motorists stuck as floods, rains lash Montego Bay, Jamaica

flood
Several motorists have been trapped on the Long Hill main road near King Gate in Montego Bay, St James amid flood rain.

Several inches of rushing water and debris have covered the roadway which leads to Anchovy, Lethe, Wiltshire and other communities in upper St James.

Residents witnessing the frightening situation said drains which have not been cleaned for months have contributed to the problem.


Igloo

Record snowfall covers Japan

Record Snowfall
© Kiyoshi Kimura
Streetcars stop their operation due to heavy snowfall in Toyama on Jan. 8.
A record amount of snowfall blanketed central Japan's Hokuriku region by the morning of Jan. 8, forcing residents to cope with slippery and treacherous snow-packed roads and sidewalks.

In Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, the snow accumulation during the 12-hour period through the early morning totalled 59 centimeters, a record high.

In Toyama, it reached 48 cm, the highest ever for the capital of the prefecture.

As of 9 a.m., the snow cover in Himi was six times more than usual. In the town of Asahi, it was 5.5 times more than in an average year.

A cyclone in the making passed through northern Japan, causing a winter pressure pattern around the country. A cold air mass, apparently the severest of the season, has made inroads into Japan.

Because of that, areas on the Sea of Japan side from Hokkaido to Kyushu, including flatlands, are expected to experience heavy snowfall until around Jan. 10.

Snowflake

Madrid's heaviest snowfall in 50 years, red warnings also issued for Italy & Croatia as even more snow is forecast

The capital Madrid has seen the heaviest snowfall in decades
© GETTY IMAGES
The capital Madrid has seen the heaviest snowfall in decades
Four people died in Spain as Storm Filomena caused travel chaos across the country, blanketing Madrid in the heaviest snowfall in decades and forcing authorities to mobilise troops to rescue trapped motorists.

Rescue services reached 1,500 people trapped in cars, while skiers glided down Gran Via, normally one of the busiest streets in the capital. Other Madrid residents used the freak blizzard to snowboard down the road or pelt each other with snowballs.

A man and woman who were traveling in a car drowned after a river burst its banks near Malaga, southern Spain, and two homeless people froze to death, one in Madrid and the other in the eastern city of Calatayud, authorities said.

Responding to the events, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia tweeted: "The royal family would like to express their sorrow for victims of the storm ... and ask for extreme caution against the risks of accumulation of ice and snow."

Interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska urged Spaniards to avoid all but essential travel. "We are facing the most intense storm in the last 50 years," he said.


Comment: Express reports:
There will be an 80 percent chance of snow across most non-coastal locations.
Filomena
© AEMET
Storm Filomena: Red warnings, which mean extreme risk, are in place across Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluna, Commundidad de Madrid and Communitat Valencia
Red warnings, which mean extreme risk, are in place across Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluna, Comunidad de Madrid and Communitat Valencia today.

The warnings caution there is a 40 to 70 percent chance of snowstorms up to 20cm (7.8 inches).

Orange warnings for snow are in place across Cantabria, Castilla y Leon, Extremadura, Cimmunidad Foral de Navarra, Pais Vasco and La Rioja.

These warnings are classed as 'important risk' and caution up to 30 centimetres of snow could fall in 24 hours.

Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez Almeida said the city is prepared for the 20 centimeters of snow which have been forecast, but admitted it will create "great difficulties."

Municipal workers have spread more than 350,000 kilograms of salt and 75,000 litres of salt brine on roads to prevent them from icing over.

Pictures show snow-laden roads blocked with cars and some residents even resorted to travelling using skis.

Firefighters helped to free those trapped in cars on Friday as temperatures plummeted to -12C.

Filomena
© WXCHARTS
Storm Filomena: Another 20 to 30cm of snow is forecast to fall today
Snow has already blanketed parts of northern Italy this week, but yet more could be on the way from Storm Filomena.

Ms Willets said: "It is going to spread to Italy and Balkans, with very significant snow to come for the Balkans.

"Madrid will face 20cm of more snow today. It is almost unheard of weather."

Troops from the Unit for Military Emergencies have helped to clear roads and infrastructure across the country, the defence ministry said.

Castilla-La Mancha, one of the three regions put on high alert along with Madrid and eastern Valencia, closed schools.

Storm Filomena was named by Spanish Weather Service, AEMet and is made up of two areas of low pressure which are following each other across southwestern Europe.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tyler Roys explained this storm is so unusual as it is a combination of different weather features not seen since Storm Emma and the Beast from the East in 2018.

Mr Roys said: "A southerly storm track due to high pressure in the east-central Atlantic, the stalled [storm system] over central Europe and cold air that has funnelled in from Scandinavia and northern Russia are the features creating this uncommon setup."

"With little to no break in precipitation, the second area of low pressure will rush over the Iberian Peninsula from Friday through Saturday night, causing precipitation to continue across southern and central areas, as well as expand into the Ebro River Valley and finally into the Northern Meseta by Friday night."
The ice age cometh? A few days ago Spain recorded its lowest temperature ever at -34C.


Umbrella

Heavy rainfall brings flooding to Casablanca, Morocco

flood
© Ham/Twitter
The start of 2021 was marked by heavy rainfall across Morocco, Casablanca was one of the worst affected regions, with floods causing significant infrastructural damage to the city.

Heavy rains started pounding the area at the beginning of the week. By Tuesday night it culminated in what could only be described as nightmarish floods in Casablanca. Public transport shut down and entire neighborhoods were flooded. A quick-witted Twitter user commented that the city is "slowly marking its transition to becoming the new Venice."

Casablanca, a home to over 3 million people has been ravaged by floods for over three days now, yet there are still no concrete reports on the scope of infrastructural damage to the city.

The people of Casablanca are in shock, sharing pictures of the apocalyptical weather and floods on social media. Horror stories of destroyed infrastructure, monstrous traffic, and closed schools and businesses are flooding Twitter and other social media.


Boat

Six dead, nearly 50,000 evacuated in Malaysia floods - described as worst in half a century

Authorities have stepped up rescue operations after locals complained they had to fend for themselves earlier this week.

Authorities have stepped up rescue operations after locals complained they had to fend for themselves earlier this week.
At least six people have died and nearly 50,000 evacuated in Malaysia after monsoon rains pounded the country's east coast, authorities said, causing what residents described as the worst flooding in half a century.

Authorities have stepped up rescue operations after locals complained they had to fend for themselves earlier this week.

Heavy rains continued to batter the region on Friday, swelling the number of people abandoning their homes to more than 47,000, officials said.

"I have lost everything. The water has covered my roof," 59-year-old factory worker Tan Kong Leng told AFP news agency, tears filling his eyes.


Arrow Down

Three killed after avalanche strikes ski resort in Arctic city of Norilsk, Russia

Avalanche
Three people were killed after an avalanche hit a ski resort in the Arctic city of Norilsk, Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) reported on Saturday.

The footage from Friday and Saturday shows rescue operations at Gora Otdelnaya ski resort whereby a 14-year-old boy was found alive and transported to a hospital.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the bodies of a 38-year-old woman, her 45-year-old husband and their one and half-year-old child were recovered.

The institution opened a criminal case in accordance with article 238 of the Criminal Code of Russia.

All rescue operations were completed on Saturday morning.