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Sun, 16 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think



Two people drowned by abnormally high waves in Peru after Tonga volcano

Two people drowned off a beach in northern Peru, the local civil defense authority reported on Sunday, after unusually high waves were recorded in several coastal areas following Saturday's eruption of an underwater volcano in Tonga in the Pacific Ocean.

The death of two people by drowning occurred on Saturday on a beach located in the Lambayeque region, Peru's National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) said in a statement.

The underwater volcano off Tonga erupted on Saturday, prompting tsunami warnings and evacuation orders in Japan and causing huge waves on several South Pacific islands, where images on social media show waves crashing against homes on the shores.

More than 20 Peruvian ports were temporarily closed as a precautionary measure amid warnings that the volcano was causing abnormally high waves, Indeci said.


Tsunami waves hit Tonga after massive underwater volcanic eruption sends debris and ash 20km into the sky

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano erupted (pictured, satellite images of the volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday)

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano erupted (pictured, satellite images of the volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday)
Australia has become the fifth nation to issue a tsunami warning after an undersea volcano in the Pacific Ocean caused havoc in Tonga.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued an urgent alert that dangerous waves will start to affect Australia from 9.45pm on Saturday.

A tsunami struck Tonga sending terrified residents fleeing for their lives as surging waves crashed into homes and volcanic ash rained down from the sky.

Locals were warned to get out of the water and move to higher ground from as far away as Fiji as homes in the small South Pacific nation were swept away by the rising torrent.

Comment: Note how there's a lightning strike at 0:27, just as another vent erupts. This is due to an electric charge differential between the ash cloud, which is eruption debris that is now higher up in the atmosphere, and the freshly erupted material, which has just burst forth from inside the planet!

Comment: Spaceweather.com further reports:
The shockwave was recorded as a sudden uptick in air pressure as far away as Alaska, Belize and multiple locations in Florida. The global wave is expected to converge on southern Algeria, giving an especially strong signal there.

High-altitude balloon and satellite measurements indicate that the exhaust plume has reached the stratosphere, as high as 60,000 feet.
Here's footage showing the eruption's global shockwave:


Thousands displaced, at least 15 dead after more floods and landslides in Minas Gerais, Brazil - 8 inches of rain in 24 hours

Floods in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, January 2021.
© Prefeitura de Brumadinho
Floods in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, January 2021.
Heavy rainfall of more than 200mm in 24 hours in some areas has caused further flooding and landslides in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where at least 15 people have died in the last few days.

Around 1,200 people have been displaced after wide areas of Brumadinho Municipality were flooded from the overflowing Paraopeba River on 11 January. Civil Defence also reported that 5 people died in a landslide caused by heavy rain in the municipality. Brumadinho is the location of the tailings dam tragedy of January 2019 where 270 people died.

Over 10,000 people were displaced by flooding from the overflowing Doce River in Governor Valadares municipality from around 12 January 2022. Minas Gerais Civil Defence reported around 55,000 people affected by the floods.

Cloud Precipitation

Schools and roads closed as flash floods hit south-west France

The river Gave d'Oloron overflowed its banks on Jan. 10, as heavy rain soaked France'sPyrenees mountains, causing widespread flooding.

The river Gave d'Oloron overflowed its banks on Jan. 10, as heavy rain soaked France'sPyrenees mountains, causing widespread flooding.
Parts of south-west France have been hit by electricity outages and road and rail disruption today (January 10) as heavy rain causes flash floods and high river levels in several departments.

Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège are all under a red weather alert for heavy rain and/or flooding, while Gers and Tarn-et-Garonne have been placed on an orange warning for flooding.

At the time of the last Météo France update, a total of 50-80mm of rain was predicted on lower ground, 100-130mm in the Pyrenean foothills and 150-250mm in the mountains.

Cloud Precipitation

Cyclone leaves Fiji causing widespread flooding

People in Fiji are being warned of flash floods due to a category 1 tropical cyclone

People in Fiji are being warned of flash floods due to a category 1 tropical cyclone
Tropical Cyclone Cody is slowly moving away from Fiji but emergency management authorities say lingering heavy rain continues to create high risk for the country amid a third wave of the coronavirus.

The category 1 storm left one person dead, caused widespread flooding which forced close to 2,000 people to flee their homes and seek shelter at 110 evacuation centres activated across Fiji.

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said the capital Suva was spared by Cody, but it had belted the whole of the main island Viti Levu with heavy rains since late last week.

Flash flooding was reported across the country and Seruiratu said Cody may intensify to a category 2 storm as it moved south west out of Fiji.

"This will mean that flooding will continue to be a concern to us.


Geomythology looks to ancient stories for hints of scientific truth

Everyone loves a good story, especially if it's based on something true.

Consider the Greek legend of the Titanomachy, in which the Olympian gods, led by Zeus, vanquish the previous generation of immortals, the Titans. As recounted by the Greek poet Hesiod, this conflict makes for a thrilling tale - and it may preserve kernels of truth.

The eruption around 1650 B.C. of the Thera volcano could have inspired Hesiod's narrative. More powerful than Krakatoa, this ancient cataclysm in the southern Aegean Sea would have been witnessed by anyone living within hundreds of miles of the blast.

Thera Volcano
© Steve Jurvetson, CC BY
The massive eruption of the Thera volcano more than 3,500 years ago left behind a hollowed out island, today known as Santorini.
Historian of science Mott Greene argues that key moments from the Titanomachy map on to the eruption's "signature." For example, Hesiod notes that loud rumbles emanated from the ground as the armies clashed; seismologists now know that harmonic tremors - small earthquakes that sometimes precede eruptions - often produce similar sounds. And the impression of the sky - "wide Heaven" - shaking during the battle could have been inspired by shock waves in the air caused by the volcanic explosion. Hence, the Titanomachy may represent the creative misreading of a natural event.

In 2021 I published the first textbook in the field, Geomythology: How Common Stories Reflect Earth Events. As the book demonstrates, researchers in both the sciences and the humanities practice geomythology. In fact, geomythology's hybrid nature may help to bridge the gap between the two cultures. And despite its orientation toward the past, geomythology might also provide powerful resources for meeting environmental challenges in the future.


Severe flooding hits the city of Imperatriz in Brazil

Imperatriz faced another day of heavy rains since dawn this Monday, which made the Tocantins river rise 3 meters above its normal level, causing many flooding points in many parts of the municipality.

According to the Imperatriz Municipal Civil Defense and Protection Superintendence, it rained 120mm in just 13 hours, equivalent to two months of rain in the entire city. The municipality of Bacuri, located in the extreme north of Maranhão, was also affected by heavy rains that dawn, which caused flooding due to the flood of the Bacuri River.

According to the Civil Defense technical team, more than 500 families were affected by the floods, 130 of which are homeless and 58 homeless. The alert informs that the forecast is for rain in excess of 100 millimeters per hour, starting on Tuesday.

Cloud Precipitation

Major flooding impacting several areas across the state of Washington

FOX 13 is continuing to give you team coverage of areas hit hardest by flooding and snow throughout the state.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly floods hit Eastern Cape, South Africa - at least 7 people killed

Floods in Buffalo City Metro Municipality, South Africa, January 2022.
© Buffalo City Metro Municipality.
Floods in Buffalo City Metro Municipality, South Africa, January 2022.
At least 7 people have lost their lives in severe flash flooding that struck parts of Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.

Heavy rainfall on 08 January 2022 triggered the floods which affected areas of Mthatha, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the township of Mdantsane and areas of East London. According to figures from World Meteorological Organization (WMO), East London recorded 58 mm of rain in 24 hours to 09 January.

Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCMM) government activated its disaster management teams in response to the torrential rains which "left scores of houses as well as informal settlements in and around the metro severely damaged".

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Canyon rock slide hits tourist boats, killing at least 5 people in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Shocking footage showed screaming tourists crushed beneath the massive pillar of rock

At least 20 people went missing after a collapsing cliffside in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais crushed three tourist boats on the river below, killing five people and injuring others. The navy is investigating the tragedy.

The rockslide occurred at around midday on Saturday, in a canyon along Furnas Lake near the city of Capitolo, Minas Gerais. Disturbing videos showed a shower of smaller rocks falling from the cliff, before an enormous sheet of rock separated from the cliff face and collapsed directly onto several boatloads of tourists in the water below.