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Fri, 22 Feb 2019
The World for People who Think


Cloud Precipitation

California storms bring fear of devastating mudslides in fire-ravaged areas

mud flow block highway
© California Dept. of Transportation
Mud flows obstructed parts of the Pacific Coast Highway (above) near Malibu on Monday
Residents of hundreds of homes in three California counties have been ordered to to pack up and leave as a Pacific storm threatens potential mudslide catastrophe.

Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect on Tuesday at 8am in parts of Los Angeles County and 10am in parts of Santa Barbara County that were devastated by the Woolsey Fire.

In Riverside County, mandatory evacuation orders for dozens of areas around the Holy Fire were downgraded to voluntary early on Tuesday, but authorities urged people to stay alert because of continuing rain forecasts.

It come a year after a mudslide swept through a fire-devastated California town, killing 23 people.

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Landslide caused by heavy rains engulfs Pakistani bus with workers, killing 8

At least eight labourers were killed and several others went missing after a passenger van got buried by a landslide at Karakoram Highway in Kohistan district.

The landslide completely buried the van late Monday night, and the rescue operation started early Tuesday morning by authorities and volunteers.

Police said that the van was carrying about 12 labourers of Dasu Hydro Power project, who were on their way home from work.

Rescue teams recovered eight bodies after digging through the piles of mud and rock manually, and efforts were underway to rescue the remaining people by removing the debris with heavy machinery summoned at the site by the rescue officials.

Cloud Precipitation

Watch: Two cars carried off in flash flood in northern Israel

Rescue teams and police units in northern Israel rescued three people trapped in two jeeps which had been carried off by a flash flood after the Nahal Hilazon creek overflowed Monday morning.

"In the north next to Nahal Hilazon, police and rescue units responded to an incident and saved the lives of two people when flash floods struck underneath the bridge in the area," a police spokesperson said regarding the first jeep. "Their vehicle was washed away in the flash flood."

The two vehicles had been driving from the direction of the Israeli Arab town of Sakhnin towards Kibbutz Lotem when they were hit by a flash flood while driving in the Nahal Hilazon creek under a bridge.

Comment: Related article: Israel sees record snowfall - meter of snow hits Mt. Hermon

Cloud Precipitation

Farmers reeling after record rain in 2018 destroys crops

In this undated photo farmer Rodney Helton holds the stem of a cotton plant in his rain soaked field in Atmore, Ala.
© Tony Giberson/Pensacola News Journal
In this undated photo farmer Rodney Helton holds the stem of a cotton plant in his rain soaked field in Atmore, Ala.
Rodney Helton stood in a cotton field in Atmore, Alabama, on a Thursday morning, just over the Florida state line, with puddles of wet, mushy soil and water gathering over his dirty boots.

He reached out and plucked a sopping wet cotton boll off of a brown, rotting stem and held it between his fingers, shaking his head.

"See this?" he said, peeling the wet cotton apart like an orange. "That's not how it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be fluffy, it's cotton. That's no good. No good."

Like almost all farmers in the northern ends of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, 2018 was one for the record books, and not in a good way. The Pensacola area saw just over 90 inches of rain total last year, which is 2 feet more than it normally does. Mickey Diamond, a cotton and peanut farmer in Jay, said his town saw over 100 inches of rain.

Comment: View also this video: Ice Age Farmer Report: "Death Sentence" for food production: Grand Solar Minimum

Related article: Frost across India ups risk to rabi (spring) crops

Cloud Precipitation

South East Africa - Deadly storms and floods in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique

Violent storms and flash flooding triggered by heavy rain have affected the south east African countries of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique over the last few days. Over 20 people have reportedly died since 09 January, 2019.


Malawi's Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) reported on 11 January that flash floods in the capital Lilongwe, Central Region, have caused severe material damage, affecting around 600 people. No fatalities have been reported.

The floods were triggered by 3 hours of heavy rain on 10 January. DoDMA said that flooding had affected the areas of "Biwi, Area 22, Kaliyeka, Chipasula, Mchesi, Kawale and Area 36 in Lilongwe City, " and that "parts of Chipasula, Chidzanja and Kawale bridges have been damaged."

Further damage assessments are being carried out to form the basis for the provision of relief assistance. Malawi's Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholas Dausi, was expected to visit the affected areas on 11 January.

Snowflake Cold

World Snow Wrap, January 11 - Heavy snowfalls continue in Europe, Canada, the US and Japan

Parts of Austria buried in deep snow - more on the way!

Parts of Austria buried in deep snow - more on the way!

It has been a pretty good couple of weeks in the US western states with regular snowfalls in resorts in the Pacific north-west, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Last weekend saw some big snowfalls in the Californian Sierras with the Tahoe resorts and Mammoth receiving huge totals, Squaw Valley receiving a massive 122cms on the upper mountain in two days last Saturday and Sunday, although the upper lifts were on wind-hold at times. Mammoth also got the goods with a solid 167cms at the Summit in a week, taking the Summits season total to 4.8 metres.

There were also good falls in Jackson Hole which received 64cms from Jan 5-7 and by all reports the snow was classic Jackson "Cowboy Powder". Utah hasn't missed out, Brighton and Snowbasin picking up 25-30cms overnight on January 6.

Cloud Precipitation

Rivers rising after record rainfall in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay - almost 20 inches in 3 days with 7 inches in 80 minutes

At least 3 people have died in flooding and storms that have affected several provinces of Argentina over the last few days.

Heavy rain and flooding was reported in Corrientes, Tucumán, Santa Fe and Chaco, while strong winds caused damage in Santiago del Estero. Record rainfall was recorded in Resistencia, Chaco.

Meanwhile authorities have warned that the Uruguay River could reach danger levels in Concordia, Entre Rios, Argentina.

The Uruguay River has already broken its banks upstream, causing flooding in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, where some areas have recorded almost 500mm of rain in the last 3 days. Stormy weather has also caused at least one fatality in the state.

Heavy rain has also affected parts of Uruguay, including in the cities of Durazno and Sarandí del Yí, where the overflowing Yí river has prompted evacuations.


Storm packing snow and rain paralyzes parts of Lebanon

Among those affected are tens of thousands of Syrian refugees

A winter storm packing heavy rain and snow has turned streets in Lebanon into rivers of water and mud and paralyzed parts of the country.

Among those affected Tuesday are tens of thousands of Syrian refugees many of whom live in tent settlements.

In the eastern Bekaa Valley, Syrian refugees stayed indoors next to diesel or wood heaters as snow covered their flimsy tents.

Authorities closed the highway linking Beirut with the Syrian capital Damascus after parts of it that cut through high mountains became covered with snow.


Europe weather pattern generates feet of snow, coastal flooding and even Middle East dust

Europe weather pattern
© The Weather Channel (screen capture)
The jet-stream pattern in place during the first days of 2019 featured a sharp, southward plunge of the jet stream guiding cold air into eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. A nose of high pressure over the U.K., Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula kept the weather there mostly tranquil.
Europe has arguably had the most interesting weather pattern anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere in the first days of 2019, wringing out feet of snow, coastal flooding, high winds and even blowing dust in parts of Europe and the Middle East.

It started with a powerhouse storm sweeping in from the North Atlantic into Scandinavia and northern Europe as the new year arrived.

The so-called Storm Zeetje brought the first storm surge of the year on the Baltic coast of Germany and southern Denmark.

Strong onshore winds drove water levels up to 6 feet above normal in Wismar, Germany, on Jan. 2, flooding parts of the city center. Flooding was also reported in the coastal towns of Flensburg, Kiel and Travemunde, and storm surge drove water up the Trave River into the town of Lubeck.

Water levels in some parts of Denmark were the highest in two decades, the CPH Post reported. A 5- to 6-foot surge was measured at Bagenkop, on Langeland Island about 100 miles southwest of Copenhagen, a level only reached one other time in 42 years.

The pounding waves washed out sections of trails along the coast and partially sank boats along parts of the Baltic coast.

Wismar flooding
© Reuters/O. Denzer
The city of Wismar in the northern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state was one of the worst hit. The water level in the morning rose as much as 1.70 to 1.80 meters (up to 6 feet) above normal, flooding Wismar's historic city center.

Comment: Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Jet streams pinched - desert snows USA, beach snows Mediterranean

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Rain sets off Indonesia landslide, death toll reaches 32 (UPDATE)

The landslide occurred during New Year's Eve celebrations less than two weeks after a deadly volcano and tsunami disaster.

The landslide occurred during New Year's Eve celebrations less than two weeks after a deadly volcano and tsunami disaster.
Soldiers, police and residents fanned out across a damaged Indonesian village on Tuesday, searching in the mud for possible victims of a landslide caused by torrential rain that killed at least nine people and left 34 others missing.

Tons of mud that rolled from the surrounding hills late Monday buried 30 houses in Sirnaresmi village of West Java's Sukabumi district. Sixty people who were displaced have fled to a temporary shelter, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman.

He said more than 500 rescuers have retrieved eight bodies from mounds of mud and pulled out four injured people, including an infant who died in the hospital. They are still searching for 34 villagers said to still be missing.

Authorities struggled to get tractors and other heavy equipment over washed-out roads as heavy rain was hampering search efforts, Nugroho said. Television footage showed hundreds of police, soldiers and residents digging through debris with their hands, shovels and hoes.

Comment: Update: Xinhua on January 4th reports:
The death toll from a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Indonesia's West Java province earlier has risen to at least 18, while 15 others remain missing, disaster agency official said on Friday.

The natural disaster devastated Sinaresmi village of Sukabumi district on Monday leaving three villagers seriously injured, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

As many as 29 houses were buried by soils sliding from a hill when heavy downpours hit the village. A total of 63 villagers survived the landslides and were taking shelters in safer places, said Sutopo.

More than 1,000 soldiers, police personnel, the personnel from search and rescue office, disaster management agency and volunteers were scrambling to find the missing villagers, said Sutopo.

The major obstacle of the search operation is the rain. When the weather is clear, the operation can be undertaken until night but the efforts would be terminated earlier when it is raining, he told Xinhua in a text message.

Update: Rappler on January 7 reports:
Rescuers who have been pulling bodies from mountains of mud call off the search with one person still unaccounted for

At least 32 people were killed by a landslide in Indonesia on New Year's Eve, authorities said Monday, January 7, as they ended a week-long search for missing victims.

Rescuers who have been pulling bodies from mountains of mud called off the search with one person still unaccounted for after heavy rains triggered the deadly slides in West Java province.

Several others were injured in the December 31 disaster.

"The search has wrapped up," said West Java police chief Agung Budi Maryoto.

"Just one victim has not yet been found and the family has accepted it."

Landslides are common in Indonesia, a vast tropical archipelago prone to natural disasters and torrential downpours.

More than 20 people died in October when flash floods and landslides hit several provinces on Sumatra island, western Indonesia.

In June 2016, nearly 50 people died when floods and landslides struck Central Java province.

rescue workers search for survivors at the site
In this file photo taken on January 1, 2019, rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Sukabumi, West Java province.
Source: Agence France-Presse
Elsewhere in south-east Asia recently: Death toll in Philippines floods, landslides rises to at least 122