Areas paralyzed by blizzards and floods last month are getting ready for a SECOND ROUND of BOMB CYCLONE – 2nd UNUSUAL INLAND BOMBOGENESIS in less than a month

Only three weeks after a “bomb cyclone” — one of the most intense storms on record — pummeled the Plains and Midwest, another bombogenesis of similar strength has been forecast. This spring storm seems poised to dump even heavier snow; it could also be followed by another round of significant river flooding. Meteorologists say much of it is normal. But what is unusual is the second consecutive month for an inland bomb cyclone.

 

Areas that were paralyzed by blizzards and floods last month are getting ready for round two of a weather phenomenon known as a “bomb cyclone.”

Over the past few days, various forecast computer models have shown a blizzard of epic proportions for the north-central Plain States and Upper Midwest. Every time a model is updated, the storm depicted seems to get even more intense. At this point, it seems likely that some of the same areas impacted by devastating flooding just weeks ago are about to get slammed by an historic blizzard Wednesday through Friday.

As of Monday night, the storm system was located in the Pacific Northwest and is moving across the Rockies where it is expected to dump heavy snow into Tuesday to the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado.

The storm will intensify as it enters the central Great Plains on Wednesday. The barometric pressure — a measure of intensity in which lower means stronger — may drop to levels nearly as low as during the record-setting bomb cyclone in mid-March. In fact, this storm could tie or set April low pressure records.

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David Roth@DRmetwatch

The WPC forecast for Thursday morning implies that April low pressure records are possible in the central Plains & Midwest.

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As the storm strengthens, it will drag thick Gulf of Mexico moisture northward on a collision course with below freezing temperatures north of the system. It’s forecast to slow down at that point and perhaps even stall for 24 hours. That would mean a prolonged period of blinding heavy snow, wind gusts to 70 mph and near zero visibility in Nebraska, South Dakota, northern Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin from Wednesday through Friday.

The latest computer models put the bullseye for the heaviest snow band from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, through Minneapolis east to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Snow totals could be staggering, with some models showing more than 30 inches in some areas.

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ZoomRadar@ZoomRadar

Models are amazingly similar in forecast snowfall – European, Canadian and FV3 (not pictured here) have bullseyes of 30-40 inches. While that seems unlikely because of heavy compacting of spring snow, numbers even close are “off the charts” for April or really any time of year !

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While not out of the question, snowfall of more than 30 inches is less plausible at any time, but especially this late in the season. That’s because in milder spring air, snow tends to be heavier, wetter and more compacted. Still, a narrow band of two feet seems well within reach.

For the sake of comparison, Minneapolis’ biggest snowfall was the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, when 28 inches piled up. The second biggest snowfall there was 21 inches in November 1985.

It wasn’t a coincidence that the two heaviest snows weren’t in the middle of winter. That’s because during mid-winter, the atmosphere is often too cold and dry in the Upper Midwest to support the most substantial snowfalls. In fact, 15 of the 20 biggest snow totals happened outside of the dead of winter. But in autumn and spring, the atmosphere is loaded with more moisture, lending more credibility to the possibility of the forecast spring blockbuster topping the charts.

Regardless of snowfall amounts, it seems certain that copious amounts of water will be squeezed out of the air – a liquid equivalent of two to four inches. Once the snow melts starting this weekend, the water would run off into already flooded rivers in the High Plains and Midwest.

Sunday night, dozens of gauges along the Mississippi, Big Sioux and James rivers were in major or moderate flood stage. Flooding has mostly receded along the Missouri River.

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Jeff Berardelli@WeatherProf

Across the nation 34 river gauges are in major flood stage, 55 in moderate and many of those are in the Midwest. With 2 feet of snow (water equivalent of 2 to 4 inches) possible mid to late week – and rapid spring melt starting late weekend – concerns for river more flooding.

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Since Jan. 1, that part of the country has seen about twice its normal precipitation. With saturated ground, melting snow is likely to converge into area rivers. With that setup in mind, NOAA issued a rare, strongly worded Spring outlook calling for potentially historic flooding. Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama explained, “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.

So, when the blizzard ends, attention will need to shift to melting snow and runoff. There’s no telling how significant the flooding will become but given the warning signs, it’s certainly something that needs to be monitored closely.

Welcome to springtime in the Rockies and parts of the Great Plains. That will be the second consecutive month for an inland bomb cyclone. And that’s very unusual.The March 13 bomb cyclone caused massive flooding and produced winds of between 96 and 110 mph. What about the next one in the coming days? (Click to Source)

 

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Indonesia earthquake: Tsunami seen in terrifying footage crashing into island with huge wave

It comes after a major earthquake rocked central Sulawesi today, with terrified locals filmed screaming and running down streets

And as some were saying of the temple that it was decorated with handsome (shapely and magnificent) stones and consecrated offerings [a]”>[a]laid up to be kept], He said,

As for all this that you [thoughtfully] look at, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.

And they asked Him, Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when this is about to occur?

And He said, Be on your guard and be careful that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name [b]”>[b]appropriating to themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me], saying, I am He! and, The time is at hand! Do not go out after them.

And when you hear of wars and insurrections (disturbances, disorder, and confusion), do not become alarmed and panic-stricken and terrified; for all this must take place first, but the end will not [come] immediately.

10 Then He told them, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

11 There will be mighty and violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (plagues: c]”>[c]malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating); and there will be sights of terror and great signs from heaven.

12 But previous to all this, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be led away before kings and governors for My name’s sake.

13 This will be a time (an opportunity) for you to bear testimony.

14 Resolve and settle it in your minds not to meditate and prepare beforehand how you are to make your defense and how you will answer.

15 For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.

16 You will be delivered up and betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and [some] of you they will put to death.

17 And you will be hated (despised) by everyone because [you bear] My name and for its sake.

18 But not a hair of your head shall perish.

19 By your steadfastness and patient endurance you d]”>[d]shall win the e]”>[e]true life of your souls.

20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know and understand that its desolation has come near.

21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside [the city] get out of it, and let not those who are out in the country come into it;

22 For those are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], that all things that are written may be fulfilled.

23 Alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have babies which they are nursing in those days! For great misery and anguish anddistress shall be upon the land and indignation and punishment andretribution upon this people.

24 They will fall by f]”>[f]the mouth and the edge of the sword and will be led away as captives to and among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).

25 And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [g]”>[g]without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (h]”>[h]the echo) of the tossing of the sea,

26 Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and i]”>[i]caused to totter.

27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor).

28 Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near.

29 And He told them a parable: Look at the fig tree and all the trees;

30 When they put forth their buds and come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and perceive and know that summer is already near.

31 Even so, when you see these things taking place, understand andknow that the kingdom of God is at hand.

32 Truly I tell you, this generation (j]”>[j]those living at that definite period of time) will not perish and pass away until all has taken place.

33 The k]”>[k]sky and the earth (l]”>[l]the universe, the world) will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

34 But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the m]”>[m]giddiness andheadache and n]”>[n]nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the o]”>[o]business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;

35 For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.

36 Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man. (Luke 21:5-36Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

 

Terrifying video footage shows massive waves crashing into an Indonesian island as a tsunami struck after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

In the shocking footage, recorded in Palu, Sulawesi, today, enormous waves can be seen surging forward amid terrified screams.

Officials had earlier withdrawn a tsunami warning.

Authorities say a communications blackout means it is impossible to confirm the extent of the devastation caused, but confirmed there were several casualties.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said: “The earthquake and tsunami caused several casualties … while initial reports show that victims died in the rubble of a collapsing building.

“The number of casualties and the full impact is still being calculated.”

The water knocks down homes and smashes into trees, leaving a trail of destruction in its path, as residents cry out and try to run to safety.

The video comes as officials have confirmed a tsunami of up to two metres hit the city after a powerful earthquake rocked central Sulawesi.

Officials say waters have since receded, but families are missing.

Search operations are set to begin at first light to determine how bad the damage is, amid reports of whole families being missing in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

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Dramatic footage shows waves surging forward towards the island as terrified crowds scream (Image: Youtube)

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An earlier quake left one person dead and at least 10 others injured

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The water is filmed making its way towards the shore following an earlier earthquake (Image: Youtube)

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Aftershocks continued to occur in the area

The earthquake hit the island earlier today – just hours after a smaller tremor destroyed buildings, killing one person and injuring 10 others.

The US Geological Survey said the second quake was centred at a depth of six miles around 35 miles northeast of the town of Donggala.

In the tsunami footage, waves can be seen tumbling at a great speed towards the land, as crowds of people shout and run frantically.

The person recording the dramatic scene focuses on the fleeing crowds, before turning back to the water, where giant waves are surging forward.

The water then crashes into the island before everything suddenly goes dark, with the sounds of panicked people heard in the background.

Some families are missing following the tsunami (seen before hitting the shore) (Image: Youtube)
People are heard screaming as they flee the area
Locals look on in horror at the terrifying scene

Moments later, the camera refocuses, showing water streaming below through the streets, bringing chunks of debris with it.

The Palu Grand Mall and the Baiturrahman Mosque were hit by huge waves close to the shore, the Jakarta Post reports.

Critics have questioned why a tsunami warning was lifted before the huge waves struck in Indonesia.

The country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) first issued a warning for western and central Sulawesi at 5.07pm, but revoked it around 30 minutes later.

The country’s disaster agency confirmed a tsunami had hit Palu and the city of Donggala, sweeping away homes that were in its path.

Earlier, a tsunami warning had been issued for people in Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi provinces following the earthquake. The same area had been hit by a deadly, 6.1-magnitude quake just hours before.

Although the warning was lifted within the hour, officials asked people to remain on the alert as a number of moderate aftershocks hit.

The first quake also destroyed some houses
Another shot of the tsunami, which swept onto the island following the two quakes

“We advise people to remain in safe areas, stay away from damaged buildings,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a TV interview earlier.

He added that the national agency in Jakarta was having difficulties reaching some authorities in the area.

The Geological Survey put the magnitude of the second quake at 7.5, after first saying it was 7.7.

According to Nugroho, the quake was felt “very strongly”.

“We expect more damage and more victims,” he said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Safrillahanwar@Safrillahanwar1

Gempa ablum magrib didonggala

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Rowson Tandi@Rowson422

Dapat dari group, Kondisi setelah gempa 7.7 SR Sulawesi Tengah, Donggala. #PrayForDonggala

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Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

And in 2004, a big earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Footage of the incidents today, posted on social media, shows a number of buildings collapsed, with mounds of rubble lying on the ground.

Other clips show locals screaming and crying.

The area that was damaged was in the Sinreja District, Donggala Regency
A shake map with the epicenter of the second earthquake (Image: REX/Shutterstock)
It is later seen flooding the streets
It is later seen flooding the streets (Image: Youtube)

IG : Daeng Info@Daeng_Info

Suasana sesaat setelah gempa Donggala, Palu, Sulteng

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Last month, we reported that the Indonesian island of Bali had been hit by a major tremor for the third time in less than a month.

Panicked holidaymakers and locals rushed into the streets amid fears buildings would collapse during that incident.

The quake, which sparked a tsunami warning that was later stood down, struck Bali’s neighbouring island of Lombok at the same location that was hit by a 6.4-magnitude quake that killed 14 people previously.

Model Christine Teigen and Take That star Gary Barlow were among numerous people sharing their horror experiences in the aftermath. (Click to Source)

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Wildfires have ignited inside the Arctic Circle

In Sweden, Latvia, and Greece, wildfires are spreading amid a brutal heat wave.

Aerial image showing forest fires burning near Ljusdal, Sweden, on July 18, 2018. Some of Sweden’s fires this summer have ignited even further north, inside the Arctic Circle.
 Maja Suslin/AFP/Getty Images

It’s so hot, even parts of the Arctic are on fire.

Temperatures this month reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit well inside the Arctic Circle in Sweden, where the worst fires the country has seen in decades are now burning. More than 50 fires have ignited across the country, forcing evacuations. Finland and Norway are also fighting flames.

“This is a serious situation and the risk for forest fires is extremely high in the whole country,” Jakob Wernerman, operative head of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, told the Associated Press.

So far, no deaths from wildfires have been reported in Scandinavia, but Greece hasn’t been so fortunate. The country has declared a state of emergency as raging forest fires have killed at least 81 people and injured more than 190.

“There are no words to describe the feelings of all of us, these times,” said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a televised address Tuesday. “The country is going through a tragedy.”

The government suspects arsonists may be behind the fires. But there’s also been intense heat across Europe this summer, and climate scientists say we can expect more of this extreme weather with global warming.

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NOAA Satellites

@NOAASatellites

#NOAA20 satellite captured the devastating fires around #Athens #Greece last night which have already caused significant loss of life and severe damage to the area. Winds over 50 mph contributed to the rapid spread of the deadly fires.

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High temperatures forced the Acropolis to close for several hours this week. The Greek government can close public attractions when temperatures reach 96.8°F, according to the Associated Press.

Greece’s intense heat has helped dry out shrubs and trees, making them more likely to ignite.

The heat and drought pattern is similar to that playing out much further north in Latvia and Sweden. Parts of Italy are also on fire. Earlier this year, enormous fires scorched Siberia.

European Commission 🇪🇺

@EU_Commission

Sweden is facing forest fires.
We have helped mobilise two firefighting planes from Italy and two from France via #EUCivPro
This is solidarity in a Europe that protects. #rescEU #EUProtects
Footage by @emergenzavvf

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Across Europe, fire risks remain high in the coming weeks, according to the European Forest Fire Information System:

Fire risk across Europe
Fire risk across Europe
 European Forest Fire Information System

While warm temperatures and dry conditions crop up sporadically throughout Europe during the summer, it’s highly unusual that so many places are experiencing such hot, dry conditions for so long at the same time:

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Simon Lee@SimonLeeWx

The big difference between the heatwaves of 1976 and 2018.
June 1976: the UK was one of the warmest places relative to normal across the globe, with most areas cooler than average.
June 2018: the UK was just another warm blob in a mostly warmer than normal world.#GlobalHeatwave.

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A corollary is that summers also spark wildfires in Europe on a regular basis, but rarely in so many places at the same time.

As for the rest of the world, heat this summer has already proved deadly in countries including Japan, Pakistan, and Canada.

Despite thousands of miles and an ocean in-between, many of the same trends behind the ongoing wildfires in Colorado, Oregon, and California are at play in Europe. As in the United States, Europeans are also building in increasingly fire-prone regions. Humans are also igniting most of these conflagrations.

As the climate changes, the fire season is getting longer, now stretching from June through October in Europe. We saw this play out late last year as Hurricane Ophelia sent stiff winds through Portugal and Spain, driving wildfires that killed more than 100 people. The European Environment Agency reported that “an expansion of the fire-prone area and longer fire seasons are projected across Europe.”

Donald Tusk

@eucopresident

Very saddened by the tragic forest fires in Greece. Europe will stand by our Greek friends in these difficult times. Help is on its way from several EU countries.

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Several European countries are now chipping in to help put out the fires. Sweden is getting assistance from France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, and Italy, who are contributing fire trucks, firefighters, soldiers, and water-bombing aircraft. The European Union is also mobilizing support staff and equipment to fight fires in Greece under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.  (Click to Source)

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Greece wildfires: Dozens dead in Attica region

24 July 2018

At least 74 people have died in wildfires in the Attica region around Athens, in Greece’s worst fire disaster in more than a decade.

Flames fanned by strong winds devastated the seaside village of Mati, devouring homes and cars.

The coastguard said it and other ships rescued almost 700 people who had fled to the coast, and pulled 19 survivors and four bodies from the sea.

A local mayor told the BBC there are fears the death toll could rise to 100.

Mati is located in the Rafina region which is popular with local tourists, especially pensioners and children attending holiday camps.

Rescuers there found the bodies of 26 adults and children, who had apparently hugged each other as they died, trapped just metres from the sea.

Rafina’s Mayor Evangalos Bournos told the BBC the village had “disappeared”.

He said more than 1,000 buildings had been destroyed or damaged – his own home among them.

Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the blazes and the authorities are seeking international assistance.

A fire brigade official confirmed the latest death toll.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of national mourning.

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Smoke rise over an avenue during a forest fire in Neo Voutsa, a north-eastern suburb of Athens, Greece, 23 July 2018.Image copyrightEPA
Image captionSmoke over a suburb of Athens

Most shocking scene I have ever witnessed

By Kostas Koukoumakas, Mati

What is happening here in eastern Attica is a black hell. After I passed by hundreds of burning cars and houses earlier today, I reached the yard where police said so many people had been found dead.

I could see some of them lying on the ground as fog covered the place and a toxic smell spread through the atmosphere.

Most of them were tourists who had tried to find refuge but did not make it.

“I am calling my cousin but he does not respond,” said Spiros Hatziandreou, who visited the spot.

I could see flames in the trees and on the electricity poles all around. After that, police blocked access to everyone except rescuers.

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What happened in Mati?

Fire swept through the village 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens on Monday and was still burning in some areas on Tuesday.

Desperate families trying to reach the safety of the sea were trapped by walls of smoke and flame. Others died in buildings or cars.

After the 26 bodies were found in an open space, Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece’s Red Cross, said: “They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn’t make it in time. Instinctively, seeing the end nearing, they embraced.”

Dimitri Piros, director of medical services for Ekav, Greece’s nationwide ambulance service, told the BBC people had suffered horrific injuries because of the speed of the fire.

Greece map

The blaze struck like a flamethrower, he said, causing both smoke inhalation and skin burns.

Coastal patrol boats and private vessels picked up hundreds of those who did manage to reach harbours or beaches.

“Thankfully the sea was there and we went into the sea, because the flames were chasing us all the way to the water,” said one survivor, Kostas Laganos.

“It burned our backs and we dived into the water… I said: ‘My God, we must run to save ourselves.'”

George Vokas, whose family escaped by sea but whose house and cars were burnt, told BBC News that two women he had tried to help had died.

“We’re talking about a biblical catastrophe in this wonderful area of Mati,” he said.

A woman reacts as she tries to find her dog, following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece July 24, 2018Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThis woman in Mati was trying to find her dog on Tuesday

Charred bodies lay just 15m (50ft) from the sea, photographer Pantelis Saitas told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

At least 150 people were injured in the area.

How are the authorities responding?

Prime Minister Tsipras declared a state of emergency in Attica, saying all emergency services had been mobilised.

A spokesperson for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Georgia Trismpioti, told the BBC some people had lost everything.

“The death toll rises every hour, many people lost their loved ones, many people lost their houses, lost everything, and they will need long-term support in order to recover,” she said.

Greece has asked other European countries for helicopters and additional firefighters to help tackle the fires.

Italy, Germany, Poland and France have all sent help in the form of planes, vehicles and firefighters, and Spain and Cyprus have offered Greece assistance, but with temperatures set to soar again, they are in a race against time to get the fires under control.

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Help is also needed in Sweden where at least one person has been killed and dozens injured by forest fires there as soaring temperatures continue across much of Europe.

The wildfires are the worst to hit Greece since 2007, when dozens of people were killed in the southern Peloponnese peninsula.

What caused the fires?

Fires are a recurring problem during the hot, dry summer months in Attica.

Officials quoted by AFP news agency have suggested the current blazes may have been started by arsonists looking to loot abandoned homes.

“Fifteen fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens,” said government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.

Greece, he added, had requested drones from the US to “observe and detect any suspicious activity”. (Click to Source)

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At least six dead after Amtrak train derails, leaving rail cars dangling above I-5

Amtrak train derails south of Tacoma

DUPONT, Wash. — At least six people were killed Monday morning and dozens more were injured when an Amtrak train derailed south of Tacoma, leaving rail cars dangling above Interstate 5.

Four hospitals say at least 50 people were taken to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties, but didn’t immediately report all of their conditions. More than a dozen had critical or serious injuries, authorities said.

The train derailed about 40 miles south of Seattle before 8 a.m. Monday, above a busy stretch of I-5 between Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Olympia.

All but one of the 14 rail cars came off the tracks, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova. The train fell from the overpass onto five cars and two semi trucks below on I-5. Nobody in those vehicles died.

 Local blood centers were asking for donations.

Southbound I-5 will remain closed all day at Mounts Road, authorities said.

A U.S. official who was briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press preliminary signs indicate the Amtrak train may have struck something before going off the tracks. An Amtrak train also derailed in nearby Steilacoom in July

A frantic call for help

Emergency radio transmissions between the train and the dispatcher were frantic and dramatic:

Dispatcher: Hey guys, what happened?

AMTRAK 501: Uh, we were coming around the corner to take the bridge over I-5 there, right north into Nisqually and we went on the ground.

Dispatcher: …Is everybody OK?

AMTRAK 501: I’m still figuring that out. We got cars everywhere and down onto the highway.

A new route

Transitdocs.com, a website that maps Amtrak train locations and speeds using data from the railroad’s train tracker app, says Train 501 was going 81.1 mph moments before the derailment Monday.

The state Department of Transportation posted information about the $180.7 million project online that says the maximum speed along that stretch of track is 79 mph.

Board member Bella Dinn-Zarr told reporters in Washington, D.C., that it’s too early to tell whether speed contributed to the accident.

The new route was designed to speed up service by removing passenger trains from a route along Puget Sound that’s bogged down by curves, single-track tunnels and freight traffic.

The mayor of Lakewood, Washington, a city along the route, predicted a deadly crash. But Don Anderson thought it’d involve a fast-moving train hitting a car or pedestrian at a crossing.

Images and video from the scene showed an Amtrak train car hanging partway off an overpass bridge and resting on the highway.

The train was carrying passengers – including many transportation officials – set to embark on the first run of Amtrak’s new route 501 from Seattle to Portland. There were 78 passengers and five crew members aboard.

‘Cars … are hanging over the overpass’

Chris Karnes, the chair of Pierce Transit’s advisory board, was on board the train and said on Twitter, “people are hurt.”

“I’m not sure what got hit. I’m not sure what happened,” Karnes said.

Karnes said he was positioned near the medical tents set up in the median between north- and southbound I-5, just south of DuPont.

“The only car that is on the tracks is the rear locomotive. There are several cars that are hanging over the overpass,” Karnes said.

Casey Bever lives near the crash, and drove past it Monday morning.

“It was the most emergency vehicles I’ve ever seen in my life,”  Bever said on Q13 News This Morning. “Forty to 50 (emergency) cars going by in a two-to-three-minute span.”

Wendy Simmons said she arrived shortly after the derailment as people were helping the injured.

“First responders actually climbed up into the dangling cars to get people out,” Simmons said. “People were pulling first aid kits out of their cars — putting jackets on people.”

Amtrak released the following statement just before 9:00 a.m.:

“Amtrak is aware of an incident with Train 501, Cascades service from Seattle to Portland. Emergency services are on the scene and Amtrak management is responding. Some injuries are reported.

“Amtrak service south of Seattle is temporarily suspended. Service from Seattle to points north and east is continuing to operate.”

Search for loved ones

Amtrak set up a hotline for loved ones to call for more information: 800-523-9101.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova said a family reunification center had been set up at DuPont City Hall. Bova advised families NOT to go to the scene.

Facebook also set up a crisis response page for those in Western Washington to mark themselves safe. You can check it here.

Officials respond to ‘tragic’ crash

President Donald Trump had been briefed on the situation, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency.

“Today’s tragic incident in Pierce County is a serious and ongoing emergency,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Trudi and I are holding in our hearts everyone on board, and are praying for the many injured. They are our top priority, and I know first responders are doing everything to ensure everyone has the care they need.”

Other Washington state politicians said they were heartbroken to hear the news.

“Following the derailment near Olympia closely,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell. “Praying for everyone on board and affected by this. Thanks to our first responders.”

“Heartbroken by the news coming out of WA right now,” tweeted Sen. Patty Murray. “As my staff works to get more info, my thoughts are w/ everyone affected, including the 1st responders doing their best to keep people safe.”

The USDOT Federal Railroad Administration said it was working with Amtrak and WSDOT, and that the agency had investigators headed to the scene. (Click to Source)

 

Powerful Coastal Storm Will Likely Bring Damaging Winds, Flooding Rainfall to the Northeast Starting Sunday Into Monday; Bombogenesis Possible

A powerful coastal storm with strong winds and heavy rain will impact the East Coast beginning later this weekend, likely resulting in tree damage, power outages and flooding. A significant wind event is possible Sunday or Monday.

It is possible that this low pressure system could undergo a process called “Bombogenesis” according to the National Weather Service. This process is a rapid deepening of pressures across the area, which rapidly increases winds near the center of the storm.

One of the ingredients for this coastal storm is a powerful jet stream disturbance sweeping through the eastern states this weekend that will help induce the formation of a strong low-pressure system near or off the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coastline. This storm system will also receive an injection of moisture and energy from Tropical Storm Philippe, currently located south of Florida.

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Storm Setup

An area of low pressure will intensify near the East Coast while tapping tropical moisture Sunday into Monday. This will result in a powerful storm system that could cause wind damage and flooding rainfall.

The National Weather Service office in Boston noted in its Saturday morning discussion that this is an unusual and truly strong, potentially dangerous storm system for late October.

Here’s an overview of the timing and possible impacts for this storm. But keep in mind, given the complicated setup, forecast details still remain uncertain.

Storm Timing

Overall, this East Coast storm will be a quick-mover as it races northward this weekend into Monday.

  • Saturday Evening: Tropical moisture from Tropical Storm Philippe will fuel heavy rain in South Florida before being pulled into the developing East Coast storm. Rain will also begin to push into the interior Northeast and Appalachians.
  • Sunday: Heavy rain and increasing winds will begin to affect locations from the Outer Banks of North Carolina into the Northeast by Sunday morning.
  • Sunday night: Peak impacts from the storm begin to ramp up in the Northeast during this time, including the potential for damaging winds and heavy rainfall.
  • Monday: Potentially damaging winds and heavy rain may continue over parts of New England and upstate New York, at least during the first half of the day.
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Sunday Night Forecast

Wind Damage Threat

High winds are likely in the Northeast starting Sunday, with damaging winds expected along the coast by late Sunday into Monday.

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Wind Forecast

We expect to see wind gusts up to 65 mph in some areas, and they could be higher depending on the intensity and track of the storm. The potential for higher-end wind gusts will be greatest along the immediate coast and in higher-terrain locations, particularly in New England.

High wind warnings have gone up for the eastern end of Long Island and portions of coastal New England including Boston for Sunday night and Monday morning. Gusts up to 65 mph are expected.

High wind watches have been issued by the National Weather Service for portions of New England, the New York City metro area, Upstate New York and Long Island where these wind gusts have the potential to cause damage.

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Current Wind Warnings

There will be three main impacts from the winds starting later Sunday in portions of the Northeast region:

  • Tree damage and power outages will be possible across the Northeast, and likely along the coast.
  • The strong winds will likely cause delays at major airports.
  • Onshore southeast winds ahead of the storm could result in some coastal flooding, along with high surf.
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Power outage potential on Sunday and Monday, mainly due to expected damaging winds.

Uncertainty exists in the strength of the wind due to lower confidence exactly how low pressures will drop as this system transits the Northeast. A lower pressure would mean higher winds.

Heavy Rain Potential

Given the tropical moisture tap, a large portion of the Northeast could see more than 3 inches of rainfall. Heavier totals topping 5 inches are possible, but exactly where those higher-end amounts line up will once again depend on the track of the storm. At this time, the heaviest rainfall is expected in the higher terrain of eastern New York, but as details come into view, we will be able to pinpoint these bullseyes.

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Rainfall Forecast Through Monday

(Rainfall amounts will be dependent on the exact track of the storm system.)

The heavy rain could contribute to flooding not only in urban and poor-drainage areas, but also on streams and rivers. This concern has prompted flash flood watches to be issued by the National Weather Service for much of New England, New York, northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Flood Alerts

After a very dry start to October, the Northeast saw heavy rain this week from another storm system. Now that the ground has become more saturated, particularly in parts of New England, that will make those areas more prone to flooding starting Sunday.

 The rain will also likely erase some of the abnormally dry and moderate drought areas on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. (Click to Source)

SAN ANDREAS FAULT: TECTONIC TREMOR DETECTED DEEP BENEATH EARTH’S SURFACE RAISES RISK OF MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE

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America’s most famous fault line, the San Andreas, is known for its frequent earthquakes, but one part of the system, the San Jacinto Fault zone, in inland Southern California, has been surprisingly quiet for the last 200 years. Now new research has detected small tremors deep under the fault system, suggesting it’s not as calm as we once thought and may be ready to release a massive earthquake sometime soon.

The San Jacinto Fault zone in Southern California is not actually a plate boundary but rather serves as the stress release point between the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate as they grind together at the San Andreas Fault. An area of the San Jacinto Fault zone, known as the Anza Gap, is the main focus of the recent study.

The researchers used a new highly sensitive detection method called multibeam back projection, which calculates plate movement while minimizing incoherent outside noise, to take measurements deep beneath the fault zone in inland Southern California. In doing so, they uncovered previously undetected tectonic tremors, which are likely a result of “slow slips” within the fault, Phys Org reported.

The tectonic tremors detected underneath the Anza Gap are the result of slow plate movement resulting in slow earthquakes anywhere from 8 to 15 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. The new research, now published online in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, has revealed that at any given time the Anza Gap is spontaneously slipping at a far greater rate than researchers previously believed.

The finding is significant because it’s the first time evidence of spontaneous tectonic tremors have been uncovered in this part of the fault line.

“While relatively little is known about tectonic tremors, in part because they have historically been difficult to detect, we know that these tremors are being caused by slow slips deep in the fault,” Abhijit Ghosh, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at University of California, Riverside and a researcher involved in the project, explained in a recent statement. “This may ultimately help to cause a damaging earthquake.”

The problem is, although Southern California is known for its frequent earthquakes, the Anza Gap has been relatively quiet for the past 200 years—too quiet, some researchers have suggested. According to Ghosh, such a period of tectonic peacefulness raises the question of how the gap has been releasing the stress it continues to accumulate from both the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate. “For that reason, many experts suspect that this area is ripe to produce a damaging earthquake,” the researcher explained.

According to the new report, the recent findings are not cause for imminent concern but rather may help geologists better predict earthquakes in the future. While we cannot prevent seismic activity, preparation can reduce its dramatic toll, allowing us to leave the catastrophic natural disaster scenes for the cinema. (Click to Source)

Brace For A Slushy Commute In The Twin Cities, Blizzard Conditions Far North

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesotans are bracing for the season’s first snow, which will fall during Friday morning’s commute in the Twin Cities and leave some communities up north with up to eight inches of snow.

The wintry weather blasted into northwestern Minnesota around noontime Thursday on the back of strong winds.

The storm system is expected to move south overnight and settle over the metro area around 5 a.m. Those waking up for the morning commute should expect to deal with sloppy snow and the annual traffic headache it brings.

Wet snow will likely fall in the Twin Cities through most of the day Friday before the system moves out of Minnesota around 9 p.m. Current models show that the Twin Cities will get around 2.5 inches of snow, which will struggle to accumulate on the warm ground.

If the metro gets a little more than 2.5 inches, it’ll be an October snowfall record.

Outside the metro, more snow is expected.

Just west of the Twin Cities, a large swath of central Minnesota looks to see anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of snow, with up to 5 inches possible near Brainerd. Most of the state is under a winter weather advisory.

Extreme northern Minnesota is under a winter storm warning. Communities along the Canadian border could see up to 8 inches of snow and experience blizzard conditions, with wind gusts as strong as 60 mph.

Looking ahead, the weekend looks to be cool, with below-average temperatures. The cooldown will linger into the workweek, but Halloween night looks to be dry. (Click to Source)

Yellowstone supervolcano may blow sooner than thought

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Scientists working in and around Yellowstone National Park are trying to answer a big question about the mammoth supervolcano sitting under the tourist attraction.

Researchers from Arizona State University analyzed minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent mega-eruption. Changes in temperature and composition that had previously taken centuries to form were now happening in the span of decades, according to National Geographic.

The discovery, which was presented at a recent volcanology conference, comes on top of a 2011 study that found that ground above the magma reservoir in Yellowstone had bulged by about 10 inches in seven years.

“It’s an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high,” the University of Utah’s Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone volcanism, told the magazine at the time.

Features of the park, such as the Old Faithful geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring that attract visitors from around the world, are signs of a huge magma reservoir rumbling below.

About 630,000 years ago, National Geographic reported, a powerful eruption shook the region and created the Yellowstone caldera, a bowl 40 miles wide that forms much of the park.

Perhaps ominously, according the ZME Science website, the previous eruption occurred in about the same timeframe before that — 1.3 million years ago — meaning that the system might be ready for another explosion.

The researchers, The New York Times reported, have determined that the supervolcano has the ability to spew more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash — 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980 — an event that could blanket most of the United States in ash and possibly plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

The theory of a much shorter timeline than expected was developed by Hannah Shamloo, a graduate student at Arizona State, and several colleagues who spent weeks at Yellowstone’s Lava Creek Tuff — a fossilized ash deposit from its last supereruption.

According to The Times, Shamloo later analyzed crystals from the team’s dig that recorded changes in temperature, pressure and water content beneath the volcano — much like a set of tree rings.

“We expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption,” Christy Till, a geologist at Arizona State who is Shamloo’s dissertation adviser, told the paper. Instead, the crystals revealed an increase in temperature and a change in composition that had happened more quickly.

The pair also presented an earlier version of their study at a 2016 meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

“It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption,” Shamloo told The Times, cautioning that more research is necessary before definite conclusions can be drawn. (Click to Site)

Worst floods in years hit Vietnam, death toll rises to 54 as another storm approaches

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The death toll caused by the latest round of severe flooding across central and northern Vietnam has risen to 54 and the number of missing to 39, country’s disaster agency said Friday, October 13. This is the fourth wave of severe flooding to hit Vietnam in several months and the end of the misery is still not over as another storm is on the way and expected to hit Vietnam’s central regions late October 16 or early on the 17th (UTC).

The floods that hit Vietnam this week starting on Monday, October 9 after Tropical Depression 23 made landfall are the worst in years, officials said. The death toll has risen to 54 and there are now 39 people missing.

Nineteen people from four neighboring households in Hoa Binh Province were buried alive after a landslide struck around 01:00 local time Thursday, October 12, but only nine bodies have been found, the disaster agency said.

There are at least 317 homes destroyed in floods and landslides and more than 34 000 submerged or damaged. More than 200 000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

In addition, more than 22 000 ha (54 300 acres) of agricultural land (mostly rice) have also been damaged and around 180 000 animals killed or washed away.

Over a three-day period (Monday – Wednesday), some parts of central and northern Vietnam recorded up to 500 mm (19.7 inches) of rain.

As reported by Reuters, the neighboring Thailand was also badly hit with 7 of their 77 provinces affected. More than 480 000 ha (1.2 million acres) of agricultural land have been affected, Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said.

While search and rescue efforts in Vietnam are in progress and country is still battling floods, forecasters warn another tropical cyclone is approaching and will hit the country within just a couple of days.

Tropical Storm Khanun forecast track on October 13, 2017

Tropical Storm “Khanun” passed over the northern Philippines on October 12 and is now heading toward Hainan, China where landfall is expected on Sunday, October 15.

The storm is expected to hit Vietnam late October 16 or early October 17 (UTC) with heavy rain and powerful winds, unleashing yet another wave of floods.

Natural disasters in Vietnam this year have left nearly 200 people dead or missing. (Click to Site)