Major dust storm causes mayhem in New Mexico
Six people have been killed after several vehicles collided on a New Mexico highway during a dust storm.
The crash occurred about 5.30pm local time on Thursday on Interstate 10, in the southwestern part of the state several miles from the Arizona border.
Police said their “initial investigation has revealed that due to a severe dust storm, several vehicles, both passenger vehicles and Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV), were involved.”
It was not clear how many vehicles were involved or whether people had been injured.
All lanes of the roadway were shut down following the crash, but police say westbound lanes have since been reopened.
MAGNITUDE 5.7 MAUG ISLANDS REG, N. MARIANA IS.
Subject To Change
Depth: 563 km
Distances: 427 km N of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands / pop: 48,220 / local time: 07:20:07.6 2014-05-24
1922 km S of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 06:20:07.6 2014-05-24
2518 km E of Taipei, Taiwan / pop: 7,871,900 / local time: 05:20:07.6 2014-05-24
MAGNITUDE 5.8 MYANMAR-CHINA BORDER REGION
Subject To Change
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 305 km SW of Dayan, China / pop: 1,137,600 / local time: 04:49:23.6 2014-05-24
68 km SE of Myitkyinā, Myanmar / pop: 90,894 / local time: 03:19:23.6 2014-05-24
MAGNITUDE 5.6 BURYATIYA, RUSSIA
Subject To Change
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 35km (22mi) E of Severomuysk, Russia
59km (37mi) WSW of Taksimo, Russia
190km (118mi) S of Bodaybo, Russia
297km (185mi) ENE of Severobaykal’sk, Russia
1036km (644mi) NNE of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Plane crashes on Montgomery lawn, USA
Plane makes emergency diversion to Inverness, Scotland
A PLANE had to make an emergency diversion to Inverness airport following an ice alert.
The Loganiar SAAB 340 aircraft had been travelling from Aberdeen to Sumburgh when the incident happened at 3.30pm today.
There were 34 passengers and three crew onboard.
A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Airports, who run Inverness Airport, said: “The plan landed safely. There was an issue with ice.“
He added that the aircraft landed at the airport as a precaution in line with the airport’s normal safety procedure.
Police, fire and ambulance were also on scene.
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Record heat for Sydney, Australia
If Sydney’s balmy late autumn feels unusual, there’s a good reason.
If the mercury reaches at least 23 degrees on Saturday – 25 is forecast – Sydney will post its longest warm spell in records going back to 1910, says Sarah Perkins, a leading heatwave expert at the University of NSW.
Sydney’s 25.1 degrees on Friday matched the previous longest heatwave – defined as at least three consecutive days in the warmest 10 per cent for each date – of seven days set in August 1995. Including Saturday, that burst could stretch to at least 14 days.
”It’s actually quite scary, especially if it lasts for two weeks – that’s incredible,” Dr Perkins said.
”That’s blitzing records.”
A number of other heat records are likely to be set. Friday’s top made it 14 days in a row above 22 degrees, smashing the previous record of six such days this late in May.
Average maximums will also beat the existing record for May – 22.7 degrees set in 1958 – said Ben Domensino, a senior meteorologist at Weatherzone.
While Sydneysiders may find a beach visit inviting this weekend, the knock-on effects from the abnormal warmth may be less pleasant.
”It’s not scorching, it’s not 45 degrees, birds aren’t falling out of the trees,” Dr Perkins said. But fuel loads and soils were drying out, raising the prospects for fires and droughts later in the year if dry conditions persist, she said.
There may be political implications too, with signs that public worries about climate change are on the rise.
One of the stand-out results from this year’s Lowy Institute Poll is a further rise in demands for action on global warming ”even if this involves significant costs”.
”After five years of successive decline in concern … last year’s poll showed the first upward trend in the number of Australians who see climate change as a ‘serious and pressing problem,”’ said Alex Oliver, the report’s author. ”This trend continues,” said Ms Oliver, who declined to elaborate before the 2014 report’s release on June 4. ”Australians have strong views on the leadership role government should take.”
Former prime minister Julia Gillard viewed the breaking of Australia’s drought in 2009 as sapping support for action on climate change.
”That made a big difference to public perception,” Ms Gillard is quoted as saying in Philip Chubb’s recently published book Power Failure. ”For a lot of people in the Australian community, the drought was climate change, climate change was the drought.”
That view may be tested as the likelihood of an El Nino increases the risk drought will return to south-eastern Australia. In El Nino years, inland regions get below-average rainfall.
”The moment you start to warm up the Pacific Ocean as we are seeing now, you’re increasingly stacking the odds over Australia towards dry conditions and warmer daytime temperatures,” said David Jones, head of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology.
The strength of El Nino may determine how much climate angst rises, said Andy Pitman, director of UNSW’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. ”It wouldn’t surprise me if people were getting concerned,” he said. ”If we have a dry winter … the fire season next spring will make [last year’s] seem trivial.”