Archive | October 25, 2020

High winds destroy holiday homes at Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, UK

Severe Weather Alert

Several caravans were destroyed or damaged as high winds swept through holiday parks last night.

One resident described a ‘mini tornado’ hitting a park in Eastchurch, on the Isle of Sheppey , where she has a holiday home.

She said the high winds hit the Sunnymead parks at Eastchurch Holiday Centre at about 8.30pm, with a tree falling on the roof of two caravans and tearing the roof off another.

At nearby Palm Tree Holiday Park, residents rallied round to help clean up this morning after two caravans were flipped over by the high winds.

A post on social media from the park management today said: “We’ve definitely had better Sundays at Palms. Woke up to a phone call about two caravans being smashed to pieces in the terrible wind we had last night.

“As I arrived my jaw dropped to see the two brand new 2020 caravan absolutely totalled. Checking round the park there is more and more damage, with trees down, broken windows and fences, etc.

“Within an hour of being on the park I was totally overwhelmed with the help and support of the residents on Palms, all out getting their hands dirty trying to clear this up so we can carry on trading today. Even had people offer to drive down from London to help. Everyone comes together in times of need and just gets on with it.”

Julie Green, who lives in Gillingham, said her holiday home at Sunnymead had escaped damage but described the devastation elsewhere as a “complete nightmare”.

Those with the damaged caravans had luckily not been home at the time, she added.

“It was like a mini tornado”, she said.

“One poor woman arrived this morning to find a tree laying on top of her caravan. One of the trees had landed on top of two caravans and the wind had torn the roof off another one.

“You could tell it was windy because the caravan was rocking while I was inside. But it wasn’t until I drove out this morning that I saw what it had done.”

She said residents has lost power, which was not restored until this afternoon.

A post on Facebook from Eastchurch Holiday Centre said: “Due to the very high winds last night, there has been some damage. The maintenance men are going round and doing what they can.”

Hundreds of people in the Eastchurch area were hit by power cuts last night and today.

Courtesy of

Nearly 9,000 flee homes in Philippines as Typhoon Molave intensifies


Nearly 9,000 people fled their homes in the Philippines as Typhoon Molave made landfall while traversing provinces on the southern part of the main Luzon island on Sunday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, officials said.

The disaster monitoring agency said it had received reports of damaged roads and bridges, flooding and landslide incidents in some areas, but there were no casualties so far.

Packing top sustained winds of 130 kilometres per hour (80 mph) Molave intensified into a typhoon as it moved westward and made landfall over San Miguel Island in Albay province early in the evening.

It made a second landfall on Malinao municipality also in Albay, the weather bureau said.

Some 5,518 people were evacuated to safer grounds, while 3,421 people took shelter with their relatives in areas outside danger zones, the disaster monitoring agency said.

Molave follows Tropical Storm Saudel, which last week caused widespread flooding in Quezon province in the Calabarzon region, southeast of the capital Manila.

The weather bureau warned of storm surges as high as 2 metres (6.5 feet) in coastal areas in northern Samar province, the Bicol Region and the central and southern portions of Quezon province.

Tropical cyclone wind alerts were issued for several provinces in the Bicol and Calabarzon regions, and several provinces in the central Philippines, as well as for Metro Manila and Central Luzon provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales.

Sea travel operations were cancelled in danger zones, with 569 people stranded at ports due to strong winds, according to the disaster monitoring agency.

After crossing the Philippine archipelago, Molave was expected to continue intensifying over the South China Sea, the weather bureau said.

Courtesy of

Wild storms leaves thousands without power and causes mayhem in south-east Queensland, Australia

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert

A person has been struck by a tree during wild storms which have brought destructive winds, lightning and heavy rain to south-east Queensland.

Critical care paramedics took the patient to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but stable condition, the Queensland Ambulance service said.

By Sunday evening, the severe storms had eased but the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned they were likely to reform.

“The situation is being closely monitored and further detailed warnings will be issued as necessary,” the BOM said.

As the clean up began, about 25,000 homes across the region were still without power.

Energex said power remained cut to about 4,440 homes in Brisbane, 8,700 homes in Ipswich and 11,075 homes in Redland.

Another 10,000 Ergon customers in regional Queensland were understood to have lost electricity.

At one point during the height of the storm, Energex was reporting about 33,000 homes were without power after 209 powerlines were brought down.

An Energex spokesman said the damage to the network was so bad some customers in Redland Bay, Mt Crosby and the Bay Islands may not have power restored until Monday.

In Chuwar, SES crews were busy helping clean to up trees and debris. The storm flung a trampoline into a power pole with so much force it bent the frame.

About 78,000 lightning strikes were recorded across south-east Queensland during the storms, and hailstones up to 5cm in diameter pummelled Brisbane’s western and southern suburbs.

At Cornubia, in Logan, a tree was destroyed by lightning.

Resident Tori Bradley told the ABC the lightning strike had shaken her entire house.

“My ears are still ringing,” she said.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, the BOM had issued a severe storm warning for the Ipswich, Logan, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Gold Coast, Redland City and Brisbane City council areas.

BOM meteorologist Michael Gray said Monday would be a drier day, but Tuesday was likely to bring another burst of wet weather anywhere between Townsville and the New South Wales border.

“There’s an upper low developing over New South Wales, which is going to bring more of those over the next few days,” he said.

Courtesy of

Explosion at a chemical plant linked to the nuclear project in Iran

Chemical Explosion Alert

A large explosion following a fire of chemicals occurred today (Friday) at one of the largest petrochemical facilities in Iran. This is a petrochemical plant of the Hormusi company in Bander Mashhar, a facility whose name was previously linked to the Iranian nuclear project and was even included in the list of facilities in the list of sanctions imposed on Iran.

According to reports and videos circulated on social media, black smoke was seen rising from the scene of the explosion and large forces of firefighters arrived at the scene of the incident.

The state-run state news agency, Irena, reported that the man was under control and that there were no casualties in the blast or fire. The cause of the explosion was not reported in the media, but the possibilities range from a technical malfunction, human error or even deliberate sabotage by opposition groups in the country, which carried out several attacks on infrastructure facilities in the country during the summer.

Iran experienced a wave of mysterious explosions at key sites in the country this summer, including the ballistic missile development facility in Perchin and the uranium enrichment facility, part of the Iranian nuclear program, near the city of Natanz. Alongside these facilities, port facilities, petrochemical plants and oil pipelines in the country caught fire.

Last week, the Diaspora opposition organization “Iran’s National Resistance Council” announced that Iran had recently inaugurated a new facility for the assembly and production of nuclear warheads at a facility east of the capital Tehran.

Courtesy of


Subject to change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 40 km SSW of Vaduz, Liechtenstein / pop: 5,100 / local time: 23:23:35.4 2020-10-25

19 km SSE of Glarus, Switzerland / pop: 5,600 / local time: 23:23:35.4 2020-10-25

Russian oil tanker suffers explosion, fire in Sea of Azov

Explosion Alert

A Russian oil tanker experienced an explosion in the Sea of Azov and an operation to rescue three of its crew members was underway Saturday, officials said.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry said the explosion on the General Azi Aslanov took place as the tanker was traveling from the port of Kavkaz to the city of Rostov-on-Don. Authorities said 10 members of the tanker’s 13-person crew havebeen rescued, while the remaining three were believed to be in the water.

The tanker has tilted and efforts to stabilize the ship were underway.

Maritime officials said the tanker wasn’t loaded explosion may have been triggered by flammable vapors left behind from the vessel’s previous cargo.

Courtesy of

Wildfires and droughts devastate South American biodiversities

Wild Fire Alert

Under stress from a historic drought, large swathes of forest and wetlands in central South America known for their exceptional biodiversity have been ravaged by devastating fires.

Experts on Friday said wildfires in a region that spans Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, especially the region between the Paraguay, Parana and Uruguay rivers, have become critical in 2020.

“There has been a dramatic increase in fires. In Argentina there has been an increase of around 170 percent, it’s very serious,” said Elisabeth Mohle, an environmental politics researcher at Argentina’s San Martin National University (UNSM).

She says it’s part of a wider problem affecting multiple regions around the world this year, including in Brazil’s Amazonas state, Australia, California, and the Gran Chaco, South America’s second largest forest after the Amazon.

The Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands that span Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is experiencing its worst drought in 47 years.

The Parana river, one of the most powerful on the planet that originates in Brazil and empties into the River Plate estuary, is at its lowest level since 1970.

In August it was down to 80-centimetres in Rosario, eastern Argentina, rather than the usual 3-4 meters for that time of year.

It’s the same thing with the Paraguay river that is at its lowest level “in half a century,” according to Paraguay’s national weather center in Asuncion.

The fires are being fanned by ideal conditions, including strong winds, temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius and the dry season in which farmers use slash-and-burn techniques to try to regenerate the soil.

In Paraguay, “the fires … at the end of September and first week of October, broke all records,” Eduardo Mingo, a top official at the national weather center, told AFP.

The number of fires were up 46 percent in 2020, according to authorities.

Paraguay’s capital Asuncion and several towns in northeastern Argentina and southern Brazil spent days and even weeks submerged under a thick fog due to the intense fires.

And without the usual rainfall that moistens the soil, the wetlands have been particularly badly affected.

Images from the Brazilian Pantanal of the charred carcases of birds, snakes, caimans and trees have shocked the world.

A quarter of the area was devastated between January and September, while the Paraguayan Pantanal had already been badly affected by fires in 2019.

The Parana Delta that is home to species such as the jaguar, Pampas cat and several rodents, has been hit by fires of an unprecedented intensity since January, leaving a “desert of ashes” over tens of thousands of hectares of wetlands.

“Reptiles, migratory birds, small mammals and tortoises have died,” Cesar Massi, a naturalist in Argentina’s Santa Fe province, told AFP.

“I remember that during the last drought in 2008, there were fires. But this year they’ve been stronger, more intense and lasted longer.”

Agriculture is a massive source of income for the countries in this region but the slash-and-burn techniques used aggravate the situation.

In the north of Argentina “despite Covid-19 restrictions, between March 15 and September 30… twice the area of Buenos Aires was deforested,” according to Greenpeace.

The Mighty Earth NGO says that Paraguay’s dry forests are “one of the main sites of deforestation in the world, mostly due to the expansion of pastureland and more recently soyabean plantations.”

Argentina’s government has accused cattle farmers of setting fires to “increase pastureland area” in the Parana Delta.

One problem is that NGOs don’t have the necessary funding from governments to enforce rules and instigate large restoration or protection projects.

“The provincial government has less and less of a budget for prevention, there are no surveillance posts, the environmental police have been disassembled,” Alfredo Leytes, a member of the Ambiente en Lucha environmental collective based in Cordoba, Argentina, told AFP.

In Brazil “there has been a 58 percent decrease in ‘Brigadistas’ contracts,” said Alica Thuault from the Centro de Vida institute, referring to the volunteers that mobilized to tackle fires. She attributes blame firmly at the feet of President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic.

Mohle wants different players, including farmers and ecologists, to work together “to regulate the use of land to ensure a more sustainable development than currently exists.”

Courtesy of


Subject to change

Depth: 1 km

Distances: 39 km SW of Vaduz, Liechtenstein / pop: 5,100 / local time: 22:06:59.7 2020-10-25

15 km SSE of Glarus, Switzerland / pop: 5,600 / local time: 22:06:59.7 2020-10-25


Subject to change

Depth: 1 km

Distances: 39 km SW of Vaduz, Liechtenstein / pop: 5,100 / local time: 21:13:29.4 2020-10-25

15 km SSE of Glarus, Switzerland / pop: 5,600 / local time: 21:13:29.4 2020-10-25


Subject to change

Depth: 6 km

Distances: 23 km ESE of Basel, Switzerland / pop: 164,000 / local time: 20:43:46.5 2020-10-25

11 km SE of Rheinfelden, Germany / pop: 32,500 / local time: 20:43:46.5 2020-10-25