Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Did mother nature just sneeze?!

One headline today, reads - Reno area hit by heaviest snowfall in nearly 90 years. OMG! Reno!! I've almost forgotten all about this place, it is one of the more memorable place I visited since I last went there in 2001, Lake Tahoe is OoH so breathtaking, Aah so much good memories...

Back to today's natural disasters -
Experts are saying that this is the most snow to fall over the Reno-Lake Tahoe area since 1916. Major highways across the Sierra between Reno and Sacramento were closed, including Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Northern Europe weathers worst storm in 40 years, strong winds and heavy rain swept across northern Europe from Ireland to Russia during the weekend, leaving at least 14 dead, flooding parts of Britain and affecting air and sea transport.

Storms also caused flooding in southern California and Arizona, deadly avalanches in Utah and ice damage and flooding in the Ohio Valley.

Heavy rains unleash mudslide in California, the mudslide was the worst disaster to date caused by the storms that have been battering southern California since last week.

Wildfires kill 5 in southern Australia's Eyre Peninsula, about 400 kilometers west of Adelaide, was the worst of several wildfires reported around the state, where temperatures have topped 44 degrees Celsius in recent days.

The world is going through some drastic changes laterly, it's like mother nature have decided to have a new hairdo. Recent disasters, all seems like a mellowed down version of the Hollywood exaggeration - The Day after Tomorrow.

These recent devastation from mother nature seems to be indicative of some major changes, hopefully someone is already onto it and can keep us informed.

Looking back, since the last heatwave that had swept across the whole of Europe and parts of US in Aug '04. One year before in 2003, the heatwave that hit France killed an estimated 15,000 people, also hit the US Midwest damaging the corn and soya crops. In 1995, 739 people died in a heatwave that broiled Chicago.

Around the sametime (Aug '04), scientists with the Oregon State University, are worried about evidential events that's tipping the very balance of the ecosystem. They are currently doing a 40 year oceangraphy to track natural Dead Zone occurance, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

There's also the Category 4 storm that hit Florida in August, a stronger-than-expected Hurricane Charley. Initially expected to strike as a Category 2 storm, but was upgraded as it approached the coast. State governor, Jeb Bush had to declare a state of emergency and asked his brother, President George W. Bush, to declare a federal state of emergency as well.

Over in China, BeiJing still Aug '04. A deadly earthquake struck and opened cracks in walls of several reservoir dams that could collapse, nearly 600 people injured and more than 125,000 left homeless in Ludian county in Yunnan province by the earthquake, which measured 5.6 on the Richter scale.

Flash floods sweep through UK villages (Aug '04), heavy rain caused flash floods in seaside communities in southwestern England. Flooding began after rained for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, around the Boscastle area of Cornwall.

A month before (July '04), BBC reported that scientists have observed the biggest raindrops recorded on earth estimated to be a whopping 1cm in size, these were recorded over Brazil and the Marshall Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean regions. Average drops of rain are between 1mm and 2mm in dia- meter. The previous largest drops recorded - 8mm wide, over Hawaii - were reported in 1986.

If we can't depend on anyone to keep us informed, perhaps it's time we start listening and learning from nature's children - the wildlife around us.

Himalayan Griffon VultureThis just in - A Himalayan Griffon Vulture first spotted over the weekend in the Orchard Road area was found exhausted and brought to the Jurong Bird Park on Tuesday where it is recuperating. A native to Central Asia, the creature is one of the world's largest birds with a wingspan of up to 4m and native to Central Asia.

My take on this - Did the vulture flew here in search of a safer nesting place? Perhaps this bird brain really knows more than we think we do.