The Big Wobble Headlines: Quick Read


Headlines



Extreme Weather
'The first real winter we’ve had in several years'! Nearly 15 inches of snow, 35cm dumped on Chicago killing two with temps below 0 deg F (-18 C)
'The first real winter we’ve had in several years'
Nearly 15 inches of snow, 35cm and killing at least two people hit the US Midwest on Friday bringing chaos and snarling hundreds of flights as it rolled east to threaten New York state and New England.
The Chicago area had its heaviest snowfall since 2016 as the storm put an icy grip on much of Wisconsin, northern Illinois and Michigan.
According to Reuters, Weather forecasters in Detroit warned that snowfall there could surpass one inch (2.5 cm) an hour as the system headed east.


Hurricanes and cyclones
Staggering wind speeds of 213 km/h with wind gusts of 259 km/h and waves 11 metres high make Cyclone Gita category 4 the strongest storm of the year so far
Cyclone Gita at category 4 is now the most powerful storm of 2018 with staggering wind speeds of 213 km/h and wind gusts of  259 km/h and waves 11 metres high.
The storm has constantly increased its strength since it was declared a Cyclone on the 9th of Feb.
Its current course is Southwest and could power into northern New Zealand around February the 20th.
The storm has caused devastation destroying all in its wake.
The storm is expected to weaken slightly as it heads in the direction of New Caledonia.
Cyclone Gita, which ravaged Tonga on Monday night, has now passed out to sea away from the Southern Lau islands of Fiji.

Spaceweather
Geomagnetic storms from sunspot AR2699 CME and a stream of solar wind from massive coronal hole to hit Earth's magnetic field today
Solar wind flowing from this wide coronal hole is expected to reach Earth on Feb. 15th-16th, adding its effect to that of an incoming CME due to arrive around the same time. Credit: SDO/AIA 

Three days ago sunspot AR2699 exploded, the explosion lasted for more than six hours and produced a C1-class solar flare and hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth, see the film below.
According to Spaceweather.com, the CME is expected to reach Earth today.
NOAA forecasters say there is a 60% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms with isolated periods of stronger G2 storming.



Volcano Activity
The Costa Rica colossus Turrialba Volcano spews ash and steam 4,340 meters above sea level (14,235.2 ft.) after another important eruption
The Turrialba Volcano registered yet another important eruption, this Monday, February 12 at approximately 4:30 a.m. with a column that reached 1000 meters above the crater and 4,340 meters above sea level (14,235.2 ft.).
The emission of ash is continuous and of variable volume and has been constant for over one week now.
Ash is being dispersed by the winds to the southwest and several communities have reported ashfall in the entire metropolitan area (Cartago, Alajuela, Heredia, San Jose).
Health authorities in Costa Rica recommended preventive measures since last week in particular for the health problems that the small ash particles could cause to the sensitive population that suffer from respiratory or skin allergies, asthma and other particular health conditions.



Earthquakes
BOOM! A powerful mag 7.2 rocks Mexico with nearly 200 aftershocks leaving one million homes and businesses without power in the capital
A powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake has rocked Mexico late Friday evening leaving a million homes and businesses without power in the capital and four southwest states according to Reuters.
The powerful, sustained shaking on Friday gave way to 194 aftershocks, the national seismology service said, and caused widespread panic.
In Mexico City, the seismic alarm sounded 72 seconds before tremors were felt, Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said, giving residents time to flee to the streets.
Last nights shock is the third powerful quake to hit the area since September last year when a mag 8.2, the biggest quake in a 100-years to hit Mexico and a magnitude 7.1 which struck just a week later.


Man-made-disasters
Asian markets join global stock plunge along with London Frankfurt and Paris all falling sharply after Dow plummeted by record points Monday

Asian markets followed the US stock market with Japanese stocks suffering their biggest point drop since June 2016 on Tuesday, after Wall Street tumbled the previous day on fears about rising U.S. bond yields and a potential pick-up in inflation.
With all eyes now on Europe the big three, London, Frankfurt and Paris all fell sharply when they opened on Tuesday with new losses of up to 3%.
In the US overnight, the Dow lost 4.6%.
US stocks suffer worst fall in six years, with all gains from the last year wiped out yesterday afternoon.
The Dow has dropped by a record 1,175 points, the leading US stock market index closed down 4.6% at 24,345.75., smashing the previous record when it fell by 777.68 points during the financial crisis in 2008.




Climate Change
Daily water ration of 25 litres (6.6 USA gallons) allowed per day (single toilet flush uses nine litres) Cape Town's "Day Zero" approaching soon
Most Cape Town residents would be forced to queue at communal taps at 200 water points-likely under police or military guard-to collect a daily ration of 25 litres (6.6 USA gallons), half the amount allowed now.
The latest data from the City of Cape Town indicates that dam storage level is at 24.9% - a weekly decrease of -0.6%.
South Africa has declared a national disaster over the drought afflicting southern and western regions including Cape Town, though the city pushed back its "Day Zero", the date when its taps are expected to run dry.
However, the decision to declare a national disaster means the central government - which is run by the African National Congress (ANC) - will now take responsibility for relief efforts.


Disease
Just five days after falling off his bike, little eight-year-old Liam Flanagan dies from deadly Flesh-eating bacteria in Portland US
Sara Hebard said her 8-year-old son Liam Flanagan just fell off his bike and cut his leg near the family's Pilot Rock farm, but that would eventually became infected by a flesh-eating bacteria that caused the boy's death. (photo courtesy Sara Hebard)
Eight-year-old Liam Flanagan was riding his bike down a hill in a Pilot Rock, Ore., on Jan. 13 when he crashed and cut his leg.
The boy was taken to the hospital and received seven stitches on his upper thigh.
But three days later, he complained his leg was still hurting while he was at school, his mother, Sara Hebard told NBC News.
He said the pain was getting worse in his groin area.




Animal Die-offs
By 2020 two thirds of all wild animals in the world will be dead: Unprecedented death of millions of tons of marine life around the world is increasing
In just two years’ time, the World will have lost two-thirds of all wild animals.
This amazing statistic from The Living Planet Index goes on: The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends and at the current rate all species would be totally gone before 2050.
Below is a snippet of the carnage around the world in just the last few days.
SAPO24 reported, more than two dozen pilot whales died after they hit the coast on two beaches on the Cape Verdean island of Maio, in an environmental disaster that is all too common around the world recently.



Environment
Social breakdown on paradise! Holidaymakers in Jamaica warned not to leave their resorts as state of emergency declared after murders
A state of emergency has been declared in Jamaica following a rise in murder and violent crime. Holidaymakers in the north-west of the island have been warned not to leave their resorts and are urged to exercise caution.
Authorities declared a state of emergency in St James, which includes the popular tourist town of Montego Bay, prompted by an increase in killings that officials blame on gangs and lottery scams. There were six killings a week on average in St James last year while Jamaica has double the number of murders as Britain each year.



Wildfires
Continued "climate instability" 60,000 people affected by Argentina's deadly floods in the north: At least 600,000 hectares destroyed by fire in the east
At least 10,000 residents in northern Argentina forced to evacuate their homes.
More than 60,000 people have been affected by Argentina's ongoing deluge, with at least 10,000 in the north forced to evacuate their homes, the Argentine Red Cross reports.
"So far there are more than 60,000 affected; the most complicated situation is in Santa Victoria Este, where 10,000 people have been evacuated and hundreds of families are isolated and without communication," said Cristian Bolado, director of response to emergencies and disasters of the Argentine Red Cross.
The Red Cross is predicting continued "climate instability" throughout the remainder of the weekend in Chaco, Tucuman and Formosa, with Salta falling under "critical watch."



Photo of the day
Photo of the day! Magical winter wonderland in Oslo
Two wonderful photos of the heavy snow in Oslo, Norway last week taken by Christiaan Breau while visiting his girlfriend Helena, see below.
The snow arrived in Oslo as storm Fionn battered Ireland and the UK last Thursday