UK COLD WEATHER LEVEL 3 AMBER ALERT ISSUED
UK Cold Weather Level 2 Yellow Alert Issued
Dozens of seals have become stranded in a Canadian town, blocking traffic and the entrances to homes and businesses.
Two of the animals in Roddickton-Bide Arm, Newfoundland, died after being struck by a car. There are concerns others will starve to death.
It is against Canadian law to interfere with marine mammals such as seals.
The creatures became stranded after nearby waters suddenly froze over last week, preventing their return to the ocean.
Experts say the speed at which the bay froze over may have disorientated the animals and caused them to move inland instead of towards open waters.
Images posted on social media show the seals stranded on roads and large banks of snow.
“It actually feels like we’re being inundated,” the town’s Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald told CBC News.
“There’s seals on the road, there’s seals in people’s driveways, the backyards, the parking lots, the doorways, the businesses.”
There are growing concerns that the animals will starve to death unless they are taken to the ocean by wildlife officials.
“They’re pitiful to look at. They haven’t eaten,” Mayor Fitzgerald said.
“They are 4 or 5 miles from the ocean and they are probably starving,” another witness wrote on Twitter.
The town’s council have asked for help from the Canadian government, and the hope is that officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will now intervene and rescue them.
Roddickton-Bide Arm sits on a major seal migration route and people there are accustomed to seeing the creatures.
On Tuesday, the police said they had safely returned a seal to the ocean but warned against approaching them.
“[They] may appear to be friendly in nature, [but] it is very dangerous to approach or attempt to capture animals without proper equipment,” a Facebook post read.
Courtesy of BBC News
As the storm system that hit Israel at the beginning of the week enters its final stage, the cold temperatures plummeted Wednesday to this winter’s record low. Nearly a meter of snow has accumulated on Mt. Hermon and the water levels in the Sea of Galilee have risen by at least 19.5 cm over the past 48 hours, according to meteorological services.
The waterline in Sea of Galilee currently stands at -214 below sea level and 1.10 meters (3.6 feet) below the lower red line (the intermediate warning signal indicating a crisis).
The water level keeps rising due to the strong currents of the rivers flowing into the northern freshwater lake. In some areas of the Jordan River, the streams reached the speed of up to 100 cubic meters per second, a five-year high.
Although precipitation over Israel is mostly concentrated over the northern parts of the country, intermittent rainfall is expected in central and southern Israel all throughout Wednesday, raising fears over possible floods in eastern and southern rivers.
The southwest winds in the Mediterranean Sea will reach speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph), while the height of the waves could reach of up to 5 meters (16 feet).
Meanwhile, management at the Mt. Hermon ski site said it has been years since they recorded uninterrupted snowfall that continued for three days straight, with some 90cm hitting the mountain’s lower parts so far. Although the site is currently closed—due to foggy and misty conditions—its ski trail is expected to open its doors to skiers for the first time this winter over the coming weekend.
The Israel Electric Corporation said the stormy weather caused the electricity consumption to hit 12,592mw, slightly less than an all-time record back in January 2016, when the consumption numbers stood at 12,624mw.
The storm is expected to taper off by by the end of the week with partly cloudy skies and temperatures returning to average by Friday. On Thursday the weather is expected to be dry and mild, with a slight rise in temperatures.
Courtesy of ynetnews.com
Some of the heaviest snow was in Bavaria where some villages were cut off – Photo By EPA
Heavy snowfalls brought chaos to parts of Germany and Sweden on Friday, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut.
The Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the southern German state of Bavaria and a nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree.
The front of a Swiss hotel was hit by an avalanche and a winter storm made roads impassable in Sweden and Norway.
Austrian rescuers had to battle through chest-deep snow to reach a snowboarder.
The 41-year-old Pole had lost his way after going off piste at the resort of Schlossalmbahn.
Rescuers said the Polish snowboarder was stuck on an icy rock covered in two metres of snow – Photo By BERGRETTUNG BAD HOFGASTEIN
There was some respite in Austria on Friday, after three metres of snow fell in some parts in previous days. Seven people have died in the past week and two hikers have been missing since Saturday.
“Such quantities of snow above 800m altitude only happen once every 30 to 100 years,” said Alexander Radlherr from Austria’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics.
The Austrian military sent helicopters to blow snow off treetops to reduce the risk of trees falling on roads and rails.
In Sweden wintry storms ravaged parts of the north. One area recorded winds of 49.7m per second (111mph) as Storm Jan ravaged Stekenjokk near the Norwegian border.
The armed forces were sent in when hundreds of people were cut off near Berchtesgaden in Bavaria – Photo By AFP
In northern Norway, a lorry driver described on Friday morning how he and other drivers had been stuck on a mountain road since 17:00 (16:00 GMT) on Thursday. Magnar Nicolaisen told public broadcaster NRK that he had slept in his cabin overnight while others had had to stay in their cars.
Conditions on Friday were particularly treacherous in Bavaria, where the local broadcaster said snowfalls were paralysing public life.
Rail services were worst hit in the south and east of the state and roads were cut off by drifts and falling trees.
A boy of nine was killed near Munich when a tree collapsed under the weight of snow. It was 40 minutes before he was found and emergency services were unable to revive him.
Two sections of the big A8 autobahn were closed in the south-east, as drivers spent Thursday night at a standstill near Rosenheim. The Bavarian Red Cross and a government agency came to the aid of the drivers.
Hundreds of people around the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden were cut off by heavy snow – Photo By EPA
Roads in the Berchtesgaden area close to the Austrian border were blocked and the army sent up to 200 soldiers to help hundreds of people caught up in the snow.
There was a let-up in the weather on Friday ahead of expected of further snowfalls on Saturday night. However, some 90 flights were cancelled in Munich while some flights in Frankfurt were also hit.
In Switzerland, an avalanche hit a hotel restaurant, injuring three people. Local reports said the avalanche had been 300m in width when it came down the Schwägalp.
Hotel guests were stunned when the avalanche crashed into the back of the restaurant – Photo By REUTERS
Rescuers searched the area on Friday in case anyone near the Hotel Säntis had been caught up in the avalanche.
Cars were left buried in the snow and even a bus was left partly submerged.
One guest in the hotel restaurant said that initially he thought snow was falling from the roof.
“There there was a gigantic noise, and the back area of the restaurant was engulfed in masses of snow,” the guest told Tagblatt.
The outside of the hotel showed some of the damage caused by the avalanche – Photo By REUTERS
Courtesy of BBC News