Chinese rocket debris lands in Indian Ocean



The Long March was the second deployment of the 5B variant since its maiden flight in May 2020. Last year, pieces from the first Long March 5B fell on Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings. No injuries were reported.

“Spacefaring nations must minimise the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, a former senator and astronaut who was picked for the role in March, said in a statement after the re-entry.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

With most of the Earth’s surface covered by water, the odds of populated area on land being hit had been low, and the likelihood of injuries even lower, according to experts.

But uncertainty over the rocket’s orbital decay and China’s failure to issue stronger reassurances in the run-up to the re-entry fuelled anxiety.

“It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities,” Nelson said.

Harvard-based astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told Reuters that the potential debris zone could have been as far north as New York, Madrid or Beijing, and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand.

Since large chunks of the NASA space station Skylab fell from orbit in July 1979 and landed in Australia, most countries have sought to avoid such uncontrolled re-entries through their spacecraft design, McDowell said.

“It makes the Chinese rocket designers look lazy that they didn’t address this,” said McDowell.

The Global Times, a Chinese tabloid, dismissed as “Western hype” concerns the rocket was “out of control” and could cause damage.

“It is common practice across the world for upper stages of rockets to burn up while reentering the atmosphere,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesman at China’s foreign ministry, said at a regular media briefing on May 7.

“To my knowledge, the upper stage of this rocket has been deactivated, which means most of its parts will burn up upon re-entry, making the likelihood of damage to aviation or ground facilities and activities extremely low,” Wang said at the time.

The rocket, which put into orbit an unmanned Tianhe module containing what will become living quarters for three crew on a permanent Chinese space station, will be followed by 10 more missions to complete the station by 2022. 

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Debris Scattered on Atlanta Road After Tornado Touches Down



A tornado touched down near Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, May 3, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. The NWS issued a tornado warning for Atlanta and confirmed minutes later that a tornado was in the area. Matt Dauphinee said this video shows storm damage along Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta. A tornado watch was issued for parts of Alabama and Georgia until 4 pm on Monday, the weather service said. Credit: Matt Dauphinee via Storyful

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All 53 on board sunken Indonesian submarine confirmed dead, more debris found: Military chief


BALI: All 53 crew members on board a sunken Indonesian submarine have been confirmed dead, with debris of the vessel found, said Indonesia’s military chief on Sunday (Apr 25). 

Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said search teams had received “visual images” which have been confirmed as parts of the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine, such as the rear vertical rudder, anchors and the outside of the pressure body. 

“… Based on authentic evidence we state that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all of the crew members have died.

“Therefore, with deep sadness, as the commander, I declare that 53 KRI Nanggala 402 personnel have died,” said ACM Tjahjanto at a press conference in Bali.

SUBMARINE ESCAPE SUIT FOUND

The military showed what it said was a submarine escape suit found by search teams. Navy chief Admiral Yudo Margono said the suit would normally be stored in an “emergency box”. He suggested that someone had perhaps taken the suit out of the box but did not manage to wear it.

At least 25 Indonesian ships have been involved in the search for KRI Nanggala 402. Ships from other countries have also been sent. Among them is Singapore’s MV Swift Rescue, which arrived early on Sunday.

Adm Margono said the MV Swift Rescue’s Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) was deployed at 7am. At around 9am, it obtained visual images of the submarine at a depth of 850m.

“The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts, the hull of the ship, the stern of the ship, and the main parts are all separated, with the main part found cracked,” he said.

Investigations are under way for the cause of the sinking but the navy chief told reporters he ruled out human error, saying that the correct procedures were in place when the submarine dove.

An attempt will be made to lift the submarine but because of the rarity of such an operation, he said the military had yet to determine how it would do it.


MV Swift Rescue leaving Changi Naval Base to join the search operations off Bali. (Photo: Facebook/Ng Eng Hen)

The Indonesian submarine went missing on Wednesday while taking part in a torpedo drill in north Bali waters. 

The military earlier assumed that the submarine experienced a power outage. In that condition, the submarine could have run out of oxygen by 3am on Saturday.

Indonesia Submarine

Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala sails in the waters off Tuban, East Java, Indonesia, as seen in this aerial photo taken from Indonesian Navy helicopter of 400 Air Squadron, in this Oct 6, 2014 photo. (Photo: AP/Eric Ireng)

READ: ‘We can only pray’, says mother-in-law of sailor on missing Indonesian submarine

In a statement on Sunday, President Joko Widodo said: “This tragedy shocked us all. Not only the families of the 53 crew members and the navy, but also the entire Indonesia people.”

“We all, the people of Indonesia, would like to convey our sadness … especially to the families. They are the best sons of Indonesia, the best patriots.”

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Thousands return home to piles of debris left behind after unprecedented flood disaster


Australia’s east coast is facing a trail of destruction left behind by the unprecedented flooding emergency as more regions are given the all clear to return home.

Water levels remain high across large parts of the state with thousands still isolated across Greater Sydney and the state’s north-west.

Emergency services have been slammed with 12,368 calls for help and more than a thousand flood rescues over the last five days.

The flood crisis has left a trail of destruction with thousands still isolated around the state. (Getty)
Evacuation warnings are still active around the Hawkesbury River, North Richmond and Moree. (Getty)

More than 290 Australian Defence troops have assisted on the ground with clean-up and recovery, with plans to double forces.

Floodwaters have begun to receive on the Windsor bridge, although authorities say it may still be days before regular traffic would be allowed across.

David Fishburn, Maintenance Director at Transport for NSW, said water levels still need to come down further before engineers can make confident decisions on the safety of the bridge.

Several communities have been given the all clear, returning home to piles of debris. (Nick Moir)

“There is still water under the bridge deck, and some of the key components we need to look at can’t be seen yet,” Mr Fishburn said.

“So we can’t make that assessment yet.”

While water levels are dropping, some communities are still only accessible via boat.

People look at flooded paddocks in Richmond. (Getty)

The 2021 flood disaster in numbers

Over the course of the floods, the NSW coast has been drenched by at least 200mm of rain, and in some places, more than 400mm. This is more than three times the Sydney average for the whole of March.

The flooding stretches 600 kilometres from Sydney to the Northern Rivers.

The BOM’s Victoria Dodd said the state had experienced “the most significant floods in decades”.

“We’ve seen exceptionally high flood levels, high-velocity flows, lots of dangerous debris in these floodwaters.”

On Wednesday, the BOM had issued flood warnings on 33 of the state’s 40 river catchments.

The Hawkesbury River at Windsor peaked at 12.9m on Wednesday, the highest level in 60 years.

Scenes of flood devastation at St Georges Caravan park at Lower Portland. (Nick Moir)

Records fall on Mid-North Coast

At Mount Seaview, in the hills west of Port Macquarie, rainfall records have been smashed in the past week, with 815 mm falling over five days. It’s the highest total since records began there in 1960.

Further up the coast at Nambucca Heads, the community was one of the first in NSW to be hit with flooding last Saturday when 350mm of rain fell, swamping the March average of 161mm.

East coast flood disaster now stretching 600km

The river at Macksville has exceeded the major flood level , reaching 3.4 metres in 1950 – a one-in-50-year flood.

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Indonesia’s Merapi volcano spews ash, debris in new eruption


YOGYAKARTA: Indonesia’s most volatile volcano was erupting again on Saturday (Mar 27), releasing plumes of ash high into the air and sending streams of lava and debris down its slopes. 

No casualties were reported.

An avalanche of rocks spilled down Mount Merapi’s slopes before dawn and clouds of hot ash shot 200m into the air as the mountain groaned and rumbled, said Hanik Humaida, the head of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center.

The volcano unleashed hot clouds of ash at least eight times since the morning as well as a series of pyroclastic flows – a mixture of rock, debris, lava and gasses – that had reached nearly 2km down its slopes, Humaida said.

The 2,968m high volcano is on densely populated Java island near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. It is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes and has repeatedly erupted recently.

READ: Indonesian volcano unleashes river of lava in new eruption

READ: Indonesia’s Merapi volcano spews hot clouds, 500 evacuate

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center has advised villagers living on Merapi’s slopes to stay 5km from its crater and be aware of the peril of lava.

Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped area along the edge of the ocean that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.

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Debris from US plane falls from sky over Denver homes


Pieces from a US plane rained down onto Denver suburbs on Saturday, narrowly missing one home, after one of its engines suffered a failure.

The United Airlines plane safely made an emergency landing and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the Boeing 777-200 returned to the Denver International Airport after experiencing a right-engine failure shortly after takeoff.

Flight 328 was flying from Denver to Honolulu when the incident occurred, the agency added.

United Airlines said in a statement that there were 231 passengers and 10 crew on board. All passengers were to be rebooked on a new flight to Hawaii, the airline said.

The Broomfield Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing large, circular pieces of debris leaning against a house in the suburb, which is located around 40km north of Denver. Police are asking that anyone who was injured to come forward.

Passengers recounted the events that led to the parts falling from the plane, which began to unfold shortly after the plane full of holidaymakers took off.

The aircraft was almost at cruising altitude and the captain was giving an announcement over the intercom when a large explosion rocked the cabin, accompanied by a bright flash.

“The plane started shaking violently, and we lost altitude and we started going down,” said David Delucia, who was sitting directly across the aisle from the side with the failed engine. “When it initially happened, I thought we were done. I thought we were going down.”

Delucia and his wife took their wallets containing their driver’s licenses and put them in their pockets so that “in case we did go down, we could be IDed,” said Delucia, who was still shaken up as he waited to board another flight for Honolulu.

On the ground, witnesses also heard the explosion and were scared for those on board.

Tyler Thal, who lives in the area, told The Associated Press that he was out for a walk with his family when he noticed a large commercial plane flying unusually low and took out his phone to film it.

“While I was looking at it, I saw an explosion and then the cloud of smoke and some debris falling from it. It was just like a speck in the sky, and as I’m watching that, I’m telling my family what I just saw and then we heard the explosion,” he said in a phone interview. “The plane just kind of continued on, and we didn’t see it after that.”

Thal was relieved to learn no one was injured or killed from what he saw.

Video posted on social media showed a trail of smoke behind the plane as it flew through the air.

Kirby Klements was inside his home with his wife when they heard a huge booming sound, he said. A few seconds later, the couple saw a massive piece of debris fly past their window and into Klements’ truck, crushing the cab and pushing the vehicle into the dirt.

“If it had been 10 feet different, it would have landed right on top of the house,” he said in a phone interview with the AP. “And if anyone had been in the truck, they would have been dead.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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Suspected debris of Indonesian plane found: Rescue official


Rescuers looking for an Indonesian plane that lost contact after taking off from Jakarta have found suspected debris in waters north of the city, an official of the Basarnas search and rescue agency said.

Agus Haryono told Reuters it had not been confirmed that the debris came from Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182, which lost contact after taking off with more than 50 people aboard.

The Sriwijaya Air plane, with more than 50 people on board, lost contact after taking off from Jakarta, and was on its way to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province, local media have reported. Metro TV said the plane was a Boeing B737-500.

Sriwijaya Air, an Indonesian airline, said in a statement it is still gathering more detailed information regarding the flight before it can make any statement.

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Darlington upgrade debris damaging tyres with screws and steel rods


Flat tyres caused by debris left on the road during the Darlington Upgrade Project is costing motorists thousands of dollars, a local MP has said, despite a streetsweeper cleaning the site daily.

Nat Cook, the Member for Hurtle Vale, said she had been told of “dozens and dozens” of incidents by people regularly driving the stretch of road in Adelaide’s south over the past year.

“It really is costing motorists thousands of dollars,” she said.

Kate, a Flinders Medical Centre nurse, told ABC Radio Adelaide that an industrial screw was removed from her tyre after she took it in for repairs to a slow leak.

“They thought it had to have been picked up from an industrial area due to the size of the screw,” she said.

Kate says the screw in her new tyre left her out of pocket by $280.(Supplied)

Kate said she travelled through the Darlington interchange “at least 20 times a day” and her colleagues had reported similar incidents.

This included a friend who had a large rod removed from the tyre of her car.

Project setbacks

The $620 million Darlington Upgrade Project has been underway since 2016 and includes major works to create a non-stop 3.3-kilometre motorway between Tonsley Boulevard and the Southern Expressway, where a free-flowing interchange has also been built.

Despite significant setbacks, including the collapse of two sections of spray-on concrete, the project is nearly complete and the roads opened.

Works continue on an elevated 650-metre railway extension of the Tonsley line to Flinders University over Main South Road.

Darlington double slide
Two sections of the new Darlington upgrade crumbled in 2019.(ABC: Rhett Burnie)

Ms Cook said the frequency of incidents seemed to have increased since works began on the railway extension in mid-2019.

She said the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) had responded to her inquiries by saying the tyres could have picked up debris “anywhere”.

“Yeah, it can, and it always does,” Ms Cook said.

DIT Minister Corey Wingard wrote back to Ms Cook in a letter she posted publicly that said a street sweeper cleaned “the project site roadway of any construction debris daily”.

He said the site had become fully operational to motorists from August 1 and lanes on the lowered motorway were allowing vehicles to travel 80 kilometres per hour.

Mr Wingard said it would be partially closed in late 2020 for “the final asphalt wearing course”, with some other minor finishing works to include landscaping, wayfinding, public art and remediation.



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India Building Collapse Leaves Scores Trapped in Debris


MUMBAI — Dozens of people were feared trapped in the debris of a five-story building that collapsed on Monday in Mahad, an industrial town in western India, with some reports saying about 60 to 70 people were still inside, while a local lawmaker said the figure was higher.

“I believe about 100 to 125 people must have been inside at the time of its collapse,” said the lawmaker, Bharatshet Maruti Gogawale, who was present at the site, about 100 miles south of India’s financial capital, Mumbai.

The building had about 47 apartments, according to the police in Maharashtra state.

The authorities have yet to determine the cause of the collapse or the number of casualties. But about 30 people were pulled out by rescue teams and local residents, and at least 17 people were injured, according to news reports.

TV stations broadcast video of the debris and of local residents and the police trying to reach those trapped inside.

Three teams from the National Disaster Response Force were sent to the site, the organization said.

Old, creaky structures and illegal constructions are prone to collapse, typically during torrential rain.

More than 1,200 people were killed in 1,161 building collapses across India in 2017, according to latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau.



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1,300 face masks among 115kg of marine debris recovered from lost shipping containers


More than 1,300 face masks and hundreds of plastic meat trays have washed ashore on the New South Wales South Coast.

The debris, thought to have come from shipping containers that fell off the APL England in March, was collected by Jervis Bay couple Dani and Tom Jacobsen.

Along with the masks and the 300 or so meat trays, the Jacobsens said they had collected about 115 kilograms’ worth of other detritus they believed came from the same containers.

NSW Maritime had issued a warning to mariners over concerns one of the containers could wash up in Jervis Bay due to large swells in July.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) confirmed its last sighting of the container was on July 13, 26 nautical miles east of Gerringong, north of Jervis Bay.

Face masks were also spotted at the site.

Face masks and plastic trays sorted into two piles.
Dani and Tom Jacobson collected 115 kilograms of rubbish believed to be from the lost shipping containers.(Supplied: Catching Paradise)

‘We’re becoming hoarders’

The Jacobsons, who have been collecting rubbish from around the Jervis Bay area for 18 months, keep records of what they find.

To date, they have collected 470 kilograms of debris so far.

“We are getting better at finding it after storms and where it is likely to wash in based on the wind direction,” Mr Jacobson said.

“We document it so we can work out the trends as to where it will be.

Once they find it, they keep it in their front yard and sort it into recyclables and rubbish.

“We’re becoming marine hoarders,” Mrs Jacobson said.

A pile of rubbish on a white sand beach, with a woman sitting nearby.
Dani and Tom Jacobsen have started an Instagram account to document their efforts.(Supplied: Catching Paradise)

Creating a clean-up culture

The pair started an Instagram account to document efforts, as well as a clean-up group in the Jervis Bay area to help inspire the community to keep its beaches – often marketed as “pristine” – clean.

“We all have common interests — we care about our ocean and the environment,” Mrs Jacobson said.

“It’s a blessing for us to get out, meet others and walk along the beaches collecting rubbish.

“People are definitely starting to get that awareness and look out for it.

AMSA is still working to try and retrieve the lost shipping containers and associated rubbish.



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