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Storm Eleanor strips beach of its stones leaving it sandy

Storm Eleanor battered the UK earlier this week and brought 80mph winds
In the storm's wake, a ..

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  • Storm Eleanor battered the UK earlier this week and brought 80mph winds
  • In the storm's wake, a beach at Eype, near West Bay, Dorset, has transformed
  • It was previously covered in a thick layer of stones but now has a layer of sand
  • Eleanor's power dragged the stones out to sea, leaving nothing behind but sand
  • Elsewhere, a Cornish beach was transformed when tonnes of sand were shifted

By Keiran Southern For Mailonline

Published: 06:02 EST, 5 January 2018 | Updated: 06:57 EST, 5 January 2018

Storm Eleanor has left a mysterious legacy on the seaside resort made famous by TV crime drama Broadchurch – it's made its stony beach sandy.

The 80mph winds earlier this week washed away masses of shingle that sat on top of the beach at Eype, near West Bay, Dorset.

The beach is covered in a layer of immaculate flat sand sure to entice sunbathers in the summer – if the stones do not return by then.

But while the geological phenomenon might be good news for holidaymakers and local tourism bosses, the loss of thousands of tonnes of shingle could have devastating consequences for the the 185 million-year-old fragile cliffs.

Before: The beach at Eype, near West Bay, Dorset, was previously covered in stones which offer much-needed protection for the sandstone cliffs

Before: The beach at Eype, near West Bay, Dorset, was previously covered in stones which offer much-needed protection for the sandstone cliffs

After: Now, thanks to Storm Eleanor, the beach is covered in a smooth layer of sand. But experts believe the stones could return before the summerAfter: Now, thanks to Storm Eleanor, the beach is covered in a smooth layer of sand. But experts believe the stones could return before the summer

After: Now, thanks to Storm Eleanor, the beach is covered in a smooth layer of sand. But experts believe the stones could return before the summer

The shingle offers much-needed protection for the sandstone cliffs and without it they are far more exposed to the powerful waves which could cause them to collapse.

Graham Dannan, owner of the Eype House Caravan Park, which overlooks the beach, said he was 'amazed' by the complete transformation of the beach overnight.

However, he expects the beach to return to its normal shingle state when the weather calms down.

He said: 'It's amazing how much much the beach changed overnight, I can't quite believe it.

'The beach has become sandy. During a storm waves have more energy, which drags the stones off into the sea leaving the sand which was hiding underneath. This is what has happened here.

'This creates a ridge of stones out to sea which causes the waves to start breaking further out, therefore helping with coastal erosion.

The stones were dragged out to sea by Storm Eleanor, which battered the UK with torrential rain and gusts of up to 80mphThe stones were dragged out to sea by Storm Eleanor, which battered the UK with torrential rain and gusts of up to 80mph

The stones were dragged out to sea by Storm Eleanor, which battered the UK with torrential rain and gusts of up to 80mph

During storms waves have more energy, which drags the stones off into the sea leaving the sand which was hiding underneathDuring storms waves have more energy, which drags the stones off into the sea leaving the sand which was hiding underneath

During storms waves have more energy, which drags the stones off into the sea leaving the sand which was hiding underneath

'During the calmer weather the stones are pushed back on to the beach, so this means the stones will probably be back before the summer.'

The cliffs at West Bay are prone to slip. Only last June, there was a 2,000 tonne landslide which fell on the beach, taking a chunk out of a hilltop golf course.

Mr Dannan said: 'Obviously everyone prefers relaxing on a sandy beach but the shingle actually offers protection to the cliffs from coastal erosion as they dissipate the wave energy before the water reaches the cliffs.

'We are actually quite fond of our stony beach.'

West Bay was the real life setting for the ITV drama Broadchurch, which ran for three series and starred David Tennant and Olivia Colman. The cliffs and beach featured heavily in the show.

The cliffs at West Bay are prone to slip. Only last June, there was a 2,000 tonne landslide which fell on the beach (pictured), taking a chunk out of a hilltop golf courseThe cliffs at West Bay are prone to slip. Only last June, there was a 2,000 tonne landslide which fell on the beach (pictured), taking a chunk out of a hilltop golf course

The cliffs at West Bay are prone to slip. Only last June, there was a 2,000 tonne landslide which fell on the beach (pictured), taking a chunk out of a hilltop golf course

West Bay was the real life setting for the ITV drama Broadchurch, which ran for three series and starred David Tennant and Olivia ColmanWest Bay was the real life setting for the ITV drama Broadchurch, which ran for three series and starred David Tennant and Olivia Colman

West Bay was the real life setting for the ITV drama Broadchurch, which ran for three series and starred David Tennant and Olivia Colman

But West Bay was not the only beach to be affected by Storm Eleanor.

The 80mph winds shifted millions of tonnes of sand to create a dramatic new landscape in the middle of Perranporth beach in Cornwall.

The winds combined with powerful tides brought on by a super moon left a significant mark on the Cornish coastline with 30ft sand cliffs created in some spots.

RNLI volunteers have warned the public to stay away from the unstable structures and one beach has also been closed due to safety fears.

Among the most dramatic changes is a 20ft sheer cliff drop that has been created in the middle of Perranporth beach, Cornwall.

This is the dramatic new look of Perranporth beach in Cornwall after Storm Eleanor's powerful winds shifted millions of tonnes of sandThis is the dramatic new look of Perranporth beach in Cornwall after Storm Eleanor's powerful winds shifted millions of tonnes of sand

This is the dramatic new look of Perranporth beach in Cornwall after Storm Eleanor's powerful winds shifted millions of tonnes of sand

Eleanor's incredible power transformed the look of the beach. In some spots, a 20ft cliff drop was created by the shifting sandsEleanor's incredible power transformed the look of the beach. In some spots, a 20ft cliff drop was created by the shifting sands

Eleanor's incredible power transformed the look of the beach. In some spots, a 20ft cliff drop was created by the shifting sands

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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