In Japan, it's raining tadpoles ...
... and fish and frogs. Downpours that deposit dead creatures from Hiroshima to Iwate bewilder meteorologists
- guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 June 2009 13.37 BST
Japan is no stranger to heavy downpours during the early summer rainy season.
But in recent days the proverbial "cats and dogs" have been joined by tadpoles, fish and the occasional frog.
Meteorologists admit they are bewildered by a spate of incidents in which the creatures appear to have fallen from the sky. People around the country have reported witnessing the phenomenon since the first sightings of stranded tadpoles were made in Ishikawa prefecture last week.
People living as far apart as Hiroshima in the south-west and Iwate in the north-east say they have stumbled on the dead creatures near their homes, in fields, school grounds, and on car roofs and windscreens.
In Ishikawa prefecture, on the Japan Sea coast, a resident found 13 crucian carp on and around his truck, each about 3cm long.
One popular theory is that the creatures were sucked up by waterspouts but meteorologists say no strong winds have been reported in the areas where tadpoles were found. One expert said gusts too weak to be picked up by observatories might have sucked up small quantities of water, along with a few unfortunate tadpoles. Ornithologists said it was too early too rule out their feathered friends.
Kimimasa Tokikuni, head of the Ishikawa branch of the Japanese Society for the Preservation of Birds, told the Yomiuri Shimbun that bigger birds, such as herons and black-tailed gulls, might have dropped the tadpoles after being disturbed in mid-flight.
But the startled bird theory fails to answer a simple question: why haven't the "flying" tadpoles been noticed before?
Minister Clement Says Residents Concerns Were Not Valid
June 17, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA- Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy urged the Minister of Industry, Tony Clement today in the House of Commons to answer why he overturned the decision of the City of Charlottetowns Council to deny Rogers Communications to build a cell tower off Mount Edward Road.
Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Industry, last year Rogers Telecommunication applied to build a massive cell tower in a residential neighbourhood right in the middle of the city of Charlottetown. The neighbours did not want it. The people who lived in Charlottetown did not want it and our democratically elected city council voted against it... Why did he disrespect the wishes of the residents of Charlottetown and the decision of their elected council? questioned Murphy this afternoon in the House of Commons during question period.
The Minister of Industry, Tony Clement responded, If there are legitimate concerns, those concerns are then addressed. Health Canada reviews the concerns from a health and safety point of view. Health Canada did its job and reviewed for health and safety concerns. Those concerns were not valid.
I am upset that the Minister of Industry believes that the concerns of the citizens of Charlottetown are invalid since the City of Charlottetown took proper and extensive examination of the proposal of the Rogers cellphone tower prior to rejecting the building permit, stated Murphy.
Shawn Murphy, Charlottetown MP
Shawn Murphy, Charlottetown MP
75 Fitzroy St.
Tel: (902) 566-7772
Fax: (902) 566-7780