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Sergio approaching the Baja California Peninsula on October 11
Sergio approaching the Baja California Peninsula on October 11

Hurricane Sergio was a powerful and long-lived tropical cyclone that hit the Baja California Peninsula as a tropical storm and caused flooding throughout southern Texas in early October 2018. Sergio became the eighth Category 4 hurricane in the East Pacific for 2018, breaking the record of seven set in the 2015 season. The twentieth named storm, eleventh hurricane, and ninth major hurricane of the season, Sergio organized into a tropical storm on September 29 and became a hurricane on October 2. It peaked as a Category 4 hurricane on October 4, with reported maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h). It maintained peak intensity for 12 hours before weakening. The system then began another period of intensification, achieving a secondary peak with reported winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) on October 6. It made landfall in western Baja California Sur on October 12, caused over US$2 million in damage, and triggered over a thousand school closures. (This article is part of a featured topic: 2018 Pacific hurricane season.)

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Thomanerchor at Lutherkirche, Wiesbaden
Thomanerchor at Lutherkirche, Wiesbaden

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Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in January 2022
Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba

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October 2: International Day of Non-Violence; Gandhi Jayanti in India

HMS Curacoa
HMS Curacoa
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Today's featured picture

Common kingfisher

The common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), also known as the Eurasian kingfisher or the river kingfisher, is a small species of kingfisher with seven subspecies recognized within its wide distribution across Eurasia and northern Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but migrates from areas where rivers freeze in winter. Like all kingfishers, the common kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60 per cent of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control of a suitable stretch of river. It is solitary for most of the year, roosting alone in heavy cover. If another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds display from perches, and fights may occur, in which a bird will grab the other's beak and try to hold it underwater. Pairs form in the autumn but each bird retains a separate territory, generally at least 1 km (0.6 mi) long but up to 3.5 km (2.2 mi), and territories are not merged until the spring. This female common kingfisher, of the subspecies A. a. ispida, was photographed near Kecskemét in Hungary.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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