Earth Changes


Colorado city stumped by sinkhole with no broken water pipes

City crews recently discovered a 4 foot-deep sinkhole when they went to fix what was originally reported as a pot hole on North Elizabeth near 29th Street on Tuesday.
City crews are repairing a 4-foot-deep sinkhole that appeared in North Elizabeth Street last Friday evening.

Public Works Director Earl Wilkinson said the cause of the sinkhole hasn't been determined, but it did not cause any injury.

"We excavated down about 8 feet and all the material is dry," he said Tuesday, meaning there was no sign of underground water causing a subsidence. "We may never know why this one occurred."

The sinkhole is just north of the Elizabeth and 29th Street intersection.

Wilkinson said the city will fill the hole with a concrete-like material that will fill up any gaps in the soil. Then a layer of aggregate will be poured on top, followed by fresh asphalt. The repair should be completed by the end of the week.

"We were fortunate no one was injured by driving into it," he said.

Comment: So much for the 'burst water mains cause sinkholes' theory. Rather, it's the sinkholes causing water mains to break...

Arrow Up

Increased seismic activity reported at Aleutian Islands' Semisopochnoi volcano

© Roger Clifford
Semisopochnoi Island, in November 2012.
Citing increased seismic intensity, the U.S. Geological Survey is upgrading the volcano alert level status for Semisopochnoi, an Aleutian Island volcano, to "advisory," the agency said in a notice issued Wednesday morning.

Seismic activity at the Semisopochnoi volcano began in January, but "has increased in intensity over the past few days," USGS wrote in the notice. "In addition, we have detected brief periods of seismic tremor, which can indicate movement of magma or magmatic gases."

Semisopochnoi is remote even by Alaska standards. It lies on an island of the same name some 127 miles from Adak and 1,283 miles from Anchorage.


4.9 magnitude earthquake hits off Vancouver Island, BC

© Natural Resources Canada
The U.S. Geological Survey says a moderate earthquake struck west of Vancouver Island.

The magnitude 4.9 temblor hit Wednesday about 12:22 p.m. about 90 miles southwest of Port Hardy, British Columbia.

Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood says the quake was not felt in his community on northern Vancouver Island.

Natural Resources Canada says there were no reports of damage, and none was expected. No tsunami warning was issued.


2 die and several injured following bear attack in India


Bear prints.
A 52-year-old estate worker who was attacked by a bear while attempting to save his wife from the animal at Kotagiri, died at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Wednesday, despite treatment.

On Monday, a wild bear mauled to death a 50-year-old woman, Mathi, at Thothamokke near Kotagiri. It also attacked two others, Halan (52) - husband of Mathi and Kumar (24), who tried to save the woman from the animal. Both of them were admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. But despite medical care, Halan died in the hospital on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the animal also attacked a forest watcher Karunamurthy and forester Stalin
before being gunned down by forest officials. While Karunamurthy was admitted at CMCH, Stalin was admitted to a private hospital in the city.

According to hospital sources, Karunamurthy was admitted to the CMCH with a suspected bullet injury sustained while the bear was being shot by forest officials. However, scan reports revealed that he sustained injuries due to piercing of the bear's nails. He is currently undergoing treatment for the injury.

Arrow Down

Sinkhole swallows garden sheds in Swanley, UK


The sink hole swallowed two sheds
A sinkhole has opened up in a Kent town swallowing two sheds and disrupting sewers and water supplies.

The hole appeared in Swanley several days ago, but residents have said no repair plan has been put in place.

Joe Hutchings, of Oliver Road, said he saw his shed half-standing, and then he watched the whole structure collapse.

Thames Water said a sewer broke after the ground collapsed and it would work with Sevenoaks council to see what investigations could be carried out.

BBC reporter Zac Daunt-Jones said the hole was a few metres deep and about 6.5ft (2m) by 9.8ft (3m) across.


Police shoot dog after it attacks owner in Caldwell, Idaho

© Erin Fenner
Brittany Panzo suffered several bite wounds to her hands and body after being attacked by her pit bull/mastiff mix Saturday.

Brittany Panzo, 20, adopted her pit bull/mastiff mix when it was just a puppy. Two years later, Caldwell police say they were forced to kill it after it attacked her early Saturday and tore the skin from her hand.

"He ripped her open," said Panzo's fiance, Gildardo Soto, of the dog.

Soto said he had been joking around and laughing with Panzo in their apartment in the 200 block of Abraham Way when the dog lashed out.

"He broke through his kennel and bit her," he said.

The dog then bit Panzo at least 20 times.
He got Panzo into the closet and called police, telling them they would likely need to kill the animal, Soto said. Panzo's two toddler-aged children were still in their bedroom sleeping, she said.


Man mauled to death by dog pack in Pine Bluff, Arkansas


On Saturday, police were still searching for the brown and white pit bull that got away (above an officer trying to corral one of the dogs).
An Arkansas man was brutally mauled to death in a vicious dog attack by seven pit bull terriers.

De'trick Johnson, 36, of Pine Bluff went to have his car serviced at CJ's Garage on Saturday morning when immediately upon his arrival, the pack of seven dogs charged underneath a fence and attacked him.

Johnson was found on the ground when responding officers arrived, and it appeared he was still alive, according to Jefferson County Sheriff's spokesman Major Lafayette Woods Jr.

Johnson was later pronounced dead at the scene.

While police encountered the 'aggressive dogs', four of the pit bulls were shot and killed, two were captured and taken by Pine Bluff Animal Control and one fled from the scene.

On Saturday, police were still searching for the brown and white pit bull that got away.

A long-time friend of Johnson's, John Smith III, who is also the son of the garage's owner, John Chester Smith, said that this is not the first time the pit bulls have attacked someone, according to KATV.

Cloud Lightning

Tornadoes hit Oklahoma, killing one person and injuring others

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The slow start to the nation's tornado season came to a violent end Wednesday, when tornadoes raked Tulsa during its evening rush hour, killing one person and injuring others.

Tulsa County Sheriff's Capt. Billy McKelvey said one person was killed in a mobile home park near suburban Sand Springs that was nearly destroyed Wednesday amid severe weather. It wasn't yet clear whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds that hit the park, which McKelvey said could accommodate 40 to 50 trailers. McKelvey said he believed at least 15 people were hurt, but he did not have an exact number yet.

"It could have been much worse," he said.

Tornadoes were seen elsewhere in Oklahoma, as well as in Arkansas, but no injuries were reported from those.

A small tornado swept across parts of Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb where 24 people died in a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado in 2013. Other twisters formed along a line from southwest of Oklahoma City to east of Tulsa, and some touched down in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas.

Until Tuesday, when a waterspout formed over an Arkansas lake, the U.S. hadn't had a tornado in more than a month.


Passenger bus falls into giant sinkhole in Brazil; swept away by floodwater

All the passengers escaped before the vehicle was swept away
Dramatic video of a Brazilian passenger bus being swallowed by a sinkhole and spit out into a nearby river is going viral across the web.

The incident happened in the state of Para in northern Brazil during recent flooding. Luckily, all the passengers of the bus escaped before the vehicle was swept away, according to the BBC.

The bus became stuck on the road near the cities of Itaituba and Ruropolis, leading all the passengers to evacuate. The ground gave out soon after and the bus was carried down the nearby river.

Comment: Sinkholes worldwide for the past month:


Underground seas go untapped while California's water war rages on

© Zero Hedge
In California's epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Wars over California's limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood's 1985 Pale Rider, 1995's Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.

Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It's no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It's the people against the new "water barons" - Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, the Bush family, and their ilk - who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.

Comment: For more on the California drought see: