Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Landslide buries part of village in Java after heavy rains

A landslide killed six in Java, an official said on Sunday.
Twelve people were killed and 11 houses buried after a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Indonesia's main island of Java, an official said Sunday.

The landslide hit Tegal Panjang village in Sukabumi district in west Java late Saturday after a particularly heavy downpour, according to national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

"We found all 12 bodies," he said in an update, revising the earlier death toll of 10 and two missing.

He said heavy rain caused a cliff to collapse and hit the village, burying 11 houses.


Revenge of the seals: Marine mammals seen killing and eating sharks off the coast of South Africa

© Chris Fallows
Scientists have reported multiple cases of cape fur seals attacking blue sharks and eating their guts off the coast of South Africa.
It brings new meaning to the phrase 'shark attack'.

While most people will be familiar with images of seals being violently smashed out of the water snatched in the jaws of a shark, it appears some are exacting their revenge on the ocean predators.

Scientists have reported multiple cases of cape fur seals attacking blue sharks off the coast of South Africa.

The seals, which are normally prey for great white sharks, have been seen attacking and killing medium-sized blue sharks, devouring their guts before leaving the rest of the carcass.

Divers also report seeing the fur seals attacking other species of shark and rays.


An unseasonable wildfire threatens Montana ski area, forcing evacuation


A wildfire near the Red Lodge Mountain Resort ski area in southern Montana had grown to 700 acres after being reported at 200 acres earlier on Saturday
An unseasonable wildfire driven by strong winds prompted an evacuation of a ski lodge in southern Montana.

The blaze a few miles west of the community of Red Lodge had grown to 700 acres by Saturday night, US Forest Service spokesman Jeff Gildehaus said.

The fire was first reported on open private land around 12.30pm, but it was driven by winds gusting 35 to 50 mph into the Custer National Forest, where the Red Lodge Mountain Resort ski area is located.

It was zero per cent contained as of early Saturday night.

Arrow Down

Hiker dies and another injured after cliff collapse in Point Reyes, California

© National Parks Service
A view of the rockslide at Arch Rock taken by crewmembers in the Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter, Henry 1 on Saturday, March 21, 2015.
One person is dead and another person suffered critical injuries after an apparent rockslide at Point Reyes National Seashore Saturday evening, according to a park employee.

Emergency medical crews with the Marin County Fire Department responded at 5:55 p.m. to a report of a rescue in the area of Arch Rock in the West Marin park, Marin County fire Battalion Chief Mike Giannini said.

Two hikers were walking along Bear Valley Trail when they reached the end of the trail, the Arch Rock overlook, John Dell'Osso, a spokesman for the U.S. National Park Service said.

The cliff unexpectedly gave way and they fell an estimated 60 feet below. They were covered in rubble and rock, Dell'Osso said.

Black Cat

Cougar kills 3 domestic animals in 2 weeks in Half Moon Bay, California

© National Park Service
A mountain lion.
Three animals were killed by a mountain lion in San Mateo County where reported sightings of the big cat have increased in nearly two weeks, county officials said.

The most recent sighting was on Friday night around 7:30 p.m., when deputies responded to a report of multiple mountain lion sightings in the 900 block of Miramontes Street in Half Moon Bay, county emergency officials said.

On Thursday, emergency officials said that since March 9, three animals were killed by a mountain lion in the area of Ranch Road West and Cloverdale Road in Pescadero, according to emergency officials.

Cloud Precipitation

Apocalyptic hailstorm strikes Quito, Ecuador


Car stuck in hailstones.
A winter scene in the middle of summer in Ecuador!

Look at these spectacular images of an apocalyptic hail storm that hit the Southern part of Quito, the capital of Ecuador yesterday, February 14, 2015.


Clearing hailstones.
This is really weird! Watch these winter scene pictures in the south west of the capital of Ecuador... During summer!


Elephant attacks 2 children and kills boy in Bangladesh


Charging elephant.
A minor boy was killed and a girl injured by a wild elephant at Kalachand village in Chakaria upazila of the district yesterday.

The deceased is Delwar Hossain, 4, son of Md Yousuf of the village.

Police quoted victim's father Yousuf as saying that a wild elephant from the adjacent hills entered the village around 12:00noon. It attacked the kids while they were playing in the yard beside their houses, leaving Delwar dead on the spot and Aysha injured.

Critically injured Aysha, 5, daughter of Abdul Khaleque, was admitted to a clinic in the upazila headquarters, said Probhash Chandra Dhar, officer-in-charge of Chokoria Police Station.

Bizarro Earth

'Double El Niño? Rare weather phenomenon about to change our world?

We're about to experience a "double El Niño" — a rare weather phenomenon that climatologists had warned about several months ago. That means two consecutive years of the concentration of warm water in the Pacific Ocean that brings West Coast storms, quiet hurricane seasons in the Atlantic and busy ones in the Pacific. The danger is that this could mean more than a few months of odd weather, but instead usher in a new phase of climate change. Last year was the warmest year on record; 2015 looks set to be even warmer. "One way of thinking about global warming from the human influences is that it's not just a gradual increase, but perhaps it's more like a staircase, and we're about to go up an extra step to a new level," says climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Normally, the warm water from an El Niño spreads across the Pacific and cools as it evaporates. The increased moisture in the air leads to thunderstorms and tropical storms. That hasn't happened as much as anticipated over the last year. "The moisture in the atmosphere triggers a lot of thunderstorms and tropical storms, but in general that atmospheric connection has not been anything like as strong as we normally expect in El Niño events, and as a result, the warm water is sort of sitting there, and it hasn't petered out," Trenberth explains. "The energy has not been taken out of the ocean, and there's a mini global warming, so to speak, associated with that." What kind of temperature increase are we talking about? Trenberth says it could mean a rise of two- or three-tenths-of-a-degree Celsius, or up to half a degree Fahrenheit. The change could occur "relatively abruptly," but then stick around for five or 10 years. While those numbers may seem small, in the context of global climate, a shift of that magnitude could have devastating consequences.

Comment: Ignoring the silly 'global warming' bent of this article, there is something we actually should be worried about: 'The Day After Tomorrow' just got one step closer to reality!

Bizarro Earth

Landslide strikes cliff in Des Moines, Washington - homes at risk

A landslide Friday afternoon endangered three homes overlooking Puget Sound in Des Moines, damaging at least one of them. The homes were evacuated and no injuries were reported after the slide north of Saltwater State Park, South King Fire Lt. Jeff Bellinghausen said. The slide happened just before 4 p.m. along the bluff at 25100 8th Place S., according to South King Fire Department officials. A homeowner noticed the ground moving around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, and occupants were able to get valuables out of their homes before leaving. It wasn't until mid-afternoon that the man's backyard virtually disappeared. "Well it's awful of course, I hate to see it, I feel bad for the neighbors," Dorn Porter said. Most neighbors who live close by say they had no idea anything had happened until they saw emergency responders, and Air 4 hovering above their houses.

At 200-feet across, and 2000-feet down, it will take several days to figure out what caused the slide, and for the land to stop moving. South King County deputies say they'll be monitoring the area throughout the night, and more evacuations are possible. "They just seem to start, and bang, it's gone and it's over and you do what can to shore yourself up," Porter said. The area was already considered a "sensitive critical area," officials said. There have been smaller slides in the past, but nothing as extreme as Friday's slide. "We knew this wasn't something usual, wasn't a normal event," Elisa Dawn Harrison said. Harrison was at the park below when she caught part of the slide on camera. "I just feel bad for anyone who has to go through this." No injuries were reported, but the community worries what may come next. The back deck slid down a hill, and trees and dirt continued to fall down to the beach below. Crews were at the scene to assess the risk of further damage, Bellinghausen said. - Seattle Times

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake rattles Crete

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake has hit northeast of the island of Crete, Greece, according to a preliminary reading by the US Geological Survey.

The tremor struck at 1:34 am local time on Saturday, with the epicenter located 83 miles (133 km) ENE of Iraklion, Crete, Greece.

There are no reported casualties but the quake was strong enough to worry locals in Crete and the neighboring Greek islands.

Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily and other neighboring regions. Last year a series of strong earthquakes on the island of Kefalonia damaged hundreds of homes and injured more than a dozen people.