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Attention

Elephant kills 60-year-old man in Idukki, India

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Asian elephant
A man was killed in a wild elephant attack in Marayoor here on Sunday.

The victim has been identified as Marayoor native Habeebullah (60).

Alleging that government officials are not doing enough to safeguard the villagers from the attack of wild animals, some localites blocked roads in the area.

Demanding action, the irate villagers also blocked the vehicles of forest department officials.

Attention

As predicted, Sendai nuclear plant threatened by active volcano

When Japan decided it was going to begin the process of restarting many of their mothballed nuclear reactors last week, there was certainly cause for alarm. After all, it's not unheard of for a nuclear reactor to run into problems shortly after being started. When Japan made this announcement, The World Nuclear Association noted that "Of 14 reactors that resumed operations after four years offline, all had emergency shutdowns and technical failures." So it's safe to say that when 25 Japanese plants applied for restart permits, the international community was a little worried.

Now it appears that some of those fears have been validated, though not in the way most people were expecting. The Sendai nuclear power plant was the first of those reactors to be restarted on Tuesday, an event which couldn't have come at a worse time. A volcano near the plant appears ready to blow its top.

Comment: See also:


Cloud Lightning

5 children killed by lightning bolt in Kakamega, Kenya

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© Chrispen Sechere/Standard
Mourners at St Lukes Lumakanda Secondary grounds where five children were killed by lightning on Thursday.
A sombre mood engulfed a village in Lugari, Kakamega County, following the death of five children struck by lightning.

The five were among seven children playing at St Luke Lumakanda Secondary School in playground in Tekoa village when lightning struck, killing them instantly on Thursday.

Lugari OCPD Benard Macharia said one child who survived the calamity was rushed to Lumakanda Hospital and later referred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret.

"Seven children were playing when it started raining. They took shelter under a tree that was struck by lightning, killing five of them on the spot. One survivor is admitted at MTRH. Another did not incur any injuries as he had gone to collect the ball in the rain," said Macharia.

Franklin Shoso, a class four pupil, escaped the ordeal narrowly. He had gone to collect the ball they were playing with when calamity struck. A shocked Shosho expressed his sorrow for losing his friends.


Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt hits boat and kills 7 in Assam, India

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At least seven people, including three children, were killed and 21 injured on Saturday in Assam after lightning hit the boat they were travelling in across the Beki river, officials said.

The incident took place in Barpeta district, the officials said.

The injured people were admitted to Barpeta Medical College and Hospital.

Doctors said most of them received burn injuries and the condition of three of them was serious.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service

Sun

Heat wave sets historic records in Europe

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Second persistent heat wave of the summer season has set more temperature records in parts of Europe, during last week. Poland, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Belarus and Lithuania reported new all-time records, while the hot conditions are forecasted to last across most of the eastern Europe until early next week.

High temperatures in Poland caused the national power suppliers to cut off the electricity to factories for a few days on August 10, as the period of extended heat caused the water levels to drop, in rivers used to cool the power plants.
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A historic record was set in Wroclaw, Poland on August 8 when temperatures hit 38.9 ºC (102 ºF), weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera reported. Usually, temperatures average 23 ºC (74 ºF) this time of year in Wroclaw.

Comment: Heat waves are being reported all over the world: Extreme temperatures reported over the last month:




Fire

Triple manhole explosions rock Manhattan

© Broadway Dance Center
Boom! The manhole cover unexpectedly explodes, making Debressey scream - the sound of glass shattering is heard

New Yorkers ran for cover as manhole covers rained down on a busy city street on Friday at lunch time when three manholes exploded into a fiery flame just feet from each other.

The explosions all rocked the corner of 45th and 9th Avenue on Manhattan's West Side around noon.

Lea Debressey, who was on her way to dance class, managed to take video with her cell phone just as one manhole cover burst into a jet of fire. 'It was really scary. It was shocking, this explosion,' she told PIX 11.


Comment: This is just the latest of an increasing number of underground explosions - with no sign of 'snow and salt', the typical combination attributed to such incidents!

Only last week a manhole cover blasted through the floor of a moving New York City bus injuring a passenger.

Last month another Manhattan manhole explosion sent thick black smoke billowing into the air.

Could some of these incidents be related to increased 'outgassing' as Earth 'opens up' from a build up of methane and other gases from deep below the planet's surface which is igniting?


Bizarro Earth

Fast moving wildfire destroys homes, forces evacuations in central Idaho

© Barry Kough, AP
Fire consumes trees along the Clearwater River in north central Idaho on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, part of the Lawyer complex of wildfires caused by lightning earlier in the week.
A 70-year-old woman was killed when she fell while preparing to flee from a wildfire expanding quickly east of Lewiston, the Idaho County Sheriff's Department said Saturday.

Authorities said Cheryl Lee Wissler of Adams Grade died Friday from a head injury she sustained when she fell.

An estimated 30 homes and 75 other structures were lost to the blaze, the sheriff's department said. The fire is surrounding the small town of Kamiah, about 60 miles east of Lewiston, and burned to the edge of Clearwater River, directly across the water from downtown.

The blaze is one of dozens taxing fire crews across the Pacific Northwest. Wildfires have destroyed dozens of homes in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, forced thousands of evacuations throughout the region and left at least 9,000 without power in eastern Washington.

Many of the fires were started by lighting from a storm that swept through the region. They grew quickly in hot weather, fueled by bone-dry vegetation.

Question

More weird animal behaviour: Koala bear chases woman on quad bike in South Australia

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© Facebook: Ebony Churchill
A woman is chased by a koala while on a quad bike.
A South Australian woman has filmed the moment she was chased by a seemingly fearless koala while she was riding a quad bike.

Ebony Churchill caught the strange experience on camera posted it to her Facebook page.

"Far out, it's coming!" she is heard saying.

"Get away!"

After she stopped, the determined marsupial caught up to her and proceeded to climb on to the rear wheel of the motorbike.

"It's on the bike. Piss off!" Ms Churchill said.

"I don't know what I'm going to do now."


Comment: See also: Woman left bloodied after attack by koala in Willaston, Australia


Wolf

Dog attacks double over a 2 year period in Wolverhampton, UK

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Dog handler PC Keith Evans said more dogs would soon be allowed to stay at home pending a court decision.
There have been nearly 200 dog attacks in Wolverhampton in the last five years, leading to more than 100 animals seized and 65 destroyed.

Last year alone, there were 48 attacks, with 32 dogs seized and 14 put down - although this number may increase as some cases are still in the judicial system awaiting decision.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the number of dog attacks in the city has seen a sharp increase since 2011, with the figure more than doubling from 2012 when there were 23 attacks.

The number of dogs being seized and destroyed has also seen an increase over the past five years, with the number of destructions more than trebling between 2012/13 to 2013/14 as it went from seven to 26.

There were 32 dog seizures both last year and the year before.

Heart

Distressed young whale rescued from netting in Gold Coast bay, Australia

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A rescue mission turned serious after rescuers attempting to free a young humpback whale from netting were paid a visit by its' friend
A seemingly straightforward rescue mission turned serious after rescuers attempting to free a young humpback whale from netting were paid a visit by its' much larger friend.

The animal was in obvious distress and had laboured movements as it dragged heavy netting in the Gold Coast Bay on Saturday morning.

The rescue undertaken by a Sea World crew took an exhausting five hours after their efforts were impeded by another larger humpback whale, which protectively breached and rolled over, forcing the boats to retreat.

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A much larger whale began to violently slap the water and roll over, forcing rescue crews to back off
The creature was initially spotted by whale watchers and again by tourists, who could not believe their luck the whale remained close to their boat, 7 News reported.

They realised the animal was in extreme distress after noticing it could not lift its tail out of the water due to a heavy weight pressing down on it.