Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie declares Emergency as state prepares for Tropical Storm Ana's approach

For the first time since 1992, Hawaiians are preparing for the possibility of two tropical systems making landfall in one season. First, it was Iselle, which made landfall on the Big Island back in August. Now, Tropical Storm Ana is approaching the state, threatening to become a hurricane and ready to cause disruptions for residents even if it remains a tropical storm.

"Tropical Storm Ana is currently moving to the west and is expected to turn toward the northwest by Friday, taking it in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands," said meteorologist Linda Lam. "Ana is expected to gradually strengthen and could still become a hurricane. Bands of rain may reach the Big Island as soon as late Friday and large swells are expected to begin to reach Hawaii late Thursday."

As a result, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has declared an emergency for the state, according to the Associated Press. The proclamation will last through Oct. 24, allowing the state to access state and federal resources for preparation and recovery, if needed, the report adds.

Residents on the Big Island and Oahu have been urged to prepare for serious weather conditions that could be life-threatening if the proper precautions aren't taken, reports.

Bizarre sea creature caught in Singapore

Basket Star
© Discovery News
Basket Star
Singaporean angler Ramlan Saim has clarified that he was the one who reeled in a strange octopus-like creature, a catch which has captured global attention.

While several international news outlets had identified the angler as a Mr Ong Han Boon, Mr Ramlan said on Wednesday morning that this was a case of mistaken identity.

"He must have been one of the people that shared the video, and they thought he was the fisherman that caught it," said Mr Ramlan, 53, an assistant project manager.

He said he caught the basket star - a distant relative of the starfish - at one of his usual fishing spots off Pulau Ubin late last month.
Bizarro Earth

The drought in California is so bad, they're shutting off showers for surfers

Getting out of the water at my local surf break in Pacifica, a beach town just south of San Francisco, I went to rinse off my wet suit and surfboard at the oceanfront showers, only to find this sign: "Due to the drought the available shower heads are reduced. Please limit shower time."

Yes, you can laugh that California's epic drought is even hitting people who spend their time in the water. Or that, finally, urban dwellers are feeling the pinch of an environmental catastrophe that has devastated the state's farms and ranches.

Yet the move by Pacifica to shut off showers at popular surf spots is a sign that coastal cities, where the bulk of California's population resides, are belatedly getting serious about saving water. And a new report from the California Water Resources Control Board shows that such efforts are making a difference.

For instance, the North Coast County Water District, which serves Pacifica's 39,000 residents, has cut its water consumption 26 percent in August compared with the previous year. That means on average, each Pacifica resident used about 2,434 gallons of water in August, compared with 3,283 gallons in August 2013.

That helped California cut statewide water consumption by 11.5 percent in August, up from 7.5 percent in July, and 4 percent in June compared to the previous year, according to the report.
Blue Planet

North Carolina shark feeding frenzy caught on video

A shark feeding frenzy at a beach in North Carolina was caught on video. Rachel Metz from the Virginia Aquarium explains why the sharks were there and whether beachgoers should be worried.


Man mauled to death; woman and youth in serious condition after bear attacks, India

A 32-year-old man was mauled to death by a wild bear in Doda District on Wednesday.

The bear attacked Altaf Ahmed while he was working in his field in the Krandi Desa village in the district last evening, a police officer said. "He died even before a rescue operation could be launched," he added.

Meanwhile, in another incident, a 28-year-old lady was attacked by a bear in the same village. "The seriously injured lady, identified as Zulfa, was shifted to the District Hospital in Doda where her condition is stated to be stable," police said.

Modesto, California: Vicious dogs roaming streets, chasing people and trapping them inside homes

A Beware of Dog sign posted from the alley a few houses East of the home where a man died from wounds when mauled by a pack of pit bulls and a woman critically injured, Tuesday night, Oct. 14, 2014.

Vicious dogs roaming the streets, chasing people and trapping them inside their homes is a common complaint from residents in southwest Modesto, according to police.

In response, the department's animal control officers partner with the Stanislaus County Animal Services Center to conduct regular sweeps of the area, as well as the airport neighborhood, which also has a substantial stray dog population.

The sweeps often result in fines, but the issue has the potential to become criminal.

Animal control officers who alternate between the east and west portions of south Modesto have caught upward of 250 dogs since starting the sweeps a year ago, said Modesto police spokeswoman Heather Graves.

The last operation in the airport neighborhood, on Friday, resulted in the apprehension of 25 roaming dogs, and 22 were caught in southwest Modesto the month before. Dozens of people have been cited for offenses ranging from unlicensed or unvaccinated dogs to leash violations.

The problem turned fatal Tuesday night when four pit bulls mauled a man and his mother at their Glenn Avenue home in south Modesto, killing him and leaving her in critical condition.

Pack of pit bull terriers savage elderly couple in Modesto, California

Two people were in critical condition in local hospitals Tuesday night after being mauled by four pit bulls near Bret Harte Elementary School in southwest Modesto.

A 911 call from a juvenile brought deputies to a home in the 800 block of Glenn Avenue at 5:59 p.m., where they found an elderly man in the yard being mauled by four pit bulls, said Sheriff Adam Christianson.

The deputies shot at the dogs, killing two and driving two into another yard.

Officers found an elderly woman inside the home, also with severe injuries from dogs.

Both victims are in critical condition at a local hospital, Christianson said, adding that no one else was injured.

Pit bull attacks 1-year-old baby at Oak Park sitter's home, Illinois

Child undergoes treatment for lacerations, puncture wounds to head

An 80-pound pit bull attacked a 1-year-old boy at his babysitter's home around noon Oct. 7 in the 1100 block of South Highland Avenue, according to Oak Park Police.

The Department of Children and Family Services was notified and the dog was impounded at the Animal Care League for a 10-day rabies hold, said Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds.

According to police, the dog was "quartered" on the back porch of the residence. The dog was known to the babysitter, although it was not her dog, Reynolds said. When the back door was opened, the dog rushed into the house and attacked the baby, police said.

California drought: US town learns to live without water

Mario Garcia fills buckets with non-potable water from a tank set up in front of the Doyle Colony Fire Station in Porterville, California, on September 4, 2014
In front of the local fire station, Pete Rodriguez stands next to his pick-up truck, filling about a dozen buckets from a vast tank.

He hurries, because another car is waiting behind him.

Rodriquez is one of hundreds of residents and business people in the small town of Porterville, in California's normally verdant Central Valley, who have no running water and are having to re-think how they live.

"I have two buckets near the toilet, one next to the shower," he told AFP.

Porterville, at the heart of what is known as America's food basket, is suffering from one of California's worst droughts in up to a century.

"In Tulare County we have at least 430 homes without running water because their water wells dried out," said Andrew Lockman, head of the county's emergency management center.

"I don't think there is a precedent in the state of California," he added, saying: "These people have no water for bathing, cooking, flushing toilets. It is a big public health issue."

Outside of the big towns, many homes in the region are dependent on water from private wells, which are now running dry after three years of drought which has exhausted underground water supplies, or aquifers.

In the long term the region needs structural change including a centralized water supply system. But that will take years and cost tens of millions of dollars to build.

In the meantime authorities can only offer stop-gap measures.

A footbridge spans a completely dry river bed, in Porterville, California, on September 4, 2014

Comment: The drought in California is getting increasingly severe, with more areas beginning to resemble a Third World country! Wells are drying up , with the drought spreading at an unprecedented rate. Could mass migration be imminent?


Bear attacks 63-year-old man in Ishikawa, Japan

A dog scared off a black bear that attacked an elderly couple while they were walking along a mountain path near their home in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday morning.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 9 a.m. NTV reported that the couple were walking their dog when they were attacked from behind by the bear. The 63-year-old man sustained bites to his head, police said. He was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.

The man's wife said their dog Shokora jumped up at the bear and barked at it and it fled into the mountains.

Police have stepped up patrols and asked local resident to be on the alert because bears can be dangerous this time of year as they search for mates.