Earth Changes

Arrow Down

Large sinkhole destroys road in Licking County, Ohio

© ABC6
A portion of a central Ohio road will remain closed for the foreseeable future because of a large sinkhole that opened late Thursday night.

The 20 ft.-30 ft. sinkhole destroyed a chunk of S. York Road between Morse and Wesleyan Church Road near Pataskala.

A representative from the Licking County Engineer's Office began examining the damage at approximately 7 a.m. Friday, when heavy rain finally subsided after falling consistently in the area since Thursday morning.

Officials believe that rainfall, combined with wear and tear caused from winter weather as well as the road's position above a creek, likely caused the collapse.

A timetable for the repair of the road has not been established.

Arrow Down

Three metre-wide sinkhole appears at Staffordshire B&B, UK

The hole is expanding "all the time" Mr Tester said
A sink hole has opened up next to a bed and breakfast in north Staffordshire.

Phil Tester, owner of The Laurels, in Oakamoor, said the chasm appeared on Thursday morning and now stood at more than three metres (10 ft) wide and is expanding "all the time".

Mr Tester said experts were on site to try and find out what caused the hole to appear.

The hole followed drilling work at the property this week to check damage caused by a nearby landslide last year.

Mr Tester said: "It's been an incredibly stressful time, there have been a few tears.

"It's not just our business, it's our home and [wife] Helen's parents' home.

"We were all in guest bedrooms last night, in rooms furthest from the hole. But, as you can imagine, we didn't sleep very well."

Comment: This comes a few days after 'Road in Staffordshire, England is mysteriously 'bleeding' red'.


Blood moon eclipse on April 15 - begins rare sequence of lunar eclipses

© Gary Kronk
A total lunar eclipse photographed by astronomy writer Gary Kronk on Feb. 20, 2008, from his back yard observatory near St. Louis.
Sky watchers are getting ready for an evening of special viewing when a total lunar eclipse arrives just after midnight on April 15.

What's more, this begins a rare sequence of four total lunar eclipses expected over the next two years.

Some Christians see this series of so-called blood moons as linked to a biblical prophecy of the End Times.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up so the Earth's shadow falls on the moon, darkening it.

The one on April 15 will begin at 1:20 a.m. on the East Coast, according to Sky and Telescope magazine.

"Eclipses are one of the few astronomical events that can easily be enjoyed with the naked eye," though a pair of binoculars brings it into even greater focus, said astronomy writer Gary Kronk.


Thousands of dead, dying starfish washing ashore across the U.S. Gulf coast

© CBS4
Dead Brittle Stars, also called Spider Starfish, have been washing ashore beaches from Florida Panhandle to Alabama.
Beaches across the Gulf coast, including the Florida Panhandle, are getting the star treatment as thousands of starfish drift ashore.

Most of them, dead or dying, are washing up on beaches from Perdido Key, Florida in Pensacola to Alabama.

The majority are brittle stars, also called spider starfish, and they are very common in waters around the world.

"This is very rare, I have lived here all my life and I have never seen them like this," said beachgoer Charlotte Phillips.

Marine experts said rough surf caused by recent storms may have pushed the starfish over the sandbars and onto the beach.

Tidal pools hold most of what's left.
Ice Cube

Worst ice in decades: Ships turn back after ice damage on Lake Superior

Morro Bay
© Unknown
The USCGC Morro Bay

Ice is still four, five, even eight feet (2.4 m) deep in places.

"This is delaying the start of the shipping season," says reader Greg. "The last shipping season came to an abrupt end and the local steel mill was forced to truck in raw materials instead of by the usual and much less expensive lake freighter method."

Duluth, Minnesota (28 Mar 14) - The start of the 2014 shipping season has ground to a near halt by some of the worst lake ice in recent history.

The Presque Isle freighter and the Morro Bay cutter have sustained damage from the powerful ice and are being forced to return to the Twin Ports for repairs.
Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake magnitude 6.0 - 28km WSW of Kirakira, Solomon Islands

Earthquake 6.0 Solomon Islands
© US Geological Survey
Event Time
2014-04-04 11:40:32 UTC
2014-04-04 22:40:32 UTC+11:00 at epicenter


10.530°S 161.672°E depth=63.8km (39.6mi)

Nearby Cities
28km (17mi) WSW of Kirakira, Solomon Islands
224km (139mi) ESE of Honiara, Solomon Islands
813km (505mi) NW of Luganville, Vanuatu
827km (514mi) SE of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
1072km (666mi) NW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
Scientific data
Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake magnitude 6.1 - 76km SW of Iquique, Chile

Earthquake 6.1 Chile
© US Geological Survey
Event Time
2014-04-04 01:37:51 UTC
2014-04-03 20:37:51 UTC-05:00 at epicenter
2014-04-04 03:37:51 UTC+02:00 system time

20.621°S 70.739°W depth=20.0km (12.4mi)

Nearby Cities
76km (47mi) SW of Iquique, Chile
172km (107mi) NNW of Tocopilla, Chile
241km (150mi) S of Arica, Chile
277km (172mi) NW of Calama, Chile
531km (330mi) SSW of La Paz, Bolivia

Scientific data
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Aftershock Magnitude 7.6 - 19km S of Iquique, Chile

Iquique Quake_030414
Event Time
2014-04-03 02:43:17 UTC
2014-04-02 23:43:17 UTC-03:00 at epicenter

20.400°S 70.135°W depth=40.0km (24.9mi)

Nearby Cities
19km (12mi) S of Iquique, Chile
187km (116mi) N of Tocopilla, Chile
213km (132mi) S of Arica, Chile
260km (162mi) NNW of Calama, Chile
479km (298mi) SSW of La Paz, Bolivia

Technical Details

Tornadoes in the forecast for Midwest U.S.

© Farmers' Almanac
A large swath of the U.S. Midwest is bracing for potentially dangerous weather including possible tornadoes as an intense storm system moves through the region on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The area of greatest risk includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Missouri and Illinois and western Kentucky and Tennessee, where significant tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds could strike Thursday afternoon and evening, said John Hart, a meteorologist in the service's storm prediction center.

"The parameters look pretty good for tornadic storms tomorrow, but the models are varying quite a bit on where the corridor of greatest risk will be," Hart said.

Earthquakes in Chile and L.A. raise fears about 'Ring of Fire'

Click to enlarge
The 8.2 earthquake that shook northern Chile and surrounding countries late Tuesday night was one of a string of recent earthquakes along what is known as the "Ring of Fire," a circle of quake-prone areas on the Pacific Rim.

A magnitude 5.1 quake hit Los Angeles last week, followed by aftershocks along the California coast. And South America will be on the lookout in coming days for aftershocks that have already started following Tuesday night's temblor.

Both cities lie along the so-called Ring of Fire, where two plates underneath the earth's surface occasionally bump up against other plates, according to Kate Hutton, staff seismologist at California Institute of Technology.

"That affects South America, the California coast, Alaska, Japan, the Philippines. Basically any places around the Pacific Rim are at risk," she said.