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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.

Attention

Mexico's Colima volcano: strong explosion with pyroclastic flows

Strong explosions continue to occur. An eruption at 08:20 local time this morning produced several pyroclastic flows that traveled down the western flank of the volcano.


Attention

At least 6 fatal wild elephant attacks reported in China in 2014

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© Forestry Bureau of Pu'er City
A group of wild Asian Elephants forage inside a corn field in Pu'er, south China's Yunnan Province.
There were at least six fatal wild elephant attacks last year in China, causing economic loss and some casualties, people.cn reports.

The improvement in ecological environment in recent years has largely stimulated the growth of wild Asian elephants, China's first-grade state protection animal. However, lacking enough food supplies and habitats, the wild Asian elephants are forced to flee to local farmland, inevitably causing damage to property.

In the past five years there were 37, 512 cases of wild elephant attacks with 54 casualties in Pu'er, south China's Yunnan Province.

Professor Chen Mingyong from the School of Life Sciences at Yunnan University said that failing to provide adequate food and habitats by local governments has attributed to the frequent wild elephant attacks.

Also many local governments were unable to compensate the victims promptly due to budget constraints and their unclear responsibilities defined by related law.

Cloud Grey

Oklahoma tornadoes destroy 50 mobile homes, kill 1, injure 3

© newsdaily.com
Oklahoma tornado wreaks devastation.
At least one person is dead and three others injured after deadly tornadoes tore through parts of Oklahoma on Wednesday. Two twisters were reported, with severe storms and hail also slamming the state.

One of the tornadoes originated near Tulsa before shredding through a mobile home park near Sand Springs. One person was killed during the event and several others were injured, with fire departments and rescue workers currently combing through the grounds and seeking any wounded survivors.

"Right now, rescue efforts are continuing and officers are aiding the injured and helping those who need immediate medical care," Maj. Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said to CNN.

Reports suggest that almost the entire park and its 50 mobile homes were destroyed by the tornado, though the amount of damage done to each home varies, local News On 6 reported. Of the three people confirmed to be injured, two of them are in critical condition.


Comment: The accumulation of cometary dust in the Earth's atmosphere influences the frequency and intensity of weather phenomenon, especially tornados, hurricanes, cyclones, rainfall, snowfall and lightning, as they are all manifestations of the same electric phenomenon at different scales or levels of power.

For more information and to better understand how weather works:Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, Pierre Lescaudron

FYI: Tornado Safety


Attention

Get off my back! Elephant tramples another mahout to death in India - third killing in less than a week

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© New Indian Express
The elephant that killed its mahout being tethered to a tree at Chalingadu in Thrissur on Thursday
In yet another incident of growing unrest of elephants towards man especially during temple festival venues across the state, a mahout was trampled to death by a provoked elephant at Kaipamangalam, here, on Thursday.

This is the third such killing by captive elephants in the state in less than a week. Earlier, two people, including a mahout, were crushed to death by rampaging elephants in Alappuzha.

In the latest incident, the tusker 'Pallathu Vijayalakshmanan' turned violent and killed its mahout Sivasankaran, 64, of Poovathinkal, Kinasherry, during a temple festival at Kaipamangalam. According to police, the elephant turned violent when the man atop the elephant was trying to climb down along with the 'kolam'.

Comment: See also these similar recent reports: Second mahout to be killed by elephant within 5 days in Kerala, India

Elephant kills mahout in India

Temple mutt elephant tramples mahout to death in India


Snowflake

Snow covers streets and palm trees in Baljurashi, Saudi Arabia

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Snow on the palm.
This video clip posted on "YouTube" shows streets, yards and homes of the province covered with snow last Friday.


Here is a collection of photos taken from social networking sites showing mountains, hills and forest covered with snow.

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Snow in Saudi Arabia

Arrow Down

Sinkhole swallows garbage truck in Jersey City

© Unknown
Sinkholes across the US have been doing major damage.
Litter was the least concern of Jersey City residents opposed to trash in the streets when a garbage truck got stuck in a sinkhole early Wednesday morning, police said.

At 1:24 a.m., a garbage truck from Industrial Waste Management got stuck in a 4-by-2 foot sinkhole on Woodland Avenue between Lembeck and Greenville avenues, a police report says.

Comment: Also see:

Colorado city stumped by sinkhole with no broken water pipes


Snowflake

Snowstorm paralyzes transportation system in Oslo, Norway

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Bus in Oslo.
Oslo's bus system shut down, trams weren't running, some trains stood still and Norway's gateway airport at Gardermoen, north of Oslo, finally had to close. Warnings had been issued about Thursday's snowstorm, but it proved to be more than transport systems could handle.

The blizzard that began during the night and built up during the morning had dumped more than 40 centimeters of snow on the southern coastal town of Arendal by midday. Some areas reported more than 60 centimeters and it was still coming down. Streets that did get cleared were covered with slippery snow again within minutes.

At Oslo's main airport at Gardermoen, the snow was falling so thick and fast that the airport's army of plows were out in force trying to keep the runways clear, but without much luck. "And when we have plows on the runways, planes can't land or take off," airport spokesman Joachim Wester Andersen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Question

Mysterious loud bangs heard in Cornwall, UK

Mystery surrounds the cause of a series of loud bangs heard across South Devon and parts of Cornwall this afternoon.

Several startled people reported the loud booms, heard around 3pm, on social media.

The bizarre occurrence has sparked a frenzy of speculation, with conspiracy theories doing the rounds over what might have caused the strange sounds.

Many believe the bang could have been caused by a sonic boom due to jet planes speeding through the sky and breaking the sound barrier.

But whatever the cause, people described it as loud enough to shake their homes and rattle windows.

Lisa Evenden wrote on Twitter: "In Tavistock our house shook like mad & long loud boom."

Trendspot added: "There was the most enormous bang over #Tintagel at 3pm. Sonic boom at sea level?"

Another going by the name of Frankie, wrote: "Very loud over North Petherwin near Launceston too!"

Attention

Boy bitten on face by sea lion at La Jolla Cove, California

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Sea lion.
A 5-year-old boy is recovering after being bit in the face by a sea lion at a San Diego beach.

Authorities say the child was on a family outing Sunday at La Jolla Cove when he tried to touch the sea lion. There have been a record number of sea lions washing up on Southern California beaches this year.

The San Diego Fire and Rescue Department says the boy suffered a "minor puncture" to his jaw.

His family took him to a local hospital for examination.

Officials advise beachgoers to stay away from the sea lions, some of which are emaciated and distressed.