Earth Changes

Gold Seal

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits Israel; shaking reported in Cairo

Earthquake felt at 6:34 PM; epicenter reportedly south of Israel; strong shaking reported in Cairo
© Ilan Uzan
An earthquake was felt in several Israeli cities at precisely 6:34 PM on Saturday. Uri Frieslander of the Israeli Geological Institute said the first station to log the quake was in Eilat.

The Israel Geological Survey reported that the earthquake measured a 5.5 on the Richter scale. It also reported that the epicenter was 90 kilometers south of Eilat. The American Geological Survey said it occurred on the East African Rift.

Israelis reported feeling the earthquake from cities such as Be'er Sheva, Tel Aviv, Hod Hasharon, Holon, Netanya, Jerusalem, and as far north as Nazareth Illit.

David Azulai, a resident of the town of Omer in the south said: "I was working on my computer, my feet where on the ground and I started feeling the ground move. It was clearly an earthquake; my partner was in bed and felt it too. It brought me back to memories of the big quake in the 90's. That was a serious earthquake. This time it was weak. I went to check on my partner to make sure she was alright."

Suzan from Ashkelon said; "we felt a light quake, my bed was moving about 2 minutes ago."

There have been three earthquakes just south of the current epicenter since 1900, ranging from 6 to 7 on the Richter scale. Al Jazeera reported that the quake had been strongly felt in Cairo. Reports from Jordan say that the quake was felt in Aqaba, and some of the residents left their homes as a result. Car alarms went off in some towns in Israel.

Cloud Lightning

Severe weather sweeps across U.S. causing flash floods, power outages

A stormy weekend across the country already proved to be dangerous, and officials cautioned Sunday that the threat wasn't over yet.

A 29-year-old woman and her 4-year-old daughter were found dead in their Chevy Chase, Maryland, home Saturday from apparent electrocution, according to police. Their bodies were found near a portable pump that was in standing water after heavy rainfall, police said.

Down the coast in St. Johns County, Florida, a man was injured by a lightning strike while standing in ankle deep water at a beach, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

And a Boy Scout was killed in flash flood waters that swept through a camp in Colfax County, New Mexico, early Saturday morning, according to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Three other Scouts who were swept away were rescued.


Suspected coyote attack on 11-year-old girl in northern Alberta


An 11-year-old girl was seriously injured after a suspected coyote attack overnight.
A young girl has been recovering after a suspected coyote attack in northern Alberta.

The girls' mother, Lolene Veronica Young-Condon said the incident happened around 1 a.m. Saturday in the town of Valleyview.

"We were going to do some star gazing," she explained.

Young-Condon had gone into the house to make some tea when she heard something outside.

"I heard some screeching, crying sounds that I had never heard before."

When she went outside to investigate she caught sight of the animal.

"I was standing on the steps outside my door and I saw this furry animal on my daughter Katie.

"I thought at first it was a fox."

She said the animal jumped off Katie and turned to face her. It ran off into the woods near the home after Young-Condon chased it.


Yet another shark attack in North Carolina - sixth in 2 weeks


Rescue personnel and park rangers responded to the 18-year-old, who received what they described as injuries to his right calf, buttocks and both hands
A teenager was in serious condition Sunday after being bitten by a shark off North Carolina, the latest in a string of shark attacks that have swimmers in the state gripped by fear.

The 18-year-old victim nearly died after the attack Saturday afternoon on the Outer Banks. It was the second shark attack on the Outer Banks in as many days and the sixth attack off the coast of North Carolina in the past two weeks.

The unidentified young man arrived at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, in critical risk of dying, a spokeswoman said told The Associated Press Sunday.

Carol Flynn said the teen's condition had improved, allowing doctors to upgrade his condition from critical to serious.


Another shark attack in North Carolina - fifth in 2 weeks


Man bitten by shark in Outer Banks while trying to get others to safety
A North Carolina beachgoer was bitten by a shark Friday while trying to help other people avoid it.

The 47-year-old man was swimming near Avon, North Carolina, at around 11:40 a.m. with another adult and three children when he saw the shark nearby, local station WTKR reported. He yelled "Shark!" and was helping the others get out of the water when he was bitten.

The man, whose name has not been released, suffered injuries to his back and leg that are believed to be non life-threatening. No one else was injured.

This was the fifth shark attack reported in the state this year. On Wednesday an 8-year-old boy suffered minor injuries from a shark bite, Raleigh station WRAL reported. A shark bit a 13-year-old girl June 11 and took chunks out of her boogie board, according to WTSP in Tampa Bay, Florida. On June 14, a 12-year-old girl lost part of her arm to a shark bite; two miles away, a 16-year-old boy lost part of his arm to a shark just 20 minutes later.


Hikers find 2 dead whales near Lost Coast Trail, California

© Mark Scatchard, Shoogoo and Juggles
A dead whale washed ashore on the Lost Coast Trail.
A group of hikers happened upon two dead whales this week during their 10th annual whiskey drinking trip down The Lost Coast Trail.

Hiker Mark Scatchard said the whales' locations were spread about 10 miles apart.

"On our annual pilgrimage down the Lost Coast Trail this week, we saw not one, but two dead whales," Scatchard said. "One in Cooskie Creek, not sure how it got up there, and one just south of Shipman's Creek. The one on the beach was freshly dead and there were no signs of net marks, crab pots, ropes or buoys."


A badly decomposed whale found in Cooskie Creek


Waterspout filmed off Oahu's Windward side

© Christina Viernes
The National Weather Service in Honolulu issued a special marine warning for Oahu's waters on the Windward side until 5 p.m. Saturday.

At 4:23 p.m., people reported a waterspout seven miles north of Heeia Kea small boat harbor, or about 15 miles north of Honolulu, moving west at 10 knots, or 11-and-a-half miles an hour.

Showers can produce waterspouts that can easily overturn boats and create locally hazardous seas. Seek safe harbor immediately.

Waterspouts tend to form within long cloud lines and are most likely to form under a large cloud buildup with a dark, flat base.

Cloud Precipitation

25,000 evacuated from flooding in 15 Maguindanao villages, Philippines

© ARMM Heart Rescue
Flooding has submerged not just residential areas but also affected schools and hampered public services in Maguindanao.
At least 25,000 persons in 15 villages of Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao province have been displaced by floods, which in some areas were as bad as neck deep, officials said.

Sultan sa Barongis Mayor Ramdatu Angas said the local government has declared a state of calamity in the entire town as flood water from the Ala River has been rising due to the torrential rain in the mountains of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.

Rasol Angas, a resident of Barangay Barurao, one of the hardest-hit villages, said the characteristics of flood water remained unpredictable as it receded and suddenly rose although Maguindanao experienced no rain.

"It could be raining up there in the mountains of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat," he said, pointing at Daguma ranges south of Sultan Kudarat province.

Zenaida Sandig, 28, a resident of Barangay Paidung, said the water level in her village was at its highest late Saturday afternoon, reaching as high as five feet.

Sultan sa Barongis, a town situated in the borders of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat, is at the direct path of Ala river, a major tributary emanating from South Cotabato.

Cloud Precipitation

Flash flooding and landslides kill 23 in southeastern Bangladesh

© Johan Race
At least 23 people have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains that lashed southeastern Bangladesh, officials said today.

Tens of thousands of people were marooned on higher ground as flood waters submerged areas around Cox's Bazar and the hilly district of Bandarban.

Local police official Habibur Rahman confirmed the toll to reporters after four more bodies were recovered from a river.

Bangladesh - one of the world's most densely populated countries - is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including cyclones, droughts, floods and earthquakes.

© Johan Race


Beaver attacks man at bus stop in Sweden

© Per Harald Olsen
A European Beaver
A man who was bitten by a beaver at a bus stop in Tyresö, south of Stockholm, has been describing the snappy attack

Pentti Savola, 58, was among a group of early morning commuters waiting to get a bus to work when the animal came up to him and bit his leg last week.

"It was lightning fast. I never thought that an animal that looks so clumsy could be so crafty,
" he told Swedish news site

He said that he may have stressed the animal out when he tried to take a photo of it with his mobile.

But after his own stressful experience, he said he wanted to tell his story to warn children that they should not pet beavers without knowing more about the animals.

Savola was not hurt in the attack.

The beaver was hunted to extinction in Sweden by the end of the nineteenth century but was reintroduced during the 1920s and 1930s after eighty of the furry animals were imported from Norway, in what is often cited as one of the most successful animal conservation efforts in history.

The wood-loving, sharp-toothed, primarily nocturnal, semi-aquatic animals are the second largest rodents on the planet (after the capybara) and are most prevalent in North America.