Earth Changes


Authorities investigate two dead gray whales off Santa Cruz County coast

© Jodi Frediani
A woman snaps a photo of a young gray whale on Wednesday that washed ashore at Pajaro Dunes Beach on the southern end of Santa Cruz County.
Two gray whale carcasses washed up in Santa Cruz County this week, prompting Long Marine Lab officials to investigate their deaths.

The whales — one at the northern end of the county and the other at the southern end — were first reported Wednesday, but officials couldn't conduct necropsies when they were reported because of the tide, said Terri Sigler, marine mammal stranding coordinator for Long Marine Lab.

A necropsy conducted Thursday on a 40-foot adult gray whale that washed ashore near Waddell Beach near Davenport couldn't determine the cause of death, Sigler said.

The team did say there was no evidence of the animal dying because of a ship strike or entanglement and likely was dead for at least a couple of days, she said.

"Because of the incoming tide, the necropsy was curtailed," said Sigler, though an abridged version was performed.

Comment: Since the turn of the year there have been an alarming number of dead whales of various species washing up on the west coast of North America, see below -

Dead sperm whale found on beach in Pacifica, California

Dead killer whale found near Fort Bragg, California

Fin whale found dead in San Pedro harbor, California

Dead grey whale washes up near Ucluelet, Canada

Humpback whale found dead near Westport, Washington

Dead Humpback whale washes ashore in Monterey, California

Dead gray whale found off Torrey Pines State Beach, California

Beached pygmy sperm whale dies at Point Reyes, California

Dead gray whale discovered at Seattle ferry terminal

14 whales and 16 turtles wash up dead on Baja California Sur coast


Elephant kills two villagers in Odisha, India


Peeved pachyderm
Two villagers were trampled to death by a tusker in a forest near Nuakheta village here on Thursday morning.

They along with a few locals had gone to collect mangoes which fell on the ground of the forest after Wednesday night's storm when the incident occurred. While others managed to escape, the two were attacked by the elephant. They have been identified as Dillip Pradhan (35) and Kadali Maharana (34).

Reports stated that a herd of elephants is roaming near Nuapkheta village for the last two months. Though the villagers have appealed to the officials of the Angul Forest Division several times to drive away the pachyderms, their pleas elicited no response.

Blaming the forest authorities' negligence for the death of two villagers, irate locals ransacked Forest Beat House, damaged the watch tower and the check gate besides some vehicles. They also demanded immediate solar fencing around their village. Regional Chief Conservator of Forest Anup Nayak said steps would be taken for solar fencing of the village. Despite several attempts, the Divisional Forest Officer of Angul could not be contacted.


Coyote fights 2 large dogs in back yard in Pinellas, Florida

Two-year-old Teddy got the brunt of the fight receiving a two-inch gash on his face.
A St. Petersburg man says his two German shepherds were attacked by a coyote in his back yard leaving one injured.

"It was just a horrible fight you know dogs whimpering and dogs crying," said Danny Stephen, who says he saw his two German Shepherds right outside his kitchen window in the a brutal fight Wednesday morning with a coyote.

"I can't even describe the noise. It was just like if a dog could scream, it would be screaming -- just an ungodly howl," Stephen said.

Two-year-old Teddy got the brunt of the fight receiving a two-inch gash on his face and luckily 1½-year-old Kira came out unharmed.

Arrow Down

Dangerous sinkhole measuring 10 feet across closes road in Texas

Heavy equipment will be needed to repair a broken sewer main in Corpus Christi blamed for a sinkhole that's forced traffic to be diverted until next month.

The city utilities department reported Thursday that gap has been secured with steel plates and barricades.

The sinkhole, estimated to be about 10-feet across, opened Monday on busy Port Avenue.

Comment: Check out SoTT WorldView for the 54 sinkholes that have opened up in the past month:

Arrow Down

Woman plunges 8 feet down into a sinkhole in London

© via Twitter
A woman was injured after she plunged 8 feet down a sinkhole that opened up on the sidewalk of a busy London street.

She was walking past the Marrakech Express cafe on North End Road in Fulham, London, at around 8:30 a.m. Thursday when she fell into the chasm, the UK's Evening Standard reported.

Initially it was believed that the unidentified woman plummeted into the hole while pushing a baby inside a stroller. But it later emerged that it was just a shopping cart.

Comment: Sinkholes are getting scarier by the day! Also see:
  • One person suffers minor injuries after van falls into Toronto sinkhole
  • Fire engine rescued from 15 foot deep sinkhole in Brooklyn, New York
  • Forty by twenty feet wide sinkhole open sin Marietta, Georgia, swallows trees

Arrow Down

Town centre brought to a standstill after 15-foot sinkhole appears in Northampton, UK


Enormous: The hole opened up on Earl Street, Northampton, at about 2pm on Thursday
A busy town centre was brought to a standstill this afternoon after a mysterious 15-foot sinkhole opened up in the road without warning - almost swallowing a number of cars in the process.

Motorists had to swerve out of the way of the giant hole after it appeared on the residential Earl Street in Northampton at around 2pm, just hours after part of a London pavement collapsed, swallowing a pedestrian.

Shocking pictures show the gaping chasm - which was around eight foot (2.4 metres) wide - with a section of surrounding road also looking on the verge of collapse.

Police quickly closed off Earl Street, causing traffic chaos and leaving locals without water following damage to a water main.

A barmaid from the Charles Bradlaugh pub, opposite the hole, who did not wish to be named, said: 'We saw it from inside the pub.

'It was weird. It just collapsed but it gave way really slowly. It was gradual.

'I am not at all sure why it happened. It was really strange.'

Comment: Interestingly, on the previous night: Mystery boom heard in Northampton, UK


6.3 earthquake strikes New Zealand

Image from
A strong magnitude 6.3 earthquake has hit 40 kilometers off the New Zealand town of Kaikoura, GeoNet reported. Witnesses described feeling tremors all across central regions of the country.

The quake centered in Nelson region at the depth of 80 kilometers, according to GeoNet. The US Geological Survey, meanwhile, reported a lower magnitude of 5.9 at the epicenter.

There were no immediate reports of any major damage caused by the quake; however, local public transport services were temporarily halted.


Massive magma chamber hiding beneath volcanic system of Yellowstone National Park

© Mark Ralston, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The 'Grand Prismatic' hot spring in the Yellowstone National Park, home of a massive underground supervolcano.
A massive chamber holding enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times over is hiding beneath the steaming volcanic system of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

We knew of a smaller magma chamber closer to surface, holding some 10,000 cubic kilometres of magma and feeding heat upwards. The newly discovered reservoir sits under it and has a volume of 46,000 cubic kilometres. Together, the two form the largest known magma reservoir in the world.

"We can't say definitively that this is the biggest magma reservoir in the world, but we currently don't know of any other that has been imaged that is as large as the two we see beneath Yellowstone," says Fan-Chi Lin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The discovery of the much larger reservoir at a depth of 20 to 50 kilometres helps to solve a long-running puzzle relating to the carbon dioxide spewing out from the huge steaming caldera volcano at Yellowstone, creating ripples of tiny earthquakes it does so. The problem is that the upper magma chamber is much too small to account for the 45 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide discharged daily.


Strong earthquake 5.3 magnitude hits Aleutian Island, Alaska

A moderate earthquake magnitude 5.3 (mg/mb) was reported Friday, 74 kilometers (46 miles) from Buldir Island in Alaska.

The temblor was reported at 02:57:30 / 2:57 am (local time epicenter) at a depth of 55.98 km (35 miles). Global time of event 23/04/15 / 2015-04-23 14:57:30 / April 23, 2015 @ 2:57 pm UTC/GMT. A tsunami warning has been issued near Buldir Island in Alaska, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Exact location of event, longitude 176.3821 East, latitude 51.7467 North, depth 55.98 km, unique identifier, us200028ka.

Did you feel it?

Leave a comment or report about shaking, activity and damage at your home, city and country. Read more about the earthquake, Seismometer information, Date-Time, Location, Distances, Parameters and details about this quake, recorded in: 74 km SSE of Buldir Island, Alaska.


Band of late April snow blankets Great Lakes, Appalachians

A band of late April snow moved into the Great Lakes and Appalachians Wednesday, dropping up to 8.5 inches in some areas.
© Jim Slusser
Swanton, Maryland, is one area in the Mid-Atlantic seeing snow in late April.
"After a warmer stretch in April, blocking high pressure near Greenland has forced another prolonged, deep plunge of chilly air into the Great Lakes," meteorologist Jon Erdman said. "That deep, cold air pivoting into the Appalachians with surface temperatures just cold enough allowed snow to accumulate in parts of southwest Pennsylvania and far western Maryland. In the Great Lakes, up to 8.5 inches of snow was measured in parts of the western U.P. of Michigan and far northern Wisconsin."

Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, West Virginia and Wisconsin all saw snowfall by noon local time Wednesday.

Here are a handful of snowfall reports from the affected areas:
  • Champion, Pennsylvania - 3 inches
  • Oakland, Maryland - 2 inches
  • Bessemer, Michigan - 8.5 inches
  • Gile, Wisconsin - 8.5 inches
  • Davis, West Virginia - 2 inches
  • Isabella, Minnesota - 3 inches