Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Above-normal precipitation last month led to record-breaking flows in North Dakota

The U.S. Geological Survey says above-normal precipitation last month led to record-breaking flows at several stream gauges in southwest North Dakota.

Agency spokesman Steve Robinson says the unusually wet August was most evident at gauges on the Heart, Knife and Green rivers.

There are 140 USGS-operated stations in North Dakota that measure water levels, stream flow, rainfall and water-quality. Most of the USGS stations are real-time sites where data are updated every one to four hours.

The USGS says it shares its data with the National Weather Service for flood forecasts and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control management. State and local agencies also use the data for flood response efforts.
Black Cat

Leopard attacks and mauls six villagers in West Bengal, India

A wild leopard mauled six people in a village in rural India, including police and forest rangers. The attack happened yesterday in Prakash Nagar near Siliguri in West Bengal, a village of about 3,000 people. The leopard was finally tranquilized and died at a veterinarian's office from the barrage of blows from the police and forest rangers.

Black Cat

Leopard attacks 8-year-old girl in Amreli, India

An eight-year-old girl sustained serious injuries after being attacked by a leopard in Piyava village of Savarkundla taluka in Amreli district. The girl Janu Katariya is being treated at a hospital in Amreli.

A native of Madhya Pradesh, Janu was sleeping outside a makeshift tenement in a farm on the outskirts of the village when the wild cat attacked her at around 2am.

Her father Indra Singh, who was irrigating the farm, rushed to the spot on hearing the noise to see the leopard carrying away his daughter. He threw an iron equipment at the leopard to save his daughter following which the animal dropped the child and fled.
Black Cat

Indian woman kills leopard with sickle after half-hour battle

© Europics
Kamla Devi suffered several injuries after she fought off a leopard.
Kamla Devi, 56, says she battled with the animal for half an hour after it attacked her while she was tending her fields
A 56-year-old Indian woman is recovering in hospital after killing a leopard that attacked her, as she tended her fields armed only with a sickle.

The woman told Indian broadcaster CNN-IBN that she battled with the leopard for half an hour on Sunday morning before finally delivering a killer blow with her sickle.

"The leopard lunged at me many times and we fought for a long time," she told the channel from her hospital bed in the northern state of Uttarakhand, her arms bandaged and a big scar across her right cheek.

"I got hold of my sickle and fought with it. That's when the leopard was killed," said the woman, named as Kamla Devi.

Devi, who was widowed a few years ago, told the Hindustan Times she was terrified when the leopard attacked, but was determined not to succumb.
Black Cat

2 farm workers attacked by leopard in India

Two labourers were today attacked by a leopard, which strayed into a farm in Kolipalam in the district, police said.

The labourers were working in a banana farm when the leopard suddenly appeared from behind some bushes and bit one of them on his thigh, police said.

The other man screamed and tried to rescue his friend but was also attacked by the feline, which bit him on his abdomen and leg, they said.

Other workers raised an alarm following which the leopard retreated into the forest, police said.

Both workers have been admitted to a government hospital in Gudalur, police added.

Source: Press Trust of India
Black Cat

Man-eating leopard preys on drunk villagers in the Didihat region, Himalayas

© Getty
Man-eater: The leopard has claimed 13 victims over the past 30 months
Big cat has attacked and killed 13 people and is terrorising around 50 remote villages in the Didihat region of the Himalayas

A man-eating leopard has claimed more than a dozen victims as villagers fear it is targeting drunk men returning home after boozing sessions.

The jungle cat has spread its reign of terror over the past two-and-a-half years, in the Didihat region of the Kumoan hills in Himalayan India.

Repeated attempts have been made to shoot the elusive leopard after the Uttarakhand Forest Department declared it as a man-eater.

The beast began its killing spree in January 2012, attacking a 46-year-old man from the Simar village.

And the spotted killer went on to claim five more victims that year and five in 2013.

So far in 2014, two more victims have perished, the latest one a 44-year-old on August 1.

Villagers have voiced fears that the animal is preying on men stumbling home drunk after dark.

35 feet long humpback whale found dead on Mumbai coast, India

A dead Humpback blue whale on the shores of Mumbai has once again brought to the fore the threat to the aquatic marvel which over time has been facing problematic conditions in the sea. The whale which was found dead is 35 feet long.

Source: NNIS
Bizarro Earth

Is Hawaii's Mauna Loa poised to erupt?

© Hollyn Johnson/Tribune-Herald
Mauna Loa is seen Saturday morning from West Hawaii. -
As Kilauea continues to threaten lower Puna, geologists are also keeping their eyes on the volcano's much larger cousin - Mauna Loa. According to the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet, has been rumbling and showing signs of awakening for more than a year.

An eruption isn't imminent, and no warnings are being issued, but the towering 13,678-foot mountain is going through the same motions that it did before its 1984 and 1975 eruptions, said Wes Thelen, HVO seismologist. The activity includes faint, shallow earthquakes to the west of the summit and "deep long period" temblors 28 to 31 miles below the surface, both of which point to the intrusion of magma.

"All the signs are there that tells us that magma is moving into the shallow system," Thelen said. He said monitoring equipment, much more sophisticated than what was in place in the 1980s, is continually detecting magnitude 0.5 quakes about 4 miles below the surface in the same areas where activity was detected in the years leading up to the last eruptions. Thelen noted he is confident the small earthquakes are a recent development.
Cloud Lightning

Odile becomes powerful Category 4 hurricane off Mexico's Baja

© AP
Satellite image shows Hurricane Odile taken at 5:45 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Rapidly strengthening Hurricane Odile further intensified before dawn Sunday and was swirling over the Pacific as a major storm toward an expected close brush with the southern portion of Mexico's Baja California peninsula by nightfall.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Odile became a powerful Category 4 hurricane before dawn Sunday. Odile's core was predicted to stay out in the Pacific, but it was following a track that was forecast to take the storm's edge very close or even over Baja's southern end by Sunday night and into Monday.

The storm's maximum sustained winds had increased to 135 mph Sunday morning. It was centered about 195 miles west of Manzanillo, Mexico and 310 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California, Odile was moving to the north-northwest at 15 mph.

Mexican officials posted hurricane warnings northward along the west coast of Baja California to Puerto San Andresito. High winds and dangerous surf were expected along the shore beginning Sunday, and heavy rains were possible for Baja and nearby mainland areas.
Bizarro Earth

It's not just the magma that could be a problem if Iceland's rumbling Bardarbunga erupts

The red-hot fountains of molten lava, glowing like wildfire, are nothing short of spectacular. Yet they could be ominous portents of things to come. For the second time in four nail-biting years, seismologists in the land of fire and ice, Iceland, are bracing for a monumental volcanic eruption that, once again, threatens to disrupt European air traffic.

Back in 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which melted through 200 metres of glacier, sent more than 200 million cubic metres of fine ash billowing almost 10 kilometres into the sky. As a result, several European countries were forced to ground or re-route thousands of flights for several days.