Earth Changes


Wild elephant attacks kills two in Sri Lanka

2 persons died following a wild elephant attack in Henayaaya - Ampara and Paladaagama - Thambowa.

58 year old person died after being attacked by a wild elephant in front of his residence in Paladaagama - Thabbowa.

According to Karuwala-gas-wewa Police, the victim who received severe injuries succumbed to his death after he was admitted to Puttalam Base Hospital.

Meanwhile, 51 year old resident of Maha-naaga-pura - Ampara died following a wild elephant attack in Hena-yaaya - Ampara yesterday.

Eight elephants attack town; one person reported dead in Ghana

Library photo

One person is reported dead in an elephant attack at a town in the Garu Tempane District of the Upper East region.

The animals numbering about eight were said to have attacked Nate township Friday morning and destroyed farms in the area.

The Presiding Member of the Garu Tempane District Assembly, Mr Dahamani Alaal confirming the story told Graphic Online that police personnel have been deployed to the town to drive the animals away.

The elephants were said to have strayed into the area and initially did not disturb anyone.

Three tourists escaped with only minor injuries after elephant overturns car in Kruger Park, South Africa

The damaged car after an elephant attacked it in the Kruger National park.
Three tourists escaped with only minor injuries after their vehicle was attacked by an elephant in the Kruger National Park on Thursday.

The incident occurred at about 7.15am on Thursday morning, said Kruger National Park spokesman William Mabasa.

"The tourists, two men and a woman, were on their way to Letaba Rest Camp and stopped the Sable Dam, which overlooks a sleep-over hide and has an abundance of animals that gather to drink," Mabasa said.

The elephant was drinking water from the dam on the opposite bank to the vehicle when it crossed the dam. In the resulting chaos the animal - which averages in weight to more than five tons - gored the small family sedan and turned it onto its roof.

One person killed in wild elephant attack in Sri Lanka

A 51-year-old person was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Serunuwara area in Trincomalee, last night.

The Wilgamuwa police have identified the deceased as Y. Selvarajan who was a resident of lingipuram, Trincomalee. According to the police, the tragedy occurred while the victim was at his paddy field.

The person according to the police had died instantly after the elephant attack and his body had later been taken to the Trincomalee General hospital.

The autopsy of the deceased will conduct, today.
Eye 2

Farmer finds two-headed snake in Giresun, Turkey

A rare two-headed snake has been found by a farmer in north-eastern Turkey, it's been reported.

It was discovered in the Black Sea province of Giresun and is currently being kept under quarantine at a reptile house in the city of Antalya on Turkey's south-western coast, Turkish daily Radikal reports. Ozgur Ereldi, in charge of caring for the snake, says it needs to be constantly monitored because of its size and shape. "Since the snake has two heads, its neck is thinner than normal," he says. "Snakes swallow their prey in full and then digest it. If you feed the snake a big portion it might choke. Hence we feed this snake in small portions."

More casualties of the upcoming Ice Age: Where have all the wasps gone? Concern that the garden pest-eating insects have 'vanished'

While enjoying a picnic or barbecue this summer, the observant among you may have noticed something was missing.

For the usual buzz of wasps around your sandwiches will probably have been absent.

Conservationists and pest controllers alike have noticed a remarkable lack of wasps this summer - and they are all worried.

Given the baking hot weather we experienced in June and July, and the bumper fruit harvest we are seeing at the moment, they would have expected wasps to be enjoying a glorious year.
© Alamy
Experts believe that the decline in wasps has been caused by the topsy-turvy weather over the last few years
But insect experts have noticed a distinct lack of wasps in our orchards and meadows, where they would be usually gorging on the fruits of early autumn.

None are entirely sure why the insects are having such a bad year - though all are agreed it is something to do with the topsy-turvy weather we have seen over the last few years.
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Thousands of people in California lose power after truck crash and meteor flash

© Unknown
Thousands of people in Glenn County lost power Friday morning after a semi-truck crashed into a pole and knocked down power lines. The crash happened about the same time as dozens of people report seeing a meteor streak across the sky in Northern California.

The crash happened just before 6 a.m. Friday on County Road 27 near County Road M road in Glenn County just south of Orland, east of Interstate 5.

According to a news release from the Willows CHP the driver Heath Newland, 31 of Elk Grove, was southbound on County Road M north of County Road 27 when the accident happened. He told officers he was following another vehicle driven by a coworker. Newland said he looked down to adjust the radio, then looked up and saw his coworker had slowed to make a right turn onto County Road 27.

Newland hit the brakes on the 1996 Kenworth truck, and the rear of the vehicle started to skid to the right, hitting a power pole. The vehicle tipped over onto its right side, blocking the intersection of County Road M and County Road 27.

Brazilian Amazon destruction spikes by almost a third

New data reveal that annual rate of deforestation is up for first time in five years
Stripping the Amazon, piece-by-piece.
The rate of destruction blighting the world's largest rain forest spiked by nearly a third last year, according to new data released by the Brazilian government.

Satellite data showed that 2,315 square miles of forest had been cleared from the Brazilian Amazon in the 12 months through July 2013, up 29 percent from the previous year. It reflects a reversal in the downward trend since 2009.

Despite the increased destruction in 2013, the Brazilian report showed that the area cleared is still the second-lowest annual figure since the government began tracking deforestation in 2004. In that year, almost 11,580 square miles of forest were lost.
Still, an estimated 17 percent of the Amazon has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly because of forest conversion for cattle ranching - a trend that has concerned environmentalists, given that it is home to an estimated quarter of all known land species. The Amazon also serves as a giant carbon sink, helping stabilize the planet's climate.
Aside from agricultural expansion, factors driving the rise in deforestation include illegal logging and the invasion of public lands adjacent to big infrastructure projects, such as roads and hydroelectric dams, according to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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Destruction on the march.
According to the government report, the states of Pará and Mato Grosso - where most of Brazil's agricultural expansion is taking place - showed the greatest increases in deforestation. More than 390 square miles have been cleared in those states.

Curbing deforestation worldwide is an integral part of reducing climate change because deforestation accounts for 15 percent of all annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to WWF.
Globally, forests are depleted by up to 58,000 square miles every year - equivalent to 36 football fields every minute, according to the WWF.
As well as the cost to curbing climate change, deforestation threatens a wide range of plant and animal species.

Comment: Another example of man's perceived needs over the balance of nature, another nail in our collective coffin. Although extinction is a natural and cyclical phenomenon, it occurs at a natural "background" rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day, in part driven by habitat loss as ecosystems unravel due to natural grand cycles and embellished by the "incentives" of man. Have we passed the tipping point where the blatant disrespect and destruction of Earth's vital resources has signaled the soon and rapid demise of the human virus by its own doing? Have we fouled the process to the point where Nature turns on itself? Many would say yes.


Flood of dead fish along coast at Qatif, Saudi Arabia

© AN photo
MYSTERY: The dead fish along the coast of Qatif.
Thousands of dead fish have appeared along the coast of Qatif amid hide tides, prompting authorities to launch an investigation into the bizarre incident.

"The Presidency of Metrology and Environment (PME) and the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAF) were immediately tasked with investigating the first-of-its-kind situation," said Al-Arqoubi.

"Qatif's municipality sent a team of specialists to find out why the fish had died. The team took samples from the dead fish and the water for examination. Preliminary results from the fish autopsy have not indicated contamination," he added.
Snowflake Cold

Frost to grip Eastern United States this weekend

Following a chilly rain during part of the weekend, the coolest air since the spring will settle over the Northeast Sunday night into Monday morning.

Temperatures are forecast to dip into the 50s from Boston and New York City to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The last time readings were this low was during the first couple of days of June in most cases and in late May in others.

The northern and western suburbs of the Interstate-95 cities will dip well down into the 40s. Cities forecast to drop into the 40s this weekend include Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New York, and Burlington, Vermont.

Some locations from northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northwestern New England will dip into the 30s. Provided skies remain clear and winds diminish, there is a risk of scattered frost for a few hours late Sunday night into Monday morning.