Earth Changes


Dead humpback whale found off Vietnam coast

Dead humpback whale
Fishermen in the southern province of Bac Lieu's Dong Hai District on Sunday caught a whale weighing more than 250kg.

According to the family of fisherman Ho Xuan Banh, the owner of the fishing vessel that caught the creature, they were fishing at about 10am on the Gia Cao territorial waters in the southernmost Ca Mau Province, when they found a dead whale entangled in their net.

They immediately stopped all fishing activities, and brought the creature ashore to the Nam Hai Whale's Temple in Ganh Hao Town for worship in accordance with the local rituals.

The Nam Hai Temple managers later confirmed that it was a humpback whale with a blow-hole and a horizontal tail.

The whale was 2.33m long, 1.2m wide and weighed more than 250kg.

A representative from the Nam Hai Temple management board said that after the initial worship rituals, the whale's body will be preserved with chemicals for the worship customs of local residents, and will be exhibited at the temple's display house.

Relentless heat plagues Boulia, Queensland

Here's how hot it is today near Boulia, a small town of 230 in the Queensland outback which locals like to tell you is halfway between Melbourne and Darwin.

It's so hot that even inside with the air-conditioning on, the floorboards are pretty much too hot to walk on. In fact, it's so hot that you can barely even tell when the air-conditioner is on.

"We have to walk outside to check," local grazier Ann Britton tells That's when the furnace hits you in the face.

Ann Britton runs Goodwood Station just outside Boulia with her husband Rick. It's half a million acres, give or take. Every summer's a hot summer in far western Queensland, but lately even the locals have been sweating.

Today the mercury is heading for 45 degrees, which is hotter than it has been most days. But it's not the temperature extremes that have made the last few weeks unbearable. It's the relentlessness of the heat. The fact it's there one day after the next after the next.

For 25 days straight now, the mercury has nudged or exceeded 40 degrees. "We normally get a break," Britton says. "Not this year. The heat just seems to be really claustrophobic, a really burning heat which just saps everything out of you.

Think about that for a minute if you live in one of the southern capitals. You know how we talk about heatwaves when it's been 40 degrees for a day or two? Well imagine it's been 40 for 25 days straight. Not only that, but it's been above 42 degrees for 10 days straight now. Don't mean to go all Crocodile Dundee on you, but that's not a heatwave, THIS is a heatwave.

The Brittons say they've turned a little Mexican in their attempt to beat the heat. "We get a bit of a reprieve from the heat in the morning so we're up early and work till lunchtime. Then we have a break in the middle of the day, a long siesta, and we might not go back to work till 4 or 5 in the afternoon."

Indian dog pack kill 8-yr-old girl in Amroha village

Feral dogs in India
An eight-year-old girl was attacked and killed by a group of stray dogs in Poolpur village of Hasanpur tehsil on Sunday afternoon.

According to the girl's father, the attack occurred when she had stepped out to throw waste into the jungle. He said about eight-10 stray dogs had attacked her and she was lying in a pool of blood when he found her. He rushed her to the community health centre at Hasanpur, where doctors declared her brought dead.

The village residents blamed the local administration for not paying attention to the incidents of the stray dogs in villages here.

Amroha SDM Azad Bhagat Singh told TOI, "All executive officers of nagar palika have been ordered to appoint teams of workers to catch stray dogs from villages along with teams of veterinary doctors and compounders and sterilize them."

Pack of feral canines attack pregnant woman in Bareilly, India

Feral dogs in India
With the district administration still clueless about how to handle the rising menace of stray dogs attacking people, the canines seem to have grown bolder as they are increasingly attacking adults.

In the latest incident, a pack of four dogs attacked a pregnant woman in Pareva village of Baheri on Sunday while she was working in the fields. Listening to her screams, villagers armed with bamboo sticks rushed to her aid. They beat the dogs with sticks and chased them away.

However, the woman, Lalita (30), lost her leg in the attack. Five children have been killed and at least 10 injured in stray dogs' attacks in the past 45 days.

Meanwhile, the campaign of district authorities of identifying and catching killer dogs could not be started on Monday due to incessant rain. "Our teams along with villagers had to track the dogs from Monday onwards but due to incessant rain since two days, we were unable to move in the area," said Rameshwarnath Tiwari, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Baheri.

Comment: See also: 12-yr-old boy dies in dog attack, 5th victim in 40 days in Bareilly, India

Eight-year-old boy attacked by pack of dogs in Baheri, India

Feral dogs kill 5-yr-old in Bareilly, India: Third fatality in a month of 10 attacks


Woman stabs and kills her dog after surprise attack

© MLive
A Hastings woman being bitten in the face by her dog managed to get away after she stabbed the animal with a pocket knife, The dog later died of its injuries, police said.

Hastings Police officers responded to the woman's home and found her sitting in a chair with a bloody towel on her face. She had several puncture wounds under her eyes and on her chin.

The woman told officers the shepherd mix she had owned for two years had been sitting on her lap while she was petting it when suddenly, for no apparent reason, the animal bit her in the face and would not let go, Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt said.

The woman managed to reach for a pocket knife and stabbed the dog three times in the mid-section before the animal released her face. A man in the home then was able to pick up the dog and secure it in a kennel while the woman called for help.

The dog was taken to a veterinarian, where it later died of the injuries.

Pit bull terrier attacks owner in Buckeye Lake, Ohio

A family pet
Steven Heptinstall, 22, says even though he was attacked by his one-year-old male pit bull dog named Kane, he still loves the animal.

Heptinstall says Monday morning, Kane and his other male pit bull got into a fight at his Buckeye Lake home. He says as he was trying to pry Kane off the other animal, it turned on him leaving him with a broken finger, several scrapes and cuts, and eight stitches.

Heptinstall says it's the second time Kane has attacked his other pit bull dog in the last two weeks. Now he's planning on caging Kane alone for several days as recommended by local police, then will be giving the animal up to a Pit Bull rescue group.
Bizarro Earth

Thousands forced to evacuate as Volcani Villarrica in southern Chile erupts

volcano villarrica
© Lautaro Salinas/AP Images
Volcano Villarrica in southern Chile erupted in the early hours of Tuesday, sending a plume of ash and lava high into the sky, and forcing the evacuation of nearby communities.

The volcano, located near the popular tourist resort of Pucon around 750 km (460 miles) south of the capital Santiago, is one of South America's most active. It last erupted in 2000.

A column of ash and rock particles shot up to 3 km (nearly 2 miles) into the sky overnight. Although the initial violent eruption was short-lived, intermittent clouds of steam and gas continue to issue from the volcano.

A major lava flow is not expected, said Luis Lara, head of national geological service Sernageomin on Tuesday morning, but that could change.

"After an eruptive pulse, which was pretty intense but very short at 3 am, the volcanic system remains unstable and it is possible that something similar could occur again in the next few hours," he said.

Some 3,385 people had been evacuated as a preventative measure, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo. There were no reports of any injuries.

Family lied about dog attack on girl to protect their pet in Dayton, Ohio

© Lot Tan
A dog bit two-year-old Monroe Smith of Dayton in the face while she was building a snowman with her father.
Police say a family lied about which dog bit their two-year-old in order to protect their family pet.

Tyler Smith, of Dayton, said his daughter was building a snowman in the backyard of her grandparent's home in the 1300 block of Woodlawn Avenue when she was attacked and bitten on the face.

The dog "came charging, barking and growling" at Smith and his daughter, Monroe, he told this news outlet Monday.

"It got closer, and I grabbed (my daughter). It was growling so I took off running, and it jumped up and grabbed her face," Smith said.

Smith said he grabbed the dog by the neck and choked it until it let go. He drove his daughter to Atrium Medical Center, and she was transferred by ambulance to Dayton Children's Hospital, where she received more than 80 stitches to her face, according to Smith.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.4 - 50km NW of Sikabaluan, Indonesia

Sikabaluan Quake_030315
Event Time
  1. 2015-03-03 10:37:31 (UTC)
  2. Times in other timezones
Nearby Cities
  1. 50km (31mi) NW of Sikabaluan, Indonesia
  2. 158km (98mi) W of Pariaman, Indonesia
  3. 184km (114mi) W of Padang, Indonesia
  4. 191km (119mi) WSW of Bukittinggi, Indonesia
  5. 544km (338mi) SW of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Scientific Data
Cloud Precipitation

Flooding in northern Spain as Ebro river breaks its banks

© Ana
Floods in Zaragoza, March 2015.
Levels of the Ebro River have been high for the last 3 to 4 days. By 28 February 2015, the overflowing river had flooded around 20,000 hectares in Aragon, north-eastern Spain.

Since then river levels have continued to rise and have now flooded areas along the river in Zaragoza, the capital of the region and Spain's fifth largest city.

Levels of the Ebro at Zaragoza are now thought to have peaked. Early on Monday 02 March 2015, the river reached 6.10 meters. Several hours later the level had dropped slightly to 6.06 metres. According to Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro, as of 11:00 today 03 March 2015, Ebro levels at Zaragoza now stand at 5.28 metres.