Earth Changes


Rampaging tusker kills four villagers in India

Asian elephant
A rampaging wild elephant has trampled four persons to death and seriously injured three others in Sitamarhi district.

Four persons-Md. Nizamuddin, 50, a resident of village Siswa, Bhola Rai (30) of village Indarwa, Chhattar Rai (37) of village Adhakhanni under Parihar police station and homeguard-cum-driver of Bajpatti police station in Sitamarhi district Hulas Rai (30) were trampled to death by a Nepalese elephant on Tuesday.

Two injured women-Lalita Devi and Sonam Kumari, are being treated at different hospitals. The police driver was trying to help villagers chase the pachyderm away from the agricultural fields.

Sitamarhi SP Hari Prasath S said on Wednesday, "Two persons have been crushed to death in Bajpatti and Parihar police station areas of the district. We have got reports that other person injured by the elephant has died. We are trying to confirm the identity of the person."

From Massachusetts to Oklahoma, new storm brings snow, ice along 1,500 mile corridor; 100 million affected

A new storm will spread a swath of snow and sleet spanning more than 1,500 miles from northern Texas and Oklahoma to southeastern New York state and Massachusetts during Wednesday into Thursday.

Daily activities will be affected for close to 100 million people.

Major travel disruptions are in store, ranging from snow-clogged roads to many flight delays and cancellations. The flight disruptions will likely extend well beyond areas directly affected by the storm as crews and aircraft are displaced.

The atmosphere is gearing up for a rare event. The new winter storm will occur during a press of cold air invading the Central and Eastern states in the wake a storm that produced snow and ice Tuesday night and rain Wednesday.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Usually when cold air follows a storm, the atmosphere just dries out."

"Instead of a sweep of cold, dry air, we get the cold, but not the dry this time."

Rain will change to snow and sleet along much of the 1,500-mile swath as the new storm rides northeastward.

While snowfall will be light in northern Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, the snow will fall heavily at times from the middle part of the Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley, central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic coast.
A large part of Kentucky and West Virginia will receive 6 inches of snow with locally higher amounts possible. This same 6-inch swath will also reach eastward across southern Pennsylvania and into New Jersey.
Ice Cube

Great Lakes ice cover over 88%, more than this time last year

© Detroit Free Press
Great Lakes total ice cover: 88.3%
How rough a winter has it been on the Great Lakes? Ask the crew of the freighter Arthur M. Anderson — whenever they make it back to port.

The 767-foot bulk carrier, due in port a week ago, was only just west of St. Ignace in northern Lake Michigan as of Monday afternoon, making its way to its winter layover port in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The Anderson — famously the last ship to receive communication from the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald before it sank during an intense storm on Lake Superior in November 1975, killing all 29 crew members — was stuck in ice west of the Mackinac Bridge all day Sunday. A U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker had to free it, the reported.
Cloud Precipitation

Thousands evacuated due to flooding in Cordoba, Argentina

© Gobierno de Córdoba
Floods in Idiazábal, Córdoba, Argentina, March 2015.
José Manuel de la Sota, the governor of Cordoba province in Argentina, today declared a state of emergency throughout the province.

Parts of the province have been under water for the last 5 days. One local observer said the region had seen 18 consecutive days of rain. Six people died in floods in the province in mid February 2015 after 320 mm of rain fell in 12 hours. Further heavy rainfall over the last 2 days has worsened the situation.

WMO report that 75 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 02 and 03 March 2015 in Marcos Juárez in Cordoba.

At least 2,000 people have been forced from their homes after flooding across the province. The worst affected areas are the towns of Idiazabal and Balnearia. Idiazábal has been under water since 27 February 2015, when at least 400 people had to evacuated their homes, according to La Voz.

Cloud Precipitation

38 people killed by flooding in Tanzania

© AFP/Simon Maina
An estimated 3,500 people in Tanzania's northwest have been affected by flooding
Flooding in north-western Tanzania has killed at least 38 people and left hundreds of others homeless, police in the Shinyanga region have told the BBC.

The downpours were accompanied by hail and strong winds meaning many people had no chance of escaping, senior police officer Justus Kamugisha said.

The rains have severely damaged mud houses and blocked roads, making rescue operations difficult, he added.

More than 60 rescued people are being treated for their injuries in hospital.

The BBC's Hassan Mhelela in Tanzania says most people in Shinyanga make their living by subsistence farming.

But the weather has wreaked havoc on the landscape and crops of maize and cotton have been destroyed and livestock killed, he says.


Dusky woodswallow seen for the first time in New Zealand

© Satoshi Kakishima and Tomoe Morimoto
Japanese bird-watchers Satoshi Kakishima and Tomoe Morimoto on their first visit to New Zealand, spotted a Dusky Woodswallow on Stewart Island
A Japanese couple who made a rare sighting of a bird on their first trip to NZ have had their sighting officially confirmed.

Japanese bird spotters Satoshi Kakishima and Tomoe Morimoto spotted the Dusky Woodswallow while on Stewart Island realising it was something different.

Birds New Zealand Southland region recorder Phil Rhodes said in September last year he got an email from a Japanese couple about their unusual sighting.

"I advised them that it was a dusky woodswallow and that it had never been seen in New Zealand and that it was a special bird."

Rhodes asked the couple to put forward an unusual bird report through to Birds New Zealand.

Another dog goes loco: Pitbull shot dead by police after it attacked owner in Bolton, UK

© AP/ Heribert Proepper
Insp Nicki Tompsett said owners were ultimately responsible for raising friendly dogs, after officers were forced to shoot dead an aggressive pitbull which had attacked its owner
The dog's owner suffered terrible bite wounds and a suspected broken arm but paramedics couldn't get past the aggressive animal to treat him

A dog was shot dead by police after the animal mauled its owner.

Armed officers were given a green light to kill the pitbull following a vicious attack at flats in Bolton.

The animal's owner suffered deep bite wounds and a suspected broken arm and will now undergo surgery for his injuries.

Police raced to Little Holme Walk at 7.30pm on Tuesday evening, March 3.

They discovered a man had been mauled by his dog and paramedics were unable to get past the animal to treat him.

A GMP spokesman said 'authority for human destruction for the dog was granted as a last recourse and the dog was shot'.

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."