Earth Changes

Road Cone

Rare earthquake strikes Michigan; 4.2 magnitude

No injuries or damages were reported today after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled Michigan and surrounding states shortly after noon today.

John Bellini, a geophysist at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Goldon, Colo., said the earthquake's epicenter was roughly five miles south of Galesburg, or nine miles southeast of Kalamazoo in central Michigan.

He said the earthquake at 12:23 p.m. could be felt widely across lower portions of the state and into northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, eastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, and western Ontario.

Gov. Rick Snyder's office said there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

Bellini said Michigan has had only one other earthquake of this magnitude, a 4.6 earthquake that shook the state in August 1947. Its epicenter was close to Saturday's - about 30 miles to the southeast.

He said earthquakes of this magnitude are capable of causing minor damages, such as knocking items from shelves, cracking plaster or windows, or damaging brickwork or chimneys on older buildings.

He called today's earthquake "quite uncommon. Michigan doesn't get a lot of large earthquakes."

Since 1973, the state has had only two other recorded earthquakes - one in the western reaches of the Upper Peninsula, the other in central Michigan. He said dates for those quakes were not available.


5.7 magnitude earthquake hits Japan's Hachijo-jima island

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has struck 168 km from Japan's Hachijo-jima island, USGS said, adding that the depth of the quake stood at 10 km.

USGS initially placed the magnitude of the quake at 6.1 but later dropped it to 5.7.

Hachijo-jima, a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea, has a population of about 8,000 people.

The quake occurred 456 km from the country's capital, Tokyo, which is home to some 13 million inhabitants.It also struck 359km from the towns of Shimoda, home to 23,000 residents, and Tateyama, which has 28,000 people.

In April, southwestern Japan's Miyakojima and Yaeyama areas were placed on high alert with tsunami warnings after a 6.8-magnitude underwater earthquake struck off Taiwan's coast. Waves as high as one meter were expected to hit southwestern territories.

Alarm Clock

Bulusan volcano in Philippines explodes, ejecting steam and ash

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), in its 1:30 p.m. advisory Friday, disclosed that Bulusan Volcano (12.7667°N, 124.0500°E) situated in Sorsogon Province, produced a steam and ash explosion which lasted for 5 minutes based on seismic records.

The volcanic activity was recorded at 8:09 a.m., although it may not have been observed visually due to thick rain clouds covering the summit.

"At around 10:30 a.m., when the crater became visible, strong to moderate, dirty white steaming was observed, reaching 200 meters high and drifting west-northwest coming from the northwest vent of the volcano," Phivolcs said.

Only five (5) volcanic earthquakes were detected during the past week by the Bulusan seismic network, but after the steam and ash explosion, the network recorded approximately 40 volcanic earthquakes.

Alert Level 0 status currently prevails over Bulusan Volcano, Phivolcs added.

However, local government units and the public are reminded that entry to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) remains strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.

Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as ejecta from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

Cloud Grey

Spectacular sun halo captured over Wirral, UK

Haloes are formed by light being reflected by ice crystals that have formed in high cirrus clouds
These stunning photos show a spectacular sun halo forming in the skies over Wirral.

Haloes - rings that form around the sun or moon - are created by light being reflected by ice crystals formed in high cirrus clouds.

While they can be an indicator of rain, as the ice crystals often indicate an approaching frontal system, it is thought this halo was formed as a result of unusually cold overnight temperatures.

The photos were taken in Bromborough by Kirsty Bakstad outside her home this morning.

She told the ECHO: "It was about 11am, we were just pulling up outside our home in Bromborough when my husband Will, who had his sunglasses on, spotted it.

"He told me to look through the sunglasses, and there was this huge ring around the sun.

"I took a few pictures with my phone through the sunglasses, then a few directly.

"I had to Google it to find out what it was.

"I love taking weather pictures, usually red sunsets or funny-shaped clouds, but I've never seen anything like this before."

Black Cat

Cougar attacks dog near Powell River, British Columbia

© Ron Smid/Facebook
Bruce, a 4-year-old pit bull, has a drainage tube running from his forehead to the side of his cheek to help him recover from a cougar attack.
A four-year-old pit bull is recovering after being attacked by a cougar near Powell River, B.C., last week.

Bruce, who lives with his owner Ron Smid in a secluded area, disappeared into the woods last Thursday, April 23, returning a few minutes later — bleeding.

"He must have caught a scent and he didn't want to be called back," said Smid.

It wasn't until Bruce was examined by the vet and his body shaved, that the full extent of his injuries could be seen.

There were puncture wounds all over the dog's body and lacerations across his head.

"The largest wound that is apparent is a large tooth-like fang that went through the middle of his skull and it actually penetrated right to the bone," said Smid.


Man trampled to death by elephant in Nilgiris, India


Elephant kicking up some dust.
K. Balan (47) of Bokkapuram was killed by an elephant late on Thursday, when he along with a few other people were collecting firewood in the nearby forest of The Nilgiris North division.

The group was chased by the elephant.

While the rest managed to flee to safety, Balan went missing. On Friday, Balan's body was found at Nelson estate near Bokkapuram. On behalf of the State Government,

Forest Department officials gave away the first instalment solatium of Rs. 25,000 to his family.

The body was sent to Gudalur Government Hospital for post-mortem examination.

Better Earth

What's happening with the water in Oregon's Lost Lake?

The 'Lost Lake' off Oregon's Highway 20 has a deep, dark secret.

Most of the year, it looks like any other lake; peaceful and still.

But come winter, and a mysterious hole begins draining it of all its water, leaving a barren landscape that has baffled scientists for centuries.

As the eruption cooled, the hardened pipes emptied, leaving behind tubes in the form of vast tunnels.

Cloud Lightning

Tornadoes ruin houses and destroy crops in North Cotabato, Philippines

A farmworker checks the banana plants devastated by a twister in Barangay Manongol, Kidapawan City.
Tornadoes have ravaged houses and croplands for weeks in some parts of North Cotabato, a province already experiencing a dry spell for months. The latest of seven twisters to hit the province this month alone was reported Monday night in Barangay Manongol city. At least 5,000 banana plants were damaged, but no human casualty was reported.

It was the third to occur in the city this month, officials said. On Monday last week, a tornado damaged some P2 million worth of fruiting banana plants in Barangay Paco. Another damaged 27 houses in Barangay Magatos in Kabacan town, according to Mayor Herlo Guzman.


Global decline of large herbivores could lead to an 'empty landscape'

© Halska Hrabar
This is a mountain zebra, Equus zebra.
The decline of the world's large herbivores, especially in Africa and parts of Asia, is raising the specter of an "empty landscape" in some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, according to a newly published study.

Many populations of animals such as rhinoceroses, zebras, camels, elephants and tapirs are diminishing or threatened with extinction in grasslands, savannahs, deserts and forests, scientists say.

An international team of wildlife ecologists led by William Ripple, Oregon State University distinguished professor in the College of Forestry, conducted a comprehensive analysis of data on the world's largest herbivores (more than 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds, on average), including endangerment status, key threats and ecological consequences of population decline. They published their observations in Science Advances, the open-access online journal of Science magazine.


More than 20 whales beach in Murdeira, Cape Verde


Beached whale at Murdeira, Cape Verde
Teams of biologists, environmentalists are already on Jorge Fonseca beach where they seek at all costs to save the life of the sea mammals and bring them back to the open sea.

Some vessels also already in place to support the rescue.

Experts on site frantically go forward because the main concern is to minimize the environmental tragedy and try to save the whales. At least twenty-three cases have been counted already. It is not yet possible to advance the causes but we know that we are in the time of year that this phenomenon tends to happen.

Ocean Press is already on the site and will continue to monitor on location this news, updating it soon with more information