Earth Changes


6.1 magnitude earthquake rocks China

The northwest of China has suffered a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. The nearest city is located 95 kilometers from the epicenter, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The earthquake shook the province of Xinjiang.

Cloud Lightning

Heavy rains, high winds and tornadoes rage across state of Missouri

Flash flooding near Soulard Farmer's Market in St. Louis, Missouri July 1
Missouri officials on Thursday said one person was dead and at least two more were missing after heavy rains, high winds and tornadoes raged across the state overnight.

Emergency crews found the body of one person who appeared to have been swept from their vehicle in flash flooding south of St. Louis, Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Al Nothum said. Crews were still searching for at least two more people missing after their vehicles were found in the waters, he said.

Floodwater also breached a levee near the small community of Festus, Missouri, south of St. Louis, flooding two mobile home parks and forcing water rescues for more than 60 people as up to six inches of rain fell overnight, according to the National Weather Service. Three people were injured and taken to a hospital during the evacuation, according to officials.


Dog kills 3 year old boy in Lawton, Oklahoma


Jordan "Jo Jo" Collins-Tyson
Lawton police identified a 3-year-old boy killed Sunday in a dog attack.

Capt. Craig Akard, LPD information officer, said the boy Jordan "Jo Jo" Collins-Tyson was killed by a pit bull. Collins was bitten in the neck and killed.

Police were called to a home in the 500 block of Southwest 17th Street around 9 a.m. on the report of the dog attack, Akard said. The boy was found in the backyard of a home along with the dog.

"When officers arrived the dog was aggressive toward them and had to be shot," Akard said. "The dog was taken by Animal Control and the child transported to the hospital."

Akard said the boy was being baby sat by a family friend and was seen playing in the backyard. She reported looking out of the window later and not seeing the boy, then looked out the back door and saw Collins laying on the ground, he said. The babysitter called for help and neighbors came to assist.

Cloud Precipitation

Hailstones pound Delta 747 over China

© Brian Walker
Hail smashed the radome of this Delta 747
Another former Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 left an Arizona boneyard for Minneapolis, where it is likely being prepared to unretire and replace the ice-battered jumbo jet that took passengers on a wild ride.

A mothballed Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 is at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and likely under maintenance to replace another 747 that was damaged by hail while flying over China.

The damaged plane, a 26-year-old Boeing 747-400, was dubbed "The Spirit of Beijing" by Eagan-based Northwest Airlines Corp. before Delta bought the airline in 2008.

Registered as tail No. N664US, the plane was flying from Detroit to Seoul two weeks ago when it encountered a hailstorm. It's not clear whether the jet will return to service(Delta is phasing out its 747 fleet by 2017).

© Brian Walker
More hail damage can be seen where the wing joins the fuselage.


Sperm whale carcass found off Campbell's Beach, Australia

© Gemima Harvey
Coffs Harbour Water Police watch on as sharks feed on a sperm whale carcass off the Coffs Coast.

A sperm whale carcass that is floating precariously close to Coffs Coast beaches may pose a safety hazard with police spotting large sharks feeding on the dead mammal.

The whale was identified as a six metre long sperm whale by Coffs Harbour Water Police this afternoon.

Rising almost two metres out of the water the whale carcass is currently about 800 metres east of Campbells Beach having floated in past Split Solitary Island this morning.

"There is an obvious danger as there are sharks underneath it, we saw four or five sharks feeding off it - two tiger sharks and a great white, varying in size from two metres to four metres in length," Water Police Sergeant Don Stewart said.

"It's a dead sperm whale that has floated in from only heavens knows where."

The whale carcass is visible from Sapphire Beach and police are monitoring its movement.


Deadly Portuguese man o' war washing ashore in New Jersey

© Wikipedia
Portuguese man o' war
As officials at North Carolina beaches contend with a string of shark attacks off the state's coast, those in New Jersey have been dealing with an oceanic problem all their own: potentially deadly Portuguese man 'o wars steadily washing ashore.

The strange yet striking animal may look like some kind of jellyfish, but the man o' war is in a different class altogether. Its poisonous tentacles can easily grow to between 10 and 30 feet, and can sometimes reach an astonishing length of 160 feet. The creature is often seen sporting blue and purple colors and has a translucent body that looks like it's filled with air.

Although the man o' war typically populates warm waters in tropical oceans, coasting along the surface of the water and catching small prey with its tendrils, ocean currents and strong winds can sometimes lead it into less expected places, such as the Jersey Shore.

"Typically in the Northeast, we see these animals periodically in the summer, when they are successfully carried north by the Gulf Stream current," Matthew Landau, a professor of Marine Science at Stockton University, told AccuWeather. "Sometimes the currents move these animals into temperate seas when the winds drive them toward coastlines."

The animal has already been spotted at least two dozen times in the stretch between Long Beach Island and Stone Harbor, local WPVI reported. That's a stretch of close to 70 miles.

Bizarro Earth

Nanjing city mobilizes animals in predicting earthquakes

This combo photo shows pigs and chickens used to help forecast earthquake at a breeding base of a zoo.
Nanjing city in East China's Jiangsu province has built seven new observation sites from which to make general earthquake predictions, using animals like chickens, pigs and fish to help forecast possible risks.

Seven more such sites will be built this year, including one at the breeding base of a zoo, local newspaper Modern Express reported.

At Banqiao ecological park, approximately 40 minutes drive from the city, the behavior of around 200 pigs, 2000 chickens, and fish in a 15-hectare pond is also closely monitored to detect signals of an earthquake.

Breeders here create daily reports regarding animal behavior for Nanjing's seismological departments using popular instant messaging software QQ.


Dozens of gulls found dead on road in Kuna, Idaho

© Susan Carlson
Dead gulls near South Cole Road showed no signs of physical injury, according to reader Susan Carlson, who came across them Saturday.
Evin Oneale, regional conservation educator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said residents have reported the dead songbirds for a couple of weeks now. It's unclear how many total birds have died.

The birds found dead show no signs of physical injury and were not sickened by plague
, Oneale said. Rather, he said, it appears to be a specific type of pathogen that has yet to be determined.

Kuna resident Susan Carlson was driving on South Cole Road on June 27 when she came upon dozens of birds in the road near the intersection of Barker Road.

"I was just very disturbed by what I saw,"
Carlson said.

Arrow Down

Huge sinkhole closes Runnymede Road in Toronto

© Jos Yule
A giant sinkhole opened up on Monday afternoon in the Junction, closing Runnymede Rd.
Toronto Police have closed Runnymede Rd. in the west end from St. John's Rd. to Annette St. indefinitely due to a giant sinkhole.

TTC has rerouted the 71 Runnymede and 79 Scarlett Rd both ways via Annette St., Jane St. and Dundas St.

Sinkholes are caused when leaking pipes or water mains wash away soil or rock deep beneath the road's surface - not to be confused with potholes, which are caused by surface damage.

In Toronto, most sinkholes are caused by man-made failures, like leaky pipes.

In 2006, a 10-metre-wide sinkhole on Sheppard Ave. W. cost the city close to $1 million to repair. It's estimated that Toronto experiences about 20 to 50 sinkholes a year.


London breaks U.K. July heat record; long-lasting Europe heat wave expands

© The Weather Channel
While record-smashing heat is searing the Northwest United States and southwest Canada, a European heat wave is smashing monthly records, becoming more widespread in Europe, and may last in some areas into next week.

Wednesday afternoon, the temperature at London's Heathrow Airport skyrocketed to 36.7 degrees Celsius -- 98.1 degrees Fahrenheit -- a July heat record not only there but for anywhere in the U.K., according to the U.K. Met Office.

The previous U.K. July heat record was set almost nine years ago -- 36.5 degrees C in Wisley on July 19, 2006. It was also the hottest day in Wimbledon history, topping the previous record of 34.6 degrees C on June 26, 1976.

Paris, France saw its temperature soar to 39.7 degrees Celsius -- 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit -- Wednesday. This is the second hottest reading there dating to 1873, according to Météo-France.

Parts of Belgium and The Netherlands also sweltered in 35-degree Celsius -- 95 degrees Fahrenheit -- heat Wednesday.