Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Recovery of Japan's Mt. Ontake victims suspended amid signs of rising activity

Volcanic smoke rise from Mt. Ontake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, central Japan, September 30, 2014, in this photo taken and released by Kyodo.
Search and recovery efforts for at least two dozen victims of Japan's worst volcanic eruption in decades were called off on Tuesday due to worries about rising volcanic activity, including the chance of another steam explosion.

Hundreds of military searchers had been preparing to enter Mount Ontake by foot and helicopter to resume recovery of at least 24 people caught in a deadly rain of ash and stone after the peak erupted without warning on Saturday when it was crowded with hikers, including children.

Twelve bodies have been recovered from the 3,067-metre (10,062 feet) peak but at least 36 are feared to have died, with recovery hampered by high levels of toxic gas and ash piled hip-high in places on the still-smoking mountain. At least 69 people have been injured, 30 of them seriously.

"I just want to know something soon," Kiyokazu Tokoro told Japanese television. His 26-year-old son was on the mountain with his girlfriend and has yet to be found.
Cloud Lightning

Newly born Tropical Storm Phanfone triggers warnings in Northwestern Pacific

© NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite took this visible image of Tropical Storm Phanfone in the Northwestern Pacific, on track for the Northern Marianas Islands.
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over newborn Tropical Storm Phanfone on Sept. 29 and captured a picture of the storm that showed thunderstorms wrapped tightly around the storm's center, and a large band of thunderstorms spiraling into the center from the east. Phanfone is now a threat to various islands and warnings are in effect.

A tropical storm Warning is in effect for Saipan, Tinian, Pagan and Alamagan. In addition, a typhoon watch is in effect for the northern Marianas Islands, including Pagan and Alamagan.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard Aqua provides visible and infrared images of storms, oceans and land features.

On Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Phanfone had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 13.8 north latitude and 149.6 east longitude, about 270 nautical miles east-southeast of Saipan. Phanfone is moving to the west-northwest at 11 knots (12.6 mph/20.3 kph).

Mount St. Helens shows signs of reawakening

Mt Saint Helens
© Susan Wyatt
Ten years ago this week, Mount St. Helens awoke from an 18-year geological slumber.

The news media and volcano-watchers flocked to Johnston Ridge, the closest road with a crater view. Steam and ash eruptions shot thousands of feet into the air, and for several weeks, the area near the volcano was closed because of safety concerns.

Over the next three years, a second lava dome slowly appeared in the crater, eventually rising 1,076 feet above the crater floor. By the time the eruption ended in 2008, climbers had already been allowed back to the summit and media attention faded.

Though the mountain isn't getting as much publicity these days, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are marking the anniversary to highlight new eruption warning technology they've installed around the volcano since then and to remind people that Mount St. Helens will continue to rebuilt itself.

The eruption that started a decade ago was the second of two dome-building phases.

The first one started after the explosive eruption of May 18, 1980. Twenty lava eruptions occurred over the next six years.

Geologists were surprised that the mountain stopped erupting in 1986. "Many of us were expecting it to continue a while," said USGS seismologist Seth Moran.

Two powerful storms to lash Central U.S.

With the autumn season now here, the strength and number of powerful storm systems will be on the increase.

This week will feature two powerful autumn storm systems, one through the middle of the week and another towards the end of the week.

As the jet stream strengthens and dips farther south, the clashes between warm and cold air become more frequent. As a result, the potency of low pressure systems increase.

Tens of millions will be impacted by these storm systems this week, with the risks ranging a wide spectrum.

First Storm System Targets Central U.S.

The first storm will take shape across the High Plains and into the central portion of the United States as the energy that brought flooding downpours and severe weather to the Southwest shifts to the northeast.

Folks from eastern Montana to Wisconsin and south to Oklahoma will be impacted by this storm as it passes through the Plains.
Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain, flooding to target Deep South to Carolinas

Umbrellas and rain jackets will be put to good use over the next couple of days in the Deep South to the Carolinas.

An upper-level disturbance, aided by abundant gulf moisture, will slowly pass over the region through Tuesday.

According to Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck, the weather set-up will feature a rather wet couple of days.

"Deep tropical moisture will fuel a developing low pressure system over the Deep South, resulting in heavy rain across the region," said Smerbeck.

Rain and thunderstorms will spread along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida and eventually to the Carolinas Monday into Tuesday.

Some of the rain could turn rather heavy at times, with rainfall rates approaching an inch per hour in some spots.

"The rain will be heavy enough to cause flash flooding in some locations," added Smerbeck.

Man injured in wild boar attack in India with other attacks reported

One Gouranga Das (70) of Suniti village under Mahakalpada block in Kendrapada district was injured after being attacked by a wild boar on Saturday.

According to sources, a wild boar that had recently trespassed into the human habitation suddenly approached Gouranga and bit his right hand while he was standing at his house. He was rushed to the Mahakalpada CHC for treatment. The Forest Department provided financial assistance.

Notably, as many as four persons have sustained injuries due to wild boar and saltwater crocodile attacks under Mahakalpada forest range during last two weeks. But, forest officials did little to create awareness among the locals regarding the attacks, alleged locals.


Freak Tsunami like 'storm surge' waves hit the Black Sea coast of Turkey

Giant waves hit Giresun in Turkey, damaging buildings and cars
Strong unexpected storm surge hit the shores of Turkey, along the Black Sea.

More like a tsunami, the elevated ocean can be see going off to the horizon. Waves taking out everything in their path.

Bizarro Earth

Strange odor reported in Evansville, Indiana

© Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.
A noxious smell blanketed several blocks for more than four hours.
Neighbors say Strange Odor "smelled like 1,000 sharpies blew up"

Neighbors in Jimtown say yesterday evening a noxious smell blanketed several blocks for more than four hours prompting the fire department to investigate.

Neighbors say they first noticed the odor around 7:30 last p.m. and it lingered for several hours. They say after being outdoors for a short period of time they became dizzy, disoriented, and had difficulty breathing.

"It was awful. It was ungodly," said William Givens.

From Columbia to near Garvin Park, "I couldn't stand it. It was just nasty," said Charles Utley.

The neighborhood is questioning what was in the air last night.

"It smelled like 1,000 sharpies just blew up out of nowhere. It was disgusting," said Utley.

"You could taste it, you could smell it, you could feel it," said Givens.

Southern France put on maximum storm alert, risk of flash-flooding

south france storms
© Agence France-Presse/Philippe Huguen
Nasty storms in southern France have prompted the country's top weather warning
Residents in the Hérault department on the Mediterranean coast were under a red alert on Monday because of storms heavy rain just two weeks after four people were killed by raging flood waters in the area.

Downpours since midday on Monday left local authorities concerned enough about the risk of flash flooding that they put out the red alert, which warns people they are facing an exceptional danger.

They are concerned the river Lez, the main waterway in the Hérault department will burst its banks.

According to reports 95mm of rain fell between midday and 4pm in parts of Hérault on Monday.

The rains have forced officials to shut down trams in Montpellier and certain sections of roads and motorways are blocked due to flooding.

Comment: Montpellier today:


Jackal attacks 2 children outside their house in Goa, India

© Wikimedia Commons, Steve Garvie
An adult male golden jackal.
The baffling attack on two children by a jackal in Maulinguem, Bicholim may have been out of panic and zeal to protect her pups nearby.

A 12-year-old boy and another six year old boy were attacked by the jackal outside their house.

Forest officials and some locals tried to trace the jackal and found two dens nearby. One den was fresh and appeared to have been used. "It appears the mother was fiercely protective of her pups and attacked the children," an official said.

But forest officials ruled out that the animal was rabid. "There would have been more casualties," the official said.

A few villagers were washing clothes in a stream nearby. None of them were attacked.