Earth Changes


Waterspout destroys four houses in Misamis Oriental coastal village

A waterspout destroyed four houses in a coastal village in Misamis Oriental early Monday morning.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported that the waterspout that hit Purok 2, Barangay Tubigan, Initao town, also injured three people.

Sixteen other houses were damaged and 20 families were affected.

The injured were identified as 57-year-old Ricardo Bebangco, his wife Helen, 52, and their 13-year-old son Crilfel. They were treated at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital in Initao, said Fernando Vincent Dy Jr., PDRRMO officer-in-charge.

Pag-asa weather specialist Mario Guya said waterspouts are normally associated with weather disturbances such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is bringing rain to Misamis Oriental.

The waterspout left P315,000 in property damage and P36,500 in crop damage, according to the PDRRMO.

"We sent food packs to the families and currently, our team is still looking for temporary shelters," Dy said.


Wild boar mauls elderly couple to death in Malaysia

© Zaobao
An elderly couple was attacked and killed by a wild boar while they were tapping rubber trees at a plantation in Kuala Paya near Buloh Kasap here.

The victims, identified as Loo See Sing, 66, and his wife Liow Mei Lan, 68, were carrying out their normal routine in the early morning, but did not return at their usual time.

A villager, who declined to be named, said that the owner of the plantation then went in search of the couple at noon when they failed to return.

"The couple usually head back with their produce by 9am but this time around, they failed to show up, prompting the owner to search for them.

"The duo were found with cuts all over their bodies, which initially led police to believe they were robbed and murdered," he added.


Unusual sun halo seen in Kenosha, Wisconsin

© Kenosha News/Diane Giles
A sun halo was visible Sunday afternoon in the Kenosha area. It is unusual to see a sun halo in the summer, according to the National Weather Service.
If you happened to look up during Sunday's Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade, you might have seen more than an escaped balloon.

A number of people were lucky enough to see a rare summer atmospheric event: a halo.

Completely encircling the sun was what appeared to be a thin, pale rainbow.

"I'm really surprised to see this at this time of the year," said Justin Schultz, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sullivan, Wis. "This is usually more of a winter (phenomenon)."

Schultz said that farther up in the atmosphere that afternoon, it was cold enough for ice crystals to form.

This optical projection was created when the light was refracted through the ice crystals in the higher-level cirrus clouds.

It's a phenomenon similar to a sundog, which only takes place in the winter.


Rare blue moon, meteor shower await stargazers in Philippines

Ever heard of the expression "once in a blue moon?"

This expression indicates a rare event.

This month, the full moon will rise twice and the second occurrence is called a blue moon.

The state-run weather bureau PAGASA was quick to explain that the phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon but rather as the second full moon in a calendar month.

Vicente Malano, PAGASA acting administrator, says: "Since the lunar cycle is 29 days and most months have 30 to 31 days, we eventually find a situation where a full moon occurs at the beginning and the ending of the same month."

He also explains that you may see a blue-colored moon under certain atmospheric conditions such as after volcanic eruptions or when there are exceptionally large fires that leave particles in the atmosphere.

Malano says that, apart from the blue moon, a meteor shower happening from July 28 to 31 awaits stargazers.


Bison attack two more visitors at Yellowstone National Park


Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run, park officials say.
Bison attacked two more visitors at Yellowstone National Park over the past week, for a total of four attacks in the park so far this season.

A 68-year-old Georgia woman remained hospitalized Thursday after encountering a bison while hiking Wednesday on Storm Point Trail, according to the National Park Service.

As she passed the bison, it charged and gored her. A witness reported the attack to a nearby ranger leading a hike, who called for help. Due to the serious nature of the woman's injuries, she was taken by helicopter ambulance to a hospital outside the park. Her condition was unknown Thursday.

The other incident happened on June 23, when a 19-year-old Georgia woman and three friends who work at nearby Canyon Village were walking to their car after a late-night swim at the Firehole River. They saw a bison lying about 10 feet away, and one friend turned and ran. But the animal charged the teen and "tossed her in the air," the park service said.

After the teen went to bed, she awoke a short time later feeling ill and called for medical help. She took an ambulance to a hospital outside the park and "was released with minor injuries later that day," the park service said.

Cloud Lightning

Spectacular storm in north-east England halts electricity to 40,000 homes

© Owen Humphreys/PA
A lightning storm hits Blyth on the Northumberland coast following the hottest July day on record.
Engineers are working to reconnect hundreds of households in north-east England hit by a power cut in a lightning storm during Wednesday's searingly hot temperatures.

The thunderstorm left 40,000 homes without electricity in parts of North Yorkshire, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. Northern Powergrid said power had been restored to 32,500 of its customers by 7pm and work was continuing to make sure the rest were connected by Thursday afternoon.

Spectacular lightning swept across northern England and Scotland after the hottest July day on record in many places. Scores of motorists pulled over to watch as the storm moved up the Pennines. In Sheffield, people drove out of the city to watch a huge cloud flash with almost continuous lightning but without thunder or rain.

In the village of Worrall, Rick Taylor said: "I've not seen anything like this before, it's amazing. It's exactly like that scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the spaceship is approaching."

Elsewhere, huge hailstones caused damage in parts of North Yorkshire and County Durham and the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation even issued a tornado warning for parts of the Midlands.

Cloud Precipitation

Thousands evacuated as severe flooding hits Rakhine State, Myanmar

© Myanmar Red Cross Society
The Myanmar Red Cross Society is working closely alongside local authorities to assist affected communities.

Over the past several days, increasing heavy rains have caused severe flooding in the western state of Rakhine, Myanmar, destroying nearly 200 homes and causing serious damage to another hundred across four townships. During the first few days of the flooding, around 1,500 people were evacuated, and about 300 of the displaced continued to stay at camps for several days as the water receded.

"The figures are expected to increase in the coming days, as Red Cross assessment teams access remote areas of Rakhine affected by the flooding," explains U Maung Maung Khin, head of disaster management for the Myanmar Red Cross Society.

Currently the Myanmar Red Cross is working alongside local authorities to assist affected communities. Red Cross volunteers are evacuating families to safety, distributing food and water, and first aid kits in Buthidaung township which include blankets, mosquito nets, basic kitchen utensils and other essential items. Further relief stocks will be distributed in the coming days in the township of Thandwe.

Arrow Down

Landslide toll increases to 40 in Darjeeling, India

With the recovery of two more bodies, the toll in landslide-battered Darjeeling district has risen to 40 even as 16 people still missing. The two bodies were pulled out from the debris at Mirik and Kalimpong and 16 people are missing from Kalimpong Block 1 and 2, an official of West Bengal's Disaster Management Department said. Rescue operations were underway in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub divisions, where multiple landslides had also washed away highways and damaged homes

Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said the landslide-affected people were put up in camps and three such camps were set up in Mirik where 200-250 families have been sheltered. National Disaster Response Team, Civil Defence personnel and local volunteers were engaged in the rescue work. Rescue teams from the Sashastra Seema Bal and the National Disaster Management Authority have also been pressed into service.

Bizarro Earth

6.1 magnitude earthquake jolts southern Philippines

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook several areas in Visayas and Mindanao Friday afternoon, state seismologist said.

The offshore quake struck 41 kilometers northeast of Burgos town in Surigao del Norte at 2:43 p.m., the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury from the tremor that had a depth of 30 kilometers.

It was felt at Intensity V in Surigao City, Siargao Island, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; Carrascal, Surigao del Sur.

Intensity IV in Dinagat Island; Intensity III in San Juan, Southern Leyte; Tacloban, Leyte; Palo, Leyte; Lapulapu City and Intensity II in Bislig, Surigao del Sur; Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; Davao City.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

With reports from Frances Mangosing, and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao


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.