Earth Changes


Drought spurs rodent problems across California

© Reuters/Lisi Niesner

The four year-old drought in California is causing an influx of rats and mice to seek sustenance inside homes and around public water sources during their spring breeding season, according to reports.

With less available water outdoors, rodents are using structural vulnerabilities and accessible lawn foliage to gain access inside California homes that provide the necessary water sources, CBS 13 in Sacramento reported.

"It's a very busy time especially with the drought situation," Kevin Carpenter of Good Earth Pest Control told CBS 13 of rodent breeding season.

Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.2 - 182km WSW of Bella Bella, Canada


  1. 2015-04-24 13:56:16 (UTC)
  2. Times in other timezones
Nearby Cities
  1. 182km (113mi) WSW of Bella Bella, Canada
  2. 284km (176mi) S of Prince Rupert, Canada
  3. 336km (209mi) SSW of Terrace, Canada
  4. 430km (267mi) WNW of Campbell River, Canada
  5. 641km (398mi) NW of Victoria, Canada
Scientific Data


Pilgrim killed by wild boar in Kerala, India

© DJS Photography
Wild Boar
65-year-old pilgrim, Govinda Swami from Peramballoor in Tamil Nadu, was killed in an attack by a wild boar at Pandithavalam at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Friday.

Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom stretcher service captain Thanchavur Damodaran said the pilgrim had gone to Pandithavalam for tea around 5 a.m. when he was fatally attacked by the animal.

Volunteers rushed him to the Sannidhanam Government Hospital, where he died.

The body was later shifted to the General Hospital in Pathanamthitta for post-mortem examination.

Govinda Swami reached Sabarimala on Thursday with a 50-member group from Peramballoor, sources said.


Three-year-old girl mauled by family dog in Neyland, Wales

© Creative Commons
A three-year-old girl was airlifted to hospital after being attacked by an Alaskan Malamute, the breed pictured above
The dog was an Alaskan Malamute, the same breed believed to have been responsible for the death of a six-day-old baby in 2014

A three-year-old girl was airlifted to hospital after being attacked by an Alaskan Malamute, the breed pictured above

A three-year-old girl mauled by a family dog would have suffered "far more serious injuries" if it wasn't for the quick thinking actions of her family, police have revealed.

The young girl suffered head injuries when she was attacked "completely out of the blue" by the pet in Neyland, near Milford Haven, on Thursday,

She was airlifted to Morriston hospital in Swansea and has since been treated for facial injuries.

The breed of the family dog responsible for the attack was an eight year old Siberian Huskey cross Alaskan Malamute.

The breed is the same as that believed to have been responsible for the death of a six-day old baby, Eliza-Mae Mullane, at a house in Pontyberem in February 2014.


Authorities investigate two dead gray whales off Santa Cruz County coast

© Jodi Frediani
A woman snaps a photo of a young gray whale on Wednesday that washed ashore at Pajaro Dunes Beach on the southern end of Santa Cruz County.
Two gray whale carcasses washed up in Santa Cruz County this week, prompting Long Marine Lab officials to investigate their deaths.

The whales — one at the northern end of the county and the other at the southern end — were first reported Wednesday, but officials couldn't conduct necropsies when they were reported because of the tide, said Terri Sigler, marine mammal stranding coordinator for Long Marine Lab.

A necropsy conducted Thursday on a 40-foot adult gray whale that washed ashore near Waddell Beach near Davenport couldn't determine the cause of death, Sigler said.

The team did say there was no evidence of the animal dying because of a ship strike or entanglement and likely was dead for at least a couple of days, she said.

"Because of the incoming tide, the necropsy was curtailed," said Sigler, though an abridged version was performed.

Comment: Since the turn of the year there have been an alarming number of dead whales of various species washing up on the west coast of North America, see below -

Dead sperm whale found on beach in Pacifica, California

Dead killer whale found near Fort Bragg, California

Fin whale found dead in San Pedro harbor, California

Dead grey whale washes up near Ucluelet, Canada

Humpback whale found dead near Westport, Washington

Dead Humpback whale washes ashore in Monterey, California

Dead gray whale found off Torrey Pines State Beach, California

Beached pygmy sperm whale dies at Point Reyes, California

Dead gray whale discovered at Seattle ferry terminal

14 whales and 16 turtles wash up dead on Baja California Sur coast


Elephant kills two villagers in Odisha, India


Peeved pachyderm
Two villagers were trampled to death by a tusker in a forest near Nuakheta village here on Thursday morning.

They along with a few locals had gone to collect mangoes which fell on the ground of the forest after Wednesday night's storm when the incident occurred. While others managed to escape, the two were attacked by the elephant. They have been identified as Dillip Pradhan (35) and Kadali Maharana (34).

Reports stated that a herd of elephants is roaming near Nuapkheta village for the last two months. Though the villagers have appealed to the officials of the Angul Forest Division several times to drive away the pachyderms, their pleas elicited no response.

Blaming the forest authorities' negligence for the death of two villagers, irate locals ransacked Forest Beat House, damaged the watch tower and the check gate besides some vehicles. They also demanded immediate solar fencing around their village. Regional Chief Conservator of Forest Anup Nayak said steps would be taken for solar fencing of the village. Despite several attempts, the Divisional Forest Officer of Angul could not be contacted.


Coyote fights 2 large dogs in back yard in Pinellas, Florida

Two-year-old Teddy got the brunt of the fight receiving a two-inch gash on his face.
A St. Petersburg man says his two German shepherds were attacked by a coyote in his back yard leaving one injured.

"It was just a horrible fight you know dogs whimpering and dogs crying," said Danny Stephen, who says he saw his two German Shepherds right outside his kitchen window in the a brutal fight Wednesday morning with a coyote.

"I can't even describe the noise. It was just like if a dog could scream, it would be screaming -- just an ungodly howl," Stephen said.

Two-year-old Teddy got the brunt of the fight receiving a two-inch gash on his face and luckily 1½-year-old Kira came out unharmed.

Arrow Down

Dangerous sinkhole measuring 10 feet across closes road in Texas

Heavy equipment will be needed to repair a broken sewer main in Corpus Christi blamed for a sinkhole that's forced traffic to be diverted until next month.

The city utilities department reported Thursday that gap has been secured with steel plates and barricades.

The sinkhole, estimated to be about 10-feet across, opened Monday on busy Port Avenue.

Comment: Check out SoTT WorldView for the 54 sinkholes that have opened up in the past month:

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Woman plunges 8 feet down into a sinkhole in London

© via Twitter
A woman was injured after she plunged 8 feet down a sinkhole that opened up on the sidewalk of a busy London street.

She was walking past the Marrakech Express cafe on North End Road in Fulham, London, at around 8:30 a.m. Thursday when she fell into the chasm, the UK's Evening Standard reported.

Initially it was believed that the unidentified woman plummeted into the hole while pushing a baby inside a stroller. But it later emerged that it was just a shopping cart.

Comment: Sinkholes are getting scarier by the day! Also see:
  • One person suffers minor injuries after van falls into Toronto sinkhole
  • Fire engine rescued from 15 foot deep sinkhole in Brooklyn, New York
  • Forty by twenty feet wide sinkhole open sin Marietta, Georgia, swallows trees

Arrow Down

Town centre brought to a standstill after 15-foot sinkhole appears in Northampton, UK


Enormous: The hole opened up on Earl Street, Northampton, at about 2pm on Thursday
A busy town centre was brought to a standstill this afternoon after a mysterious 15-foot sinkhole opened up in the road without warning - almost swallowing a number of cars in the process.

Motorists had to swerve out of the way of the giant hole after it appeared on the residential Earl Street in Northampton at around 2pm, just hours after part of a London pavement collapsed, swallowing a pedestrian.

Shocking pictures show the gaping chasm - which was around eight foot (2.4 metres) wide - with a section of surrounding road also looking on the verge of collapse.

Police quickly closed off Earl Street, causing traffic chaos and leaving locals without water following damage to a water main.

A barmaid from the Charles Bradlaugh pub, opposite the hole, who did not wish to be named, said: 'We saw it from inside the pub.

'It was weird. It just collapsed but it gave way really slowly. It was gradual.

'I am not at all sure why it happened. It was really strange.'

Comment: Interestingly, on the previous night: Mystery boom heard in Northampton, UK