Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.0 earthquake strikes off Indonesia, no tsunami threat

A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Java today, the US Geological Survey reported, but local officials said there was no risk of a tsunami.

The quake struck at 2:05 pm local time (0705 GMT), 93 kilometres (57 miles) south of Krajan Tambakrejo village in east Java province at a depth of 59 kilometres, the USGS said.

Mochammad Riyadi, from the Indonesian meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency, said there were no reports of casualties or damages.

"The quake epicentre was in the sea, but there's no risk of a tsunami. It's quite a distance from nearby cities," he told AFP.

An AFP correspondent in Banyuwangi city in east Java said that mild shaking could be felt for about five seconds.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

Comment: See also:

Active Week For Ring Of Fire As Earthquake Rattles Alaska
Why have 10 major volcanoes along the Ring of Fire suddenly roared to life?

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill two people in Bangladesh

Two persons were killed and another injured in lightning in Gomostapur upazila of Chapainawabganj yesterday, said police.

Motahar Hossain Mukul, headmaster of Sonabor High School, was working on the roof of his house in Adda village when thunderbolt struck him during rain.

At Jugibari village, Sona Begum, 35, was killed and her husband Rafiqul injured in lightning while they were working in their yard during rain.

Rafiqul was admitted to the Upazila Health complex.

Cloud Lightning

Netherlands' worst ever July storm kills one, causes transport chaos


One person was killed as the most severe July storm ever recorded in the Netherlands swept across the country on Saturday, delaying flights and disrupting road and rail traffic.

Dozens of flights were delayed at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and authorities warned travellers not to take to the road as gale-force winds and rain lashed the country, prompting the meteorological service to issue a "Code Red" warning.

No trains were running at Amsterdam Central Station, and trams were halted across the city. Roads were blocked by fallen trees in many places around the low-lying country.

A motorist was killed in the eastern province of Gelderland when a tree fell on his car, and there were reports of people being injured in several cities.

With gusts of up to 121 kmh in coastal regions, it was the most violent July storm in the Netherlands since records began in 1901.


35-yr-old man killed by bear in India

A 35-year-old man was mauled to death by a bear in Kalvarayan Hills on Friday when he was on his way to buy grocery in a village near Chinna Salem.

This is reportedly the first incident in Kalvarayan Hills where a bear had attacked a human.

According to a source, Annamalai (35), a wage labourer of Kodamathi Village in Kalvarayan hills, took a short cut into the forest to buy grocery items in Chinna Salem. As he was walking through the forest area between Melpachori and Kallanatham village, he ran into the bear and its cub. There was not much Annamalai could do. Before he could run away, the bear came charging at him.

The bear pounced on him and started attacking his face and back. After sometime, the animal ran into the forest. Annamalai sustained severe injuries and was unable to walk. But, he managed to make a phone call to his friends, informing them about the encounter.


Rare Beaked whale found dead on beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts

© Mary Kate McHugh DiLoreto
The elusive Sowerby's beaked whale is rarely seen and studied but a carcass of the marine mammal was found washed up on a Massachusetts beach giving scientists a chance to study this mysterious animal.
A dead body of a rarely seen deep water whale was washed up on a Massachusetts beach on Friday providing marine biologists with a rare opportunity to study the elusive marine animal.

The carcass was of a 17-foot female Sowerby's beaked whale weighing almost a ton and was found on Jones Beach in Plymouth. The whale, believed to be between 7 and 8 years old, was spotted by Mary Kate McHugh DiLoreto while doing a morning walk on the beach.

"While taking our morning walk on Plymouth Beach this morning, we were amazed to learn that one of the rarest species washed ashore. It is a beaked whale not commonly found in this area," she captioned on the photo she shared on Facebook. "We were told members of the Aquarium were heading down to bring it back to study it. Very cool!"


Pacific loon from the Arctic seen in the summer on Lake Nockamixon, Pennsylvania

© Charlie Trapani
A Pacific loon is pictured in the water at Lake Nockamixon in upper Bucks County. Spotting such a bird in these parts is rare in summertime.
I hadn't chased a rare bird in awhile, but that changed when friend Devich Farbotnik called and excitedly said he had found a Pacific loon at the Tohickon boat access area on Lake Nockamixon in upper Bucks County.

If you're not an obsessed "birder" or someone interested in nature in general, you probably wouldn't know how unusual this is. But a lot of people dropped what they were doing to go see it.

Loons have very distinctive voices. Everyone who's watched TV has almost certainly heard their melancholy background yodeling used symbolically to signify lakes or other remote bodies of water. The voice of the common loon is the one that's usually used, even though in many cases you'd never find a loon of any kind at the location or time of year depicted.

Loons are rarely seen around here except from mid-March through mid-May, during spring migration, or in October and November during fall migration. In the spring when they're heading north to breed, they often call from the sky, which is something I've heard many times through the years.

Arrow Down

'You can put a 25-storey building in there': A peek inside mysterious Siberian craters (VIDEO)

© Vasily Bogoyavlensky / AFP
The origin of giant sinkhole craters in Siberia has prompted dozens of wild theories, from meteorites to UFOs. An RT documentary has traveled to the region to try and lift the veil behind the mystery.

Looking inside the mystery holes in the Russian Yamal peninsula is an experience of a lifetime, according to RT documentary correspondent Vitaly Buzuev. The largest of the craters, discovered a year ago, is 60 meters deep.

"I was really shocked when I saw these holes for the first time. It's the biggest hole in Yamal, and you could put a 25-storey building inside it," Buzuev said.

The natives aren't looking for scientific explanations of the holes' origin, Buzuev said. They prefer to believe the craters have a "connection to another world."

"Everybody who lives there and nomads roaming through the tundra need to hear the voice of the Earth. So they believe that something extraordinary happened, and there's no explanation," he added.

Bizarro Earth

Rare tornadoes hit northern Sweden

© Wikimedia Commons
On Saturday, residents of Luleå and Piteå in Norrbotten experienced an unusual natural phenomenon generally more associated with the midwest of America - tornadoes.

"I was a bit worried about a boat that was a little too close to the tornado," Hansi Gelter told Swedish newspaper, Expressen.

Gelter saw a tornado form over the sea at Piteå. "I had just got inside the door trying to escape the rain, when the wife screamed 'Look, a tornado!' I ran straight upstairs and fetched the camera."

The tornado lasted about 5-10 minutes before disappearing. "I was never afraid. I saw that the tornado was moving away from us."

Just outside Luleå, Malin Steding was awoken at 0600 by a thunderstorm. "My husband shouted that he saw a tornado and I hurried to try to photograph it," she told Expressen.

"I made sure my cats stayed indoors. You do not want them to be sucked up!"

Though scientists don't entirely understand how tornadoes form, they do have a good idea about the conditions that cause them to develop.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills nine people within 24 hours in Bihar, India


Lighting struck some women while they were planting paddy saplings on farmland.
Kaimur district registered four casualties, all of them women, while three others sustained injuries after lighting struck them in different villages under Bhabhua, Sonhan and Bhagwanpur police station areas.

Nine persons, including five women were killed and 13 others injured in Kaimur, Nawada and Aurangabad districts of Bihar due to lightning in the past 24 hours, officials said today.

Kaimur district registered four casualties, all of them women, while three others sustained injuries after lighting struck them in different villages under Bhabhua, Sonhan and Bhagwanpur police station areas today, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Madan Kumar Anand said.

The victims were identified as Malti Devi (45), Sanju Kumari (18), Hemanti Devi (40) and Arti Devi (35), he said adding that the bodies have been sent for post-mortem.

The injured persons, identified as Demanti Devi, Parvati Devi and Somari Devi have been admitted to Sadar hospital for treatment, Anand said.


Another deep-sea dwelling oarfish surfaces, this time in Antique, Philippines


The oarfish caught by a fisherman in Antique. Oarfish are deep-sea dwellers and scientists are still trying to find out why some oarfish swim to the surface.
Julie Miranda was fishing in Barangay Indalog here on Thursday when he saw a shark chasing a big fish.

Shortly after, the shark swam off and the big fish started to float.

Miranda loaded the fish onto his boat and brought it to shore.

But the fish was no ordinary find. It was a 3-meter long oarfish weighing 14 kg.

"It was our first time to see a very big and very long fish in this town. Even the old villagers do not know the local name of this fish," said Lourdes Sarad, municipal agricultural officer of Tobias Fornier.

Oarfish, or king of herrings, was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest bony fish to be recorded in 2015.

The longest oarfish, which was hit by a steamship, was 13.7 meters, longer than a bus.

Comment: This is the third report of oarfish emerging from the deep sea since April, here are the others -

Rare 17-foot-long oarfish found dead off Catalina Island, California

Rare deep sea oarfish washes up on marsh in Aramoana, New Zealand

See in addition: Rare oarfish: New Zealand sea serpent maybe a harbinger for natural disaster, says scientist