Earth Changes


Two earthquakes (4.8 and 3.8 mag) rock Assam, India within 2 hours

The Met department put the epicenter at Morigaon and Sonitpur.
Two earthquakes, one measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale and the other 3.8, rocked Assam in a span of about two hours in the early hours of Friday, forcing people to jump out of bed and run outdoors.

While the first tremor, which lasted about seven seconds, was felt at 3:35 AM, it was followed by smaller one at 5:50 AM.

The Met department website put the epicenter of the first earthquake at a place in Sonitpur district at 26.8 N Latitude and 92.7 E Longitude, and that of the second tremor in Morigaon district at 26.3 N Latitude and 92.4 E Longitude. The depth of both the tremors has been put at 10 km.

Geomorphologically located in earthquake zone V of the Indian subcontinent, the Northeastern region is marked as a highly seismic area.

With these, the Northeastern region along with adjoining Bangladesh, Myanmar and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have recorded as many as nine earthquakes in the current month.

Comment: There has been a surge in earthquakes very recently, as Earth continues to 'open up'.


Kenya: World's last male Northern White Rhino placed under 24-hour armed guard

Armed rangers are white rhino's protectors.
After the decimation of his species by poachers, Sudan the rhino finds himself in an extremely precarious position: He is the last male northern white rhinoceros on the planet.

According to The Independent, the 40-year-old animal has been put under 24-hour armed guard in the Kenya game conservancy where he lives. There is hope that Sudan will one day be able to produce progeny -- and possibly save his kind from extinction.

Sudan and two female rhinos of his subspecies are cared for by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The trio are reportedly three of the last five remaining northern white rhinos in the world. Two other females live in captivity.

Comment: The two remaining females live in zoos in the Czech Republic and the USA. A team of conservationists and scientists are turning to artificial fertilization techniques in a desperate attempt to save the species. Sex cell samples will be collected and stored, while scientists run appropriate tests before they can attempt to use a southern white rhino as a surrogate

To protect him from poachers, Sudan has been fitted with radio transmitters, reports The Independent. The rhino's horn has also been removed as an added precaution. "The only reason his horn has been cut off is to deter poachers," Elodie Sampere of the conservancy told The Dodo. "If the rhino has no horn, he is of no interest to poachers. This is purely to keep him safe."

Comment: Of the 200 South African rhino hunts in 2013, only 15 were genuine hunts. The rest were rhinos shot by mostly Vietnamese 'pseudo hunters', who pay for the privilege of trophy hunting but have no intention of ever mounting their trophy on a wall. The economics are simple: the cost of hunting is about US $20,000, but the 3.5 kg horn is worth many times more when ground up into a fine dust, for sale as a 'medicinal' product. Current prices are estimated at up to US $75,000 per kg. It is now known that rhino horns have no medicinal value at all; chemically they are indistinguishable from horses' hooves and human toenails. But Vietnamese traffickers are fuelling demand by marketing new 'benefits' of rhino horn, as an aphrodisiac or a cure for hangovers, or cancer.

Cloud Lightning

From Texas to Nebraska, another round of severe storms; damaging winds, flooding, tornadoes

Following strong storms on Wednesday, another round of threatening weather will rumble across part of the Central states into Thursday night.

A storm will spin over the Rockies through the end of the week. The storm will push a wedge of dry air into a field of moisture over the High Plains. This dry/moist contrast zone from southwestern Nebraska to central Texas will be the firing point for the storms.

"That upper-level low with the help of the southern branch of the jet stream will pull ample Gulf moisture and warm temperatures into the Plains," said Storm Warning Meteorologist Billy Clark.

The storms will outnumber and outperform the storms on Wednesday that rumbled across the region and brought small hail, downpours and even a funnel cloud in Kansas.
An area from western Kansas to the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas to south-central Texas will be at the highest risk through Thursday evening.

"Damaging winds, localized flooding, hail and even isolated tornadoes are possible," said Clark.

Travel will be risky, especially during the evening commute when these storms could be at their highest potency. Interstate 20, I-40, and I-70 along with state and local roads in between may have delays and slow travel.

Comment: Four dead in massive flooding in Southern US; rockslides close roads in West Virginia, Kentucky


5.2 magnitude earthquake shakes Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela were shaken by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday evening, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The quake was focused at an epicentre around 34 kilometres north-northeast of Irapa in Venezuela and about 105 kilometres west-northwest of Port of Spain in Trinidad.

The quake, which struck at around 9:24 PM local time, was felt across Trinidad and Tobago, with light to moderate shaking the norm.

The quake was felt as far north as St George's in Grenada.

Much of the Caribbean region is located in a seismically active zone.


Six-year-old girl mauled to death in second stray dog attack within days in Guntur, India


Stray dogs in India
In a shocking incident, a six-year-old girl was attacked and killed by a pack of street dogs at Kakumanu village panchayat in Guntur district on Wednesday.

The girl, S K Kousar, was going to meet her aunt, who was working in the fields, around 10 am when a pack of 10 dogs pounced on her and bit her indiscriminately, resulting in her instant death.

According to reports, a shepherd, who was passing by, first heard the cries of the girl and rushed to the spot in the minority colony in the village. Though he managed to drive away the dogs, it was too late as the girl had succumbed to the injuries by then. She was bitten all over the body and her innards had come out.

On being informed, the girl's family rushed to the spot, but they were able to take only her lifeless body home.

Blaming the death on the negligence of the civic officials, who allegedly failed to take proper measures despite repeated complaints over the severe stray dog menace, the villagers, along with the family members and relatives of the victim, staged a dharna on the Guntur-Kakumanu road blocking traffic for nearly four hours. "We have been complaining to the officials about the dog menace for six months now, but to no avail. We are afraid of venturing out even during the day, leave alone nights, as the stray dogs attack pedestrians and vehicle users without any provocation," a protestor said.


2 pieces of humpback whale found on Uran shore, India


A dead humpback whale
A 20-feet-long humpback whale was washed ashore in two parts near Danda village in Uran on Monday. A dead turtle of 2.5-feet diametre was also found in the vicinity.

"The whale's body was decomposed. It must have been in the sea for many days, which is why it was also broken into two," said Bharat Patil, a local.

Marine biologists said that a humpback whale has been spotted off the Uran shore after three years. Earlier, in April 2012, a 40-feet-long humpback was found dead on the Pirwadi beach of Uran.


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


A 3m, self-amputating, vertically swimming, serpent-like ''bizarre'' marine specimen has washed up on the salt marsh at Aramoana.

Department of Conservation service manager David Agnew said he got a call from Aramoana resident Don Gibbs, who discovered the fish on the salt marsh side of the spit.

He went to have a look and said he had never seen anything like it before in his eight years in Dunedin and 20 years with Doc, during which he has mostly been stationed along the coastline in New Zealand.

''It's very unusual looking.''

University of Otago NZ Marine Studies Centre manager Tessa Mills confirmed the fish was an oarfish, which have been known to grow to 11m long.

Comment: See also: Something amiss in the ocean depths? Rare Oarfish washes up on beach in Japan

Deep sea oarfish caught by Vietnamese fishermen: Consequences of earthquakes?

Waiting for the big one: giant oarfish start shock waves in LA

Giant deepwater oarfish washing up on California shores: Harbingers of death!

18-foot oarfish caught by Catalina marine science instructor in California

Second rare oarfish washes up in Southern California

Something amiss deep down? Bizarre-looking oarfish washes ashore on Cabo San Lucas beach

Appearance of "Earthquake fish" spook Japanese


Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hits Greek Islands

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck near the Greek island Crete Thursday.

The USGS reports the quake's epicenter was located 29 miles (47 kilometers) northeast of Karpathos, Greece at a depth of 20.9 kilometers. The quake hit at 11:07 a.m. PDT, 9:07 p.m. local time.
The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake was felt on the islands of Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes.

The highest rates of earthquake activity in the Mediterranean region are found along the southern part Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian zone of southern Italy.

Strong earthquakes with an epicenter off the coast can trigger tsunamis, depending on the size and type of the fault movement. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tracks earthquake data for the West Coast.


Rare suspected tornado picks up car in Eugene, Oregon community college parking lot

© Lane Community College
Bystanders inspect a car overturned by a rare suspected tornado in a parking lot at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., on April 15, 2015.
A rare suspected tornado in Oregon swept across a parking lot at a community college in the city of Eugene, lifting up a Jeep with two people inside and damaging three other vehicles, officials said on Wednesday.

Oregon gets only a handful of tornadoes each year, and they are usually weak, said National Weather Service meteorologist Liana Ramirez. She said meteorologists believe this was a small tornado and are working to confirm that determination.

No one was injured from the suspected tornado on Tuesday afternoon at Lane Community College in Eugene, about 100 miles (161 km) south of Portland, officials said.

The Jeep with the two people sitting inside was lifted about 5 feet (1.5 meters) off the ground before dropping back down, according to Joan Aschim, a spokeswoman for the college.

"I'm sure it was frightening for the two occupants," Aschim said, adding that few people were in the parking lot at the time.

A car was flipped around in the air and landed on another vehicle, and a fourth vehicle was flipped over and landed on its roof, Aschim said.

The Oregonian newspaper on its website posted photos submitted by a student at the college showing a sedan lying on its roof on a grassy space in the parking lot and another vehicle with part of its roof and windshield caved in.

Arrow Down

Ubinas volcano in Peru triggers massive mudslide

© Weather Channel
Dramatic images have emerged from Peru after heavy snowfall, ash from the Ubinas volcano and warming temperatures triggered a massive mudslide earlier this week.

The Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) was conducting geogphysical measurements when the mudslide began to cascade down the mountain, and filmed the event

According to Peru This Week, towns in the Ubinas Valley are on alert for more volcanic activitiy, and residents have been advised to wear masks. Authorities in Peru have not ordered evacuations, the website reported.

The IGP reports that the landslide was due to ash deposits from the volcano's eruption on April 8 and heavy snow that fell April 10-11. As skies cleared and temperatures warmed on April 12-13, the snow melted and caused the mudslide.