Earth Changes


Gas-charged earthquakes linked to mysterious Louisiana sinkhole

A giant sinkhole formed overnight in southeast Louisiana on Aug. 3, 2012, swallowing cypress trees. The Bayou Corne sinkhole is now more than 215,000 square feet (20,000 square meters) and about 330 feet (100 m) deep. (Photo taken Aug. 12, 2012)
Surges of gas-charged fluid may have explosively generated the earthquakes preceding a giant sinkhole in Louisiana, researchers say.

These findings could lead to a better understanding of how pressurized fluids can trigger earthquakes and tremors, scientists added.
"Four fracking wastewater wells near Oklahoma City have caused hundreds of earthquakes since 2008, a new study finds."

Fracking connection to Oklahoma City earthquakes
On Aug. 3, 2012, a giant sinkhole formed overnight near Bayou Corne in southeast Louisiana, prompting a declaration of emergency from state officials and evacuation of nearby residents. The sinkhole - filled with a slurry of water, debris and crude oil - swallowed cypress trees, and recent estimates suggest it is now more than 215,000 square feet (20,000 square meters) and about 330 feet (100 m) deep. [Video: Bayou Corne Sinkhole Swallows Trees]

Comment: see also here and here for more links between fracking and earthquakes in Oklahoma

Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - 72km WNW of Hihifo, Tonga

Earthquake 6.0 Hihifo Tonga
Event Time
2014-07-19 12:27:09 UTC
2014-07-19 00:27:09 UTC-12:00 at epicenter

15.799°S 174.404°W depth=219.8km (136.6mi)

Nearby Cities
72km (45mi) WNW of Hihifo, Tonga
357km (222mi) SW of Apia, Samoa
427km (265mi) WSW of Tafuna, American Samoa
432km (268mi) WSW of Pago Pago, American Samoa
596km (370mi) N of Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Scientific data
Cloud Precipitation

Russian authorities open investigation into hailstorm deaths

Russian authorities have opened an investigation into the deaths of two children during a severe hailstorm in Siberia.

The Investigative Committee said in a statement published online Monday that two young girls aged 3 and 4 had died Saturday in the lakeside town of Bredsk, not far from the large Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The two girls died after sustaining traumatic brain injuries when a tree fell on their tent, where they were taking shelter from the storm along with their families.

Videos have surfaced online showing beach-goers in Novosibirsk huddling desperately under umbrellas, as cherry-sized hailstones pelt them mercilessly. Weather has been unusually extreme across much of Russia this summer, with snow hitting parts of central Russia that rarely see freezing temperatures in summer.

Comment: What, really, can the authorities do to stop this happening more and more often?

This appears to be footage of the sudden storm that killed two girls at a Berdsk campsite:

Bizarro Earth

Florida motorist captures parting of the storm

Joe Zuniga's stunning image reveals rain curtains parting on Florida roadway; motorists 'looked almost like something spiritual coming through the storm'.

Partung of Storm
© Joe Zuniga
Motorist captures parting of the storm.
As stormy skies cleared over Florida earlier this week, Joe Zuniga experienced an extraordinary moment he described as spiritual, and unforgettable. The parting of the storm.

As Zuniga drove along Interstate 75, the clouds suddenly shifted in a peculiar way, creating an large square-shaped sunny patch through which motorists passed. It was as if rain clouds had parted over the motorists for a reason.

"They looked almost like something spiritual coming through the storm, and the Lord has got your back," Zuniga told the Weather Channel.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.2 - 98km SE of Kuril'sk, Russia

Kurilsk Quake_210714
Event Time
2014-07-20 18:32:47 UTC
2014-07-21 04:32:47 UTC+10:00 at epicenter


44.626°N 148.728°E depth=60.8km (37.8mi)

Nearby Cities
94km (58mi) SE of Kuril'sk, Russia
291km (181mi) ENE of Nemuro, Japan
307km (191mi) ENE of Shibetsu, Japan
361km (224mi) ENE of Abashiri, Japan
1254km (779mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan

Scientific Data
Cloud Precipitation

Typhoon Matmo threatens Taiwan and China - damaging wind, flooding rain expected

Typhoon Matmo is expected to strengthen and threaten Taiwan and China during the middle of the week.

Thunderstorm activity will continue to flourish around Matmo, but the typhoon is still having trouble strengthening and developing an eye.

However, Matmo remains in a region conducive to tropical development. As a result, meteorologists still feel that significant strengthening is still likely through Tuesday, local time.

While Matmo will be across open water of the Philippines Sea through the beginning of the week and will not cross the Philippines, northern parts of the country will still feel some effects from the storm as it enhances a tropical southwesterly flow from the South China Sea.

This will lead to the threat for heavy rain and subsequent flooding across Mindoro and western Luzon.
Bizarro Earth

High winds and dry conditions continue to fuel massive Washington state wildfires

Malott, WA wildfire
© AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Tyler Tjomsland
A collection of vintage cars smolder after a wildfire burnt through them on Friday, July 18, 2014, near Malott, Wash.
A massive wildfire that has forced the evacuation of towns, destroyed numerous homes and blackened scenic hillsides in north-central Washington has been burning into new areas, fueled by dry conditions and gusty winds.

The lightning-caused fire by Saturday had scorched nearly 340 square miles in the scenic Methow Valley. The fire was measured at 260 square miles Friday.

Road closures and evacuations were changing regularly, as hot weather and winds with gusts up to 30 mph were pushing the fire over ridge tops and toward a cluster of small towns northeast of Seattle.

"This is a very active and fluid situation," fire spokesman Chuck Turey said.

People living between Carlton and Pateros have been told to leave their homes. The fire has downed power lines and many towns were without electrical power or phone service Saturday.

There were no reports of serious injuries. Minor burns and bruises had been reported, but Turey called that "a pretty amazing safety record."

On Saturday, officials said that only one more structure was destroyed overnight by the blaze.
Bizarro Earth

Scientist map Mount Rainer magma, say it will erupt again

mount rainier magma map
Scientists from the University of Utah have determined that Mount Rainier, one of the most prominent peaks in North America, will erupt again. The question of when remains unanswered, but science has recently discovered how: By measuring how quickly Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, they've effectively "mapped" Rainier's magma "plumbing."

"This is the most direct image yet capturing the melting process that feeds magma into a crustal reservoir that eventually is tapped for eruptions," says geophysicist Phil Wannamaker, of the university's Energy & Geoscience Institute and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "But it does not provide any information on the timing of future eruptions from Mount Rainier or other Cascade Range volcanoes."

Comment: For more information see:

Rainier, third most dangerous U.S. volcano, USGS says
Mapping the deep magma reservoir below Washington's Mt. Rainier

Arrow Down

Huge sinkhole forces Spring Hill residents to evacuate homes, Florida

© Bryan Farrow
This sinkhole opened up near Eldridge Road and Van Allen Way in Spring Hill on Saturday.
Residents were forced to evacuate three Spring Hill homes Saturday afternoon because a sinkhole about 40 yards across and 30 feet deep formed near their homes, authorities said.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office received a call around 5:20 p.m. describing a possible sinkhole near Eldridge Road and Van Allen Way.

When deputies arrived it was about 25 yards wide by 30 feet deep, and authorities asked the residents of three homes to evacuate.

The hole increased to 40 yards wide in the ensuing hours, but the residents of two homes were later allowed to return to the houses.

No injuries were reported.

Comment: Sinkholes - a world wide phenomenon, see map below.

Arrow Down

Darwin man shocked to discover massive sinkhole in his backyard, Australia

© Helen Orr.
I’ve gotta whole lot of hole - Lance Hart surveys his new backyard water feature.
A Darwin man who heard "something like an earthquake on and off all day" says he was shocked when he later discovered a "cliff face" and "huge sinkhole" had appeared in his previously flat backyard.

Lance Hart, 51, said he heard "some rumbling that sounded a bit like thunder" outside his Darwin River home on Thursday night.

"I thought 'what on Earth are the neighbours doing, they're 800 metres away," Mr Hart said.

"But it was night time, out in the rural area, and I couldn't see anything and didn't give it much thought after that."

Comment: Sinkholes - a world wide phenomenon, see map below.