Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Floods in Morocco kill 17 with dozens missing after heavy rain destroys houses, cars and roads

© Getty
Stranded: Drivers wait for help in flood waters in Ouarzazate, Morocco
Dramatic pictures show roads turned to rivers, with army helicopters sent in to try and evacuate survivors

At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more are missing after severe flooding in Morocco.

Heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday destroyed houses, vehicles and roads, with dramatic pictures showing cars swept off highways and people stranded amid torrents of fast-flowing water.

The army has sent helicopters to evacuate dozens of people, and the country's King Mohamed has ordered authorities to take "all necessary emergency measures to help and support victims of the floods".

Destroyed: A car is carried away by the raging flood waters

First a wall of snow, now possible floods: Buffalo residents prepare to evacuate

© AP Photo/Mike Groll
A dump truck unloads snow at the Central Terminal that was removed from south Buffalo after heavy lake-effect snowstorms, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Buffalo, N.Y. Western New York continues to dig out from the heavy snow dropped this week by lake-effect snowstorms.
Families rushed to pack up their valuables and schools closed in advance - not of snow but possible flooding.

Temperatures were expected to hit nearly 60 degrees on Monday, causing Buffalo area residents to prepare for evacuations caused by runoff from melting snow, and overflowing creeks.

"Hopefully the rain won't be here until later and this will be a slow thaw, but flooding is our major, major concern here," said Michelle Pikula, whose house is along the Buffalo Creek.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Monday and cautioned that trees weakened by heavy snowfall and saturated soil could come crashing down. High wind gusts of up to 60 mph also could topple electrical wires and trigger power outages. Forecasts call for rain showers on Monday and a chance of rain and snow showers by early Tuesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Sunday warned residents in flood-prone areas around Buffalo to move valuables up from the basement, pack a bag and prepare for the possibility of evacuation.

Night attacks by pack of hyenas results in 2 dead and 13 injured, Sudan

Striped Hyena- believed to be the species implicated in the Rumbek attacks [file photo]
Hyenas attacked 4 villages in Rumbek Central County on Thursday night, killing two people and leading to a further 13 people being admitted to Rumbek Hospital in a serious condition, suffering from bite wounds.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) confirmed the incident. An officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that 13 people had been admitted in Rumbek hospital and two people had died. He also confirmed that one hyena was killed while attacking the project development unit (PDU) on Thursday night, while another is still at large and being pursued by armed men. He said that the animals had attacked a number of villages, including Pankar, Malou-jech and Abinajok.

"[these are] shameful attacks made by hyenas - we have 12 people suffering from hyena bite being admitted in Rumbek hospital and 2 elderly people are dead. Those bitten by these hyenas are women, elderly people and children", continued the officer.

Comment: Other recent hyena attacks: Frenzied hyena attack on 5 people in Buhera, Zimbabwe

Hyena kills two children and injures five people in Kenya

Hyena attack leaves 3 boys injured in Kenya

Yemen man killed by hyena while on phone to wife

Hyena kills four people in Tana River, Kenya


An Ice Age indicator? Unusually high number of snowy owls migrate early to Wisconsin

Snowy owls, such as this one spotted in the Milwaukee area in 2012, have arrived again in the state.
Several strong cold fronts in November helped deliver a wintry landscape to Wisconsin earlier than many would have liked.

If you're looking for a positive, here's one: the new whiteness isn't just snow.

At least 31 snowy owls have been recorded in Wisconsin this month, according to Ryan Brady, research scientist with the Department of Natural Resources and bird monitoring coordinator for the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative.

Like the early snow accumulation, the number of owls is unusually high for this time of year, according to Brady.

"It's probably a record," Brady said. "Thankfully, it's the kind of record that doesn't require shoveling and plowing."

The number of snowies in Wisconsin this month is even more extraordinary considering last year - which featured the largest number of the birds in the U.S. in decades - only one snowy owl had been seen in the Badger State by mid-November.

Snowy owls are large, charismatic birds that breed in the Arctic in summer and disperse in varying degrees to the south in winter.

More aggressive wild turkey attacks reported in Brookline, Massachusetts

© Samantha Leon
The animals have reportedly attacked a group of students, a crossing guard, and residents across town in recent weeks.

Thanksgiving? Not according to wild turkeys roaming Brookline.

There have been more reports of turkeys attacking people in town in recent weeks - continuing what has become a semiannual tradition.

WHDH reported turkeys have attacked a group of students, a crossing guard, and residents across town.

"There was like six or seven of them, and as I went around the mailbox they went around and they started chasing me into the street and I screamed for help," Marilyn Carmona told WHDH. "It was very scary."

150 kg wild boar attacks sanitation workers and rams into police car in China

A 150kg wild boar attacked four sanitation workers in a row while they were crossing a traffic junction in Hefei city of Anhui province yesterday afternoon.

Among the four workers, two were wounded and had been taken to hospital for treatment, 21CN reported.

Soon after its arrival, the wild animal began ramming into the police car. It subsequently fled away to a factory and got stuck in a wire fence. After an hour of "hide and seek", the police eventually shot the boar to death.

15 dog attacks reported in Ohio over the past year, 4 involving fatalities

This past year (December 2013 to November 2014), various media have reported 15 dog attacks throughout Ohio.

There were likely many more dog bite incidents, but the ones listed below received the publicity.

Four people, two of which were infants and two women in their late fifties, died from the injuries they received from the dog attacks.

Of the 25 dogs identified by breed in the attacks, 9 were believed to be Pit Bulls and five were Rottweilers.

A month-to-month tracking of the various dog attacks is as follows:
Arrow Down

Damage worse than thought in Japanese earthquake

© AP Photo/Kyodo News
This aerial photo shows collapsed houses after a strong earthquake hit Hakuba, Nagano prefecture, central Japan, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The magnitude-6.7 earthquake shook on Saturday night the mountainous area that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics destroying more than half a dozen homes in the ski resort town.
The damage from an overnight earthquake in a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics proved more extensive than initially thought.

A daylight assessment Sunday found at least 50 homes destroyed in two villages, and 41 people injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday west of Nagano city at a depth of 5 kilometers (3 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency revised the magnitude and depth from initial estimates. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

Ryo Nishino, a restaurant owner in Hakuba, a ski resort village west of Nagano, told Japanese broadcaster NHK that he had "never experienced a quake that shook so hard. The sideways shaking was enormous." He said he was in the restaurant's wine cellar when the quake struck, and that nothing broke there.
Bizarro Earth

Strong quake in west China kills 5; 54 hurt

© AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Guoqian
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, locals stand outside after a quake hit Kangding County in Sichuan Province, China Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.
A strong earthquake that hit a sparsely populated, mountainous area of western China killed at least five people and injured 54 others, officials said Sunday. The injured included schoolchildren in a stampede.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.9 quake hit Saturday about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the county of Kangding in Sichuan province. China's seismological agency put the magnitude at 6.3.

One person was also missing as of Sunday afternoon, according to a statement from the Ganzi prefecture government, which oversees Kangding.

The four dead included a woman in her 70s who was struck by a falling window pane, the official Xinhua News Agency and state broadcaster CCTV said, citing Chen Yunbing, a doctor at the region's Ganzi People's Hospital.
Cloud Precipitation

Floods across snow-hit U.S. East coast? Temperatures look set to rise 30 degrees to 70F before Thanksgiving holiday

© Reuters
Flood warning: The National Weather service said a year's snowfall in Buffalo, NY, could melt by Thursday
Thanksgiving could be marred by floods as snow-hit areas across the east coast look set for a sharp rise in temperatures, the National Weather Service has warned. The big freeze saw areas such as Buffalo, New York, buried in historic blizzards, reaching a year's snowfall - 88 inches - in just five days. But that could melt in less than 24 hours if temperatures soar from 40F to 70F as predicted.

The heat wave is expected as an intense cyclone sweeps north east from the Midwest, driving warmer climes into West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.

It could spell a moment of relief for Minneapolis after an historic stretch of freezing temperatures that has lasted 12 days - the longest since 1880.