Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Update: Nepal, India floods leave nearly 200 dead, scores missing

India floods
© European Pressphoto Agency
A woman returned by boat after tending her livestock on Monday in the flood-affected Morigaon district of Assam state, India.

Floods and landslides in Nepal and northern India have killed nearly 200 people and scores more are missing, local authorities said Monday.

Nepal has been worst hit, with 105 people confirmed dead after torrential rain triggered landslides and flooding, devastating entire villages in what the country's prime minister termed a "national tragedy".

Another 136 people are missing, and authorities are battling to prevent an outbreak of cholera after some survivors showed symptoms of the potentially fatal disease.

Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala pledged to "expedite the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts" and expressed his sorrow over the deaths.

In neighbouring India's Uttar Pradesh state, flooding has claimed at least 48 lives and forced around 500,000 people to leave their homes, relief commissioner KS Bhadoriya told AFP.
Cloud Lightning

Torrential rain, hailstorm kills 16 in Pakistan

Pakistan floods

A view of heavy rain in Peshawar.

At least 16 people, including nine children, were killed and over 80 others injured on Friday in Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as roofs and walls of buildings collapsed due to heavy rain.

According to reports, 10 people, including six children and two women, were killed and 50 others injured when the roof of a madrasa and boundary walls collapsed in the city.

Six more persons died in the similar incidents in other areas. The badly hit areas of the city included Akhundabad, Gujjarabad, Wazirbagh, Faqirabad and other suburban areas.

The death toll might go up as the rescue workers were still busy in rescue work.
Blue Planet

250 injured after strong earthquake hits Iran near border with Iraq

Iran earthquake
© AFP Photo/Frederick Florin
The US Geological Survey, reporting the magnitude of the quake at 6.3, said it struck 36 kilometres (22 miles) southeast of the city of Abdanan, near the border with Iraq.
A powerful earthquake struck early Monday in western Iran, injuring at least 250 people in a region near the border with Iraq.

Local authorities said they fear the quake may have caused widespread destruction in rural areas.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit at a depth of around 10 kilometers (6 miles) in an area 36 kilometers southeast of the Iranian city of Abdanan, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was followed by a series of aftershocks.

The quake injured at least 250 people in the province of Ilam, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported, citing local disaster management authorities. The tremors cut off water, electricity and phone lines in Abdanan.

Massive fires sweep across Siberia, 3.6 thousand hectares destroyed

siberia fires

As many as 896 forest security officers and fire-fighting paratroopers, 139 units of fire trucks and 11 aircrafts were involved in fire-fighting.
Forest fire area has grown sharply by 700 hectares over the past day to reach 3.6 thousand hectares in Siberia.

On Tuesday morning, 60 fires were reported in six regions of the district, the forestry department in the Siberian Federal District said on Tuesday.

The Republic of Tyva (2.4 thousand hectares) and the Republic of Buryatia (0.5 thousand hectares) are affected by fires more than other regions.

Comment: Prepare for the Ice Age: Weather goes crazy in Siberia - with record high temperatures, then July snow and wildfires


Junction fire threatens Oakhurst, California; evacuations ordered

© Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee
A plume of smoke from a brush fire rises above Oakhurst Monday, August 18, 2014.

A brush fire near Oakhurst has prompted Madera County officials to order 1,562 homes evacuated Monday afternoon as fire crews and emergency workers from throughout the region converge on the foothill community.

The blaze, called the Junction fire, quickly blackened about 300 acres north of the town and is moving east from its starting point near Avenue 425-A and Quail Drive. Spot fires are being reported south of Highway 41 in Oakhurst.

Two structures are confirmed on fire or lost, and 300 homes are threatened. Power was reported out in Oakhurst.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for all businesses and residents along the Highway 41 corridor between Highway 49 and Road 632 (Sky Ranch Road).

Evacuation orders include: Jean Road East and West, Scott Road, and Taylor Mountain (at the end of John West Road).

An evacuation warning has been issued for John West Road subdivision, and Indian Springs, Road 427, Pierce subdivision.

The fire also reportedly jumped Lewis Creek and is moving toward Road 222.

A major concern was the fire inside the Suburban Propane building at 41441 Highway 41, toward the northeast end of the community.

Suburban Propane started as a spot fire when flames jumped Highway 41, he said. The fire got into the attic and fire crews can't stop it without risking significant lives, according to one fire official.

Firefighters are concerned about building and the 30,000-gallon tanks on site. If the fire spreads beyond the building and heads for the tanks, firefighters were ordered to end the fight to save the facility. Evacuations were done a half-mile around Suburban Propane, said Don Stein, the division chief for Madera County Cal Fire.

"We will be in there as long as we can, but firefighter safety is an issue," he said.

Another fire official was heard on a scanner saying, "The tanks are going to do what they are going to do and it's going to be bad."

 Propane in Oakhurst
© The Fresno Bee
Crews work to keep a fire at Suburban Propane in Oakhurst from threatening large propane tanks on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.

Bárdarbunga volcano: Earthquake swarm continues, possible sub-glacial eruption

An intense earthquake swarm started yesterday under Bárðarbunga volcano, located under the northwestern part of the Vatnajökull ice cap. It is continuing at the moment and accompanied by elevated harmonic tremor. This might indicate a sub-glacial eruption at the volcano, but this needs yet to be confirmed. The last eruption of Bárðarbunga volcano was in 1797, while another eruption in 1910 took place at neighboring Hamarinn volcano.

Comment: Earthquake swarm in Iceland raises threat level on Bárðarbunga volcano


Historic drought over western US goes from bad to worse, stoking fears of water crisis

© Max Whittaker/Prime/Washington Post

When the winter rains failed to arrive in this Sacramento Valley town for the third straight year, farmers tightened their belts and looked to the reservoirs in the nearby hills to keep them in water through the growing season.

When those faltered, some switched on their well pumps, drawing up thousands of gallons from underground aquifers to prevent their walnut trees and alfalfa crops from drying up. Until the wells, too, began to fail.

Now, across California's vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state's epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers - always a backup source during the region's periodic droughts - are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.

One state-owned well near Sacramento registered an astonishing 100-foot drop in three months as the water table, strained by new demand from farmers, homeowners and municipalities, sank to a record low. Other wells have simply dried up, in such numbers that local drilling companies are reporting backlogs of six to eight months to dig a new one.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.2 - 36km SE of Abdanan, Iran

Iran Quake_810814
Event Time
2014-08-18 02:32:05 UTC
2014-08-18 07:02:05 UTC+04:30 at epicenter

32.739°N 47.670°E depth=10.0km (6.2mi)

Nearby Cities
36km (22mi) SE of Abdanan, Iran
37km (23mi) E of Dehloran, Iran
78km (48mi) WNW of Dezful, Iran
81km (50mi) NW of Shush, Iran
312km (194mi) ESE of Baghdad, Iraq

Scientific Data
Cloud Precipitation

Floods, landslides in Japan after rain kill 2, prompt evacuation advisory for 80,000

Japan flooding
This picture taken on Aug 10, 2014, shows muddy water running before a sweet shop in Kyoto, western Japan.
Floods and landslides following torrential rain in western Japan have killed at least two people and prompted one city to advise more than 80,000 people to flee their homes, officials said on Sunday.

One man was confirmed dead in Kyoto city early on Sunday after he was swept away by a flooded river while trying to build a sandbag barrier, Kyoto prefectural officials said.

In nearby Ishikawa prefecture, the body of a 74-year-old woman was pulled from her house after a landslide, national broadcaster NHK said.
Arrow Up

Southern Californians seeing more sharks this summer

Californians are seeing more than just garbage patches in the ocean - they're also seeing an unusual amount of sharks, according to KTLA 5.

Locals are reporting a noticeable spike in shark sightings off the coast of Southern California this summer. Experts believe a variety of factors are contributing to the increased number of sightings, including clearer water causing more visibility.

But the spike isn't just about more people looking for sharks. There actually have been more sharks, and experts say it's because of the weather.