Earth Changes

Arrow Down

Massive 100-metre sinkhole leaves Ukrainian villagers terrified after reports it has swallowed up homes


Swallowed up: This huge sinkhole measuring around 100m wide by 60m deep has appeared in the village of Solotvino in the Zakarpatska Oblast region of western Ukraine
Spanning 100 metres across and some 60 metres deep, this gigantic hole could be a meteor crater.

But it's understood to have been caused by something far closer to home - humble salt.

Terrified residents fear their homes will soon vanish after it suddenly opened up in their Ukrainian village, reportedly swallowing seven houses in the process.

Now they are demanding the government act to either stop the hole getting even bigger or move them to a new, safer location.


Arctic snowy owl seen in North Clare, Ireland during spring

© John Murphy
Snowy Owl.
A Snowy Owl has been recorded in North Clare, just the fourth such sighting of the bird in Clare during the past 100 years.

The bird was sighted on Sunday in the Gleninagh Mountain area, located a few miles northwest of Ballyvaughan along the North Clare coastline.

A Snowy Owl was recorded in the same area in late May 2014. Previous sightings occurred in Mount Callan in 2010 and at Maghera in East Clare in 1907.


Elephant tramples traditional doctor to death in Zambia


Elephant charging
A trip to gather wild plants in Kazungula forest turned into a nightmare when a 68-year-old traditional doctor was trampled to death by an elephant, on Tuesday.

The elephant reportedly charged at the man, who was in the company of his 50-year-old friend while the two were digging for healing plants. The latter man managed to escape and flee for safety, while the traditional doctor failed to run away.

News of the traditional healer's death was trending on online social media platforms like Facebook, as he was well known in the North West district, for his divine healing gift.

Kasane police station commander, Superintendent Silton Fidzani said that the traditional doctor who hailed from Parakarungu within the Chobe District, but was stationed in Kasane met his demise at around 14:30 hours on Tuesday.

Arrow Down

Woman rescued from 35 ft deep sinkhole in Cherokee County, Texas

© KLTV staff
One woman is in the hospital after falling into a massive sinkhole in Cherokee County.

The Lake Palestine East Fire Department tells CBS19 the accident happened on Wylie Road in the Shady Brook subdivision near Lake Palestine. The road began giving way early Monday morning and has been blocked off most of the day.

The woman slipped and fell in around 8:30 p.m. Monday while trying to put up barricades around the hole. Two firemen from the Lake Palestine East Fire Department had to go down into the sinkhole in order to pull her out. She was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Comment: The Earth seems to be gobbling up everything she can. Check out:
  • Sinkhole causes death of man in Panola County, Mississippi
  • Dangerous sinkhole opens up in Gateshead, UK - 'Someone could have been killed'
  • Sinkhole swallows dump truck in Aiken, South Carolina

Arrow Down

Afghanistan landslide buries remote village, killing 52


A landslide in the same province in May last year killed hundreds.
At least 52 people have been killed in north-eastern Afghanistan after a huge landslide swept through a village. Nearly 100 homes were destroyed in Khawahan district, Badakhshan province, near Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan. A provincial official told the BBC that most of those killed were women and children.

He said the affected area was not accessible by road due to heavy snow, seriously hampering rescue efforts. The region regularly suffers landslides when snow begins to melt in the spring.

Arrow Down

Over 100 landslides triggered by heavy rain leave at least 14 dead in Salvador, Brazil

© Manu Dias/ GOVBA
Landslides after heavy rain in Bairro do Lobato, Salvador, Brazil, April 2015.
Local civil defence officials today confirmed that at least 14 people have been killed in landslides near the city of Salvador in the Bahia region, north-eastern Brazil. Two people are still missing. Search and rescue operations, with assistance from military personnel, will continue today.

The landslides were triggered by heavy rain that fell between 26 and 28 April 2015. More than 100 landslides have been reported in the area, nearly all of them in the poorest areas on the steep hillsides around the city, such as Bom Juá, where 4 people died, and Bairro do Lobato, shown in the photos below.

Salvador Civil defence said that the heavy rain had caused 147 landslides. Floods were reported in 17 areas of the city, and at least 21 buildings have collapsed. Flooding affected some of the city's hospitals and caused schools to close.

© Manu Dias/ GOVBA
Landslides after heavy rain in Bairro do Lobato, Salvador, Brazil, April 2015.

Cloud Precipitation

Several feared dead following flash flooding in Narok, Kenya

© Gitonga Theuri
Narok river floods.
The streets of Narok town in Kenya were turned to rivers after a massive downpour yesterday, 28 April 2015.

Local media say that buildings have collapsed and at least 10 vehicles were swept away in the flooding. Some local media reports say that at least 5 bodies have been recovered from the floods. This figure is expected to rise as rescue operations continue. There are currently no official figures or confirmation regarding fatalities or missing people. Local police have asked people to report any missing person.

Narok County authorities have been coordinating with Narok County Emergency Team, Police, Kenya Red Cross and medics throughout the night as the try to contain the situation after the floods.

Kenya Red Cross are carrying out rescue operations in the area and have brought in a backup team from Nairobi. The Red Cross said that the Narok to Bomet road was blocked and response operations were being hampered by inaccessibility.

The County government is advising people to keep calm and avoid movement in town, stay indoors as long as possible and not leave their home unless absolutely necessary.


Kilauea Volcano lava lake reaches rim, threatens to overflow

© GB Hajim, COO HawaiiCon
The lava lake at the summit of Kilauea volcano reached the rim of the Overlook crater vent this morning, "during a period when all spattering stopped, but did not get quite high enough to overflow onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor," scientists report.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says there was no significant change in tilt recorded at Kīlauea's summit over the past day. This week's rise in the level of the lava lake to record heights has correlated with inflation recorded at the summit; about 7.5 microradians since inflation started on Tuesday, April 21. The radial tilt leveled off into slight deflation on Monday but as of this posting Tuesday morning it has returned to steady inflation. The lava lake remained at a steady 10-13 feet below the rim on Monday.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says seismicity is elevated beneath Kilauea's summit and upper East and Southwest Rift Zones. Sulfur dioxide emission rates averaged 3000-5200 tonnes/day for the week ending April 21.

Blue Planet

Did Nepal earthquake change Mount Everest's height?

© Andy Bardon, National Geographic Creative
Mount Everest (left) and Mount Nuptse (right) might have shifted in the recent Nepal earthquake, but by how much?
The massive earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday likely caused permanent changes in the Earth's surface and may have made Everest a little taller - or shorter, scientists say.

A team of geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working on the problem now, but they need to retrieve data from a GPS station near Everest within the next 11 days, warns Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist who studies earthquakes with the USGS in Pasadena, California.

After that, new data will start recording over information about the quake, erasing the most detailed information on how much the station swayed back and forth and up and down. As a result, the geologists are scrambling to raise the funds to book helicopter time or to piggyback the mission on scheduled humanitarian efforts. (Learn more about the science of the Nepal quake.)


25 injured as stray dogs go on biting spree in Vijayawada, India


Injured by dogs
Stray dogs in and around city went on a biting spree on Monday and around 25 people fell victim to the canine attack. The casualty ward of the Government General Hospital here was choked with dog bite victims and the doctors there had their hands full administering anti-rabies vaccine to them.

A pack of stray dogs went on the rampage and attacked people in Sanatnagar and Kannur on the city outskirts. As many as nine persons including five children were hurt in these places.

Enraged over the dog menace, residents of the area beat a dog to death. In Payakapuram, three persons were bitten by a street dog. There were other sporadic incidents of dog bites reported from other parts of the city and suburbs.

"Since the morning we have seen around 25 dog bite cases and we have given anti-rabies vaccine to them and there were no severe injuries. We have sufficient number of vaccines and required medicines to treat the victims," said GGH Superintendent U Surya Kumari.