Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

EF-1 tornado rips off roofs in Washington State

© Greg Schoenberg
A tornado with winds surpassing 50 mph ripped roofs off buildings, launched large yard toys through windows, uprooted trees and sent residents scrambling in Cowlitz County Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado was an EF1 on the tornado scale.

The tornado carved a skipping path through neighborhood streets and into downtown Longview before vanishing in the dark sky a short time later.

Denny Malloy was driving through Longview when the wind started swirling around his truck.

"I saw what looked like an enormous dust devil and then these large panels off a roof started falling everywhere," he said. "It seemed like everyone was pretty stunned."

Then, he watched in shock as the wind ripped the roof off a nearby appliance store.

Kelly LaBeau pulled up just as the roof lifted off an assisted living facility in Longview.

"I said to myself, what is going on? There aren't tornadoes in Longview?'" he said.

Early snowfall causes chaos in western Austria

© APA/Gindl
A lorry on the A10 near the Tauern tunnel.
Winter has come early to western Austria, leaving hundreds of homes without electricity on Wednesday night. Snow and rainfall also caused numerous problems on roads, and is expected to continue until Thursday evening.

The Tauern tunnel and A10 motorway had to be closed on Thursday morning in the direction of Salzburg because of a fallen tree.

Fallen trees also caused power outages in the Tyrolean regions of Brandenberg, Hochfilzen, Zillertall in Zell and Gerlostal.

The Arlberg railway line had to be closed between Wald am Arlberg and Dalaas. Travellers were warned of delays and cancellations on the train service between Tyrol and Vorarlberg until noon. A rail replacement bus service has been set up.

Experts are also warning of an increased danger of avalanches in Tyrol.
Cloud Lightning

'Rare' tornado hits Washington city of Longview

© AP Photo/The Daily News, John Markon

Workers bring roofing material to start temporary repairs on the roof of the Carl's Towing building, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 in Longview, Wash.
The southwest Washington city of Longview tallied the damage Friday from a rare tornado that tore off roofs, broke windows and uprooted trees, leaving residents and officials in disbelief. No one was injured in the Thursday afternoon wind blast, which covered 1.3 miles and unleashed winds as high as 110 mph, the National Weather Service said.

Police and fire crews responded quickly to the hardest-hit area, but Longview Fire Chief Phil Jurmu admitted his first reaction was puzzlement. "I kind of furrowed my brow, probably, and said, 'What?'" he told KATU-TV of Portland.

Tornadoes are rare in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest, where the nearby Pacific Ocean generally prevents severe temperature changes. But another one hit southwest Washington in 1972 and caused damage in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.

Florida man kills black bear that broke into his Lady Lake home

© Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Black Bear.
Victor Peters thought at first it was a burglar who broke into a sitting room at his Lady Lake home.

But then the Michigan retiree noticed the only thing missing Wednesday morning was half a bag of dog food.

The "burglar" turned out to be a large black bear who made the mistake of returning Wednesday night when Peters was armed and ready for it.

"When I yelled at it, he looked [at me] like, 'Well, I don't care who you are,'" Peters told a Lake County sheriff's 911 dispatcher. "He just kept coming."

The animal bared its teeth at Peters, who fired his hunting rifle into the bear's head from 10 feet away. It died right there in Peters' Florida room.

Bizarro Earth

Restive Mayon volcano showing new signs of activity with quakes and rock fall

Restive Mayon Volcano showed new signs of activity with four volcanic quakes and one rockfall in the last 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Friday. In its 8 a.m. update, Phivolcs also observed a moderate emission of white steam plumes drifting southwest. However, it said there was no crater glow observed Thursday night.

These activities show Mayon remains "in a state of unrest due to the movement of potentially eruptible magma," it added. Phivolcs said Mayon's alert level remains at "3," meaning "magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks."

More than 12,000 families living in Mayon's danger zone had been evacuated since Phivolcs raised the alert level at the volcano in mid-September.
Bizarro Earth

Japan warns of possible Mt. Ioyama eruption near nuclear plant

Mt. Ioyama
Japan warned today that a volcano in southern Japan located roughly 64 km (40 miles) from a nuclear plant was showing signs of increased activity that could possibly lead to a small-scale eruption and warned people to stay away from the summit.

The warning comes nearly a month after another volcano, Mt Ontake, erupted suddenly when crowded with hikers, killing 57 people in Japan's worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years. Ioyama, a mountain on the southwestern island of Kyushu, has been shaken by small tremors and other signs of rising volcanic activity recently, including a tremor lasting as long as seven minutes, an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency's volcano division said.

"There is an increase in activity that under certain circumstances could even lead to a small scale eruption, but it is not in danger of an imminent, major eruption," the official said.

The warning level on the mountain has been raised from the lowest possible level, normal, to the second lowest, which means that the area around the crater is dangerous, he added.

Ioyama lies in the volcanically active Kirishima mountain range and is roughly 64 km from the Sendai nuclear plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co, which the Japanese government wants to restart even though the public remains opposed to nuclear power following the Fukushima crisis.

9 pilot whales strand near St. Nicholas, Canada - 2 die

Stranded pilot whales near Linkletter.
Of the pilot whales that were stranded near St. Nicholas Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, two have died, two were rescued and the rest freed themselves.

Scientists and officers from several government departments, educational institutions and volunteer groups were on the scene Thursday morning as the last two whales were lead back out to sea.

The whales were discovered by a woman walking her dog Tuesday afternoon. A large male had beached himself in Sunbury Cove, between St. Nicholas and Linkletter, while eight females and juveniles swam around him.

Fisherman: "Tunicorn" tuna had horn on its head

Kim Haskell says horn embedded in head of "tunicorn" appeared to be a sailfish's bill.

© ABC Tales from the Tinny/Facebook
Kim Haskell's nephew Christopher reeled in a 40kg dogtooth tuna with a giant spike sticking out of it's head
The Australian fishermen who reeled in what's been dubbed a "tunicorn" said the fish's large forehead horn appeared to be the bill of a sailfish.

Kim Haskell, 64, of Bloomfield, said he was fishing with his brother, Jamie, and his nephew, Christopher, near Osprey Reef off the coast of Queensland when Christopher reeled in an 88-pound dogtooth tuna with a large horn protruding from the center of its head.

Haskell said it appeared the bill of sailfish had become embedded in the fish's head.
Bizarro Earth

Colombia-Ecuador border earthquake sparking concern of possible imminent volcanic eruption

Authorities in southwestern Colombia have raised alert levels on Tuesday after a 5.6M earthquake hit the border region, raising concerns that two nearby volcanoes might erupt in a matter of days. Colombia's Geological Service have changed the alert level of two volcanoes from yellow to orange. The two volcanoes are Cerro Negro and Chiles, both active on Colombia's southern border with Ecuador.

The orange alert level is defined by the Geological Service as "probable eruption in term of days to weeks." The earthquake that hit the border region caused a scare on both side of the border.

Officials in the Colombian town of Cumbal, near the quake's epicenter, were quoted as saying by The Associated Press that they formed an emergency committee to survey possible damage. But so far, there were no reports of injuries in the town of 36,000 residents, the majority of them members of an indigenous tribe.

"It was really strong, every house" felt it, Jose Diomedes Juezpesan, the town's top official, told AP. If the volcanoes are to erupt, it will mostly affect the state Nariño. Local state government have started to take security measures in order prevent tragedies.
Bizarro Earth

Colombia orders evacuation of around 12,000 people amid fears of volcanic eruptions

Authorities in southwest Colombia ordered the evacuation of around 12,000 people living near the Chiles and Cerro Negro volcanoes on the border with Ecuador, amid fears that recent volcanic activity may result in an eruption.

On Tuesday, Colombia's Geological Service have changed the alert level of two volcanoes from yellow to orange.

48 hours later, it was followed up by the National Disaster Risk Management Unit's (UNGRD) decision to evacuate more than 3,500 families belonging to indigenous reserves of Chiles , Panam and Mayasquer.

According to Carlos Ivan Marquez, the director of the UNGRD, the authorities set up an incident command post in the town of Cumbal where they have delivered 3,000 tents for the people in temporary shelters.

"In accord with the forecast given to us by the Geological Service, the change of alert level from yellow to orange means anticipated eruptions in the coming days or weeks," Marquez told the media.

If the volcanoes are to erupt, it will mostly affect the state Nariño. Local state government have started to take security measures in order prevent tragedies.