Earth Changes

Arrow Down

Landslide buckles Vasquez Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, California

© Getty
A portion of Vasquez Canyon Road remained closed indefinitely Friday after a landslide prompted buckling and significant damage along a 2-mile stretch in the Canyon Country area.

"This isn't just the road; it's the mountain itself that's moving and it's pushing the road up," said Paul Funk with L.A. County Department of Public Works.

The roadway was closed Thursday between Lost Creek Road and Vasquez Way after public works officials first noticed the shift around 10:30 that morning.

The closure was said to be indefinite and would likely last for "a long time," Funk said.


Second earthquake rattles northern Oklahoma; 4.6 magnitude

Just one day after a massive earthquake rattled northern Oklahoma, several others followed.

On Thursday, a 4.7 magnitude quake was recorded near Cherokee, Oklahoma around 1:42 a.m.

Just one day later, the U.S. Geological Survey reported several earthquakes in the Medford area.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 4.6 magnitude earthquake was reported near Medford around 4:40 p.m. on Friday.

Just 13 minutes later, a 3.1 magnitude quake was recorded near Medford, followed by a 3.9 magnitude quake just two minutes after that.


6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes eastern Indonesia

© US Geological Survey
The quake was felt in Saumlaki, the closest city to the epicentre, a local geophysics station officer said
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but no tsunami warning was issued and no immediate damage or casualties were reported. The undersea quake was recorded at a depth of 67 kilometres near Indonesia's Babar islands, according to USGS.

The quake was felt in Saumlaki, the closest city to the epicentre, a local geophysics station officer said.

"We felt the quake for about 25 seconds, and it felt like a truck went past in front of the house," an officer at the geophysics station, Alva Rottie, told AFP.

The tremor prompted some residents to run outside, but the National Disaster Management Agency said the quake had no tsunami potential. Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

Source: PTI


Outgassing? Residents baffled as mystery stench engulfs Barcelona

© Getty
The city of Barcelona has been plagued by putrid stench for the last two days

Thousands of residents have taken to social media to complain about an unsavoury smell wafting over the city, the source of which remains a mystery.

Experts from Catalonia's Department of Agriculture were on Thursday investigating the cause of a pong that has descended over Barcelona.

The town hall in the town of El Prat de Llobregat, just south of Barcelona, blamed the stench on spilled fertilizer near the Baix Llobregat agricultural park.

The manager of the agricultural park, Raimon Rueda, admitted that on Wednesday afternoon manure was spread across a four hectare area of farmland on the facility.

But he was skeptical that the manure was the cause of the stink that swept across Barcelona and the wider metropolitan area, saying there was "nothing unusual" in spreading fertilizer and it had been spread on a tiny patch of the 3,500 hectare facility.

Sources at the agricultural ministry told La Vanguardia that it was "difficult to believe" that the whiff had come from normal agricultural activity but that at this time "all hypotheses were open".

Comment: Other possible cases of outgassing in recent times include:

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 6 family members in Zimbabwe

Six members of the same family have been burnt to death in Chienge while two others are battling for their lives at Mwabu Rural Health Post after the house in which they were sleeping was struck by lightning.

The dead are five children and an adult, identified as Jennifer Musonda, 28, Emmanuel Nyinda, three, and Musonda Chipampe, six, all of Kamasansa village in Chief Puta's area, Jennifer Musange, 16, Nancy Chanda, 11, and Anthony Mulambwa, 9, all of Kalendwe village.

Luapula Province deputy commissioner of police Webby Shula said in an interview yesterday that the incident happened on Wednesday around 23:00 hours at Kalendwe village in Senior Chief Puta's area.


Record 14-inch snowfall pummels Sioux Falls, South Dakota

© AP Photo/Argus Leader,Elisha Page
Snowplow in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
What was supposed to be a few inches of snow on Friday turned into a deluge that blanketed parts of Sioux Falls in more than a foot of the white stuff and caused travel headaches throughout the day.

Fourteen inches of snow were reported in the southwest quadrant of the city by Friday evening, the National Weather Service office said. On the other side of town, Sioux Falls Regional Airport recorded 7.1 inches by 6 p.m.

The numbers shattered the previous snowfall record for Nov. 20, which was measured at 3.8 inches in 1975.

Other parts of southeast South Dakota had a variety of snowfall levels. In Harrisburg, one area measured a whopping 17 inches of snow, while Huron did not see a single flake, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Weisser.

Actual snowfall blew past projected levels out of the water. On Wednesday, forecasters predicted less than one inch of snow for the Sioux Falls area. By Thursday, the prediction amount had risen to between one and three inches and again to four to six inches by Friday morning.

Sioux Falls' unforeseen influx of snow is mostly due to a large snow band that was supposed to be concentrated between Sioux Falls and Sioux City but ended up drifting further north, according to the National Weather Service.

"That snow band shifted north about 10 to 15 miles (more) than we expected," meteorologist Jennifer Hacker said. "Those extreme values are really difficult to forecast."

Cloud Precipitation

10,000 displaced by floods as Tana River overflows in Kenya


Youth yesterday carry a motorcycle across a road that had been cut off at Milore, Ganze, Kilifi county, after seasonal rivers burst their banks and paralysed transport.
More than 2,500 families have been displaced by floods in Tana River county after the River Tana overflowed.

This brings to 10,000 the number of people affected by floods in the county.

Residents were displaced in Garsen, Tana Delta, Boji, Hola Galole and Bura, Kenya Red Cross Society's Gerald Bombe said yesterday.

He is the officer in charge of Tana River and Kitui counties.

Thousands of other residents have also been affected by the raging floods indirectly, Bombe told the Star on the phone.

Floodwaters have also destroyed crops.


Third 'once-a-century' drought in 15 years: Tens of thousands of wildfires so far this year as Amazon jungle goes up in smoke

The fires follow months of extreme drought in the country's southern states, which experts say is caused by climate change and deforestation.

Brazil's central Amazonas region has registered at least 906 active forest fires due to severe drought in the region, according to a new government report.

The Brazilian Institute for Space Research, known as INPE, reported Sunday that satellites had detected the fires, which account for over 59 percent of all active fires in Brazil.

The region most affected has been the northern state of Amazonas, the heart of the largest rainforest in the world. The region has already seen 11,114 forest fires since January of this year - a 47 percent rise compared to the same period last year, said INPE.

The state capital Manaus has been wreathed in smoke, causing issues for those with respiratory diseases. The smoke has failed to disperse because of the lack of rain and winds in the region lately.

Comment: This is the third 'once-in-a-century' drought the region has had in 15 years...
'Amazon rainforest hit by second 'once in a century drought' in five years'

Daily Mail, 4 February 2011

The Amazon has been hit by its second 'once in a century' drought in five years, scientists say.

A study found that last year's drought was even more severe and more widespread than the disastrous water shortages that gripped the world's largest rainforest in 2005.

The extended dry season is thought to have wiped out swathes of the Amazon, killing millions of trees, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals.
As with the explosion in wildfires in North America, the Arctic, Southeast Asia and elsewhere, we suspect that the vast majority of these fires are not man-made.

Snowflake Cold

Iceland in the grip of bitter cold snap

© Rax
Frost and snow in parts of Iceland today.
Anybody venturing outside in Iceland yesterday evening will have found that predictions of bitterly cold weather were not exaggerated.

Even the most extreme forecast minimum temperature was reached - it was exactly -20°C at the Icelandic Met Office weather station at Sandbúðir in inland South-East Iceland early this morning.

It is currently -9°C in the capital Reykjavik and temperatures will struggle to exceed -4°C at their very warmest today.

Residents of Akureyri woke up this morning to temperatures of -10°C and a blanket of white, after heavy snowfall yesterday evening. A Primera Air jet flying a charter flight from Tenerife to Akureyri was forced to divert to Keflavík (KEF) as visibility in North Iceland was so bad.

Arrow Up

Tungurahua volcano erupts in Ecuador covering houses, fields with ash and smoke

© AP/Dolores Ochoa
Tungurahua volcano spews ash and vapor, as seen seen Ojos del Volcan, Ecuador, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015.
Residents from communities near Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano faced a massive cleaning operation on Thursday (19 November) after the volcano erupted, covering houses and fields with smoke and ash. Authorities issued an orange alert as emissions reached 2,500 metres above the crater.

In nearby Queros, one of the most affected communities, officials registered 10kg of ash per square metre.
As he swept the street near his house, resident Luis Vaca said the volcanic material was damaging crops. "Ash is falling everywhere; it's strong, especially in the countryside where it's falling more heavily. It's damaging the crops. It would be good if the president came to visit us," he said.
© AP/Dolores Ochoa
Volcanologist Patricia Mothes confirmed that eruptions have been substantial. "These accumulations of ash that have been falling are the greatest masses of ash that we've registered in the past five years," she said.

Comment: Check out SOTT's latest Earth Changes Summary video of extreme weather and planetary upheaval.

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - October 2015: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs