Earth Changes

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Large sinkhole opens up in Grayson Valley, Alabama

The flood-waters have receded, leaving behind a big mess in some places, including a big sinkhole in one neighborhood.

A sinkhole opened up on Pine Tree Lane just off of Brewster Road in the Grayson Valley area of Birmingham. Police say the hole is about 6 feet deep.

Traffic has been blocked off so if you drive in that area you'll need to find another way around. The worry is that the water coming out from under the road will soon make the whole street collapse.

Red Flag

Pittsburgh's Mount Washington landslide halts trains, Duquesne Incline; restaurant closed as precaution

Pittsburgh landslide
© Darrell Sapp / Post-Gazette
Cleanup continued Tuesday on the Mount Washington hillside after a landslide.
A football-field-sized swath tore loose from the face of Mount Washington early Tuesday morning, sending a torrent of mud and trees across railroad tracks along West Carson Street and briefly closing the Duquesne Incline.

Pittsburgh officials also ordered a precautionary closure of LeMont restaurant above the slide zone, but an engineer said a visual inspection found no signs of instability around that structure.
Arrow Up

Volcanic islands merge in Pacific Ocean

The newer part of the island - Niijima - is now larger than the older portion, which last expanded in 1973-74
A volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean has merged with its neighbour to form one landmass, the US space agency says.

The merged island lies some 1,000km (621mi) south of Tokyo, the result of eruptions on the seafloor that have spewed enough material to rise above the water line.

In November 2013, a new island sprouted near to Nishino-shima, another volcanic landmass that last expanded in the 70s.

Four months later, the new and old islands are one island.

Pork prices rise after virus kills piglets

© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File
Dr. Craig Rowles stands with hogs in one of his Carroll, Iowa, hog buildings.
A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it's threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.

Estimates vary, but one economist believes case data indicate more than 6 million piglets in 27 states have died since porcine epidemic diarrhea showed up in the U.S. last May. A more conservative estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows the nation's pig herd has shrunk at least 3 percent to about 63 million pigs since the disease appeared.

Scientists think the virus, which does not infect humans or other animals, came from China, but they don't know how it got into the country. The federal government is looking into how such viruses might spread, while the pork industry, wary of future outbreaks, has committed $1.7 million to research the disease.
Cloud Precipitation

Storms, flooding, possible tornadoes, pummel Southeast U.S.

© AP/Jay Reeves
Firefighters rescue a family from their home, surrounded by floodwaters, in a mobile home park in Pelham, Ala., on Monday, April 7, 2014. Overnight storms dumped torrential rains in central Alabama, causing flooding across a wide area.
Severe thunderstorms dumped heavy rains across the Southeast on Monday and caused flash flooding in central Alabama, where crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue dozens of people from their homes and cars.

In Mississippi, a 9-year-old girl was swept away and killed after the storms dropped nearly 7 inches of rain there over the last two days. A possible tornado in another part of the state damaged homes and hurt seven people, and a motorist in metro Atlanta was found dead after driving into a creek swollen with rainwater.

Strong winds downed trees, power lines and snarled rush hour commutes. National Weather Service forecasters in North Carolina say video indicates a tornado touched down near the town of Belhaven in the eastern part of the state. Authorities say a pickup truck was lifted off the highway, injuring a man and his son.

50 injured, several hospitalised in bee attack in Mumbai, India

Women attacked by bees
© Unknown
Naina Sandesara, 65, and Rupal Shah who were stung by bees at Gaurav Garden Complex, which comprises around 30 buildings at Bandarpakhadi village, Kandivali (West)
Over 50 people were left writhing in agony and many had to be rushed to hospital after a hive of bees attacked people in Gaurav Garden Complex, which comprises around 30 buildings at Bandarpakhadi village, Kandivali (W), on Monday afternoon. What caused the bees to become agitated is unclear.
Cloud Lightning

Massive storm hits Argentina, 2,000 evacuated

Flooding in Argentina
A massive storm hit Argentina over the weekend and Monday, causing flooding and evacuations of more than 2,000 people across the country.

The provinces of Catamarca in the northwest and Neuquen in the southwest took the brunt of the storm, Maria Rodriguez, the national minister of security, said in a statement.

The federal government has deployed national forces, trucks, communications equipment and supplies of food, beverages and medicine to help evacuees and local governments.
Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills over 60 dairy cows in Chile

© AP Photo/Radio San Jose de Alcudia
In this Monday, April 7, 2014 cell phone image provided by local station, Radio San Jose de Alcudia and downloaded from its Facebook page, a herd of cattle carcasses skirt a tree on a ranch in Rio Bueno, Chile. Ranchers in southern Chile say a series of lightning strikes spawned by storms has killed more than 60 of their dairy cows.
Ranchers in southern Chile say a series of lightning strikes has killed more than 60 of their dairy cows, costing the cattle owners thousands of dollars.

Storms on Sunday spawned the strikes in south-central Chile. Worst hit was a ranch in Los Rios owned by Cecil Fourt, who says 54 of his cows were killed by lightning and another one was blinded. Another rancher, Claudio Toledo, says nine of his cows sheltering under a tree were struck and killed.

The El Austral newspaper reported Tuesday that workers were digging a deep pit to bury the cattle.

Source: AP
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The New Normal: Sinkholes still plague Palmyra, Pennsylvania

© Earl Brightbill — Lebanon Daily News
A front end loader is used to fix a sinkhole on South Grant Street south of Cherry Street in Palmyra on Monday. Borough officials believe the new sinkhole may be connected to a hole that opened at a nearby property in the past few weeks ago.
With April showers and the spring thaw, sinkholes are starting to open again around Palmyra.

On Monday, borough crews worked on filling a new sinkhole that was reported during the weekend in an alley along the 300 block of East Cherry Street between South Harrison and South Grant streets. Crews also were patching a sinkhole about two feet in diameter that reopened on South Grant Street on Friday, according to a borough official.

The latest sinkhole was reported Sunday in an alley next to 320 E. Cherry St., borough manager Roger Powl said. He believes it may be connected to a sinkhole that opened on that property at the rear of the house two or three weeks ago.

"It's probably the same hole. It's just getting larger," he said. "It's about the diameter of a basketball."

In October, three large sinkholes opened in the same block of East Cherry Street between the alley and South Grant Street, forcing the evacuation of several families. Residents have been concerned that sinkholes will migrate.
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Work to repair sinkhole starts in Derry Township, Pennsylvania

PennDOT road crews have started work to repair a sinkhole along Route 422 at the east end of Derry Township.

PennDOT crews will first excavate and determine the size of the sinkhole. Depending on the size, the repair work may take most of the day to complete, according to a PennDOT news release.

The repair work is affecting both directions of Route 422, and a traffic signal at the intersection of East Derry Road has been placed on flash. Flaggers are assisting drivers through the work area.

Drivers are advised to seek alternate routes or allow additional time in their travel plans in order to avoid delays.

The work was originally scheduled for Monday, but was postponed because of rain.