Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

World's newest lava lake appears in Africa

© Benoit Smets
The lava lake at the summit of Nyamuragira volcano in DR Congo.
Heralded by fiery lava fountains and plumes of poisonous gas, a new lava lake has appeared atop one of Africa's most active volcanoes for the first time in 75 years.

The lava lake at Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) simmers deep within the summit's North Pit Crater. Though the churning lava seems to come and go, scientists think the volcano may eventually spawn a long-lived lava lake.

At the moment, "it's a very small, bubbling lava lake," said Benoit Smets, a volcanologist at the European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology in Luxembourg. "It disappears and reappears, but if the current activity continues, we will probably have a lava lake like we have at [neighboring volcano] Nyiragongo within a few years to decades."

Both Nyamuragira and the neighboring Nyiragongo are part of the Virunga volcanic chain in the East African Rift near Lake Kivu and DR Congo's border with Rwanda. The volcanoes are among the few on Earth that have sustained lava lakes for several decades. Nyamuragira's last molten pool emptied in 1938 in spectacular fashion, with lava pouring out of the summit and flowing more than 18 miles (30 kilometers) to Lake Kivu.

The new lava lake is at the bottom of a 1,650-foot-deep (500 meters) crater left behind by that flood.

Comment: Residents evacuated as Pico do Fogo volcano in Cape Verde erupts after a 20 year silence

Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.8 - 160km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia

Ternate Quake_261114
Event Time
2014-11-26 14:33:43 UTC
2014-11-26 22:33:43 UTC+08:00 at epicenter

1.975°N 126.546°E depth=41.1km (25.5mi)

Nearby Cities
160km (99mi) NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia
161km (100mi) NW of Ternate, Indonesia
162km (101mi) ENE of Bitung, Indonesia
165km (103mi) W of Tobelo, Indonesia
1061km (659mi) SW of Koror Town, Palau

Scientific Data

British tourist victim of 'worst-ever' attack by Gibraltar monkey

Brit holidaymaker needed 40 stitches after monkey attack

A British tourist needed 40 stitches after being attacked by one of Gibraltar's famous apes.

Stuart Gravenell, 53, was walking through the Upper Rock Nature Reserve with his son, Bradley, when he was attacked.

A pack of apes charged at them, and one male sunk his teeth into Stuart's forearm and shook its head, opening up two bloody wounds.

Stuart collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where nurses said it was the worst injury inflicted by a local ape that they'd ever seen.

Young woman killed by a mob of monkeys in India

Monkey tragic: A string of brutal attacks by the Langur monkey has plagued the city of Shimla
A woman in India has been killed by a mob of marauding monkeys.

The woman was reportedly cornered by a group of monkeys on her farm in Himachal Pradesh, before they attacked and killed her.

A legislation banning people from catching the monkeys and selling them for medical research has recently been passed.

Reports suggest this new rule has seen a primate boom in Shimla, where there is an average of 400 bites a month.

It is believed there are around 400,000 monkeys in the region, with the attacks being blamed on black-faced langur monkeys, which can grow to 4ft tall and weigh three stone.

Villager trampled to death by elephant in West Bengal, India

In the early hours on Wednesday, at Dhupguri area in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, a local villager was trampled to death by an elephant, a forest official said.

This shocking incident of animal attack on a human took place when a herd of elephants from the neighbouring forest entered Duramari village. This group of elephants damaged paddy crops and was on the way towards the dwellings of the village.

Jalpaiguri Wildlife Warden Seema Chowdhury said, The villager of Duramari Village named Dinesh Chandra Roy was killed by a pachyderm when he came face to face with the elephant as he stepped out of his house.

After killing a villager, the herd of elephants then returned to the forest.

2 people killed in another elephant attack in Sri Lanka

Elephant breaking a branch after a charge.
A wild elephant stormed into a crowded pilgrimage town in Sri Lanka on Wednesday and trampled two men to death near Buddhism's most sacred tree, a resident and police said.

Wildlife authorities fired tranquiliser darts to try to subdue the rampaging animal in the town of Anuradhapura, 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital, police said.

The elephant ran past President Mahinda Rajapakse's official residence in Anuradhapura at dawn before crushing a cyclist and a bystander near the holy tree, the Sri Maha Bodi.

"It is very unusual for an wild elephant to go to town like this," a local resident told AFP. "The last time we saw something like this was when a tusker came to the town in 2001 but it did not kill anyone, unlike this time."

Comment: Other recent reports from Sri Lanka: Wild elephant attacks kills two in Sri Lanka

One person killed in wild elephant attack in Sri Lanka

Fourth elephant attack within four weeks in Sri Lanka

Two killed in a wild elephant attack in Maankulam, Sri Lanka

Father and son killed in elephant attack, Sri Lanka

Arrow Down

Woman falls into three metre deep sinkhole in Melbourne, Australia

The hole where that the woman fell into.
A woman has been rescued from a three metre deep sinkhole that opened up in her backyard in Melbourne while she was hanging up her washing.

The 45-year-old was forced to swim and float in water at the bottom of the sinkhole for about half an hour, until her cries for help attracted the attention of neighbours.

Authorities now believe that the hole was on the site of an old well.

An Ambulance Victoria spokesman said the woman was hanging up washing in the backyard about 11.30am when the sinkhole opened up under her feet.

"The woman told us she was hanging washing out in the backyard at about 11.30 this morning when the ground gave way," Paramedic Stephanie Palamberis said.

"She fell with the dirt and mud, dropping about three metres and landing in waist deep water. At one stage her head was under the water.

Nearly 60 million in path of East Coast, Appalachian snowstorm - 6-12 inches forecast

A storm with rain and heavy snow will cause major disruptions and delays for Thanksgiving travel on the East Coast and in the Appalachians.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "In most cases, the worst time to travel in the mid-Atlantic and New England due to the storm will be on Wednesday and Wednesday night."

"The best time to travel will be through Tuesday night in these same areas, with the next best time on Thanksgiving Day."

Rain will initially spread northward along the Interstate-95 with snow and rain to start farther west in the I-81 corridor. However, a change to snow will take place from west to east from northern Virginia to New England.

The storm will bring mostly snow to the I-81 swath in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, I-84 in southeastern New York state, as well as much of interior New England, where a general 6-12 inches of snow are forecast.

In anticipation of delays or cancellations, several airlines, including US Airways, American and Delta, have announced they will waive change fees for passengers scheduled to fly into airports in the line of the storm.
Some places across the Hudson Valley and New England could even have snow totals exceeding a foot.

"The storm should rapidly strengthen off the coast of New England on Wednesday night, leading to strong and gusty winds, especially near the coast," stated Meteorologist Ben Noll as he discussed the impacts in this storm scenario.

Comment: See video coverage courtesy of Accuweather here.


Elderly apple grower killed by bear in Japan

A 74-year-old man was found dead Thursday morning at his apple orchard in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, after having apparently been attacked by a bear.

Police said Kazuo Harada told his wife Wednesday night he was going out to see if there were any bear tracks near the apple trees, TBS reported. Harada's wife went to bed early and found her husband's body at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Harada's face and throat had injuries and claw marks consistent with a bear attack, police said, adding that bear tracks were found near Harada's body.

Police said there have been numerous bear sightings in the area recently. Authorities said that in autumn, bears aggressively search for food before hibernating for the winter.  

Father and son killed in elephant attack, Sri Lanka

A father and his six-year-old son were killed after being attacked by a wild elephant in the Paludeniya area in Aralaganwila this morning, the Police Spokesman's Office.

The 45-year-old victim, who is employed as a security guard at a private company in Paludeniya, was with his son at his occupation when the elephant attack took place.

They were both rushed to the Dehiattakandiya Hospital with critical injuries following the attack, however were pronounced dead on admittance, police said.