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Umbrella

Heavy rains flood Shanghai

The "heaviest rains in 70 years" lashed Shanghai Thursday, flooding 3,000 homes and leaving nearly 2,000 travellers stranded at the city's airports, state media reported.

Between 80 to 140 millimetres (three to 5.5 inches) fell in most areas of China's largest city, official news agency Xinhua reported, adding that vehicles had been damaged by falling branches. No casualties were reported.

More than 500 workers were deployed to clear the water, which was up to 30 centimetres deep on city roads, the report said.

Magnify

Scientists Untangle Multiple Causes of Bee Colony Disorder

Image
© Photo by Hi Paul
Honeycomb may contain pesticides applied years ago.
Pullman, Washington, - A microscopic pathogen and pesticides embedded in old honeycombs are two major contributors to the bee disease known as colony collapse disorder, which has wiped out thousands of beehives throughout the United States and Europe over the past three years, new research at Washington State University has confirmed.

Working on the project funded in part by regional beekeepers and WSU's Agricultural Research Center, entomology professor Steve Sheppard and his team have narrowed the list of potential causes for colony collapse disorder.

Phoenix

Fire in Canary Islands forces evacuation of 4,000

Madrid - A fierce forest fire fanned by high winds has forced the evacuation of around 4,000 residents on the Canary Island of La Palma, the Spanish government said Saturday.

Flames raging on steep hillsides southeast of the island's dormant San Antonio volcano have engulfed several houses and could damage fragile wildlife habitats, environmental worker Narciso Lorenzo said by telephone.

Bizarro Earth

Moderate earthquake hits Japan's Honshu island

A 5.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's Honshu island on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and no tsunami alert was issued.

The quake hit at 0:57 am (1557 GMT Saturday) at a depth of 11 kilometres near the west coast of Honshu and 57 kilometres northwest of Niigata, the USGS said.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake rocks Maluku

An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale jolted Saumlaki, Maluku at 6 a.m., local time on Sunday, but no fatalities or damages have been reported.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.0 - Central Peru

Image
© US Geological Survey
Date-Time:
Saturday, August 01, 2009 at 23:07:04 UTC
Saturday, August 01, 2009 at 06:07:04 PM at epicenter

Location:
12.100°S, 75.338°W

Depth:
124.3 km (77.2 miles)

Distances:
15 km (10 miles) W of Huancayo, Peru

165 km (105 miles) NW of Ayacucho, Peru

170 km (105 miles) NNE of Chincha Alta, Peru

185 km (115 miles) E of LIMA, Peru

Camera

In New York, It's the Summer That Isn't

Drab summer New York City 2009
© Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Another rainy day at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Attendance at city beaches through July 28 was down 30 percent, from 7.3 million to 5.1 million.

It's a gross, grungy, disgusting summer-in-the-city tradition: the muggy 90-degree day or, worse still, the 99-degree day.

But this summer has been conspicuously different in New York City. Not one 99-degree day in Central Park. Not a single day that the temperature even approached 90. For just the second time in 140 years of record keeping, the temperature failed to reach 90 in either June or July.

The daily average last month was at or below normal every day but two. The temperature broke 80 on 16 days in New York - one more day than in Fairbanks, Alaska. Depending on Friday's high, this was the second or third coolest June and July recorded in New York. If August follows the same pattern - and the latest forecast through midmonth predicts that it will - this could be the coolest summer on record.

The result: relief, lower electric bills, spared lives and undisturbed slumber.

But this being New York, New Yorkers have also recalibrated their threshold for heat complaints. This summer, 85 is the new 95.

Bizarro Earth

3.2 Earthquake Felt in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia

A 3.2 magnitude earthquake could be felt Saturday morning in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey a 3.2 magnitude earthquake occurred at 9:38am a few miles east of the North Carolina/ Tennessee line.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department there have been no reports of damage.

The earthquake was located about 6 miles east of Ducktown, TN, about 7 miles north of McCaysville, GA and about 55 miles east of Chattanooga.

Earthquakes that are less than 3.5, generally are not felt, but are recorded. Earthquakes that are between 3.5-5.4 are often felt, but rarely causes damage.

Bizarro Earth

Volcano Erupts in Lahaul and Spiti

A live volcano has come to light in Rangrik village of Lahaul and Spiti district, 425 kms from here. The volcano, according to locals erupted on Wednesday evening.

"We heard a blast on the hill and then flames came out from the eruption site followed by molten material," Tanpa Lama, a local Buddhist preacher said.

Ashwani Ramesh, SDM, Kaza has confirmed the volcano eruption and said that a team of geologists and revenue officers has been sent to Rangrik village.

"We have sent a team of revenue officials to take stock of the situation," Ashwani Ramesh said.

Comment: Was it a volcanic eruption? Mysterious explosion triggers scare in Lahaul-Spiti, India


Butterfly

Watchers Track Butterflies for Environment Signs

Searching
© AP Photo/John Bazemore
Jerry Payne looks for butterflies during the annual butterfly count in Hillsboro, Ga., Friday, June 26, 2009.
The rusty van creaks to a halt and two men jump out, binoculars in hand, heads pivoting. Quickly, questioningly, they call out evocative names: Is that a Pearl Crescent? A Carolina Satyr? A Sleepy Orange? A Swarthy Skipper?

It's butterfly counting time at a central Georgia wildlife refuge. That means a sweaty but fun outing for these two men, one a retired entomologist, the other the abbot of a Roman Catholic monastery. But it has a serious side: some researchers worry butterfly populations may be in decline, possibly signaling a worsening environment.

The flying insects are often viewed as canaries in a coal mine because they are sensitive to changes in their habitats.