Earth ChangesS


New update: 51 dead as Greek forest fires rage on

Forest fires raged unabated today on the Peloponnese peninsula of southern Greece, killing at least 51 people as flames threatened historic sites including Ancient Olympia.

"We are dealing with a national catastrophe, without precedent," said Niakalaos Diamantis, a fire service spokesman.

The Greek Health Ministry announced this morning that the death toll had climbed past 50, putting it among the world's deadliest forest fires of modern times.

Fires in Greece as captured by NASA satelite

Comment: Watch Reuters' video:


Ukraine: Wildfire in Crimea kills two

A male and female found dead in their car surrounded by the wildfire in the Alupka forest district are believed to the first victims of the fire that began on August 24.

Moreover, two officers of the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry combating the wildfire were injured, the press service of the Crimean Council of Ministers said on Sunday.

The fire is raging on the territory of 50 hectares.

Ukrainian Emergency Situations Minister Nestor Shufrych urgently arrived to Crimea from the Kherson region in order tostudy the situation and to organize fire-combating activities.

"The Alpine landscape makes it difficult to combat the fire, and we
are preparing additional forces to help Crimean residents," the press
service said.

Cloud Lightning

Gigantic Lightning-like Jets over Oklahoma

Think of them as sprites on steroids: Gigantic Jets are lightning-like discharges that spring from the top of thunderstorms, reaching all the way from the thunderhead to the ionosphere 50+ miles overhead. They are enormous and powerful.

©Richard Smedley

Cloud Lightning

100,000-plus without power in Midwest

Storms slammed rain-soaked Ohio on Saturday and hundreds of thousands of people in the Midwest were without power after their homes were battered by lashing winds and flooding rains.

Tornado warnings were issued Saturday afternoon for parts of central and southeast Ohio. Downed trees and power lines were reported in the southern part of the state, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Hatzos.

Cloud Lightning

Australia's Sunshine Coast floods could ease, but beaches closed

A possible pause to the heavy rain that has caused widespread flooding on Queensland's Sunshine Coast could stop the worst fears of rescuers from being realised today, but residents have still been evacuated from at-risk areas after the region was bucketed in recent days.

©John Wilson
Cut off ... Sunshine Coast residents look at the flooded Mary River.

While the flooding is now forecast to be less severe today than earlier feared, the wild weather has brought huge swells to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, forcing beaches there to be closed.

Bizarro Earth

Update! Pavlof Volcano continues erupting in Alaska

One of Alaska's most active volcanoes continued vigorously erupting into its second week, with larger explosive eruptions still expected, officials said Thursday.

"Earthquake activity remains steady and well above normal" at Pavlof Volcano on the Aleutian arc, and vigorous lava flow is continuing, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.


Volcano seismologist Steve McNutt said the volcano, located about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, could be building toward a major, more explosive eruption.

Cloud Lightning

Iowa has rainiest August on record

A spokesperson with the state climatologist office has confirmed what many Iowans have suspected - this is the rainiest August in Iowa history.

Harry Hillaker, climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, reported Friday that continuing rains have resulted in a statewide average precipitation amount of 8.62 inches through early Friday morning. The previous record was 8.24 inches in August 1993.


Los Angeles enjoying 1,000 year seismic lull: Life in the city of earthquakes could be worse, says surprising new study

The Los Angeles basin appears to be in a seismic "lull" characterized by relatively smaller and infrequent earthquakes, according to a study in the September issue of Geology.

By contrast, the Mojave Desert is in a seismically active period. Seismic activity alternates between the two regions, the study suggests.

The lull in the Los Angeles basin began 1,000 years ago, said the authors, led by James Dolan, associate professor of earth sciences at the University of Southern California.

"The past 1,000 years has been relatively quiet," Dolan said, referring to what he calls the "urban fault network" under the Los Angeles metropolitan area.


Forest fires kill at least 27 in southern Greece

Fires raced across dry woodlands in southern Greece on Friday, sweeping into mountainous towns and villages and killing at least 27 people, the country's deadliest forest fire toll in decades, authorities said.

Fire crews searching through charred villages in the western Peloponnese region after daybreak said they had found 21 bodies in villages near the town of Zaharo, including those of three firefighters. To the southeast, another six people lost their lives in another fire near the town of Areohoro, the fire department said.

©RTV International

Bizarro Earth

Two-Headed Cow Born In California

It's not something you see everyday; a two-headed calf is born in Tulare County.