Earth ChangesS

Light Saber

Russia sends plane to combat forest fires in Montenegro

Russia has sent a plane to Montenegro to combat forest fires raging in the Balkan country, a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry said Sunday.

Scorching weather has caused large-scale forest fires throughout the Balkan Peninsula this summer.

An Il-76 aircraft, which can carry up to 42 metric tons of water, has been sent to Montenegro at the request of the country's leadership as the efforts to extinguish raging forest fires have been unsuccessful, Viktor Beltsov said.

Beltsov also said that another firefighting plane would soon fly to Greece to combat forest fires.

Cloud Lightning

15,000 displaced by Cape floods in South Africa

About 15,000 people have been displaced by heavy rains in the Cape peninsula.

About 49 residential areas, mostly in informal settlements, had indicated they needed help, SABC news reported

Yesterday spokesman for Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Centre, Johan Minnie said an estimated 10,000 people, mainly residents of the hard-hit informal settlements on the Cape Flats east of the city, had been affected by the flooding.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning deaths rise in China

Lightning strikes have killed 403 people in China so far this year, equalling the total number of deaths from lightning in the whole of last year, the China Meteorological Administration said.

The administration attributed the higher rate of deaths to more frequent and severe lightning storms, Xinhua news agency reported.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills five South Koreans climbers

Five South Koreans were killed by lightning in mountains near the capital on Sunday, while six other climbers were injured, KBS news said.

Two men and two women were struck and killed near a hill at Bukhan Mountain, northeast of Seoul, when heavy rains swept through the area, the report said, citing police and rescue workers.

Light Saber

Russia: Water level goes down in flooded zone in Amur reg

The situation in the Zeya district in the Amur Region, where dozens of houses have been inundated, is gradually returning to normal.

The level of the Zeya reservoir went down four centimetres over the past 24 hours and 12 centimetres over the past three days, a source at the Emergencies Ministry's Far Eastern regional centre told Itar-Tass.

The volume of water falling from the Zeya hydroelectric station is 4,800 cubic metres a second, while the inflow to the reservoir is 3,500 cubic metres a second.

The Zeya River level is also going down. Over the past 24 hours, the level was down five centimetres near the city of Zeya and the villages of Alexandrovka and Nikolayevka, six centimetres near the village of Algach, seven centimetres near the village of Umlekan, ten centimetres near the village of Chalbachi and twelve centimetres near the village of Yubileiny. The water level went down 35-40 centimetres near the village of Ovsyanka.

Cloud Lightning

Dozens killed as floods hit India, Nepal

Dozens of people have been killed and nearly three million hit by floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains in India and Nepal, officials said on Saturday.

At least 38 people have died in heavy flooding and landslides across the region, where homes have been swept away and crops destroyed.


Gulf 'Dead Zone' Measures in Top 3

NEW ORLEANS - The oxygen-poor "dead zone" off the Louisiana and Texas coasts isn't quite as big as predicted this year, but it is still the third-largest ever mapped, a scientist said Saturday.

Crabs, eels and other creatures usually found on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico are swimming in crowds on the surface because there is too little oxygen in their usual habitat, said Nancy Rabalais, chief scientist for northern Gulf hypoxia studies.


Montana wildfire burns out of control

HELENA, Mont. - Wind helped a fire outside Glacier National Park jump firefighters' control lines Saturday, forcing evacuation orders at a lodge and closing a long stretch of highway, officials said.

Cloud Lightning

Colorodo man killed by lightning

Morrison, Colorado - The name of a man believed to have been struck and killed by lightning while jogging in Matthews Winters Park in Morrison Friday, has yet to be released.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Foothills Fire Department say the man, who is believed to be around 20 years old, was struck in the park around 6 p.m. The park is along Highway 93 near I-70 north of Red Rocks.

Cloud Lightning

Farm worries mount as drought expands across Minnesota

Minnesota is dry and getting drier.

A band of severe drought now extends from the southwestern corner of the state, through the Twin Cities, up to the northeastern tip. The only part of Minnesota that isn't short on rain is a portion of the northwest, an updated map released Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center shows.