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Wed, 23 Jun 2021
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Seismograph

Significant earthquake swarm impacting southern California

A swarm of earthquakes is currently impacting southern California
© USGS
A swarm of earthquakes is currently impacting southern California
A significant earthquake swarm is unfolding in southern California, impacting the area around the Salton Sea east of San Diego, south of Palm Springs, and southeast of Los Angeles. 47 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or greater have struck the area, with the strongest being a 5.3 which struck at 10:55am local time today.

The strong 5.3 earthquake struck about 6 and a half miles west of Calipatria at a depth of 3.6 miles. More than 700 residents from Los Angeles to San Diego to El Centro reported experiencing the quake to the USGS, including many that reported "strong shaking."

Today's significant earthquake swarm is occurring near the Salton Sea, a shallow landlocked lake with a high salt concentration in Riverside and Imperial counties of California. The Salton Sea sits on the San Andreas Fault at the southern end of the state of California. In this region, the Earth's crust is being stretched. Today's earthquakes are tied to submerged faults near the southern end of the San Andreas Fault. Called the Brawley seismic zone, this extensional region connects the San Andreas with the Imperial Fault in southern California.

Today's swarm comes on the heels of another earthquake swarm that impacted the Disney Land area last weekend north of today's swarm.

Cloud Precipitation

Storms and floods strike across western Germany

A fireman crosses a flooded street in Bottrop,
© dpa/Feuerwehr Bottrop
A fireman crosses a flooded street in Bottrop, North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday, June 3rd.
Firefighters and police were called out numerous times on Thursday evening as thunderstorms brought traffic to a standstill, overturned trees and flooded cellars.

Extreme weather struck the western and central German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hessen on Thursday evening, with thunder, torrential downpour and hailstones wreaking havoc in the region.

The German Weather Service (DWD) urged residents of those areas to stay "vigilant" as they warned of oncoming thunderstorms, hail and downpour on Twitter on Thursday.

As thunderstorms picked up throughout the evening, firefighters were called out to deal with numerous incidents of falling trees, flooded streets and waterlogged cellars. In the town of Bottrop, North Rhine-Westphalia, a fir tree was struck by lightening and burst into flames - but the fire was quickly extinguished by the heavy rains, local residents and firefighters.


Cloud Precipitation

Film of flooded street in Reims, France

floods
An amateur video shows a flooded street in Reims after heavy storms. Vehicles are blocked as a torrent pours down the Avenue Jean Jaurès.


Question

Wild elephant herd in China making a mysterious, cross-country march

elephants
Not all who wander are lost, J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote. A herd of wild Asian elephants in China might agree with that sentiment. The 15 elephants have been slowly making their way across China for over a year, delighting social media, eating and trampling crops, and causing more than a million dollars worth of damage.

It's not unusual for elephants to ramble outside their habitats, but this wandering herd stands out. Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, a principal investigator at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, who specializes in elephants, told The New York Times he has "no idea" why these elephants won't settle in one spot.

The elephants started off last March, leaving a nature reserve in Xishuangbanna, and have traveled more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) so far. There were 16 in the group then, but some have turned around, and others have given birth, making the group now down to 15, the Times reports.


Arrow Down

Large sinkhole reported on west side of Nuevo Laredo (Mexico)

hole
If you have any plans of driving in Nuevo Laredo, there's a huge sinkhole on the city's west side.

As of now, its about 33 feet wide and almost 10 feet deep.

You can see a business still standing but so close to the sinkhole.

Several different city and county entities have come together to access the damage and put together a plan to repair it.

No word yet on what caused the sinkhole or how much it'll cost to fix it.

Officials say it could take up 45 days to fix once they get started.


Seismograph

No tsunami warnings after two 5.9 magnitude earthquakes hit off Oregon coast

A cluster of earthquakes were reported in the same area at the end of April.

A cluster of earthquakes were reported in the same area at the end of April.
Two 5.9 magnitude earthquakes struck the Pacific Ocean off Oregon's coast early Friday morning, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The tremors occurred about 89 miles and 98 miles west of the coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon, after 1 a.m. (PT) Friday morning, according to USGS.

A few people reported light shaking on the coast, the USGS report showed.

At least five earthquakes ranging in magnitudes from 3.2 to 5.9 have occurred in the area in the last few hours, according to USGS.

Attention

Dead whale shark found on Great Barrier Island - first stranding recorded in New Zealand

A whale shark found at Great Barrier Island.
© Zane Broadbelt
A whale shark found at Great Barrier Island.
A morning stroll on the beach turned into a bit of a spectacle when Zane Broadbelt suddenly spotted what looked to be a stranded whale.

He and his partner, Laura, were walking along the beach at Harataonga, on Great Barrier Island, when they made the discovery on Sunday.

"I just saw a lump in the sand," he told the Herald.

On closer inspection, they realised it was a dead whale shark.

"It was about 6m long and looked like it had been there for about a week.

"I've never seen a whale shark before. It's not something you expect to see around here, especially at this time."

The Department of Conservation confirmed their staff responded to a public sighting of the dead whale shark last Thursday.

It was a significant find as although whale sharks migrate annually to New Zealand waters, this was the first recorded stranding in New Zealand, a DoC spokeswoman said.

Road Cone

Families evacuated after mud volcano eruption in Necoclí, Colombia

Colombia mud volcano
© SEMANA
Emergency in Antioquia due to the eruption of the mud volcano in Necoclí.
More than 20 families were evacuated after the eruption of the mud volcano in the municipality of Necoclí, which belongs to the Urabá subregion, confirmed municipal risk management authorities.

The entity pointed out that due to this situation it was necessary to transfer around 100 people from the Palmares de Ceniza village to a rural school in the Piedrecita village, where humanitarian care is provided.

The Voluntary Fire Department and the Civil Defense responded to the emergency, after the volcano expelled ash and boiling mud, as seen in some videos shared by the inhabitants of the area on social networks.

The aid organizations indicated that the 23 families were evacuated from the early morning when the high volcanic activity of that natural formation was identified until it erupted in the last hours.


Camera

Amazing photos of rare sunset 'quadruple' microburst in Texas

Quadruple microburst
Mike Olbinski and his crew were about to call the day a bust, he shared on YouTube, when '"magic unfolded right before our eyes."

On the way to Lubbock, Texas, from New Mexico, the storm chasers caught a quadruple microburst as it came down with large hail in a "spectacular" storm. A microburst is a localized column of sinking air, usually about 2.5 miles or less in diameter, according to the National Weather Service, but at sunset Tuesday, Olbinski captured four massive downdraft plumes fanning outwards from a central point, painted in the pink, purple and blue of the sky.


Sun

Drought ravages California's reservoirs ahead of hot summer

Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville's dry banks
© AP Photo/Noah Berger
A car crosses Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville's dry banks Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Oroville, Calif. At the time of this photo, the reservoir was at 39% of capacity and 46% of its historical average.
Each year Lake Oroville helps water a quarter of the nation's crops, sustain endangered salmon beneath its massive earthen dam and anchor the tourism economy of a Northern California county that must rebuild seemingly every year after unrelenting wildfires.

But now the mighty lake — a linchpin in a system of aqueducts and reservoirs in the arid U.S. West that makes California possible — is shrinking with surprising speed amid a severe drought, with state officials predicting it will reach a record low later this summer.

While droughts are common in California, this year's is much hotter and drier than others, evaporating water more quickly from the reservoirs and the sparse Sierra Nevada snowpack that feeds them. The state's more than 1,500 reservoirs are 50% lower than they should be this time of year, according to Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California-Davis.