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Fri, 26 Aug 2016
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Earth Changes


Update: Powerful shallow 6.2 earthquake shakes central Italy; 14 reported dead, towns devastated, strong tremors felt in Rome

© Remo Casilli / Reuters
Rescuers carry a person on a stretcher following a quake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016.
A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks has rocked central Italy. Strong tremors were felt in the country's capital, Rome, and several small towns and villages have been seriously damaged with at least 10 people reportedly killed.

The quake hit at 01:36 GMT with an epicenter 76 kilometers southeast of the city of Perugia, the US Geological Survey reported.

The town of Norcia, home to some 5,000 residents, lies just 10km southeast of the quake's epicenter, according to US Geological Survey (USGS). The ancient Italian city of Spoleto in the Perugia province with some 40,000 residents is located 35km east of the quake.

The earthquake hit 126km north of Rome, the largest and most populous city of the region with 2.6 million people.

The shaking appears to have woken up quite a few residents in central Italy. Besides Rome, aftershocks were also felt in Florence.

Bizarro Earth

Strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Central Italy

© STRINGER/Reuters
Rescuers work at a collapsed house following a quake in Amatrice, central Italy.

A strong earthquake has struck Italy on Wednesday near the city of Perugia. A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake has struck Italy on Wednesday near the city of Perugia,
the United States Geological Survey reported. Perugia is the capital of Umbria region in central Italy.

The earthquake was felt in Rome. There were no immediate reports on casualties or any damage.


Update (06.30 GMT)
There are reports of up to six fatalities so far with "many collapses" in the town of Amatrice in the Rieti province.


Kangaroo attacks two-year-old baby girl in Point Vernon, Australia

© Getty
A child has been rushed to hospital after being attacked by a kangaroo
A kangaroo has attacked a two-year-old baby girl in the garden of a Queensland home in Australia - leaving the young tot with face and chest injuries.

Terrified neighbours rushed to the aid of the child after hearing screams as the wild animal bore down on her.

Witness Renee Harris explained: "I ran out and saw the young toddler on the ground with the kangaroo on top.

"I ran across the road and the mum ran over, everyone was screaming.

"It came for me. I was just so scared."

The child was grabbed by her mother before emergency services were called.

Another witness took to Facebook to say the young girl's mum was also lucky not to have been hospitalised.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes claim four lives in eastern Nepal

Lightning bolts killed four people and injured as many in different districts of the Eastern Development Region on Sunday.

In Kanchanpur VDC-4 of Saptari district, Laxmi Mukhiya (60) died on the spot while her grandson Dev Mukhiya sutained injuries when lightning struck them at their home on Sunday afternoon, police said. Dev is receiving treatment at a local health facility.

In Chhinamakhu VDC-4 of Bhojpur district, Rajiv Shrestha (18) died and Prem Shrestha (27) sustained injuries when a bolt struck him. The injured is receiving treatment at a local health post.

While in Katunje VDC-8 of Okhaldhunga district, Nirmaya Sarki (65) died after a lightning bolt struck her at her home, police informed.

In Deusa VDC-2, Solukhumbu district, Lal Kumar Rai (30) died and his three-year-old daughter got injured when lightning struck them, police said. While in Ilam, Ram Bahadur Rai (38) of Majhua, Deumai-3, sustained injuries when lightning struck him. Rai is under tretment at a local health facility.

Cloud Lightning

Fatalities from U.S. lightning strikes this year at highest since 2010

A pair of fatalities from lightning strikes over the weekend lifted the U.S. death toll from such accidents this year to 29, the most since 2010, the National Weather Service said on Monday.

The latest lightning-related deaths occurred in Colorado and Michigan on Friday, the NWS said in a report. With four months left in the year, the 2016 toll has already surpassed last year's 27.

Eight people have died from lightning this month, making it the deadliest August since 2007. In July, typically the month with the most fatalities, 12 people were killed by lightning.

"People are outside, enjoying beaches in the summer time,"

said John Jensenius, an NWS lightning safety specialist based in Gray, Maine.

"There's not much variance in lightning activity," he told Reuters, saying the rise was due more to behavior.

Fridays have been the deadliest day of the week this year, which Jensenius said was unusual. Typically, the highest number of incidents occur on Saturdays and Sundays, when Americans are outside barbecuing and enjoying other weekend activities.

Cloud Lightning

Woman dies following strike by lightning in Presque Isle County, Michigan

A 21-year-old woman who was struck by lightning in Presque Isle County has passed away, according to the National Weather Service.

The woman was struck Friday afternoon at Grand Lake.

The East Grand Lake Fire Department says there were heavy storms at the time of the lightning strike near the north end of the lake.

The fire department says the woman was sitting on a wooden swing near a beach house when she was struck. Rescue personnel on scene performed CPR.

The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment and had a heartbeat and blood pressure. The fire department says she was later flown to another hospital from there.

The NWS tells us on Monday, the woman has passed away.


Greece's fire services fight six large blazes

Greece's fire service was battling at least six large blazes in different parts of the country on Friday, their efforts hampered by strong winds which fueled the flames.

One was in the area of Aiges in the prefecture of Achaia in the Peloponnese. A team of 25 firefighters, manning 11 engines, were involved in that effort.

Another team of 13 firemen, with five fire engines, were dispatched to tackle a blaze in the area of Ambeliko near Karditsa in central Greece.

Twenty firemen with nine fire engines were sent to deal with a blaze in the area of Koutsoheri, Aitoloacarnania.

Meanwhile, firefighters battling a blaze close to Mega Spilaio, near Kalavryta, had managed to bring the fire under partial control by late evening.

The fire service was still struggling to put out two fires on Friday evening - one in the area of Metaxada in Messinia prefecture, and the other near the village of Kyparissos in Laconia.

Black Cat

2 people killed by leopard in 3 days in Murbad, India

Murbad has been left in shock ever since the death of two elderly villagers in two separate leopard attacks over the weekend. Such instances of man-leopard conflict have not been witnessed in the area in seven years, and local residents — both, human and animal — are shaken to the core. According to reports, the forest department sought orders to shoot the leopard from wildlife headquarters at Nagpur, and have been given a go ahead.

Highly unusual

The first incident took place on Friday evening. With no eyewitnesses or evidence to prove what exactly happened to provoke the animal, officials are still trying to understand the unusual circumstances under which the attack took place. For one, it was still daylight when the leopard attacked tribal farmer, Mirabai Ware (55). She was in an open area, returning from her neighbour's house just 300 metres from her own home, when the leopard is thought to have pounced on her and dragged her away. "Family members followed the trail of blood till they found her body in the bushes," said a forest official.


Wombat attack leaves woman with horrific bite in Canberra, Australia

© Getty
Wombats are small marsupials with stumpy legs who are not known to be vicious
A woman has been hospitalised with more than 20 bites after she was viciously attacked by a WOMBAT.

Kerry Evans was out walking with her dogs on a home-lined street when she saw what looked like a rock in a garden.

The 58-year-old said that, as she and her two English springer spaniels Murphy and Pirate got closer to the object in Canberra, Australia, she realised it was wombat - a badger-sized furry marsupial.

Public servant Kerry was stunned when the animal suddenly turned on her and her dogs, charging them and biting Murphy.

Kerry fell to the ground tripping over the dog leads - and that's when the animal turned on her, launching a sustained attack as the terrified dogs tried to get out of the way.

The attack, at about 7.30pm last Monday, only stopped when two samaritans came to Kerry's aid and she was able to get to her feet and escape.


Walker finds dead minke whale in Cotes-d'Armor, France

A walker made a grisly discovery during a Sunday-morning stroll along the seafront at l'Ile Grande à Pleumeur-Bodou, Côtes-d'Armor - the decomposing body of a 7m whale.

A security cordon has been placed around the animal, identified as a minke whale which is thought to have been dead for at least a week, while experts work to establish the cause of death and remove the body.

It is thought the body that washed up on the Côtes-d'Armor shore was that of a dead whale that was spotted in the sea off the coast of the Île de Batz, near Roscoff. Experts say sea currents could have brought the body

Minke whales are a regular sight in the Channel, but they are more usually seen out in the Atlantic