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Sat, 25 Feb 2017
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Purple rain: Thunderstorms turn Houston sky to vivid shades pink and purple

© Bruna Pantarotto Souza
Bruna Pantarotto Souza shares a view of a cloudy purple sky in Spring, Texas.

Houston-area residents woke up to a colorful view as severe thunderstorms began to roll in Monday morning, and this time, it wasn't a rainbow.

The sky lit up with vivid shades of pink and purple as the sun rose — and social media users couldn't help but connect the stunning sky's magenta hue with Prince's famous "Purple Rain" song.

It was unlike anything residents had seen before.

"It was raining pretty bad and I just woke up to see what was going on and saw this amazing sky," Bruna Pantarotto Souza from Spring, Texas, told CBS News. "I've never seen this before."

Black Cat

Four including forester injured by leopard in Nepal

Four people including two forest staffers were injured in leopard at Rajghat in Morang district on Thursday.

Tanka Lal Dhimal, 62, of Atthiyabari, Rajghat-1, and Khushi Lal Dhimal, 50, were injured at around 8 in the morning. The leopard attacked Tanka Lal when he was ploughing his farm land. He has sustained a deep wound in his left hand and back. Khushi Lal was attacked as he went to see the attack on Tanka Lal.

The leopard also attacked forester at Manglabare-based sector forest office, Hom Sagar Neupane, 35, and another forest staff Bir Bahadur Katuwal
. They were attacked at around 9 this morning, Tanka BK informed. He said a technical team was invited at the behest of District Forest Office to take the leopard under control.

Those injured have been receiving medical attention at Urlabari-based health clinic.

Cloud Precipitation

'Hectic' floods close roads in areas of South Africa

© Rob Byrne
Major roads in the North West province have been temporarily closed due to flooding in the province.

"It's very hectic with the flooding," said Thabo Sematle, spokesperson for the North West department of community safety and transport management.

Sematle said Wolmaransstad had experienced severe flooding, causing the closure of the N12 running through the small North West town since midday on Tuesday.

He said other areas that experienced flooding was the N14 between Vryburg and Kuruman in the Northern Cape, as well as the roads leading into Ottosdal from Mahikeng and Delareyville.


Swarm of nearly 300 earthquakes in Rotorua and Taupo, New Zealand

A swarm of nearly 300 quakes have been recorded in the Taupo and Rotorua areas.
Nearly 300 small earthquakes have been recorded in the Taupo and Rotorua areas since Monday last week, according to Geonet.

Geonet seismometers between Taupo and Tongariro National Park recorded the swarm of earthquakes, which are centred about 10km northwest of Tokaanu, near Turangi.

Since the quakes started on February 13 at 6pm, there have been 290 tremors. The largest was a magnitude 3.8 at 9.35pm yesterday.

Geonet said earthquake swarms were a sequence of many earthquakes striking in a relatively short time in a localised area. They are different from normal earthquakes followed by aftershocks because no single earthquake in the sequence is obviously the main shock.


Man killed by pack of 5 dogs in Beniarbeig, Spain

A Spanish man has been mauled to death in what police believe was a vicious attack by his neighbour's five dogs.

The 66-year-old was discovered by his son lying on the ground covered in wounds "caused by animal bites" which police suspect were the work of the dogs, all crosses between pit bulls - considered dangerous - and bull terriers.

The victim left his home in Beniarbeig, southeastern Spain, on Saturday to tend to his vegetables nearby, the Guardia Civil police force said in a statement on Tuesday.

When his son realised he had been gone a long time, he went to look for him and found him lying on the ground in a "horrific scene", they added.

Police said the state of his arms and legs suggested the man fought hard before he died.

Two of the five dogs, all crosses between pit bulls and bull terriers, in a cage of a kennel of Els Poblets, that fatally attacked a man in Beniarbeig on February 18, 2017.

Comment: Other recent noteworthy reports of dog attacks on humans:

Child suffering from serious injuries after being attacked by family dog in Palmetto, Florida

2 pit bulls viciously attack man in Victorville, California

Tenant's 5 year old child attacked by 3 of his landlord's dogs in Lagos, Nigeria

Man's arm amputated following Pitbull attack in Port Elizabeth, South Africa


Giant basking shark found dead in winter on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Basking shark
A basking shark — which grows up to 30 feet and 5 tons — recently washed up on Cape Cod.

A mammoth basking shark washed up on dead on Cape Cod this week. The adult shark was spotted Sunday in Wellfleet Harbor.

Adult basking sharks can grow up to 30 feet and 5 tons. The only bigger shark is the whale shark, measuring about 35 feet and 10 tons. By comparison, great white sharks are only about 18 feet and 2 tons.

Basking sharks have giant mouths measuring about 3 feet that filter plankton, their primary food source. The sharks are not dangerous to humans.


Abnormal seismic swarm detected under Lanin volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina

© Hugo Moreno (University of Chile)
Lanin volcano
An energetic seismic swarm has been detected under Lanin volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina, prompting the Chilean National Geological and Mining Service (Sernageomin) to raise the volcanic alert level to Yellow. The last known eruption of this volcano took place in the year 560 (± 150 years).

According to Sernageomin's special report issued February 15, a swarm of earthquakes, associated with the movement of fluids inside the volcano, started at 18:24 UTC and lasted 59 minutes and 45 seconds. The strongest earthquake had a magnitude 1.8.

No changes have so far been observed at the surface.

Sernageomin said the seismicity continued after they issued the report and estimated that there could be a destabilization of the volcanic system.

Given the relevance of this unusual activity, the agency has raised the alert level to Yellow.

This has activated the Civil Protection System and the notification to the Argentine Mining Geological Service to take measures to safeguard the population on both sides of the border.


Record drought to record rain in 3 months: Many rivers in northern California at or above flood stage

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in parts of Northern California Monday, February 20, 2017, as another heavy rainmaker slammed the region.

Many rivers in Northern California are at or above flood stage after a series of powerful storms hit the state in recent months. There are reports of flooded streets and trees and debris crashing into roadways. More than a dozen reports of flooding and debris flows have come in Monday from as far south as Monterey and as far north as Santa Rosa, according to The Weather Channel.

Two people have lost their lives Monday morning on a rural road between Oakdale and Waterford after head-on crash due to wet road, bringing the total death toll in California to 9 in just a few days.

I-80 westbound is currently closed from the Nevada state line through Donner Pass due to multiple vehicle collisions.

Comment: What a phenomenal turn-around by Mother Nature: 3 months ago, California's reservoirs were bone dry - now they're bursting at the seams!


Summer snow for Australia and 58 glaciers growing across New Zealand

The base camera at Mount Mawson in Tasmania
Summer snows blanket New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Coldest temperatures in Perth breaking records back to 1879 and new report out shows that 58 glaciers in New Zealand are advancing. The repeated summer snow events are showing a clear trend that growing seasons are becoming shorter.



Disappearing honey bee population could spell trouble for some crops

Honey bee
The honey bee contributes to a third of the country's food supply but the population is declining. Last year eight percent of the bees disappeared according to the American Beekeepers Federation. The situation was more severe between 2015 and 2016 when there was a 44 percent decrease in colonies.

Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the President of the Bee Informed Partnership, says if this trend continues it could limit the food American's eat. "If we didn't have honey bees, we certainly would lose a lot of our diet," vanEngelsdorp said. He told Fox that would include blueberries, strawberries and vegetables.

The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans. The species can pollinate over 75 percent of flowering plants and crops, making it one of the top pollinators in the U.S. That means the bee can travel up to 6 miles a day and pollinate between 50 to 100 flowers per trip. The pollination process occurs when the pollen sac from one flower sticks to a honey bee's legs and is transferred to another plant. The pollen within the sac spills out when the bee lands on the plant, causing it to be fertilized.