Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Climate change 'to affect coral fish'

Scientists say coral fish could suffer from climate change just as much as the reefs they live in.

Over 400,000 species of fish live in or around coral reefs and the lives of many of them depended on the health of corals, said Dr Philip Munday from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University in Townsville.

Cloud Lightning

Hundreds ordered to flee homes in Iowa City

IOWA CITY - A week's work of frantic sandbagging by students, professors and the National Guard couldn't spare this bucolic college town from the surging Iowa River, which has swamped more than a dozen campus buildings and forced the evacuation Sunday of hundreds of nearby homes.

The swollen river, which bisects this city of about 60,000 residents, was topping out at about 31.5 feet - a foot and a half below earlier predictions. But it still posed a lingering threat, and wasn't expected to begin receding until Monday night.

Cloud Lightning

Pennsylvania, US: Teen struck by lightning identified

A 17-year old male was struck and killed by a bolt of lightning Saturday while swimming with friends at Gouldsboro State Beach, according to state police at Swiftwater.

Police identified the victim as Thomas Golden of Olyphant, Lackawanna County.

Cloud Lightning

New York, US: Five people survive lightning strikes; 13,000 lose power in storm

Four people escaped serious injury when they apparently were stuck by lightning late Saturday afternoon on the grounds of the Mohonk Mountain House during a severe thunderstorm.

The same storm knocked out power to about 13,000 Central Hudson customers.

A woman also reportedly was struck by lightning at the Rondout Valley Campground in the Kerhonkson-Accord area, and she, too, appeared to not be badly hurt.

At Mohonk, which is on Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, three adults and a child were hiking on the grounds when the storm rolled in about 5:45 p.m., according to Jackie Appledorn, the resort's general manager.

Appledorn told The Associated Press that all four had their feet in water - though not the property's main lake - when lightning struck, causing all of them to get an electrical charge. The four were conscious and seemingly not badly hurt when they got back to Mohonk's main building, Appledorn told the AP.


Norway may seek help to fight forest blaze

Oslo - Norway may seek foreign help to extinguish its biggest forest fire since World War Two, which has been raging for five days, the government said on Friday.

The Justice Ministry said it would check whether helicopters or special planes to drop water on the blaze were available across the Nordic region or elsewhere in the European Union, of which Norway is not a member.

Cloud Lightning

Floods kill 5, leave thousands homeless in Mexico

Mexico City - Floods in central and southern Mexico killed five people including a 4-year-old girl and a U.S. tourist, rescue workers said on Wednesday.

Around 7,000 people were evacuated in the southern state of Oaxaca, where the U.S. tourist drowned in fierce waves off a Pacific coast beach, a state civil protection official said.

Cloud Lightning

New Jersey, US: 4 escape serious injury in lightning strike

A family of four apparently escaped serious injury when lightning struck near them on Saturday night, knocking all four to the ground.

The victims were among those who were at Walters Park in Phillipsburg for a Little League all-star baseball game, which was stopped when severe weather moved in around 8 p.m. Witnesses said one of the boys had played in the game, and the family was headed to their car when the incident occurred.

Cow Skull

Drought closes world's biggest cattle ranch in Australia

The world's largest cattle ranch has been forced to sell off its livestock and mothball operations because of the severe drought gripping much of Australia.

anna creek
©Chris McLennan
Drovers muster cattle at Anna Creek Station, South Australia

Arrow Up

Japan earthquake death toll climbs to 9

KURIHARA - Rescue teams digging their way through a ravine buried in mud Sunday pulled three bodies from a hot springs inn, bringing the death toll to nine after a powerful earthquake rocked northern Japan.

©AP Photo/Kyodo News
Rescue workers, right, surround a body they retrieved from a two-story hot spa inn, left, which was destroyed by a landslide triggered by Saturday's earthquake in Kurihara, Miyagi prefecture (state), northern Japan, Sunday June 15, 2008. Soldiers fighting through a torrent of mud and rocks dug out three bodies at the hot spring Sunday, bringing the death toll from a magnitude 7.2-earthquake that hit the mountains of northern Japan to at least nine, with more than 200 injured.

Evil Rays

Heavy rains in China leave at least 62 dead or missing

Heavy rains that hit southern and eastern China have left at least 62 people dead or missing, while over one million residents have been evacuated, the government and state media said Sunday.

Rains were expected to continue to pound southern China through Tuesday with water levels in major rivers threatening towns in Jiangxi, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces, the state meteorological bureau said.

According to the civil affairs ministry, at least 55 people have been killed and seven others were missing following torrential rains which have pummelled nine provinces since last week, the Beijing News said.

More than 1.27 million people have been evacuated in the hardest hit regions, with large swathes of farm land submerged and economic losses already amounting to over 10 billion yuan (145 million dollars), it said.

©AFP/File/Liu Jin
The earthquake-hit area of Beichuan county -- in China's southwestern province of Sichuan -- was flooded on June 10. Heavy rains in southern and eastern China have left at least 62 people dead or missing, while more than one million residents have been evacuated.