Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills 306 people in three weeks in China

Lightning strikes have killed 306 villagers in China over the past three weeks as severe weather continues to batter the countryside, the Xinhua news agency said Friday.

Heavy rains have already unleashed numerous mudslides and floods in southern and central China, with damage estimated in the billions of dollars.

All the victims have been rural residents, and 79% of them were killed while working in the fields.

Cloud Lightning

Remnants of storm Erin deluge Houston

The tropical weather season revved up Thursday as the Atlantic's first hurricane formed and quickly strengthened, and as Tropical Storm Erin's remnants soaked rain-weary Texas, snarling rush-hour traffic and killing at least two people.

Cloud Lightning

Hurricane Dean poses major Caribbean storm threat

Hurricane Dean strengthened and threatened to become a dangerously powerful storm as it plowed toward the Caribbean and aimed for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or the Gulf of Mexico beyond, forecasters said on Thursday.

More immediately in the path of the 2007 Atlantic storm season's first hurricane were the Lesser Antilles, in particular the islands of Dominica and St. Lucia and the French territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.


Major earthquake rocks E. Indonesia

A major undersea earthquake rocked eastern Indonesia on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

According to the USGS, the magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit Banda Sea at 12:04 a.m. It was centered 2,520 kilometers northeast of Jakarta and 10 kilometers under the seabed.


Red Flag

Coral reef loss at unprecedented levels

Pacific coral reefs are dying at an unprecedented rate, scientists have found. Almost 600 square miles of reef have disappeared every year since the late 1960s - twice the rate of rainforest loss.

Coral loss had become a global phenomenon caused mainly by climate change, rising sea temperatures and man-made nutrient pollution.

©University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Update: At Least 450 Killed in Big Peru Quake

ICA, Peru - The death toll rose to 450 on Thursday in the magnitude-8 earthquake that devastated cities of adobe and brick in Peru's southern desert. Survivors wearing blankets walked like ghosts through the ruins.

Bizarro Earth

Geologists fear undersea mud mountain in Indian Ocean may trigger tsunami

A giant mountain of mud found under the Indian Ocean's Nicobar Islands is being closely monitored by geologists who fear a tsunami could be triggered by a massive landslide. Smith Dharmasarojana, chairman of the National Disaster Warning Centre Committee, said the geologists from India recently discovered the giant mud mountain, and some parts of it measured more than seven kilometres high.

He conceded there was little information on the mud formation but it is widely believed it was formed by sediment transported by rivers for over a thousand years accumulating under the sea.

Cloud Lightning

Villagers fight off animals in flood-hit South Asia

Flood victims fought off hungry animals and battled waterborne diseases in South Asia on Thursday as unrelenting monsoon rains caused fresh flooding in the region, already battered by weeks of bad weather.

The death toll in eastern India alone rose by over 100 in the past week with thousands more marooned or made homeless as bloated rivers burst mud embankments.

Bizarro Earth

Volcano erupts in northern Ethiopia, two missing

A volcano in north-east Ethiopia's Afar region erupted over the weekend, leaving two people missing and forcing hundreds to flee, state-run media reports.

The Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) said the volcano spewed lava on Sunday, forcing mainly salt-mining Afar nomads living around the mountain's range to escape.


Bizarro Earth

Mag 3.2 earthquake rocks San Francisco

That rumbling you felt a little after midnight today was an earthquake - but a small one.

The magnitude 3.2 quake in the Oakland Hills was felt up to Richmond and out to Walnut Creek, with some of the strongest shaking experienced just east of Oakland, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.