Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

US West Under Highest Wildfire Alert

The nation's wildfire preparedness was raised to its highest level Thursday as dozens of new fires started in the bone-dry West, including a rapidly growing blaze on the grounds of the Idaho National Laboratory.

The West had been at level four for only a few weeks when officials decided to raise it to level five, effective Thursday.

Magic Wand

Underground lake may ease Darfur crisis

In the dry wasteland of Sudan's war-racked Darfur region, the imprint of an ancient 8,000sq-mile underground lake has been discovered by geologists from Boston University. If confirmed, a lake as big as the area of Wales could replenish the region for a century. It is also raising hopes that one cause of the devastating civil war could be alleviated if drinking water is pumped to the surface.

Cloud Lightning

More than 50 people killed in Sudanese flooding

More than 50 people were killed and 20 injured in Sudan's worst floods in living memory which have partially or completely destroyed 18,000 homes, the head of civil defense said on Thursday.


Sizzling Hot Weather Bends Tram Rails in Bulgaria

©Nadya Kotseva (Sofia Photo Agency)

The sizzling weather that swept Bulgaria this month started to cause damage to the transport infrastructure in Bulgaria's capital city of Sofia.

The tram rails on major streets in downtown city have begun to curve, which could lead to heavy road accidents.


Nuclear crisis in Japan as scientists reveal quake threat to power plants

The world's biggest nuclear power station stands directly above an active earthquake faultline, which provoked an atomic spill this week, seismologists revealed yesterday.

Bizarro Earth

Nairobi put on red alert as earth tremors intensify

East Africa region has been experiencing a number of tremors for the past four days as geologists warn of an eminent earthquake is building up.

The frequent tremors have been felt in Kenya since Thursday, 12 July 2007. The strongest of the earthquakes was reported yesterday at 5:10 (GMT) from the same location as the earlier six (around Lake Natron in northeastern Tanzania) and measured 6.0 on the Richter scale.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado Leaves Thousands Without Power On Long Island

The National Weather Service confirmed that an F-1 tornado touched down in the Islip area of Long Island Wednesday morning.

At the F-1 level, a tornado carries hurricane-force winds that can reach 110 mph. It can peel off roofs, push mobile homes off their foundations or blow vehicles off the road.

Cloud Lightning

Malaysia: Two schools evacuated after freak storm rips off roofs

Johor Baru: About 2,000 students of SRJK (c) Pei Hwa and SK Sri Perling here were evacuated after the schools were damaged in a furious freak storm.

The storm, which began about 11.15am on Wednesday, has blown off the roofs of the classroom blocks of both schools located side-by-side in Taman Perling.

Witnesses described the storm as strong and scary.

Cloud Lightning

At least 15 people die in southeast China hurricane

At least 15 people died in a powerful storm and high winds that swept southwest China's Sichuan Province, Hong Kong's RTNK-3 radio station said Wednesday.

Torrential rains damaged around 10,000 buildings during the 16-hour storm.


Elephants "Learn" to Avoid Land Mines in War-Torn Angola

Elephants moving into war-ravaged southern Angola from neighboring countries appear to have developed the ability to avoid the land mines that litter the region, scientists report.

Michael Chase, a biologist who has been studying the elephants for seven years, says he first detected the animals' apparent ability to avoid the mines from satellite-collar tracking images.

The elephants are returning in growing numbers to southeast Angola, where thousands of the animals were massacred during the country's protracted civil war, said Chase, who heads the nonprofit conservation group Elephants Without Borders.

The region was headquarters for Jonas Savimbi's rebel UNITA movement, which is reported to have sold ivory to pay for weapons.