Earth ChangesS


Philippines typhoon kills more than 100

The fourth super-typhoon in as many months has battered the Philippines, setting off a volcanic mudslide and widespread flooding that killed at least 109 people and left dozens more missing, officials said today.

Glen Rabonza, head of the national Office of Civil Defence, said 200 body bags were being shipped to the disaster zone at the request of provincial chiefs. With power and phone lines brought down, helicopters were carrying out aerial surveillance of cut-off areas.

"Our rescue teams are overstretched rescuing people on rooftops," Rabonza said after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was briefed on the storm's aftermath.


Hundreds feared dead in Philippine mudslides

At least 400 people are feared dead after Typhoon Durian swept across the central Philippines, causing flash floods and burying villages in waves of muddy volcanic ash and huge rocks.

The country's civil defence office said today that 198 people had died, with 260 missing, but the death toll was expected to rise.

"There are a lot of conflicting reports but, looking at the trend, we could have about 300 to 400 people dead by tonight," Richard Gordon, head of the local Red Cross, said in a television interview.


Earthquake hits Sumatra

A strong earthquake, measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale, has hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra but there are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.


Top U.S. court hears global warming case

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case Wednesday intended to force the federal government's environmental agency to regulate some greenhouse-gas emissions.

A group of applicants including 12 states, 13 environmental organizations and three cities wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide tailpipe emissions from new vehicles. Carbon dioxide is believed to contribute to global warming.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills white buffalo

Lightning on Sunday night struck and killed two buffalo cows and three buffalo calves, including a white buffalo-Miracle's Second Chance-on the Heider farm south of Janesville, Dave Heider said this morning.

Heider discovered the five dead buffalo when he went to check on the animals this morning before going to work.


Study: Humpback whales have "human" brain cells

BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. marine scientists say they've found humpback whales have a type of brain cell that is also seen in human brains.

Researchers of the Department of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York studied the brains of humpback whales and discovered a type of cell called a spindle neuron in the cortex, in areas comparable to where they are seen in humans and great apes.


Strong earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA - A strong undersea earthquake jolted Indonesia's eastern islands Wednesday morning, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or structural damage done, officials said.

Cloud Lightning

Small 'tornado' batters Welsh village

A Ceredigion village has been hit overnight by what is being described as a small tornado.

A clean-up is under way after emergency services were called to Bow Street, north of Aberystwyth, at 0130 GMT.

More than 20 houses were affected with roofs and chimneys blown off, while electricity cables have been brought down and trees uprooted.

Residents said houses shook before the storm hit, sounding like a train crashing. No one has been injured.

Better Earth

Volcano erupts near Goma, east Congo - expert

KINSHASA, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A volcano erupted on Monday near the eastern Congolese town of Goma, which was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 2002, but the latest eruption did not threaten the town, a senior vulcanologist at the scene said.

"This seems like a big eruption. It is on the northwest side. The lava will be flowing to the north and not the south, where the town is," Celestin Kasereka, head of Goma's volcano observatory, told Reuters by telephone.


Dutch bask in warmest autumn in three centuries

The autumn of 2006 has been the warmest in the Netherlands for over 300 years, 12.5 percent hotter than the previous year which was already a record, meteorologists said.

"Beating the record by more than one degree centigrade, that is exceptional," the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute said in a statement.