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Tue, 03 May 2016
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Thousands without electricity as April snowfall strikes Slovenia

© Tanjug
Ljubljana on Thursday
Heavy snowfall has left about 10,000 households in the area of Slovenia's towns of Ljubljana, Dravograd, and Maribor without electricity.

The snow is also causing more traffic accidents, and has brought with it the threat of avalanches in some areas.

Snow continued to fall on Thursday in some parts of the country, while forecasters said that while precipitation would stop, low temperatures would persist for some time.

Most of Slovenia is currently under 25 centimeters of snow - 40 in mountain areas. Croatian news agency Hina said the snow broke branches on trees overnight, causing further trouble for drivers in some areas.

While authorities are warning against traveling to the mountains out of fear of avalanches, several ski resort said they expect an influx of guests over the coming weekend.

Source: Tanjug


Dead Humpback whale washes up on Duxbury Beach, Massachusetts

© New England Aquarium
Biologists and veterinarians have spent the last two days trying to determine what killed a 27-foot-long humpback whale yearling that washed up on Duxbury Beach on Monday afternoon.

The New England Aquarium said the female whale, which was most likely 14 to 16 years old, had no visible scars and was not tangled in marine gear. After it was moved to higher ground with construction vehicles, aquariums staff and volunteers removed several tons of blubber and tissue from the carcass as they dissected it in an effort to determine what killed.

The aquarium is now working with the Center for Coastal Studies to identify the whale through unique markings on its tail fluke.


Magnitude 5.0 earthquake strikes southwestern France near La Rochelle

© Google Maps
An earthquake registering 5.0 on the Richter scale has struck the southwest of France near the city of La Rochelle. The quake hit at 08:45 local time at a depth of 15 kilometers.

Writing on Twitter, Laurent Simon from Bordeaux said the earthquake was "a very small one," but it was an "interesting feeling." Sophie Thurlow mentioned that she woke up to her "room shaking."

The epicenter of the quake was eight kilometers southeast of La Rochelle, which is a port on the Bay of Biscay with a population of just over 75,000. There are no reports of any damage so far.


Volcanic White Island erupts in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

© John Borren
White Island eruption in 2013.
White Island erupted last night.

The volcanic island, off the coast of the Bay of Plenty, erupted yesterday between 9.30pm and 11pm, GNS Science said.

As a consequence of this activity the Volcanic Alert Level is now raised to Level 3 (Minor Volcanic Eruption) and the Aviation Colour Code to Orange.

No eruptive activity has been seen since about 11pm yesterday.

The eruption was accompanied by a moderately elevated seismic activity, GNS said. The seismic activity is now back to normal.

Material appears to have been deposited over north side of the crater floor and up onto north crater wall. There is not yet a clear view of crater area visible from cameras.

Volcanologists are monitoring the volcano and further information will be released as soon as it is available.


Waterspout filmed over Penrhyn Bay, Wales

The tornadic waterspout follows snow, ice and hail in North Wales
A mum-of-two captured a twister which formed near Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm early this afternoon.

Helen Mulley filmed the waterspout on her mobile phone whilst watching the unusual sight from Rhos on Sea promenade.

She said: "The tornado was between the wind farm and the shore. It was pretty big and caught my attention because the sea water was being lifted into the air.

"It was very cool to watch and it lasted a couple of minutes."

Tornadic waterspouts form over water, or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning. Snow, ice and hail caused difficult conditions in many parts of North Wales this morning.


Late April snowstorm hits Bosnia

A late April snowstorm took Bosnia by surprise on Monday, especially as it followed a week of beautiful, balmy weather. (April 25)

Cloud Precipitation

Hailstones the size of grapefruits hit Nebraska and Kansas

© Susan Goodwyn
Susan Goodwyn holds hail in her hand Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Wichita, Kan.
A storm raged above the Midwest and central United States on Tuesday, bringing with it flood warnings, fierce winds, two confirmed tornadoes — and hail. Lots of hail.

By late afternoon, the sky began dropping icy stones the size of grapefruits, smashing into roofs and threatening to damage agricultural crops. The hail was not reported to have caused injuries — but fruit-sized ice gobs do not go down gently. A car dealer in Oklahoma City, fearing for his vehicles, began parking cars indoor earlier in the day, the Associated Press noted. Other car owners weren't so lucky, and the large hailstones formed craters in hoods and windshields in northeast Kansas.


Windows smashed and passengers injured as 'freak wave' hits cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea

© Glenn Taylor
The cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas was battered by a 'freak wave'.
Windows were smashed and passengers were injured after a 'freak wave' hit the Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship on Monday.

Cruise Law News reported that the wave hit the ship at about 4am on Monday (local time) as the Royal Caribbean vessel sailed to Ajaccio, Corsica.

Five windows were broken, passenger cabins were flooded and some passengers were reportedly injured.

Passenger Kerry Boyd tweeted, "Woke up at 4:30 am on our cruise first night when 5 windows on our floor burst open flooding the floor with sea water. All well, but tired"

Another passenger, Todd Scuderi, also tweeted about the incident.

''I'm on Rhapsody of the Seas. Last night 4am wave hit ship and knocked out my window and 4 others on deck 3. lucky we weren't swept out," he wrote.


Signs and Portents: Goat 'born with the face of a human baby' in Malaysia

The carcass of the kid that possesses unusually human-like features
A shocked farmer shared pictures of the strange-looking creature, which people have claimed is a fawn - the mythical fusion of goat and human

A farmer has spoken of his shock after he found a newborn goat had the face of a human baby.

Ibrahim Basir shared pictures of what people have claimed is a fawn - the mythical fusion of goat and human - after it was born in the village of Felda in southern Malaysia.

The kid did not last long after its birth and its carcass has now been handed over to the Veterinary Services Department.

Villagers offered Mr Basir, 63, money for the carcass, but instead, he decided to hand it over to the experts to enable them to carry out an investigation on the strange-looking kid.

The strange-looking baby has been handed over to the Veterinary Services Department for investigation


South Florida corals dying from 'unprecedented' bleaching and disease

© Sun Sentinel
South Florida's corals are turning white and contracting fatal diseases in what's being called an unprecedented die-off across the region's reefs.

Off Hollywood, scientists witnessed the collapse of a minivan-sized coral colony that had started growing more than three centuries ago, when the Spanish ruled the peninsula. As recently as September, live coral tissue covered 90 percent of the colony's surface, making it among the oldest living things in the state. By December it was almost completely dead, said Brian Walker, a Nova Southeastern University research scientist, who found widespread mortality in corals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

"We saw a variety of diseases across the different corals," he said. "Some of the disease was recently active and had killed off a significant portion of the colony. It's wiped out entire species from parts of the reef. They're usually bleached white. You can see areas of just bare skeleton."

Comment: 93% of Australia's Great Barrier Reef suffering from coral bleaching