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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Earth Changes


Strong shallow 6.7 earthquake strikes near Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 has struck the Atlantic Ocean far south of Africa, centered near the Norwegian island of Bouvet, seismologists say. No tsunami alerts have been issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 6:43 p.m. local time (18:53 UTC) on Tuesday, was centered about 370 kilometers (230 miles) east of Bouvet Island, which is considered to be the most remote island in the world. It has no permanent population.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said Tuesday's earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 and struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), making it a shallow earthquake. The quake's epicenter is roughly halfway between South Africa and Antarctica.

Comment: This is the fifth 6 plus magnitude quake to be recorded around the world in the last 2 days, see also: 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile

Very strong shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.2 in the Balleny Islands region off Antarctica

6.6-magnitude earthquake strikes off Buldir Island, Alaska

Shallow 6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes off Tonga

Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm Ophelia poised to tie a hurricane season record more than a century old

© Orlando Sentinel
The feverish 2017 hurricane season doesn't seem to be letting up: on Monday, Tropical Storm Ophelia formed in the central Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane this week.

While the storm poses no threat to land, it could become the 10th consecutive storm to grow to hurricane strength - a streak of intense systems that will tie a record last set in the late 1800s. It comes in a season that has already produced five major hurricanes, including three ferocious Category 5 storms, and 15 named storms.

The amount of accumulated cyclone energy - a measure of the intensity and longevity of storms - is also 254 percent higher than average with seven weeks left in the season, said University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

"We had 15 named storms last year, but things got named that weren't really things people would remember," he said. "There's some heavy hitters this season."


Anaheim Hills, California: Twenty-four homes burned so far in 6K-acre Canyon Fire

© CBSLA.com
A brush fire that erupted in Anaheim Hills late Monday morning was fueled by strong Santa Ana winds and threatening homes, burning 6,000 acres so far, according to Anaheim Fire and Rescue.

At least 24 homes have destroyed in Anaheim, Orange and Tustin and more have been damaged. Fire officials noted that numbers could change. About 5,000 structures are threatened. Firefighters managed to get the fire 5 percent contained as of 9 p.m. Monday.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange County on Monday afternoon, along with a number of other California counties facing fires, in addition to emergency declarations issued earlier in the day.

There has been one minor injury to a firefighter.

The fire, labeled the Canyon Fire 2, started near Coal Canyon and the 91 Freeway - near where the Canyon Fire started several weeks ago. That fire burned east toward Corona, while this fire is burning west toward Anaheim, Anaheim Fire's Daron Wyatt said - at a much higher rate due to high winds, burning in hours the number of acres that the first Canyon Fire took a week to burn.

The fire has been driven by winds with gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Strong daytime winds kept firefighters from directly attacking the fire from the air. As winds died down in the evening, helicopters equipped with night vision took off for nighttime water drops. "We're going keep the fight going all night long," said OCFA Captain Larry Kurtz. "There's not going to be a lot of sleep tonight." Low humidity also drove the fire's speed during the day. Humidity was expected to increase slightly overnight, slowing the fire's growth, officials hoped.


40 earthquake tremors in 48 hours hit La Palma, Canary Islands

A scientific team will visit La Palma to keep track on the tremors
Fears of a volcano erupting on the Canary Islands has sparked panic as the Spanish archipelago was hit by more than 40 earthquake tremors in just 48 hours.

La Palma was rocked by more than 40 seismic movements of low magnitude and intensity between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale, according to the data of the National Geographic Institute.

The biggest earthquake, recorded at around 1pm on Saturday, had a magnitude of 2.7 and took place in the area of the Natural Park Cumbre Vieja, 28 kilometres deep.

The second largest quake, of 2.6, took place at 1.23pm on Sunday in the same area, while the third quake erupted at midnight on Monday, reaching a magnitude of 2.1, according to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan).

The earthquakes have sparked panic across the Canary Islands, with volcano experts pulled in to examine the unusual seismic activity.

María José Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, said the island has "never recorded a similar swarm" and although the energy levels are low and very deep, it is different from the seismic activity they have recorded so far.


6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile

The epicenter was 45 miles (73 kilometers) east of the port city of Arica, and 54 miles (87 kilometers) southeast of the larger Peruvian city of Tacna
A terrified family in Chile ran for cover as a magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck the country on Tuesday morning.

The quake, which was moderately deep at 51 miles (82 kilometers), struck the Tarapaca region in northern Chile at 3.32am local time on Tuesday.

Chilean authorities have not reported any deaths or infrastructural damage.

When the earthquake struck, a Chilean family filmed as they ran for cover in their home.

Video footage shows glasses shaking as noise rumbles in the background. The camera goes black as the filmer dives under what appears to be a table.

As the video ends, a young child can be heard crying.


Wrong place, wrong time: Tropical bird of prey turns up in New Brunswick, Canada

© MitchDoucet
A photo taken by Mitch Doucet of a crested caracara.
A colourful bird native to the mountains of Central and South America has been spotted in Hopewell Hill, N.B., prompting bird lovers to flock to the area to try to catch a glimpse.

The crested caracara is part of the falcon family and is typically found in northern parts of South America, Central America and most of Mexico. But a lone visitor seems to have found itself off-course, and is making New Brunswick its new vacation home.

Photographer Mitch Doucet and his wife Irene spotted the falcon this past weekend near Hopewell Hill and Mitch was able to grab a few shots of the black, white and orange bird on his camera.

"Saturday, as soon as we got there, he flew over when we were driving by. So we kind of followed him around to see where he would land. We didn't want to disturb him too much so we looked at him from a distance and took some photos," Doucet told CTV Atlantic.

The crested caracara has been spotted in southern U.S. states such as Texas and Florida, but rarely as far north as New Brunswick, which is approximately 3,000 kilometres away from its natural habitat.


Family dog kills 1-year-old baby in South Korea

© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
A one-year-old baby died in hospital late Monday after being attacked by her family's pet dog. She was bit on her neck by a 7-year-old Jindo dog in the living room of her apartment located in Siheung, Gyeonggi Province, Friday.

According to the police, the dog had been kept inside a 60-centimeter-tall fence, which was apparently too short to prevent the dog from jumping over.

The dog attacked the baby in her mother's arm when they were just entering the living room.

The mother rushed the baby to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead four days after the attack. The baby's father, to whom the dog originally belonged, was not at home when the attack happened.

The victim's body is to be sent to the National Institute of Scientific Investigation for an autopsy. The police are investigating the exact cause of the victim's death and whether her parents took proper steps to prevent the fatal incident.


Early snow sighted in the mountains of China

© Xinhua/Chen Yonggang
Aerial photo taken on Oct. 10, 2017 shows snow scenery in Qinglanshan Township of Dingxi City, northwest China's Gansu
It snowed in some mountainous areas of suburban Beijing Tuesday morning, Beijing meteorological authorities said.

Zhou Huanyu, who works for the Government of Qingshui Township, Mentougou District, said that Lingshan Mountain, the highest mountain (2,300-plus meters) in Beijing, received snowfall starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Temperatures in the area dropped to 3 degrees Celsius at noon, while snow covered the grass and forests on the mountain.

Meanwhile, mountains in Yanqing District and Fangshan District also saw snow early Tuesday morning.
An automatic meteorological observation station in Xiaohaituo Mountain, where the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held, indicated the depth of snow reached six centimeters.


Dead humpback whale buried on beach in Ballina, Australia

A dead whale which was found on the beach at South Ballina on Sunday has been buried.

A spokeswoman from National Parks and Wildlife confirmed the 5.2m baby humpback whale had been buried on Monday.

It is not known at this stage why the decision was made to bury the whale instead of removing it from the beach.

It comes less than a month after Port Macquarie-Hastings Council was forced to dig up a whale which had been buried on Nobbys Beach.

Locals had raised concerns that the carcass would attract sharks.


Suspected anthrax outbreak kills 107 hippos in a week in Namibia

A suspected anthrax outbreak has killed 107 hippos in one of Namibia's biggest game parks in the Zambezi region in Namibia in just one week.

The park's deputy director Apollinaris Kannyinga confirmed the deaths Sunday at Bwabwata National Park.

Kannyinga said the first 10 deaths were reported on Oct. 1 but had risen by the end of the week.

"We suspect an anthrax outbreak, but our veterinary is still yet to confirm that,'' Kannyinga said.

He also said that this was the first time such a deadly outbreak has hit Namibia. Before the outbreak, Namibia had an estimated 1,300 hippos.

Comment: See also this report from a month ago: Anthrax kills at least 42 hippos in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania