Earth ChangesS


11 workers missing after coal mine flood in north China

Eleven miners are missing in a flooded coal mine in northern China's Shanxi province, Xinhua news agency said Monday.

Water burst into the small privately-owned mine near Lu-liang late on Sunday night. Rescuers have been pumping water out of the pit. Local authorities said it was impossible to say whether the workers were still alive.

Water had accumulated following several weeks of heavy rains, which have affected regions all over China in recent weeks.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills diver off Florida coast

Lightning struck a diver's oxygen tank as he surfaced off Florida's Atlantic coast, killing him, authorities said.

The 36-year-old man was diving with three others Sunday off a boat near Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of Miami. He had surfaced about 30 feet from the boat when lightning struck his tank, said Deerfield Beach Fire Chief Gary Fernaays.

The other divers struggled to get the man back into the boat and radioed for help, Fernaays said. The victim, whose name was not immediately released, was rushed to the beach, where a rescue crew gave him CPR. He was later pronounced dead at North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach.


Houses, hospitals, transport hit by power outage in Barcelona

A faulty cable triggered a major power outage in Barcelona Monday, snarling traffic, hobbling public transportation and knocking out electricity to homes and businesses in much of Spain's second largest city.

City officials said the blackout began around 11 a.m. (0900 GMT) and affected traffic lights in much of the city center as well as several lines of the subway system. Police officers manned major intersections to keep traffic flowing.

The blackout continued more than four hours later, although Red Electrica, the company that manages Spain's power grid, said more than half the power supply had been restored.

Spanish Industry Minister Joan Clos ruled out sabotage, blaming the blackout on a substation cable that fell, causing a chain-reaction failure in as many as six other substations.

Around 300,000 customers spread throughout most of Barcelona lost power, and 130,000 of them remained without electricity mid-afternoon, the minister told a news conference.


UK: Worst Flooding In Modern History

Thousands of people are without electricity or water as Britain suffers its worst flooding in modern history.

Submerged areas are bracing themselves for further chaos with water levels not expected to peak until tomorrow morning.

Gloucestershire is likely to be hit by yet more flooding as the River Severn is expected to rise once again in the early hours.


Severn Trent Water confirmed "at least" 350,000 homes in the county will be without water by this evening.

The peak level of the Thames is expected to travel through Oxford at about 2.45am and Abingdon at about 6.45am.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has told MPs the flooding emergency is "far from over".

West London and the Thames Valley could be the next parts of Britain to go underwater as the floods spread east.

Hundreds of homes could be flooded when torrential rain hits the capital in the next 24 hours.

Bizarro Earth

Idaho wildfire threatens Air Force range

BOISE, Idaho - A wildfire grew by an estimated 200 square miles in 24 hours, blackening grazing land Sunday as it threatened thousands of southern Idaho homes and facilities at an Air Force training range, fire officials said Sunday.

Bizarro Earth

Snowless in a warming world, ski resort in French Alps bids adieu

©AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
Muddy slopes, slushy peaks and unused lifts have put an end to the French ski resort of Abondance

ABONDANCE, France: Muddy slopes, slushy peaks, unused lifts - this town in the French Alps is living out the nightmare of many a ski resort in a century scientists say is doomed to keep getting warmer.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado strikes Poland

Yesterday we had a hail storm with hail as big as eggs and around 30 KM from where I live there was a twister. Not just a small twister, it was huge. It leveled 100 houses on its way and cars were flying in the air all around. This kind of twisters NEVER happened in Poland before. It was like the ones from Oklahoma. Luckily no one was killed, but the damage is enormous.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquakes rattle Brazil and Argentina

Two strong earthquakes struck deep below ground in remote areas of South America on Saturday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

A magnitude-6.1 temblor hit Brazil in the western Amazon state of Acre at about 9:30 a.m., 105 miles southeast of Cruzeiro do Sul, according to the Web site of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bizarro Earth

Dead Whale Found With Car-Size Tongue

A humpback whale with a tongue swollen to the size of a small car has been found on the rocky shores of Admiralty Island in southeast Alaska.

©National Geographic

Scientists believe that a collision forced air into the male humpback's tongue and caused it to swell. A ship could be responsible for the death of the 40-foot (12-meter) whale, which was found last week.


Vietnam: Heatwave continues to parch northern, central regions

A fierce heatwave that has scorched the northern and central regions since the beginning of this month will continue over the next several days, the Central Hydro-meteorology Forecast Centre has warned.

Temperatures will remain at between 35-36 degrees Celsius in the northern region for the next three or four days or more and could peak at 38 degrees Celsius in the central region for a week, the centre said.