Earth ChangesS


US congressman says people should abandon cities

In the documentary Urban Danger, 84-year-old Republican
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett knows what's coming
, who is serving his tenth term as the representative of Maryland's Sixth District, explains why US citizens should avoid living in cities.

"There are a number of events that could create a situation in our cities where civil unrest could be a very high probability," Bartlett said in the film. "And I think that those who can and those who understand need to take advantage of this opportunity when the winds of strife are not blowing to move their families out of the city."

"It's just plain fun when you're looking at the challenge of what do I have to do so that I'm independent of the system," he added.

Before becoming a member of Congress, Bartlett worked as a professor at the University of Maryland, research scientist, small business owner, and farmer. He was awarded 19 military patents for his inventions of life support equipment.

Evil Rays

Australia: Quake adds to north's disasters

© Unknown
FIRST it was a cyclone, then flooding, and then came the earthquake.

At 4.08pm yesterday a magnitude-4 earthquake struck about 30km off the coast of Innisfail, in far north Queensland, an area already hard hit by Cyclone Yasi last month and inundated by torrential monsoon rains.

Locals reported the quake to Geosciences Australia from Innisfail, Gordonvale and even Cairns, 70km away from its epicentre.

It was insufficient to cause a tsunami and there were no early reports of damage but locals took to Twitter to bemoan the recent trifecta of natural disasters. Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jepsen said it would have produced "a bit of a shake" and "some rattling of windows" in the Innisfail area.

He ruled out any connection to recent earthquakes in Christchurch or Japan, saying those incidents were too far away to generate a far north Queensland quake.

Better Earth

Heavenly haze: Remarkable rainbow cloud towers over Mount Everest

Hovering in the sky, this rainbow cloud over Mount Everest took an astonished astronomer by surprise.

Oleg Bartunov, 51, caught the spectacle on camera during a Himalayas expedition in Nepal.

His two images show almost the whole spectrum of the rainbow in a natural event rarely recorded at Mount Everest.

© Oleg BartunovDazzling: A rainbow cloud dwarfs Mt Everest in the Himalayas, taking photographer Oleg Bartunov by surprise
The phenomenon is caused by light reflecting off tiny ice crystals inside the body of the cloud's water vapour.

'I only took a couple of shots as I was overwhelmed with feelings and wanted to see everything with my eyes and prolong the moment,' Mr Bartunov said.

Bizarro Earth

Congo: Nyiragongo Volcano

Lake Kivu Basin
© National Geographic

When will Nyiragongo erupt? Nyiragongo is a two-mile-high volcano towering over the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and also one of the least studied. Two million people would be affected by a potential eruption of the volcano or the neighboring lake.

According to Tedesco, there is no question the volcano will erupt again, potentially transforming Goma into a modern Pompeii. "Goma," he says, "is the most dangerous city in the world." At the base of the volcano sprawls the city of Goma, growing by the day as villagers from the countryside seek refuge from rebel and government forces.

An estimated million people are now crammed into Goma. Twice in recent years Nyiragongo's eruptions have sent molten rock flowing toward the city. In 1977 lava raced down the mountain at more than 60 miles an hour, the fastest ever observed.

Several hundred people died, even though the flow had hardened before it reached the main part of the city. In 2002 the volcano shot more than 15 million cubic yards of lava into downtown Goma, destroying 14,000 homes, burying buildings to the top of the first floor, and forcing 350,000 citizens to flee.

Bizarro Earth

Major Ring of Fire Events Yet To Come

While the horseshoe shaped belt of seismic and volcanic activity that rings the Pacific ocean has always been a focal point for earthquakes, the past 13 months have seen three high profile seismic events.
In February of 2010 an 8.8 magnitude earthquake - and resultant tsunami (generally less than 2.5 meters) - struck offshore of Chile, leaving roughly 500 people dead and several hundred thousand homes damaged.

In September of 2010, a 7.1 quake struck the Christchurch, New Zealand region causing serious damage, but little loss of life. Nearly 6 months later, a shallow 6.3 magnitude aftershock struck even closer to Christchurch, causing far more damage, and claiming a significant loss of life.

And most recently, a 9.0 earthquake and massive Tsunami struck off the coast of Honshu, Japan likely claiming thousands of lives (still uncounted) and doing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage.


California: Dead fish = earthquake predictor?

An Azeri scientist has linked the recent incident of California's mass fish death to the earthquake in Japan.

"Animals, they feel everything. They run away from earthquakes however they can," Gurban Jalal Etirmishli, the general director of the Azerbijan Science Academy's Republican Center for Seismology, told Life News, a Russian tabloid.

More than a million sardines washed up on California's Redondo Beach last week. Scientists say they suffered from a lack of oxygen, but some reports have said they were found to have high toxin levels.

"During the first underground movements on March 8, toxic gases and even radiation could have oozed out, becoming a reason for the death of the fish," Etirmishli said. "If, in the near future, a similar thing happens, it can be a sign of a coming earthquake."

Cloud Lightning

Ten killed in south Brazil floods, thousands evacuated

© Reuters/ Bruno Domingos
At least 10 people have been killed and over 21,000 evacuated in floods in the south of Brazil, civil defense officials reported.

Torrential rain caused floods and landslides and destroyed roads in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana.

Two people are missing. Overall, up to 60,000 residents of the South American country's south have been affected.

Bizarro Earth

Activity of mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan increased sharply

Azerbaijan observes serious activity of two more mud volcanoes, in addition to the one in Gobustan region erupted on 13 March.

The Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources of Azerbaijan reports of current grave activity of mud volcanoes Dashgil and Ayrantoken located in Alat township of Garadagh district of Baku.

Gobustan-based mud volcano Shihzyayirli mud volcano that erupted yesterday continues erupting and the height of its fire has increased from yesterday's level of 30 cm up to 2 m that caused natural anxiety of the population of nearby village Shihzyayirli located at distance of 600-700 m from the volcano. At present, noisy release of gas is observed in different parts of the volcano. As a result of volcano explosion, the height of the fire reached up to 60-70 m, the heat from it was felt at a distance of 3 km, and cracks with width of 40-50 cm appeared on the ground.

Shihzyayirli volcano erupts every 6-7 years, and the last time erupted in 2005, but this year eruption was much more intense.


Japan nuclear disaster could strike in US

The disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has many in the United States worried that a similar incident could happen here. As different alternative energies are being explored, could this disaster push nuclear power off the agenda? Founder of Dancing Ink Productions Rita J. King says while there are challenges with alternative energies, we have not begun a wide spread campaign of how to make this happen but there isn't another option anymore.


Lava from erupting Hawaii volcano sparks wildfire

© AP Photo/US Geological Survey
Authorities say lava from a volcano eruption in Hawaii has sparked a wildfire in Volcanoes National Park.

Park firefighters said Monday that the blaze has burned at least 30 hectares since Sunday. They say the lava is from the Kamoamoa eruption.

Park ranger Mardie Lane says the fire is creeping through Ohia forest in an area that has been burned at least twice due to lava flows.

Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been in constant eruption since Jan. 3, 1983.

Firefi ghters plan to fly over the area Tuesday to assess the situation.