Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

2.2-magnitude earthquake shakes Dublin

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.2 struck at 4:36 a.m. this morning near Dublin.

According to the USGS, the epicenter of the quake was three miles west of Dublin and three miles southwest of San Ramon.

Arrow Up

Number of Far East wildfires doubles, area increases tenfold

The total area of fires raging in the Russian Far East has increased tenfold, from 18 to 170 hectares (44.5 to 420 acres), in the past 24 hours, a source in the local emergencies service said Thursday.

The number of fires in Far Eastern taiga doubled - from four to eight - but currently pose no threat to the local population or the infrastructure.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon Wipha claims at least nine victims in China

At least nine people have been killed in China as a result of Typhoon Wipha, Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.

The typhoon, which hit China Tuesday night, has also left three missing. Over two million people have been evacuated.

As China lacks a specialized emergency ministry to deal with natural disasters, mobilized units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the police have been trying to cope with the task.

Cloud Lightning

Ivo strengthens into hurricane near Mexico

Tropical Storm Ivo strengthened into a hurricane on Wednesday as it headed over the Pacific toward Mexico's Baja California peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Ivo had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and was some 500 miles south of the peninsula's beach and golf resort Los Cabos, popular with U.S. visitors.

Cloud Lightning

Early winter storm for Southern California

Cooler weather and high winds moved into Southern California today in advance of a storm that could bring snow to the mountains and the first rain to Los Angeles in about 150 days.

Bizarro Earth

Dead birds found in Koroneia Lake, Greece

Some 200 dead birds have been found at Lake Koroneia near Thessaloniki, prompting experts to express fears yesterday that there could be a repeat of the disaster three years ago when about 30,000 birds died near the lake due to poisoning.

Cloud Lightning

Rain pounds Tohoku, Japan, 3 missing

Torrential rain lashed the northern part of the Tohoku region Tuesday, leaving three people missing due to floods after record downpours hit some districts. Akita and Iwate prefectures were hit particularly hard, and authorities were searching for the missing people and attempting to restore utilities.

Buildings are engulfed by muddy waters from the flood-swollen Yoneshirogawa river in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture.

Bizarro Earth

Another Earthquake Rocks Indonesia

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake jolted Sumatra island in Indonesia Wednesday, but no tsunami, damage or casualties were reported.

The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the earthquake's epicenter was 16 miles under the seabed some 101 miles northwest of Lais in Bengkulu province. The temblor struck at 2:27 p.m. local time.

Arrow Down

Stink bugs rain down on Estonian island

Ruhnu, a small Estonian island in the Gulf of Riga, in the Baltic Sea, has been deluged by a rain of stink bugs, the Eesti Paevaleht newspaper said Tuesday.

The freakish shower occurred early Monday, and by morning downtown streets were teeming with red and brown bugs with green bellies diffusing an unpleasant smell.


"In the lamplight, you could see bugs falling from the sky, shaking the leaves," the newspaper quoted a local woman as saying.


UN warns of humanitarian disaster following Africa's torrential rains

Torrential rains that have battered Africa threaten to give rise to a grave humanitarian situation, the Untied Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned in a report.

So far, at least 270 people have died in devastating floods from the continent's east to west coast, and around one million have been affected. As well as wrecking farmland and buildings and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, the floods have made populations vulnerable to the spread of cholera, dysentery, and meningitis.

The flooding began in mid-June and meteorologists expect another heavy bout of torrential rain in September 18-24. The rains have been the most severe to strike the region in 30 years.