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Fri, 08 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes

Evil Rays

Magnitude 6.1 offshore quake shakes northern Japan; no danger of tsunami

Japan's weather agency says a strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 struck off the northern Japanese coast.

The Meteorological Agency says there was no danger of a tsunami, or seismic waves, from the 8:30 p.m. (1130 GMT) quake, which occurred about 20 miles (30 kilometers) below the ocean's surface off the coast of Fukushima.


Georgia, US: House in Buford fire blamed on lightning strike

Rain and thunderstorms that passed through metro Atlanta early Sunday were blamed for a fire that severely damaged a Gwinnett County home.

Gwinnett fire officials believe a lightning strike ignited the roof of a two-story home on Aberrone Place in Buford, said Capt. Thomas Rutledge, a department spokesman.

The lightning was part of a system that moved through the metro area before dawn, said Griffith.


Chile plans to spend US$31M to build volcano monitoring centers

SANTIAGO: Chile plans to spend US$31 million to build three new centers to monitor volcanic activity.

Bizarro Earth

Okmok volcano ash plume builds

Okmok Volcano
©Anchorage Daily News
Okmok Volcano, seen erupting July 13, 2008, spat water, gas and debris nearly 5 miles into the air July 19.

The Aleutian Islands' Okmok Volcano stepped up its rumbling and puffing Saturday, spitting massive geysers of water, gas and debris 25,000 feet into the air, according to Jennifer Aldeman, a geologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Cloud Lightning

US: Firefighters keep wary eye on California thunderstorms

Junction City, CA - Scattered showers forecast for California's northern mountains Sunday are unlikely to extinguish wildfires that still threaten homes and could bring more lightning to the charred region, fire officials said.

The weather system is not expected to bring enough rain to have any effect on several huge blazes that have burned for nearly a month, said Pete Munoa, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

A bigger concern is thunderstorms predicted to accompany the system.

But fire officials said cooler temperatures mean lightning strikes don't pose as much of a threat as they did a month ago, when storms sparked nearly 2,100 fires that have burned almost 1 million acres.

"The weather pattern, if it holds the way it is now, we should be able to get a foothold around these fires," Munoa said.

In the rural town of Junction City, residents were under mandatory evacuation orders for a third day Sunday as flames crept across the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The month-old fire had spread to nearly 87 square miles by Sunday and was 49 percent contained.


The mystery of Rio: Why have more than 400 dead penguins been washed up on Brazilian city's beaches?

Hundreds of baby penguins swept from the icy shores of Antarctica and Patagonia are washing up dead on Rio de Janeiro's tropical beaches. More than 400 of the birds have been found dead on the area's beaches in the past two months, and more are being found in a distressed or sickly condition.


US: Conjoined barn swallows cause stir

Little Rock, AR - It's an Arkansas bird story that at first might be hard to swallow. A pair of conjoined barn swallows, attached at the hip by skin and possibly muscle tissue, will be sent to the Smithsonian Institution for study and examination, Arkansas wildlife officials said Friday. If confirmed, officials say it could prove to be an incredibly rare find - a set of conjoined twins among birds.

conjoined barn swallows
©AP Photo/Daily Citizen, Samuel Peebles
Two baby conjoined barn swallows rest after a fall from their nest Thursday morning, July 17, 2008 in Searcy, Arkansas.

"I can't even say it's one in a million - it's probably more than that," said Karen Rowe, an ornithologist with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. "There's just very little to no records of such a thing."

Bizarro Earth

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia's Central Java

Jakarta - A quake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia's Central Java, but there was no tsunami risk or reports of damage, the country's meteorological agency said on Sunday.

The epicenter of the quake was 10 km (6.2 miles) deep, 135 km (84 miles) southeast of Wonogiri district in Yogyakarta province, said Setyono, an official at the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.

The ancient royal city of Yogyakarta was devastated by an earthquake that killed more than 5,700 people in May 2006.

"There was no potential tsunami and also no reports of damage," Setyono, who only uses one name, said. "The quake was felt as far as East Java, but the intensity was low."

Another quake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia's northern part of Sumatra island earlier today. The agency put the quake at a depth of 10 km, 155 km northwest of Tanah Bala in north Sumatra.

Bizarro Earth

Tropical Storm Dolly forms in Caribbean

Miami, Florida -- Tropical Storm Dolly formed in the western Caribbean and approached Mexico on Sunday, as Tropical Storm Cristobal edged closer to the North Carolina coast.

Satellite image taken at 10:45 a.m. ET Sunday shows locations of the two storms.

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula from Campeche to the border with Belize.

At 11:45 a.m. ET, the hurricane center said the center of Dolly -- the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic season -- was about 270 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico, and 230 miles southeast of Cozumel.

Dolly was moving northwest at about 17 mph, with top sustained winds near 45 mph - See Dolly's projected path.


Leatherback Turtles' Newly Discovered Migration Route May Be Roadmap To Salvation

With a name like "Leatherback Turtle" you might think the sea turtles could stand up to just about anything the ocean can throw at them, and for more than a hundred million years, they have. But tough, long-lived critters though they are, the population of leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific Ocean has plummeted by over 90 percent in the last 20 years.

Leatherback Turtle
Leatherback Turtle

Like many species that migrate across a vast ocean, pinpointing all the possible causes of their decline is difficult and figuring out where conservationists might be able to intervene on their behalf is hugely challenging. But a major effort to tag and track leatherbacks that nest on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has yielded unprecedented insight into their behavior.