Earth ChangesS


Nightmarish 'footballfish' washes up dead on US beach in potential 1st-of-its-kind occurrence

A female Pacific footballfish was found dead on an Oregon beach — potentially for the first time ever. It is currently unclear what killed the alien-looking creature and how it was dragged up from the depths.
Pacific footballfish
© Seaside AquariumA female Pacific footballfish was recently found dead on a beach in Oregon.
An extremely rare, deep-sea "footballfish" recently washed up dead on a beach in Oregon — potentially for the first time in the state's history. It is unclear what killed the creepy-looking creature or how it ended up there.

The nightmarish Pacific footballfish (Himantolophus sagamius) is a species of anglerfish (Lophiiformes) — an order of more than 300 species of deep-sea fish that lurk in the darkness and lure prey toward their fanged jaws with bioluminescent headpieces. Footballfish can live in waters as deep as 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) below the surface and likely dwell in the depths across the Pacific Ocean, although their exact range is unknown.

Beachcombers spotted the lifeless, alien-looking fish on the shoreline south of Cannon Beach earlier this month, according to a May 19 Facebook post from the Seaside Aquarium. It is unclear whether researchers collected and studied the remains after they were photographed by aquarium staff, which could shed light on the creature's mysterious fate.

Pacific footballfish are exceptionally rare. Since the first-ever specimen was accidentally collected in 1975 during a deep-sea trawl in Hawaii, only around 30 individuals have ever been found washed ashore or in the wild, according to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

"While a handful of football fish have been recorded in New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Hawaii, Ecuador, Chile, and California this is the first one reported on the Oregon Coast to our knowledge," Seaside Aquarium representatives wrote.

Cloud Grey

Another severe turbulence incident strikes passenger plane, follows death of passenger in similar incident 1 week earlier

dublin airport
© Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne / ReutersAn aerial view of Dublin airport is seen from the window of a Ryanair flight in September 2017.
Passengers who were injured in severe turbulence on a Qatar Airwaysflight from Doha to Dublin have said their clothes were ripped and flight attendants were scratched during the terrifying ordeal.

Twelve passengers were injured as turbulence caused some people on board to hit the cabin ceiling on the flight on Sunday.

All passengers were assessed for injury before disembarking the aircraft once the plane landed safely as scheduled shortly before 1pm, with eight passengers subsequently taken to hospital, airport officials said.

One traveller named Cathal said his shorts had ripped apart as he was flung around the cabin during the turbulence.

Comment: The incidents are notable because at least one recent study revealed that turbulence, overall, has been on the rise for the past 40 years, and particularly across the Atlantic. Alongside this, there's a myriad of other phenomena that seems to support the idea that there are significant changes occurring to our atmosphere, in addition to the increase in extreme weather events: Aircraft experiencing 37% increase in turbulence over last 40 years

See also: Severe turbulence on UK-Singapore Boeing flight, 1 dead, 30 injured


Tornado strikes Ohio lake, rips up dock and boats on May 17

A tornado was confirmed in Carroll County, Ohio, after footage caught a tornadic waterspout hitting Leesville Lake.

The tornado only appears as it hits the water, ripping up a dock and sending multiple boats in several different directions. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado was rated an EF0, traveling just a quarter mile with max wind speeds of 80mph.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), two types of water spouts are possible, fair weather water spouts and tornadic waterspout. Tornadic waterspouts have the same characteristics as a normal, land tornado, often moving from land to water or forming over water.

Fair weather waterspouts, unlike their tornadic alternatives, form on the water's surface and build their way upward. These are often formed in light wind conditions and aren't associated with thunderstorms. The video above shows a tornadic water spout.


Waterspout spotted over Calcasieu Lake, Louisiana

Many KPLC viewers sent in photos and videos of a waterspout over Calcasieu Lake Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service Lake Charles spotted the spout from its office around 1 p.m.

Southwest Louisiana was under a severe thunderstorm watch as rough weather rolled through the area Tuesday.

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical storm Ewiniar leaves at least 7 dead in the Philippines

Philippines’ most populous island on Sunday, dumping heavy rain and causing floods that forced more than 8,000 people to flee their homes.
© AFPEvacuation in progress: A woman is being evacuated from a flooded home by coast guard personnel in Lucena, Quezon Province, amid heavy rain brought by tropical storm Ewiniar which battered the Philippines’ most populous island on Sunday, dumping heavy rain and causing floods that forced more than 8,000 people to flee their homes.
Local authorities said at least seven people had been killed by tropical storm Ewiniar, which hit the country on the weekend, and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said that search and rescue efforts would continue.

Ewiniar brought strong winds and heavy rain in provinces south of the capital, Manila, shutting down airports and seaports while disrupting power supply.

The storm was heading towards the east coast of Japan yesterday, with sustained winds of up to 130kph and gustiness of up to 160kph.

A 14-year-old girl was confirmed dead in southern Misamis Oriental province after a tree fell on a parked vehicle she was boarding. Another student was injured, the national disaster agency said in a report.


An Iceland volcano starts erupting again, spewing lava into the sky

An eruption has started in Reykjanes, the seventh in just a few years.
An eruption has started in Reykjanes, the seventh in just a few years.
A volcano in southwestern Iceland erupted Wednesday, spewing red streams of lava in the latest display of nature's power, triggering the evacuation of the popular Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

The eruption began in the early afternoon following a series of earthquakes north of Grindavik, a coastal town of 3,800 people that was also evacuated.

The Met Office said lava was shooting about 50 meters (165 feet) into the sky from a fissure about 1 kilometer (1,100 yards) long.

The Blue Lagoon thermal spa was evacuated before the eruption began, national broadcaster RUV said.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 13 killed in stone quarry collapse triggered by heavy rain in India's northeast

A stone quarry collapsed Tuesday in India's northeast due to heavy rains triggered by a tropical storm, killing 13 quarry workers, officials said, while 16 remain missing.

Senior police officer Rahul Alwal said rescuers recovered the bodies of those killed from the quarry in Melthum, some 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the state capital Aizwal, and were able to pull out two workers alive from the debris.

Alwal said rescue workers are digging through the rubble to try and reach the trapped workers while looking for more survivors

Mizoram houses many stone quarries where raw material is mined for road and building construction. Many companies, however, extract stones without getting the required environmental clearance.


Dead humpback whale washes ashore near Manzanita, Oregon

A dead humpback whale washed ashore
© Oregon State ParksA dead humpback whale washed ashore at Nehalem Bay State Park on Monday, May 27, 2024.
Officials are urging people to avoid a stretch of the north Oregon coast after a dead humpback whale washed ashore Monday morning.

The whale came ashore on the sands of Nehalem Bay State Park, just south of Manzanita, prompting warnings from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

All three agencies issued warnings Monday on posts to social media as well as signs on the beach. The area where the whale washed ashore is also a protected area for endangered snowy plovers, making it especially vulnerable to intrusions.

"We're asking people to please stay away from the carcass so it remains undisturbed," Michael Milstein, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, said Monday. "We intend to do an initial exam today to see what we can learn about possible cause of death."


Yellow-crowned night heron from North America turns up in County Mayo, Ireland

The yellow crowned night heron was spotted in Belcarra
The yellow crowned night heron was spotted in Belcarra
Birdwatchers near and far are making their way to the village of Belcarra, near Castlebar, following the sighting of a rare North American bird.

A yellow crowned night heron nestled in the trees above the village riverside sparked excitement among locals and bird enthusiasts in the area.

The sighting of the bird is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland, with only a couple of sightings recorded across mainland Europe.

Almost 50 bird watchers arrived in the Mayo village from the UK over the weekend in hopes of catching a glimpse of the animal.

Arrow Down

Best of the Web: More than 2,000 people killed by massive landslide in Papua New Guinea (UPDATES)

Locals were trying to sift through the rubble with what equipment was still to hand on Friday
© Ninga Role/AAP/IMAGOLocals were trying to sift through the rubble with what equipment was still to hand on Friday
More than 100 people are believed to have been killed Friday in a landslide that buried a village in a remote, mountainous part of Papua New Guinea, and an emergency response is underway, the South Pacific island nation's leader and news media said.

The landslide reportedly hit Kaokalam village in Enga province, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, at roughly 3 a.m., Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Residents said estimates of the death toll were above 100, although authorities have not confirmed that figure. Villagers said the number of people killed could be much higher.

Prime Minister James Marape said authorities were responding and he would release information about the destruction and loss of life when it was available.

Comment: Update May 26

Al Jazeera reports:
The International Organization for Migration has increased its estimate of the death toll from a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to more than 670.

Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the United Nations agency's mission in the South Pacific island nation, said on Sunday the revised death toll was based on calculations by Yambali village and Enga provincial officials that more than 150 homes had been buried by Friday's landslide.

The previous estimate had been 60 homes.

"They are estimating that more than 670 people [are] under the soil at the moment," Aktoprak said.

"The situation is terrible with the land still sliding. The water is running and this is creating a massive risk for eveyrone involved," added Aktoprak, who is based in capital, Port Moresby.

Local officials had initially put the death toll on Friday at 100 or more. Only five bodies and a leg of a sixth victim had been recovered by Sunday, while seven people, including a child, had received medical treatment.

Authorities are trying to establish evacuation centres on safer ground on either side of the massive swath of debris.

Meanwhile, emergency responders were moving survivors of the massive landslide to safer ground as tonnes of unstable earth and tribal warfare, which is rife in the country's highlands, threatened the rescue effort.

Damage to infrastructure also made it more difficult for rescue and relief efforts to reach the area, according to Justine McMahon, a CARE Australia humanitarian group representative in PNG.

"The ground is quite unstable, making it difficult for rescuers to get in. The main road has also been cut off by about 200 metres [656 feet], hampering relief," she told Al Jazeera.

Car-sized boulders

Heavy earth-moving equipment are yet to arrive at the mountainous location 600km (370 miles) northwest of Port Moresby.

At some points, the landslide - a mix of car-sized boulders, uprooted trees and churned-up earth - was thought to be 8 metres (26 feet) deep.

Aid agencies said the catastrophe had effectively wiped out the village's livestock, food gardens and sources of clean water.
Update May 27

AP reports:
A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by last Friday's landslide and has formally asked for international help.

The government figure is roughly triple the U.N. estimate of 670 killed by the landslide in the South Pacific island nation's mountainous interior. The remains of only five people had been recovered by Monday, local authorities reported. It was not immediately clear why the tally of six reported on Sunday had been revised down.

In a letter to the United Nations resident coordinator dated Sunday and seen by The Associated Press, the acting director of the country's National Disaster Center, Luseta Laso Mana, said the landslide "buried more than 2,000 people alive" and caused "major destruction" in Yambali village in Enga province.