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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Early And Intense Tornado Season Could Be Record

This year may set records for tornadoes and tornado-related deaths. "We have already seen more than 115 tornado-related deaths, making this the deadliest tornado season since 1998," said Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK.

Tornado in Kansas
©Chris Foltz, NOAA
Tornado in Kansas on May 22, 2008.


California firefighters still struggling with blaze

PARADISE - As a wildfire bore down on his home of 15 years, hopscotching between properties here, Larry Knifong decided to take his chances and stay - that is, until the flames raced up a ridge toward this ranch-style house.

Cloud Lightning

River slowly dropping, but Iowa town still flooded

CEDAR RAPIDS - Days after it rose out of its banks on its way to record flooding in Cedar Rapids, the Cedar River has forced at least 20,000 people from their homes, officials said Saturday.

Arrow Up

Death toll in north China landslide rises to 19

The death toll from a landslide in north China's Shanxi Province rose to 19 as rescuers recovered three more bodies in the early hours on Saturday, emergency headquarters said.

Rescuers found the three bodies at around 2 a.m. Saturday at the landslide site at a brick factory near Shang'an village, Lvliang City. The landslide occurred at around 10:20 a.m. Friday, destroying the factory's workshops and burying 20 workers.

Two young sisters Wu Nana and Wu Shasha hold a picture of his father Wu Chunping who died among 19 workers at a brick factory buried by landslide in Shang'an village of Lishi District of Luliang, north China's Shanxi Province, June 14, 2008. Their mother Wang Fenglian and elder brother Wu Huihui were also killed by the landslide that occurred at 10:20 a.m. of Friday. The investigation is underway.


Egypt fishermen's livelihoods under threat

Thousands of Egyptian fishermen constantly getting skin diseases caused by polluted water.

egypt fishermen
Threatening the livelihoods of some 78,000 people

Ahmad Issa, 41, has been fishing in Lake Maryut [also spelt Maryout or Marriout] near the port city of Alexandria for the last 30 years. Like thousands of other fishermen, Issa said he was constantly getting skin diseases caused by the polluted water.

Evil Rays

At least three killed in Japan earthquake

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake centered in the northern state of Iwate about 250 miles northeast of Tokyo, rocked a rural, mountainous area of northern Japan, killed at least three people and injured more than 100 on Saturday, TV channels reported.

One of the people killed was caught in a landslide, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told reporters. A second man was hit by a car after running out of a building and a third was killed by falling rocks at a dam construction site.

Seven people were trapped in a hot-spring resort inn hit by a landslide but police had rescued five and were trying to get the other two out, NHK public TV reported.


90 per cent of pandas in jeopardy after China earthquake


Nearly all of China's endangered pandas are in jeopardy after the earthquake last month devastated the remote mountain corner that is their last remaining habitat.


Powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake shakes Japan

TOKYO - A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked northern Japan early Saturday, swaying buildings and forcing authorities to close highways and stop high-speed trains. News reports said some people were cut by broken glass.

Authorities said two nuclear power plants in the area were not damaged and continued to operate normally, national broadcaster NHK reported. There was no danger of tsunami.

The 8:43 a.m. quake was centered in the northern prefecture of Iwate about 280 miles north of Tokyo.

Magic Hat

Deer With Rare 'Unicorn' Horn Spotted in Italy

ROME - A deer with a single horn in the center of its head - much like the fabled, mythical unicorn - has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy, park officials said Wednesday.

"This is fantasy becoming reality," Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center of Natural Sciences in Prato, told The Associated Press. "The unicorn has always been a mythological animal."

Cloud Lightning

Floods prompt evacuation call in Iowa

DES MOINES - Officials in Iowa's capital city urged residents threatened by the rising Des Moines River to evacuate on Friday, calling the situation "extremely dangerous."

"We are commencing a voluntary evacuation," Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie said, predicting the evacuation would be complete by the evening. "We think that the levels are going to be at or very close to levee height."

©REUTERS/Dave Kaup
A farm building is immersed in floodwaters near Thurman in southwest Iowa June 12, 2008.