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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

US: Tropical Storm Cristobal forms off Southeast coast

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Tropical Storm Cristobal formed off the Southeast coast Saturday, the first storm to threaten the U.S. this hurricane season, forecasters said.

©AP Photo/Weather Underground
This NOAA satellite image taken Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 2:15 PM EDT shows clouds off the Southeast Coast associated with Tropical Storm Cristobal. The storm is expected to move northeastward along the eastern seaboard with a possible landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina late Sunday. It is not expected to reach hurricane strength.

The storm's stregthened from a tropical depression, and promised to bring much-needed rains to the eastern Carolinas before it was predicted to slip out to sea.

At 2 p.m. EDT, the center of the storm was about 100 miles east of Charleston and about 225 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

The National Hurricane Center said Cristobal (pronounced crist-TOE'-ball) was moving northeast at about 7 mph.

Life Preserver

Australia: Pet dog saves old woman from rogue kangaroo

A family pet saved an elderly Australian woman from a rogue kangaroo that attacked her on a farm in New South Wales.

Rosemary Neal, 65, was walking through a mob of kangaroos to look after some horses in a paddock at the farm near Mudgee, 160 miles northwest of Sydney.

Her son Darren said the area was overrun with the large marsupials, which rarely attack people, and she had felt entirely safe in their company.

But then, a large male kangaroo inches taller than the 5'6 foot Mrs Neal, suddenly lunged at her.

"The kangaroo has just jumped up and launched straight at her," he told local newspapers. "He hit her once and she just dropped and rolled. My dog heard her screaming and bolted down and chased him off.


Life Preserver

Tsunami warning lifted in northeast Japan

Japan's Meteorological Agency lifted the tsunami warning it issued for northeastern Japan on Saturday after an earthquake struck off the east coast of Honshu.

There were no initial reports of damage from the quake.

The biggest tsunami measured was 20 cm (7.9 inches) along the coasts of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, the agency said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude tremor struck beneath the north Pacific Ocean, 77 miles (123 km) east northeast of Iwaki, Japan at 0239 GMT at a depth of 25 miles (40 km).

Nuclear power facilities in the area were unharmed and were continuing to operate as usual, said officials from Tokyo Electric Power Co and Tohoku Electric Power.


Hundreds of baby penguins found dead in Brazil

Hundreds of baby penguins swept from the icy shores of Antarctica and Patagonia are washing up dead on Rio de Janeiro's tropical beaches, rescuers and penguin experts said Friday.

More than 400 penguins, most of them young, have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state over the past two months, according to Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency in the resort city of Cabo Frio.

While it is common here to find some penguins - both dead and alive - swept by strong ocean currents from the Strait of Magellan, Pimenta said there have been more this year than at any time in recent memory.

©AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes
Penguins rescued off the coast of Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian Coast Guard are seen at the Niteroi Zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Friday, July 18, 2008. According to officials, over 400 baby penguins have been found dead on the state's shores over the past two months. While large numbers of penguins arrive on Rio de Janeiro's beaches every year, swept to sea by strong ocean currents from the Strait of Magellan, this year is seeing higher numbers and more dead penguins than usual.

Bizarro Earth

US: Quakes on Wasbah, New Madrid Faults

Kennett, MO -- Parts of the region were shaken overnight as another earthquake rumbled along the Wasbah fault zone. The minor earthquake measured 3.1 on the Richter scale according to the U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center.

The quake occurred at 9:58 p.m. Thursday and was centered five miles northwest of Mount Carmel, Illinois at a depth of six miles.

Earlier this month, areas along the New Madrid Fault line have had a few minor rumbles, recorded by the New Madrid Fault Seismic Network.

Though there haven't been any earthquakes recently that should send residents and officials into panic mode, there have been several minor quakes that most people do not even know about.

A preliminary report from the Southeast Seismic Network indicates that a small 1.6 earthquake was recorded on July, 11, 2008, near New Madrid, Mo. Shortly after, a quake registering 1.5 on the Richter scale was reported to have occurred near Vonore, Tenn., which appears to be a pretty active area, according to the network report on recent earthquakes.

Just six days prior, Saturday, July 5, 2008, a small 2.0 quake occurred four miles east of Madisonville, Tenn. This quake reached areas including, Vonore, Tellico Plains and Knoxville, Tenn. as well.

Bizarro Earth

Two More Quakes Reported Off Oregon Coast

Yachats -- Two more earthquakes have been reported in a seismically active area 250 miles off the Oregon coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck at 3:47 p.m. and it was soon followed by a 5.6.

The quakes struck at a depth of 10 miles in the ocean west of Yachats.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 7.0 - Off East Coast Of Honshu, Japan

Magnitude 7.0

* Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 02:39:30 UTC
* Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 11:39:30 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 37.615°N, 142.115°E
Depth 27 km (16.8 miles) set by location program
Distances 125 km (75 miles) ENE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
130 km (80 miles) ESE of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
145 km (90 miles) E of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
300 km (190 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan


Reasons to Oppose Drilling in ANWR Found in Alaska's North Slope

Last November, the oil company British Petroleum (BP) plead guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a $20 million fine for violating the Clean Water Act related to a massive oil spill that occurred at BP's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope two years earlier.

A federal judge also placed the company on probation for three years and said the 201,000 gallon oil spill was a "serious crime" that could have been prevented if BP had spent more time and funds investing in pipeline upgrades and a "little less emphasis on profit."


Typhoon Kalmaegi kills at least six in Taiwan

A typhoon has killed at least six people in Taiwan, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

According to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, floods and landslides caused by Typhoon Kalmaegi destroyed homes, roads, and cut electricity and water supplies to thousands of people on the island late on Thursday.


Bear fatally mauls two geologists in Russia's Far East

A brown bear killed two geologists in the northeast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia's Far East, a local emergencies spokesman said on Friday.

The incident occurred in the Olyutor Range, in Kamchatka's Koryak Autonomous Area.

"According to preliminary information, both victims were specialists based with a geological field party working for [local mining company] KoryakGeolDobycha," the spokesman said