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Mon, 27 Mar 2023
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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

US: At least 3 confirmed tornadoes touch down in Texas Panhandle

Amarillo - The National Weather Services said at least three weak tornadoes touched down in the Texas Panhandle.

There have been no reports of injuries or building damage caused by Sunday's tornadoes. Meteorologist Jason Jordan said all three tornadoes touched down over open country.


Australian fishermen haul up a 225 kg giant squid

Melbourn - Australian fishermen have hauled up a six-metre-long giant squid off the country's southeastern coast.

Skipper Rangi Pene says the 225-kilogram squid was already dead when it was caught in a trawler's nets Sunday night in waters more than 500 metres deep.


Canada: Flood waters put region on high alert

Rain pelting southern Alberta for fifth straight day

Bragg Creek resident Gladell Adelman almost lost her dog Muffin to the torrent Saturday morning.

She'd taken Muffin out for a walk near the Elbow River, alongside her home and called the dog back from the river's edge seconds before the bank gave way to raging waters.

"She wouldn't have made it," Adelman said. "I could never have got her."

Cloud Lightning

Floods displace 15,000 in Chile, shut giant mine

SANTIAGO - Heavy rains and flooding that killed five people and displaced thousands in south-central Chile have collapsed road and rail bridges, closed the world's largest underground copper mine and left many in the capital without drinking water, the government said on Friday.

Many schools remained closed in Santiago and elsewhere after floodwaters churned up sediment at water treatment plants, while several rivers burst their banks farther south, deluging thousands of homes.


Panda missing since quake caught, one still missing

BEIJING - A giant panda missing from a nature reserve since a massive earthquake hit southwestern China two weeks ago has been caught alive, state media reported Monday.

The panda, called Xixi, was captured on Monday morning in woods near the Wolong Panda Breeding Centre, Xinhua news agency reported.

It was given tranquilisers, put in a cage and transported back to the centre, Xinhua said.

©AFP Teh Eng Koon
A hungry giant panda enjoys bamboo at a zoo in Beijing on May 24, 2008 after being evacuated from the famed Wolong breeding centre in southwest China's Sichuan province due to food shortages and damage caused by the May 12 earthquake. A giant panda missing from a nature reserve since a massive earthquake hit southwestern China two weeks ago has been caught alive, state media reported Monday.

This leaves one more panda still missing following the 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12, which killed three workers at the reserve, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) away from the epicentre of the quake.

Bizarro Earth

Ecuador records 125 explosions of Tungurahua volcano

QUITO -- Ecuador recorded 125 moderate explosions of the Tungurahua volcano in center of the Andes Sunday, according to the Geophysics Institute (GI) of the National Polytechnic School.

"The volcanic activities continue with a high seismic level, mainly characterized by moderate explosions," the IG reported.

There are also 32 earthquakes inside the mountain and continuous shocks for 17 times.

Better Earth

Earthquakes trigger each other

Paris - A major quake such as the one that left at least 60 000 dead in southwestern China this month can trigger other earthquakes halfway around the world, according to a study released Sunday.

This unexpected finding could one day help make better predictions about the frequency and intensity of aftershocks, the lead researcher told AFP.


Arizona, US: Experts urge people to avoid bees

Take heed of bees buzzing in Valley neighborhoods and scenic desert hotspots, experts warn.

As daytime temperatures rise, bee season springs to life.

The Valley's exceptionally rainy winter and abundance of pollinating desert plant life mean a higher risk of bee attacks as people enjoy the outdoors, experts say.

This year, bees in the Valley have attacked at least 19 people, including a South Mountain hiker who was airlifted to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center last week.

Bees have also attacked four dogs, including two in Gilbert that later died.

Banner Health Poison Control Center said it has received 178 calls about bee stings so far this season from Maricopa County residents and hospitals.


Swarms of bees returning to Kansas

Mites and other diseases had reduced their population, but wild and domestic bees appear to be recovering.

The bees are back.

After several years of heavy losses to the varroa mite in both domestic and wild bees, Kansas is seeing a return of swarms of bees.

The numbers have been sufficient for Kansas State University's Extension Research and Education division to resurrect its "swarm catchers" list from several years ago, offering homeowners or businesses plagued with the swarming insects a resource for getting them removed.

Sharon Dobesh, an entomologist with K-State, said the comeback is good news for beekeepers and for agriculture, which relies on the insects to pollinate almonds, apples, cucumbers, sunflowers, alfalfa and other crops.

Cow Skull

Worse Droughts Possible for Kansas

Kansas could be facing more severe droughts in the future, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

''It could get much, much worse,'' said Jim Putnam, a hydrologist with the USGS.

The USGS report shows that in the most recent drought from 2000 to 2006, rainfall levels were not that far from normal, only about one inch less than average.

By comparison, the rainfall deficit during the devastating 1952-57 drought was nearly 6 inches below normal. Yet streamflows during the 2000-2006 drought hit record lows.

''In the summer of 2006, flows at four long-term USGS stream gauges on the Republican, Saline, Solomon and Smoky Hill rivers in north-central and central Kansas were significantly lower than the 1930s and 1950s even though the rainfall deficit was not as severe,'' Putnam said.

That means if Kansas experiences the kind of rainfall deficits of the 1930s and 1950s, then the flow in some rivers would become virtually zero, he said.