Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Rain pounds Tohoku, Japan, 3 missing

Torrential rain lashed the northern part of the Tohoku region Tuesday, leaving three people missing due to floods after record downpours hit some districts. Akita and Iwate prefectures were hit particularly hard, and authorities were searching for the missing people and attempting to restore utilities.

Buildings are engulfed by muddy waters from the flood-swollen Yoneshirogawa river in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture.

Bizarro Earth

Another Earthquake Rocks Indonesia

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake jolted Sumatra island in Indonesia Wednesday, but no tsunami, damage or casualties were reported.

The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the earthquake's epicenter was 16 miles under the seabed some 101 miles northwest of Lais in Bengkulu province. The temblor struck at 2:27 p.m. local time.

Arrow Down

Stink bugs rain down on Estonian island

Ruhnu, a small Estonian island in the Gulf of Riga, in the Baltic Sea, has been deluged by a rain of stink bugs, the Eesti Paevaleht newspaper said Tuesday.

The freakish shower occurred early Monday, and by morning downtown streets were teeming with red and brown bugs with green bellies diffusing an unpleasant smell.


"In the lamplight, you could see bugs falling from the sky, shaking the leaves," the newspaper quoted a local woman as saying.


UN warns of humanitarian disaster following Africa's torrential rains

Torrential rains that have battered Africa threaten to give rise to a grave humanitarian situation, the Untied Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned in a report.

So far, at least 270 people have died in devastating floods from the continent's east to west coast, and around one million have been affected. As well as wrecking farmland and buildings and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, the floods have made populations vulnerable to the spread of cholera, dysentery, and meningitis.

The flooding began in mid-June and meteorologists expect another heavy bout of torrential rain in September 18-24. The rains have been the most severe to strike the region in 30 years.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon loses strength after hitting China

Typhoon Wipha made landfall in eastern China on Wednesday, knocking out power and water supplies to tens of thousands of residents, but promptly lost strength as it traveled inland.

Forecaster Tropical Storm Risk downgraded Wipha to a category one typhoon that would weaken further into a tropical storm as it headed north towards Nanjing.

Red Flag

Experts: Sea Lice Deadly to Wild Salmon

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Eighteen prominent scientists and researchers say there is no question that sea lice from fish farms are lethal to wild salmon, no evidence to the contrary and a need for greater protection.

Cloud Lightning

North Eastern Florida Plagued By Deluge Of Wind And Rain

Heavy wind and rain deluged much of Jacksonville and north eastern Florida overnight on Monday. Up to 7 inches of rain came down over a portion of Duval County in less than 12 hours Monday.

The sudden downpour caused street flooding in downtown Jacksonville, Riverside, San Marco, and on Jacksonville's beaches and at Ponte Vedra.


Ozone hole reappears over Antarctic

The hole in the protective ozone layer over the Antarctic is forming again but should remain just below the record size it reached last year, a scientist at the UN's weather agency said Wednesday.

The gap in the ozone in the upper atmosphere, at altitudes of up to 25 kilometres (15 miles), has reached a size of about 23 million square kilometres (8.9 million square miles), said World Meteorological Organisation ozone expert Geir Braathen.


Cloud Lightning

Flood kills one in Slovenia

At least one person died Tuesday in Slovenia as storms and heavy rain caused floods, the national television TVS reported.

The victim, a 60-year-old woman, was killed when water carried her away in her vehicle. The accident occurred in Zeleznik, 40 kilometres northwest of Ljubljana.

A state of emergency was declared in the village, in which the 3,000 inhabitants were still without electricity in the evening hours.

Cloud Lightning

Environment Canada now says Manitoba tornado was strongest ever in country

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado that blew apart homes in Elie, Manitoba this summer was an F-5 - the strongest in Canadian history.

Spokesman Dave Carlson says after reviewing videotape of the twister, Environment Canada has determined the tornado packed winds upwards of 400 klometres an hour - strong enough to toss around cars and houses and standblast the bark off trees.