Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

One million affected by Africa floods

Several of Africa's poorest countries are in dire need of assistance due to severe floods that have killed more than 200 people and affected a million in recent weeks, officials have warned.

The latest victims were reported in Rwanda, where officials from the northern region said floods killed 15 people and destroyed more than 500 homes since Wednesday.


Cloud Lightning

Snow falls in Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Visitors and residents in this Northwoods city got a surprise this afternoon just in time for this year's Fall Ride. The stunner: snow.

With temperatures hovering at 45 degrees and intermittent showers, conditions seemed right for the wintry weather.

Nancy Swan, co-owner of Erv's Sales & Service on North Fourth Street, didn't seem surprised when the white stuff momentarily came down at about 1 p.m. today.


Arctic sea route opens as ice melts

The Arctic's Northwest Passage has opened up fully because of melting sea ice, clearing a long-sought but historically impassable route between Europe and Asia, the European Space Agency said.

Sea ice has shrunk in the Arctic to its lowest level since satellite measurements began 30 years ago, ESA said, showing images of the now "fully navigable" route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

An orange line shows the most direct route the ice-free Northwest Passage beside partially blocked Northeast passage (blue line) in this Envisat ASAR mosaic photo of the Arctic Ocean, early September, 2007. The dark gray colour represents the ice-free areas, while green represents areas with sea ice. The Northwest Passage has opened up fully because of melting sea ice, clearing a long-sought but historically impassable route between Europe and Asia, the European Space Agency said.

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia quake may have affected mud volcano in East Java

Indonesia's powerful earthquake may have affected the devastating mudflow in East Java.

The Sidoarjo Mudflow Management Board today said the massive crater had been spurting more mud than normal in recent days.

Nine villages - including thousands of homes, factories and rice paddy fields - have been buried by the mud, which started flowing from the site of a gas exploration well during drilling 3km underground more than a year ago.

Cloud Lightning

Rains spark flooding in southern Spain - one dies, two go missing

Heavy rains have sparked flooding in southern Spain, where currents swept away the body of an elderly man and the car of two people who remained missing, emergency services said Friday.


Around 150 large forest fires raging across Russia

Almost 9,000 hectares (22,260 acres) of Russia's forests are ablaze, with 150 large-scale fires continuing to rage across the country, an emergencies situation ministry spokesman said.

"Since last Wednesday, 207 fires have been registered, 58 of which have been put out, but 149 are still blazing across an 8,860-hectare (21,895-acre) area," the press spokesman said.

The worst affected areas are in East Siberia, with the Republics of Buryatia and Tyva operating under a state of emergency.

Evil Rays

Indonesia hit by more than 40 earthquakes in 24 hours

A total of 41 earthquakes with magnitude of over 4.5 on the Richter scale have hit Indonesia in the last 24 hours, the country's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said Thursday.

The most serious of these was an 8.4-magnitude quake with an epicenter off the western coast of the island of Sumatra on September 12. The quake caused the deaths of at least nine people.

One of Sumatra's provinces, Bengkulu, has the dubious distinction of being the world record holder for earthquake activity, with over 694 tremors with magnitude of 4.6 or higher in the first five months of last year.

Cloud Lightning

Alaskans flee village under flood threat

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - More than half the residents of an isolated Arctic village were evacuated as storm surges threatened to flood their slender barrier island Thursday, the latest chapter in their losing battle against the sea.

With no road system within hundreds of miles of Kivalina, about 100 people, mostly seniors and children, boarded small propeller planes to the regional hub city of Kotzebue. More than 100 others embarked on a grueling 70-mile nighttime journey by boat, all-terrain vehicle and bus to shelter at the mountain headquarters of a zinc mine.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Ingrid forms in Atlantic

Tropical Storm Ingrid, the ninth Atlantic storm of the year, formed on Thursday in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm, located about 840 miles east of the lesser Antilles, was headed in the general direction of the northeastern Caribbean but was days from having any impact on land.

Bizarro Earth

Biologists probe catfish kill in North Dakota and Minnesota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Fisheries crews from North Dakota and Minnesota are trying to determine why more than 1,600 channel catfish have died in the Red River south of here.

"The fact they're distributed over a wide area and just channel catfish kind of points at some kind of disease, bacterial infection or something," said Henry Drewes, a regional fisheries supervisor for Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources.