Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Moderate Earthquake Rattles Honduras

A moderate earthquake rattled Honduras on Saturday, sending panicked residents into the streets. There were no immediate reports of injuries but some buildings were damaged, authorities said.

The quake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 5.5, struck just before noon and was centered about 50 miles north of the capital of Tegucigalpa, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Cloud Lightning

Intense Thunderstorm and Hail Hit Torrevieja, Spain

Between the 16.45 and 17.15h a big thunderstorm of hail, causing damages in cars and windows of housings. The climatology this evening has surprised us. Minutes before 17:00h, the sky was darkened prelude of the thunderstorm that was approaching. A waterspout of hail, with pieces of ice the size of a chick-pea, and an intense rain that fell down on Torrevieja, did not last very long, but it was sufficient to cause damages to vehicles and generated problems of traffic.


Magic Wand

Alaska Bird Makes Longest Nonstop Flight Ever Measured

A female shorebird was recently found to have flown 7,145 miles (11,500 kilometers) nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand - without taking a break for food or drink.

It's the longest nonstop bird migration ever measured, according to biologists who tracked the flight using satellite tags.

The bird, a wader called a bar-tailed godwit, completed the journey in nine days.

A shorebird called a bar-tailed godwit, like the one pictured here, was recently found to have flown 7,145 miles (11,500 kilometers) nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand, the longest uninterrupted bird migration ever recorded, scientists say.

In addition to demonstrating the bird's surprising endurance, the trek confirms that godwits make the southbound trip of their annual migration directly across the vast Pacific rather than along the East Asian coast, scientists said.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon Nari Set for South Korea After Lashing Japan

Typhoon Nari is forecast to arrive at the southern coast of South Korea later today after pounding Japan's Okinawa islands group with heavy rains and high winds.

The eye of Nari was about 137 kilometers (85 miles) from Yosu, a port city southwest of Seoul, as of 2 p.m. Seoul time, and was moving northwest at 30 kilometers an hour, according to the latest advisory on the Web site of Korean Meteorological Administration. Nari has winds of 155 kilometers per hour.



California: Fire in San Bernardino National Forest explodes to 18,000 acres

An out-of-control wildfire in the San Bernardino National Forest tore through 18,000 acres of brush and timber Saturday, forcing evacuations in a pair of mountain communities.

The entire resort community of Green Valley Lake and the Fawnskin area near Big Bear Dam were under a mandatory evacuation order. About 5,000 people were affected, said Jim Wilkins of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

"It's just been running and gunning all day long, eating up ground," Wilkins said. "It's a very aggressive fire burning through fuels that haven't been burned in 50 to 75 years."

Winds of about 20 miles an hour and humidity of just 10 percent were helping the blaze grow and it crept within a half-mile of homes in Fawnskin, Wilkins said.

Bizarro Earth

August was warmest on record for Western North Carolina

The National Climatic Data Center has confirmed what you probably already knew sweating through the end of the summer.

August 2007 was the hottest in 113 years of record-keeping with an average temperature of 77.1 degrees across Western North Carolina, according to preliminary data from the Asheville-based archives for the nation and world's weather. That bumped out August 1900 out of the hottest spot with an average of 75.1 degrees.

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.