Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

North Korea admits severe flood damage

North Korea has reported widespread damage to homes, railways and roads following heavy rains that battered the nation last week, in a rare admission of problems within the reclusive country.

"Officials and working people in various parts of the country have turned out as one in the relief and rehabilitation activities," the official Korean Central News Agency said.

"A large acreage of land under cultivation" has been washed away or buried, with roads, railways, houses and public buildings destroyed, it added.


Floods, landslides kill 19 in northwest China

Nineteen people were killed and 37 missing after violent rainstorms triggered floods in northwest China, state media reported Saturday.

The rainstorms, which started to hit the southeastern part of Shaanxi province Monday, destroyed homes and ruined crops, causing 280 million yuan (37 million dollars) in damages, a provincial flood control headquarters official told Xinhua news agency.

Bizarro Earth

4.8 Quake shakes western Greece

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake shook parts of western Greece on Sunday but no damage or injuries were reported, authorities said.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the undersea quake occurred at 14:20 p.m. (1120 GMT) northeast of Paxos island in the Ionian Sea, some 330 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Athens.

Bizarro Earth

UPDATED! 5.1 Quake Rocks Central Spain

MADRID, Spain -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 shook central Spain on Sunday and was felt from Madrid to the southern and eastern coasts, the National Geographic Centre said.

The quake struck near Ciudad Real, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Madrid, at 9:47 a.m. (0747 GMT). No damage was immediately reported.

The Geographic Centre had originally reported the magnitude as 4.7.

"We live close to Ciudad Real and we felt it really strongly," one caller told Cadena SER radio. "This noise came up from beneath us and rumbled away under our feet."

Residents of Madrid said they were woken by the quake.

Cloud Lightning

Hurricane Flossie upgraded to Category 4

HONOLULU - Hurricane Flossie strengthened to a Category 4 storm Saturday as it spun more than 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.

The hurricane could pass by Hawaii late Tuesday or early Wednesday, forecasters said, but by then cooler waters should weaken Flossie considerably to a tropical storm.


Bizarro Earth

Montana wildfires reaching historic proportions

Depending upon who's talking, this year's fire season has already passed by the 2000 and 2003 seasons as the worst since 1910.

©David Erickson / Whitefish Pilot
Scattered flames mark the eastern boundary of the Skyland Fire near the town of Heart Butte on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation on Aug 1 just after midnight.

That supposition is based on where the state is now with maybe one more month of fires ahead before a good rain or snow finally extinguishes the fires for good.

To make matters worse, seven new lightning-caused fires were detected Tuesday in the Swan Lake area, despite a light rain.

Bizarro Earth

Guatemala's Fire Volcano Spews Lava Near Antigua

Guatemala's Fire Volcano erupted on Thursday, spewing lava, rock and ash near the colonial city of Antigua and some of the Central American country's most famous coffee farms.


Guatemala's volcanology service said seven families were evacuated from their homes near the volcano, about 27 miles (50 km) southwest of Guatemala City. The villagers were unharmed, an official said.

Cloud Lightning

Heavy rain brings chaos across Switzerland

Two days of torrential rain have left large parts of northwestern Switzerland and the central plateau region under water.

The River Aare flooded parts of Olten in northern Switzerland.

By Thursday evening the levels of most affected lakes and rivers appeared to have peaked, but the situation in many areas, particularly along the River Aare, remained critical.

The River Sarneraa burst its banks at Sarnen in canton Obwalden.

The storms, the worst since the severe floods of 2005, led to chaos on the roads, with many closed as a result of flooding or landslides. Rail traffic was also hit.

Cloud Lightning

Giant storm ravages Manitoba, Canada

Roofs, windows and vehicles were damaged -- and a horse was killed -- as a severe thunderstorm coupled with high winds and hail the size of softballs drove across a large swath of southern Manitoba yesterday and Thursday night.

©Bev Birss
Hailstones measuring as large as 10 centimetres in diameter fell on Dauphin, Man., during the late-evening storm.

The storm left thousands of people without power, closed a provincial park and two golf courses near Winnipeg, forced campers at the Birds Hill Provincial Park to flee their tents, and knocked over thousands of trees.


Glaciers wasting away on Mexico's peak

Glaciers that crown Mexico's tallest mountains and inspired Aztec legends of lost love and a snake god could disappear within a few decades, with scientists pointing to global warming as a cause of their demise.

Orizaba Peak's Glacier