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Sun, 28 May 2023
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Earth Changes

Life Preserver

Why China's buildings crumbled

Survivors blame corruption, shoddy construction and cost cutting for the collapse of so many 'tofu buildings' - and even state media outlets are asking questions

The bodies of the children were lined up in a long row in the mud of a basketball court, just outside the flattened school. Every few minutes, another corpse was brought out of the rubble, carried on a wooden door, covered in rags.


Scientists Investigate Recent Coyote Attacks on Children in California

Los Angeles - The coyote was limping as it approached a girl in a sand box at a public park - but it was still dangerous. It snapped its jaws on the girl's buttocks and her nanny had to pry the toddler from the wild animal.

Cloud Lightning

India: Toll in Uttar Pradesh storm rises

The number of people killed in a storm in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday has risen to 94, the state's relief commissioner says.

GK Tandan told the BBC that most deaths were caused by the uprooting of trees, phone and electricity wires as well as fires and collapsing houses.

Bizarro Earth

Giant sinkhole swallows up part of Texas town

Daisetta, Texas - A large sinkhole swallowed up oil field equipment and some vehicles Wednesday in southeastern Texas and continued to grow. There were no reports of injuries or home damage.

"Right now we're not concerned about any kind of explosion or any kind of hazard," said Tom Branch, coordinator of the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management.

"We are monitoring some other things around the area to make sure everyone's OK."

Life Preserver

Over 5,500 people pulled alive from rubble in quake-hit China

Over 5,500 people have been rescued from under rubble following a devastating earthquake that hit southwest China three days ago, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

The quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, was the worst to hit the country in more than three decades, and affected eight provinces, killing around 15,000 people and devastating buildings and infrastructure.

"Over 5,500 people had been pulled out alive from under rubble by 8:00 a.m. [midnight GMT] on Thursday," the agency quoted a police source as saying.

Some 25,000 people are believed to still be trapped under collapsed buildings.


Ants swarm over Houston area, fouling electronics

DALLAS - In what sounds like a really low-budget horror film, voracious swarming ants that apparently arrived in Texas aboard a cargo ship are invading homes and yards across the Houston area, shorting out electrical boxes and messing up computers.

©Associated Press / David J. Phillip
'Crazy rasberry ants' are shown Tuesday, May 13, 2008, in Deer Park, Texas. The ants are throwing off the balance of nature as they feast on beneficial insects, researchers say, noting that even the hatchlings of the endangered Attwater Prairie Chicken are at risk from these omnivores. They're invading homes and shorting out electrical boxes and electronics by getting their tiny bodies wedged into the intricate equipment.

The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as "crazy rasberry ants" - crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and "rasberry" after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who did battle against them early on.


Chile town closed for three months after volcano

SANTIAGO - The government on Wednesday declared the evacuated Chilean town of Chaiten off-limits for three months until it is no longer threatened by a cloud of hot ash from an erupting volcano.

The Chaiten volcano, six miles from the town that had been home to 4,500 people, started erupting on May 2 for the first time in thousands of years, spewing ash, gas and molten rock into the air.

A house is flooded by El Rio Blanco in Chaiten town May 12, 2008.

Cloud Lightning

Estimated 3.2 Million Burmese Potentially Affected By Cyclone

As many as 3.2 million Burmese are estimated to be affected by the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis, according to geographic risk models developed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Lehman College, CUNY. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the researchers calculated the likely distribution of the population of Burma (also known as Myanmar) and developed maps of the regions at greatest risk from the storm's effects.

Cyclone Nargis
©Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Cyclone Nargis: Affected areas and cyclone path.

Cloud Lightning

US: More rain, thunderstorms hitting soggy Louisiana

Shreveport - A line of drenching thunderstorms moved across the state from west to east Thursday after record rainfall caused flooding in water-logged parts of Louisiana.

Life Preserver

Chinese wonder if animals can predict earthquakes

Beijing - First, the water level in a pond inexplicably plunged. Then, thousands of toads appeared on streets in a nearby province. Finally, just hours before China's worst earthquake in three decades, animals at a local zoo began acting strangely.