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Bizarro Earth

A major volcanic eruption could make Japan 'extinct'

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The newly created volcanic Nishinoshima island about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo spews ash and smoke on June 13, 2014.
One major volcanic eruption could make Japan "extinct," a study by experts at Kobe University warns, although the chances of that happening are relatively slim.

The study, by Prof. Yoshiyuki Tatsumi and Associate Prof. Keiko Suzuki, concludes that the chance of a big eruption that would disrupt the lives of everyone in Japan are about 1% over the next 100 years.

The researchers based their findings on the cycles and impacts of major eruptions in Japan on the study of the Aira Caldera near what is now the city of Kagoshima on southern Kyushu island. The caldera was created 28,000 years ago and has a diameter of 20 kilometers.

If a similar eruption were to take place in the area today, within about two hours the flow of molten rock, lava and ash would cover an area in which seven million now live. A large amount of ash would be carried across the country, shutting down transportation and other key systems, disrupting the lives of nearly 120 million people, or almost everyone in Japan.

"We should be aware," the researchers warn in their report to be published in November. "It wouldn't be a surprise if such gigantic eruption were to take place at any moment."
Bizarro Earth

Around 70 earth­quakes in the last 24 hours at Iceland's Bárðar­bunga caldera rim

© Guðmundur K. Sig­ur­dórs­son
Ac­cord­ing to the Ice­land Met Of­fice, no sig­nif­i­cant changes are ob­served in the seis­mic ac­tiv­ity around the Bárðar­bunga vol­canic sys­tem.
Ap­prox­i­mately 70 earth­quakes oc­curred on the Bárðar­bunga caldera rim in the last 24 hours re­ports the Ice­land Met Of­fice this morn­ing. The strongest quakes were of the mag­ni­tude of 4.8 yes­ter­day at 13:21 and at 4.6 at 01:36. Seven earth­quakes al­to­gether ex­ceeded the mag­ni­tude of 4, and 15 earth­quakes were in the mag­ni­tude range of 3-3.9. Sub­si­dence of the caldera is con­tin­u­ous.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ice­land Met Of­fice, no sig­nif­i­cant changes are ob­served in the seis­mic ac­tiv­ity around the Bárðar­bunga vol­canic sys­tem.

Around 30 events have been de­tected in the north­ern part of the dyke in­tru­sion, be­tween north­ern Dyn­gju­jökull and the erup­tion site in Holuhraun. The strongest ones were both of the mag­ni­tude 1.4 yes­ter­day at 10:07 and 13:33.
Wolf

UK: 300 per cent rise in the number of dogs attacks in Stevenage since January


The campaign was launched on Saturday in Stevenage town centre.
New data reveals there has been a rise of almost 300 per cent rise in the number of dogs attacks in Stevenage since January.

A total of 31 offences were reported to police in the last 10 months, compared with just 11 in the equivalent period last year.

Now Herts police have launched Is You Dog Fully Under Control? - a campaign that aims to educate people about responsible dog ownership along with the recent changes in the law. The Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood team were in the town centre on Saturday to spread the word.

Officers, Stevenage Borough Council staff and representatives of dog charities were on hand to talk about the changes in the law and give advice on training, identification and other issues.

Sgt Manjit Khela from the team said: "A dog can be dangerously out of control even if it is on a lead.

"The correct level of control needs to be exerted to ensure it does not go on to injure another dog or person.

"If a dog bites a person, it will be seen as being dangerously out of control - but even if the dog does not bite, but gives the person grounds to feel that the dog may injure them, the law still applies."
Question

Earth opening up? China's largest freshwater lake shrinks by one third in just 3 days


Lake Poyang
China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang, has shrunk by one third in the past three days due to reduced water supply from the Yangtze River and little rainfall.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, the lake's surface area was 1,490 sq km, a reduction of 679 sq km compared with 2,169 sq km on Monday, said the Jiangxi Provincial Hydrological Bureau.

The water level at Xingzi hydrological station was 11.99 meters at 4 p.m. Wednesday, 2.13 meters lower than the levels in normal years. The water level is falling by 30 cm per day.
Red Flag

California drought: 14 rural communities are now facing total water depletion

Nestled in the mountains of California, is the infamous tourist destination of Bodie. Once a thriving gold mining town, it is now an empty shell of its former self. As soon as the gold depleted in the early 20th century, the town faced decades of decline that it would never recover from.

By the early 1960′s, the last handful of residents left the town. They leaving behind an eerie scene, filled with crumbling homes and businesses amidst a desolate landscape. However, gold isn't essential to living. If the Western drought continues on its current course, then we have dozens of ghost towns to look forward to in the near future.

So far the drought in California has been relentless. Where I live in the Bay Area, we've had our first rain of the year today, if you could call it that. More like a fine mist. Normally we've gotten at least one rainy day by this time of year, but it's looking like this winter is going to be just as bad as last year.

Comment: Read more about the California drought spreading at unprecedented rate:

Eye 2

Over 100 snakes invade Saskatchewan home, Canada

Officials with a Saskatchewan wildlife center said workers and residents of a home invaded by snakes have captured 102 snakes in the house.

Megan Lawrence, director of rehabilitation at the Salthaven West Wildlife Rehabilitation, said the family first discovered garter snakes in the basement of their home near Regina.

"We got a call from a family that found some garter snakes in their basement, and as they investigated further they found a lot more. And then they started finding them in other areas of the house, like kitchens and bedrooms. So they decided then it wasn't a good idea to have them there anymore," Lawrence told CBC News.

Health

Boy bitten by a fisher in Rehoboth backyard, Massachusetts

A 12-year-old Rehoboth boy was bitten on the leg and hand on Monday night by what animal control officers believe was a fisher cat.

Wes Brown said he was throwing a football in his backyard with his cousin when he saw an animal coming toward him.

"I couldn't exactly see it because it was at night but it looked gray and it had pointy ears," he said.

At first, Brown thought it was a cat, but then it attacked him.

Brown said the animal latched onto his leg.
He ran into the house and used the door to get the animal off.

"It kept coming in and kept coming after me so I shut the door," he said.

His parents started throwing tools at the animal to scare it away.

Cloud Precipitation

UK and Germany experience storm surge flooding after Hurricane Gonzalo

Hurricane Gonzalo, or at least what is left of it, has caused storm surges and coastal flooding in parts of northern Europe over the last few days.

Gonzalo has left a trail of destruction behind from Bermuda to Canada and on to UK and other parts of northern Europe, including Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

On Monday 20 October, Gonzalo hit Ireland and the United Kingdom with winds of 159 kph (99 mph) was reported on the Isle of Wight, according to the BBC. Around 600,000 homes were left without power at one point. Three people have been killed in the storm (1 in UK and 2 in France), and several others left injured.

Snowflake

Heavy autumn snow covers Mohe City, China

The heaviest autumn snow in three years blanketed Mohe City, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, affecting local residents' daily lives and traffic flow.

Camcorder

Baby bear wanders into U.S. drug store

Black bear cub spotted stalking the aisles of a pharmacy in Oregon


Shoppers at an Oregon, US drug store were surprised to see a bear cub scurrying down the aisles.

Witnesses say the cub first showed up Sunday at a nearby hotel, hopped out a window and crossed the street to the Rite Aid in Ashland, a city 15 miles north of the California border.

Local media reports said that customers took photos and video until police arrived and scooped the little bear into a shopping cart.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is holding the cub until it can be moved to a rehab center or a zoo.
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