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Sat, 06 Feb 2016
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Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall wreaks havoc in Odessa, Ukraine

Snow in Odessa
Heavy snowfall is wreaking havoc in Ukraine's port city of Odesa. At least two homeless people have died after a snowstorm hit the southern city. Three others are in the hospital after suffering from hypothermia and frostbite.

Local authorities are now deploying tents that provide heating for the homeless and those caught up in the snowstorms. The freezing weather saw heavy snowfall forcing the international airport to cancel over a dozen flights this week.

Snowflake Cold

Moscow has already received twice the average amount of snow for January

© Sergei Porter / Vedomosti
Snowfall in Moscow
Russia's weather center issued an orange weather warning on Tuesday as heavy snowfall threatened to disrupt traffic in Moscow.

Warning of rising wind speeds as a weather front moved into central Russia from the south, the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia said 12-15 centimeters of snow was expected to fall on Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported.

The new alert follows a week of heavy snowfall in Moscow. Since the start of the month 77 centimeters of snow has fallen in the capital — more than twice the average for January, TASS said.

The storm follows an outlandishly warm start to the Russian winter, with temperatures in the capital dropping below zero only in late December.

More than 18,000 machines and 60,000 people have been deployed in the city to clear snow, according to TASS.


'Bristol hum': Residents report mysterious noise has returned

© Matt Cardy/Getty Images
For the past fortnight, Bristol residents have reported hearing the low-pitched humming noise
The noise has been blamed on various causes, such as submarines, phone masts, wind farms and gas pipes

Residents of Bristol are reporting the return of a mysterious hum which has been heard for more than three decades.

The "Bristol hum" made the news in the late 1970s, when residents complained to the council about a strange noise.

For the past fortnight, several Bristol residents have reported the low-pitched humming noise on social media.

In a YouTube video uploaded on 4 January, a man claims to have recorded a noise matching the description of the hum.

Comment: In the last few weeks strange sounds have also been heard in the Netherlands, Morocco, United States and Singapore. For more information on this mysterious phenomenon, also recorded in ancient texts, read:

SOTT Exclusive: Strange sounds are back: 'Sky trumpets' heard in the Netherlands, the UK and Morocco

Alarm Clock

Indonesia's Mount Egon volcano erupts forcing 1,200 people to flee homes

© FILE/YouTube
Active and erupting ... Mount Egon is a hazard to locals in eastern Indonesia
More than 1,200 people have been evacuated from their homes as a volcano in eastern Indonesia spews clouds of ash and toxic gas into the air.

Officials said they had distributed thousands of gas masks to villagers around Mount Egon in eastern Flores island as the choking fumes from the volcano intensified.

All residents within three kilometres of the volcano were ordered to evacuate and roads were also closed.

Authorities said they were prepared to issue a wide-scale evacuation order if the situation deteriorated further.

"We are on a high alert and ready to evacuate any time," disaster mitigation official Silvanus Tobi said.

The volcano began rumbling last month but has become more active in recent days.

Comment: Zhupanovsky volcano in Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, also part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, spewed ash 8 km high yesterday.


Rare magnitude 3.0 earthquake felt in West Virginia

Residents of Washington, D.C. might have felt the earth move under their feet on Sunday.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 3.0 magnitude earthquake occurred two miles south-southeast of Bolivar, W. Va. Sunday afternoon.

That's about 45 miles northwest of D.C.

Earthquakes that are large enough to be felt are rare in this part of the country, the USGS says.

In August 2011, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake occurred in Virginia, and the tremors were felt throughout the Baltimore-D.C. region. Several aftershocks also occurred after the main quake.

Comment: Other rare earthquakes in the US this year include those reported in New Jersey and Nebraska.


Bizarre black frog fish that walks along the ocean floor is caught off New Zealand coast

Pictures of the deep-sea fish were posted on Facebook on Friday morning by the Te Papa Museum, after the fish was sent in to be identified by Claudia and Glenys Howse
A weird black fish that looks like a creature from another planet has surfaced in New Zealand.

Pictures of the deep-sea fish were posted by Te Papa Museum's Facebook page on Friday after the fish was caught by Claudia and Glenys Howse in the Bay of Islands.

'This weird creature is likely to be a species of Frogfish, but we won't know until we have a chance to examine it closely!'

'Frogfishes have the fastest bite of any vertebrate. Their mouths expands at the speed approaching a .22 rifle bullet - and that's in a medium 800x denser than air,' reads Te Papa Museum's post.

According to the complete Australian fishing encyclopedia, frogfish are ambush predators and can eat almost anything that will fit into their large mouths. This includes other fish as well as crabs and shrimp.

Black frogfish: This weird creature is likely to be a species of Frogfish, but we won't know until we have a chance to examine it closely
The photo stirred hundreds of bewildered comments from people, 'That looks like an alien!', 'Can you eat it?' asked one man.

'More like a frog-fish-bird!' Wrote Robyn Wendt,


Giant 7 metre shark seen off Adelaide's coastline, Australia

The seven-metre shark was seen near Marino Rocks on Adelaide's coastline on Sunday
A seven-metre great white shark has been spotted off Adelaide's coast by a helicopter patrol.

The shark was seen 100metres offshore at the Marino Rocks on Sunday afternoon, a Shark Alerts South Australia Facebook post says.

Nearby Nippers events were cancelled and swimmers evacuated from the water.

'It's the biggest I've ever seen as a crew member in the Westpac chopper. We put it down as 7m the photo really doesn't do it justice,' an unnamed crew member wrote.


One of the lucky few: Stranded whale rescued in Vietnam

© Duc Van/Dan Tri
Salt workers in Nam Dinh Province rescue a beached whale on January 18, 2016.
Nam Dinh salt workers on Monday successfully rescued a beached whale in the northern province.

At around 9 a.m., the workers found the large whale on the shore. It is about five meters long, weighing around three tons, they said.

Many people gathered, trying to bring the whale back to the sea. Local police also joined them.

The whale was successfully rescued half an hour later.


Outgassing? Mysterious 'rotten eggs' odor has homeowners worried in Richmond, Texas

Aliana subdivision resident says smell of rotten eggs woke him up

For many residents, owning a home in Richmond's Aliana subdivision is like owning a little slice of heaven.

"Aliana is a great community. I love living here. The residents are fantastic," Paul Keilers said.

But a mysterious odor has some homeowners in a small part of this community on edge.

"The smell is so horrid, that it will wake you from the deepest sleep," Keilers said.

Keilers said last week he was sound asleep until 2 a.m. when the smell of rotten eggs woke him up.

"Rotten eggs that have been festering in a car in the middle of Texas with the windows rolled up in the middle of summer," Keilers said.

But no one can pinpoint the source. According to the homeowners association, the neighboring Municipal Utility District was given the all clear after tests were conducted at its sewage treatment plant.

Comment: Another case of outgassing? Last week a mysterious 'rotten egg' smell spread across suburbs in Melbourne, Australia. A couple of months ago a similar mystery stench engulfed Barcelona.

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs; it is heavier than air, very poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and explosive. Exposure can lead to various health problems, and may be fatal. It is also being linked with psychological and neurological problems in humans.

Other possible cases of outgassing in recent times include:

Alarm Clock

6.0 magnitude earthquake recorded in South Pacific Ocean

6.0 magnitude earthquake

UTC time: Monday, January 18, 2016 18:24 PM

Your time: Monday, January 18 2016 6:24 PM

Magnitude Type: mwp

USGS page: M 6.0 - 171km E of Ceva-i-Ra, Fiji

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 0 people