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Bizarro Earth

Tornado, Hail Cause Destruction in Southern Brazil

Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina was hit by heavy rains, hail and a tornado on late Sunday, which left at least 367 people homeless.

The local office of the National Meteorology Institute (Inmet) said on Monday that the tornado and the accompanying hail hit 14 towns in the state's mountainous region.

The largest destruction took place in the small town of Ponte Alta, where corn and soybean plantations, along with over 500 houses, were damaged. Two people were injured and at least 80 were left homeless in the town, where the mayor declared state of emergency.
Bizarro Earth

US: Three Tornados Struck Indiana

The National Weather Service has confirmed that two tornadoes hit southern Indiana's Lawrence County, where about 20 homes were damaged and a school bus landed atop a building.

Those findings mean Sunday's storms spawned three tornadoes in the state, although no serious injuries have been reported.

A weather service team on Monday determined that the strongest of the Lawrence County tornadoes hit near the community of Fayetteville and had winds of at least 135 mph. The other hit about two miles north of Bedford with wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.
Bizarro Earth

Volcano Erupts in Japan

A volcano in southern Japan erupted on Tuesday leading to a warning to nearby residents, the meteorological agency said.

The 1,117-metre Mount Sakurajima near Kagoshima city belched lava seven times from 5.22am (4.22am, Singapore time on Tuesday) and ejected cinders that were found nearly two kilometres from the crater, an agency official said.

'It's possible that the volcano will step up activity, and we have issued a warning to residents living nearby,' he told AFP.

The volcano, about 950km southwest of Tokyo, continued to spout fumes, although they were down from an earlier high of 1,200m.
Target

Arsenal Confirms Chimp's Ability to Plan, Study Says

© Mathias Osvat/University of Lund
Santino makes and stockpiles missiles to throw at zoo visitors. Is he truly planning for the future?

Santino evidently knows he's going to get upset, so he plans ahead. The 30-year-old chimpanzee, who has lived in a Swedish zoo most of his life, sometimes gets agitated when zoo visitors begin to gather on the other side of the moat that surrounds his enclosure, where he is the dominant -- and only -- male in a group that includes half a dozen females.

He shows his displeasure by flinging stones or bits of concrete at the human intruders, but finding a suitable weapon on the spur of the moment perhaps isn't so easy. To prepare, Santino often begins his day by roaming the enclosure, finding stones and stacking them in handy piles.
Bizarro Earth

Volcanoes in the deep

Rota-1
© Unknown
Above, workers prepare the remote operated vehicle (ROV) for its plunge to the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Geosciences professor Robert Stern's research has him scouring the depths of the ocean. But he's not hunting lost treasure. He and graduate student Julia Robeiro are studying volcanic activity beneath the sea.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Stern and Robeiro undertook the first part of their study Feb. 2-7 analyzing underwater volcanoes in the Western Pacific.

Stern said he has always liked to discover new things. With few places on land to discover virgin territory, the seas were the logical place for Stern. Covering more than two-thirds of the earth's surface, there was no telling what mysteries the depths might reveal, he said.
Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.1 - Chiapas, Mexico

© US Geological Survey

Date-Time

* Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 00:36:47 UTC

* Monday, March 09, 2009 at 06:36:47 PM at epicenter

Location 16.676°N, 93.111°W

Depth 181.1 km (112.5 miles)

Distances 10 km (5 miles) S of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico

50 km (30 miles) W of San Cristobal d/l Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

360 km (220 miles) NW of GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala

710 km (440 miles) ESE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico
Bizarro Earth

Exxon Valdez oil spill could persist for 'decades and possibly centuries'

The "stunning" legacy of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska is the persistence of oil along the beaches of Prince William Sound that in places is "nearly as toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill," says a new report from the group charged with monitoring the cleanup.

Prepared for the 20th anniversary of the tanker accident that spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into one of the West's most majestic waterways, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council said surveys even 14 years after the spill found an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil lingering below the surface of beaches - some of it more than 450 miles away from the spill, on the Kenai Peninsula and the Katmai coast.

"At this rate, the remaining oil will take decades and possibly centuries to disappear entirely," the report said.
Bizarro Earth

4.0 Earthquake Hits Hawaii Island

An earthquake hit Monday morning on the island of Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake as 4.0 on the Richter scale, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially said it was a magnitude 5.2. State Civil Defense reports there was no tsunami threat.

The quake's depth was 6.5 miles, according to the USGS.

The epicenter of the quake was at 20.113°N, 155.175°W approximately 10 miles offshore of Laupahoehoe or about 29 miles NNW of Hilo. It struck at 9:44 am.
Fish

Ocean "Dead Zones" Spreading

The number of "dead zones" in coastal regions around the world continues to rapidly increase, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the University of Gothenberg, and published in the journal Science.
Bizarro Earth

5.3 Earthquake Off Guatemala's Coast

The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 has been recorded in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Guatemala.

There was no immediate word on whether the earthquake was felt or caused any damage.

The quake was recorded just after midnight (2 a.m. EDT) at a depth of 47 miles and centered 65 miles south of Guatemala City.
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