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US: Mississippi River breaks through Illinois levee

Rising waters burst through an overtaxed levee on the Mississippi River Tuesday, sending gushing torrents into an Illinois town as the sodden US midwest reels from days of epic flooding.

levee break Mississippi
©AFP
Missouri Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Matthew Crounse and Sergeant Darrell Rankin patrol the top of the levee next to the flooding Mississippi River June 17, 2008 in Clarksville, Missouri. Communities along the Mississippi River continue preparing for flooding as the river continues to rise.

The levee break left Highway 34 at Gulfport, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, under water prompting officials to close a bridge to the neighboring town of Burlington and creating havoc for commuters.

News reports said a flash flood warning was in effect Tuesday in Henderson County, Illinois as a result of surging waters from the levee break.
Eye 2

Monsoon hits India early for first time in more than a century, killing 23

India's annual monsoon rains have swept across the country about two weeks ahead of schedule, causing deadly floods.
Butterfly

Bee Species Outnumber Mammals And Birds Combined

Scientists have discovered that there are more bee species than previously thought. In the first global accounting of bee species in over a hundred years, John S. Ascher, a research scientist in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, compiled online species pages and distribution maps for more than 19,200 described bee species, showcasing the diversity of these essential pollinators. This new species inventory documents 2,000 more described, valid species than estimated by Charles Michener in the first edition of his definitive The Bees of the World published eight years ago.

bee
©iStockphoto/Nathan McClunie
A new inventory documents 2,000 more described, valid bee species than estimated before.

"The bee taxonomic community came together and completed the first global checklist of bee names since 1896," says Ascher. "Most people know of honey bees and a few bumble bees, but we have documented that there are actually more species of bees than of birds and mammals put together."

Bug

Australia: Honey bees 'crucial to food security'

A federal parliamentary committee is warning that Australia's food security could be compromised if the future of the honey bee and pollination industry is not supported.
Bandaid

Feds: 26 levees could overflow if sandbags fail

WASHINGTON - The federal government predicts that 27 levees could potentially overflow along the Mississippi River if the weather forecast is on the mark and a massive sandbagging effort fails to raise the level of the levees, according to a map obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
Alarm Clock

Iowa flood victims worry: What's in the water?

OAKVILLE - The floodwaters that deluged much of Iowa have done more than knock out drinking water and destroy homes. They have also spread a noxious brew of sewage, farm chemicals and fuel that could sicken anyone who wades in.
Phoenix

New Zealand: White Island quake, aftershocks continue



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©Unknown

Vulcanologists are continuing to keep a close eye on White Island.

Two or three hundred aftershocks continue to rattle it after a 5.4 magnitude earthquake centred just 10 kilometres south-west of the volcano on Friday.
Umbrella

Southern Chile volcano erupts with renewed strength



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©AFP

The Chaiten volcano in southern Chile has erupted with renewed strength, belching thick clouds of ash and hurling molten rocks into the air, regional authorities said Friday.

The 1,000-meter (3,280-foot) tall Chaiten volcano, located some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) south of Santiago, first began to erupt in May after lying dormant for centuries.

"There has been an increase in the volcano's activity," Sergio Galilea, the governor Los Lagos region, told reporters Friday.
X

Floods, landslides kill at least 25 in India

Flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains have killed at least 25 people in northeast India, national media reported on Monday.

Unexpectedly heavy rains began lashing the area on Thursday, nearly two weeks ahead of the normal monsoon season, which usually covers the country from early July to September.

The first wave of floods hit the northeastern state of Assam, cutting off road and rail links. Six people who tried to cross a swollen river on bamboo rafts drowned.

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©Unknown
Arrow Up

Food prices to soar on back of devastating US floods

An expanding drought in Australia's grain belt has already been blamed for contributing to a world food crisis, and now floods in the US midwest, which have devastated the corn crop, are adding to the misery.
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