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Fri, 05 Feb 2016
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Man survives shark attack in Hawaii

In this week's WDAZ Animal Watch, a story that's taking social media by storm: a Minnesota man was attacked by a shark in Hawaii, and lived to tell the tale.

The man describes the situation as 'nuts,' fighting off a 14-foot tiger shark that attacked him while paddle boarding in Maui over the weekend.

48-year-old Matt Mason was boarding about 150 yards off Wailea Beach late Saturday morning. His wife, who was paddling about five feet behind him, saw the shark swim underneath her, poke its head out of the water, and attack her husband's board.

Mason said the shark clamped its jaws to the back of the board, gave a twist, and it threw him off.


Mysterious burning crack in the earth releases gas in Chimborazo, Ecuador

© El Commercio
Officials are baffled and want to rule out a possible volcanic origin.
A mysterious burning crack is releasing gases since two weeks in a small village named Columbe situated in the Ecuadorian Andes.

The steam started coming out of the earth about 15 days ago after a controlled burn of weeds.

A column of steam and gas continues to emanate from a mysterious crack that opened up in a hill near Columbe, in Chimborazo, Ecuador.

The area has been evacuated because it is still unknown if toxic gases are released by the unexplained underground emanation.
© El Universo
This mysterious crack appeared in the ground of Columbe, Ecuador and baffles scientists.

Ice Cube

Incredible photos of fishing boats stuck in ice in China

Fishing boats trapped in sea ice in a port at Xikou Village in Yantai City, East China's Shandong province.

Under the influence of a strong cold wave, sea ice appeared around the Yantai sea area and affected maritime transportation.


One of Azerbaijan's largest volcanoes erupts

One of the largest volcanoes of Azerbaijan Akhtarma Pashali awoke in the country's Hajigabul region on the night of January 25.

The first eruption occurred at 07:20, when the fire rose to 120-150 meters in the air. The second was fixed 10 minutes later, when the fire rose to a height of 20 meters. The total area of the lava spill was 200-250 square meters.

The mud volcano has ceased erupting, according to the Chairman of the regional emergency commission Sahib Aslanov. No victims were reported, as no settlements are located around the area.

Akhtarma Pashali is located in 35 kilometers of the city of Shirvan. The diameter of the crater is approximately 10 square kilometers.

Aslanov emphasized the last eruption of this mud volcano occurred in 1963, while the first eruption of the volcano was reported in 1948.

Mud volcanoes are a fairly widespread geological phenomenon and over a thousand mud volcanoes are known to exist in the world.

The dissemination of mud volcanoes usually indicates the existence of large oil and gas basins, therefore oil and gas-rich Azerbaijan ranks first in the number of mud volcanoes in the world. The territory of Azerbaijan places 344 mud volcanoes and 133 of them are located in the country's Caspian Sea section.

Alarm Clock

Peru's El Misti volcano awakens

© Publimetro/USI
Arequipa's majestic Misti volcano
The last eruption of great magnitude at Misti was 2,000 years ago, informs Peru's volcano authority.

The iconic symbol of Arequipa, the Misti volcano, that gazes over the southern Peruvian city has long been considered 'asleep.'

However, studies by the Southern Volcano Observatory (OVS, Spanish acronym), reveal that it is awake and emitting gases, informs Publimetro.

It is currently considered the greatest risk in the South American country, as thousands of habitants reside near its crater.

"The gases that Misti emits are magmatic. This confirms that the volcano is active and is not sleeping, as many people think," VS engineer, Luisa Macedo, told AFP over the phone from Arequipa, according to Publimetro.

The volcano is located only 17 kilometers from the city.

The engineer informed that four weeks ago a group of researchers from OVS took images of the Misti crater. With their investigation were able to identify magmatic activity.

"The gases reach 500 meters and contain sulfuric acid, carbon and calcium," said Macedo. He informed that the distance prevents the nearby communities being affected by the emissions.

Another OVS specialist, Domingo Ramos, explained that although the volcano is active, it does not necessarily mean there is danger of a hazardous eruption.

Bizarro Earth

Quake summit set after Pacific Northwest quake story shakes up White House

© Christoph Niemann; Map by Ziggymaj Getty
The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.
For decades, geologists, emergency managers and media in the Pacific Northwest have been warning that the region will someday be slammed by a megaquake and tsunami that could be the country's worst natural disaster.

But it took an East Coast magazine to finally elevate the issue onto the White House agenda.

Inspired in large part by an article in The New Yorker in the summer, the Obama administration is hosting an Earthquake Resilience Summit on Tuesday — and is expected to underscore its support for an earthquake early warning system on the West Coast.

It's not clear whether that support will come with additional federal money, but foundations and some Northwest businesses will announce contributions to a warning system.

The event will be streamed live beginning at 9:30 a.m. PST.

The article that kicked things off was published in the July 20 edition of the weekly magazine, which once ran a map on its cover showing the entire Western U.S. dwarfed by a few midtown intersections, reflecting a Manhattan-centric world view.


Continuous tremor under Puget Sound as Washington state continues rattling since 4.3 earthquake on December 30th

© Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
Recent tremors and earthquakes in Puget Sound, Washington
A continuous tremor has been shaking from Vancouver Island south toward Olympia. A lead seismologist at the University of Washington told KIRO 7 they are not alarmed, but that the tremor is likely tied to the biggest quake in the Puget Sound region.

Hundreds of tremors registered across the Pacific Northwest within a 25-hour span starting Monday.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network plotted 427 tremors on a map.

"What's happening is there's an episode where the deep plate boundary is kind of rumbling," said Dr. John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

The tremor can last three weeks and happens about once a year. It's been shaking 30 miles under Puget Sound since Dec. 22. Unlike an earthquake map, the dots on the tremor map show readings of the same tremor. You can see the map here.

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Red Flag

El Nino wreaking havoc on Pacific Coast from Chile to California

© Noah Berger / Reuters
Uninhabitable apartment buildings, in danger of collapsing into the Pacific Ocean, line Esplanade Ave. in Pacifica, California January 26, 2016. The city has marked three apartment complexes uninhabitable as El Nino storm erosion eats away at the coastal bluff beneath them
The extreme weather patterns observed during El Nino show no sign of abating, with large tidal waves and unusual rainfall continuing to hit Pacific coastal regions.

The Californian city of Pacifica has declared a local emergency due to cliff erosion caused by El Nino.

Ocean currents are currently battering the city's shoreline - and putting hundreds of residential properties at risk of collapsing into the sea.

Astonishing video captured from a drone reveals the terrifying extent of erosion.

The footage shows heaps of soil crumbling from the cliffside, undercutting apartments which hang precariously above on Esplanade and Palmetto Avenue.


Tornado tosses vehicles about in Florida

© Gene Blevins / Reuters
Two people were reported injured and many vehicles were tossed about as a twister touched down in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Heavy storms on Wednesday morning soaked the area, just a few miles inland from Florida's Atlantic coast, between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.

At Broward College, the twister picked up cars, tossing them around. Several vehicles ended up stacked on top of others.


Dead humpback whale found on North Carolina coast

Dead humpback whale
A beached whale was discovered on the shore at Kure Beach Wednesday.

According to Kure Beach Police, the whale was found about two blocks south of the Kure Beach Fish Pier around 6:00 a.m.

William McClellan of the University of North Carolina Wilmington says the whale was a baby humpback between 1 and 2 years old. He says the whale was very thin and appeared to have been sick for some time.

Officials say about two dozen dead whales wash up on the North Carolina coast per year. UNCW has been notified.