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Sat, 30 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Georgian forest fires cover 200 hectares, still burning

TBILISI -- Forest fires in a Georgian national park that Georgia accuses Russia of starting deliberately have swept across 200 hectares (494 acres) of land and are still burning, an official said here Sunday.

Russia, which invaded swathes of Georgia on August 8, denies setting the forest park ablaze.

The Georgian foreign ministry said Saturday that the Borjomi Gorge in south-west Georgia had been targeted by Russian helicopters dropping firebombs in a dozen locations.

"Fires in the Borjomi forests are still continuing. There was unfortunately no progress in the fight against the fires," Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili told AFP.

"Two hundred hectares have been burned down."

The Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, about 125 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of Tbilisi, is the source of Borjomi mineral water -- one of Georgia's most celebrated exports.


Caribbean resorts threatened by "poisonous" fish invasion

Although lionfish are not aggressive towards humans, their sting is very painful

A luridly striped fish with poisonous spikes has invaded the Caribbean where it is quickly spreading - and endangering the beautiful environment so beloved of tourists.

The red lionfish is a native of the Indian and Pacific ocean. But it started appearing in the Caribbean 16 years ago after a tropical storm smashed a private aquarium near Miami.

Now it is colonising the entire sea, feasting on native species of fish and crustaceans and delivering painful stings to divers. A single animal was seen to eat 20 smaller fish in just half an hour.

Until recently, the lionfish invasion was mostly concentrated on the Bahamas, where it infested beaches, reefs and mangrove thickets where baby fish grow. In the past year, its numbers increased tenfold in some parts of the archipelago

Cloud Lightning

Hundreds evacuated from Grand Canyon as dam breaks

Phoenix - An earthen dam weakened by heavy rains broke near the Grand Canyon early Sunday, flooding a tribal town and forcing officials to pluck hundreds of residents and campers from the gorge by helicopter. No injuries were immediately reported.

About 400 members of the Havasupai tribe live in the town of Supai. The town was not under water after the Redlands Dam broke, said Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge.

Some campers and river runners in the canyon were being rescued by seven helicopters and were being taken to a Red Cross shelter in Peach Springs, about 60 miles southwest of Supai, Oltrogge said

Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm Fay lashes Cuba, leaves 4 dead

Havana - Tropical Storm Fay lashed southeastern Cuba with downpours and heavy winds Sunday and was expected to churn its way over the center of the island before heading toward Florida.

Authorities evacuated dozens of sparsely populated, low-lying communities and ordered Cubans to pay close attention to the storm, which they said could spark strong storm surges, flooding and mudslides.

Jose Rubiera, Cuba's chief meteorologist, said Fay had brought gusts of wind of up to 70 mph (110 kph) per hour as its center roared close to two coastal communities on the island's southern tip. Still, he said civil defense officials were mostly concerned about the effects of heavy rains.

The storm was expected to gain force and could be near hurricane strength when it moves over Cuba late Sunday and zeros in on Florida, where officials declared a state of emergency. It has already killed at least four people, after battering Haiti and the Dominican Republic with weekend torrential rains and floods.

Cloud Lightning

UK: Lightning strike hits 20 homes

A huge bolt of lightning left 20 householders counting the cost after televisions blew and telephone lines melted.


US: Mysterious foam creeps ashore at Madrona Beach

Seattle - Madrona Beach on Lake Washington has been closed for swimming until further notice because of something mysterious in the water.

madrona beach
Madrona Beach has been closed for swimming.


Turkey: Mysterious green layer on lake not toxic, says minister

A green layer that has formed on the surface of Küçükçekmece Lake in İstanbul is not due to toxicity, Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu announced yesterday.


Global Cooling in Action: Three dead in Australian snow accidents

Police say an ice climber and two skiers have died in seperate accidents in New South Wales.

Snow in Australia
©AAP - Jennifer Chapman
Five companions were rescued.


Canada: Hiker dies after being swarmed by bees or wasps near Chemainus

A young hiker died yesterday after he was swarmed and stung by bees, wasps or hornets on Mount Brenton, west of Chemainus. The man's name has not been released, but those at the scene said he appeared to be in his 20s. He was a tourist from Germany hiking with a youth group on the mountain, witnesses said.

"We were called in with a report that a man had been swarmed by what looked like hornets and appeared to be having a severe allergic reaction," said Rick Ruppenthal, the central Vancouver Island superintendent for the B.C. Ambulance Service. "Apparently he had no previous history of allergies."

The call to 9-1-1 came in at 9:30 a.m. yesterday from another hiker with a cellphone.

Better Earth

Camera spots rare clouded leopard

The Bornean clouded leopard was only classified as a distinct species in 2007

Automatic cameras have captured images of a clouded leopard in Borneo's Sebangua National Park, an area where the cats have not been recorded before.