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Mon, 11 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes

Magic Wand

Tsunami Facts: How They Form, Warning Signs, and Safety Tips

In the wake of yesterday's tsunami in the Solomon Islands, National Geographic News looks at how the killer waves are caused, what the warning signs are, and how to respond when a tsunami threatens.

- A tsunami is a series of great sea waves caused by an underwater earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption. More rarely, a tsunami can be generated by a giant meteor impact with the ocean.

Scientists have found traces of an asteroid-collision event that they say would have created a giant tsunami that swept around the Earth several times, inundating everything except the tallest mountains 3.5 billion years ago. The coastline of the continents was changed drastically and almost all life on land was exterminated.


Solomons tsunami aid stepped up

Aid is desperately needed for people scared to return to homes
Emergency aid supplies are being stepped up to thousands of people stranded after a devastating tsunami struck parts of the Solomon Islands.

Cloud Lightning

Sixth cyclone of the season about to hit Madagascar

450,000 people already affected. Natural disasters continue hitting Madagascar, affecting hundreds of thousands of people with another cyclone, Jaya, on the way.

Since December 2006, approximately 450,000 people have become the victims of natural disasters across Madagascar. These families urgently require shelter, food, potable water, medication and school supplies.

Bizarro Earth

More dead found in Pakistan avalanche

The death toll from avalanches in northwestern Pakistan rose to 38 after rescue workers found more bodies yesterday in the rubble of demolished homes in a remote village, police said.

The weekend avalanches struck Pakistan's rugged Chitral district, near the border with Afghanistan. Flooding and avalanches have killed more than 50 people over the past 10 days in the region.

Bizarro Earth

Tsunami devastates western Solomons

HONIARA, Solomon Islands - Tsunami waves churned by an undersea earthquake crashed ashore in the Solomon Islands on Monday, wiping away entire villages and triggering alerts from Australia to Hawaii, officials said. At least 13 people were killed, and the prime minister warned that the toll would likely grow.

Comment: If entire villages were wiped away, expect the number of death people to rise significantly.

Comment: First Somalia, now the Solomons. Something is going on in that part of the world.

Arrow Down

As drought continues, South Florida's water restrictions to tighten

Even with the vast Atlantic Ocean lapping at its shores and more yearly rainfall than most of the country, South Florida once again finds itself wanting for water.

South Florida typically gets 52 inches of rain a year -- 14 inches more than soggy Seattle -- but doesn't have the storage capacity to capture enough water to quench the thirst of a growing population.

Comment: A simple solution utilized in many other tropical areas, and formerly a standard feature in old Florida, is for each home to have a cistern that captures rainwater for bathing and watering plants.

Arrow Down

Los Angeles suffers longest dry spell in 130 years

Los Angeles is going through its longest dry spell in at least 130 years, the National Weather Service said Sunday, fueling fears of rampant wildfires which have plagued the US west coast in recent years.

"The rain season is currently the driest to date in downtown Los Angeles since records began in 1877," the weather service said in a statement.


NBC, Reuters, AFP Reports: 8.0 Earthquake Triggers Tsunami in Solomons - Whole villages 'wiped out'

UPDATE: Quake upgraded to 8.0

HONIARA, Solomon Islands - A powerful magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands on Monday, sending a tsunami wave crashing into the country's west coast and prompting region-wide disaster warnings, officials said.

Sgt. Godfrey Abiah said police in the capital, Honiara, reported a wave several yards high had crashed ashore in the western town of Gizo shortly before communication lines with the region were cut.



Alarming Decline of Sharks Causing Other Species to Vanish

The precipitous decline in large predator sharks in the Atlantic Ocean in the past decade has made ecologists worry about a trickle-down effect on the ocean ecosystem.

A new study supports the case. With the large predators gone, their prey - smaller sharks and rays - are free to feast on lower organisms like scallops and clams, depleting valuable commercial stocks.


Flowers and fruit crops facing disaster as disease kills off bees

Devastating diseases are killing off vast numbers of bees across the country, threatening major ecological and economic problems. Honeybee colonies have been wiped out this winter at twice the usual rate or worse in some areas.