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Wed, 01 Mar 2017
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Alaska's Bogoslof volcano erupts agin, sending ash cloud 25,000 feet

An Alaska volcano that's been active since mid-December has erupted again.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted just before 10 a.m. and sent an ash cloud to 25,000 feet.

Ash can harm and stop jet engines. Ash from southwest Alaska volcanos is a threat airliners operating between North America and Asia when a cloud rises above 20,000 feet.

After the eruption, the Aviation Color Code was raised from orange to red, the highest level.

The observatory says south winds are pushing the ash cloud north over the Bering Sea and no ash is expected to fall on communities.

The observatory says pulses of seismic activity continue and additional eruptions could occur.

The observatory said Bogoslof could have periodic eruptions for months.


Dolphin and whale deaths on the Irish coast rise fivefold with 56 cetaceans washing up

This year the worst on record as 56 mammals wash up on beaches

Fifty-six dolphins and whales have washed up on beaches in Ireland so far this year making 2017 the worst on record for such strandings.

The number of deaths is a fivefold increase on the same period in 2010. They have prompted an unprecedented meeting this week between experts from state marine and wildlife agencies and fishing and trawler organisations to discover what is killing so many of the species.

Pollution, trawler nets, disease, natural causes and inclement weather are all possible causes for the demise of the marine mammals whose beached bodies are being discovered almost every other day on some part of the coastline.

Former taoiseach Charlie Haughey famously made Ireland the first whale and dolphin sanctuary in Europe in 1991 during his last term in office but this decade has seen more than 1,000 of the creatures stranding.


Whale carcass found on St Cyrus Beach, Scotland

St Cyrus beach
A 23ft whale has been found dead on the north-east coast.

The sea mammal was found on the sands of St Cyrus Beach on February 14 and was reported to the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme.

However it was already dead when found, and is said to be "extremely decomposed" to the point where experts cannot identify which type of whale it is.

A team from National Museums Scotland are collecting the remains, and will transfer them to a lab to pinpoint the species.


6.3 magnitude earthquake hits northern Argentina

The earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to scientific monitoring services
An earthquake believed to measure 6.3 on the Richter scale has struck in northern Argentina, close to the border with Chile.

Scientific monitoring service EMSC said the quake happened in the Jujuy region of the south American country today.

And government agency the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports it happened 50km northwest of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina.

It said: 'There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.'


Record February snowfall recorded at Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski resorts, Maine

Sugarloaf ski resort
In just over two weeks' time, Sunday River and Sugarloaf—Maine's two largest ski areas owned by parent company Boyne Resorts—are already reporting record snowfall totals for the month of February.

In the past 24 hours, Sunday River reports 24 inches of new snow, while Sugarloaf reports 14 inches. Both resorts have seen more than 4 feet of snowfall in just the past week, and more than 5 feet of new snow since the start of the month.

"This is hands-down the best February in terms of natural snowfall that Sunday River has seen in over a decade," Darcy Lambert, Director of Communications for Sunday River Resort, says.

"Conditions are incredible," Noelle Tuttle, Communications Manager for Sugarloaf, confirms. "Sugarloaf is one inch away from beating its best February in 22 years—an ideal set up for next week's holiday period."

Arrow Up

India's only active volcano erupts again in Andaman Sea

The Barren Island volcano was lying dormant for over 150 years before becoming active in 1991.
India's only active volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is erupting once again. The Barren Island volcano, located about 140km northeast of Port Blair, started erupting in 1991 after a dormant phase of over 150 years and has shown intermittent activity since then.

A team of scientists led by National Institute Of Oceanography's Dr Abhay Mudholkar said that the volcano is active and spewing smoke and lava once again.

Researchers from the NIO have sampled the sediments and water in the vicinity of the volcano and recovered coal-like black pyroclastic material representing proximal volcanic ejecta. Clouds were seen at the crater mouth where the smoke was bellowing out in an otherwise clear sky. These samples will help in deciphering the nature of the present and past volcanic activity in the region.

"We are seeing the composition of the lava and powdering the black sand to figure out what the components are," Mudholkar told TOI.

Cloud Precipitation

Storm kills at least 2 in southern California

© David McNew / Getty Images / AFP
Sun Valley, California. February 17, 2017.
At least two people have been killed - one drowned and another electrocuted - in a heavy storm that hit southern California, uprooting trees and sweeping vehicles away. Voluntary evacuations were called, while some highways were closed and numerous flights delayed or cancelled.

Two cars were swept away by floodwaters in Victorville, where police discovered one person dead in a submerged car, but were able to rescue another person in a separate car.

Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a man in Sherman Oaks who came in contact with downed power lines. The man was found in critical condition and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two vehicles were reported to have fallen into a sinkhole in Studio City shortly after 8:30pm local time.

Fire and rescue crews are on scene.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain, flooding as ex- Cyclone Dineo sweeps over South Africa

As the tropical ex-cyclone Dineo dissipates over SA, heavy rainfall has hit the north-eastern parts of the country.

Flooding has occurred following heavy rainfall late on Thursday afternoon, 16 February in the Free State capital of Bloemfontein, as some cars appeared to be floating.

To the north-eastern side of Bloem, the expected areas over Limpopo also received heavy rain. In the Kruger National Park, specifically, gravel roads have been closed and select remote camps evacuated in the wake of the rains.

KwaZulu-Natal, on the other hand, where disaster management teams have been on standby since Wednesday, was not hit as hard by the effect of Dineo.

In Mozambique, Dineo has displaced thousands of people, while seven fatalities have already been reported, the country's government disaster centre said on Thursday. Heavy rains and fierce winds have destroyed about 20 000 homes, they say.

Comment: See also: Tropical Cyclone Dineo leaves 4 dead in Mozambique


Thousands of dead fish found near Manzanillo, Costa Rica

More than two kilometers of beach near Manzanillo, on the Gulf of Nicoya, were filled with dead fish Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Disturbing images coming from Costa Rica's Gulf of Nicoya showed thousands of dead sardines washed ashore near the coastal town of Manzanillo.

Preliminary online reports from various agencies including marine conservation group Fundación MarViva say that the washed-up hordes of fish were seen for a few kilometers.

According to a Facebook post from MarViva, it seems only to be a sardine species that suffered the widespread deaths. However, no exact cause for the incident is yet known.

The report said it is unlikely that the phenomenon was caused by chemical poisoning or that it has anything to do with warmer water temperatures in the Gulf of Nicoya, since a single species appears to have been affected.

The following video posted to Twitter by Coast Guard officials shows the sheer scale of fish left dead on the surrounding beach:


Child killed by two family dogs in Clarksville, Kentucky

A 5-year-old boy was killed in a dog attack in Clarksville Thursday morning.

At about 8:20 a.m., emergency personnel were called to a home on Charles Thomas Road, according to a news release from the Clarksville Police Department. They found a 5-year-old boy who had extensive injuries from being mauled by the family's two dogs.

The child was transported to Tennova Medical Center, where he died as a result of his injuries.

Both dogs are English mastiffs, each under 1 year old. The dogs have been placed in the custody of Montgomery County Animal Control, the release said.

Anyone with additional information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Tim Anderson (931) 648-0656 ext. 5132 or the TIPS line at 645-TIPS.

The young English mastiffs that killed a 5-year-old boy in Clarksville Thursday