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Sat, 30 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes


US: Mississippi River reopens as flooding wanes

CHICAGO - The Mississippi River, the most important U.S. commercial waterway, reopened to water navigation on Saturday after much of it was closed for nearly a month due to the worst flooding in 15 years.

"As far as navigation, the river is open," said Steve Farkas, an engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' St. Louis office.

Lock 25 near Winfield, Missouri, north of St. Louis, was the final lock to reopen and it reopened Saturday morning, Farkas said.

Taller river traffic will continue to be impeded until a railroad drawbridge, which spans the river about 60 miles (97 km) upriver of St. Louis, is repaired later on Saturday, the Kansas City Southern railroad said.


Tired firefighters battle 330 California wildfires

Firefighters got a gift of a mild, mostly windless night and a forecast for similar conditions Sunday as they attempted to protect thousands of Santa Barbara County homes from a huge wildfire, one of more than 300 taxing their energy and resources around the state.

©AP Photo/Phil Klein
Firefighters watch as a brush fire burns out of control in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Goleta, Calif., on Saturday July 5, 2008. A slew of wildfires, most ignited by lightning two weeks ago, have burned more than 800 square miles of land throughout California. The blazes have destroyed at least 67 homes and other buildings and contributed to the death of a firefighter who suffered a heart attack while digging fire lines.


Alert issued for smoldering volcano in Indonesia

BANDUNG - Geological experts in Indonesia Friday issued an alert, advising tourists not to climb Mount Anak Krakatau because it's spewing red-hot rocks and toxic fumes.


Chile declares volcano red alert

Chile has declared a red alert around the Llaima volcano, just days after it spewed lava down one of its sides.

Llaima is considered one of South America's most active volcanoes.

The 3,125m snow-capped volcano located 700km south of the Chile's capital Santiago, affected a lightly populated area on the slopes of Llama that is home to at least 40 people from the Vilcun village.


Canada: Hundreds more flee fires in northern Saskatchewan

SASKATOON - Four days after blazing Saskatchewan forest fires began forcing residents of northern communities from their homes, another 650 evacuees were being sent away due to a heavy smoke threat, bringing the total of displaced residents to more than 2,800.

Bizarro Earth

Animals suffer in California fires; condors may be lost

©Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times
A young deer watches firefighters.

The fires burning in Big Sur and Goleta are forcing evacuations, destroying thousands of acres and threatening more damage. Among the victims of the wildfires are animals--both wild, like this deer in Big Sur, and domestic. Pets have had to be sheltered, animals have been forced from their habitat and some condor chicks may have been lost.


Snow in June: Spokane, Washington reverts to winter-like weather

Snow in June in Washington DC

The Spokane area saw record low temperatures and even a little bit of snow Tuesday morning, and all just 11 days before the official start of summer.

Much of the Inland Northwest remained under a snow warning from the National Weather Service Tuesday morning. KHQ received calls from people in Reardan, Moscow, Pullman, Loon Lake, Airway Heights, Deary, Spokane's South Hill, and Deer Park who all say they saw snow Tuesday morning.

Evil Rays

Earthquake hits north of Tokyo, no damage reported

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 shook northern Japan on Saturday, a Japanese government agency said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake, at 4:49 p.m. (3:49 a.m. EDT), was centered under the sea off Ibaraki prefecture, just north of the capital, Tokyo, where it was also felt.


Russia: Powerful quake hits Kamchatka; no damage or tsunami threat

An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale was registered early Saturday off the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia's Far East, the regional emergencies ministry office said.

Officials said no casualties, destruction or tsunami threat have been reported following the quake, which occurred at 06:10 a.m. Moscow time (02:10 a.m. GMT) in the Sea of Okhotsk, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from the regional center Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, where the tremors measured 4.0 on the Richter scale and lasted for three minutes.

Kamchatka is one of Russia's most seismically unstable regions. According to experts, there are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka, 29 of them active.

Bizarro Earth

Wind keeps California fires raging on 2 fronts

BIG SUR - A pair of out-of-control wildfires roared along California's central coast Friday, chewing through opposite ends of a parched forest and threatening a total of more than 4,500 homes.

While flames from the stubborn fire in the northern flank of the Los Padres National Forest inched closer to Big Sur's historic vacation retreats, state emergency officials said hot winds had caused a newer blaze 200 miles south in Santa Barbara County to double in size overnight.

Residents of more than 1,700 homes in and around the city of Goleta were ordered to evacuate, joining an equal number of people who were told to leave Big Sur days earlier.

Driven by wind gusts as high as 40 mph, the Santa Barbara County fire was so fierce early Friday that firefighters at one point took shelter in about 70 homes they were trying to defend, said Capt. Eli Iskow of the county fire department.

"Hundreds of firefighters were in place around hundreds of structures," Iskow said. "I think we saved every one of those structures in that area."