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Sat, 03 Dec 2022
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


UK: Rare albino ray is caught in the Solent

Trawlermen have landed an albino ray thought to be the first found in British waters.

The 80cm-long fish was caught in the Solent and is now being cared for at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth.

Experts are surprised that the ray survived so long without camouflage to hide from predators.


Over 240 dead after Myanmar cyclone

Over 240 people are reported dead after a tropical cyclone hit Myanmar on Saturday, national media said on Sunday.

Authorities in Myanmar introduced a state of emergency in five regions as the Nargis cyclone struck, with wind speeds reaching some 190 km/h (118 mph). Most of the deaths came in the low-lying Irrawaddy delta.

The majority of the Southeast Asian country's largest city, Yangon, was left without electricity, and its streets were filled with overturned cars, parts of trees and other debris. Telephone and Internet communications were also severely disrupted.


Myanmar declares five regions disaster zones after Tropical Cyclone Nargis hits

YANGON - A powerful cyclone killed more than 350 people, destroyed thousands of homes and knocked out power in the country's largest city, state-run media said Sunday.

Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck early Saturday with winds of up to 120 mph, the military-run Myaddy television station said.

Yangon cyclone
©AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Yunfei
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, people walk past fallen trees at a street in Myanmar's biggest city Yangon Saturday, May 3, 2008. Tropical Cyclone Nargis ripped through Yangon early Saturday, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees and knocking out electricity.

Shari Villarosa, the top American diplomat in Yangon, said trees and electricity lines were down in the city after the storm's whipping winds and torrential downpour.

"Our Burmese staff have lost their roofs," she told The Associated Press. "There is major devastation throughout the city."

Five regions of the impoverished Southeast Asian country have been declared disaster zones.

At least 351 people were killed, including 162 who lived on Haing Gyi island off the country's southwest coast, state-run television said. Many of the others died in the low-lying Irrawaddy delta.


Survivors search for belongings amid Arkansas tornado wreckage

DAMASCUS - Smoke rose from burning heaps of wreckage Saturday as residents of rural Arkansas cleaned up what was left of their homes after deadly tornadoes scoured a state that has been plagued by severe weather this year.

Arkansas tornado damage
©AP Photo/Danny Johnston
A mobile home is destroyed in Center Ridge, Ark., after storms struck the area Friday, May 2, 2008. A powerful storm system packing tornadoes and heavy winds roared across the nation's midsection early Friday, killing at least seven people in Arkansas including a teenager crushed by a tree while she slept.


Officials say New Mexico wildfire has burned nearly 60 homes

ALBUQUERQUE - Firefighters worked in cooler, calmer weather Saturday to clear lines around a blaze that has burned nearly 60 homes and more than 20 square miles in the mountains of central New Mexico.

Authorities were able to confirm Saturday that 50 homes burned Wednesday in a fire caused by humans in the Manzano Mountains, southeast of Albuquerque, said Linda Peters, a fire information officer. Nine homes had burned earlier.


Oxygen-poor ocean zones are growing

Linked to global warming, these areas of the Pacific and Atlantic cannot sustain most marine life, a new study warns.

Oxygen-starved waters are expanding in the Pacific and Atlantic as ocean temperatures increase with global warming, threatening fisheries and other marine life, a study published today concludes.

Most of these zones remain hundreds of feet below the surface, but they are beginning to spill onto the relatively shallow continental shelf off the coast of California and are nearing the surface off Peru, driving away fish from commercially important fishing grounds, researchers have found.

©Erhardt Krause / Sacramento Be
NEAR SAN FRANCISCO: Scientists think that oxygen-poor zones may explain the Pacific Ocean invasion of jumbo, ƒsor Humboldt, squid. Fisherman Steve Consulo holds one.

Bizarro Earth

Quakes confuse experts, send kids under their desks

Experts are mystified by a "swarm" of earthquakes hitting Reno, Nevada.

Quakes aren't uncommon there, but analysts just do not know what has caused 344 of them in the area in the past week, the strongest of which was magnitude 4.7.

Evil Rays

On shaky ground: UH Prof finds geological faults threaten Houston, US

After finding more than 300 surface faults in Harris County, a University of Houston geologist now has information that could be vitally useful to the region's builders and city planners.

This information - the most accurate and comprehensive of its kind - was discovered by Shuhab Khan, assistant professor of geology, and Richard Engelkemeir, a geology Ph.D. student, using advanced radar-like laser technology. Although geologists have long known of the existence of faults in Southeast Texas, only recently have UH researchers produced a comprehensive map pinpointing the locations of the faults. A Houston-area map showing active surface faults is available here.

While the ground moving beneath Houstonians feet is not felt at the magnitude of recent earthquakes in San Antonio and Illinois, this shaky ground could mean trouble for buildings, roads and pipelines located on one of these hundreds of faults traversing the region's surface.

©Shuhab Khan and Richard Engelkemeir
Pictured is a Houston-area map showing the locations of salt domes and known active surface faults interpreted on lidar imagery.

Cloud Lightning

8 die in severe storms in Arkansas, raising 2008 toll to 24

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. - With a pep talk from Gov. Mike Beebe, emergency workers fanned out across Arkansas to help residents cope with another bout of violent weather that pushed the state's storm death toll to 24 for the year.

Tornado Damage
©AP/Orlin Wagner
Homes damaged by severe thunderstorms are viewed from the air over Gladstone, Mo., Friday, May 2, 2008. Severe thunderstorms with straight line winds damaged over 200 homes and businesses.


California to consider rationing water this summer due to drought

Two parched years - punctuated by the driest spring in at least 150 years - could force districts across California to ration water this summer as policymakers and scientists grow increasingly concerned that the state is on the verge of a long-term drought.