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Bizarro Earth

Sea creatures flee oil spill, gather near shore

© AP
A blue heron stands has a snack in the surf as oil cleanup crews make their morning patrol.

Gulf Sores Alabama - Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange - and troubling - phenomena.

Fish and other wildlife are fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast. But that is not the hopeful sign it might appear to be, researchers say.

Bizarro Earth

Orange Alert for Nevado del Huila Volcano

Nevado del Huila volcano
© Colombia Reports
Nevado del Huila volcano.
The government on Tuesday raised the alert code to orange for the Nevado del Huila volcano in south-west Colombia, after an increased level of volcanic activity was detected.

The Interior Ministry changed the warning code from yellow to orange, after a report issued by the National Observatory of Vulcanology and Seismology and the Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining (Inegominas), warned of a probable eruption within days or weeks.

"According to Inegominas, since Sunday June 13, an evident change has been observed in the volcano's seismic activity, and it is necessary to keep contingency plans activated, in order to avoid emergencies," Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio stated in a press release.

Nevado del Huila has been subdued in recent months, following a period of increased activity in late 2009.

The volcano's summit, at 5,364m above sea level, is the highest in Colombia's Andean Central Cordillera, and the crater is capped by ice.

Alarm Clock

2.52 million gallons of crude a day: BP leak could be equivalent to Exxon Valdez every four days

dead turtle, oil spill
Scientists provided a new estimate for the amount of oil gushing from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday that indicates it could be leaking up to 2.52 million gallons of crude a day.

"That is roughly 2.5 million gallons of oil a day, and it means an amount equal to the Exxon Valdez spill could be gushing from the well about every four days," the New York Times notes.

A government panel of scientists said that the ruptured well is leaking between 1.47 million and 2.52 million gallons of oil daily. The figures move the government's worst-case estimates more in line with what an independent team had previously thought was the maximum size of the spill.

"This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor, and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP's well," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.

The latest numbers reflect an increase in the flow that scientists believe happened after undersea robots earlier this month cut off a kinked pipe near the sea floor that was believed to be restricting the flow of oil, just as a bend in a garden hose reduces water flow. BP officials has estimated that cutting the kinked pipe likely increased the flow by up 20 percent.

Bizarro Earth

BP Gulf Oil spill - aka volcano?

Part 1

Bizarro Earth

Dozens dead, missing in China landslides

Landslides triggered by heavy rain have left at least 24 people dead and another 23 people missing in southern China, state media reported Tuesday.

In the southwest, 23 people were killed when part of a mountain cascaded down onto a construction site in Sichuan province's Kangding county, slamming into tents where the victims were sleeping, the China News Service said.

Seven people were hurt, three of them seriously, it said. Only four workers managed to escape unscathed.

In southeastern China, one person was killed and 23 others were reported missing after a bus was swept off a road by a landslide and dumped into a river in Fujian province, China National Radio said.

Rescue teams, battling the difficult terrain, reached the bus early Tuesday, but found only one body some 100 metres (yards) downstream from the wreck, the report said. Search and rescue efforts were ongoing.

Bizarro Earth

Flash floods claim six lives in southern France

Heavy rains triggered flash floods in the mountains above France's southern Cote d'Azur region on Tuesday, killing six people, while at least another three were missing, officials said.

Water levels rose by several metres within a short space of time, preventing many from fleeing to higher ground and forcing them to seek shelter on the roofs of their homes.

Three people were killed in the town of Draguignan and a woman in Luc. Her body was left to float in the water raging through the town as rescue workers deemed the currents too strong to attempt a recovery.

The other two victims died in Muy and Arcs, the secretary general for the Var region, Olivier de Mazieres, told AFP.

Rescue services were focussing their efforts on helping nearly 900 people trapped in the vehicles, houses or on the roofs of their homes, he added. Helicopters had already airlifted some people to safety.

Bizarro Earth

42 dead in Bangladesh flash floods, landslide

At least 42 people have been killed by landslides and flash floods in southeastern Bangladesh and dozens more are missing, police and local officials said Tuesday.

The flood warning centre said most of the southeast had experienced heavy rainfall during the past 24 hours, with 24.2 centimetres (9.5 inches) falling in many areas.

In the worst affected area of Teknaf -- which is on the border with Myanmar and home to hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya refugees -- at least 25 people were killed and six missing, local official A.N.M Nazim Uddin told AFP.

"All the roads are under water. We can't reach areas where thousands of people are trapped by the floods," he said by phone.

Around 15,000 Rohingya refugees living in camps -- both legal and illegal -- around Teknaf have been affected by the floods, Firoz Salauddin, the government's spokesman on Rohingya issues told AFP.

Bizarro Earth

Sweden: Earthquake Magnitude 4.1

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 20:30:48 UTC

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 10:30:48 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

64.413°N, 21.611°E

10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program


95 km (60 miles) NE of Umea, Sweden

135 km (85 miles) SSW of Lulea, Sweden

195 km (120 miles) WSW of Oulu, Finland

595 km (370 miles) NNE of STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Control Panel

Australia: Buildings shake as quake rattles Darwin

Darwin Quake
© ABC News
The 5.3 magnitude earthquake was centred 650 kilometres north of Darwin
Geoscience Australia has confirmed that an earthquake in the Banda Sea near East Timor was felt in Darwin this morning.

The quake registered 5.3 on the Richter scale just after 9:30am [CST].

Robbie Dalton, who works on the fourth floor of a building in the Darwin CBD, says he and his colleagues felt a strong shudder.

"The entire building sort of started shaking," he said.

"It was really quite noticeable.

Control Panel

Earthquake Magnitude 5.4 - Banda Sea, East Timor

Banda Sea Earthquake
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 00:04:52 UTC
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 09:04:52 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

6.448°S, 129.196°E