Friday, December 04, 2015

Genaris Eco oceans News (January 2016)

Scientists have detected heightened levels of radioactivity in the waters along the west coast of Canada and the United States, which can be traced back to the Japanese nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011.......Fukushima radioactivity detected off coast of U.S., Canada


  1. Contamination from Brazil mining spill spreads to ocean...

    Mineral residue from the rupture of two tailings dams in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in November has contaminated an area of 168 square kilometers of the Atlantic Ocean, a government agency said on Thursday.

    According to data from the Espirito Santo State Environmental Institute (IEMA), mud and sludge spread from Minas Gerais to the coast of Espirito Santo quickly and have since covered 168 square kilometers of ocean along the coast.

    Since the dams burst on Nov. 5 at the Samarco mine near the town of Mariana, unleashing a torrent of 63 million cubic meters of mud, this disaster has become the worst environmental tragedy in the history of Brazil.

    The sludge has left 17 dead and two missing as well as contaminated the Doce river, several tributaries and parts of the ocean. Thousands of animals living in and near these waterways have died as a consequence.

    Brazilian authorities have issued tough economic sanctions on Samarco and have frozen the Brazilian assets of Samarco's joint owners, Vale and BHP Billiton.

  2. Fiji on Friday issued a heavy rain and strong wind warning as Tropical Cyclone Ula passed by, urging the general public to take extra precaution during the next few days...

    Ula, which developed late Wednesday, has brought stormy weather to Pacific island countries including Fiji and Tonga.

    Akapusi Tuifagalele, director of Fiji's National Disaster Management Office, urged Fijians to be vigilant.

    "Tropical Cyclone Ula is slowly moving at the moment but we want all Fijians to be prepared now...Parents are also urged to watch their children closely and monitor all movements," Tuifagalele said.

    Authorities have also advised people living in flood prone areas to take extra caution and to ensure that all necessary preparations are made in case of evacuations.

    Water levels have been rising in major rivers, and the general public is advised to refrain from crossing flooded roads and areas.

    Meanwhile, a number of areas across the country are without power, as fallen debris on power lines are affecting power supply, according to the Fiji Electricity Authority.

    There are no immediate reports of cyclone-related casualties or damage.

    1. Cyclone Ula: Hundreds evacuated as first Pacific cyclone of 2016 slams into Tonga...

      Hundreds of people have evacuated from their homes in Tonga as severe tropical cyclone Ula slammed into the tiny Pacific kingdom.

      There are no reported casualties as Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva declared a state of emergency before the storm hit “in order to prevent or minimise the loss of human life, illness or injury”.

      The northern island of Vava’u took the brunt of the category three cyclone which was packing winds up to 150 kilometres per hour.

      “We are very happy that there are no casualties, police checked with hospitals and town officers to confirm that,” the chairman of the National Emergency Management Office, Siaosi Sovaleni, told a press conference.

      “We had 11 evacuation centres, over 390 people were relocated to these evacuation centres.”

      Ula formed early on Thursday in the South Pacific between Tuvalu and Samoa and was initially expected to remain a category one storm as it tracked west-south-westerly.

      However, it intensified to category two late on Thursday then to category three as it approached

    2. État d'urgence aux Tonga touchées par un puissant cyclone...

      Les Tonga ont déclaré préventivement l'état d'urgence samedi, lorsque le puissant cyclone tropical Ula a touché le petit royaume du Pacifique.

      Le Premier ministre Akilisi Pohiva a pris cette mesure de précaution parce qu'"une situation d'urgence va ou est sur le point de se produire", avec des rafales de vent supérieures à 150 km/h et la montée des eaux de la mer.

      "Il est nécessaire de mettre en oeuvre des mesures d'urgence pour éviter ou minimiser les pertes de vies humaines, les maladies, les blessures, les dégâts matériels et environnementaux", a-t-il déclaré.

      En fin de matinée samedi, le cyclone de catégorie 3 passait près de l'île septentrionale de Vava'u, où des maisons et des champs ont subi des dégâts.

      Ula a le potentiel "de provoquer des dégâts matériels considérables, des dégâts importants aux infrastructures et aux cultures, des coupures de courant locales et un cyclone de catégorie trois présente un risque élevé de blessures", a indiqué le Centre d'alerte des cyclones tropicaux.

      Il a mis en garde contre "des vents très destructeurs", avec un niveau de la mer "très élevé" provoquant des inondations dans les basses terres.

      Le cyclone devrait s'affaiblir dimanche en se dirigeant vers

  3. Soldiers hit streets as US floods death toll mounts...

    The Illinois National Guard was ordered into action Friday and hundreds of people urged to flee rising floodwaters, as the death toll from days of heavy rain in the US Midwest mounted.

    Swathes of the United States have been buffeted in the last week by tornadoes, storms and torrential rain, while the US East Coast has seen unseasonably warm weather over the holiday season.

    Missouri and Illinois have been particularly hard hit from the record-breaking and relentless deluge in the past week.

    The death toll from the flooding in the Midwest rose to 22 after a man's body was recovered in Missouri, ABC News said. Fifteen of the dead were in Missouri and seven in Illinois.

    There were growing fears for southern Illinois, where the rising Mississippi River reportedly topped a levee, putting several towns and rural communities at risk.

    Hundreds of people were urged to evacuate.............

  4. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a discount in the price of natural gas for Ukraine to bring Russian gas prices closer to prices in European markets...

    Russia will discount its previous gas price of $230 per 1,000 cubic meters (TCM) by $17.8, bringing it to $212.2 per TCM, an official Russian government notice said January 1.

    Ukraine's Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn previously said Ukraine was ready to buy Russian gas in the first quarter of 2016 if the price was reduced to under $200 per TCM.

    Currently, gas is trading at a price of around $170 per TCM in European markets............

  5. Belgian nuclear reactor shut down three days after restarting...

    An ageing Belgian nuclear reactor shut down on Saturday afternoon, just three days after it was restarted, but there was no safety risk, the power utility that operates it said.

    The Doel 1 reactor in northern Belgium was restarted on December 30, after originally being shut down in February in line with a law that called for the country's gradual exit from nuclear power.

    "Doel 1 automatically shut down at 6:00 pm," a spokeswoman for power utility Electrabel told AFP, confirming a report published by the Belga news agency.

    "Everything went according to procedure. There was no impact on safety, and no impact on staff, local residents and the environment."

    The company said the shutdown was caused by a "normal safety mechanism", in order to restart it safely.

    Belgium agreed last month to extend the life of Doel 1 and Doel 2, both of which are 40 years old, until 2025 under a deal that ended years of battles that threatened the country with power blackouts.

    When running, the two reactors can produce 866 megawatts, equivalent to around six percent of Belgium's total electricity capacity.

    Environmentalists, especially in neighboring Germany which is phasing out nuclear power, have criticized extending the life of Belgium's reactors which they say are too old to be considered safe.

    Belgium has suffered a series of nuclear mishaps in recent years, with three of the country's seven reactors closed at one point, in two cases due to the discovery of micro-cracks in the reactor vessels.

  6. Naples has became the latest Italian city to ban road traffic within certain hours, in a bid to limit air pollution which is causing growing alarm about health risks...

    The southern port town follows in the tracks of Milan and Rome, which both imposed emergency limits last week, after a nationwide build-up of micro particles in the atmosphere during an unusually dry winter.

    Central heating in some public buildings will also be restricted, according to the decree, released by Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris, which will be in force on six days between Thursday and Jan. 8.

    Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti called for outdated heating systems to be improved, a day after promising government spending of 12 million euros to battle

  7. Fifty-Eight Bodies Recovered in Shenzhen Landslide...

    Local officials said workers have now recovered a total of 58 bodies from the massive landslide in Shenzhen, 18 days after the disaster struck. The command headquarters of the clearing operation placed the number of missing individuals at 77. Out of the 58 bodies recovered, 52 were identified as among the missing, while workers are still trying to verify the identities of the other six.

    Out of the 17 people hospitalized, ten have already been discharged. Police have arrested 11 people in connection to the landslide, including a deputy general manager and a legal representative of the company in charge of the landfill in the Hengtaiyu industrial zone, where a massive volume of construction waste collapsed on December 20, destroying 33 buildings. Shenzhen city.

  8. All 158 passengers were safe after a ferry capsized in Malaysia's Sabah State on North Borneo, authorities said Wednesday...

    The ferry carrying 158 passengers left Tawi-tawi of southern Philippines for Semporna area in Malaysia, but collided with a barge before arriving onshore, according to the local fire and rescue department.

    All on board were reportedly rescued and four were sent to hospital for treatment.

  9. El presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, pidió este miércoles a las autoridades locales del país contribuir con el ahorro de agua para poder producir la energía que se requiere, en momentos en que el territorio nacional atraviesa por una fuerte sequía como consecuencia del fenómeno de El Niño...

    "Esa actitud de responsabilidad de ahorrar agua es fundamental si queremos mitigar el efecto de este Niño en los próximos meses y tratar de buscar la forma para que la ciudadanía se afecte lo menos posible", afirmó Santos durante la entrega de tres pozos para el abastecimiento de agua potable en Santa Marta, Magdalena (norte).

    Según Santos, las lluvias que se han presentado en las últimas horas no significan que el fenómenos haya pasado, e indicó que las mismas son un efecto meteorológico transitorio que no ha logrado reducir las altas temperaturas en varias regiones del país

    "No nos dejemos engañar por estas lluvias pensando que el fenómeno de El Niño no está, El Niño está y está en su máxima intensidad", afirmó el presidente colombiano......

  10. The US state of Michigan has declared a state of emergency in the city of Flint after its water supply was poisoned by toxic lead, leading to severe illnesses among its 100,000 residents with children suffering the worst...

    Flint's mayor has described the situation as a "man-made disaster" over the past 18 months after the impoverished American city stopped receiving its water supply from the nearby Detroit because of unaffordable price rises in water rates.

    Sean Kammer, an assistant to Flint's administrator, told Al Jazeera that the city "is in the process of turning a corner" as its administration seeks funds to revamp its antiquated water infrastructure, which played a major part in the lead poisonings......

  11. A massive bushfire that devastated a small town is still burning out of control in Western Australia...

    About 95 houses in Yarloop, south of Perth, have been destroyed and three people are reported to be missing.

    Wind gusts of up to 60km/h (37mph) overnight fanned the blaze, dubbed the Waroona fire, to heights of 50m.

    The fire area is now 58,000 hectares and emergency warnings remain in place for Waroona, Harvey and surrounding areas including Preston Beach.

    A local politician told the BBC the fire "could well be the end" of Yarloop....BBC

  12. Bolivia, Peru sign $500 mn deal for Lake Titicaca clean-up...

    Bolivia and Peru agreed to provide more than $500 million towards cleaning up Lake Titicaca, whose polluted waters are home to some animals nearing extinction, a Bolivian environment official said.

    The deal, which is meant to improve the lake's biodiversity, includes environmental management and recovery through to 2025.

    Lake Titicaca, which is the highest in the world, at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,470 feet) above sea level, provides a habitat for a number of frogs, birds and fish, including two species that have almost been wiped out.

    Bolivia's Environment and Water Minister Alexandra Moreira and her Peruvian counterpart Manuel Pulgar signed the agreement during a public event............

  13. Several flights to and from the Indian capital were delayed Friday morning due to dense fog that enveloped the city, a senior aviation official said...

    "Fog affected many morning flights, particularly those scheduled to take off, due to poor runway visibility. The situation is gradually turning to normal," he said, on condition of anonymity.

    Local TV channels reported that traffic has also been moving slowly in the city and its adjoining areas due to foggy conditions.

    The weather department has predicted light rain in some parts of the Indian capital later in the day though the average temperature is likely to hover around 24 degrees Celsius.

    Fog is common in the Indian capital during the winter months of December and January, and several flights and trains get delayed due to bad weather.

  14. SpaceX to Retry Ocean Rocket Landing After Success on Land ...

    Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX will attempt to land its next Falcon 9 rocket on a barge in the Pacific Ocean, seeking another milestone a month after landing a booster on the ground in a spaceflight first, the company said on Friday.

    The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a NASA ocean-monitoring satellite, is slated to blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Jan. 17.

    About two minutes after liftoff, the first stage of the rocket will separate, flip around, fire engines to slow its fall, deploy landing legs and attempt to touch down on a floating landing pad in the Pacific Ocean.

    SpaceX has tried ocean landings twice without success, but officials are optimistic after the company last month safely returned a Falcon 9 booster to a landing pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida......

  15. 23 People Succumb to Freezing Temperature in Latvia...

    The national forensic center reported on Friday that 23 people have succumbed to this winter's freezing temperatures in Latvia. Out of the 23 victims who passed away over the past month, four were women and 19 were men.

    Authorities said four bodies were found on the street, while the rest were found in homes, abandoned buildings, staircases, garages, ditches and woods. Six of the victims drank alcohol before freezing to death.

    The forensic center added that 11 people died from exposure to the bitter cold in Riga.

  16. 45 whales die after southern India stranding...

    Forty five whales have died after stranding themselves on a southern Indian beach, a government official said Tuesday, with local fishermen struggling to save others.

    The pod of whales started beaching themselves on Monday afternoon along a 15-kilometer stretch of coast near Tiruchendur on India's southernmost tip.

    "At least 45 short-nosed pilot whales beached were later confirmed dead on the coast of Tiruchendur," district collector M. Ravikumar said, adding that the pod may have been hit by a passing ship.

    About 50 whales altogether had become stranded, local forestry officer S.A. Raju said, while the Press Trust of India and other local media put the total number at more than 100.

    "It's very strange and we are examining the whales. We found some of the whales are still alive and struggling for their lives," Raju said.

    Raju added he and his team were seeking help from the district administration to try to rescue those still breathing.

    Fishermen and others were attempting to push those whales back into the water along the coast, located some 700 kilometers from the city of Chennai, local media reported.

    Fishermen raised the alarm after the whales, about 4.5 meters long, starting coming ashore......

    1. Massensterben in der Nordsee: Schon elf tote Wale...

      An der Nordseeküste ereignet sich ein regelrechtes Massensterben von Pottwalen: Innerhalb weniger Tage sind mindestens elf Pottwale verendet. Am Abend wurde mindestens ein Kadaver an einer Sandbank vor dem Leuchtfeuer Eversand in der Wesermündung gefunden. Fünf weitere Tiere starben nach einem stundenlangen Todeskampf in der Nacht zum Mittwoch an der Küste der niederländischen Wattenmeer-Insel Texel. Drei Pottwale kamen an der Küste Schleswig-Holsteins ums Leben, bereits am Freitag waren zwei Wale auf der ostfriesischen Insel Wangerooge gestrandet. Laut dem Wittmunder Walexperten Jan Herrmann ist es das bisher größte Walsterben vor den Küsten Deutschlands.....,walsterben100.html

  17. Algérie: sept morts dans l'incendie d'un complexe touristique...

    (Belga) Sept personnes sont mortes et une a été blessée dans un incendie qui a ravagé dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi une partie d'un complexe touristique dans la banlieue d'Alger, a annoncé mercredi la protection civile.

    Le sinistre s'est déclaré vers 2h30 dans un bungalow du complexe touristique Azur, dans la station balnéaire de Zeralda, à une vingtaine de kilomètres à l'ouest de la capitale, a indiqué cette source, citée par l'agence APS. La protection civile a précisé avoir mobilisé sept véhicules pour maîtriser le feu et dix ambulances pour évacuer les victimes. Elle n'a pas donné d'indications sur l'origine de l'incendie qui a été éteint vers 4h00. (Belga)

  18. A severe snowstorm and gusty wind were observed in the European part of Russia on January 12...

    According to weather forecasts, these meteorologic conditions can last up to three days. Weather conditions are determined by a powerful Atlantic cyclone. Flights were canceled en masse in Moscow because of snowfall, blizzard and squall wind up to 17 meters per second.


  19. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 rocked the Hokkaido region of northern Japan at 12:25 JST on Thursday, the weather agency said...

    According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the epicenter was located at Urakawa-Oki at a depth of 50 km.

    On the Japanese seismic scale of 7, the temblor registered a lower 5, with the tremor felt across the entire Hokkaido region and northern parts of Japan. No tsunami warning has been issued, the JMA said.

    On Monday, the northeast of Japan was also struck by an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 although no tsunami warning was issued. Meteorologists have noticed an increase of seismic activity in the north of Japan of late.

  20. Dike of Barrier Lake in Central China Collapses, Water Floods Village...

    Local officials said the dike of a barrier lake in Hubei Province collapsed on Thursday, with water flooding a nearby village. The lake is situated in Longfeng Township of Enshi City. It contains hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of water. As of press time, no casualties have been reported.

  21. Rare January hurricane over Atlantic...

    A sub-tropical storm over the Atlantic has become a hurricane, the first in January in the region since 1938.

    The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said the storm - "Alex" - was 785 miles (1,260km) south-west of the Azores, with winds up to 85 mph (140km/h).

    Storm Alex is moving north-east and is expected to hit the Azores on Friday, prompting a hurricane warning.

    It is one of the earliest tropical systems to form in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin since records began.....

  22. Zika Virus: A New Threat and a New Kind of Pandemic...

    The leader of infectious disease research in the U.S. government says that the pandemic of Zika virus spreading across the global south, which may be causing an epidemic of birth defects in South America, heralds a new kind of infectious disease threat. It is exploding at the same time and in the same areas as other diseases carried by the same vector, mosquitoes—and thus demonstrates that it is no longer enough to be prepared to counter one disease at a time.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, writes in a study released Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine with Dr. David Morens of NIAID that Zika arrives in the Americas on the heels of three other mosquito-borne diseases: West Nile virus, in the United States since 1999 and still causing cases; chikungunya, which has invaded the Caribbean and Central America; and dengue, which moved north from the tropics to become re-established in Florida.

    “Zika virus forces us to confront a potential new disease-emergence phenomenon: pandemic expansion of multiple, heretofore relatively unimportant arboviruses previously restricted to remote ecologic niches,” they write. “To respond, we urgently need research on these viruses and the ecologic, entomologic, and host determinants of viral maintenance and emergence. Also needed are better public health strategies to control arboviral spread.”......

    1. Hawaii baby with deformed head becomes first US case of mosquito-transmitted Zika virus...

      US health officials have confirmed that a baby born with brain damage in Hawaii tested positive for the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus that has been sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean. Pregnant women are advised to postpone traveling plans.

      Zika is believed to cause microcephaly, or a dramatically shrunken head, in newborns, which prevents babies’ brains from developing properly.

      There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus as of yet and what makes matters worse is that the symptoms in infected pregnant women are not that obvious: a slight fever, headaches and a rash that last up to a

    2. Brazil Zika outbreak: More babies born with birth defects...

      New figures from Brazil show a further rise in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads to mothers infected with the Zika virus.

      There have been 3,893 cases of microcephaly since October, when the authorities first noticed a surge, up from 3,500 in last week's report.

      Zika is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue and chikungunya.

      Brazil is experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika.

      The Zika virus has already killed five babies in the country, said the Health Ministry. Another 44 deaths are being investigated to determine if they were caused by Zika.

      Last week, Health Minister Marcelo Castro said a new testing kit was being developed to identify quickly the presence of either of the three viruses.

      He also announced extra funds to speed the development of a vaccine for Zika "in record time"......

  23. Nieva en Arabia Saudita por primera vez en 85 años ...

    Arabia Saudita ha registrado en los últimos dos días la primera nevada en 85 años, informa Europa Press. Los conductores de la carretera entre La Meca y Medina se vieron obligados a reducir la velocidad para no resbalar por el asfalto completamente cubierto de nieve.

    Los saudíes aprovecharon la oportunidad para sacar fotos de tan extraño fenómeno en la zona.....

  24. 8 Injured in 5.5 Magnitude Indonesia Quake ...

    A government official said eight people were hurt and about 120 houses damaged when a 5.5-magnitude earthquake shook remote eastern Indonesia on Sunday.

    The earthquake struck at a depth of 46km in the Banda Sea near the Maluku islands.

    Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency said there was no tsunami, but that the quake caused the injuries and damage on a small nearby island.

    No deaths were reported.

  25. Particles could reveal Pyramid’s secrets...

    EXPERTS have revealed new findings at two of Egypt’s famed pyramids, boosting efforts to unravel whether the ancient world’s iconic monuments contain secret chambers.

    For the past three months a team of researchers from Egypt, France, Canada and Japan have been scanning four pyramids with thermal cameras to see if they contain unknown structures or cavities.

    Operation ScanPyramids began on October 25 to search for hidden rooms inside Khufu — also known as the Great Pyramid — and Khafre in Giza and the Bent and Red pyramids in Dahshur, all south of Cairo.

    The project is expected to continue until the end of 2016, and applies a mix of infra-red thermography, muon radiography imaging and 3D reconstruction — all of which the researchers say are non-invasive and non-destructive techniques.

    On Sunday, experts revealed new findings on some of the limestone blocks that make up the western flank of the Red pyramid and northern flank of Khufu.....

  26. Florida tornado leaves multiple residents dead, injured...

    Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube says that two adults were killed and five people injured, including four children, when a tornado touched down in central Florida.

    Steube said two adults, their adult son, and their four grandchildren were inside the mobile home when the twister hit.....

  27. Heavy snow in eastern and northeastern Japan wreaked havoc with transportation systems and injured more than 100 people Monday as central Tokyo was blanketed with 6 cm.

    At least 30 people were sent to hospitals in Tokyo alone, and another 30 were reported injured in Saitama Prefecture, police and fire departments across the region

  28. Three people test positive for Zika virus in New York...

    Three people in New York have tested positive for the Zika virus, which has been blamed for a surge in babies born with abnormally small heads in Latin America, city officials said Friday.

    All three had traveled to areas outside the United States where the mosquito-borne ailment is spreading rapidly, the New York State Department of Health said, without specifying where.

    Officials said one person has completely recovered, while the others are still getting

  29. Schwerer Schneesturm an US-Ostküste: Wegen "Jonas" sollen alle zu Hause bleiben...

    Einer der schwersten Schneestürme der vergangenen Jahre hat den Osten der USA erreicht. Zehntausende Menschen sind ohne Strom. Auf den verschneiten und vereisten Straßen gab es zahlreiche Unfällen. Mehrere Menschen kamen ums Leben.

    Der angekündigte Schneesturm hat den Osten der USA erreicht. Medienberichten zufolge kamen mindestens acht Menschen bei witterungsbedingten Verkehrsunfällen ums Leben. Die Behörden befürchten bis zu 60 Zentimeter Neuschnee und forderten Millionen Menschen auf, sich in Sicherheit zu bringen.

    "Schwerer Schneefall, zunehmender Wind, Gefahr von Blitzeinschlägen", twitterte der Wetterdienst NWS und warnte vor "einer Bedrohung für Leben und Besitztümer". Die Blizzard-Warnung galt für ein Gebiet von Washington bis New York. Bis zu 85 Millionen US-Bürger - rund ein Viertel der Gesamtbevölkerung - könnten betroffen sein. Tausende Flüge wurden gestrichen.....

  30. Thousands on Evacuation Alert as Mexico Volcanoes Spew Ash...

    Families living near Popocatépetl are on evacuation alert after the mile high plume began.

    The volcano , located 35 miles from Mexico City, is showing warning signs for its first eruption since 2000.

    If it went up again, an estimated nine million could be in the blast zone.

    Another Mexican volcano, Colima, could be about to blow for the first time in 100 years after expelling a 1.8 mile high cloud of smoke and ash.

  31. Rio announces plans to prevent Zika virus spread ahead of Olympics...

    Alarm over thousands of birth defects blamed on the mosquito-borne Zika virus spread Saturday, as the United States expanded a travel warning for pregnant women.

    With the sting of a mosquito bite and a fever, many pregnant women may not know that they caught the Zika virus -- until it strikes their unborn child.

    Now authorities in some Latin American countries are warning women to avoid getting pregnant for fear of the virus.

    Babies across the region, and at least one in the United States, have been born with abnormally smaller heads -- a condition doctors call microcephaly, which can cause brain damage.

    The scare has struck hardest in Brazil, which hosts the summer Olympic Games in August.

    Authorities in the city announced plans to prevent the spread of the virus by ordering inspections of Olympic facilities four months before the Games to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds..........

  32. Temporal de nieve azota el oeste y el centro de Japón...

    Un temporal dejó hoy nevadas de hasta 74 centímetros en zonas del oeste y el centro de Japón y causó la cancelación de numerosos vuelos así como la reducción de la velocidad en algunas líneas del tren bala nipón.

    La Agencia Meteorológica de Japón prevé que el temporal se prolongue hasta el lunes en el oeste y en el centro del país y anunció que habrá nuevas interrupciones en el tráfico.

  33. A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has led to more than 50 deaths in Taiwan and stranded at least 60,000 tourists in South Korea.

    Taiwanese media reported a rash of deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend.

    Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights.

    The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan.....

  34. Erdbeben vor der marokkanischen Mittelmeerküste...

    Angaben des Nationalen Geografie-Instituts in Spanien hatte es eine Stärke von 6,3. Es folgte ein Nachbeben der Stärke 5,3. In der spanischen Nordafrika-Exklave Melilla entstanden am Montag einzelne Gebäudeschäden. Wie die Behörden mitteilten, wurden weder in Melilla noch auf dem südspanischen Festland Menschen verletzt.

    Die US-Erdbebenwarte USGS und das Geoforschungszentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam gaben die Stärke mit 6,1 an. Das Erdbeben ereignete sich den Angaben aus Potsdam zufolge in zehn Kilometern Tiefe, das Zentrum lag 160 Kilometer südöstlich von Gibraltar.

    In Melilla ordneten die Behörden an, dass die Schulen am Montag geschlossen bleiben sollen. Es müsse zuerst geprüft werden, ob die Schulgebäude ernsthaft beschädigt worden seien. Die Erdstöße waren auf dem spanischen Festland in der gesamten Region Andalusien zu spüren. In der Hafenmetropole Malaga und den Urlaubergebieten an der Costa del Sol wurden viele Menschen aus dem Schlaf gerissen.

  35. No reports of casualties, major damage after Spain earthquake...

    There were no immediate reports of any casualties or major damage across Spain's southern coast early on Monday after a major earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck about 162 km (100 miles) southeast of Malaga.

    The quake hit at 11.22 p.m. ET on Sunday (0422 GMT), the Spanish National Geographic Institute said, and was followed by six lesser aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey had earlier reported the tremor had a magnitude of 6.6 and was registered at 33 km (20 miles) deep.

    Emergency services in the southern region of Andalucia said in a statement on their Twitter feed they had received 250 calls from alarmed residents.

    The tremors and aftershocks were felt throughout the region, including in the cities of Malaga, Cordoba, Seville and Granada.

    In Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast, emergency services said they had received more than 200 calls from people warning of damage to properties. Schools would remain shut on Monday so buildings could be inspected.

    Media in Melilla said power was being restored to areas where it had been cut.

  36. Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano Eruption Prompts Authorities to Shut Down Airport Operations...

    Authorities temporarily shut down operations of airport of the central Mexican city of Puebla as ashes from the Popocatepetl volcano have rained down. Four explosions and 39 low-intensity exhalations of ash were recorded between Sunday and Monday at the 5,452-meter volcano. Puebla state civil protection department director Jesus Morales said airport operations would be closed for three hours so workers could remove ash from the runway.

  37. Deadly landslide at planned French nuclear waste site...

    One person died and another was left seriously injured on Tuesday after a landslide at a planned underground nuclear waste site in France.

    The deadly landslide occurred in an underground laboratory site at Bure in the Meuse department.

    The two people involved in the incident were in a tunnel currently being dug at the site, a spokesman for the emergency services said.

    Officials said no nuclear waste was at the site at the time of the incident.

    Psychological counselling was offered to employees at the facility.

    The site is managed by the National Agency for the Management of Nuclear Waste (Andra) and is designed to hold waste 500 metres underground, once it opens for use.

    The project is still in a testing stage with scientists examining whether the most toxic nuclear waste could be contained safely underground.

    Known as Cigeo, the project is still awaiting approval from the French parliament.....

  38. Brazilian mine that caused environmental disaster has another spill...

    The Samarco mine in the southeastern city of Mariana, where last November a huge toxic waste spill caused Brazil's worst environmental disaster, has had a new spill although no victims have been reported, the company announced Wednesday.

    The new landslide is of smaller proportions than the November incident and involves residues that remained at the site after the earlier spill - with 19 people confirmed dead or still missing - caused irreparable damage to the environment.

  39. Japanese space agency on Thursday released a global forest map free of charge by using its radar Earth observation satellite, which may help prevent global warming through understanding of forest distribution...

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) "developed a whole-globe forest map of 25-meter resolution, 'Global Forest/Non-forest map,' using the DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) launched on May 24, 2014, and released it from today free of charge," said JAXA in a release on Thursday.

    In recent years, deforestation has been expanding in tropical and sub-tropical areas and is widely deemed as one of the causes of global warming. Therefore, many governments in the world place priority on understanding forest areas and maintaining them as important measures against global warming for political decisions.......

  40. Venezuela announces 4,500 suspected cases of zika...

    A total of 4,500 suspected cases of the zika virus have been detected in Venezuela, the country's Health Minister Luisana Melo revealed on Thursday.

    The minister also announced the start of a national action plan against zika, dengue and chikungunya in 590 community health units across the country. All three viruses are carried by the same mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

    This plan will seek to halt the spread of the epidemic in two phases, vigilance in eradicating potential mosquito breeding sites and reducing potential contamination, and rolling out treatment mechanisms where needed.

    "Only a very small percentage of cases can present neurological complications," explained Melo.

    According to the government, the worst hit are the western state of Zulia, the eastern state of Sucre and the southeastern state of Bolivar.......

  41. Rescuers on Friday pulled out four miners who had spent 36 days trapped underground in a collapsed mine in China, state media reported...

    The gypsum mine in east China's Shandong province collapsed on Christmas Day, killing one and leaving 17 missing, including the four survivors. In the days that followed, rescuers detected the four 200 metres (660 feet) below the surface.

    Eleven other people in the mine made it to safety or were rescued earlier.

    Earlier on January 4, rescuers dropped provisions to the four Chinese mine workers. The same narrow opening used for the cameras was used to deliver bottles of nutritional liquid, which would have to float on water toward the trapped men.

    Rescuers initially believed they had found eight trapped survivors but were able to make contact with only four......


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