Archive | February 14, 2016

MASSIVE – 150,000 penguins die after giant iceberg becomes grounded in Antarctica

An estimated 150,000 Adelie penguins living in Antarctica have died after an iceberg the size of Rome became grounded near their colony, forcing them to trek 60km to the sea for food.
The penguins of Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay used to live close to a large body of open water. However, in 2010 a colossal iceberg measuring 2,900 square kilometres became trapped in the bay, rendering the colony effectively landlocked.
Penguins seeking food must now waddle 60km to the coast to fish. Over the years, the arduous journey has had a devastating effect on the size of the colony.
Since 2011 the colony of 160,000 penguins has shrunk to just 10,000, according to research carried out by the Climate Change Research Centre at Australia’s University of New South Wales. Scientists predict the colony will be gone in 20 years unless the sea ice breaks up or the giant iceberg, dubbed B09B, is dislodged.
Penguins have been recorded in the area for more than 100 years. But the outlook for the penguins remaining at Cape Denison is dire.
“The arrival of iceberg B09B in Commonwealth Bay, East Antarctica, and subsequent fast ice expansion has dramatically increased the distance Adélie penguins breeding at Cape Denison must travel in search of food,” said the researchers in an article in Antarctic Science.
“The Cape Denison population could be extirpated within 20 years unless B09B relocates or the now perennial fast ice within the bay breaks out”
“This has provided a natural experiment to investigate the impact of iceberg stranding events and sea ice expansion along the East Antarctic coast.”
In contrast, a colony located just 8km from the coast of Commonwealth Bay is thriving, the researchers said.
The iceberg had apparently been floating close to the coast for 20 years before crashing into a glacier and becoming stuck.
Courtesy of

Tropical Cyclone Winston targets Tonga

Cyclone Alert

Tropical Cyclone Winston continues to gain strength as it meanders towards Tonga. Meanwhile, a final warning was issued for Tropical Cyclone Tatiana as the system weakened in the Coral Sea.
Winston is currently located around 800km to the southwest of Suva, Fiji. It has sustained winds of 140km per hour with gusts as high as 165km/h.
That makes it equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The system is expected to steadily weaken over the next 12 hours, reducing its intensity to tropical storm status.
It is moving east at around 25km/h and is expected just to the north Tonga on Thursday. By that time it is expected to re-strengthen into a Category 1 storm.
Flooding is likely as the system will bring heavy and steady rains with it along with those increasing winds. Some parts are likely to see 150mm to 200mm of rain by the middle of the week.
Ahead of that, there are also flood concerns for Fiji over the next 48 hours. Here a flood alert remains in force for all low-lying areas along Rakiraki river, including Rakiraki town.
Courtesy of

Major fire erupts for at least 4th time at east side petroleum plant in Ohio, USA

Petroleum plant fire for web.jpg
Credit: Geoffrey Cowles
Officials are investigating a fire that happened at a petroleum plant on the city’s east side early Sunday morning.
The blaze happened at the Heartland Petroleum Plant on East 5th Avenue when investigators said an oil leak might have caused the incident around 2:30 a.m. Officials said the leak, which was initially reported as an explosion, likely happened due to equipment failure.
An official said it’s at least the fourth time he’s been on scene at the plant for similar occurrences, which allowed fire crews to put out the flames safely.
Hazmat crews as well as the Ohio EPA were on scene assessing the situation and trying to minimize the pollution.
The process to extract the oil requires it to be heated up and pushed through a pipeline. Sometimes the pressure is too much and causes the oil to escape and catch fire.
Box 15 volunteers were on scene to assist firefighters to help them stay warm and nourished.
Courtesy of

Ski bus catches fire with no injuries en route to Mount Baker, USA

Fire Alert_1

A ski bus on its way to Mount Baker caught fire Saturday morning, the Washington State Patrol said.
Middle-school aged students leaving from Everett were on a charter bus headed to the ski resort, and all managed to escape without injury before the bus was consumed by flames on State Route 542 around 9 a.m.
According to a parent, one of the students saw the bus smoking and alerted the driver. It wasn’t until after they had pulled over and got off the bus that it burst into flames.
Troopers believe a mechanical issue sparked the fire, possibly an oil leak, but are still investigating.
“We know that it’s possibly an oil leak, there is visible oil on the roadway for quite sometime,” WSP’s Heather Axtman told KOMO News. “Nothing that is of great concern, but eventually lead to occupants seeing smoke coming from the bus, and eventually flames.”
Mount Baker Highway was blocked as emergency crews doused the fire, leaving drivers unable to reach the mountain.
The road near milepost 51 was shutdown in both directions while the tow company worked to removed the charred bus off the two-lane highway. It has since reopened to traffic.
A second bus took the kids to the resort where they enjoyed a big day on the mountain. Staff at the resort offered up free lunch and gear for those who lost their ski gear in the flames.
The students are part of the Mount Baker Ski Club, and the bus is owned by All Adventures Charter Tours.
Courtesy of

Heat wave on the horizon for Israel

Heatwave Alert

Today is expected to continue to be sunny and mild with temperatures similar to what Israel experienced over the weekend.
High temperatures will reach the low twenty degrees celsius across the country, and the lows over night will remain in the between 10 and 13 degrees celsius depending upon the location. A light fog is expected during the morning hours in the coastal region and northern Negev as well as sporadic fog in the Galilee.
However, as of Monday, Israel will experience an uncharacteristically hot few days over the upcoming week.
Due to a southwestern warm front that will settle over Israel, temperatures will rise and culminate around the 30 degree mark in the coastal area towards the end of the week. The humidity during the heatwave will drop significantly, causing the heatwave to feel very dry.
Courtesy of

Major Fire At Chemical Warehouse In RAK, United Arab Emirates

A major fire broke out yesterday morning in a chemical warehouse in Ras Al Khaimah.
A source at the Civil Defence in Ras Al Khaimah said fire engines and rescue patrols rushed to the site after the operations room received a call about the fire, ‘Emarat Al Youm’ reports.
He added that Civil Defence teams were able to control the fire and prevent it from spreading to neighbouring factories.
He explained that it took about two hours to extinguish the flames and that there were no injuries.
Courtesy of

British Indie Band Killed In Car Bridge Plunge In Sweden

Viola Beach die in car crash
The band’s car crashed through a motorway bridge barrier and plunged over 80ft into a canal near the Swedish capital Stockholm
All four members of British indie band Viola Beach and their manager have been killed after their car plunged off a bridge in Sweden.
Their Nissan Qashqai crashed through a motorway bridge barrier at Sodertalje and fell more than 80ft into a canal.
Police divers recovered the bodies of singer Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and the band’s manager Craig Tarry, from the water, around 40km (25 miles) from Stockholm.
Viola Beach. Picture: Georgia Park
The Warrington group had played a gig at the Where Is The Music? festival in Norrkoping, Sweden, on Friday night.
They were due back in the UK to play in Guildford, Surrey, on Saturday night.
British band The Enemy wrote: “RIP Viola Beach and their manager. Such incredibly tragic and sad news. Thought with the friends and families of all involved x.”
The Coral’s James Skelly posted: “So sorry to hear about viola beach and Craig Tarry’s accident so sad, their families must be devastated.”
Gemma Hepworth, a friend of Mr Tarry, said he was a life-long Manchester City fan who “never gave up on his dream” of working in the music industry.
She said friends would be paying tribute to him by clapping in the fifth minute at City’s game against Tottenham today.
British band Viola Beach performing on Friday 12 February Pic: postcardpictures
Mr Tarry’s family said they were “devastated” and “grieving the loss of their son and also for the other families involved in this tragic accident”.
Mr Reeve’s family said in a statement: “We are all heartbroken following River’s tragic death and the circumstances which have seen him lose his life alongside the band-mates and manager he adored and loved being with.
“Viola Beach were on such an exciting journey and River could not have been happier. He would have loved to have stuck around for the party.”
Swedish musician Fet Poet, whose band Psykofant played at the same gig on Friday, said he was devastated when he heard they had died.
He told Sky News: “We were sitting in the dressing room, and the door opened and these four very British lads fell in. It was like a scene from A Hard Day’s Night with The Beatles.
His band-mate John Olsson said Mr Tarry, 32, had not been drinking at the event because he was driving.
The band’s car crashed through a barrier after the bridge – at the Saltskogs junction, between the E4 and the E20 motorways – opened to let a boat pass.
The bridge has a middle section that rises upwards, leaving a gap that the car drove into.
Officers said a barrier, 50 metres before the gap, has flashing lights and signs warning there is a bridge opening.
Swedish police spokesman Martin Bergholm said: “For some reason, the car drove through the barriers and crashed down into the canal.”
Courtesy of Sky News


Subject To Change

Depth: 412 km

Distances: 321km (199mi) SSW of Hachijo-jima, Japan
467km (290mi) SE of Shingu, Japan
480km (298mi) S of Oyama, Japan
484km (301mi) S of Shimoda, Japan
602km (374mi) S of Tokyo, Japan