South Africa: 110 degrees Fahrenheit
Siberia: -72 degrees Fahrenheit
record level of water pollution on Chinaís Yellow River is threatening
the already low supply of drinking water along the countryís second-longest
The Xinhua news
agency reported that nearly 20 percent of the 3,400-mile river has been subjected
to heavy pollution, prompting officials to rely solely on reservoirs for drinking
water. Huge amounts of waste flowing into the Yellow River from tributaries
in northern Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces have contributed to the growing contamination.
Climate change in the headwaters of the river is also threatening to dry up
the waterway along some of its upper stretches.
gases emitted during another eruption of Mexicoís Vulcan de Fuego prompted
officials to evacuate more than 100 residents from around the mountainís flanks.
The 12,500-foot volcano discharged a cloud of smoke and ash three miles high
into the skies of western Mexico along the border of Jalisco and Mexico states.
Mount Etna spewed another burst of ash and lava as scientists announced they
had discovered a new crack along one side of its crater. International experts
discovered the fracture on the craterís southeastern flank soon after lava
began flowing down Etnaís slopes. The crack apparently means the crater is
cyclone Rona formed over the warm waters of the Coral Sea and threatened to
strike Australiaís Queensland coast at the weekend.
A cyclone watch
was in effect for coastal and island communities between Cape Tribulation
highest flood waters to strike Australiaís eastern Queensland coast
in 100 years swept four people to their deaths and inundated homes and businesses
in the city of Gympie.
and mudslides in the southern Philippines killed at least 20 people and forced
more than 400,000 others from their homes on the island of Mindanao.
least 10 people were killed in the French Alps when a huge avalanche
crashed down on the village of Le Tour, pulverizing a group of chalets.
was only one of several snow slides that blocked rail and road links across
the Alpine region. Austrian army helicopters were dispatched to bring relief
and food supplies to the 25,000 motorists and residents who became stranded
due to snowbound mountain roads.
most powerful earthquake so far this year struck a remote region of the Pacific
Ocean near the Solomon Islands. There were no reports of injuries or
damage from the magnitude 7.3 temblor.
were also felt in Sumatra, southern Japan, Russiaís Kamchatka
Peninsula, western Greece, northern Italy, western Colombia
and in southern and western parts of Mexico.
rat disaster warning went into effect in the northern Chinese region
of Ningxia as the areaís burgeoning rat population is poised to once again
devour millions of pounds of grain.
Last year, 92
million pounds of grain were lost due to the infestation. An estimated 576,000
acres of farmland were ravaged in 1997 by the rodents. The rats are known
to store stolen grain for the winter months, prompting local residents to
dig for the buried caches of grain. Experts predict that the rat plague will
continue to grow due to the decline of the rodentsí natural predators, such
as cats, foxes, snakes and eagles.
camel is blamed for causing a car accident that killed five people on a Saudi
The animal, which
had already been struck and injured while wandering on the country's Taef-Riyadh
highway, loomed up in front of a second vehicle, causing it to swerve into
an oncoming car. Wandering camels are a growing problem for motorists in Gulf
countries. Official statistics show that an average of five people die every
month in accidents caused by camels in Saudi Arabia alone.
Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency, U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake
Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.