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NATURE
Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Deforestation Victims Record Heat Storms Earthquake Species Confusion Drought Blaze Earthquake Earthquake Eruption Bangladesh Twister Earthquake Earthquake High Temperature Extreme Low Temperature Extreme Click on any icon for more information

By Steve Newman - April 16, 1999 - Click any icon

High temperature

High Temperature Extreme

Low temperature
Low Temperature Extreme
Fire

Wildfires

Heat Record Heat
Lightning Bengal Storms Tiger Deforestation Victims
Earthquakes Earthquakes Spring Twisters
Volcano Eruption Pig Species Confusion

High Temperature Extreme
High temperatureNawabshah, Pakistan: 113 degrees Fahrenheit

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Low Temperature Extreme
Low temperatureVostok (Russia), Antarctica: -103 degrees Fahrenheit

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Wildfires
FireWindy and dry weather raised the threat of wildfires across the southeastern United States, where flames have already charred thousands of acres of forest and brush.

Residents of 60 homes near the western North Carolina town of Wilkesboro were placed under an evacuation order as a large forest fire raced through the area. Florida Governor Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency after an index of fire potential in the state rose above 600 on a scale where 400 denotes significant danger. The state was ravaged by massive blazes last summer.

Cuban firefighters brought one of the countryís largest forest fires on record under control, but not before it had devastated 19,770 acres of pine and eucalyptus forest in Pinar del Rio province.

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Record Heat
HeatBlistering temperatures were recorded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 8 with midday heat in the shade reaching 111 degrees Fahrenheit.

The maximum was the highest reached for the month of April since reliable records began in 1974. The previous record was 110 degrees in 1980. Such high readings are normally expected during the summer months when large parts of the Arabian peninsula regularly reach 122 degrees.

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Bengal Storms
LightningAt least 12 people are dead, hundreds of others injured and dozens left missing after three days of severe storms in southern Bangladesh.

The storms pounded the region with heavy rainfall and winds up to 60 mph. Power poles were uprooted and homes flattened by the powerful gales, according to Moyezuddin Khan, District Commissioner of Bhola district on the southern coast.

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Deforestation Victims
TigerChina now has fewer than 20 Siberian tigers living in its wilderness and researchers blame their disappearance on a loss of habitat caused by deforestation.

The latest findings emerged from a two-month joint study by wildlife experts from China, the United States and Russia. The study focused on the major tiger habitats of Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in northeastern China. Heilongjiang has only five to eight wild Siberian tigers, with about 10 living in the wild of neighboring Jilin.

Earthquakes
EarthquakesTwo days of minor tremors in metropolitan Los Angeles rattled nerves and set off car alarms, but caused no significant damage.

Earth movements were also felt in northern Tunisia, northern Greece, Taiwan and Fiji.

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Spring Twisters
At least six people were killed, dozens hospitalized and hundreds of homes destroyed after a tornado packing winds of more than 250 mph cut a 25-block swath of destruction through Cincinnatiís northeastern suburbs.

Tornadoes, hail and thunderstorms also pounded six other Midwestern states.

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Eruption
VolcanoMolten lava flowing from Mount Cameroon missed the homes of 1,000 people who had been evacuated after the volcano began erupting on March 28.

Residents of Bakinguili and Batoke had been ordered to leave when a river of lava began moving toward their homes. But the molten rock shifted direction and headed toward the Atlantic Ocean, away from populated areas of the west-central African nation. Recent eruptions have contaminated water and caused hazardous air pollution.

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Species Confusion
PigA Spanish pig that had been raised as a dog went into a depression when it was forced to live with other pigs, Madridís daily El Mundo reported.

The owners of the 176-pound male pig Trufo had treated it like a pet dog, walking it on a leash, feeding it milk and biscuits, washing it with shampoo and teaching it to sit on its back feet. But when the owners moved to France, the one-year-old porker was left at a pig farm near Madrid where it fell into a month-long depression because it could not stand the bad smells and the pig fodder. Trufo was finally cheered up by the arrival of a female and assumed his role as a pig. But he still expects to be kissed goodnight, the newspaper reported.

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Additional Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency, U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.

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