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NATURE
Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Back from Extinction Tornado Asian Wildfires Killing Heat Rabid Dog Attacks Runaway cow Tropical Storm Kate Tropical Storm Leo Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Eruption Earthquake Earthquake High Temperature Extreme Low Temperature Extreme Click on any icon for more information

By Steve Newman - April 30, 1999 - Click any icon

High Temperature Extreme
High temperatureKassala, Sudan: 115 degrees Fahrenheit

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Low Temperature Extreme
Low temperatureVostok (Russia), Antarctica: -107 degrees Fahrenheit

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New Volcano
New volcanoResearchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have discovered an active underwater volcano in the waters of the easternmost Samoan Islands.

The 14,100-foot volcano is 2,000 feet beneath the Pacific, and its crater is one mile across. The volcano was named Fa’afafine, a Samoan word that loosely translated means “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” It seemed an appropriate name to Woods Hole scientists since the size of the volcano was a surprise and wasn’t at all what it appeared to be.

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Back From Extinction
FishA species of fish thought extinct for 85 years has reappeared in the southern waters of the Great Australian Bight, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

Studies on six of the pale-pink fish found in the ocean have determined that they are the giant roughie, or giant sawbelly, not seen by scientists since 1914. The fish, determined to be 50 years old, live in darkness about 1,000 feet beneath the surface.

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Tornadoes
TornadoAt least three people were killed, 197 others injured and more than 5,000 homes destroyed when a tornado pummeled the southern Chinese province of Hunan.

Thousands of residents in Anxiang county were left homeless after the twister and accompanying downpours destroyed 5,100 homes and unleashed extensive flooding.

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Tropical Storms
Tropical StormJapan’s southernmost islands were skirted by tropical storm Kate.

Tropical storm Leo formed off the coast of Vietnam and was predicted to pass near China’s Hainan Island late in the week.

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Rabid Dog Attacks
DogAt least 17 people were hospitalized in northern Egypt after being attacked by a pack of rabid dogs.

The sneak attack occurred when the feral canines raced out of a cemetery in the town of Arab al-Ayayda and stormed the group of visitors. Local residents attempted to scare the animals away with stones and knives but could not prevent the onslaught. Police managed to kill two of the animals but the rest of the pack eluded capture.

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Earthquakes
EarthquakeAt least two miners became trapped after a mine shaft in the South African town of Welcom caved in following a magnitude 4.2 earthquake.

Earth movements were also felt in eastern Romania and Moldova, two points in eastern Japan, Taiwan, southwestern Mexico and central Oregon.

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Asian Wildfires Return
A widening forest fire in Indonesian Borneo’s West Kalimantan province has caused a sharp rise in air pollution and prompted fresh health concerns about the intensifying haze.

The blaze, outside the provincial capital city of Palankaraya, was started during a land-clearing operation. The resulting smoke cloud has spread to surrounding countries and caused health and transportation problems similar to those that resulted from last year’s devastating firestorms in the same area.

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Killing Heat
HeatA severe heat wave lingering across parts of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan has claimed at least 68 lives and triggered widespread forest fires in the northern Himalayas.

Indian meteorologists warned that temperatures soaring well above 110 degrees Fahrenheit could continue until the southwest monsoon rains set in across the subcontinent in late May or early June.

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Liberty
CowAn English cow dodged death in Devon, England, by charging slaughterhouse workers and fleeing across town.

The young cow, now named Liberty, was chased through the streets by police and a helicopter crew who were unable to capture her. The chase continued until Liberty was found trying to trick her pursuers by hiding in a herd of other cows. Her plight attracted the attention of an animal rights group which paid the slaughterhouse 1,000 pounds to free the animal. Liberty will spend the rest of her life in an animal sanctuary where more than 500 other animals live in peace.

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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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