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Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Click on any icon for more information
By Steve Newman - May 14, 1999 - Click any icon

Temperature Extremes
High temperatureLow temperature
High temperature for the week:
Sibi, Pakistan
118 degrees Fahrenheit
Low temperature for the week:
Vostok (Russia), Antarctica
-106 degrees Fahrenheit


War Pollution
WarAuthorities in Belgrade have banned fishing in the famed Danube River due to pollution caused by NATO's bombing of nearby chemical plants.

Yugoslav officials have deemed the situation an "ecological disaster." The neighboring Tamis River has also been declared off limits to fishermen. Eating fish caught in both rivers can be extremely dangerous to human health, according to the country's public health officials. There is no word on what effect the current military action in Yugoslavia is having on the region's other wildlife.

Cloning Proposal
Big CatScientists believe they can use cloning to bring back the legendary Tasmanian tiger, thought extinct for more than 60 years.

Australian Museum director Michael Archer says a live clone could be created from DNA taken from a preserved baby tiger found in a basement storage room in the museum. The 133-year-old specimen was mistakenly preserved in alcohol, rather than Formalin, which would have destroyed the DNA used for cloning purposes. The tiger was driven to extinction by hunters who considered the animal a threat to their livestock.


Tornado Season
TornadoAt least six people were injured and another left missing after a series of tornadoes struck central Texas.

The worst-hit area was the region near the Mason-Llano county line where several homes and buildings were damaged. Hail associated with one of the twisters was reported to be two inches in diameter.

A swarm of tornadoes that lashed Cuba's Matanzas Province claimed five lives and destroyed 550 homes, the country's Radio Rebelde reported.


Hawaii Landslide
LandslideA deadly landslide that tore through a lush Hawaii state park killed seven people and injured at least 50 others.

Dozens of people were sunning themselves on the Mother's Day holiday near a 90-foot waterfall in Sacred Falls State Park on the northeast coast of the island of Oahu when boulders, some the size of small cars, came crashing down.


EarthquakeAt least 27 people were killed and hundreds of others injured after a powerful earthquake followed by 50 aftershocks rocked southern Iran. Most of the victims were buried under the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings in several cities of the southern Fars province.

Earth movements were also felt in Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and Japan's Hokkaido Island.


Mexican Eruption
VolcanoEight hundred people were evacuated from four communities near Mexico's Volcan de Fuego following a volcanic explosion that sent ash and steam shooting three miles into the sky.

No damage or injuries were reported, but authorities evacuated local residents living near the 13,068-foot volcano on the border between Colima and Jalisco states. Officials said about 15,000 people live in potentially dangerous areas should there be a violent eruption.


Flooding Fears
FloodRecent record rains in Switzerland have brought the water level in the Rhine River to its highest point in nearly a century.

Residents of the city of Basel, which is divided by the Rhine, fear destructive flooding with the river predicted to burst its banks at the end of the week. City officials have rushed to place sandbags along the banks to fight back the surging river. An extremely wet spring and a heavy melt have added to an already high water level.


Bee Spill
BeeA truck carrying millions of bees overturned on a Maine highway, leaving its cargo buzzing around the wreckage and closing down the roadway for nearly eight hours.

"There was one big swarm of bees over the truck, like a big black cloud," said Patrolman Edward Roberge of the police department in Falmouth, Maine, where the accident took place.

Firefighters sprayed the scattered hives with water to calm the bees as they loaded the spilled containers onto another truck.

"The bees think it's raining and they won't leave the hives," Roberge said.


Additional Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency, U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.
Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

Cloning War Flood Landslide Tornado Low Temperature Extremes High Temperature Extreme Volcanic Eruption Volcano Eruption Killer Bees Tornado Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake Earthquake
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