By Steve Newman - October 16, 1998 - Click on any icon
The fires were racing through the Sikhote-Alin wildlife reserve, about 4,000 miles east of Moscow. The sanctuary is the main breeding ground for the big cats. Only about 450 of the animals exist, down from 1,000 at the turn of the century, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. A fire official in the region said that wind was pushing the fires up the mountains and driving tigers out of their habitat.
Environment ministry workers have collected about 300 dead birds at Lake Yurria in Queretaro state, according to a report in the daily La Jornada. Boating and fishing have been banned on the lake, located about 125 miles northwest of Mexico City, until the reasons for the large number of deaths is determined. Antonio Muñoz Mosqueda, a state environmental official, said the deaths may have been caused by reduced oxygen in the lakes water. A drought earlier this year allowed weeds to spread across the lake bed, depleting the oxygen when the organic material decomposed.
Earth movements were also felt in eastern Taiwan, western Iran, southern Nicaragua and around the Chilean capital of Santiago.
The storm cut power in parts of Luzon and caused flash flooding that forced thousands from their homes. Three people died in southern Taiwan when they were swept out to sea by heavy surf generated by Zeb. Tropical storm Alex was weakened just to the east of Zeb as outflowing winds from the typhoon caused the storm to sheer apart.
The collapse was caused by the natural cooling of material that had built up inside the volcano rather than increased volcanic activity.
Authorities had recently allowed residents to return to devastated communities on the island to clean up the massive deposits of ash left from the last two years of eruptions and rebuild. It is still believed that the Soufriere Hills Volcano is entering an extended period of dormancy.
Fires which began around the Israeli port of Haifa spread northward into Lebanon, burning near 85 percent of that countrys pine forest and destroying several homes. Some of the fires caused mines to explode in abandoned mine fields in Israel, as well as in areas where they were buried during Lebanons civil war. Five Arab youths confessed to starting some of the forest fires in northern Israel to avenge police aggression against Arab demonstrators during a recent land dispute.
Called crazy ants by farmers in Santander and Boyaca provinces, the ants are especially hard to kill because they make their nests under stones and branches and beneath the tiles of farmhouse roofing. Beyond the crops already destroyed, the ants threaten to consume another 100,000 acres of farmland. Many of the regions farmers, powerless to protect their land from the insect invasion, have abandoned their properties. The ants also attack animals, clinging to their nostril hairs and often causing death by asphyxiation.
Additional Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency, U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.
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