A massive underwater volcano that erupted just before sundown Friday sent waves several feet high smashing into the shores of the Pacific island nation of Tonga and triggered tsunami advisories from Australia to Canada, including the U.S. West Coast.
Plumes from the explosion reached more than 12 miles above sea level, according to the Tonga Geological Services. At its widest, the cloud caused by the ash and steam reached about 150 miles across, making it easily seen from satellites.
In Tonga, home to 105,000 people, the extent of the injuries and damage caused were still largely unknown. Communications were disrupted for hours, according to the Associated Press.
Waves flooded parts of the capital Nuku’alofa — just 40 miles from the site of the eruption — including parts of the grounds at the Royal Palace, according to Radio New Zealand.
On Twitter, a Tonga resident named Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau posted a video on Saturday showing feet-high waves washing across a road into homes.
The activity from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano continued into Saturday morning with another, less powerful 10- to 15-minute-long eruption, according to the Tonga Geological Service.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — By now, you probably have heard about the winter storm system that is eyeing the east Sunday into Monday.
An important thing to remember is that the main energy of this system is still out in the Pacific Ocean.
When the energy is out that far, there are things we can see, but there are many that we can’t. Once this “low” comes on the shore, we will have the opportunity to gather a lot more data from weather balloons and surface instruments.
This will allow us to tighten up the projected path and have a better idea of how this will impact the Pittsburgh area.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan can now give defense equipment and technology to Vietnam under an agreement signed Saturday, as the two countries step up their military cooperation amid worries about China’s growing military influence.
Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the deal elevates their defense partnership “to a new level” and that Japan and Vietnam plan to deepen defense ties through multinational joint exercises and other means. Details about the transfer of specific equipment, including naval vessels, will be worked out in subsequent talks, the ministry said.
Kishi’s meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Phan Van Giang, in Hanoi coincided with a two-day visit to the Vietnamese capital by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He wrapped up his visit by saying China plans to donate 3 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to Vietnam.
The agreement comes two weeks after the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris travelled to Vietnam to strengthen ties with the Southeast Asian nation. During the tour, Harris urged countries to stand up against “bullying” by China in the South China Sea.
“We must be willing to make the changes that we know may not necessarily have changed history, but could change the future,” she said at a news briefing.
The man, a Sri Lankan national, stabbed seven people in a supermarket. Three of them are in a critical condition.
The attacker, a known supporter of Islamic State, was shot dead by police.
He has now been identified as Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old Tamil, who arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and sought refugee status.
Ms Ardern, who described the stabbings as a “terrorist attack”, said she expected that changes to the country’s counter-terrorism legislation would be backed by parliament by the end of September.The legislation is expected to make it easier to convict someone for planning a terror attack.
Samsudeen had been arrested a number of times before Friday’s incident. But Ms Ardern said that every legal avenue to keep him out of the community had been exhausted.
Jacinda Ardern announced that all New Zealand will be in the toughest, level-four lockdown for at least three days.
New Zealand was ordered into a strict nationwide lockdown Tuesday — after just one COVID-19 case was detected.
It was the first locally transmitted infection in the community in six months.
“The best thing we can do to get out of this as quickly as we can is to go hard,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a televised national address.
“We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance,” she insisted.
Ardern announced that all New Zealand will be in the toughest, level-four lockdown for at least three days from Wednesday, with schools, offices and businesses closed and only essential services operational.
The biggest city, Auckland — where the unidentified 58-year-old man tested positive — would have a longer, seven-day lockdown, as would Coromandel, a coastal town where the infected person spent time.
A cargo ship ran aground and broke into two off northern Japan, the coast guard said Thursday, with the crew of the Panama-flagged vessel taken to safety. Aerial images showed the separated stern of the Crimson Polaris tipped upwards and the other part of the stricken boat listing into the sea.
A fuel leak from the ship has spread around 15 miles, a coastguard spokesman told AFP, but the extent of any environmental impact was unclear.
Human waste and sewage from hundreds of Chinese ships anchored in the South China Sea and parts of the West Philippine Sea are causing massive marine damage to the resource-rich waters, a US-based expert said Monday.Liz Derr, founder and CEO of Simularity, which specializes in geospatial analysis and provides satellite data imagery, revealed that Chinese ships have been dumping raw sewage every day for several years on reefs, creating harmful Chlorophyll-a blooms in the waters.
“It is so intense you can see it from space,” Derr told an online forum hosted by the Stratbase ADR Institute on the 5th anniversary of the Philippines’ landmark arbitral tribunal victory against China.
Showing satellite images in the last five years, Derr said effluent from Chinese ships are causing elevated concentrations of Chlorophyll-a leading to “a cascade of reef damage that will take decades to recover even with active mitigation.”
With the Pacific region hitting record-setting temperatures in the last few weeks, a new study from Canada shows the heat waves’ enormous impact on marine life: an estimated 1 billion sea creatures on the coast of Vancouver have died as a result of the heat, a researcher says.
But that number is likely to be much higher, professor Christopher Harley from the University of British Columbia says.
Harley reaches his estimates by counting the number of sea creatures, mostly mussels, in a section that he says is representative of an entire beach. He varies measuring some beaches that are rocky and some that are not to get a full estimate for the entire ecosystem.”
This is a preliminary estimate based on good data, but I’m honestly worried that it’s a substantial underestimate,” Harley told NPR from a beach in British Columbia, where he continues to survey the casualties from the most recent heat wave.
A military plane has crashed in the southern Philippines killing at least 29 people, with dozens more pulled alive from the burning wreckage.
The transporter was carrying more than 90 people, mostly troops, when it overshot the runway on Jolo island.
Fifty people were injured and 17 are missing, the military said. A nearby military hospital treated survivors.
A large ball of black smoke was seen above the wreckage of the plane, a Lockheed C130 Hercules.
Pictures of the site published by local media show burning debris in a wooded area close to a number of buildings.
Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)Indonesia’s Navy changed the status of its missing submarine from “sub miss” to “sub sank” on Saturday, as a naval chief presented debris believed to be from the vessel at a news conference.Authorities now expect to carry out an evacuation process to recover the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine and its crew when they pinpoint its exact location, Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margono said.The latest update came as hopes faded for the 53 crew members, who were expected to have run out of oxygen early on Saturday. So far, no sign of them has been found, Yudo said.Some warships deployed to the Bali Sea, where the submarine was last contacted Wednesday, will be used to help find the vessel by detecting metal or magnetic objects in the sea, Yudo said.
A count issued by an independent researcher in Yangon who has been compiling near-real time death tolls put the total as darkness fell at 89, spread over more than two dozen cities and towns.
As Burma’s military celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day holiday with a parade Saturday in the country’s capital, soldiers and police elsewhere reportedly killed dozens of people as they suppressed protests against last month’s coup.
A count issued by an independent researcher in Yangon who has been compiling near-real time death tolls put the total killed by late Saturday afternoon at 74, spread over more than two dozen cities and towns. That would make it equal to the deadliest day since the coup.
TOKYO — Japan on Saturday experienced a strong earthquake that shook buildings in the capital, Tokyo, and caused a tsunami advisory for the country’s northeast coast. There were no immediate reports of damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey put the strength at magnitude 7.0. The shaking started just before 6:10 p.m.
USGS said the quake was centered 6.7 miles east of Ishinomaki at a depth of 33.5 miles. That’s off the coast of Miyagi prefecture, in the country’s rugged northeast, which was heavily damaged during the huge earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
The tsunami advisory was issued for Miyagi prefecture. Officials there said there were no immediate reports of damage.
Federal officials said that a massive, 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck east of Australia Wednesday morning posed no threat to the West Coast after reviewing available data.
The quake, which struck in an area southeast of the Loyalty Islands, was measured at a depth of just over 6 miles beneath the surface of the ocean, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.Shortly after the quake was recorded, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said there was “no tsunami warning, advisory, watch or threat” to California, Oregon, Washington state, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada.
A Japanese submarine collided with a commercial ship as it attempted to surface off the country’s Pacific coast on Monday, government officials said.
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Fifth District tweeted a message Friday warning drivers of the highway closure due to “partial washout” of the road.
Big Sur Update: #Hwy1 will remain CLOSED to thru traffic until further notice due to partial washout of road tonight at Mile Marker 30 near Big Creek Br. Our crews/contractor will begin damage assessment, cleanup & repairs at daybreak @bigsurkate @BigSurCChttps://t.co/CvzL0KLtPp
— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) January 29, 2021
Check out this amazing drone video of #Hwy1 washout at Rat Creek about 15 miles south of #BigSur. Our crews are on site securing it, assessing damage & starting clean-up/ repairs. Reminder: the road is OPEN from #Carmel thru town of Big Sur. @bigsurkate @BigSurCC @CHP_Coastal pic.twitter.com/rB193DzXhL
— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) January 29, 2021
The chunk of the highway, located 15 miles south of Big Sur at Rat Creek, was destroyed as a result of heavy rainfall.
Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)At least 67 people have died after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island early Friday, according to the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in Indonesia.Jan Gelfand told CNN on Friday that he expects the death toll and number of missing people to increase.Hundreds have been injured, according to the country’s disaster mitigation agency.The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 1:28 am Jakarta time, was six kilometers (3.7 miles) northeast of the city of Majene, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.Thirty-four people died in the city of Mamuju, to the north of the epicenter, while another eight died in Majene.In Majene, at least 637 were injured and 15,000 residents have been displaced, according to the country’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB).Thousands of residents fled their homes to seek safety following the quake, which could be felt strongly for five to seven seconds and damaged at least 300 houses in Majene, BNPB said.Other buildings have also been badly damaged, including a military command office in Majene, and hotels and government buildings in Mamuju.Many people are still trapped under collapsed buildings, according to local search and rescue teams.
HONOLULU (AP) — Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island roared back to life Sunday night as lava went shooting into the air, boiling away a water lake and sending a massive plume of steam, gas and ash soaring into the atmosphere.
In the first hours of the eruption, lava mixed rapidly with water in the summit’s crater lake to create steam. The sky above the eruption turned shades of orange and red as people lined up to watch the billowing column of gas and vapor rise above the volcano in the middle of the night.
“December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously proclaimed.
Americans on Monday will honor the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
The surprise raid on the major U.S. Navy base near Honolulu killed more than 2,400 Americans and left another 1,100 injured. In short, the strike signaled the entry of the United States into World War II.
According to the National Park Service, Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in August 1994. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a small, intimate gathering of veterans will be held at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center — though it is closed to the public.
Here are some facts surrounding that fateful day in U.S. history:
Just before 8 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes made the surprise raid on Pearl Harbor. During the attack, which was launched from aircraft carriers, nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, were damaged or destroyed, as well as more than 300 aircraft, according to the History Channel.
How many were killed at Pearl Harbor?
The official American death toll was 2,403, according to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau, including 2,008 Navy personnel, 109 Marines, 218 Army service members and 68 civilians. Of the dead, 1,177 were from the USS Arizona, the wreckage of which now serves as the main memorial to the incident. Fifty-five Japanese soldiers also were killed.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — The person attacked by a shark on Saturday at a Santa Cruz County beach has died, according to authorities.
The 26-year-old man was surfing at Manresa State Beach when he was attacked.
California state park officials responded around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department.
The type of shark species that attacked the victim is unknown.
Officials say the shark attacked the victim within 100 yards of the shore.
Under Santa Cruz County’s current COVID-19 social distancing beach rules, between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. the only place beach-goers are permitted to be is in the water. The sand is off-limits, but surfers are allowed to traverse the sand to reach the ocean.