Mayon volcano : Thousands flee ‘quiet eruption’ in Philippines

Philippines orders the forced evacuation of residents after the Mayon volcano spews ash. Nearly 15,000 people have fled their homes near the Philippines‘ most active volcano, which is undergoing a “quiet eruption” authorities warned could turn into a hazardous explosion “within weeks or even days.” Mount Mayon was spewing lava that has been quietly flowing in some places but at others erupting like a fountain, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. It has also been emitting ash which has fallen on nearby towns. “Technically, the volcano is erupting but the eruption is fairly quiet. It may escalate into a hazardous eruption,” Paul Alanis, science research specialist at the institution, told the AFP news agency. He said an explosive eruption would mean a lava fountain or spray of hot rocks and gases, which could move as fast as 60kmph.





Turkey deploys armored vehicles to Syrian border

Turkey has reportedly dispatched a convoy of over 40 military vehicles and tanks to the southern regions along the Syrian frontier amid growing Ankara-Washington tensions over a US plan to create a “border force” at Turkey’s doorstep. Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday that two dozen armored vehicles had entered the Reyhanli district of Turkey’s Hatay Province with military jammer vehicles “for reinforcement reasons.”
Another 20-vehicle military convoy, including tanks, had also arrived in the Viransehir district of Turkey’s Sanliurfa Province to provide assistance to the military units already deployed to the Syrian border, the sources added. The US infuriated its NATO partner Turkey on Sunday by announcing that Washington and a coalition of its allies purportedly fighting Daesh will work with US-backed militants of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to set up a new 30,000-strong “border security” force. The force would operate along the Turkish border with Iraq and within Syria along the Euphrates River.
Washington also said it is supplying weapons and training to anti-Damascus militants of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the SDF’s main backbone. Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist group and the Syrian arm of the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for independence over the past decades. The US had promised to take back the weapons from Kurdish militants once Daesh falls. Reacting to the US military’s announcement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Washington is “building an army of terror” on the border with Syria,” and that “it is our responsibility to suffocate this effort before it is born.”





Puerto Rico in the dark

Almost four months ago, Hurricane Maria decimated the U.S. territory’s outdated electric grid so forcefully that 40 percent of its 3.4 million residents remain without power.









Trekking With the Gorillas of Rwanda

Mountain gorillas are under threat from poaching, war and habitat loss in Rwanda. The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists speculate the Bwindi population in Uganda is a separate subspecies,[3] though no description has been finalized. As of September 2016, only an estimated 880 mountain gorillas remain.
Mountain gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes found in Africa and Arabia during the start of the Oligocene epoch (34-24 million years ago). The fossil record provides evidence of the hominoid primates (apes) found in east Africa about 22–32 million years ago. The fossil record of the area where mountain gorillas live is particularly poor and so its evolutionary history is not clear. It was about 9 million years ago that the group of primates that were to evolve into gorillas split from their common ancestor with humans and chimps; this is when the genus Gorilla emerged. It is not certain what this early relative of the gorilla was, but it is traced back to the early ape Proconsul africanus.
Mountain gorillas have been isolated from eastern lowland gorillas for about 400,000 years and these two taxa separated from their western counterparts approximately 2 million years ago.  There has been considerable and as yet unresolved debate over the classification of mountain gorillas. The genus was first referenced as Troglodytes in 1847, but renamed to Gorilla in 1852. It was not until 1967 that the taxonomist Colin Groves proposed that all gorillas be regarded as one species (Gorilla gorilla) with three sub-species Gorilla gorilla gorilla (western lowland gorilla), Gorilla gorilla graueri (lowland gorillas found west of the Virungas) and Gorilla gorilla beringei (mountain gorillas including, Gorilla beringei found in the Virungas and Bwindi). In 2003 after a review they were divided into two species (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei) by The World Conservation Union (IUCN).








Mudslides hit Southern California

Rescue personnel continued searching for victims where mudslides slammed into homes, covered highways and swept away vehicles. At least 15 people were killed and homes were swept from their foundations as heavy rain sent mud and boulders sliding down hills stripped of vegetation by southern California’s recent wildfires. Rescue crews used helicopters to lift people to safety because of blocked roads, and firefighters slogged through waist-high mud to pull a muck-covered 14-year-old girl out of the ruins of a home in Montecito, north-west of Los Angeles, where she had been trapped for hours. She was taken away on a stretcher. Most deaths were believed to have occurred in Montecito, a wealthy enclave of about 9,000 people north-west of Los Angeles that is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres, said Santa Barbara County spokesman David Villalobos. Winfrey’s home survived the storm and slides. At least 25 people were injured.











Sea level rises in Jakarta due to Supermoon

A man rides a motorbike through the water at Muara Baru area in Jakarta, Indonesia. The flash floods that swamped Muara Baru area is caused by supermoon phenomenon.







Tropical Storm Tembin turns deadly in the Philippines

 Tropical storm Tembin triggered floods and landslides leaving thousands displaced and killing 200 in the Philippines. Soldiers and police joined emergency workers and volunteers to search for survivors and victims.

Indonesians pray for Tsunami victims

Thirteen years ago, a giant tsunami wave followed the 9.2 magnitude earthquake, killing more than 170.000 people in Aceh, Indonesia. The tsunami hit the coasts of several countries of Southeast Asia in December 2004. Indonesians pray as they commemorate the tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia.

Violent protests erupt in Argentina over pension reform

Demonstrators shouted out slogans and clashed with police in a protest against government-proposed pension reforms in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Protesters wearing face masks used sling shots to shoot rocks at the police who responded with tear gas.

Thousands protest Netanyahu for corruption in Tel Aviv

Thousands of people gather to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption at the Rotschild Boulevard in Tel-Aviv, Israel.