The Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world is today rapidly shrinking, as a result of the diversion of the two major rivers feeding it, back in the '60s. The effects of the Aral Sea desiccation are widely felt in the local population and the ecosystem, transforming the area in the borders between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan into a vast toxic desert. Watch the video below with NASA's satellite pictures of the area, showing the water level changes over the years!
Being along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", Costa Rica has been often hit by destructive earthquakes causing extensive damages and many casualties. The country's National Seismological Network (RSN) has been closely monitoring the seismic activity and has recently released a list with the 70 "most historic" earthquakes that rattled the country. A selection of old photos showing the destruction of some of the strongest quakes presented below!
A tailings pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in central B.C. failed last month and released millions of cubic meters of waste water, triggering a state of emergency for the local community. An aerial footage taken from the affected area reveals the extent of the spill, while residents and experts express their fears about the long-term impact on the environment and local fish stocks. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs stated that "Like the Exxon Valdez, Mount Polley will be synonymous with one of the most disastrous environmental events in British Columbia".
Monsoon season, which is currently hitting India, Pakistan and other Asian countries, causes extensive floods and triggers landslides, with detrimental effects for the citizens of the affected countries. A new mathematical model, currently under development, aims in assessing the extent of anticipated damage and improving the civil protection and warning system.
Areas burnt from wildfires, in north central Washington, are now buried under rocks, mud and water as a result of the heavy rain which fell in the area the last days. There were no reports of injuries however communications through radio and phone are difficult as communication towers were damaged by the fires a few months back. Watch the extent of damage in the video below!
The recent magnitude 6.0 earthquake that jolted Napa Valley has caused extensive damage to wineries and properties and has particularly highlighted the need for an early warning system in the state of California. Reportedly, even a few seconds warning before the occurrence of a seismic event could have a significant impact on lowering the devasting consequences of a temblor.
Rains, exceeding all historical records since 1976, have caused massive landslides last week in the outskirts of Hiroshima, urging the evacuation of residential areas and rising the death toll to 50 people so far, with many more reported missing. About 600 emergency personnel were already in the area, however forecasts of more rain made rescue efforts even more difficult. The video below shows the extent of the damage.