Science & Environment

spaminator

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Chris Hemsworth reveals genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's
Author of the article:Bang Showbiz
Bang Showbiz
Publishing date:Nov 17, 2022 • 3 days ago • 1 minute read

Chris Hemsworth is genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease.


The 39-year-old actor has been told by medical experts that he is “between eight and ten times” likelier to develop the condition than the general population.


He explained: “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.”

Chris admitted that the health warning has been unsettling for him.

The Hollywood star – who has India, 10, and eight-year-old twins Sasha and Tristan with Elsa Pataky – told Vanity Fair magazine: “Yeah, there was an intensity to navigating it. Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out.

“Then to all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality.”

Chris is keen to not over-dramatize his health situation. But the movie star – who is best known for playing Thor in the Marvel films – is also determined to safeguard his health.

He said: “If you look at Alzheimer’s prevention, the benefit of preventative steps is that it affects the rest of your life.

“When you have preposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything – it’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.”



Chris also plans to discuss his health issues with his children.

He shared: “One day I’m sure I’ll bring it up. They probably want to test themselves and (find out,) ‘Are you in the category that’s going to be sensitive to this or not?'”
 

Serryah

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Chris Hemsworth reveals genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's
Author of the article:Bang Showbiz
Bang Showbiz
Publishing date:Nov 17, 2022 • 3 days ago • 1 minute read

Chris Hemsworth is genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease.


The 39-year-old actor has been told by medical experts that he is “between eight and ten times” likelier to develop the condition than the general population.


He explained: “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.”

Chris admitted that the health warning has been unsettling for him.

The Hollywood star – who has India, 10, and eight-year-old twins Sasha and Tristan with Elsa Pataky – told Vanity Fair magazine: “Yeah, there was an intensity to navigating it. Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out.

“Then to all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality.”

Chris is keen to not over-dramatize his health situation. But the movie star – who is best known for playing Thor in the Marvel films – is also determined to safeguard his health.

He said: “If you look at Alzheimer’s prevention, the benefit of preventative steps is that it affects the rest of your life.

“When you have preposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything – it’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.”



Chris also plans to discuss his health issues with his children.

He shared: “One day I’m sure I’ll bring it up. They probably want to test themselves and (find out,) ‘Are you in the category that’s going to be sensitive to this or not?'”

Alzheimers is horrible for all involved. Sadly my grandmother passed from it, one of my uncles did, and my father is indicating early stages of Dementia/possible Alzheimers. So a good chance myself or my brother may also have it, eventually. But studies lately also show promise in helping people with it, if not 'cure' it, certainly manage it. Good on Chris for discussing this issue with his kids because at any age, Alzheimers is scary as hell.
 
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spaminator

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Alzheimers is horrible for all involved. Sadly my grandmother passed from it, one of my uncles did, and my father is indicating early stages of Dementia/possible Alzheimers. So a good chance myself or my brother may also have it, eventually. But studies lately also show promise in helping people with it, if not 'cure' it, certainly manage it. Good on Chris for discussing this issue with his kids because at any age, Alzheimers is scary as hell.
1669072646284.png
 
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spaminator

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Chris Hemsworth reveals genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's
Author of the article:Bang Showbiz
Bang Showbiz
Publishing date:Nov 17, 2022 • 3 days ago • 1 minute read

Chris Hemsworth is genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease.


The 39-year-old actor has been told by medical experts that he is “between eight and ten times” likelier to develop the condition than the general population.


He explained: “It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.”

Chris admitted that the health warning has been unsettling for him.

The Hollywood star – who has India, 10, and eight-year-old twins Sasha and Tristan with Elsa Pataky – told Vanity Fair magazine: “Yeah, there was an intensity to navigating it. Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out.

“Then to all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality.”

Chris is keen to not over-dramatize his health situation. But the movie star – who is best known for playing Thor in the Marvel films – is also determined to safeguard his health.

He said: “If you look at Alzheimer’s prevention, the benefit of preventative steps is that it affects the rest of your life.

“When you have preposition to cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, anything – it’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.”



Chris also plans to discuss his health issues with his children.

He shared: “One day I’m sure I’ll bring it up. They probably want to test themselves and (find out,) ‘Are you in the category that’s going to be sensitive to this or not?'”
Chris Hemsworth reveals why he is taking time off from Hollywood
Author of the article:Bang Showbiz
Bang Showbiz
Publishing date:Nov 21, 2022 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read

Chris Hemsworth is “taking time off” from his career after thinking about his own mortality.


The 39-year-old actor – who has daughter India, 12, and eight-year-old twin sons Sasha and Tristan with wife Elsa Pataky – had been working on an episode of his National Geographic’s ‘Limitless’ series which focused on death and quickly realised that he wants to spend more time with his family while he still can.


He said: “Doing an episode on death and facing your own mortality made me go, ‘Oh God, I’m not ready to go yet. I want to sit and be in this space with a greater sense of stillness and gratitude. And then you start talking about kids and family and going, ‘Oh my God, they’re getting older, they’re growing up and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie.’ Before you know it, they’re 18 and they’ve moved out of house, and I missed the window. It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off.”


The ‘Thor’ actor is currently on a publicity tour for his docuseries but explained that as soon as he has completed that, he will be taking a “good chunk” of time away so that he can “simplify” his life.

He told Vanity Fair magazine: “Since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do. Now when I finish this tour this week, I’m going home and I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife.

“I felt like I’d been in a sprint for 10 years, and all these moments that were dream scenarios would fly by. Moments that I should have been stepping back and going, ‘Wow, this is incredible,’ I was inundated with other kinds of requests and asks and being pulled in different directions. [I was] not really kind of enjoying what was right in front of me.”
 

Jinentonix

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Alzheimers is horrible for all involved. Sadly my grandmother passed from it, one of my uncles did, and my father is indicating early stages of Dementia/possible Alzheimers. So a good chance myself or my brother may also have it, eventually. But studies lately also show promise in helping people with it, if not 'cure' it, certainly manage it. Good on Chris for discussing this issue with his kids because at any age, Alzheimers is scary as hell.
I remember when my mom first knew she had it. I was the ONLY one who was allowed to joke with her about it. My mom always loved my sense of humour although I kept it clean for her. And with her Alzheimer's I kept the jokes very light-hearted because I knew she was scared and it gave her a way to kind of laugh about it for a few seconds. No, Alzheimer's isn't funny but ya do what ya gotta do to keep her spirits up. On the "plus" side for her, she's the only one out of her parents and 5 siblings who didn't die of some sort of cancer or another.

It also took my dad and by the time my he died from it he didn't even know who I was. That was hard to take. He kept calling me by my brother's name, which was weird because I was his biological son and by brother wasn't. When I'd try to tell him it was me he'd say," I still remember my name". (We have the same name).
Sooo I have that to potentially look forward too. Don't imagine my cannabis consumption will help in that dept either. 🤪
 
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spaminator

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I remember when my mom first knew she had it. I was the ONLY one who was allowed to joke with her about it. My mom always loved my sense of humour although I kept it clean for her. And with her Alzheimer's I kept the jokes very light-hearted because I knew she was scared and it gave her a way to kind of laugh about it for a few seconds. No, Alzheimer's isn't funny but ya do what ya gotta do to keep her spirits up. On the "plus" side for her, she's the only one out of her parents and 5 siblings who didn't die of some sort of cancer or another.

It also took my dad and by the time my he died from it he didn't even know who I was. That was hard to take. He kept calling me by my brother's name, which was weird because I was his biological son and by brother wasn't. When I'd try to tell him it was me he'd say," I still remember my name". (We have the same name).
Sooo I have that to potentially look forward too. Don't imagine my cannabis consumption will help in that dept either. 🤪
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Serryah

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I remember when my mom first knew she had it. I was the ONLY one who was allowed to joke with her about it. My mom always loved my sense of humour although I kept it clean for her. And with her Alzheimer's I kept the jokes very light-hearted because I knew she was scared and it gave her a way to kind of laugh about it for a few seconds. No, Alzheimer's isn't funny but ya do what ya gotta do to keep her spirits up. On the "plus" side for her, she's the only one out of her parents and 5 siblings who didn't die of some sort of cancer or another.

It also took my dad and by the time my he died from it he didn't even know who I was. That was hard to take. He kept calling me by my brother's name, which was weird because I was his biological son and by brother wasn't. When I'd try to tell him it was me he'd say," I still remember my name". (We have the same name).
Sooo I have that to potentially look forward too. Don't imagine my cannabis consumption will help in that dept either. 🤪

It's not a thing to look forward to. I'm sorry Jin.

My grandmother called my dad by one of his other brothers once. It was hard for dad because that brother and him were not on good terms. (family drama sucks).

I do hope you're spared this.
 

Jinentonix

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It's not a thing to look forward to. I'm sorry Jin.

My grandmother called my dad by one of his other brothers once. It was hard for dad because that brother and him were not on good terms. (family drama sucks).

I do hope you're spared this.
Well, I've prepared myself somewhat for it. Like how reruns will be like new shows. Or if I'm having a shitty day I'll probably forget all about it in a few minutes anyway.
I know it seems like I'm just being jokey but I have a perverse sense of humour when it comes to my own mortality and death in general.

For me my limit is when I have no dignity left, that's when I want to die. Like when you're so decrepit you can't even wipe your own ass? Stuff like that is the kind of lack of dignity I'm talking about.

As for my dad calling me by my brother's name all the time near the end, at least I got along with my brother so I guess it could have been worse.
 

Jinentonix

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Well they both lived long lives. My mom lived until she was 79 and was the only one of her entire family that lived long enough to actually collect an old age pension. She used to joke that she wouldn't care if she dropped dead the day after she got her first pension cheque because at least someone in her family lived long enough to collect one. lol

And despite a long love affair with alcohol, my dad lived to be 92, about 8 years after my mom passed.
 

spaminator

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Lab-grown chicken coming soon to the U.S., but Canadians will have to wait
Many obstacles remain before we see these types of products in Canada.

Author of the article:Ryan Wolstat
Publishing date:Nov 27, 2022 • 23 hours ago • 2 minute read

Lab-grown chicken will soon be appearing in U.S. stores, Canadians will have to wait.
Lab-grown chicken will soon be appearing in U.S. stores, Canadians will have to wait.
The Canadian food scene is going to look a lot different in the coming years with the addition of lab-grown meat and dairy products, according to an expert.


For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this month approved lab-grown meat — produced by a company called Upside Food — for human consumption.


The product is made from cultured cells of chickens grown in stainless steel tanks, meaning no animals are harmed in its production. It’s expected to hit shelves south of the border in early 2023.

We’ll likely have to wait a fair bit longer for similar offerings in Canada, according to Sylvain Charlebois, a professor and director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

“It’s not fake meat, make no mistake. These are actual proteins,” Charlebois told The Toronto Sun.

“It’s the process to make it that’s different. Instead of feeding animals, you’re feeding cells. That’s the main difference.”


Upside Foods still needs to get the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture, but Charlebois said that is “more of a formality at this point,” since the agriculture department “is more about food safety and they’re just going to decide how to regulate this thing in the market.”

Charlebois said the FDA was the “big hurdle … so, I think we’re months away from seeing cultivated meats in the American market.”



While Health Canada typically only lags about a year behind the Americans when faced with such approvals, many obstacles remain before we see these types of products in Canada.

For one, “the meat lobby is very strong, very powerful. That’s why it’s going to take some time,” Charlebois said. “To regulate the type of product is actually not going to be an easy thing, a slam dunk. And so my guess is that it is going to happen in Canada, but it will take at least five years.

“You are talking some big, powerful lobby groups. You’re up against dairy, you’re up against chicken. These people are incredibly powerful and resourceful,” he said. “We have quotas. We have supply management in Canada that support animal proteins like eggs, milk and poultry. So they’re going to have a say on this.”


Charlebois added research he’s seen shows that those over the age of 45 tend to be turned off by the idea of lab-grown meat, while younger people would generally be willing to try it, he said.

At least a dozen companies in Canada are working on lab-grown products while global efforts include attempts to create beef, cocoa, coffee and seafood products.

Knowing the term “lab-grown” can be a turnoff, the industry tends to refer to the products as cultivated meats or cultured meat. And in California, they call it “no-kill meat” to appeal to those who oppose the slaughtering of animals for food.



“The business case for the technology is very strong, environmentally, from an animal welfare perspective,” Charlebois said.

“From a food safety perspective, look at what’s going on with the Avian Flu. You wouldn’t have that problem with lab-grown chicken,” he added. “And look at all the recalls we’ve seen in recent years. That wouldn’t happen with lab-grown meat.”
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spaminator

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Canada's top five federal contaminated sites to cost taxpayers billions to clean up
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Emily Blake
Publishing date:Nov 27, 2022 • 1 day ago • 4 minute read
The Giant Mine site is shown during a site surface tour of the Giant Mine Remediation Project near Yellowknife, Sept. 21, 2022. With a newly approved cost estimate of $4.38 billion, remediation of Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanup.
The Giant Mine site is shown during a site surface tour of the Giant Mine Remediation Project near Yellowknife, Sept. 21, 2022. With a newly approved cost estimate of $4.38 billion, remediation of Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanup. PHOTO BY ANGELA GZOWSKI /The Canadian Press
YELLOWKNIFE — With a cost estimate of $4.38 billion, remediation of the Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanup in the country’s history.


The figure, recently approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, spans costs from 2005 until 2038, when active remediation at the former Yellowknife gold mine is anticipated to end. That includes $710 million the federal government said has already been spent, but does not include costs for long-term care and maintenance.


“It doesn’t bother me so much that it’s going to cost $4 billion to clean up Giant Mine. What really bothers me is that the taxpayer is covering that cost,” said David Livingstone, chair of the Giant Mine Oversight Board.

It indicates the federal government failed to ensure private developers provided financial security to remediate sites. He said while that has improved over time, there will likely be more issues in the future.


“We as a society need to get a better handle on what it costs us to support mining industry and oil and gas industry,” he said. “If the numbers suggest that it’s going to cost more to clean up a site than that site generated in revenue to the Crown, we’ve got a problem.”

There are more than 20,000 locations listed in the federal contaminated sites inventory, from dumps and abandoned mines to military operations on federal land.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says that after Giant Mine, the four most expensive cleanups are the Faro Mine in Yukon, the Port Hope Area Initiative in Ontario, Esquimalt Harbour in British Columbia and Yukon’s United Keno Hill Mine.

More than $2 billion has been spent on the five sites so far, and it’s anticipated they will cost taxpayers billions more in the coming years. Their final price tags are not yet known.


The most recent numbers from the Treasury Board of Canada indicate more than $707 million has been spent on remediation, care and maintenance at Faro Mine, a former open pit lead-zinc mine. Its remediation project is expected to take 15 years to complete and is currently estimated to cost $1 billion, plus $166 million for the first 10 years of long-term operation and maintenance.

Parsons Inc. was awarded a $108-million contract in February for construction, care and maintenance at Faro Mine until March 2026, with the option to extend the contract for the duration of active remediation. The company said the contract could ultimately span 20 years and exceed $2 billion.

In 2012, Ottawa committed $1.28 billion in funding over 10 years for the cleanup of historical low-level radioactive waste in the municipalities of Port Hope and Port Grandby, Ont. To date more than $722 million has been spent on assessment and remediation.


The Port Grandby Project was completed earlier this year and has moved into long-term monitoring for hundreds of years. The Port Hope cleanup, which started in 2018, will continue into 2030.

The cleanup in the Esquimalt Harbour seabed in Victoria currently has a budget of $162.5 million. Roughly $214 million has already been spent on remediation and assessment. The Department of National Defence said that may include costs before 2015, when the remediation project began.

Cleanup of United Keno Hill Mine, a historical silver, lead and zinc mining property near Yukon’s Keno City, is estimated to cost $125 million, including $79 million during its active reclamation phase. That is expected to begin in 2023 and take five years, followed by a two-year transition phase then long-term monitoring and maintenance. More than $67 million has been spent on remediation, care and maintenance at the site so far.


Other costly federal sites that have been cleaned up include the Cape Dyer Dew-Line, 21 former radar stations across the Arctic, for $575 million, the Sydney tar ponds and coke ovens on Cape Breton Island, N.S., for nearly $398 million, and the 5 Wing Goose Bay air force base in Labrador, for $142.9 million.

The 2022 public accounts state the gross liability for the 2,524 federal contaminated sites where action is required is nearly $10 billion based on site assessments. Of the 3,079 unassessed sites, 1,330 are projected to proceed to remediation with an estimated liability of $256 million.

The federal contaminated sites action plan was established in 2005 with $4.54 billion in funding over 15 years. That was renewed for an additional 15 years, from 2020 to 2034, with a commitment of $1.16 billion for the first five years.

Jamie Kneen with MiningWatch Canada said the contamination from Giant Mine highlights the importance of the planning and assessment process for development projects.

“If you don’t actually do any planning around something, you can end up with a pretty horrible mess,” he said. “In this case, it killed people before they started even capturing the arsenic. We don’t want that to happen anymore.”
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spaminator

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Erupting Hawaii volcano spurs warning for people to prepare to evacuate
Portions of the Big Island were under an ashfall advisory

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Caleb Jones
Publishing date:Nov 28, 2022 • 21 hours ago • 5 minute read
The eruption of Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano is seen from Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, November 28, 2022 in this picture picture obtained from social media.
The eruption of Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano is seen from Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, November 28, 2022 in this picture picture obtained from social media. PHOTO BY TWITTER @PFRANCI2 /REUTERS
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Waves of orange, glowing lava and smoky ash belched and sputtered Monday from the world’s largest active volcano in its first eruption in 38 years, and officials told people living on Hawaii’s Big Island to be ready in the event of a worst-case scenario.


The eruption of Mauna Loa wasn’t immediately endangering towns, but the U.S. Geological Survey warned the roughly 200,000 people on the Big Island that an eruption “can be very dynamic, and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly.”


Officials told residents to be ready to evacuate if lava flows start heading toward populated areas.

The eruption began late Sunday night following a series of fairly large earthquakes, said Ken Hon, scientist-in-charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The areas where lava was emerging — the volcano’s summit crater and vents along the volcano’s northeast flank — are both far from homes and communities.

Officials urged the public to stay away from them, given the dangers posed by lava, which is shooting 100 to 200 feet (30 to 60 metres) into the air out of three separate fissures roughly estimated to be 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 kilometres) long.


Volcanic gases wafting out of the vents, primarily sulfur dioxide, are also harmful.

Air quality on the Big Island more generally is good right now but officials are monitoring it carefully, said Dr. Libby Char, the director of the state Department of Health.

Hon said air quality could deteriorate while the eruption lasts, which scientists expect will be about one or two weeks if the volcano follows historical patterns.

Lifelong Big Island resident Bobby Camara, who lives in Volcano Village, said everyone across the island should keep track of the eruption. He said he’s seen three Mauna Loa eruptions in his lifetime and stressed the need for vigilance.

“I think everybody should be a little bit concerned,” he said. “We don’t know where the flow is going, we don’t know how long it’s going to last.”


Gunner Mench, who owns an art gallery in Kamuela, said he awoke shortly after midnight and saw an alert on his phone about the eruption.

Mench and his wife, Ellie, ventured out to film the eerie red glow cast over the island, watching as lava spilled down the volcano’s side.

“You could see it spurting up into the air, over the edge of this depression,” Mench said.

“Right now it’s just entertainment, but the concern is” it could reach populated areas, he said.

Seeing Mauna Loa erupt is a new experience for many residents of the Big Island, where the population has more than doubled from 92,000 in 1980.

More than a third of the island’s residents live either in the city of Kailua-Kona to the west of the volcano, or about 23,000 people, and Hilo to the east, with about 45,000. Officials were most worried about several subdivisions some 30 miles (50 kilometers) to the volcano’s south that are home to about 5,000 people.


A time-lapse video of the eruption from overnight showed lava lighting up one area, moving across it like waves on the ocean.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the eruption had migrated to a rift zone on the volcano’s northeast flank. Rift zones are where the mountain rock is cracked and relatively weak — making it easier for magma to emerge.

Lava could move toward the county seat of Hilo, but that could take about a week, Hon said at a news conference.

Scientists hope the flow will parallel the 1984 eruption, where the lava was more viscous and slowed down.

Mauna Loa has another rift zone on its southwest flank. Lava could reach nearby communities in hours or days if the volcano erupts from this area. But Hon said historically Mauna Loa has never erupted from both rift zones simultaneously.


“So we presume at this point that all of the future activity is going to be on the northeast rift zone of Mauna Loa and not on the southeast rift zone,” he said. “So those residents in that area do not have to worry about lava flows.”

Hawaii County Civil Defense announced it had opened shelters because it had reports of people evacuating from along the coast on their own initiative.

The USGS warned residents who could be threatened by the lava flows to review their eruption preparations. Scientists had been on alert because of a recent spike in earthquakes at the summit of the volcano, which last erupted in 1984.

Portions of the Big Island were under an ashfall advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu. It said up to a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) of ash could accumulate in some areas.


“Volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s hair may be carried downwind,” Gov. David Ige said, referring to glass fibers that form when hot lava erupts from a fissure and rapidly cools in the air. The wind stretches the fibers into long strands that look like hair. “So certainly we would ask those with respiratory sensitivities to take precautions to minimize exposure.”

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that together make up the Big Island of Hawaii, the southernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago.

Mauna Loa, rising 13,679 feet (4,169 metres) above sea level, is the much larger neighbor of Kilauea, which erupted in a residential neighborhood and destroyed 700 homes in 2018. Some of Mauna Loa’s slopes are much steeper than Kilauea’s, so lava can flow much faster when it erupts.


During a 1950 eruption, the mountain’s lava traveled 15 miles (24 kilometres) to the ocean in under three hours.

Tourism is Hawaii’s economic engine but Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth predicted few problems for those vacationing during the eruption.

“It will be spectacular where it is, but the chances of it really interrupting the visitor industry — very, very slim,” he said.

Tourism officials said no one should have to change Big Island travel plans.

For some, the eruption might cut down on some travel time, even if there is more volcanic smog caused by higher sulfur-dioxide emissions.

“But the good thing is you don’t have to drive from Kona over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see an eruption anymore,” Roth said. “You can just look out your window at night and you’ll be able to see Mauna Loa erupting.”
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spaminator

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Integrity commissioner asked to probe Ford's Greenbelt plan
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says Ontarians deserve transparency about the decision

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Nov 29, 2022 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read

Ontario’s integrity commissioner is being asked to investigate whether Premier Doug Ford’s plan to open parts of the protected Greenbelt lands for development broke any ethics rules.


Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner has filed the complaint and says Ontarians deserve transparency about the decision because it has the appearance of harming the environment for the benefit of private developers.


Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced earlier this month that he is proposing to remove land in 15 different areas from the Greenbelt – while adding more acres elsewhere – despite previous promises from Ford and Clark that they wouldn’t do that.

Media reports have suggested that some prominent developers who areProgressive Conservative donors stand to benefit from the move.

Investigations by the CBC, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Narwhal have found that some bought that land in the past few years despite Ford and Clark’s public pronouncements it wouldn’t be developed, with one purchase happening as recently as September.

Clark says as housing minister he often meets with developers and followed the process for posting his Greenbelt proposal to the environmental registry for a public comment period.
 

spaminator

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Opposition parties push for investigation into Greenbelt proposal
Author of the article:Antonella Artuso
Publishing date:Nov 29, 2022 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read
Ontario's integrity commissioner and auditor general have been called on to probe the purchase of Greenbelt-protected land by developers.
Ontario's integrity commissioner and auditor general have been called on to probe the purchase of Greenbelt-protected land by developers.
Ontario’s opposition politicians have asked Ontario’s integrity commissioner and auditor general to investigate the circumstances around the purchase of Greenbelt-protected land by developers who stand to profit now that the Doug Ford government plans to open it to housing construction.


NDP, Liberal and Green Party MPPs are raising concerns about whether the Ford government, which reversed its 2018 position on leaving the Greenbelt alone, told some people before posting the proposed change for public comment on the Environmental Registry on Nov. 4.


“Ontarians want to know did you talk to developers before opening up the Greenbelt?” NDP MPP Jessica Bell said Tuesday. “It’s a very simple question — yes or no.”

The NDP has formally requested the Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk look into the matter, while Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner has filed a complaint with Integrity Commissioner David Wake.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said he followed the proper process for the posting of the amendments, which would see 7,400 acres come out of the Greenbelt to allow for the building of at least 50,000 new homes and another 9,400 acres added to the protected area.


“I’m the Housing Minister,” Clark said when asked about meeting with developers. “I meet with people who want to build housing whether they’re Habitat for Humanity, whether they’re Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, whether they’re a private homebuilder that builds one home a year or a thousand homes.”

The message to the 15 owners of property in the affected 7,400 acres is that they must get shovels in the ground and show substantial progress in building new homes by 2025, he said.

“Or they’re going back in the Greenbelt,” Clark said. “Plain and simple.”

Unlike the previous Liberal government which carved up the Greenbelt 17 times, including for a big box store and a couple of golf courses, the Ford government is doing it to meet its commitment to see 1.5 million homes built within a decade to address the housing crisis, he said.

Previous Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne said in the 2018 general election that Ford could not be trusted to protect the Greenbelt, and that he would open a large piece of farmland to developers.

Liberal Leader John Fraser said Ford has always been focused on municipal matters and in particular developer issues.

“I wonder if he’s not just part of that club,” Fraser said.

aartuso@postmedia.com
 

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Mauna Loa's eruption draws volcano watchers
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Caleb Jones and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
Publishing date:Nov 30, 2022 • 22 hours ago • 3 minute read
This image released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) on Nov. 29, 2022, shows Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii erupting from the Northeast Rift Zone sending lava flows to the north downslope toward Saddle Road.
This image released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) on Nov. 29, 2022, shows Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii erupting from the Northeast Rift Zone sending lava flows to the north downslope toward Saddle Road. PHOTO BY HANDOUT/US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY /AFP via Getty Images
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — The world’s largest volcano oozed rivers of glowing lava Wednesday, drawing thousands of awestruck viewers who jammed a Hawaiian highway that could soon be covered by the flow.


Mauna Loa awoke from its 38-year slumber Sunday, causing volcanic ash and debris to drift down from the sky. A main highway linking towns on the east and west coasts of the Big Island became an impromptu viewing point, with thousands of cars jamming the highway near Volcanoes National Park.


Anne Andersen left her overnight shift as a nurse to see the spectacle Wednesday, afraid that the road would soon be closed.

“It’s Mother Nature showing us her face,” she said, as the volcano belched gas on the horizon. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Gordon Brown, a visitor from Loomis, California, could see the bright orange lava from the bedroom of his rental house. So he headed out for a close-up view with his wife.

“We just wanted to come see this as close as we could get. And it is so bright, it just blows my mind,” Brown said.


The lava was tumbling slowly down the slope and was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the highway known as Saddle Road. It was not clear when, or if, it would cover the road, which runs through old lava flows.

The road bisects the island and connects the cities of Hilo and Kailua-Kona. People traveling between them would need to take a longer coastal road if Saddle Road becomes impassable, adding several hours of drive time.

Ken Hon, scientist in charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said at current rate of flow, the soonest the lava would get to the road is two days, but he added that things could change.

Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984. The current eruption is its 34th since written record keeping began in 1843. Its smaller neighbor, Kilauea, has been erupting since September 2021, so visitors to the national park were being treated to the rare sight of two simultaneous eruptive events: the glow from Kilauea’s lava lake and lava from a Mauna Loa fissure.


Abel Brown, a visitor from Las Vegas, was impressed by the natural forces on display. He planned to take a close-up helicopter tour later in the day — but not too close.

“There’s a lot of fear and trepidation if you get really close to it,” Brown said. “The closer you get, the more powerful it is and the more scary it is.”

Officials were initially concerned that lava flowing down Mauna Loa would head toward the community of South Kona, but scientists later assured the public the eruption had migrated to a rift zone on the volcano’s northeast flank and wasn’t threatening communities.

The smell of volcanic gases and sulfur was thick along Saddle Road, where people watched the wide stream of lava creep closer. Clouds cleared to reveal a large plume of gas and ash rising from a vent on the mountain.


Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation to allow responders to arrive quickly or limit access as needed.

Lava crossed the Mauna Loa Observatory access road Monday night and cut off power to the facility, Hon said. It could move toward the county seat of Hilo, he added, but that could take a week or longer.

Meanwhile, scientists are trying to measure the gas emitted from the eruption.

“It’s just very early in this eruption right now,” Hon said.

Kelleher reported from Honolulu. Associated Press reporters Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu and Greg Bull and Haven Daley in Hilo contributed to this report.
mauna-loa-scaled-e1669820111371[1].jpg
 

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Elon Musk expects Neuralink's brain chip to begin human trials in 6 months
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Rachael Levy
Publishing date:Dec 01, 2022 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read

Elon Musk said on Wednesday he expects a wireless brain chip developed by his company Neuralink to begin human clinical trials in six months, after the company missed earlier timelines set by him.


The company is developing brain chip interfaces that it says could help disabled patients to move and communicate again, with Musk adding on Wednesday it will also target restoring vision.


Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas, Neuralink has in recent years been conducting tests on animals as it seeks approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin clinical trials in people.

“We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device into a human,” Musk said during a much-awaited public update on the device.

Speaking to a crowd of select invitees in a presentation at Neuralink headquarters that lasted nearly three hours, Musk emphasized the speed at which the company is developing its device.


“The progress at first, particularly as it applies to humans, will seem perhaps agonizingly slow, but we are doing all of the things to bring it to scale in parallel,” he added. “So, in theory, progress should be exponential.”

The FDA said it cannot comment on the status or the existence of any potential product applications.

The first two human applications targeted by the Neuralink device will be in restoring vision and enabling movement of muscles in people who cannot do so, Musk said. “Even if someone has never had vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision,” he said.

The event was originally planned for Oct. 31 but Musk postponed it just days before without giving a reason.


Neuralink’s last public presentation, more than a year ago, involved a monkey with a brain chip that played a computer game by thinking alone.

Musk, who also runs electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla , rocket firm SpaceX, and social media platform Twitter, is known for lofty goals such as colonizing Mars and saving humanity. His ambitions for Neuralink, which he launched in 2016, are of the same grand scale.

He wants to develop a chip that would allow the brain to control complex electronic devices and eventually allow people with paralysis to regain motor function and treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s. He also talks of melding the brain with artificial intelligence.

Neuralink, however, is running behind schedule. Musk said in a 2019 presentation he was aiming to receive regulatory approval by the end of 2020. He then said at a conference in late 2021 that he hoped to start human trials this year.

Neuralink has repeatedly missed internal deadlines to gain FDA approval to start human trials, current and former employees have said.

Musk approached competitor Synchron earlier this year about a potential investment after he expressed frustration to Neuralink employees about their slow progress, Reuters reported in August.

Synchron crossed a major milestone in July by implanting its device in a patient in the United States for the first time. It received U.S. regulatory clearance for human trials in 2021 and has completed studies in four people in Australia.
 

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Lava from Hawaii volcano slows its approach to key highway
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Caleb Jones, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher And Andrew Selsky
Publishing date:Dec 01, 2022 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read
Lava fountains and flows illuminate the area during the Mauna Loa volcano eruption in Hawaii, Nov. 30, 2022.
Lava fountains and flows illuminate the area during the Mauna Loa volcano eruption in Hawaii, Nov. 30, 2022. PHOTO BY GO NAKAMURA /REUTERS
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Rivers of glowing lava oozing from the world’s largest volcano shouldn’t be able to reach the main highway linking the east and west coasts of Hawaii’s Big Island for at least a week, an official said Thursday.


The lava flowing down Mauna Loa has “slowed considerably” since it reached flat ground, Ken Hon, scientist in charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said at a news conference.


The lava is moving 30 to 40 yards per hour and is 3 1/2 miles south of Route 200, he said. At that rate, it would be at least a week before it reaches the highway.

“We don’t really know which way the lava flow will ultimately go,” Hon said.


Route 200, known as Saddle Road, bisects the island, connecting the cities of Hilo and Kailua-Kona. If it becomes impassable, the alternative is a longer coastal road that adds several hours of driving time to a trip that normally takes about 1 1/2 hours.

The distance from the road doesn’t mean much when thinking about when or if the lava will meet it, Hon said. The flow has become very viscous since it hit flat ground.



“Sometimes the lava flow is driving, sometimes it’s crawling,” he said.

Hon on Wednesday had given a timeline of two days for the earliest lava could reach the road, but on Thursday he said that was based on conditions at the time. He also stressed that one week would be the earliest it would reach the road at its current rate.

Officials were initially concerned that lava would head toward the community of South Kona, but scientists later assured the public the eruption had migrated and wasn’t threatening communities.

Gov. David Ige has issued an emergency proclamation to allow responders to arrive quickly or limit access as needed.

If lava does cross the highway, the Hawaii National Guard can help plan for alternatives and try to set up bypass routes, the governor said.


Lava crossed the Mauna Loa Observatory access road Monday night and cut off the facility’s power, Hon said. It’s the world’s premier station that measures heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The federal government is looking for a temporary alternate site in Hawaii and is contemplating flying a generator to the observatory to restore power.

Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984. The current eruption is its 34th since written record keeping began in 1843. Its smaller neighbour, Kilauea, has been erupting since September 2021.

— Kelleher reported from Honolulu. Selsky reported from Salem, Oregon. Contributing to this report were Associated Press journalists Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu and Greg Bull and Haven Daley in Hilo.
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Hawaii history shows stopping lava not easy
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Audrey Mcavoy
Publishing date:Dec 01, 2022 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read
This image released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) on Nov. 29, 2022, shows Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii erupting from the Northeast Rift Zone sending lava flows to the north downslope toward Saddle Road.
This image released by the US Geological Survey (USGS) on Nov. 29, 2022, shows Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii erupting from the Northeast Rift Zone sending lava flows to the north downslope toward Saddle Road. PHOTO BY HANDOUT/US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY /AFP via Getty Images
HONOLULU — Prayer. Bombs. Walls. Over the decades, people have tried all of them to stanch the flow of lava from Hawaii’s volcanoes as it lumbered toward roads, homes and infrastructure.


Now Mauna Loa — the world’s largest active volcano — is erupting again, and lava is slowly approaching a major thoroughfare connecting the Big Island’s east and west sides. And once more, people are asking if anything can be done to stop or divert the flow.


“It comes up every time there’s an eruption and there’s lava heading towards habited areas or highways. Some people say, ‘Build a wall’ or ‘Board up,’ and other people say, ‘No don’t!”‘ said Scott Rowland, a geologist at the University of Hawaii.

Humans have rarely had much success stopping lava and, despite the world’s technological advances, doing so is still difficult and dependent on the force of the flow and the terrain. But many in Hawaii also question the wisdom of interfering with nature and Pele, the Hawaiian deity of volcanoes and fire.


Attempts to divert lava have a long history in Hawaii.

In 1881, the governor of Hawaii Island declared a day of prayer to stop lava from Mauna Loa as it headed for Hilo. The lava kept coming.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Princess Regent Lili’uokalani and her department heads went to Hilo and considered ways to save the town. They developed plans to build barriers to divert the flow and place dynamite along a lava tube to drain the molten rock supply.

Princess Ruth Ke’elikÅlani approached the flow, offered brandy and red scarves and chanted, asking Pele to stop the flow and go home. The flow stopped before the barriers were built.

More than 50 years later, Thomas A. Jaggar, the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, asked U.S. Army Air Services to send planes to bomb a Mauna Loa vent to disrupt lava channels.


Lt. Col. George S. Patton (who later became famous as a general in Europe during World War II) directed planes to drop 20 600-pound (272-kilogram) demolition bombs, according to a National Park Service account of the campaign. The bombs each had 355 pounds (161 kilograms) of TNT. The planes also dropped 20 smaller bombs that only had black powder charge.

Jagger said the bombing helped to “hasten the end of the flow,” but Howard Stearns, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist onboard the last bombing run, was doubtful. In his 1983 autobiography, he wrote: “I am sure it was a coincidence.”

According to the park service, geologists today also are doubtful the bombing stopped the lava flow, which didn’t end with the bombing. Instead, the flows waned over the next few days and didn’t change paths.


Rowland said authorities could use a bulldozer to pile a big berm of broken rock in front of Daniel K. Inouye Highway. If the terrain is flat, then lava would pile up behind the wall. But the lava may flow over it, like it did when something similar was attempted in Kapoho town in 1960.

Rapidly moving lava flows, like those from Kilauea volcano in 2018, would be more difficult to stop, he said.

“It would have been really hard to build the walls fast enough for them. And they were heading towards groups of homes. And so you would perhaps be sacrificing some homes for others, which would just be a legal mess,” he said.

He said he believes most people in Hawaii wouldn’t want to build a wall to protect the highway because it would “mess with Pele.”


If lava crosses the highway, Rowland said officials could rebuild that section of the road like they did in 2018 when different routes were covered.

Hawaii County’s director of civil defense, Talmadge Magno, said Wednesday the county has no current plans to try to divert the flow, though he has had some discussions about it.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, who was governor during the 2018 Kilauea eruption, told reporters his experience showed him it’s not possible to overcome nature and Pele.

Thinking you should physically divert lava is a Western idea rooted in the notion that humans have to control everything, said Kealoha Pisciotta, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner. She said people need to adjust to the lava, not the other way around.

“We are not separate from nature,” she said. “We are a part of nature.”
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No snowflakes are the same. These stunning close-up photos are proof
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Amudalat Ajasa, The Washington Post
Publishing date:Dec 07, 2022 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read
Occasionally bubbles form in the centre of snowflakes early in their genesis and then collapse leading to a perfect circle in the centre of a flake. The process in this snowflake appears to have repeated multiple times.
Occasionally bubbles form in the centre of snowflakes early in their genesis and then collapse leading to a perfect circle in the centre of a flake. The process in this snowflake appears to have repeated multiple times. PHOTO BY JASON PERSOFF / HANDOUT /Washington Post
People react differently when snow sweeps over a region: Some joyously build snowmen, some begrudgingly brush off their cars, and others hunker down in the comfort of their homes. Very few grab a black wool sock and capture high-definition crystal images of snowflakes. But Jason Persoff does.


With every hearty snowfall that strikes Colorado, Persoff adds to his growing collection of over 100 stunning snowflake images.


“They’re these transient structures made out of water vapour and dust, and they’re ethereal. They’re here for a short period of time and then they’re gone,” said Persoff, who has been taking pictures of snowflakes for six years.

While many photographers work out of studios, Persoff’s studio is his back deck, he has placed a black wool sock, a camera, a table and some lights. After the fibers from his sock catch the falling flakes, Persoff holds his breath and hosts snowflake auditions.

Snowflakes start off as prisms with six sides. At some points in this snowflake's path, the conditions changed back and forth for some vertical development, but largely lateral development.
Snowflakes start off as prisms with six sides. At some points in this snowflake’s path, the conditions changed back and forth for some vertical development, but largely lateral development. PHOTO BY JASON PERSOFF / HANDOUT /Washington Post
It takes nearly 40 high-focused images stacked on top of each other to create one mesmerizing snow photograph.


Each snowflake tells a story of how atmospheric conditions combined to etch out each unique crystal pattern. Based on the shape and the definition of each snowflake, scientists can determine the temperatures it encountered on its way down and how close to the ground it formed.

The dazzling chiseled flakes form right above ground level, Persoff told The Post.

“It’s not only that there aren’t two snowflakes that are alike, it’s that every single one of them is so damn cool,” said Persoff, an assistant director of emergency preparedness at the University of Colorado Hospital.

A snowflake shows the floral pattern because of a vertical series of growth from the centre.
A snowflake shows the floral pattern because of a vertical series of growth from the centre. PHOTO BY JASON PERSOFF / HANDOUT /Washington Post
Kenneth Libbrecht, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology, said capturing beautiful crystals can be challenging because the average crystal is, “small . . . beat up, asymmetrical, [and] not branched.”


“Your average snowflakes are pretty dull-looking,” said Libbrecht, who has studied snowflakes for over 20 years.

Stellar dendrites, the snowflakes so often featured on holiday illustrations, form when water vapour combines with dust in clouds and freeze. Once an individual water droplet freezes, the tiny piece of ice acts like a sponge absorbing more water vapour from the air, causing the ice to grow. Other unfrozen water droplets in clouds evaporate and condense onto the ice.

“The liquid first evaporates and then the vapour deposits on the snowflakes,” Libbrecht said. “It takes about 100,000 droplets to make a snowflake because the droplets are very small.”

The perturbations in the snowflake occur because of how water vapor meets the cylindrical prism that is an early flake.
The perturbations in the snowflake occur because of how water vapour meets the cylindrical prism that is an early flake. PHOTO BY JASON PERSOFF / HANDOUT /Washington Post
It takes just over a half an hour before a crystal grows to a few millimeters in size. Once the crystals are heavy enough, they fall.


Sometimes, the tiny glasslike crystals come in colours that are nearly invisible to the naked eye in normal lighting. Through a process called thin-film interference, the centre of some snowflakes reflects vibrant colours similar to the colours reflected from soap bubbles. Colour only develops when the crystal forms with thin flat bubbles on the side, according to Libbrecht.

“As the light goes through one layer and then the next layer and then bounces back, it creates these colours that are like water and gasoline,” Persoff said.

The location of where the snow falls plays a huge role in whether images can be taken at all. Aurora, Colo., where Persoff has lived for most of his life, has near perfect conditions for capturing the flakes due to the “right temperatures and generally low humidity,” he said.


Persoff added: “Most of the time when I’ve encountered winter precipitation elsewhere in the country, it hasn’t been these amazing individual flakes.”

Libbrecht said the best crystals form at the “magic temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit” and in places that don’t experience a lot of wind. Northern parts of Japan, Ontario and Sweden and much of Vermont are known for “gorgeous snowflakes,” he said.

But even given the right conditions, the crystals could still turn out to be “very unattractive-looking,” Libbrecht said. “Each crystal experiences slightly different growth conditions, temperature and humidity. So they all grow a little bit different.”

Finding a perfect snowflakes is possible “any place where it gets cold enough,” Libbrecht said. “You have to be patient.”

Persoff has developed a series of instructional videos on YouTube for anyone interested in photographing snowflakes.

— Photo captions were provided by the photographer, Jason Persoff, and edited for length.
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Hawaii road in limbo as Mauna Loa lava continues to crawl
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
Publishing date:Dec 07, 2022 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read
In this handout photo from the U.S. Geological Survey taken on Dec. 4 and obtained on Dec. 6, 2022, an aerial view shows the fissure 3 lava channel erupting from Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone at the Mauna Loa Volcano near Hilo, Hawaii.
In this handout photo from the U.S. Geological Survey taken on Dec. 4 and obtained on Dec. 6, 2022, an aerial view shows the fissure 3 lava channel erupting from Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone at the Mauna Loa Volcano near Hilo, Hawaii. PHOTO BY USGS/U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY /AFP via Getty Images
HONOLULU — About a week-and-a-half since the world’s largest volcano began erupting, Hawaii officials continue to brace for slow-moving lava to intersect with a crucial Big Island road, even though scientists are not sure when or even if that will happen.


On Wednesday morning, lava from Mauna Loa, which began erupting Nov. 27 after being quiet for 38 years, was 2.89 kilometres from Saddle Road, also known as Route 200 or Daniel K. Inouye Highway, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey said. The road connects the east and west sides of the vast island.


Last week, officials said the earliest the lava could hit the road was one week. But, as expected, the lava slowed considerably in recent days as it moved across flatter ground, leaving scientists unable to estimate a clearer timeline.

“I wish we could give a better answer,” David Phillips, deputy scientist-in-charge at USGS’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said Wednesday. “And so just based on its current behaviour and all the variables involved, it’s very difficult to estimate a time, a place or even an if, it would intersect the highway.”


The flow front seemed even less active Wednesday than the previous day, possibly because of a breakout of lava headed upslope that could be diverting lava from what’s headed to the highway, Phillips said.

In this handout photo from the U.S. Geological Survey taken on Dec. 4 and obtained on Dec. 6, 2022, an aerial view shows fissure 3 erupting on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa, at an elevation of approximately 11,500 feet (3,510 m) above sea level, at the Mauna Loa Volcano near Hilo, Hawaii.
In this handout photo from the U.S. Geological Survey taken on Dec. 4 and obtained on Dec. 6, 2022, an aerial view shows fissure 3 erupting on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa, at an elevation of approximately 11,500 feet (3,510 m) above sea level, at the Mauna Loa Volcano near Hilo, Hawaii. PHOTO BY USGS/U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY /AFP via Getty Images
Scientists were monitoring the overflow about 4 kilometres upslope from the lava front but it wasn’t currently posing any threat, Phillips said. It was unclear if it would continue to be active, but if does, it would be a while before it reached the road, he said.

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth said planning for a road closure continues. Residents of the island are bracing for major upheaval if lava makes the road impassable, forcing drivers to find alternate coastal routes, which could add hours to commute times.


Roth warned that the road could even close before the lava arrives if some lava-gawkers continue behaving badly, including people hiking onto closed areas to get a closer glimpse.

Thousands of motorists driving along the road to watch the lava prompted officials to open a one-way “mitigation route” last week.

The route seems to have helped reduce collisions that were happening at night when lava-viewing traffic increased, officials said.

About 20 members of the National Guard were dispatched to help with managing lava-related issues, including safety and traffic. The county also hired some security guards to help keep people from going into prohibited areas, Roth said.

“As we’re looking at this lava flow, you know, the concern hasn’t been so much for people getting hurt by lava,” Roth said Tuesday, “it’s people getting seriously injured by traffic crashes.”

 

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