Rock rises out of the sea as second La Palma lava flow reaches ocean

MADRID (Reuters) – New cascades of red-hot lava tumbled into the Atlantic Ocean off Spain’s La Palma on Wednesday morning, sending up plumes of white smoke and extending a platform of volcanic rock created by earlier flows.

The stream of molten rock from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which began erupting in mid-September, reached the water near the popular surf spot of Los Guirres beach just before 2 a.m., according to the Transport Ministry.

A video uploaded by Spain’s Geology and Mining Institute showed rivers of molten rock sliding into the sea and large rocks rolling down a cliff, causing a cone of debris to emerge from the waterline.

Unlike the first time lava reached the ocean – just over a month ago – authorities said there was no need for residents to stay indoors.

“New confinements are not necessary because the populations are far away from the point of contact with the sea that occurred last night,” an emergency services spokesperson told Reuters.

Few people live in the affected area, which is mostly banana plantations.

Early on in the eruption authorities had feared that the reaction between the superheated lava and seawater could unleash powerful explosions and set off toxic gas clouds.

During the last major eruption on the island, some 50 years ago, a man died after inhaling such gases.

La Palma’s council said on Tuesday that seismic activity around the eruption site, as well as emissions of toxic sulphur dioxide, had been decreasing and the air quality remained good across most of the island.

(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Authorities say air still breathable in La Palma as lava pours into sea

LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -A river of lava cascaded into the Atlantic Ocean from Spain’s La Palma island in the early hours on Wednesday, releasing plumes of steam which could unleash toxic gas, although so far authorities said the air inland had not been contaminated.

Thousands of people have been evacuated since an eruption in the Canary Islands archipelago began 10 days ago. Three coastal villages had been locked down since Monday in anticipation of the lava reaching the sea and potentially liberating harmful gases.

Residents on the western coast had been told to seal doors and windows with tape and wet towels. That recommendation was not yet lifted, but authorities said measurements showed the air was so far still safe to breathe.

“The eruption has not affected air quality, which is perfectly breathable. Teams measuring the presence of gases make periodic checks and have not registered values that could be considered dangerous,” the La Palma Council said on Twitter.

Incandescent lava gushing from the volcano poured down a cliff into the sea early on Wednesday in the Playa Nueva area near the town of Tazacorte and could be seen protruding above the Atlantic Ocean waterline, sending clouds of steam into the sky.

Smoke clouds billowed from the volcano and the molten rock as it flowed down Cumbre Vieja’s western flank.

“All the people in a 2-km radius have been evacuated” and a wider area is in lockdown, Tazacorte Mayor Juan Miguel Rodriguez Acosta told TV3 channel, adding that no further evacuations had been needed so far as the cloud was moving east.

He said all roads to the southern part of the island on the western side had been cut off by the lava.

Since the eruption began on Sept. 19, lava has engulfed nearly 530 houses, as well as 1,200 land plots, mostly banana plantations. Spain classified La Palma as a disaster zone on Tuesday, a move that will trigger financial support for the island.

($1 = 1.1714 euros)

(Reporting by Miguel Pereira, Marco Trujillo, Jon Nazca, Nacho Doce and Borja Suarez in La Palma; Writing by Inti Landauro and Andrei Khalip; editing by Mark Heinrich, Giles Elgood, Peter Graff)

Hurricane Fred Sets Records

Hurricane Fred became the second named hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic storm season but is going to be remembered for some unusual records.

The storm is the easternmost hurricane ever to form in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.  It brought the very first hurricane warning for the Cape Verde Islands and is the first hurricane that can be captured in the region by weather satellites.

“According to the official Atlantic tropical cyclone record, which begins in 1851, Fred is the first hurricane to pass through the Cape Verde Islands since 1892. We caution, however, that the database is less reliable prior to the satellite era (mid 1960s onward),” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

While 10 hurricanes have been in the area of Cape Verde, Fred is the first that will hit Cape Verde while still a hurricane.  The peak winds for the storm were 85 m.p.h. on Monday morning.

The storm is expected to strengthen for a few days but will dissipate in the open ocean before reaching any other land mass.

Forecasters say that overall activity for this storm season is below average because of the strong El Nino.

Tropical Storm Erika Forms in Atlantic

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has confirmed the presence of a new named storm in the Atlantic Ocean.

Tropical Storm Erika has sustained winds of 45 m.p.h. and as of noon eastern time was about 700 miles east of the Leeward Islands with a westward path at 20 m.p.h.

A tropical storm watch has been posted throughout the region for islands that are in desperate need of rain because of a sustained drought.  However, the storm is expected to continue to gain strength and reach hurricane status.

Forecast models are showing extremely different paths for the storm, from dissipating before making significant landfall to becoming a huge Category 4 storm that would strike South Carolina.

Erika is the fifth named storm in the Atlantic during the 2015 storm season.  Danny was the only storm to reach hurricane status, peaking as a Category 3 storm.  Danny dissipated on Monday because of a dry air mass moving across the region.

The NHC said the Air Force’s Hurricane Hunters are going to make a mass through the storm and provide feedback on the storm’s intensity.

Tropical Storm Danny Expected to Reach Hurricane Status

Tropical Storm Danny, located far out over the Atlantic, is likely to become a hurricane.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) say the storm is maintaining winds of 50 m.p.h. and models are showing the storm strengthening into hurricane status within the next few days.

The storm’s track could take it into Puerto Rico.  If the storm continues to strengthen, it could strike Cuba as early as Wednesday.  The models say it’s too early to determine if the storm could impact the United States.

If the storm reaches hurricane status, it would be the first named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season to reach that level.

The NHC said the storm is being driven west by a “subtropical ridge of high pressure” and that the conditions around the storm are beneficial to increasing strength.

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts until November 30th.

Possible Proof For Noah’s Flood Found

Scientists conducting experiments in the Atlantic Ocean believe they may have found evidence of the great flood that carried Noah’s Ark.

The discovery was found by German scientists who were collecting marine life from the ocean floor.  Instead, they pulled up manganese nodules from three miles below the surface of the water.

Some of the balls of manganese were as large as bowling balls.  Underwater cameras showed the nodules all over the ocean floor in a place that scientists said they should not be found.

“These metallic pellets provide strong evidence that most seafloor sediments were deposited rapidly, not slowly and gradually over millions of years,” Dr. Jake Hebert of the Institute for Creation Research wrote in an article this month. “Are these nodules evidence of the Genesis Flood?”

Hebert points out apparent flaws in the methods secular scientists use to date the nodules.

“Secular scientists claim that nodules grow at the extremely slow rate of just a few millimeters per million years,” he explains. “Yet manganese nodules have consistently been observed growing in lakes and man-made reservoirs, as well as on debris fragments from World Wars I and II, at rates hundreds of thousands of times faster than these calculated rates. This is just one more indication that there are serious problems with radioisotope dating methods!”

Pregnant Woman Drives Into Ocean With Kids In Minivan

A pregnant South Carolina woman attempted to kill herself and her three children by driving her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean.

Now police officials are saying that 31-year-old Ebony Wilkerson talked about demons before she drove away from the home according to her sister who called police.  Daytona Beach stopped Wilkerson but she appeared lucid and didn’t qualify to be held under the state’s mental health act.

“The children were in the back seat, they were buckled in and were not in distress. Although the sergeant said she looked like she had some mental illness, she did not fit the criteria for going into custody under the Baker Act,” Police Chief Mike Chitwood told Fox News.

Two hours later, Wilkerson drove herself and her three children, ages 10, 9 and 3, into the ocean.  Bystanders, police and lifeguards pulled the children from the van as it began to sink.

The children are in the custody of state welfare authorities.

Russian “Ghost Ship” Believed Headed Toward Britain

It sounds like the plot of a thriller movie but it’s reality.

A “ghost ship” has been floating loose in the upper Atlantic Ocean and is believed to be heading to the British coast filled with aggressive, disease-ridden, cannibalistic rats.

The Lyubov Orlova was being towed by a second ship after it was seized from its previous owner because of unpaid debts.  During the towing process, the boat broke free from the moorings and disappeared into the Atlantic.  It has only been spotted from the air a few times and has sent out signals twice in March 2013 but then went silent.

Experts are now warning that the recent wave of severe storms throughout the region could be driving the ship directly into the British coast.

The belief comes from the fact the lifeboats attached to the ship have not activated indicating they have touched down in the ocean.  If the ship had sunk, all the lifeboats would have had an emergency beacon activate.

If the ship were to make landfall, the disease infested rats could devastate the local rat population and be a major risk to humans for diseases like bubonic plague.