Tag Archives: mountains

STEM Center, a food collection drive | Instant News


The Pittsylvania / Danville Health District held a COVID-19 testing clinic today. You can get the test between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Frith Fine Arts Center at Averett University. You don’t need to make an appointment.

Roanoke Mutual Aid is having a food drive today. it will collect nonperishable food, as well as masks, diapers, toilet paper and other hygiene products. Groups will collect items from noon to 5 pm at the Hope Center on 11th Street NW in Roanoke.

Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council works to close gender gaps in science and technology. It launched Mobile STEM Center today, enabling Girl Scouts to bring STEM Opportunities to communities across the region.

The Virginia Department of Health is holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic today. The first injection of the Moderna vaccine will be given at Danville Mall. You must have an appointment for a vaccine. You can pre-register for future vaccination events at vacinate.virginia.gov.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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Mount Etna volcano in Italy erupts, causing a ‘rain of rocks’ | Instant News


Italy’s Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, erupted on Tuesday, creating a lava fountain and sending plumes of orange smoke into the sky.

The eruption forced Sicily’s Catania Airport to temporarily close – which often happens when the volcano is active.

No injuries or deaths were reported.

Residents in the village of Pedara near the crater said it was not only spewing ash, but large chunks of volcanic rock all over the area.

“It was raining rocks,” resident Letizia Olivieri told the Associated Press. “Something I’ve never seen in my life.”

The Sicilian village was in emergency mode, the mayor said, as residents and city teams worked to clear ash on the roads on Wednesday.

Mount Etna in Catania, Sicily, erupted and gave off a high ash cloud of lava.

Handout / ANSA / AFP via Getty Images

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Mount Etna in Italy, Europe’s most active volcano, erupted on February 17, 2021.

Handout / ANSA / AFP via Getty Images

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The eruption created a lava fountain and sent orange smoke into the sky.

Handout / ANSA / AFP via Getty Images

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No injuries or deaths were reported.

EPA / ORIETTA SCARDINO

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Residents in the village of Pedara near the crater said it was not only spewing ash, but large chunks of volcanic rock all over the area.

Davide Anastasi / LaPresse via AP

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The eruption of Mount Etna is visible from the village of Catania, Italy.

REUTERS / Antonio Parrinello

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Red hot lava flow after the eruption of Mount Etna seen from Giarre, Italy.

REUTERS / Antonio Parrinello

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“It was raining rocks,” resident Letizia Olivieri told AP. “Something I’ve never seen in my life.”

REUTERS / Antonio Parrinello

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View of the eruption of Mount Etna from Paterno, Italy.

LUIGI SENNA via REUTERS

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Volcanic ash was seen when Mount Etna erupted in the village of Catania, Italy.

REUTERS / Antonio Parrinello

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Workers clear roads after the eruption of Mount Etna volcano in Catania, Italy.

REUTERS / Antonio Parrinello

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A woman takes her dog for a walk after the volcanic eruption of Mount Etna in Catania, Italy.

REUTERS / Antonio Parrinello

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Saharan dust plumes cause a spike in European air pollution | National news | Instant News


The Saharan dust plume that has blanketed southern and central Europe in recent days has caused a sharp rise in air pollution across the region, researchers said Tuesday.

The European Commission’s Copernicus satellite monitoring program said levels of particles measured smaller than 10 micrometers – called PM10 – surged in cities such as Barcelona, ​​Lyon and Marseille on Sunday.

The fine sand clouds blowing north from Algeria paint the sky red and mix with fresh snowfall in the Alps and Pyrenees, making the slopes appear orange.

Although PM10 particles can enter the lungs, causing difficulty breathing, asthma attacks and other health problems, Saharan dust concentrations do not reach levels considered dangerous.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Italy has heavy snow, covered ski resorts | Instant News


CORTINA, Italy (AP) – Graceful granite peaks surround the northern Italian town of Cortina d’Ampezzo with one of the most fertile snowfalls in years, a cruel joke of nature while the COVID-19 pandemic silences Italy’s winter resorts.

Cortina will be appearing on TV sports channels for two weeks this month as the city that hosted the past and upcoming Olympics hosted the 2021 World Ski Championship, sending downhill skiers flying down sheer slopes. But the event will occupy only a fraction of the available hotel rooms, and is unlikely to bring much business to the city’s luxury boutiques. No spectators allowed.

In fact, the spasm of activity looks like a mere blink in a ski season that looks like it will never take off, as the Italian government postpones the reopening of lifts for recreational skiers. The world championships will provide a fine picture of the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics, but little economic aid to local businesses and workers living off the winter sports economy, which has been closed for nearly a year.

“Weirdly, we made snow in November, because we didn’t know there would be so much and the slopes had to be prepared,” said Marco Zardini, chief executive of Cortina Skiworld, which normally operates 35 ski lifts in four areas but only has four in use now. for use by local clubs and aspiring world-class athletes who need to stay in shape for the upcoming season.

Italy’s 2019-2020 ski season unexpectedly closed in early March, when the country became the first Western country to be hit by the pandemic. The new season has not yet launched, unlike in neighboring Switzerland, which in December allowed lifts to be opened with restrictions, or in Austria, where residents can still ski. French ski lifts remain closed until at least February.

In Italy, the pandemic-related closure is a blow to an industry that generates 1.2 billion euros ($ 1.5 billion) in annual revenue and employs 5,000 permanent and 10,000 seasonal workers, according to the ski lift operators association, ANEF.

The association said the end of the start of last year’s season led to a 20% drop in revenue and called this season a total loss. Taking hotels, restaurants and other services into account, the ski industry generates an annual revenue of 11 billion euros ($ 13.2 billion), but travel restrictions have brought near-zero activity aboard stalled lifts.

“Mountains, you can’t leave them alone. They need to be treated, ”ANEF President Valeria Ghezzi said.

The paradox is that 2020-21 will be the season for record books in Cortina, and elsewhere throughout the Italian Alps, where snow is abundant, Zardini said.

In any season, the tony shopping street Corso d’Italia Cortina can compete with Milan’s Montenapoleone Golden Triangle for its concentration of luxury brands, including Dior, Fendi and Moncler. But the shops were empty of customers and most hotels were closed. Many hotels have several meters of snow on their roofs and terraces.

In a normal year, Italians account for more than half of Cortina’s nearly 1 million annual visitors, and Americans are the top foreign visitors, ahead of Germans and Brits.

While global fashion brands can hope to offset a sharp drop in business with sales booming in China, that’s not the case with local businesses. Bruno Pompanin Dimai, a sports shop owner, called the season a “disaster” for Cortina. He only sells a few pairs of boots and one ski jacket all winter. The only convenience is that the ski brand has promised not to renew their offerings next season so that it can sell the rest of its inventory.

“With all this snow, I’ll be working twice as much,” Dimai said.

Ingrid Siorpaes, who runs a local handicraft shop, said sales were down 90%. The only people walking on the snowy main road were locals and people riding the pandemic in their second home.

“We remain open, even if I have to lay off a salesperson,” said Siorpaes. This shop misses foreign tourists.

This is not so different in other ski areas in the Alps and along the Apennines where instead of making money, many lift operators raise fees for seasons that may never arrive.

While ski resorts make money for four months of the year, upkeep and upkeep are year-round costs – something government ski resort operators in Rome say are slow to grasp.

No aid packages have arrived for the ski industry, and the situation is bleak for the workers. Permanent workers may be laid off on a short-term basis, but such programs are not available to seasonal workers, who make up a large proportion of industrial lift operators, ski instructors, mountain guides, rental shop employees and hotel and restaurant workers.

Ghezzi, president of the ski lift association, doubts that the lifts will open on February 15 as currently planned.

“Unfortunately, I have to say that this season is irreparable,” he said. “We can say the season is a total defeat. If you can open it in March, maybe 90% or 95%. I can’t rule out that some companies may fail. “

The March opening will provide a maximum of one month of teaching time for Giulio De Luca, who runs a ski school in San Vito, which is part of Cortina SkiWorld. He has only received two 600-euro ($ 722) payments from the government since last spring – which was quickly followed by a tax bill of € 950 ($ 1,143).

“In November, December, and January, instructors received not a penny,” from the government, said De Luca. The ski school has also not been eligible for assistance so far, while rent, utilities, telephone and tax bills keep coming.

“I have money to pay taxes now, but not next month,” he said.

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The strange death of Russian mountaineers may have been due to an unusual avalanche | Instant News


By Krista Charles

Rescuers discovered that the mountaineer tent had been dismantled from inside

Wikipedia Commons

In 1959, nine Russian mountaineers died on a ski expedition in the Ural Mountains, in what is now the Dyatlov Pass incident. No one knows for sure what happened. A Soviet criminal investigation carried out months later, when the bodies were found, concluded that the party had died following an unknown “coercive force of nature”.

Many theories have been put forward, but nothing is conclusive. Now, Johan Gaume at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos, Switzerland, and Alexander Puzrin of the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering in Zurich, Switzerland, have found a way to reverse the previously rejected theory that avalanche is to blame.

“This is a very good example of how one can apply science to solve some problems that can be shrouded in mystery and where many [conspiracy] theories could emerge, ”said Dieter Issler of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in Oslo, who was not involved in the work.

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The facts obtained from the initial investigation, from journals and other items, are as follows. On February 1, 1959, the climbers set up camp on the slopes of Mount Kholat Syakhl. After midnight, they emerged from their tent from inside and headed towards the forest more than a kilometer down the slope.

That night the temperature was below -25 ° C, but the expedition members were not dressed according to the weather, with some of the group found almost naked and barefoot.

The main cause of that death hypothermia, but four of the climbers had severe chest or skull injuries and two were found with their eyes missing and one missing a tongue.

Investigations reopened in 2015 and in 2019 the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation concluded that an avalanche was the cause.

This avalanche hypothesis is not new but has previously been questioned by the public and rejected by relatives. There are four countermeasures against it.

The first two points are that the angle of the slope was insufficient for an avalanche and no traces were found thereafter. The unique local topography can explain this, Puzrin said. While the snow is visible at a 23-degree angle, the ground below has several curves like steps that bring the average angle closer to 28 degrees. The avalanche in this situation will not leave a characteristic trail.

The third argument deals with possible triggers. “They cut slopes to put up tents, this we saw in their last photo. Usually when you cut this slab, if it is unstable it will immediately fail but it doesn’t. It failed nine to 13 hours later. “

Additional loads like snow would be required for failure but no snow fell that night. “Instead of snow, we have very strong winds. There is a cold front coming from the North Pole, “said Puzrin. “So, it’s like someone comes and shovels snow from one place and puts it on the slope above the tent.”

The fourth argument is that the injuries he suffered were more severe than most avalanches. Gaume simulated and determined that the force exerted by the falling plate could cause the injury. “This is actually the same program Disney uses to simulate snow in an animated film Frozen, “Said Puzrin.

But not everyone is sure. “That doesn’t explain why these people, after being hit by an avalanche, ran naked into the snow. If you are in such a harsh environment, leaving your shelter without wearing clothes is suicidal, ”said Jim McElwaine of Durham University in England.

“For people to do that, they must be scared by something. “I assume that one of the most likely things is one of them going crazy for some reason,” said McElwaine. “I don’t understand why else they would behave that way unless they were trying to run away from someone who had tracked them down.”

Journal reference: Earth & Environment Communications, DOI: 10.1038 / s43247-020-00081-8

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