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Tonga volcano eruption sends warning of tsunami to Japan and USA

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After the volcanic eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, the shores of Japan and the USA are at risk of a tsunami. The underwater volcano erupted on Saturday 15th January 2022 and is causing ripples across the South Pacific coast.

The volcano erupted about 30 kilometers southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou Island twice, first on Friday and then later on Saturday. The volcano resulted in ash, gas, and steam reaching about 20 kilometers into the air. It also caused huge waves of more than a metre to crash into Tonga while many parts of the country are covered in ash. This also led to the blackout of power lines, phone lines, and also the internet. Not only that, there have been a lot of traffic jams in the country as people are fleeing the low-lying areas, leading to more disorder. 

Along with Japan and the USA, many South Pacific islands are experiencing large waves crashing into coastal homes. This has led Japan and the USA to advise people near the coast to move away as precautionary actions. Japan has issued a warning of waves reaching about three meters, to hit the southern part of the country, specifically the Amami islands where a 1.2m tsunami is already recorded. The high waves have not caused any harm yet, however, the Japan Meteorological Agency urged people to not go near the sea until all tsunami warnings are lifted.  In the briefing, the Japan Meteorological Agency official also stated “we do not know yet whether these (waves) are actually tsunami.” Moreover, the sound of the volcano could be heard in the Fiji Island of Japan as “loud thunder sounds” for around eight minutes. This island is 800km away from the source of the eruption leading to the Fiji government issuing a tsunami advisory and opening evacuation centers.

The volcano was heard in New Zealand as well which is pretty unusual since New Zealand is more than 2000 kilometers away. The GNS Science volcanologist Geoff Kilgour said “people hearing these sorts of sounds from so far away is very rarely recorded, it is only a few times in history,” adding that this explosion was “by far the most violent eruption that we have seen in some time.” Prof Shane Cronin, a volcanologist at the University of Auckland also shared her opinion, “this is a pretty big event – it’s one of the more significant eruptions of the last decade at least,” she said. This is of course a very big and rare event that will be remembered for many years to come. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Over a Million Homes Without Power Due to Severe Storm in Canada

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  • A powerful thunderstorm in Southern Canada caused over 900,00 homes to lose power. Ontario’s power company Hydro One claims it would take several days to reconnect every home. 
  • The strong winds of the storm destroyed trees, disrupted traffic, damaged homes, and saw emergency services swarmed with calls for help. 
  • Among the casualties are four people who were killed by falling trees as well as a woman who died due to a boat capsizing in the Ottawa River.
  • Firefighters and utility workers removed tangled power lines and phone poles in media circulating in Canada. The town of Uxbridge, which lies just north of Toronto, declared a state of emergency as the storm left “significant damage in its wake.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Californian Coast Engulfed with Fires yet Again

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  • A brushfire has burned about 200 acres of land in Orange County, California. 
  • It has set ablaze 20 mansions, valued at  around 20 million dollars, in the area and damaged 11 others. 
  • More than 130 houses have been evacuated. The long drought and global temperature rise has been causing such fires in the regions’ recent history.
  • 550 firefighters have been at work trying to control and push back the fire from burning more land. 2 firefighters have been injured doing so. 
  • The fire has only been 25% contained but worries and evacuation grows as the coming days’ temperatures are predicted to rise over 100 degrees Celsius.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

The First Image of the Milky Way Black Hole Has Been Released

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  • A colossal black hole, about four million times the mass of the sun, has been discovered and pictured for the first time. The black hole, known as Sagittarius A, resides in the Milky Way, but is 26,000 light-years away from our solar system, so, fortunately, there is no possibility of danger to Planet Earth. 
  • The image of the black hole was generated by an international team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration. What can be seen is a central dark region, where the hole is situated, surrounded by a ring of light produced from super-heated gas accelerated by immense gravitational forces. The ring of light is roughly the size of Mercury’s orbit, or 40 million miles across. 
  • This image is the second image produced by the EHT team, the first was released in 2019 of Messier 87, or M87, another giant black hole, about 6.5 billion times bigger than the mass of the Sun, in another galaxy. However, this image is more significant because it resides in our galaxy and can be studied in more intricate detail. 
  • This research can now confirm that a supermassive black hole lives in the center of the galaxy, and is producing enough gravitational force to accelerate nearby stars through space at speeds of 24,000km/s. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Malawi Community Saved from Floods by Selfless Chief Bernard Samson

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  • As Malawi grapples with severe and frequent flooding, a Malawian Chief, Bernard Samson is doing what he can to save his community. In recent years, flooding has been prevalent in the region of Malawi and it has resulted in devastating damage and loss of life.
  • Bernard Samson, who is the district head of the Chikwawa community in Malawi, has been innovating ways to keep community members safe. In January, Samson sold his livestock in order to purchase land located on higher grounds to save his community members from recurring floods. Community members created makeshift shelters on the new land and have been trying to resume normal life as much as possible.
  • Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs has reported that approximately 230,000 homes have been damaged and around 45 people have died as a result of the flooding. Flooding in the region has also displaced close to a million people out of their homes with displaced families in desperate search of clean drinking water and shelter.
  • Julian Ngoma, coordinator of the Civil Society Network on Climate Change has stated that the government should recognize Samson’s sacrifices for his community and should work to support the region through implementation of early warning systems to help prepare communities. Unfortunately, government support and legislation has been stagnant leaving people like Bernard Samson to do what they can to support their members.

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All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Samar Idlibi
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Samar is a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in Communication and a minor in Business. In addition to her passion for research and writing in relation to current events, she also utilizes her skills in areas such as digital marketing. Furthermore, she is deeply interested in positions that involve oral communication skills such as leadership roles and public speaking.

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Environment

Climate Change Food Crisis Hits Madagascar

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As many nations across the world battle the climate change crisis, African and Middle East countries are hit particularly hard with water scarcity, extreme heat and declining food production.

Madagascar, specifically the Grand Sud region, has been fighting a famine which is only getting worse. The World Food Program even called this the world’s first famine caused not by conflict, but a “climate change famine”. 

The village of Berenty in Grand Sud region, has been experiencing the worst drought since the last 40 years. Out of the 630 people living in the village, about 30 of them have passed away during this time. Sambo, the chief of Berenty village, said “If it weren’t for the nuns in Amboasary to help them, I can’t imagine the next episode. If the WFP [World Food Programme] didn’t come earlier, I couldn’t imagine.”

Last year 1.6 million people were at the very edge of hunger, with 30,000 of those in immediate danger of life threatening conditions. The WFP, with an influx of aid, was able to bring some stability to the region. 

Although this year is reported to be better, the season’s rainfall is still below average, making any reprieve short lived. When the rain did come, earlier this year, so did Cyclone Emnati, which destroyed the village’s fields, crops, and hope for sufficient food. 

Climate scientists warn the world of the rising temperatures set to worsen cycles of food insecurity in southern Madagascar, projecting the droughts will be even harsher. The country has more than two thirds of the population living in poverty, southern Madagascar citizens living at a 90% poverty rate. Some international observers describe the situation as a “crisis of development” and human rights crisis by negligence. 

Many of the people can no longer work due to malnourishment, causing whole families to rely on humanitarian aid. One villager, Selambo, a mother of four, is too weak to work and relies heavily on international aid, or resorts to begging at the local market for food for her family. 

The international community has helped through emergency response to stem the immediate and wide scale disaster for the population. WFP’s country director, Pasqualina Disirio, told reporters “I think we, as an international community, also the national authorities, we can be proud that we averted the worst-case scenario that was the famine in the south.” She also mentioned that aid intervention had helped about 30,000 people from the highest famine phase of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. 

The Famine Early Warnings System has warned that after May’s harvest, there could be a return of the emergency level of hunger by June. A global food crisis, sparked by the Russian Ukrainian war, also has food prices soaring to three times the normal average in the area.

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, shared his thoughts saying “My countrymen are paying the price for a climate crisis that they did not create.” 

A 1.5 degrees Celsius increase would worsen droughts in Madagascar, as reported by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel also recorded higher levels of aridity in the Grand Sud. 

The World Weather Attribution network also reported that increased cyclonic rains that hit the country’s eastern side were magnified by climate change. 

The director of the Climate Hazards Center at University of California Santa Barbara, Chris Funk, said about southern Madagascar, “We can look back about 40 years and this is certainly an unprecedented frequency of dry seasons in that historical record.” Funk, whose research focuses on the development of early warning detection, went on to say “And what is extremely dangerous from a food security framework is that we have these repeated shocks that are much more dangerous and damaging than when you just have one bad drought [year].” “Many households have some reserves, they have some coping mechanisms, but when you get [several years] in a row of drought conditions, then those resources are really depleted.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Environment

NASA Scientist Chains Himself to Bank Door to Bring Attention to Climate Change

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Climate scientists from Nasa have chained themselves to the door of JPMorgan Chase bank in Los Angeles. Just a few weeks after climate activists blocked oil terminals in London. The move came after climate experts such as Dr. Peter Kalmus stated that the government refused to listen to reason in regards to the climate. The protest clearly warned that irreversible damage to the climate is imminent and yet research continues to be ignored.

Dr. Peter Kalmus stated “We chose JP Morgan Chase because out of all the investment banks in the world, JP Morgan Chase funds the most new fossil fuel projects. As the new IPCC report explains, emissions from current and planned fossil energy infrastructure are already more than twice the amount that would push the planet over 1.5°C of global heating, a level of heating that will bring much more intense heat, fire, storms, flooding, and drought than the present 1.2°C.” This blind investment into climate damaging projects will leave the world inhabitable for future generations.

Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable source of energy, one which cannot be replenished at the rate it is consumed. The energy source also expels large amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment when it is burned, causing heat to be trapped within the earth’s atmosphere. Dependence on such a short-term energy source not only causes the earth to be damaged, but will lead to terrible living conditions for the citizens of the world. 

The NASA scientist, Dr. Kalmus later tweeted that he was arrested for blocking the entrance to the bank. He further highlighted the fact that scientists such as him will continue to be brushed aside in favor of financial powerhouses.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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