The company responsible for the accident says there were no signs of an impending disaster and that up to 98 percent of the waste held behind the burst dam remains in the reservoir. But Hungary's State Secretary for Environment says he is not convinced. If the waste reaches the Danube River, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova might be threatened with volatile heavy metals.
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
5.5 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G
TROPICAL STORMS -
Tropical storm OTTO was 315 nmi NNE of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. [ALTHOUGH OTTO STILL LOOKS LIKE A CLASSIC SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE IN SATELLITE IMAGERY, IT APPEARS TO BE SLOWLY GAINING TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS.]
Otto - Early in the afternoon on Wednesday, a subtropical depression that had been lurking to the east of the Caribbean developed into a subtropical storm now dubbed Otto. Otto makes the 15th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Otto is a little different than its predecessors so far this season in that it is actually a subtropical storm. Subtropical cyclones differ from tropical cyclones because they have broad wind patterns and their maximum sustained winds are located farther from the center of the system than tropical cyclones. Subtropical storms also usually have colder temperatures in upper levels of the atmosphere than tropical cyclones (which have very warm cores). Finally, sea surface temperatures required for the formation of sub-tropical storms are about 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 degrees Celsius) cooler than needed for a tropical cyclone to develop.
Otto had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), and could strengthen further over the next 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center predicts that Otto could become a tropical storm and then a hurricane by Thursday night or Friday morning. Heavy rains might fall on the Leeward islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The 2010 hurricane season was predicted to be a busier-than-average one, with 17 named storms, 10 of which were expected to become hurricanes. So far there have been six hurricanes this season. An average hurricane season, in comparison, has 11 tropical storms with six of them becoming hurricanes. Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30 each year. The busiest part of the season is typically late August through early October, when ocean waters are at their warmest, providing the fuel that drives these ferocious storms. (satellite photo)
HEAVY RAINS, SEVERE STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
INDONESIA - The death toll from flash floods in a remote region of eastern Indonesia has climbed to at least 97 with dozens of people still missing.
SPACE WEATHER -
On Tuesday, Oct. 5th, the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth tipped south and temporarily punctured our planet's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fueled a display of auroras over Greenland. Another display could be in the offing. A minor solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field on or about Oct. 9th, possibly sparking geomagnetic activity. (photo)