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CNN10 2020-02-14

CNN 10

Cyclone Brings Both Worry and Relief to Part of Australia; Study Looks Back at a Major Oil Spill; A Volcano Belches to Life Again in Indonesia

Aired February 14, 2020 - 04:00:00 聽 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. I was just at a Friday last week and I'm happy to report, it's awesome. Thank you so much for making CNN 10 part of your Friday. Our international coverage starts in Australia where there's been some good news then some bad news, then more good news.

Let me explain. New South Wales is a state in southeastern Australia. It was the hardest hit state by the bush fires we reported on earlier this year though every Australia state's been effected by them. It's summer there now and the country typically sees a fire season but this one was made worse by an ongoing drought.

Tens of millions of acres burned. At least 28 people have been killed. About 3,000 homes have been destroyed and millions possibly hundreds of millions of animals have been effected. So what's good in all that? Well in New South Wales it could be coming to an end. Fire officials say all of the wildfires there have been contained meaning some are still burning but they've all been surrounded and stopped from spreading. Firefighters say it's been a traumatic, exhausting and anxious bush fire season so far but that the containment of the blazes will allow emergency workers to now focus on helping people rebuild.

OK, more bad news. A tropical cyclone recently rolled along the coast of New South Wales. It brought damaging winds, dangerous waves and it caused major flooding. The storms heavy rains led to the evacuation of several towns. Many schools in the region closed and there are severe thunderstorms in the forecast for the days ahead. But the good thing about the cyclone, which is what hurricanes are called in the south Pacific, is that it's helped put out more than 30 fires since last Friday. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service called that the most positive news they've had in some time.

10 Second Trivia. What is the largest gulf in the world? The Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Mexico or Gulf of Alaska. Covering around 600,000 square miles the Gulf of Mexico is the world's largest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A massive oil slick now covering some 600 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico and it could start reaching the United States coast within hours.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Still unknown but possibly worse than what was originally thought. It's been almost 10 years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred and a new study suggests that invisible and toxic oil might have made the spill 30 percent bigger than it was originally estimated to be. The reason, according to the study, is that satellites observing the Gulf of Mexico might not have been able to detect all of the oil that actually spilled. Researchers say that the three dimensional computer simulations that they used indicated that more oil in smaller concentrations actually resulted from the spill. They say that satellite data is still the fastest and most accurate way to find oil slicks but that in the future new technology can help better assess how widespread they are. BP did not comment on the study.

One of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia is erupting once again. Mount Merapi fired ash thousands of feet into the air yesterday as the lava bled down from its crater. No one was hurt but tourists and residents were told to stay two miles away from the volcano's peak. Mount Merapi is closely watched in the region because 10 years ago it had a major eruption that killed more than 300 people and forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate the area. Officials say that from December to January of this year, volcanic activity from Mount Merapi had increased above and below the surface.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Volcanic eruptions have devastated communities for centuries killing tens of thousands of people around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The haunted mountain of Papua in New Guinea bursts into eruption.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lava majestic and menacing begins it's slow, rumbling and relentless journey downward. Down to the towns and villages that await the inevitable coming of terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with about 1,500 volcanoes on Earth, it's no wonder we worry about these mountains of molten rock. But why do they erupt?

More than 80 percent of the Earths surface above and below sea level is volcanic and deep below the Earth's tectonic plates are always moving.

Most volcanic activity occurs where these plates collide. Deep within the Earth it is so hot that rocks slowly melt and become magma. Because this flowing substance is lighter than the rocks around it, it rises. When some of these tectonic plates shift, the magma rises even higher. Some of the magma pushes through the cracks in the Earth's crust at vent and at fissures and reaches the surface where it is then called lava.

What kind of eruption a volcano will have depends on the properties of the magma. Thin and runny magma means gas trying to escape can do so easily.

When this happens the lava will flow out of the volcano. We've seen this with Hawaii's volcanoes because the lava flows slowly people can get away quickly and it rarely results in victims. But thick and sticky magma is a different story. There's less room for gases to escape and the pressure mounts. Gas gets trapped in the magma which then explodes at the surface. This is called an explosive eruption and we've seen it with Mount Etna in Sicily and Mount Saint Helens in the U.S.

Explosive volcanic eruptions can be dangerous and deadly. Lava, ash, debris can destroy everything in their path. In some cases, these eruptions have buried entire communities like Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii and Mount Pelee in Martinique. About 500 volcanoes have erupted since we started keeping records. Many around the "Ring of Fire", an area from New Zealand to the coast of South America where there are the most subduction zones and plate movements. All volcanic activity is closely monitored by scientists around the world. By tracking active volcanoes, experts can see the warning signs and alert the public before an eruption.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: For 10 out of 10 how to train a sheep dog to become a bird dog. There are a lot of geese in the area around Denver, Colorado. And after seeing his dog chase geese away from a campsite, the owner decided to use the animal in goose control and that's become a full time job. He says the dog don't actually eat or even contact the geese but they make them think that there's a predator in the area so the birds won't come back, or should I say come "beak" or they won't come "bark". Now you might be thinking water "fowl" idea but when a dog has a good "gander" at a goose and goes on a wild goose chase, the "geese" it's got to do is "geese" out of there in a "doggone" hurry before it gets "herded". Though not "hurted" by a border collie turned "bird a collie". All right. (ph)

Tioga, Louisiana is our last stop today. Hello to all of the Indians of Tioga High School. Hope everyone there and around the world has a wonderful weekend and we'll return on Tuesday. We're off Monday for the President's Day Holiday. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.

END