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A megatsunami is defined as a wave reaching more than 100 meters (328 feet) in the deep ocean. The highest wave ever recorded occurred on July 9, 1958 in Lituya Bay, Alaska reaching a height of 524 meters (1,720 feet), 250 feet taller than the Empire State Building. Near the crest of the Fairweather Mountains sit the Lituya and the North Crillon glaciers. They are each about 12 miles long and one mile wide with an elevation of 4000 ft (1,220m). The retreats of these glaciers form the present T shape of the bay, the Gilbert and Crillon inlets. The major earthquake that struck on the Fairweather Fault had a Richter scale reading of 7.9, and some sources have reported it to be as much as 8.3. The epicenter of the quake was at latitude 58.6N., longitude 137.1W. near the Fairweather Range, 7.5 miles east of the surface trace of the Fairweather fault, and 13 miles southeast of Lituya Bay. This earthquake had been the strongest in over 50 years for this region. The earthquake caused a subaerial rock fall in the Gilbert Inlet. This landslide caused 30 million cubic meters of rock to fall into the bay, creating the megatsunami. At 10:15 p.m. PST on July 9, 1958, which is still daylight at that time of year, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 struck the Lituya Bay area. The tide was ebbing at about plus 1.5m and the weather was clear. Anchored in Anchorage Cove, near the west side of the entrance of the bay, Bill and Vivian Swanson were on their boat fishing when the unthinkable happened: "With the first jolt, I tumbled out of the bunk and looked toward the head of the bay where all the noise was coming from. The mountains were shaking something awful, with slide of rock and snow, but what I noticed mostly was the glacier, the north glacier, the one they call Lituya Glacier. I know you can’t ordinarily see that glacier from where I was anchored. People shake their heads when I tell them I saw it that night. I can’t help it if they don’t believe me. I know the glacier is hidden by the point when you’re in Anchorage Cove, but I know what I saw that night, too. The glacier had risen in the air and moved forward so it was in sight. It must have risen several hundred feet. I don’t mean it was just hanging in the air. It seems to be solid, but it was jumping and shaking like crazy. Big chunks of ice were falling off the face of it and down into the water. That was six miles away and they still looked like big chunks. They came off the glacier like a big load of rocks spilling out of a dump truck. That went on for a little while—its hard to tell just how long—and then suddenly the glacier dropped back out of sight and there was a big wall of water going over the point. The wave started for us right after that and I was too busy to tell what else was happening up there." Based on this description, it is possible that the quake had caused the entire glacier (or a large portion of it) to slide over the cliff. What the fisherman may have seen, therefore, could have been that section breaking off and falling into the bay. This might account for the vast displacement of water, while leaving little or no evidence once the ice melted. The height of the wave, however, was accurately measured at 1,720 feet, based on the elevation extent of the damage caused to the foliage up the headlands around the bay. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

Vasili Grigorevich Zaytsev was a Soviet sniper during World War II, notable particularly for his activities between November 10 and December 17, 1942 during the Battle of Stalingrad. He killed 225 soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht and other Axis armies, including 6 enemy snipers. Prior to November 10, he had already killed 32 Axis soldiers with the standard-issue Mosin-Nagant rifle. Zaytsev took part in the battle for Stalingrad until January 1943, when he suffered an injury to his eyes from a mortar attack. He was attended to by Professor Filatov, who is credited with restoring his sight. On February 22, 1943 Zaytsev was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. He then returned to the front and finished the war on the Dniestr River with the military rank of Captain. After the end of the war, Zaytsev visited Berlin, where he met friends who served with him. After the war, Zaytsev managed a factory in Kiev, and remained in that city until he died in 1991 at the age of 76 just 10 days before the final dissolution of the Soviet Union. The telescopic sight from Heinz Thorvald's (aka König's) rifle, allegedly Zaytsev's most treasured trophy, is still exhibited in the Moscow armed forces museum today. Zaytsev claims in his memoir Notes of a Sniper that he stalked Major König for a week and eventually found the so called "König" under a sheet of metal. Zaytsev then slid a glove over a plank of wood and exposed it, upon which the German sniper shot right through it. Then Zaytsev's partner, Nikolai Kulikov, raised a helmet on a stick and the German sniper shot that, too. This time, however, Zaytsev saw where the German sniper was located and shot him, killing him. Zaytsev and his partner Kulikov went to the German sniper's body and took his documents and rifle. Between October 1942 and January 1943, Zaytsev had made 242 verified kills. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

Tanker 910 is the call-sign of a wide-body jet air tanker currently in fire service. The aircraft, operated by 10 Tanker Air Carrier, is a converted McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft used for fighting wildfires, typically in rural areas. The aircraft, currently registered as N450AX, was originally delivered as a civil passenger plane to National Airlines in 1975, and subsequently flew for Pan Am, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Omni Air International. The conversion of the original airframe to a fire-fighting aircraft was a joint venture under the name of 10 Tanker Air Carrier between Cargo Conversions of San Carlos, California and Omni, with conversion work being performed by Victorville Aerospace at the Southern California Logistics Airport at Victorville, California. The water or retardant is carried in three center-line belly tanks. The tanks have internal baffles to prevent fluid shift (and consequent shift in center of gravity) while in flight, and sit with a 15 inches (38 cm) ground clearance. All three tanks can be filled simultaneously on the ground in eight minutes. The retardant is gravity-fed out of the tanks, and the entire load can be dumped in eight seconds, although the actual drop rate is computer controlled by the flight crew in order to produce the desired retardant spread over the fire lines. The aircraft is capable of applying a line of retardant 300 feet (91 m) wide by 1 mile (1.6 km) long. The number of drops it can make in a day is only limited due to the time it takes to reload the jet with water/fire retardant and fuel, as well as its need for a proper landing field, which may well be a considerable distance from the subject fire. Because of the aircraft's limited maneuverability, California Department of Forestry (CAL FIRE) officials have said that it will not be used on all fires, and will not be used as an initial attack aircraft One drop from Tanker 910 is equivalent to 12 drops from an S-2 Tracker. Initially, the aircraft is intended to be operated primarily in California, and the entire state will be serviced from the plane's Victorville base, but in 2007 the CAL FIRE began looking into setting up a second operations base at the former Mather Air Force Base outside Sacramento, California. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water and is connected to a cumuliform cloud. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water. While it is often weaker than most of its land counterparts, stronger versions spawned by mesocyclones do occur. Waterspouts do not suck up water; the water seen in the main funnel cloud is actually water droplets formed by condensation. While many waterspouts form in the tropics, locations at higher latitude within temperate zones also report waterspouts, such as Europe and the Great Lakes. Although rare, waterspouts have been observed in connection with lake-effect snow precipitation bands. here are five stages to the waterspout life cycle. Initially, a prominent circular, light-colored disk appears on the surface of the water, surrounded by a larger dark area of indeterminate shape. After the formation of these colored disks on the water, a pattern of light and dark-colored spiral bands develop from the dark spot on the water surface. Then, a dense annulus of sea spray, called a cascade, appears around the dark spot with what appears to be an eye. Eventually, the waterspout becomes a visible funnel from the water surface to the overhead cloud. The spray vortex can rise to a height of several hundred feet or more and often creates a visible wake and an associated wave train as it moves. Eventually, the funnel and spray vortex begin to dissipate as the inflow of warm air into the vortex weakens, ending the waterspout's life cycle. Waterspouts have long been recognized as serious marine hazards. Stronger waterspouts are usually quite dangerous, posing threats to ships, planes, helicopters, and swimmers. It is recommended to keep a considerable distance from these phenomena, and to always be on alert through weather reports. The United States National Weather Service will often issue special marine warnings when waterspouts are likely or have been sighted over coastal waters, or tornado warnings when waterspouts are expected to move onshore. When close to shorelines, waterspouts can devastate nearby coral reefs and marine organisms close to the surface. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE] is not affiliated with or endorsed by wikipedia. wikipedia and the wikipedia globe are registered trademarks of
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