More containers have fallen off ships in the past four months than are typically lost in a year. Blame heavy traffic and rolling waves.
SINCE THE ENDof November, this is some of what has sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean: vacuum cleaners; Kate Spade accessories; at least $150,000 of frozen shrimp; and three shipping containers full of children’s clothes. “If anybody has investments in deep-sea salvage, there’s some beautiful product down there,” Richard Westenberger, chief financial officer of the children’s clothing brand Carter’s told a conference recently.
You can blame the weather, a surge in US imports tied to the pandemic, or a phenomenon known as parametric rolling.
All told, at least 2,980 containers have fallen off cargo ships in the Pacific since November, in at least six separate incidents. That’s more than twice the number of containers lost annually between 2008 and 2019,according to the World Shipping Council.
Until COVID-19 hit, the global cruise industry was on course for a record-breaking year. But major coronavirus outbreaks on board ships cost lives, jobs, and damaged the reputation of the fastest-growing sector of the travel industry.
Italy’s famed active volcano, Etna, has been spewing lava for over three weeks. On Sunday, March 7, the fiery mountain on the eastern coast of Sicily let out its tenth big blast of the season since February 16. Only this time, it also rained down ash and small lava stones on the town nearby.
At nearly 3,324 meters above sea level, Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe. According to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology ( INGV), the giant exploded at approximately 2:00 am local time, pushing the column of ash and lava to a height of 10,000 metres.
The lava down below did not change direction and continues to flow from the southeast crater — down the side of the volcano that does not house any residents.