News Briefs: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

Rare poisonous snake on Oxnard beach

A highly venomous, yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platurus, was found Friday at the high tide line at Silverstrand Beach in Oxnard.

The discovery is a rare Southern California record, according to Greg Pauly, curator of herpetology of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

“It was the northernmost sea snake ever documented on the Pacific Coast of Northern America,” Pauly said.

The last sea snake species to be documented washed up on shore in 1972 in Orange County, according to CNN. Yellow-bellied sea snakes are normally found in tropical waters, closer to Baja California and Central America, according to the news article.

According to CNN, warmer waters are bringing more tropical species to California, including hammerhead sharks, tropical fish and sea snakes.


Mudslides cause major road damage

Nearly 200 vehicles, including 75 tractor-trailers and two tour buses carrying passengers, were trapped in up to 20 feet of mud and debris on California 58, east of Tehachapi, after torrential rains.

Multiple mudslides hammered the highway from 4 -5 p.m. on Thursday evening as commuters traveled on Tehachapi Pass, explained Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the Los Angeles Times, drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles or had to be rescued as mud swept across the highway. More than 200 people were moved to three shelters in Mojave and Tehachapi.


Category 4 typhoon hits the Philippines

Super Typhoon Koppu made landfall early Sunday in the Philippines, toppling trees, disabling power and communication and destroying homes.

Typhoon Koppu, known as “Lando” in the Philippines, reached Casiguran in Luzon’s Aurora province at 1 a.m. local time Sunday morning, according to NBC News.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) explained the typhoon sustained winds of around 93 mph and gusts up to 114 mph, threatening the homes of almost half of the country’s 98 million people.

The United States military’s Joint Typhoon Warning center upgraded Koppu to a super typhoon — a term for typhoons with maximum winds of at least 150 mph, the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane — reported NBC.


Mexican authorities take fire at drug lord

Fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman suffered injuries to his leg and face after eluding Mexican authorities.

Mexican Marines zeroed in on the Sinaloa cartel kingpin after United States drug agents intercepted cell phone signals suggesting “El Chapo” was hiding at a ranch near Cosala in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains in western Mexico,  NBC News reported.

Three sources with knowledge of the operation said Marines raided the ranch in helicopters but were forced to turn back after taking fire from suspected Guzman security forces.

The Mexican government confirmed Guzman suffered injuries to “one leg and his face.” The manhunt continues for the crime boss who escaped from a maximum-security prison for the second time in Altiplano in July,  according to the article.


Kristen Hansen
Staff Writer
Published October 21st, 2015