There has been an environmental disaster of epic proportions in Russia. The Valley of the Geyseys, one of the most spectacular places on the planet - an ecosystem of hotsprings and thermal sites much like that in Yellowstone National Park in the US, has apparently been destroyed by a massive mudslide.
See the news stories
TASS reports for example
most of the unique hot water springs in the Valley of Geysers have been damaged beyond repair.
This will affect many important research projects (including mine). For example see the web site of the Kamchatka Microbial Observatory (funded by NSF) on which I have a minor role.
If anyone out there has any additional information it would be appreciated.
PS Thanks to Jenna Morgan for pointing this out.
PPS - Nature has run a news story on this