Earth Changes

Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake magnitude 6.0 - 28km WSW of Kirakira, Solomon Islands

Earthquake 6.0 Solomon Islands
© US Geological Survey
Event Time
2014-04-04 11:40:32 UTC
2014-04-04 22:40:32 UTC+11:00 at epicenter


10.530°S 161.672°E depth=63.8km (39.6mi)

Nearby Cities
28km (17mi) WSW of Kirakira, Solomon Islands
224km (139mi) ESE of Honiara, Solomon Islands
813km (505mi) NW of Luganville, Vanuatu
827km (514mi) SE of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
1072km (666mi) NW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
Scientific data
Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake magnitude 6.1 - 76km SW of Iquique, Chile

Earthquake 6.1 Chile
© US Geological Survey
Event Time
2014-04-04 01:37:51 UTC
2014-04-03 20:37:51 UTC-05:00 at epicenter
2014-04-04 03:37:51 UTC+02:00 system time

20.621°S 70.739°W depth=20.0km (12.4mi)

Nearby Cities
76km (47mi) SW of Iquique, Chile
172km (107mi) NNW of Tocopilla, Chile
241km (150mi) S of Arica, Chile
277km (172mi) NW of Calama, Chile
531km (330mi) SSW of La Paz, Bolivia

Scientific data
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Aftershock Magnitude 7.6 - 19km S of Iquique, Chile

Iquique Quake_030414
Event Time
2014-04-03 02:43:17 UTC
2014-04-02 23:43:17 UTC-03:00 at epicenter

20.400°S 70.135°W depth=40.0km (24.9mi)

Nearby Cities
19km (12mi) S of Iquique, Chile
187km (116mi) N of Tocopilla, Chile
213km (132mi) S of Arica, Chile
260km (162mi) NNW of Calama, Chile
479km (298mi) SSW of La Paz, Bolivia

Technical Details

Tornadoes in the forecast for Midwest U.S.

© Farmers' Almanac
A large swath of the U.S. Midwest is bracing for potentially dangerous weather including possible tornadoes as an intense storm system moves through the region on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The area of greatest risk includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Missouri and Illinois and western Kentucky and Tennessee, where significant tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds could strike Thursday afternoon and evening, said John Hart, a meteorologist in the service's storm prediction center.

"The parameters look pretty good for tornadic storms tomorrow, but the models are varying quite a bit on where the corridor of greatest risk will be," Hart said.

Earthquakes in Chile and L.A. raise fears about 'Ring of Fire'

Click to enlarge
The 8.2 earthquake that shook northern Chile and surrounding countries late Tuesday night was one of a string of recent earthquakes along what is known as the "Ring of Fire," a circle of quake-prone areas on the Pacific Rim.

A magnitude 5.1 quake hit Los Angeles last week, followed by aftershocks along the California coast. And South America will be on the lookout in coming days for aftershocks that have already started following Tuesday night's temblor.

Both cities lie along the so-called Ring of Fire, where two plates underneath the earth's surface occasionally bump up against other plates, according to Kate Hutton, staff seismologist at California Institute of Technology.

"That affects South America, the California coast, Alaska, Japan, the Philippines. Basically any places around the Pacific Rim are at risk," she said.
Arrow Down

10 Feet deep sinkhole traps minivan in Toledo

© Nick McGill
A minivan became trapped in the sinkhole on Wednesday afternoon

Another vehicle has fallen victim to a Toledo sinkhole, becoming trapped at the intersection of Adams and 15th Streets in the city's downtown Wednesday afternoon.

A witness estimated the sinkhole was about ten feet deep and two feet wide.

The minivan involved needed to be towed out of the crater after its right front wheel sank into the hole. When the van was pulled out of the hole around 5 p.m., it was clear that vehicle had been damaged.

Around 7 p.m., Toledo City crews remained on the scene in an effort to secure the area around the hole.

Crews planned to turn off the water that could be seen running under the roadway.

Officials did not know if the shut off would impact nearby businesses or homes.

This is one of several large sinkholes that have opened up in the Toledo area this year.
Ice Cube

Harsh winter leads to starvation, death for waterfowl across Michigan

© Cory Olsen |
Dead waterfowl line the shore of Lake Macatawa near the Holland State Park Tuesday.
Harsh winter conditions have led to a large number of waterfowl deaths across the state, something Greenville resident Stephen Schnautz has seen first hand.

Schnautz, 33, a waterfowl hunting and ice fishing guide, said he's seen a variety of species that just couldn't make it through the winter.

"I've seen diving ducks, loons, swans, gulls, a little bit of everything," Schnautz said. "I've been down to the Kalamazoo River and seen dead birds on the river bank. They're everywhere."

The losses aren't just around West Michigan, Schnautz said.

"I guide on Saginaw Bay and I've seen them all the way down to Lake Erie," Schnautz said. "They're in Muskegon, Traverse City, up in Ludington, too. I've mostly seen canvass backs, redheads, long-tailed ducks and some types of mergansers.

Michigan DNR wildlife outreach technician Holly Vaughn said the die-off can be attributed to the amount of ice coverage on inland lakes as well as the Great Lakes.

"Most of the birds that are washing up are diving birds like canvass backs, redheads, long-tailed ducks and some types of mergansers," Vaughn said. "It's mostly because they weren't able to get to their main food source.


U.S. farmers face planting issues as cold conditions and drought linger

"Damp soil leftover from winter, melting snow and lagging temperatures mean a lot of places are going to have a slow planting period across the Midwest, northern Plains and the Great Lakes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said.
AccuWeather Global Weather Center - reports despite the official start of spring, lingering effects of the winter season will cause planting delays this year.

While the South will be right on schedule weather-wise for prime planting with looming frost concerns, delays will become more and more likely with every mile heading north.

Frozen Ground, Soil to Create Delays

Coming off a frigid, snow-filled winter for areas from the Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley and Northeast, spring will shape up to be mostly cool and wet.

"Damp soil leftover from winter, melting snow and lagging temperatures mean a lot of places are going to have a slow planting period across the Midwest, northern Plains and the Great Lakes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said.

Lingering winter delays planting season by weeks in New Hampshire

Farmers, gardeners say they're weeks behind

The calendar may tell farmers and gardeners to get out and start planting, but that's impossible right now.

The late-season cold and snow is wreaking havoc with New Hampshire's growing season.

If Abby Wiggin of Wake Robin Farm had her way, her plants would already be in the ground.

"Last year, we planted peas on March 21," she said. "It's April 2 now, and I can't get a tiller out in the field."

It's the same in fields across the state. Some farms are two to three weeks behind schedule. Home gardeners and the gardening retail business have been slow to start, too.

"As far as people coming in to shop, we're two weeks behind," said Beth Simpson of Rolling Green Nursery.
Snowflake Cold

April snowstorm in Minnesota could be record breaking

© AP/Paul Sancya
Prince was wrong. It's not "Sometimes It Snows In April." It's "Always It Snows In April."

OK, it only seems that way after the brutal winter we had this year, and the extended winter we had last year. But many Minnesotans are understandably at the breaking point with the news that a spring snowstorm is expected to dump possibly more than a foot of snow in many parts of the state.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for most of the state, including the Twin Cities. The warning is in effect from Thursday afternoon until Friday night.

WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak says that the storm should begin with a wintry mix in the Twin Cities. Then it will eventually begin to turn over into heavy, wet snow late Thursday into Friday morning. The period of accumulating snow could last up to 12 hours, Augustyniak said.