Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Madagascar: Violence of Cyclone Ivan overwhelms careful preparations

As initial assessments shed light on the extensive damage caused by Cyclone Ivan earlier this week, Madagascar is bracing itself for another onslaught as Cyclone Hondo picks up and heads for the island's east coast.

Ivan slammed into Madagascar's northeastern coast on Sunday, 18 February, with winds of up to 210km per hour, leaving a trail of destruction on its way across the island until it slowly diminished in strength and dissipated in the Mozambique Channel on Tuesday.

Cloud Lightning

Ecuador extends floods emergency

Ecuador flood2
©Associated Press
Residents ride on a make-shift raft in a flooded street in Puerto Inca, Ecuador.

Ecuador has extended a state of emergency to the entire nation after torrential rains triggered floods and mudslides across the country. The move eases access to $25m (£12.7m) in emergency funds for repairs.

Nearly a month of flooding has claimed at least three lives and forced thousands to flee their homes.


US: Northeast Hit by Major Winter Storm

A major winter storm struck the northeast Friday morning, with snowfall causing massive delays at airports, closing schools and snarling traffic on streets and highways in the region.

Snow started falling earlier than expected, before daybreak, with four inches measured at mid-morning in Manhattan's Central Park. A total of six to nine inches was expected before the snow is to change to sleet and rain in the afternoon.

Employees clearing snow in a commercial area in Queens.

Arrival delays of more than five hours were reported by the Federal Aviation Administration at Kennedy and Newark airports with a lesser delay of slightly more than three hours at La Guardia.

Cow Skull

Record cold kills cattle and rice in Vietnam

Record-setting cold weather has killed more than 8,000 cattle and 100,000 hectares of paddy rice in northern Vietnam since mid-January, officials said Tuesday. Most of the cattle have died in northern mountainous provinces, where temperatures during the month-long cold spell have sometimes dropped to below zero Celsius, a rarity in Vietnam.


Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake Hits Nevada


A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck near the town of Wells in northeastern Nevada at dawn on Thursday, shaking residents in their beds and causing some damage, the U.S. Geological Survey and residents reported.

"It lasted about 10-15 seconds," area resident Susan Shaw told Reuters by telephone. "I live about 20 miles from Wells and it shook the whole house. It was scary but there was no major damage."

Nevada Earthquake
A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Nevada on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Evil Rays

Norway's biggest quake hits Svalbard archipelago

An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude -- the biggest in Norwegian history -- jolted the sparsely populated Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic on Wednesday night, the Norsar seismic research institute said on Thursday.

"This is the biggest earthquake on Norwegian territory in history," the institute said in a statement.


Philippine floods leave 12 dead, 100,000 displaced

At least 12 people have been killed and more than 100,000 displaced by flash floods and landslides as heavy rain lashed the central Philippines, relief workers said Thursday.

The military has begun flying relief supplies to some of the worst affected areas and rescuing residents trapped by rising flood waters.

Better Earth

Total lunar eclipse to turn Moon red

A total eclipse will turn the Moon red in the small hours of Thursday morning for about an hour.


New freezing weather hits Saudi Arabia

Northern regions of Saudi Arabia have been hit by the second cold spell this winter, the Al-Watan daily said on Wednesday.

This winter is said to be the coldest in Saudi Arabia in 30 years.

Temperatures in northern and northwestern parts of the country plunged to -5 degrees Centigrade (23 Fahrenheit) with bitterly cold winds raging at speeds of 60 km/ph (37 m/ph). Local residents are staying indoors whenever possible amid fears of hypothermia.


Cold spell claims over 1,100 lives in Afghanistan

The amount of people killed by freak freezing weather in Afghanistan since December last year has risen to over 1,100, the country's Ministry for Emergency Situations said on Wednesday.

This winter is the coldest in the last 30 years in Afghanistan, with temperatures reaching lows of -30 degrees Centigrade (-22 Fahrenheit) in 17 of the country's 34 provinces, national weather authorities said.