Earth ChangesS


US floods recede in Pennsylvania town, New Jersey on alert

WILKES-BARRE, Pennsylvania - Floods in the Susquehanna River receded early on Thursday, lifting the threat of catastrophic flooding in the historic town of Wilkes-Barre, but water was still rising in parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Days of torrential rain followed by floods had killed at least 16 people in the eastern United States by late on Wednesday. With buildings submerged, roads washed out and rivers surging, authorities declared emergencies and ordered hundreds of thousands of people evacuated across swaths of New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

"Yesterday was a war zone in the northern tier of Pennsylvania -- we choppered out over 1,000 people from rooftops, from second and third floors of their homes," Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said in an interview on CNN.


Guatemala Volcano Red Hot

The Volcano of Fire


Quake Rocks Andaman And Nicobar Islands In Indian Ocean

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 struck the islands of Andaman and Nicobar in the Indian Ocean, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said Wednesday.

Local officials called the quake moderate and said there were no reports of any damage.


Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano registers 50 explosions in 24 hours

Ecuador's National Geophysical Agency said on Tuesday the Tungurahua volcano had registered 50 explosions in the past 24 hours.

The Tungurahua volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador, started its second activity peak this May since the eruption process began in August 1999.


Big Three cars emit 230 mln tons of greenhouse gas

WASHINGTON - Cars built by the Big Three automakers gave off 230 million metric tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the United States in a year, more than the biggest U.S. electric utility, environmental researchers said on Wednesday.

General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler cars and light trucks emitted nearly three-fourths of all carbon dioxide from vehicles on U.S. roads in 2004, the year for which statistics were available, according to the watchdog group Environmental Defense.

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"With just 5 percent of the world's population, the United States has 30 percent of the world's automobiles and produces 45 percent of the world's automotive carbon dioxide emissions, the report said. U.S. cars are driven more and burn more fuel per mile than the international average."


Storm alert for French Alps

PARIS - France's state weather service has issued a storm alert for the southeast Alps region, warning that hail and strong wind gusts were likely.

The alert -- the second highest on a four-level scale -- was for Wednesday afternoon through to the early hours of Thursday.


Pennsylvania flooding forces evacuations

Flooded NY HighwayWILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Up to 200,000 people in the Wilkes-Barre area were ordered to evacuate their homes Wednesday because of rising water on the Susquehanna River, swelled by a record-breaking deluge that has killed at least 12 people across the Northeast.

Thousands more were ordered to leave their homes in New Jersey, New York and Maryland. Rescue helicopters plucked residents from rooftops as rivers and streams surged over their banks, washed out roads and bridges, and cut off villages in some of the worst flooding in the region in decades, with more rain in the forecast for the rest of the week.


Nevada governor declares fire emergency

Reno, Nevada - Gov. Kenny Guinn declared a state of emergency as state and federal crews put practically every available piece of equipment on the lines to combat dozens of lightning-sparked fires that have burned 125 square miles of Nevada.

More than 1,000 firefighters on Wednesday were battling dozens of fires, from a 57,000-acre blaze burning out of control largely in uninhabited rangeland in northeast Nevada to a complex of a dozen smaller fires around Reno and Carson City that forced evacuations at the town of Mound House along the historic Pony Express Trail.


5.6 Quake hits Iran; no reports of casualties

TEHRAN, Iran - An earthquake shook southern Iran early Thursday morning, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Radio reports said residents of the southwestern city of Bandar Abbas poured into the streets after the quake hit.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 1:32 a.m. (local time) and had a magnitude of 5.6. It was centered about 35 miles southwest of Bandar Abbas or about 650 miles southeast of Tehran, the capital.


No Rest for the Wet and Weary: Evacuation Ordered as Relentless Rain Fills DC Waterways

Government officials prepared for evacuations of low-lying sections of the water-logged Washington region last night as record-setting rainfall continued and commuters, homeowners and federal agencies struggled to cope.

Several large federal offices remained closed. Local governments opened emergency command centers and sheltered more residents reeling from rains of historic magnitude. The silt-laden Potomac River neared flood stage, and other waterways verged menacingly on overflowing.

Fearing that Lake Needwood, north of Rockville, was breaching its leaking dam, Montgomery County officials early this morning began evacuating people living along Rock Creek below the dam, county spokeswoman Donna Bigler said.