Sun, 03 Feb 2008 22:35 UTC
At least 39 people have been killed and more than 300 hurt in a series of quakes in Africa's Great Lakes region.
The two most powerful occurred hours apart in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring Rwanda, with magnitudes of 6.0 and 5.0 respectively.
At least 21 people were killed and 200 seriously injured when two earthquakes struck Rwanda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, police and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The quakes struck close together in Africa's great lakes region along the same western Great Rift Valley fault line.
The first quake, with a magnitude of 6.0 and its epicentre in Democratic Republic of Congo, happened at 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT), followed by another 5.0 quake in southern Rwanda.
A study by NASA and Louisiana State University scientists finds that sediments deposited into the Mississippi River Delta thousands of years ago when North America's glaciers retreated are contributing to the ongoing sinking of Louisiana's coastline. The weight of these sediments is causing a large section of Earth's crust to sag at a rate of 0.1 to 0.8 centimeters (0.04 to 0.3 inches) a year.
The sediments pose a particular challenge for New Orleans, causing it to sink irreversibly at a rate of about 0.4 centimeters (0.17 inches) a year, according to data from a network of global positioning system stations and a model of sediment data collected from the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Delta.
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study has shown that ice caps on the northern plateau of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic have shrunk by more than 50 percent in the last half century as a result of warming, and are expected to disappear by the middle of the century.
|©Gifford Miller, University of Colorado at Boulder
|Ice caps on the northern plateau of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic have shrunk by 50 percent in recent decades as a result of warming temperatures.
LA PAZ - Torrential rains have caused widespread flooding in southern Ecuador, eastern Bolivia and northern Argentina, with nearly 50 people killed and thousands made homeless, triggering international humantarian aid to the region.
In Bolivia, where some 45 people have been killed by incessant flooding since November, Japanese Ambassador Mitsunori Shirakawa Saturday presented President Evo Morales with 121,000 dollars' worth of food and first aid equipment for flood victims.
Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog and weather forecaster, emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow Saturday, a traditional prediction of six more cold weeks of winter in the United States.
|Official Groundhog Handler Ben Hughes looks at Punxsutawney Phil after the famous Groundhog Day weather prognostication in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2, 2008.
Heavy snow and storms caused chaos on Britain's seas and roads Friday, prompting a rescue operation to airlift a seriously injured ship's captain from his vessel, officials said.
The skipper of the Horn Cliff, a cargo ship carrying fruit from the Caribbean, sustained spinal injuries and internal bleeding as the vessel hit a force 10 storm 180 miles (290 kilometres) south of Ireland.
The Royal Air Force launched an effort to airlift him and six others from the ship, two of whom were also thought to be injured less seriously, but it said later it had to be called off because conditions were too dangerous.
Australia experienced its hottest January on record this year, with the dry continent heating up as part of the global warming process, the bureau of meteorology said Friday.
Temperatures rose by between 1.0 and 2.0 degrees in most parts of the country, with the national average hitting 29.2 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) for the summer month, said the bureau's head of climate analysis, David Jones.
"It's a remarkable number certainly. Averaging, as we did across the whole country 1.3 degrees above average is the highest temperature we've seen in our history of records for Australia in January," he told AFP.
Three people have been killed and nearly 90,000 forced to evacuate their homes in the Indonesian capital due to heavy floods, officials said Saturday.
The health ministry said 88,261 people had abandoned flooded homes in Jakarta, where heavy rain also forced the international airport to close for about six hours on Friday.
"A three-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man drowned yesterday (Friday). Another woman, 50, was also killed but we don't know what the cause is," an officer from the national disaster management centre Setyo told AFP.
Abo Ebam, Nigeria - In the gloomy shade deep in Africa's rain forest, the noontime silence was pierced by the whine of a far-off chain saw. It was the sound of destruction, echoed from wood to wood, continent to continent, in the tropical belt that circles the globe.