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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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18 killed as deadly fires sweep parts of southern Europe

Forest fires ravaged swathes of southern Europe Friday with blazes killing at least 17 people in Greece and prompting Athens to seek European aid, as an elderly man died in Italy and hundreds were evacuated from their homes.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who Friday sought the help of the European Union to tackle the fires, described the situation as a "tragedy without precedent."

"We are today living in a tragedy without precedent," he said after meeting with firefighters in Zacharo in the country's south where 11 people died Friday.

"I wish to express my pain at the deaths of our countrymen," he said. "We are living in difficult times, in moments of responsibility and combat."

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US: Tornado kills one in North Dakota town

A tornado destroyed a mobile home park, killing one person, and blew out windows in a nursing home and school, officials said Monday. At least 18 people were injured.

"This town is a mess. This town is a disaster," said Kevin Dean, a spokesman for the town's emergency operations center. "There's virtually nothing ... that hasn't been damaged."

Residents of the town's health center, which includes a small hospital and a 77-bed nursing home, were moved into corridors before the storm struck and no one was injured, said nursing director Carla Sletten.

Evil Rays

Moderate Earthquake Shakes Western Greek Island

A moderate earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 hit Monday the western Greek island of Kefalonia, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.

There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

Life Preserver

Helicopter sent to save trapped Greeks

Firefighters scrambled a helicopter to rescue people encircled by flames in southern Greece on Monday - one of dozens of fires that have torn through village and forest across the country, leaving blackened landscape in their wake.

The worst wildfires in living memory have killed 63 people, destroying everything in their path. One fire broke out on the fringe of Athens Monday, but was quickly brought under control. Another scorched the woodland around the birthplace of the Olympics.

©AP / Petros Giannakouris
Fire burns on the Hill of Kronos next to the site of ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, in southwestern Greece on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007. A massive effort by firefighters, assisted by water-dropping aircraft and fire trucks, succeeded in keeping a raging blaze away from the 2,800-year-old site - the holiest sanctuary in ancient Greece. Three days of forest blazes throughout the country have left at least 57 people dead, authorities said Sunday.

The flames were driven back from the capital and Ancient Olympia, but a helicopter headed to the village of Frixa in the western Peloponnese to rescue people surrounded by fire, the fire department said.

Bizarro Earth

Scientists urge guard against comet disaster

There is a one-in-10,000 chance that an asteroid or comet, more than two kilometres in diameter, will collide with Earth in the next century, killing a large proportion of the population, according to space scientists.

Bizarro Earth

Fire stones support catastrophe theory

MILLIONS of small fire-blackened stones in Ireland and Scotland are giving support to the theory that northern parts of the British Isles were depopulated by a nuclear winter-style disaster almost 3,200 years ago.

Telescope

Comet may have caused catastrophe on Earth; Collision of celestial body gaining support as likely reason behind string of disasters in the sixth century

A GIANT meteor or comet fragment - the size of some of those which last week collided with Jupiter - may have played a key role in determining human history, according to new evidence.

Scientific investigations suggest that a collision between Earth and a celestial body may have been partially responsible for the final demise of classical civilisation and the onset of the Dark Ages.

Cloud Lightning

Last weekend's rain in Minnesota obliterates single day record

The rains that triggered widespread flooding in southeastern Minnesota last weekend smashed a state rainfall record for a 24-hour period, according to the National Weather Service. It broke the old record by more than 4 inches.

A Naitonal Weather Service gauge near the town of Hokah in Houston County had 15.1 inches of rainwater in it when measured at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. The previous record -- set in July 1972 at Fort Ripley, Minn., in the central part of the state -- was 10.84 inches.

Bizarro Earth

Moderate Earthquake Rocks Northern Japan

A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 jolted northern Japan Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The quake was centered 145 miles northeast off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, according to the USGS. It struck 37 miles under the ocean floor.

Bizarro Earth

Thousands Ordered to Flee Idaho Wildfire

A mandatory evacuation was ordered Saturday for residents of more than 1,000 homes south of Ketchum, where a massive wildfire raged and high winds grounded firefighting air tankers.

After three days of relative calm, the 39-square-mile fire was 38 percent contained, but embers blew ahead of the blaze and increased the threat of spot fires, fire spokesman Bob Beanblossom said.

©AP/NASA
This image provided by NASA Thursday Aug. 16, 2007 was taken by one of the crew aboard the International Space Station of wide-spread forest fires in the Payette National Forest, Central Idaho within the Salmon River Mountains Monday.