Earth ChangesS


Kilauea lava flow pauses for three days

Honolulu -- The Kilauea volcano on the big island of Hawaii took a three-day break this week from its 26-year eruption.

Scientists said that lava stopped flowing at what is known as the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout on Monday and started up again on Christmas Eve, the Honolulu Advertiser reported Friday.


Montserrat volcano hurls lava, rocks, ash

San Juan, Puerto Rico - A volcano on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat has resumed its rumbling and hurled rocks and lava toward the abandoned capital.

Bizarro Earth

Asia at risk of era of mega-disasters: report

Sydney - The Asia-Pacific faces an era of large-scale natural disasters which could kill up to one million people at a time, with Indonesia, the Philippines and China most at risk, according to an Australian report.

The Sydney Morning Herald cited a scientific report which found that the impact of natural events such as earthquakes and tsunamis would in coming years be amplified by rising populations and climate change.

The paper said the report, by government body Geoscience Australia, had prompted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to create a joint disaster training and research centre.

Geoscience Australia could not be reached for comment Friday.

Alarm Clock

Earthquake strikes northern California: USGS

© AFP/File/Nicolas AsfouriA quake reading on a seismograph. A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck northern California on Friday, the US Geological Survey said, revising an earlier report of a stronger quake.
A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck northern California on Friday, the US Geological Survey said, revising an earlier report of a stronger quake.


Welcome to the Coldest Town on Earth

Oymyakon, Siberia, is bracing for temps as low as minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.8 degrees Celsius)
SA siberia
© ©iStockphoto.comFRIGID CONDITIONS: The temperature in Oymyakon, Siberia, could plunge to match (or exceed) the record minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 68 degrees Celsius) reached in 1933.

As winter sets in, the 800 hearty denizens of the coldest town on earth are bracing for one of the most frigid blasts yet, as forecasters predict that temperatures in Oymyakon, Siberia, could plunge to the coldest ever recorded in an inhabited location. There is no disputing that the mercury slides in Alaska and even in the Midwestern U.S. in the heart of winter. But if you want cold, visit Oymyakon, which this winter is expected to reach (or perhaps exceed) its record low temperature: a bone-chilling minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 68 degrees Celsius) reached on Feb. 6, 1933. It is a record matched only by nearby Verkhoyansk, Siberia, which endured minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Feb. 7, 1892.


Dense fog halts Houston Channel shipping

Dense sea fog was keeping about 40 ships from entering or exiting the Houston Ship Channel to the busiest U.S. petrochemical port on Friday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The shutdown began on Thursday morning when ship pilots stopped steering vessels through the 60-mile waterway to refineries and petrochemical plants in Houston and Texas City, Texas, after fog reduced visibility to unsafe levels, the Coast Guard said.


Earthquakes injures nine, affects 100,000 in S China

Kunming -- Two earthquakes measuring 4.3 and 4.9 on the Richter scale jolted China's southwestern province of Yunnan early Friday, injuring nine people and affecting more than 100,000, local authorities said.

A 4.9-magnitude earthquake hit a village about 10 km from Ruili, a city on China-Myanmar border 4:20 a.m., the provincial seismic network reported.

The city's Communist Party chief Yang Yueguo said two villagers were seriously wounded and seven others suffered slight injuries. "It's still unclear who these people are and how they got injured," he said.


Magnitude 6 Earthquake Strikes Off Pakistan's Coast, USGS Says

A magnitude 6 earthquake struck off the coast of Pakistan at 2:40 a.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The temblor hit at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and the epicenter was 305 kilometers west-southwest of Karachi, the country's main commercial center, the USGS said.


US: Winter storm blankets West with snow, heads east

US snow
© AFP/Don EmmertPedestrians on 5th Avenue are bundled against the cold December 22, 2008 in New York. Frightful weather walloped North America Thursday as holiday travelers dug out from days of delays due to snow and ice.
Reno, Nevada - While much of the nation got a reprieve from heavy snow and ice, another winter storm blanketed parts of the West, snarling holiday traffic and briefly darkening lights on Christmas trees before barreling eastward.

Winter storm warnings were issued Friday for Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas, while a blizzard warning was in effect for southwestern Colorado.

"It's going to be a heck of a storm," said Chris Cuoco, senior forecaster for the National Weather Service's Grand Junction office. "We're expecting significant snowfall in all the mountains of Colorado. Even the valleys are going to see 4-plus inches of snow."

Bizarro Earth

Australia: E-Waste - 'Motherboard of All Problems'

With electronic items high on Christmas shopping lists, a new report is calling on the government to ensure that manufacturers collect and recycle unwanted computers and mobile phones to protect environmental and human health.

"There are toxic materials that are leached out of these products when they're in landfill and they can damage human and environmental health," says Castle.

And with Australians among the top-ten consumers of electronic items in the world, the TEC is warning that the problem of e-waste is becoming a crisis.

Sales of computers, mobile phones and digital cameras have all increased in recent years, and a large percentage of these products will eventually end up in landfill sites.