Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

'Dust devil' blows away city recycle station

One of three recycling stations operated by the City of Alamogordo is being rebuilt after it was blown away by a "dust devil" at its new location on North Florida Avenue recently.

Public Works Director Brian Cesar said the station, which had been on the corner of Florida and Indian Wells, was moved a few blocks away to the city public works yard on Florida.

"We moved it to the city yard, and that afternoon a large dust devil came through and destroyed the building," Cesar said.

Bizarro Earth

At least 6 die in Colombia earthquake

BOGOTA -- At least six people, including two children, were killed when a 5.5-magnitude earthquake jolted central Colombia Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The earthquake occurred in Meta province at 14:21 local time (1921 GMT), and its epicenter was at a depth of 3.9 km, Colombia's seismological administration said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake's epicenter was at 54 kilometers east-southeast of Bogota at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The dead, including two children, were killed when rocks fell on a bus at a highway linking Bogota and Meta provincial capital Villavicencio in a landslide caused by the quake. A dozen others were injured and the highway was paralyzed.

Bizarro Earth

Big quakes spark jolts worldwide

SALT LAKE CITY - Until 1992, when California's magnitude-7.3 Landers earthquake set off small jolts as far away as Yellowstone National Park, scientists did not believe large earthquakes sparked smaller tremors at distant locations. Now, a definitive study shows large earthquakes routinely trigger smaller jolts worldwide, including on the opposite side of the planet and in areas not prone to quakes.

"Previously it was thought seismically active regions or geothermal areas were most vulnerable to large earthquake triggers," says Kris Pankow, a seismologist at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations and a co-author of the new study.

seismic stations
©Aaron Velasco, University of Texas at El Paso
This map of the world shows seismic stations that detected more than twice the normal number of small, nearby earthquakes after the passage of what are known as "surface waves" from major quakes that were centered hundreds to thousands of miles away and occurred from 1992 through 2006. A new study co-authored by University of Utah seismologist Kris Pankow found that at least 12 of the 15 major earthquakes (greater than magnitude-7) during 1992-2006 triggered small quakes in distant parts of the world. Scientists once believed big quakes could not trigger distant tremors.

Bizarro Earth

Scorched Earth millenium map shows 'fire scars'

A geographer from the University of Leicester has produced for the first time a map of the scorched Earth for every year since the turn of the Millennium.

Dr Kevin Tansey, of the Department of Geography, a leading scientist in an international team, created a visual impression of the fire scars on our planet between 2000 and 2007. The work was funded by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

burn map
©University of Leicester
This map shows the occurrence of fire activity in sub-Saharan Africa, determined by detection of the fire scar, for a seven year period 2000-2007. The frequency of fire occurrence is shown in the map, color-coded from regions that burnt once in the seven year period shown in green to regions that burnt during every year of the project shown in purple.

Life Preserver

Swelling China lakes a danger 2 weeks after quake

MIANZHU - China was preparing to dynamite rock, mud and rubble forming a dangerously large "quake lake" on Monday, hoping to avert a new disaster two weeks after a catastrophic tremor struck Sichuan province.

The government put the death toll from the May 12 earthquake at 65,080, an increase of more than 2,400 from a day earlier. The figure is certain to rise as searchers account for the 23,150 missing. A total of 360,058 people were injured.

Cloud Lightning

Lethal storms kill 8 in Iowa and Minnesota

DES MOINES, Iowa - Powerful storms packing large hail, heavy rain and tornadoes made for a deadly Memorial Day weekend across the nation's midsection, killing at least seven people in Iowa and a 2-year-old child in Minnesota.


China quake toll tops 65,000

The death toll from China's earthquake rose to 65,080 today, with another 23,150 missing, a government spokesman said.

"As of noon on May 26, the earthquake has caused 65,080 deaths," Cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin said. The new toll was up nearly 2500 from the figure of 62,664 given yesterday.

Guo also said 360,058 people had been injured in China's worst earthquake in more than 30 years, which struck the southwestern province of Sichuan on May 12.

Cloud Lightning

Storm kills at least 1 in Minnesota

HUGO, Minn. - Severe thunderstorms packing large hail and possible tornadoes rumbled across the nation's midsection on Sunday, killing at least one person, injuring at least eight others and damaging dozens of homes.

Bizarro Earth

China aftershock destroys 71,000 homes; 1 killed

CHENGDU, China - A powerful aftershock destroyed tens of thousands of homes in central China on Sunday, killing one person and straining recovery efforts from the country's worst earthquake in three decades. More than 400 others were injured.

Bizarro Earth

China quake zone braced for rain

China's earthquake zone has been warned to prepare for heavy rains which could hamper further relief efforts.

There are concerns that construction of temporary shelters for five million homeless could be delayed, while water levels in dams and lakes remain high.