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Indonesia Hit by Magnitude 6.9 Tremor; Local Tsunami Possible

Indonesia today was hit by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, which may generate a "destructive local tsunami,'' the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The tremor struck shortly before 10:28 p.m. local time off the coast of northern Sumatra near the island of Nias, the U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors seismic events, said in a report on its Web site, putting the magnitude at 6.8.


Feeling of 'doom' pervades Indonesian volcano zone

Streams of lava flowed down the sides of Mount Merapi on Tuesday as officials urged people living near the Indonesian volcano to leave the area.

"There's a real sense of imminent doom," Times of London reporter Nick Meo told CBC News in an interview from Yogyakarta Tuesday morning. "Authorities are saying an eruption could happen at any time."

The volcano was spewing rocks and hot ash four kilometres down the mountain's slope, although the clouds of smoke coming from the crater were smaller than they had appeared the day before, Meo said.


New England Sees Worst Floods in 70 Years

Storm-weary New England residents waded out into a fifth day of rain Tuesday as the region's dams kept a tenuous hold against cresting rivers and evacuees wondered what remained of their homes after water filled their basements and surged over some rooftops.

Across northeastern Massachusetts, thousands of people fled submerged neighborhoods during the region's worst flooding in nearly 70 years. More than a foot of rain fell during the weekend in some areas.

"It seemed almost Biblical," Gov. Mitt Romney said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "We're sort of making jokes about Noah and taking two of each kind of animal because we haven't ever seen rain like this."

Better Earth

3 major hurricanes to hit US this year: AccuWeather

NEW YORK - Three major hurricanes will strike the United States this year, with the storm-battered Gulf Coast most at risk in June and July, forecaster AccuWeather predicted Monday.

The outlook comes after a record-setting hurricane season in 2005 that devastated New Orleans and other coastal cities along the Gulf, and dealt a heavy blow to the U.S. oil industry that sent energy prices to record highs.

"The 2006 storm season will be a creeping threat," said AccuWeather Chief Forecaster Joe Bastardi. He projected that five hurricanes, three of them with winds over 110 miles per hour, would hit the U.S. coastline.


Major Quake Rocks Islands Near New Zealand

A powerful earthquake hit deep under the South Pacific late Tuesday north of New Zealand, and it rocked a wide area of the country, but no damage or injuries were reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a bulletin saying the magnitude 7.4 quake had not generate a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami but warned it could spawn a small tsunami within 60 miles of its epicenter.


Egyptian Police Kill Militant Leader

EL-ARISH, Egypt -- Police on Tuesday killed the leader of an al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militant group wanted for the terrorist attacks that killed 21 people in a Sinai beach resort town last month, officials said.

Nasser Khamis el-Mallahi, head of Egypt's Monotheism and Jihad, was shot dead and an accomplice was captured in a battle with police in an olive grove, said Lt. Gen. Essam el-Sheik, commander of the North Sinai security police.


5.4 Quake Hits Colombia

Bogota - An earthquake of 5.4 degrees in the open scale of Richter Monday shook great part of the Colombian territory although no victims or material damages have been reported so far.


Minor Earthquake Shakes Southern Calif.

A minor earthquake rattled parts of southern California on Monday but there were no reports of injury or damage.

The magnitude-3.6 quake struck shortly after 5 p.m. and was centered in the Pacific Ocean, about 13 miles off the coast of suburban San Diego, according a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey.


Fourth Quake In Four Days Off Southern Italy

Lipari - There has been yet another tremor from an earthquake in the Aeolian Islands, this time near Filicudi. Seismic activity was recorded around 9.40 am by the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanic studies in Rome, with an intensity between the fourth and fifth degree on the Mercalli scale and with an epicentre located in the lower Tyrrhenian Sea.

The tremor was felt by the inhabitants of Filicudi and by those of the nearby Alicudi. There weren't any damages reported to people or houses. It is the fourth earthquake in 4 days in the archipelago, where two tremors were felt in Stromboli and one in the channel between Salina and Lipari.


Volcano erupts on Kamchatka peninsula

The Bezymyanny volcano has erupted on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East, a local seismology official said Tuesday.

Alexei Ozerov, a senior researcher at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said the eruption started at 12.25 p.m. Moscow time (08.25 a.m. GMT) on Tuesday. The eruption does not pose any threat to local population, he said.