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Wed, 21 Oct 2020
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Quake shakes Greek capital, no injuries reported

Athens - An 5.0 magnitude quake shook Greece on Tuesday without causing injuries or damages.

"The epicentre of the earthquake was 50 km south of Athens, in waters off the coast of the island of Aegina," an Athens Geodynamic Institute official said. It was also felt in the capital Athens.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages, the fire department said.

Snowman

Snow, cold, possible twisters pound US

DENVER - A powerful storm system raced across the nation Tuesday, spawning everything from heavy snow and numbing cold to thunderstorms and possible tornadoes, and forecasters warned more bad weather was on the way.

High winds associated with thunderstorms may have killed two people in Indiana, authorities said. Snow forced the closure of schools and highways in many areas, and avalanche warnings were issued for some Western regions.

©(AP Photo/Nathan Bilow)
Chelsea Yerdon from Crested Butte, Colo. shovels the front of the working establishments sidewalk wondering where to put the snow when the banks of the sidewalks are already eight feet high in Crested Butte, Colo. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.

Extinguisher

Ecuador volcano continues weeks-long eruption

QUITO -- Volcano Tungurahua in central Ecuador has remained highly active in more than three weeks after it first began showering the nearby region with ash, the National Polytechnic's Geophysics Institute said in a statement Monday.

The 5,029-km mountain emitted a new burst of gas and columns of smoke earlier Monday, extending its increased activity starting on Jan. 5.

In 2006, the volcano killed six people and destroyed thousands of hectares of crops during eruptions of hot ash that lasted through July and August.

Cloud Lightning

El Nino at play as source of more intense regional U.S. wintertime storms

The next time you have to raise your umbrella against torrents of cold winter rain, you may have a remote weather phenomenon to thank that many may know by name as El Niño, but may not well understand.

Researchers now believe that some of the most intense winter storm activity over parts of the United States may be set in motion from changes in the surface waters of far-flung parts of the Pacific Ocean.

Siegfried Schubert of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and his colleagues studied the impact that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events have on the most intense U.S. winter storms.

Cloud Lightning

Fiji lashed by powerful cyclone

At least six people have died and thousands are without power or water after Cyclone Gene lashed Fiji.

Winds gusted at 140km/h (88mph), tearing off roofs, causing flooding and bringing down trees and power lines, disaster officials said.

Hundreds of people took refuge in schools and government shelters after fleeing damaged houses.

Forecasters warned of further serious flooding, as the tail-end of the storm dumped large amounts of rain on Fiji.

Cloud Lightning

China fights 'war' against havoc caused by snow

China is waging all-out war against the disasters caused by heavy snow and rain in the southern provinces, with military forces and police officers getting involved.

Top state leaders are also supervising disaster relief work.

Chinese President Hu Jintao chaired a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) here on Tuesday to study the damage inflicted by icy rain and heavy snow and plan future work.

Magic Wand

"Mother of Pearl": Nacreous Clouds

As January comes to an end, sky watchers in Scandinavia are recovering from a veritable storm of nacreous clouds. After mid-month, hardly a night went by without someone spotting the phenomenon. "It was incredible! They were all over the sky," says Morton Ross of Oslo, Norway. This picture, taken by Ross on Jan. 25th, shows a typical apparition:

©Morten Ross

Sherlock

Greek experts look out for lost honey bees

Greek experts have expressed concern for the unexplained disappearance of large quantities of honey bees.

Greek scientists are watching out for Colony Collapse Disorder, which refers to the mysteriously abrupt departure of worker bees from their hives, Kathimerini reported Saturday.

Frog

Chameleons' colourful flashes are social signals

Chameleons are famed for changing colour to blend in with their surroundings and hide from predators - but new research on chameleons in their native habitat shows some of their colour changes evolved for exactly the opposite purpose - attracting attention.

African dwarf chameleons live in habitats in southern Africa ranging from grassland to rainforest.

They engage in complex social signalling, with bright colour changes along their flanks used by females to signal interest or rejection to males, and by males to signal aggression or submission to other males, and interest towards females. Males even square off in rapid-fire, colourful signalling duels.

©Adnan Moussalli and Devi Stuart-Fox
Chameleons can signal others in a matter of milliseconds by brightening their flanks. This keeps down the risk of being seen by a predator.

"Chameleons use colour change for camouflage and communication, but we don't know why some species change colour much more than others", says Devi Stuart-Fox of the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Cloud Lightning

Air and sea ports suffer as stormy weather sweeps across Israel

Stormy weather swept through the country Tuesday, causing delays at Ben-Gurion International Airport and forcing the Haifa sea port to partially close down.

At least eight arrivals to Ben Gurion Airport were delayed Tuesday due to the severe weather conditions.