Earth ChangesS


Strong earthquake in Zakynthos, Greece

An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale shook the Ionian island of Zakynthos early yesterday, according to the Athens Observatory, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.


L.A. fire explodes, races through park

Firefighters struggled Tuesday night to contain wind-whipped flames that scorched hundreds of acres in Griffith Park, forced the evacuation of some of Los Angeles' best-known landmarks and raced toward hillside homes in Los Feliz, prompting a hasty evacuation.

A wall of flames raced across ridges and jumped fire lines late in the evening as the fire drew closer to homes and the Griffith Observatory.

Hundreds of firefighters and five water-dropping helicopters rushed to Los Angeles' landmark park - a mix of wilderness, cultural venues, horse and hiking trails and recreational facilities set on more than 4,000 acres on the hills between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake shakes Montana, felt in Idaho

An earthquake registering a magnitude of 4.6 struck Western Montana at 9:46 a.m. Tuesday morning and the shaking was felt as far away as Boise, Idaho, and Salt Lake City, Utah, according to data from the United States Geological Survey.


Floods and drought: Lloyd's assesses climate change

Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurer, offered a gloomy forecast of floods, droughts and disastrous storms over the next 50 years in a recently published report on impending climate changes.

Cloud Lightning

Storm off South Carolina could become first named storm of season

Tropical storm-like gusts of 50-plus mph winds were recorded with a rogue low-pressure system that could strengthen into the season's first named storm later this week.

Local 6 reported that a buoy off the Carolina coast recorded winds of 43 mph with gusts of 54 mph as it moved south to the Florida coast.

Cloud Lightning

Weekend freeze in Southeast U.S. damages crops

Heavy crop losses were reported throughout the Southeast on Wednesday, confirming fears that some fruit farms were nearly wiped out by last weekend's frigid temperatures.

Cloud Lightning

Farmers Across Europe Threatened By Drought

A severe drought in several European countries is threatening crops and has caused Italy to declare a state of emergency in its northern and central regions a day after France imposed water rationing. Farmers in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland say it is the worst drought they have seen.

Bizarro Earth

Italy declares drought emergency

Italy declared a state of emergency in northern and central regions on Friday due to fears of drought following unusually warm and dry weather.

A woman sunbathes on the dried out Ticino river in northern Italy.


Red fire ants facing killer virus

Imported red fire ants have plagued farmers, ranchers and others for decades. Now the reviled pests are facing a bug of their own.

Researchers have pinpointed a naturally occurring virus that kills the ants, which arrived in the U.S. in the 1930s and now cause $6 billion in damage annually nationwide, including about $1.2 billion in Texas.

The virus caught the attention of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Florida in 2002. The agency is now seeking commercial partners to develop the virus into a pesticide to control fire ants.

Cloud Lightning

F-5 tornado wipes out 95% of Greensburg, Kansas

Paramedic Annette Gasten and her German shepherd, Greta, had a grim weekend searching amid the piles of wreckage left by one of the strongest tornadoes to rake across the Plains.

Every business on Greensburg's main street was demolished and officials estimate as much as 95 percent of the town was destroyed. Tree trunks stood bare, stripped of most of their branches. All the churches were destroyed.

At least eight people in this community of 1,500 were dead, putting the state's total death toll at 10. No one was found Sunday in the debris.

"Even though I have been to other disasters, this one was a lot worse - the amount of damage," Gasten said. "It is such a large area that was destroyed that it made it difficult" to search.