Earth ChangesS


As Hurricane Season Looms, States Aim to Scare

MIAMI - Convinced that tough tactics are needed, officials in hurricane-prone states are trumpeting dire warnings about the storm season that starts on Thursday, preaching self-reliance and prodding the public to prepare early and well.

Cities are circulating storm-preparation checklists, counties are holding hurricane expositions at shopping malls and states are dangling carrots like free home inspections and tax-free storm supplies in hopes of conquering complacency.

But the main strategy, it seems, is to scare the multitudes of people who emergency officials say remain blas


647,000 Indonesians Displaced by Quake

BANTUL, Indonesia (AP) - U.S. Marines joined an international effort to deliver aid and medical care to nearly 650,000 Indonesians displaced by a devastating earthquake, as hopes faded of finding more survivors.

Two U.S. Marine cargo planes carrying a mobile field hospital landed Tuesday in Yogyakarta, closest to the quake area in central Java, after cracks in the airport runway were patched.


Minor earthquake shakes part of Stockholm

A minor earthquake shook parts of Stockholm early today, sending some scared residents to the streets for safety.

The quake measured about 2.0 on the Richter scale, which is considered only a small tremor, but still very rare for the Stockholm region, said Reynir Bodvarsson, a seismologist at Uppsala University.

"It is very rare that such a big quake happens in the middle of Stockholm," Bodvarsson said.


Minor Earthquake Shakes Northern California

MORAGA, Calif. -- A minor earthquake shook an area east of Oakland on Wednesday night and there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude-3.2 quake struck at 10:38 p.m. PDT about 8 miles east of Oakland, according to a preliminary report from the US Geological Survey.

The quake was centered southeast of Moraga, but it was felt as far away as Foster City on the peninsula.


Earthquake hits southern Iran

LONDON, May 25 (IranMania) - An earthquake hit the city of Jenah and surrounding villages in the southern province of Hormuzgan. According to IRNA, it was measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale.


Powerful earthquake shakes east coast of Kamchatka

PETROPAVLOSK-KAMCHATSKY, May 25 (Itar-Tass) - An earthquake of 5.1 on the Richter scale has occurred in the Kamchatka Bay, near the east coast of the peninsula, early on Thursday morning (local time). There were no victims or destructions, Itar-Tass was told later in the day at the Chief Kamchatka Department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations.

The earth tremor was recorded at 03:36 local time (18:36 Moscow time, May 24). The epicentre of the earthquake was at the depth of eighty kilometres beneath the sea bottom some 350 kilometres to the northeast of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The nearest inhabited locality of Ust-Kamchatsk is located approximately one hundred kilometres from that spot. The tremor was not felt there or in the regional centre.


Backyard Approach Finds Extrasolar Planet

Three years of scouring the skies with a "homemade" telescope fashioned from commercially available parts has finally paid off for astronomer Peter McCullough.

First came the observation of the brief but telltale dimming of a sun-like star 600 light-years away, then the detection of the star's wobble indicative of an orbiting planet's presence.

Finally, McCullough's international team of professional and amateur astronomers received the official word that they had discovered a Jupiter-sized planet.


Case may be first 3-person bird flu chain

GENEVA - A family of eight infected with bird flu in Indonesia likely passed the disease among themselves, but world health officials said Wednesday there is no reason to raise its pandemic alert level.

It is the fourth - and largest - family cluster of bird flu cases likely transmitted from person to person since the start of the outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003, World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl said.

But this case may mark the first time bird flu has passed from person to person to person, a top U.S. health official said.


New Orleans seen top target for '06 hurricanes

ORLANDO, Florida - New Orleans, still down and out from last year's assault by Hurricane Katrina, is the U.S. city most likely to be struck by hurricane force winds during the 2006 storm season, a researcher said on Wednesday.

The forecast gives New Orleans a nearly 30 percent chance of being hit by a hurricane and a one in 10 chance the storm will be a Category 3 or stronger, meaning sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178 km per hour), said Chuck Watson of Kinetic Analysis Corp., Savannah, Georgia a risk assessment firm.


Himalayan forests are quietly vanishing: Indian Government Oblivious

THE Himalayas may never be the same again. The forests growing on the roof of the world are disappearing, and the rate of deforestation is so rapid that a quarter of animal and plant species native to this biodiversity hotspot, including tigers and leopards, could be gone by the end of the century.

Worse, the Indian government is oblivious to the problem because official figures erroneously suggest that forest cover will rise rather than fall. This mistake has led to the approval of new schemes, such as hydroelectric dams, that will exacerbate the devastation.