Earth ChangesS


Java earthquake toll passes 5,800

Indonesia has upped the death toll from the earthquake which hit the island of Java on Saturday to more than 5,800.

Large quantities of aid started flowing into affected areas, and the UN spoke of "enormous progress" being made.

But many survivors spent a fourth night without shelter or supplies, as congested roads hampered access to more remote areas.


Netherlands must boost flood defences

The Hague - Dutch authorities will have to boost their already significant flood protection measures to cope with increasingly warmer, wetter winters and summer droughts, according to forecasts released Tuesday.

Four possible future climate scenarios for 2050 presented by the official Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) show global warming continuing apace and sea levels rising.

For the Netherlands, the next four and a half decades will bring milder but wetter winters and drier summers interspersed with sudden extreme rainfall.


Big Rodents Overrun Washington Seniors

"The marmots are coming, the marmots are coming." Seniors living in Wine Country Villa probably wish they had gotten such a warning.

Residents say the oversized rodents are swarming through the 75-unit development of manufactured homes near the airport of this Eastern Washington town, burrowing under homes, fouling front porches with their droppings and - according to some unconfirmed accounts - attacking people.

Many species of marmots, including some known as woodchucks and groundhogs, are found across North America. They are closely related to ground squirrels and are among the largest of rodents, some reaching 30 pounds.

Comment: Ha! That's nothing. Have you seen the giant rodents that have invaded Washington, DC?


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.