Earth ChangesS


At least 19 dead in China earthquake

At least 19 people died and 106 were injured in an earthquake which caused 1,400 houses to collapse in a mountainous region of southwestern China.

Xinhua news agency said Saturday another 38,000 buildings were damaged by the quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale which shook Yanjin county in Yunnan province at 9:10 am (0110 GMT).


Denver choking on near record smog levels

DENVER - Colorado is suffering through a summer of smog.

With temperatures topping 100 degrees this month in Denver and elsewhere along the populous Front Range, routine activities like filling up at the gas station or mowing the lawn are releasing fumes into a perfect cauldron for creating ozone, a major component of smog.

Activists are sounding the alarm. Government officials are keeping watch. Nobody's breathing easy.


Europe swelters in continuing heatwave

Vast swathes of Europe have baked in tropical temperatures that have claimed nine lives in France alone, but summer thunderstorms brought some welcome relief.

A 32-year-old man died in Spain after suffering heatstroke while working on a farm in Caceres in the east, local health authorities said on Thursday. He was Spain's third heatwave victim after a builder died in Murcia in the south on Sunday and a 44-year-old man died on Tuesday in Galicia in the northwest.

Sixteen people have died so far across Europe, where thermometers have hovered over the 30 degrees Celsius mark (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for several days, but authorities in France said that measures implemented following the 2003 heatwave had averted another disaster.


Avian Flu Numbers Increase Across SE Asia

Thai authorities have announced two suspected cases of avian-influenza infection in a pair of sisters hospitalized earlier this week, local media has reported.

The sisters, from the northern province of Phichit, were hospitalized after displaying symptoms similar to those seen in bird-flu sufferers, local health authorities told the Thai media.


Fires Rage In Indonesian Borneo And Sumatra

More than 1,500 firefighters are battling scores of forest fires raging on Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra island as a haze envelops neighboring Malaysia and Thailand, forestry officials said Wednesday.

Satellite images showed some 567 "hot spots" from fires and underground heat centres in Riau province on Sumatra as well as Kalimantan in Borneo, a spokesman from Indonesia's forestry ministry Masyud told AFP.


St. Louis Storms cut power, snap trees, topple trucks across region

A powerful summer storm slammed into the St. Louis area Wednesday evening, toppling buildings, street lights, tractor trailers and hundreds of trees.

At least 476,000 customers lost power, Metrolink was shut down and just one-third of flights were getting in and out of Lambert Field.

"This is one of the worst storms we can all remember to hit the city of St. Louis in recent years," St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said at a hurriedly called news conference.


Earth facing 'catastrophic' loss of species

The Earth is on the brink of "major biodiversity crisis" fuelled by the steady destruction of ecosystems, a group of the world's most distinguished scientists and policy experts warn today.

Nineteen leading specialists in the field of biodiversity, including Robert Watson, chief scientist at the World Bank, and Professor Georgina Mace, director of the Institute of Zoology, are calling for the urgent creation of a global body of scientists to offer advice and urge governments to halt what they call a potentially "catastrophic loss of species".


Earthquake hits Indonesia's capital

A strong earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale rocked Indonesia's capital city Jakarta and surroundings at 17:55 local time Wednesday.


New earthquake sways buildings in Jakarta; Death toll passes 530

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A strong earthquake caused tall buildings to sway in the Indonesian capital Wednesday, sending panicked residents fleeing to the streets just days after a deadly tsunami struck main island of Java.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.0-magnitude quake was centered 25 miles beneath the Sunda strait, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site, and struck 90 miles southwest of Jakarta.


Heavy rain in Japan leaves 23 dead or missing

TOKYO - Heavy rain in Japan triggered floods and mudslides that swallowed houses and destroyed roads, with at least 12 people killed and 11 missing since the start of the rainy season.

The rain has also been devastating in the neighboring Korean peninsula. At least 150 people there are believed dead or missing, mostly in the impoverished communist North, according to officials and aid workers Wednesday.

From western to central Japan, residents evacuated houses for shelters as muddy water swamped city streets and mudslides tore up highways.

The weather temporarily caused Shinkansen bullet trains to stop as the weather agency warned of more to come.