Earth ChangesS


Kentucky deploys full Army Nat'l Guard for storm cleanup

Mayfield - Gov. Steve Beshear deployed every last one of his Army National Guardsmen on Saturday, with his state still reeling after a deadly ice storm encrusted it this week.

More than half a million homes and businesses, most of them in Kentucky, remained without electricity from the Ozarks through Appalachia, though temperatures creeping into the 40s helped a swarm of utility workers make headway. Finding fuel - heating oil along with gas for cars and generators - was another struggle for those trying to tough it out at home, with hospitals and other essential services getting priority over members of the public.

Cloud Lightning

Nearly 1 million without power 5 days after ice storm

Utility crews worked in subfreezing temperatures Saturday to try to put the power back on for nearly a million customers left without electricity by an ice storm that crippled parts of several states this week.

Thousands of people in ice-caked Kentucky awoke in motels and shelters, asked to leave their homes by authorities who said emergency teams in some areas were too strapped to reach everyone in need of food, water and warmth.

A 20-degree temperature boost was forecast across much of the region, a boon to the power crews but one that carried with it the threat of flooding.

Dozens of deaths have been reported and many people are pleading for a faster response to the power outages. About 536,000 homes and businesses across Kentucky were without power, down from more than 600,000, the largest outage in state history.


Feds apologize but insist birds had to be poisoned

Blame it on the Bard.

Hundreds of birds that dropped dead on Somerset County cars, porches and snow-covered lawns, alarming residents over the weekend, were all of a rather foul breed of fowl -- the notorious European starling, which the United States Department of Agriculture killed on purpose.

The starling, a prominent figure in Shakespeare's "Henry IV," has become a royal nuisance in North America. They have been invading farms and pushing out native wildlife since a New York City group infatuated with the playwright released about 100 imported starlings in Central Park in 1890 and 1891.

It was part of an ill-conceived plan by the American Acclimatization Society to make European immigrants feel at home by filling America with all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's works.

Bizarro Earth

5.2 magnitude earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Maluku waters in eastern Indonesia Saturday afternoon, but there was no immediate report of casualties or material damage, said the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG), quoted by the national Antara News Agency.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake - Antofagasta, Chile



* Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 14:40:15 UTC

* Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 10:40:15 AM at epicenter

* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 22.885°S, 69.864°W

Depth 51.6 km (32.1 miles)

Distances 95 km (60 miles) SSE of Tocopilla, Chile

100 km (65 miles) NNE of Antofagasta, Chile

105 km (65 miles) WSW of Calama, Chile

1170 km (730 miles) N of SANTIAGO, Chile

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Felt in Mexico City

An earthquake centered near Mexico's Pacific coast has caused buildings to sway in the capital. There are no initial reports of damage or injury.

Mexico's National Seismological Service gives an initial estimate of the quake's energy at magnitude 5.3.

Bizarro Earth

Ocean Acidification is Accelerating and Severe Damages are Imminent

Urgent action is needed to limit damages to marine ecosystems, including coral reefs and fisheries, due to increasing ocean acidity, according to 155 of the world's scientific experts who will release the Monaco Declaration this Friday.

The Declaration is based on results from the Second International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, held at the Oceanography Museum in Monaco last October and organised by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The ocean absorbs a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. Observations from the last 25 years show increasing acidity in surface seawater, following trends in increasing atmospheric CO2.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Jolts Mindanao

An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale hit Mindanao this afternoon, but no casualty or damage was reported.

The quake was recorded at 12:05 p.m. local time, and the epicenter was 45 km north of Hinatuan, Mindanao at a depth of 103.8 km, reported the United States Geological Service.

Bizarro Earth

Small Earthquakes Shake East Side of Hawaii

A few small earthquakes, centered about 4 miles southeast of the active Pu'u'O'o Crater, shook residents on the east side of Hawaii Island early Friday evening.

A minor 3.4 event occurred at 7:12 PM (HST) and another earthquake registered a 3.5 a few minutes later at 7:17 PM.


Australian heatwave claims homes, lives

Australia's second-largest city Melbourne ground to a halt on Saturday, crippled by a once-in-a-century heatwave that has claimed almost 30 lives and razed at least 17 homes.

Wildfires raged through the southeastern state of Victoria, where authorities said flames had come dangerously close to major electricity transmission lines which supplied power to Melbourne on Saturday.

More than 500 000 homes and businesses in Melbourne were left without power on Friday night after an electrical substation exploded in the heat, bringing the city to a standstill. Temperatures in Victoria topped 43°C for a record-breaking third consecutive day on Friday, when 10 homes and a timber plantation were destroyed in a 6 500 hectare blaze.