2004 - Disasters

[This page has the year's articles without the links. Some of the source articles are no longer available, due to news sites keeping many of their articles available for only a limited time. I have another page containing the same info with all the URLs if you need them.]

Friday, December 31, 2004
*Five days after Sunday's massive earthquake and giant tsunami
created one of the worst natural disasters the world has seen,
the number of dead continues to rise and has surged past 120,000.
*More than 27,000 Sri Lankans were killed by Sunday's tsunami
and one in 12 Sri Lankans has reportedly been left homeless.
The Sri Lankan population is dazed by the death and destruction,
and fears another tsunami could hit.
*There are many eyewitness accounts of birds and animals migrating
before earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The scientific evidence
for them possessing a sixth sense is lacking, but if the reports are
confirmed, they could possibly be used in the future as
an early warning system for humans.
*The desperate attempts of three U.S. earthquake monitors to
warn nations situated on the Indian Ocean of the approaching
tsunami emerged yeasterday. A mere 18 minutes after the earthquake,
the officials issued a Pacific-wide e-mailed tsunami warning, but
realised that most potential victims were not among the center's
Pacific nation clients, because the biggest impact would be in the
Indian Ocean. They said, "We talked to the state department
Operations Centre and to the military. We called embassies. We
talked to the Navy in Sri Lanka, any local government official we
could get hold of." The desperate effort was to warn people
thousands of miles away to get off beaches. The frustration was
knowing that even if government leaders could be reached, most
countries had no effective civil defence mechanism for getting the
information to the people. The geophysicists worked through the
night sounding the warning as the tsunami continued to sweep
across the vast ocean basin.
*A crystalline meteorite weighing at least 16 kilograms has hit a
house in the southeast of Iran.
*The dam supplying 80 per cent of Sydney, Australia's water
has dropped to a record low level.

Thursday, December 30, 2004
*India's last active volcano, in the Andaman and Nicobar islands,
has erupted in the aftermath of the earthquake that set off tsunamis.
The volcano, known as Barren 1, is located 135km north-east of the
capital Port Blair on Barren Island and last erupted in 1996.
*A mud volcano at the inhabited Baratang Island in Middle Andaman
has erupted but the administration said there was no cause for concern.
Mud keeps bubbling in the volcano and there is considerable heat. The
volcano is located on one side of the Baratang Island, which is
about 100 km from Port Blair. The Geological Survey of India said
that barring some aftershocks, it has not found any major activity in
the Andaman and Nicobar region, including eruption from any
of its dormant volcanoes.
*Thousands of bodies continue to wash up onshore along coasts
and up to five million people have been displaced by the tsunamis
that have killed over 125,000 people in Asia. Aftershocks
continue to rock traumatised survivors. Relief workers have
finally got to some remote areas on the west coast of Sumatra,
near the quake's epicentre. But many other areas are still out
of reach, and there are fears the death toll is likely to rise still further.
*BBC correspondents' reports: Most people at the relief centers say the
islands which were their homes until now are no longer inhabitable; People
are getting desperate; There are still bodies littered around...you walk
around the corner and there's more. It never seems to end; More and
more injured people are flooding in from places outside the city and
their injuries are often very badly infected.
*Some of the most vivid descriptions of the devastation in
southern Asia are on the internet in the form of web logs or blogs.
*The seismic rumbling at Mount St. Helens has dropped to its
lowest level since October when lava started oozing
into the volcano's crater.
*A moderate earthquake shook northern Japan late today, their
second tremor this week. No damage or injuries were reported.
*The western coast of Sumatra has been "devastated" by
Sunday's earthquake and sea surges, according to an
Indonesian official who flew over it on Wednesday. Large
areas of the coast - the closest to the earthquake's epicentre -
are in ruins, villages covered in mud and few signs of life.
There has been no word from towns along the
coast since the disaster hit.
*Relief agencies struggled to rush aid to more than 3 million people
in Africa and Asia who lack food and medicine as the number of
fatalities from the weekend's earthquake and tsunamis passed
80,000, with more than half the dead in Indonesia. About 15%
of Sri Lanka's stricken areas will be unreachable for at least two
more days because of washed- out roads and bridges.
*The latest country-by-country breakdown of the missing and dead
tourists from Asian beach resorts.
*Thousands of people have fled coastal areas of southern
India in panic after a government warning of new tsunamis.
The alert was issued by officials in Tamil Nadu state who said aftershocks
in the Andaman and Nicobar islands were likely to cause high waves.
There have been a series of aftershocks in the Indian Ocean since
Sunday's earthquake, although none have triggered large waves so far.
*India's tangled bureaucracy bungled the first alerts of Sunday's tsunami,
losing precious time in which lives could have been saved,
newspapers reported today.
*Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned - the worst tsunami
in memory has killed around 22,000 people along the Indian
Ocean island's coast, but they can't find any dead animals.
No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit.
*The massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean was so huge that it
caused the Earth to rotate faster, shortening the day, Russian
scientists say. Because the diameter of the Earth decreased as
a result of a shift in tectonic plates, the speed of the Earth as it
rotates around its own axis was able to increase. Scientists
in Italian geological centers have concluded, meanwhile, that
the Earth's axis has shifted 6 centimeters eastwards.
*At some time, there will be a big tsunami in the Atlantic Ocean.
However, it's highly unlikely any time soon. For the most part, the
giant tectonic plates under the Atlantic Ocean are not rubbing against
each other creating pressure and priming for earthquakes, the way
those under the Pacific and Indian oceans are. The Atlantic plate is
spreading, with the U.S coast moving further away from Great Britain.
But an area of concern is just off the coast of southern Virginia, where
expulsions of methane gas have caused crack-like features in the
continental shelf that researchers believe could lead to a
major underwater landslide.
*The Cascadia Subduction Zone, an area of the Pacific floor
off the coast of Washington and Oregon, is capable of generating
a magnitude 9.0 seaquake like the one that sparked last weekend's
tsunami. Last year, geologists reported evidence that such a quake
was behind a killer tsunami that rolled all the way to Japan in 1700.
* Snow has fallen over the United Arab Emirates for the first time ever.
*The permafrost melt is accelerating throughout the world's cold
regions. In addition to northern Alaska, the permafrost zone includes
most other Arctic land, such as northern Canada and much of Siberia,
as well as the higher reaches of mountainous regions such as the
Alps and Tibet. All report permafrost thaw. Scientists reported an
increased frequency in landslides in the soil-based permafrost of
Canada, and an increased instability and slope failures in mountainous
regions, such as the Alps, where ice is locked in bedrock.
* Mount St. Helens is regrowing the odd-shaped top it blew
off in 1980, scientists say.
*West Australian firefighters are preparing for another weekend
of lightning-induced bushfires, following the containment of 35
blazes in the south-west.
* Drought conditions have dogged Pennsylvania since the early '90s.
Varying degrees of drought declarations have been in effect for
nine of the last 14 years.
*Southern Africa should prepare itself for recurring drought, likely
to strike at least twice every decade, says a new report.
*An ongoing drought in Vietnam has caused water shortage for
nearly 300,000 hectares of crops and over 500,000 residents.
*Earthquakes are usually known for destroying things. But a large
17th-century quake on the Japanese island of Hokkaido did the opposite:
It created a freshwater forest where tidal mud flats had once existed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
*A series of strong earthquakes rocked Andaman and Nicobar
Islands today as aftershocks continued to rattle the region
three days after the devastating quake. So far 70 aftershocks have
rocked the region after the Sunday's massive earthquake. Two
quakes, measuring 5.7 and 6.1 on the Richter scale, jolted the
island territory in the span of 10 minutes this morning. It was not
yet clear whether any fresh casualty or damage was caused by
the latest quakes. Aftershocks continued to jolt Indonesia too,
with an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale being felt
near the country's west coast on Tuesday. Five temblors of a
magnitude 5.6 or greater have hit in the last 24 hours. 78,000 dead.
* The Andamans could rock for six months to a year, and beyond,
but another tsunami is unlikely. It is generally associated with quakes
registering magnitudes of 7.5 or more. The trend indicates the
magnitude of aftershocks is gradually coming down. It will take
time for the Earth to adjust to the undersea quake as the energy
released by the quake was nearly 2,700 times more than that
released by a magnitude 6 quake. There is no trend indicating
any increase in the frequency of earthquakes here over the long-term.
*Scientists describe the devastating earthquake off the island
of Sumatra as a "megathrust" – a grade reserved for the most
powerful shifts in the Earth's crust. By some estimates, it
was equal to detonating a million atomic bombs.
*Thailand's Meteorological Department may have delayed
sounding a tidal wave warning for fear it could damage
the country's lucrative tourism industry, officials have indicated.
*An enormous anthropological disaster is in the making as the killer
tsunami is feared to have wiped out entire tribes - already threatened
by their precariously small numbers - perhaps rendering them extinct
and snapping the slender tie with a lost generation.
*The death toll from the Asian tsunami, triggered by the magnitude
9.0 earthquake off Indonesia, has risen to 68,464 people.
*Organizations that need your help to aid victims of the tsunami.
*Desperate SOS calls are coming in from an obliterated coastline
which is emerging as ground zero for the seismic holocaust unleashed
on Asia. Great tracts of land remain under surging tides on the
northwest tip of Sumatra island. Food is running out, there is looting
and further catastrophe looms. Officials predict the death toll could
triple and if relief does not arrive within three to four days, there
will be mass starvation. As night fell three full days after the quake
there was still no contact with many parts of the worst-affected area.
During a reconnaissance flight over Meulaboh there appeared to be
no sign of life in the town, which was home to 40,000 people. In the
Aceh Jaya district, between Meulaboh and Banda Aceh, half of
the 95,000 people living in the region may have perished.
*BBC correspondents' tsunami reports from across Asia.
*A scientist looking to pinpoint the next big earthquake has warned again
that the U.S. east coast could be destroyed by a tsunami unleashed by
the collapse of La Palma, the most volcanically active island in the
Canaries archipelago in the eastern Atlantic. Collapse of the 500
billion ton rock the next time the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupts
would send a dome-shaped wall of water up to 100m tall - 10 times
as high as the tsunamis that hit south Asia - racing across the Atlantic.
*Partly because of geometry and partly because of geology, Southern
California seems to be fairly sheltered from tsunamis. But there is
always the danger that the next killer wave will come this way and
experts disagree on how much risk there really is. In 1964, a massive
magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Alaska spawned tsunamis that killed
107 people, including 11 in California.
*An earthquake with the potential to trigger a tsunami similar in
scale to the south Asian disaster is due on a major faultline in
New Zealand, a tsunami expert said today.
*Scientists believe that it is only a matter of time before Scotland
is hit by a massive natural disaster. Just a small climactic shift could
trigger freak weather conditions or increase the pace at which the
polar ice caps melt. There is also the possibility of underwater
earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or even a meteor strike all
bringing death and destruction. The actual existence of Britain
as an island came about as a result of a 40ft tsunami.
*Ghana still faces the threat of an earthquake five months after
a warning from the Geological Survey Department that the
frequency of seismic readings on the Richter scale is not favourable,
although the most recent magnitudes have lessened.
*An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9 jolted the
Chuetsu region in northeast Japan's Niigata Prefecture on Tuesday
evening. The bullet train service has been suspended between some
stations. Ironically Tuesday was the first day that full services of the
train resumed in the prefecture since three strong quakes that hit the
area two months ago caused the derailment of a bullet train.
*Russian seismologists said the Shiveluch volcano in the eastern
Kamchatka peninsula began erupting Tuesday, sending hot ash
up to 6,500 feet.
*At least four people were killed and eight others were reported
missing in the Philippines when a landslide struck two villages.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
*The sea and wreckage of coastal towns all around the Indian
Ocean yielded up tens of thousands of bodies today, pushing
the death toll from the Asian tsunami to 59,186 people.
The death toll could reach more than 100,000, the head of Italy's
civil emergency relief services warned.
*Rescuers began reaching India's remote Andaman and Nicobar
islands today, two days after a devastating tsunami, to find
barely a third of residents on one were still alive.
There has still been no contact at all with several of the islands,
including one of the biggest, Grand Nicobar, which was
closest to the epicentre.
*The 9.0 earthquake that unleashed deadly tidal waves on Asia was
so powerful it made the Earth wobble on its axis and permanently
altered the regional map. It may have moved small islands as much
as 20 metres to the south-west, according to one expert. The
energy released as the two sides of the undersea fault slipped against
each other made the Earth wobble on its axis. Other scientists
said it was more likely that the islands off Sumatra had risen higher
out of the sea than that they had moved laterally.
*Satellite images showed that the movement of undersea plates off
the northern tip of Sumatra moved the Nicobar Islands and Simeulue
Island out to sea by an unknown distance. Although the data showed
that plates more than 20km beneath the ocean's surface moved
dramatically, scientists will have to use handheld satellite positioning
systems at the sites to learn precisely how much the land masses
on the surface shifted. The scraping of one plate over another
may have ploughed up enough debris on the ocean floor to block
the port of Banda Aceh in Sumatra. Large earthquakes in the past
decade in Kobe, Japan, and Golcuk, Turkey, deformed the coastlines
and rendered their ports inoperable after the crises.
*BBC correspondents' tsunami reports from across Asia.
*The number of mid-sized quakes in Alaska is rising,
the largest was 5.4
* Quakes in Indonesia magnitude 5.7 and over since the 9.0:
5.9, 5.8, 6.0, 5.8, 5.8, 6.0, 5.9, 6.1, 7.3, 5.7, 5.9, 5.8, 6.5
6.2, 6.3, 5.9, 5.9, 5.7, 6.2, 6.0, 6.1, 6.1, 6.3, 5.9, 5.8, 5.8
*The colossal scale of the earthquake which devastated much of southern
Asia was more powerful than all the world's earthquakes of the past five
years put together. The earthquake had three distinct phases, each
only a matter of seconds apart.
*The magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia moved the island
of Sumatra about 100 feet to the southwest, the Los Angeles
Times reported Monday. The earthquake occurred off Sumatra's
northwestern tip in an active geological region and ruptured an
estimated 600-mile-long stretch of the Earth beneath the Indian
Ocean. It created the first deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean since 1883.
*Asia's killer tsunami echoes the 1883 Krakatoa wave - probably
the most destructive tsunami in recorded history, it originated in what
was then the Dutch East Indies, when the island volcano
of Krakatoa erupted.
*A senior geologist warns that the island nation of Sri Lanka is
no longer safe from earthquakes as a new plate boundary phenomenon
is being formed south of the country. Sri Lanka is located inside
the Indo-Australian plate but "it is breaking up right near the south
of Sri Lanka". Because of the Indonesian earthquake's mechanism
and the orientation of the islands, which form certain channels in the water,
Sri Lanka was in the direct path of the generated waves.
*A 5.8 tremor rocked some parts of Southern Mindanao in the
Philippines early Monday morning, which authorities said was
an aftershock of the Indonesian quake.
*The fate of thousands of foreign tourists vacationing in Southeast Asia
remains unclear, a day after the massive tsunamis.
*Yemen and the neighboring Gulf state of Oman were on alert Monday,
warning people not to venture out to sea after high waves caused by
the massive earthquake in Asia caused damage along the coastline.
The massive tidal wave that struck nine Indian Ocean countries
has killed at least 23,700 and hopes have faded for many thousands
more still missing. Somalian officials said Monday that hundreds
of people had died there and entire villages and towns had
disappeared in flooding.
*More than one million people have been displaced in three of the
south Asian countries hit by towering waves following the undersea
earthquake, the International Red Cross says.
*A Canadian swept out to sea in the Asian tidal wave disaster
survived for 10 hours by clinging to a dead fisherman
who had a lifejacket.
*"This may be the worst national disaster in recent history because
it is affecting so many heavily populated coastal areas...so many
vulnerable communities". "Many people will have (had) their livelihoods,
their whole future destroyed in a few seconds." "The longer term
effects may be as devastating as the tidal wave or the tsunami itself"
because of the risks of epidemics from polluted drinking water.
*The tsunamis which devastated coastlines across south and
southeast Asia with waves of up to 10 metres reached as far
as New Zealand, but with tidal surges measuring just centimetres.
* Unusual tidal surges and strong currents hitting the coastline of
Western Australia, caused by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami,
are set to continue for at least 24 hours, forecasters have warned.
*An alert centre in Hawaii that warns Pacific countries about
approaching tsunamis detected the earthquake that generated
killer waves across Asia, but had no way of raising the alarm.

Monday, December 27, 2004
*One person is dead, another missing, and 23 injured after a series
of earthquakes in southwestern China's Yunnan province. A total
of 47 tremors, some of them as powerful as 5.0 on the Richter scale,
struck Yunnan over a 17-hour period on Sunday.
*Geologists describe Sunday's powerful earthquake in the Indian
Ocean as a once-in-a-generation event. Sunday's quake occurred
along the so-called Andaman Thrust, a faultline that runs between
several plates in the eastern Indian Ocean. The Australia and Indonesia
plates are colliding with the Burma plate. With this size of an earthquake,
it caused a rupture of about a thousand kilometers along the Andaman
thrust. A series of more than 20 large aftershocks have been recorded,
including one registering 7.3 on the Richter scale that jolted parts of
Bangladesh. Minor aftershocks have been detected as far away as the
U.S. states of Alaska and California.
*The earthquake that devastated south Asia may have been partially
triggered by the earlier and smaller 8.1 tremor near Tasmania. A
seismologist said the Indo-Australian tectonic plate had shifted,
triggering first the smaller earthquake off the Tasmanian coast on
Thursday and then yesterday's catastrophic one.
* "All the planet is vibrating" from the quake, said Enzo Boschi, the head
of Italy's National Geophysics Institute. Boschi said the quake even
disturbed the Earth's rotation.
*Australia will consider a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean,
but such a program needs more research to establish its feasibility.
An Indian Ocean tsunami alert system could have given Phuket
15 minutes notice of danger and countries such
as Sri Lanka much more time.
*Researchers studied earthquake data over 20 years from
Yellowstone and seven other volcanic areas in the West: the
Long Valley caldera in eastern California, Mount Lassen,
Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. They noticed
statistically significant links between earthquakes and seasons in
most areas. Most of the many earthquakes that rattle Yellowstone
occur during the late spring and early summer, the study reveals.
The theory is that melting snow seeps underground and puts pressure
on faults. About 2,000 earthquakes occur in Yellowstone each year.

Sunday, December 26, 2004
* Tsunami timeline as it swept across Asia.
*More than 11,500 people have been killed across southern
Asia in massive sea surges triggered by the strongest
earthquake in the world for 40 years. The 9.0 magnitude
quake struck under the sea near Aceh in north Indonesia,
generating a wall of water that sped across
thousands of kilometres of sea. Casualty figures are rising
over a wide area, including resorts in Sri Lanka and
Thailand packed with holidaymakers. Waves forced out from
the earthquake are even reported to have reached Somalia
and Kenya, 3700 miles away on the east coast of Africa.
It was the fifth strongest tremor in the world since
1900 and had a particularly widespread effect because
it seems to have taken place just below the surface of the ocean.
British tourists are stranded in south and east Asia after the
massive waves flooded across the region.
BBC's correspondents reports from the affected areas.
At least three Americans were killed after the huge earthquake
unleashed tidal waves, two in Sri Lanka and one in Thailand, with
several others injured.
Sri Lankan rescue workers have found the bodies of 22 people
thought to be Japanese tourists killed by the worst
tsunami in living memory.
Australians holidaying in the Thai resort of Phuket described the
devastation unleashed by the massive waves. Eight or nine Australians
are being treated following the catastrophic tsunami that hit the resort.
At least 6 more are missing. 4000 Aussies were reportedly in affected areas.
The United Nations is sending special teams to Asia to help after
the tsunami disaster, which the head of UNICEF said
had wielded "staggering" power.
At least one British tourist and 31 other people were killed when
giant waves hit the tourist paradise of the Maldives.
Tourists saw children swept away to certain death by killer waves
which turned a peaceful Christmas vacation into scenes of horror,
according to accounts given to European media from different parts
of southern Asia. "There are lots of people missing, lots
of people injured, lots of chaos." The Netherlands was seeking
news of seven Dutch citizens missing in Thailand and three in Sri Lanka.

Saturday, December 25, 2004
*This Christmas marks the 30th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy,
the devastating storm that killed 65 people and left tens of
thousands homeless in Darwin, Australia.
*A winter storm pummeled southern Ontario Thursday, causing
hundreds of accidents on highways and roads and flight
cancellations and delays on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
*There's a 1-in-300 chance that a recently discovered asteroid,
believed to be about 1,300 feet long, could hit Earth in 2029, a
NASA scientist said Thursday, but he added that the perceived
risk probably will be eliminated once astronomers get more
detail about its orbit. There have been only a limited number
of sightings of Asteroid 2004 MN4, which has been given
an initial rating of 2 on the 10-point Torino Impact Hazard Scale.
The possible impact date - Friday the 13th, April 2029.
*South Africa still faces drought and water shortages despite
torrential rainfall bringing death and destruction in recent days.
*The World Health Organization has warned again that a global bird flu
pandemic is almost inevitable and could create a health situation worse
than the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

Friday, December 24, 2004
*An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.1, the year's
strongest, shook the ocean floor yesterday about 1,000 miles
southwest of New Zealand in the largely uninhabited area
around Macquarie Island half-way between Australia and
Antarctica. Buildings in parts of Tasmania shook for up to
15 seconds. It was the biggest quake since one that occurred off
the coast of Peru in early 2001. The last earthquake of similar
magnitude in the Macquarie Rise region was in 1924.
In 1924 there were over 20 earthquakes globally over 7.0.
In 1924 the U.S. experienced earthquakes from Savannah, GA
to San Francisco, CA. Several of those same areas today are past
due for quakes, especially in the St. Louis fault matrix. For the
most part more events are expected on the Pacific rim of fire as
more energy will be released. The Cascade Range of Volcanos
will most likely release more energy in the months ahead. It can
take weeks or months for some energy fronts to reflect through the
Earth's inner cores. The Amber Alert network warns that "those
near hot springs or volcanic areas need to carry detectors for
SO CO gas compounds. Be prepared."
The Pacific's ring of fire continues its complete circle of activity
of earthquakes with the volcanic movements in the Antarctic region.
*A stubborn winter storm paralyzed Sakhalin Island off Russia's
east coast for the third day Thursday. Since the system Russian
meteorologists describe as a cyclone swept into the area Tuesday,
more than three feet of snow has accumulated, and mountainous
drifts developed in sustained winds of 50 mph. Avalanche warnings
have been issued. The storm system is large and spans the Sea of
Japan, also affecting the peninsular region of Kamchatka.
*The Southern Cape of South Africa was swamped by record
deluges. Thunderstorms swept across the drought-ravaged area
on Wednesday, flooding towns, cutting power supplies and
washing away roads. Knysna and Robertson had the most rain
ever measured in a single day in December since records
began in the 1880s.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
*Astronomers spotted an asteroid this week after it had flown
past Earth on a course that took it so close to the planet it was
below the orbits of some satellites. The space rock was relatively
small, however, and would not have posed any danger had it
plunged into the atmosphere. 2004 YD5 is the second closest
pass of an asteroid ever observed by telescope.
*China is likely to experience a catastrophic drought, the worst
threat to their national water supply and grain production, next year.
* Mount St Helens - In new video released by the U.S.
Geological Survey, you can see just how massive the mountain's
lava dome has become and the odd shape of the structure.
*Images from the surface of Mars attest to recent volcanic and
glacial activity on the planet – sites that could be ideal places to
look for signs of life. Analysis shows volcanic craters resurfaced
as little as two million years ago, suggesting that the volcanoes
are potentially still active today.
*Gavin Scott, the creator of "The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne"
is making a Hollywood movie on the 1883 eruption of the
Indonesian volcano Krakatoa.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
*Three people were slightly injured when an earthquake measuring
5.1 on the open-ended Richter scale hit a coastal region in
southwestern Turkey early on Tuesday. The casualties occurred
in the coastal resort of Marmaris, where the quake
caused panic among the population.
*A new report says drought conditions are expected to persist
in much of Montana and part of Wyoming through the winter.
*The closest thing to a Christmas tree in northern Australia is
being threatened by years of wildfires according to
Northern Territory scientists.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
*A small 3.6 earthquake rumbling in southwestern Utah caused
minor damages, but no injuries. The last earthquake in the area
measuring 3.0 or higher was a 3.2 magnitude in May 2003.
*This Sunday (December 26th 2004) is the first anniversary of
the disastrous earthquake that claimed the lives of 31,000 people
in Bam, Iran, destroying 85 per cent of its buildings and leaving
75,000 people homeless.
*Stiffer building codes in the Los Angeles basin may come
in the near future as a result of a new study completed by
seismologists of an anticipated large thrust-fault earthquake.
The downtown portion of L.A. is on the hanging-wall of the Puente
Hills thrust fault. The hanging-wall side of large thrust-fault
earthquakes experience more extreme motion and, therefore,
more damage than the footwall side.
* Mount St Helens - Energy continues to build under the
current dome. "Swarms" of earthquakes around 3.0 magnitude
have occurred on several occasions during the past month. The
new dome and the uplifted floor beneath it now cover 70 acres
and stand 750 feet high. This lava flow is building a huge mass
that glows as the hotter elements reach the surface. The continuing
build-up indicates the strength of the continuing activity that has
been unleashed around the Pacific Rim as numerous volcanoes
have activated. Hawaii is monitoring their volcanoes
on alert for expected activity.
*A powerful cyclone, originating in the Yellow Sea, hit Russia's
Maritime region on Sunday night. Heavy snowfalls were
accompanied on the coast by gale-force winds. This has been
the second strong snowfall in Vladivostok this winter. Late in
November, heavy snowfalls paralyzed traffic in the city for almost
ten days. The snowfall was the strongest in the past 80 years. A
double norm of snow for December fell in the city overnight.

Monday, December 20, 2004
* Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano in New Zealand and there
could be a major lahar in the next couple of months if the weather
warms up. Unseasonably cold weather and a good dumping of
snow is slowing the melting into the lake. There are seven to eight
metres to go before the lake breaches the outlet. A significant lahar
is unlikely to happen before Christmas.
* Mount St Helens - The new lava dome has noticeably broadened,
and the prominent fractures along its top continue to widen with
ash spewing from the hot cracks intermittently. Another series of
three relatively large earthquakes about magnitude 3 on the Richter
scale shook the volcano on Sunday.
*Fires, tornadoes, hail and floods capped off a year of wacky
weather in Canada. Abnormally early drought conditions,
a heat wave and lightning storms put the West Coast on high
alert over the summer as almost 500 wildfires swept through.
Yet it doesn't look like 2004 is going down in the record books,
as it was a fairly typical year compared to the last few years.
*Alarm was raised early Sunday morning in Jakarta as an
unexplained explosion rocked the city. Several loud blasts were
heard in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and two nearby towns.
The explosion seems to have emanated from a meteor exploding
above the city. The object left a tail of fire and dozens of witnesses.

Saturday, December 18, 2004
*A powerful storm packing hurricane-force winds has lashed
northern France, killing at least six people - some crushed by
falling trees - and forcing officials to close the
Eiffel Tower and Paris parks.
*Almost one month after a 6.3 earthquake rocked northern Dominica,
strong aftershocks continue to rattle residents and more are expected.
*One in every 3,000 Iranians dies in an earthquake, a statistic
that's unlikely to change much until earthquake- resistant
construction methods are widely used there.
* Mount St. Helens: The magma-fueled uplift between the old lava
dome and the south wall of the crater continues swelling by a
dumptruck-load per second, raising the possibility of a collapse.
If gas-rich magma begins to replace the gas-poor magma now
reaching the surface, a dome collapse could uncork an eruption
akin to the series that followed the seminal blast of May 18, 1980.
Four earthquakes of magnitude 3 overnight Thursday/Friday are
part of the continuing lava dome eruption that could last for months.
*A unique monitoring system is in place on the island of Montserrat
to record the everyday changes beneath the Soufriere Hills volcano.
*Russia's North Pole-33 drifting Arctic research station has traveled
more than 700 km over a 100-day period. Average daily drifting
speeds totaled 15-17 km and even 20 km in some cases;
such ice-drift speeds are exceptional.

Friday, December 17, 2004
*Southwest Florida is bracing for a dangerous fire season. Their
last significant rainfall was almost three weeks ago. Some areas
still have hurricane debris that poses an added fire risk.
*While parts of the Western U.S. remained in drought in 2004,
rainfall was above average in 33 states, especially in the South
and East, partly due to the effects of tropical storm systems.
*Earthquakes are not unusual in the San Francisco Bay Area,
California, but a team of geoscientists believes that the hazard
may be greater than previously thought because of a hidden fault.
*A powerful earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale
rocked Taiwan on Thursday, rattling buildings across the island.
*Cuban scientists are stepping up vigilance of current seismic activity
after the registering of the 6.6 tremor near the Cayman Islands on
Tuesday, as it was felt over almost all of Cuba. Some 40 aftershocks
were registered up until midday Wednesday. This is the eighth
perceptible quake this year in Cuba.

Thursday, December 16, 2004
*Four people were killed due to a landslide in Sri Lanka's Central Province.
*A landslide in Java on Tuesday, has left one person dead and
four houses severely damaged.
* Bushfires burning on Western Australia's south coast have forced
the evacuation of a school, closed part of a major highway and
razed thousands of hectares of crops and parkland.
* Mount St Helens' new dome contains more crystallized silica than
the older dome, something that has led the volcanologists to speculate
about what is going on deep in the Earth below the mountain.
"Something extraordinary is happening." Lava is rising as if through
a "hot soda straw," running from several miles down up under the
new dome, but turned sideways at the top. That is why the dome
has been pushing outward, although it still is elevating as well, at
a rate of a millimeter or so per minute - each millimeter accompanied
by a small earthquake. When the new dome first appeared, it moved
south until it hit the crater wall, then turned and abutted the crater on
the western side. Now it is bulldozing toward the north,
melting and moving the glacier aside.
* Two earthquakes that struck the Eureka, California area the past two
weekends were the largest onshore North Coast earthquakes since 1992.
The Dec. 4 quake was 4.3 on the Richter scale and last Sunday's was 4.1.
Both quakes originated from roughly the same spot but were
centered on different types of faults.
*Rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, bridges, schools and
health facilities in Dominica following the recent earthquake in November
is expected to top $19 million dollars.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
*The Cayman Islands yesterday afternoon became the latest
Caribbean island to be rocked by an earthquake. At a magnitude
of 6.7, it was their strongest quake since 1900. Smaller after-shocks
persisted for more than half-an-hour, though no damages were reported.
The quake comes on the heels of a 5.7 tremor that jolted the U.S.
and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sat. Dec. 11. And it
follows the Dec. 3 quake of 5.4 in Trinidad and the Nov. 21 quake
of 5.4, that left major structural damages and one dead
in Dominica and Guadeloupe.
*In the wake of confusion over the recent quake alert in Upper
Assam, India, researchers in Madras University's department of
applied geology said planetary configurations could be a"definitive
means of earthquake prediction" and they defended their prediction
record. Thousands of Upper Assam residents camped outdoors
at night two days ago because of the alert.
*A stark warning of the probable effects of global warming
in Europe has been given by a U.K. climate research group.
Scientists say the 2003 European heatwave, the hottest ever recorded,
could seem "unusually cool" within just 60 years from now. They
estimate man-made climate change has already doubled the risk
of such heatwaves.
*Heavy rains triggered deadly floods along Iran's Gulf coast.
*The massive B-15A iceberg is blocking sea ice in McMurdo Sound
in Antarctica, and may prevent penguins from reaching food in the
open sea. The sea ice is also blocking the supply route to science
stations expecting to receive supplies this month.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
*A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 struck
Japan's northern island of Hokkaido today, but no injuries
or damage were reported.
* Tokyo is likely to be hit within the next 30 years by a major
earthquake which will kill up to 13,000 people and pose hardships
for millions of others, said a government study quoted today in news
reports. More than 800,000 buildings would be destroyed. Japan
endures about 20 percent of the world's powerful earthquakes.
*A strong 6.0 earthquake has rattled El Salvador, knocking
out telephone service but causing no reported injuries.
Thousands of frightened people fled into the streets and the
government ordered the temporary evacuation of tall buildings.
*A 5.4 earthquake was felt Monday across most of mainland Portugal,
but no damage or injuries were reported. The epicenter was in
the Atlantic Ocean, about 60 miles southwest of Portugal.
* Mount Nyiragongo volcano, which devastated Goma in the east
of the Democratic Republic of Congo three years ago, is showing
new signs of activity. The summit of the mountain is currently
glowing red at night. However scientists now possess equipment
which allow them to predict a major eruption a month ahead,
which was not the case with the 2002 event, and they say that
they have observed no signs which would indicate a
possible eruption on the sides of the mountain.
*Aerial views of Mount St. Helens' crater show that the
new lava dome is becoming increasingly fractured as an ambiguous
pattern of growth begins to emerge. The new pattern should
become clearer within the next several days.
*Eight people were killed and another was missing early on
Monday after a new landslide buried a village in the eastern Philippines.

Monday, December 13, 2004
*Eleven people are reported to have died and more than
10,000 have been evacuated after flooding hit the east
coast of peninsula Malaysia. Meteorologists are predicting
the situation - already described as the worst flooding in more
than a decade - is likely to get worse as heavy rain is expected.
*The New South Wales, Australia government has declared
the north-west of the state a natural disaster area after heavy
flooding that could leave many homes still cut off at Christmas.
*A volcano in Indonesia's northernmost province of North Sulawesi
on Sunday belched smoke and heatclouds and covered a town
and several villages with ash.
*Bright flashes in the sky had residents in the Washington region
calling 911 Saturday night for what was actually the
annual Geminid Meteor Shower.
*A magnitude 5.7 earthquake jolted the British Virgin Islands,
the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday.

Sunday, December 12, 2004
*Afghanistan remains in the grip of the most debilitating drought
in living memory, now in its seventh year.
*A 3.2 earthquake of slight intensity rocked Shillong, India and its
surrounding areas early on Saturday. This was the third tremor in
the current week. The 2nd tremor had a magnitude of 4.7 on the
Richter scale and was recorded on December 9. That one was
preceded by one measuring 3.6 on the scale on December 7.
*The final meteor shower of 2004 is the Geminids of December,
the most reliable meteor shower of the year. This year, the peak
is on the night of Dec. 13-14, Monday night to Tuesday morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2004
*A dry start to the growing season in eastern Australia has
devastated the winter grain crop.
* Mount St Helens: A massive magma-driven uplift of glacial ice,
rock and magma is now shoving against the south wall of the crater.
Scientists recently discovered that a Global Positioning System
station on the outer southeast flank of the mountain has moved
about 1 inch toward the southeast over the past three weeks.
*A woman was killed after an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the
Richter scale shook the Indonesian easternmost province of Papua
on Friday. She suffered from stroke and fell from her chair when
the quake hit the area and died en route to the hospital. A 6.8
magnitude quake on Nov. 26 and smaller aftershocks in the
aftermath have killed 33 other residents.
*2025 people remained evacuated from their houses in the areas around
Brescia, Italy hit by an earthquake earlier this week. 453
houses are unfit for use.
*The Marshall Islands has been warned of an approaching tropical
storm, which threatens to turn into a cyclone.
*This year began with the aftermath of a powerful earthquake
in Iran that killed more than 26,000 people, and is ending with
a string of storms in the the Philippines that have left more than
1,500 people dead, said the UN's emergency relief coordinator.
"It has been one of the most challenging years ever for
the humanitarian community."

Friday, December 10, 2004
*Evacuated due to flooding, about 10,000 people were unable
to go return home although record rains have stopped in
Argentina's north-eastern state of Chaco.
*University of California, Berkeley, seismologists have discovered
mysterious tremors deep under the San Andreas Fault that may
portend future earthquakes. The continuous tremors are "a kind of
chatter" emanating from a depth of 20 to 40 kilometers below the
surface, near the boundary between the Earth's crust and the hot mantle.
*New Zealand's volcanic "hot zone" is moving south and could spawn
volcanoes in Wellington in about five million years. The southernmost
existing volcano, Ruapehu, may also be evolving into a huge "caldera"
volcano such as the one that created Lake Taupo.

Thursday, December 9, 2004
*Two people died and an elderly woman is missing after their vehicles
were swamped by flash floods in creeks following widespread
storms in NSW and Queensland, Australia. Storms have hammered
Queensland's eastern coastline for two days and are expected to
continue until the end of the week. A number of homes have
been evacuated due to flooding.
*Rescuers have pulled at least 4 survivors from the rubble of a building
which collapsed in floods that hit the Philippines 10 days ago.
One survivor said there were many more still buried alive in the rubble.
The survivors had no injuries but were very weak and "white as ash",
after surviving on water dripping from the ceiling.
*A strong cyclone, accompanied by gale-force winds and snowfall,
has hit southern Kamchatka, Russia.
*Two more relatively large quakes, up to magnitude 3 on the Richter
scale, rattled Mount St. Helens on Monday and early Tuesday after
a similar miniburst the day before.
* On the heels of one of the most deadly hurricane seasons in memory,
a top forecaster is calling for another busy, slightly above-average, year
next year. He predicts 11 named tropical storms for the Atlantic Basin,
which includes the Gulf of Mexico, in 2005. Of those, he expects six
to become hurricanes, and three of those to become major hurricanes
with sustained winds of 111 mph or stronger. The odds of at least one
major storm hitting the U.S. coast is 69 percent.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004
*The Philippines are still battling the after-effects of 4 typhoons
in two weeks. Torrents of rain and walls of mud are
making relief efforts next to impossible.
*Smoke and ash has been spotted coming out of the Volcano of Fire
- also known as the Colima Volcano - in western Mexico. Officials say
the volcano is set to erupt, but that there is no immediate danger. A
light coating of ashes has reached some towns in the area near the
city of Colima, 430 miles (700 kilometres) northwest of Mexico City.
* Mount St Helens - Overnight Sunday, three earthquakes of about
magnitude 3 occurred amid the continuing flurry of smaller quakes.
This larger miniburst of quakes is similar to a sequence that occurred
a week before; scientists said it's not unusual as magma continues
driving a massive uplift of rock, glacial ice and lava.
*Forecasters expect a cooler-than-normal U.S. winter.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004
*A strong 6.8 earthquake shook northern Japan late yesterday,
prompting authorities to warn of a small tsunami wave along the
country's north-eastern shore. There were no immediate reports
of damage or injuries.
*The volcanic eruption on Manam Island in Indonesia has so far
claimed five lives – two elderly women and three children between
the ages of 5-13. The deaths were linked to respiratory complications
resulting from inhaling volcanic ashes and dust. Five people from
Dugulaba village were also saved from mudflows in the
early hours of Thursday last week.

Monday, December 6, 2004
*A tropical cyclone is racing towards the shores of Somalia and
is expected to hit the coast today.
*A magnitude 5.4 quake struck southwestern Germany on Sunday
morning. Across the border in eastern France the tremor was put at
4.9 on the Richter scale. The effects of the tremor were felt over
a 250 kilometre (150 mile) radius. Rescue services in France,
Germany and Switzerland said there had been "some damage"
near the epicentre. The strongest previous quake in the region
was measured at 5.9 on the Richter scale on February 22, 2003.
*A 4.7 tremor shook the Algerian capital on Sunday, slightly
injuring 46 people, just days after an earthquake hit the same area.
The 5.7-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday had injured 100
people and damaged some buildings. A devastating quake in
the region killed 2,300 people in May last year and this latest
tremor was an aftershock of the May 2003 quake.
*Strange flashes of light, vibrations and loud rumblings heard
early yesterday by residents along the New South Wales coast
in Australia could have been caused by a meteorite coming
within 20km of the earth's surface.
*Mount St Helens: Lava is pulsing up from a vent on the north
end of the new dome, shoving the mass of earlier-extruded lava
southward toward the crater wall. Now that the leading edge of
the extrusion has reached the crater wall, scientists are watching
to see whether new extrusions will piggyback up and over the
south end of the original 876-foot-tall lava dome or continue to
shove against the south wall of the crater, causing the new lava
dome to splay out like a fat, swelling pancake within the crater.
Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater was accompanied
by minor emissions of steam and ash on Sunday. Low rates of
seismicity and gas emission suggest the lava reaching the surface
is gas poor. That reduces the probability of highly-explosive
eruptions in the near future.
*Troops continued Sunday to rush food and water to the sick and
wounded after four typhoons hit the Philippines in the past two weeks.
*The death toll from the landslide in southwest China's Guizhou
Province has risen to 30.

Sunday, December 5, 2004
* Floods have killed 11 people and forced thousands to flee
their villages on the southern part of Indonesia's main Java island.
*Recovery operations at a landslide in southwest China which left
at least 23 dead and scores missing resumed yesterday as nearby
coal mines were shut for investigations into their possible role in
the disaster. Officials have ruled out finding any of the buried victims
alive after a huge mass of earth crashed down on a village in
Guizhou province yesterday.
*In the decades to come Asia, home to more than half the world's
6.3 billion people, will lurch from one climate extreme to another
due to global warming, with impoverished farmers battling droughts,
floods, disease, food shortages and rising sea levels.
*According to a Madras geologist, planetary configurations
suggest the possibility of an earthquake measuring up to five
or six in the Richter scale in Assam, India on December 12 around
six in the morning. There are seven other regions where he believes
an earthquake is likely to be triggered around that time: Taiwan,
the Philippines, Japan, Banda sea, Solomon Islands, San Francisco
and the Gulf of California. According to his theory, alignment of the
earth with the Sun, Moon and two or more planets along more or
less a straight line can create forces that may trigger the
release of accumulated stress on the earth.

Saturday, December 4, 2004
*Rescue workers rushed relief aid to tens of thousands of wet and
hungry survivors yesterday as heavy equipment moved in to clear
debris from two storms feared to have claimed
1100 lives in the Philippines.
*An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2 rocked the
northern Philippines Friday as the region reeled from the effects
of the deadly storm and a typhoon. No damage was reported.
* Tropical storm Nanmadol moved past the Philippines and hit
Taiwan with powerful winds and downpours yesterday, claiming
one life and leaving at least two missing.
*At Mount St Helens magma continues driving a massive uplift
of rock, lava and glacial ice. Fresh magma is swelling the new uplift
on the crater floor at a rate of about a dump truck load every 2
seconds. "It's a pretty impressive rate, and it's remarkably steady."
*Global warming is leading to an increased incidence of high-cost
storms and floods across the globe.

Friday, December 3, 2004
*At least 65 people were missing after a landslide engulfed 25 homes
in a village in southwestern Guizhou province in China.
*At least 30 people were killed by Typhoon Nanmadol yesterday
as it swept through the north-eastern side of the Philippines. It
had been billed as the most powerful in recent weeks, but
damage was less than expected. The typhoon has now moved
into the South China Sea and is headed for Taiwan, but its
wind speeds have fallen.
*A strong 5.4 earthquake shook Trinidad yesterday, damaging
several buildings south of the capital. The quake came more
than a week after a 6.3 temor rocked Guadeloupe and Dominica
in the Caribbean, killing a 5-year-old girl and
damaging scores of buildings.
*As if to mark the end of a spectacular hurricane season, Tropical
Storm Otto developed over a remote section of the Atlantic Ocean
in the final hours of the season.
*The BBC has made a disaster movie which predicts one billion
people will be wiped off the earth by a "supervolcano" which will
affect the climate around the globe. The drama claims America's
Yellowstone National Park is due an eruption of cataclysmic
proportions. If - or when - it does erupt, 100,000 Americans will
be killed in minutes by a giant cloud of burning ash.

Thursday, December 2, 2004
*The quake-ravaged Indonesian town of Nabire was hit yesterday
by another earthquake, 4.5 magnitude, which killed a man who
was repairing his house. The city has been rattled by some 200
smaller aftershocks between Tuesday and Wednesday.
*More than 900 people are now confirmed dead or missing
after massive floods and landslides struck the Philippines
this week. Eastern areas are steeling themselves for another in the
series of powerful storms.
*Greenhouse gas emissions have doubled the risk of European
heatwaves similar to last year's, a United Kingdom study says.
* Mount St Helens has been Washington's worst air polluter. The
volcano spews 50 to 250 tons of sulfur dioxide into the air each day.
*The Manam volcano was continuing to rock the island with tremors,
but Papua New Guinea vulcanologists said activity was dwindling.
About 1,300 people have been evacuated from the island as the
volcanic eruption continues, blanketing crops and polluting water
supplies with ash, making the island uninhabitable and killing two
people who drank ash-contaminated water. Rescue officials say
it will take another 14 days to evacuate Manam island's 9,600 people,
since they had only one boat which could hold just
a few hundred people and can make only one daily trip.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004
*Emergency workers are racing to rescue survivors of
a storm in the Philippines which killed at least 400 people,
as another storm approaches. More than 150 others are still
missing after devastating flooding and mudslides. Three storms
hit the Philippines in a week with thousands of people have
been left homeless, or stranded on rooftops. Typhoon Nanmadol,
even stronger than the storms to hit in the last few days, is
approaching the islands and is expected to hit the east
coast late on Thursday or Friday.
*Western Australia's fire authorities are on full alert as below
average rainfall, low dam levels and typically hot, dry days
point towards a dangerous summer bushfire season.
*At Mount St Helens magma continues driving a massive uplift of
rock, glacial ice and lava. Since a 3.1-magnitude earthquake
shook the crater Saturday morning, three smaller quakes between
magnitude 2.6 and 2.8 occurred late Sunday and early Monday.
Most of the east arm of the crater glacier that is adjacent to the
uplift is now deformed. Ice close to the uplift is steeply inclined
and intensely fractured; farther away, the ice surface is beginning
to rumple into broad ridges as the uplift grows eastward.

Monday, November 29, 2004
* An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 on the Richter
scale rocked northern Japan's Hokkaido island. Several people
were reportedly hurt. The quake hit a relatively sparsely populated
area so not a lot of damage is expected. A tsunami wave measuring
several centimetres hit some parts of the eastern shores of Hokkaido.
* Major aftershocks on Sunday measuring 5.6 on the Richter Scale
caused even more damage to the already crippled town of Nabire,
Papua New Guinea, with panicked residents fleeing the town.
Authorities have yet to confirm whether the aftershocks, which also
hit the nearby area of Timika, had claimed more lives as the city
was chaotic due to the fresh quake. Many buildings collapsed
and they are beginning to suffer from food shortages. An
earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale hit the city on
Friday, while another 59 aftershocks jolted the town on Saturday.
The quake practically cut Samabusa seaport into three,
while the airport was severely damaged.
*An earthquake that registered 3.1 on Saturday at Mount
St. Helens has split the dome, worrying seismologists
of a pending eruption.
*Large areas of the Philippines are in the early stage of an El
Nino-induced dry spell that is expected to last for half a year.
*Emergency workers are warning of the dangers of extreme heat
as New South Wales, Australia, prepared for the prospect
of record high temperatures.
*A powerful cyclone hit Russia's Kamchatka on Saturday night.

Sunday, November 28, 2004
*The death toll from floods and landslides has risen to 21 and
two people remain missing following heavy rains in central
Vietnam where water levels continue to rise and more rain is forecast.
* Aftershocks every few minutes rocked a town in Indonesia's Papua
province yesterday, two days after a powerful earthquake killed 17 people
and injured more than 180. The population is terrified and everyday
activities have ground to a halt.
*A 3.1 magnitude earthquake shook the crater at Mount Saint Helens
Saturday morning. That's the volcano's biggest quake since mid-October.

Saturday, November 27, 2004
*An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 jolted southern
Hokkaido this morning in Japan. There were no immediate reports
of injuries or damage. No tsunami warning was issued.
*The 7.0 quake that shook Indonesia's Papua province yesterday,
killed at least 13 people and injured 65, also collapsing buildings
and starting fires. A series of aftershocks continued to rattle the
coastal town of Nabire, 3000km north-east of Jakarta, hours
after the morning quake.
*The 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, officially ending Tuesday,
spawned several years' worth of storm devastation in
little more than two months.
*More than 9000 people were to be evacuated from the tiny Papua
New Guinea island of Manam island, starting on Friday, as a
volcanic eruption continues and heavy falls of ash destroy crops
and pollute water supplies. The eruption had quietened after a
major eruption on Tuesday sent ash soaring 14km into the air. The
eruption remained in the stage 3 category, which usually involves
voluntary evacuations, but vulcanologists said the chance of a
major explosive eruption remained high as tremors are still
being recorded continuously.

Friday, November 26, 2004
*A 7.2 earthquake rocked Indonesia's West Papua province
yesterday causing at least two buildings to collapse.
No injuries were reported.
*Firefighters have controlled three fires near Albany in as many days,
amid warnings the West Australian region is dangerously
dry for this time of year.
*Drought-stricken central Vietnam issued a flood alert as rains
triggered by an approaching typhoon swelled rivers and swept
away at least one person.

Thursday, November 25, 2004
*Voluntary evacuations have begun on a tiny Papua New Guinea
island after a big volcanic eruption spewed ash 14km into the air
and blanketed homes, crops and water supplies. The volcano on
Manam, off the country's north coast, began erupting in October
but a severe burst on Tuesday night prompted authorities to
upgrade volcanic activity to stage 3.
*A magnitude-5.2 quake in Italy injured five and also damaged
scores of buildings as it shook parts of northern and central Italy,
including the cities of Milan, Turin, Genoa and Venice.
*Monday's 7.3 New Zealand quake has been
upgraded to their biggest in 73 years.
*A flurry of small earthquakes, more than 35, has been gently
shaking the ground near Pinnacles in California for
the past two days. They are all located on what scientists call
a creeping segment of the San Andreas Fault, where the ground
moves in tiny, barely perceptible increments. This segment
stretches for about 120 miles.
* Avalanches in the Russian Caucasus have killed three border guards.
*In India six children are dead in a landslide.
*About a dozen tornadoes ploughed across Texas, killing one
person and destroying several homes, part of a storm system that
drenched the state for four days. Tornadoes also struck parts of
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, killing two more people.
* Typhoon Muifa was expected to skirt Vietnam's southern coast
though rains were likely to pound the area with strong winds on
Wednesday as the storm moved into the Gulf of Thailand.
*Firefighters in Australia are scrambling to control a blaze in
north-western Victoria ahead of an expected heatwave this weekend.
*The forest in the High Tatras National Park mountain range has
virtually disappeared after the windstorm that passed across Slovakia
last Friday. The uprooted and broken trees amount to about three
million cubic meters of wood. People say trees fell like dominoes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
*Lots of quake activity in California today as of 7:20 Universal Time:
near Pinnacles - 3.0, 3.0, 4.4, 3.3, 3.7 and 18 smaller quakes.
near Shandon - 3.0 (near Parkfield)
near The Geysers - 3.2
*Three communities remain inaccessible since the 6.0 earthquake
that caused serious damage in Dominica on Sunday.
Hundreds of tremors continued to rattle Guadeloupe and Dominica
yesterday, two days after the strong earthquake that killed a girl
and damaged scores of buildings. More than 1,700 aftershocks -
mostly minor ones - have shaken the area since Sunday's main temblor.
But there have been several major aftershocks including
a 5.4, two 4.9s and a 4.7.
*Some 7,000 people remain homeless following Japan's 6.4
earthquake last month.
* Tropical depression Merbok crashed into the east coast of the
main Philippine island of Luzon on Tuesday, unleashing heavy rain
and causing floods and mudslides that swept away at least 16 people.
Tuesday's storm came on the heels of tropical storm Muifa, which
sank dozens of fishing boats over the weekend. Muifa left 29 people
dead, 84 missing at sea and another 89 injured. After a week of storms,
the toll in the country has risen to 129 dead or missing.
*A massive search is under way for two tourists who
disappeared on a volcano in Nicaragua. They had set out last
Wednesday to scale the Maderas volcano and never returned.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
*New Zealand was warned to expect a series of strong aftershocks
in the next few days after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.2 on
the Richter scale rocked the southern part of the country on Monday.
The quake struck offshore and by the time seismic energy reached land
it was relatively weak and damage appeared to be confined to goods
falling off store shelves.
*As the world's biggest volcano continues to slowly swell in Hawaii,
Big Island residents who live and work on Mauna Loa's flanks are
beginning to worry about what will happen if there is an eruption.
Mauna Loa has been slowly inflating for more than two years, since
May 2002. Scientists interpret the swelling as a sign the reservoir inside
the volcano is probably filling with magma. Scientists also have puzzled
over a long series of hundreds of relatively small but deep earthquakes
that began during the summer. The seismic pattern is unlike anything
scientists have recorded there before.
*Some areas of Texas received up to 15 inches of rain this past
weekend, flooding homes and businesses across the region.

Monday, November 22, 2004
*Lots of activity in the Caribbean lately:
A strong, early morning 6.0 earthquake shook the Caribbean
islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe on Sunday, killing one and
destroying some homes and churches. The initial quake was followed
by several tremors, including two with a 4.9 magnitude. A complete
damage assessment was not available because heavy rains and flooding
prevented authorities from reaching many areas in the north.
A 6.2 earthquake rocked Costa Rica on Saturday,
killing eight people.
A 6.1 quake rocked Guatemala on Saturday.
On the 15th a 7.2 quake rocked northern Columbia.
Puerto Rico has had a large number of medium-sized quakes
for the last several months.
On October 9th Nicaragua was rocked by a 7.1 quake.
* Galeras volcano has erupted in south-western Colombia,
hurling rocks for a distance of two miles and blanketing the ground with
ash and starting small forest fires, but causing no injuries. More than 10
villages are near the volcano, which killed at least 10
people when it erupted in 1993.
*The level of the lava lake at Mount Nyiragongo volcano, which
overlooks the Congolese city of Goma, has risen sharply, prompting
fears of a devastating eruption and causing unease among those who
survived the last disaster, in January 2002 when fountains of lava
broke through the crater and surged 10 miles south across the plain,
a burning river that consumed entire districts and forced 500,000
people to flee. 100 were killed. Seismic recordings have detected
tremors of increasing intensity in the past week and visual
observation from the crater rim confirms a dramatic
widening and rising of the lava.
*Dangers at Mount St Helens increase as the lava dome gets taller.
While a violent explosion is unlikely, unstable slopes can trigger mud
flows or collapse into avalanches of hot rock and gas that could flow
for miles. The weight of the dome could put pressure on underground
magma, increasing the risk of explosive eruptions. This year's eruption
pattern has been quite different from that of the 1980s when the last
dome-building eruptions occurred. Molten rock pushed up in short bursts,
followed by weeks or months of quiet. Now, the lava just keeps coming.
Earthquake activity has dropped to tiny temblors at a recorded rate of
one every minute as the magma is flowing smoothly, with few
obstacles that would cause major shaking.
*A Philippines storm has left eight dead and 58 missing.

Sunday, November 21, 2004
*The 6.2 quake yesterday in Costa Rica cracked major highways,
toppled water towers and knocked the pillars from under a house,
causing it to collapse atop a car parked underneath. Three people
died of heart attacks and one of a quake-related motorcycle accident.
*A magnitude 6.1 earthquake near the coast of Guatemala occurred
yesterday 145 km (90 miles) SSE of Guatemala City
(population 1,167,000).
*A moderate earthquake shook towns in southern Iran before
dawn Saturday, sending people into the streets until the
sun rose but causing no casualties.
*Bangladesh's capital Dhaka is "most vulnerable" to earthquakes
and can witness huge damage from big tremors in the future,
according to a new study.
*The drought in Australia shows no sign of ending. Barring
monsoonlike rains, major adjustments in water usage will need to
happen on a massive scale if Australia's biggest cities, including
Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide, hope to continue
having drinking water in two years' time, experts say.
Australia is not only the driest inhabited continent on Earth,
but also the greatest consumer of water per capita, most
of which goes for crop irrigation.

Saturday, November 20, 2004
*An early morning earthquake today jolted the Costa Rican
capital of San Jose, where leaders of 21 nations were gathered
for the Ibero-American Summit. The magnitude was 6.2 and
there were no immediate reports of damage or injury. It
knocked out power at least briefly in part of San Jose.
*The death toll of the Alor quake in Indonesia increased
to 28 as the latest victim was found on Friday. There have been
approximately 700 aftershocks since the November 12 quake,
causing at least one landslide that killed a person.
*There was increased seismic activities around the crater of the Taal
volcano in Talisay, Batangas, in the Philippines, including at least 31
high frequency volcanic quakes in just seven days. Although smoke
was not observed coming from the crater, blue green smoke was
seen five meters high around the volcano. There has also been higher
water temperature and acidity level in the lake. The alert level remains
at 1 which means that there is a slight increase in seismic activity
but no eruption is imminent.
*At Mount St. Helens volcano seismicity has increased slightly
since Monday, with several earthquakes registering above 2 on
the Richter scale and one as violent as 2.8. The quakes might be
caused by a massive spine of rock pushing up from the
middle of a new lava dome.

Friday, November 19, 2004
*At least seven people, including a baby, were killed in Polish storms.
*A Taiwan resident, Lee Cheng-chi, who has become known for
his alleged ability to predict earthquakes has agreed not to make
any more public predictions after the Central Weather Bureau
warned him that he could be fined NT$1,000,000. Lee has an ear
condition known as tinnitus syndrome that causes sufferers to hear
a ringing in their ears. The symptoms become pronounced when an
earthquake is about to occur. Lee came to public prominence on
October 15 when he sent an email to the CWB early that morning
saying that his tinnitus symptoms were severe and warned of an
impending quake. Around the noon that day, a magnitude 7
earthquake struck Taiwan. He also correctly predicted
several quakes after that.

Thursday, November 18, 2004
*The death toll in the earthquake on the Indonesian island has
risen to 27, with 30 other villagers still missing and
thousands left homeless.
*The strong earthquake that hit northern Japan last month
caused around 3 trillion yen ($28.5 billion) in damage.
*New Zealand scientists said on Wednesday they have detected
what they call a "slow earthquake" near Gisborne, in the
North Island where an area of land has been moving eastward
at nearly two millimetres a day since the end of October. To see
that amount of movement in two weeks is extraordinary. It is the
second time the phenomenon has occurred in the last two years.
Scientists first detected slow earthquakes about eight years ago
and besides New Zealand they have since been recorded in Canada,
Mexico, Japan and Costa Rica.
* Tropical storm Muifa grew into a typhoon yesterday. The storm
was moving north through the Philippine Sea. It has left more than
1,000 people homeless in the Philippines.
*Torrential thunderstorms caused flash floods that drowned one woman
who was swept from a bridge, and more flooding was expected
in San Antonia, Texas, as rain continued falling Wednesday.
A second person is missing.
* Mount St. Helens lava dome is ten stories tall and hot magma is
oozing out onto its surface at an unbelievable rate of a dump truck
load every second. The volcano is trying to rebuild itself. "It could
exceed the size of 1986 dome by Christmas and it could refill the
crater and be that beautiful cone-shaped mountain the way it was
prior to the eruption within about 11 and a half years." The potential
for a large ash eruption is still there but is much less likely
than it was a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
*At Mount St. Helens a new lava extrusion continues driving an
uplift of glacial ice, rock and lava between the old lava dome and
the south wall of the crater. The lava extrusion is about 1,300 by
600 feet, glowing red at night and spewing steam constantly. No
direct observations were possible on Monday due to rain.
*Colorado's largest glaciers are shrinking fast, and researchers
suspect global warming is playing a role. During the past 40 years,
the total volume of mountain glaciers around the globe has declined
by about 10 percent. The losses have been especially severe in Alaska,
the Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes.
*In a typical monsoon season in South East Asia, the rains fall until
October, but this year, the heavens went dry three to four weeks early.
Not only did the rains end early, but less rain fell during the monsoon,
and that could mean a shortage of irrigation water stored in reservoirs,
particularly if the dry season lasts longer than normal. Indonesia, northern
Australia, and parts of China also appear to be warmer,
and possibly drier, than normal.

Monday, November 15, 2004
*Algerian rescue teams are searching for about 18 missing
sailors after fierce storms caused three shipwrecks off Algiers.
Another three people were killed when their homes collapsed.
*Two Italians were killed in landslides after fierce storms pounded
the country on the weekend, causing floods that slowed trains, cut
off traffic and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.
* Mt. Asama in Japan erupted Sunday night. It has been erupting
off and on since September.
*The aftershocks in Indonesia have killed two people, bringing
the number who have died to 21 since Friday, when the pre-dawn quake
measuring six on the Richter scale hit the island near East Timor.

Sunday, November 14, 2004
*A magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled the Big Bear area east
of Los Angeles on Saturday but no damage or injuries were reported.
* Mount Hood in Oregon is a potentially dangerous volcano.
*The pace of the Arctic ice melt is accelerating, proving climate change
is occurring more rapidly than previously thought, scientists say.
Arctic ice melt could threaten Florida.

Saturday, November 13, 2004
*In Indonesia, the quake toll has risen to 19 dead, 36 seriously
wounded and 76 less seriously hurt. About 1,100 buildings were
damaged, including at least 22 homes that were destroyed.
*The 4.1 earthquake near the Colorado-Utah border on the 7th
might have been caused by a government agency injecting brine
14,000 feet into the earth. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation facility
injects 230 gallons of salt per minute into deep wells in the Paradox
Valley Area. The process decreases the salt content in the Colorado
River downstream, but has been known to cause thousands of
earthquakes in the area since 1991. Seismic activity in the Paradox
Valley Area was very low until this deep well injection began. The
injection method has drawn criticism since it began, and after
last week's quake questions have arisen about whether the benefits
of removing salt from the river are outweighed by the
potential for more earthquakes.
*The specter of the hard winter fast approaching is adding to the
anxieties of Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake victims forced to abandon
their homes in Japan. The series of quakes Oct. 23 largely ruined the
area's vast network of snow-removal devices - including pipes installed
under roads to melt snow, which piles up to several meters in the
heart of winter. The area receives some of the heaviest snowfall in Japan.
The situation is dire because the snow season likely will
begin in a week or two. Besides the broken pipes, gutters that
channel snow into rivers have also been fractured. Buckled or
collapsed roads will make it difficult, if not impossible, for snowplows
to work. Many homes could collapse if snow accumulates on roofs
while residents remain at evacuation centers.
*A giant plug of pure lava is pushing higher inside the Mount St. Helens
crater, raising the odds of a future explosive eruption.

Friday, November 12, 2004
*A 7.3 earthquake rocked parts of eastern Indonesia early yesterday,
killing 16 people, injuring more than 100 and damaging
hundreds of buildings. It was followed by a 6.4 aftershock.
*A magnitude 6.3 earthquake rocked the northern Japanese
island of Hokkaido yesterday.
*An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale shook
northeast Taiwan on Thursday causing buildings to
sway in the capital, Taipei.
*A magnitude 6.5 earthquake in the Solomon Islands has
occurred. It was followed by a 5.6 aftershock.
*A magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Santiago Del Estero, Argentina
has occurred 975 km (610 miles) NNW of Buenos Aires.
*A state of emergency was declared in parts of Colombia
where floods have killed at least 14 people.
*A government climate researcher is predicting that the five-year
Western U.S. drought could linger for several more years.

Thursday, November 11, 2004
*A powerful 5.3 earthquake rocked northern Japan early
Wednesday in the area still recovering from a
stronger tremor last month.
List of large aftershocks.
*A powerful 6.9 earthquake hit the Solomon Islands in the
South Pacific yesterday but there were no reports of injury or damage.
* Mount Rainier shook under its crater with a 3.2-magnitude
earthquake, but scientists said Tuesday the quake was not
related to recent rumblings at Mount St. Helens. It was Rainer's
its biggest earthquake in 30 years, but scientists said that the
increased seismic activity does not signal an eruption of the volcano.
Quake activity at Rainier has increased over normal levels in recent
weeks. Five quakes greater than magnitude 2.0 were recorded
Oct. 25-31, and the latest quake was one of a cluster of 17 or 18
temblors over a period of several hours Sunday.
*Vog - or volcanic smog - emanating from erupting Kilauea Volcano
on the Big Island in Hawaii blanketed Oahu, 200 miles to the northwest.
For the first time since August, lava from the volcano
is flowing into the sea.
*A storm system brewing in the central Caribbean could develop
into a tropical cyclone today while dropping heavy rain and
causing dangerous flooding and mud slides on Puerto Rico and
the island of Hispaniola, forecasters said.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004
*The ground shook again Monday in northern Japan. This
latest earthquake was magnitude 5.9, considered an aftershock
to last month's 6.8 quake. Ten people were reported injured.
*An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale rattled
northeast Taiwan on Monday. There were no
immediate reports of casualties or damage.
*A magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook parts of west Alabama
about 5:20 am Sunday, but apparently caused no damage.
*A magnitude 4.1 earthquake shook a sparsely populated area
along the Utah-Colorado state line on Sunday and
was felt about 60 miles away.
*On Monday the Shiveluch volcano registered at least 5
high-altitude emissions of gas and ashes. Located on Russia's
Kamchatka Penninsula, the volcano registered an increase in
its activity back in January of this year.

Sunday, November 7, 2004
*In Japan, the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake continues to bedevil
a number of factories two weeks after the initial temblor struck.
Some factories remain shuttered, while others are running at lower
capacities due to damaged facilities and equipment.
*The new lava dome inside Mount St. Helens' crater has sprouted
a growth that now extends upward nearly 330 feet. The exposed
rock face, with a temperature between 752 and 952 degrees Fahrenheit,
casts a red glow that can be seen from the north on clear nights. There
were several emissions of steam and ash Friday, which discolored
the snow lying on the mountain.
*The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA and UC Davis announced
last month that an earthquake forecasting system developed by their
researchers had accurately forecast all but one major earthquake in
California this decade. Since then, seismologists not involved with the
particular study have questioned the usefulness of the system. Some
earthquake experts say the forecasts are not true predictions and that
the results have not been properly submitted for review by other scientists.

Saturday, November 6, 2004
* Mount St. Helens has risen more than 300 feet in the past
nine days. The magma pushing up inside the volcano is making
the lava dome grow vertically, but it has grown horizontally only
about 90 feet. Even though the new rock is about 1,000 degrees,
it has not yet melted the crater glacier.
*An overnight storm lashed Kuala Lumpur leaving the homes
of about 40,000 people flooded, while a landslide
destroyed a house, killing a girl.
*At approximately 10:15 pm on Thursday, a landslide damaged
Pacific Northern Gas' 8-inch high-pressure transmission pipeline
25 kilometers east of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
(perhaps related to the recent quakes in the area?)
*A pair of boulders the size of small cars tumbled onto Interstate
80 near Lockwood, Nevada, causing two non-injury accidents,
a big hole in the highway and snarled traffic. The recent snow and
rains could have dampened the ground, causing the boulders to slip.

Friday, November 5, 2004
*A magnitude 5.7 earthquake rocked northern Japan late
yesterday. A 5.2 quake hit earlier in the day.
*A study by a government panel in Japan stated that Tokyo
may be devastated by a huge earthquake in the next 50 years.
*The president of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society
has warned South Australians should be prepared
for another large earthquake.
*According to geologists, there is a one in three chance of a
major earthquake along the Hayward Fault in California
in the next 30 years.
*A magnitude 3 earthquake struck Western Montana
just after 6 am Thursday.
*A strong earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale rocked
the sea region of the island of Antikithira, Greece at 8:22 yesterday
morning causing limited damage.
*Since Grímsvötn volcano first erupted in Iceland on Monday, sending
thick black smoke and ash heading towards continental Europe,
it has produced a steady stream of ash and lava, with explosions
sending ash up to 12,000m (40,000 feet) in the air. Over the
last few weeks, increased earthquake activity below the
Vatnajökull ice cap warned scientists that an eruption was likely.
*A drought in southern China has withered crops, emptied
reservoirs, cut power supplies and is threatening tourism.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004
*A series of earthquakes, including one of considerable force,
were recorded early Tuesday beneath the Pacific Ocean west
of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. The largest
was 6.5 followed by 5.0, 4.8, 4.8, 4.9, and 4.5. The tremors
were too far from populated areas to have significant effects.
*The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised
the alert level of Taal Volcano and called on visitors to the island
to be vigilant, following a marked increase in the number of
earthquakes since the weekend. The ongoing seismic unrest
could intensify in the coming days and weeks.
*Residents in the capital city of Australia are facing an unexpected
new peril from the drought - crazed kangaroos roaming
the city in search of water.
*Five major landslide dams discovered over the weekend pose
a new menace to victims of the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake
in Japan. The dams were formed after the Oct. 23 quakes,
when mudslides deposited tons of rocks, soil and debris in the river.
With more rain forecast, some dams are on the brink of overflow
or breaching, and flash flooding full of debris could come crushing
through downstream towns. Fearing an avalanche of muddy debris,
residents have re-evacuated the town of Horinouchi.
*A potential landslide in the central Kyrgyzstan province of
Naryn could destroy a uranium waste dump, threatening up
to 50,000 people, and polluting the rivers Min-Kush, Kokomeren
and Naryn (a tributary of the Syrdarya river, one of the major water
sources in Central Asia) with radioactivity. Currently, according to
an expert who has been monitoring the situation on the ground
since August, the landslide is moving by 1 to 1.5 cm per day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004
*A volcano erupted in a remote area of Iceland yesterday, setting
off tremors across the area and prompting officials to warn pilots
to avoid flying through gasses being emitted by the eruption. The
eruption was believed to have been caused by expansion of a lake
underneath the Vatnajokull glacier. Grimsvotn last erupted six years
ago. It also erupted in 1995 and 1993, causing flooding.
*One needs to go back over 8,000 years in order to find a time
when the Sun was, on average, as active as in the last 60 years.
This means that the Sun has produced more sunspots, but also more
flares and eruptions, which eject huge gas clouds into space, than
in the past. New information indicates also that the Sun shines
somewhat brighter today than in the 8,000 years before. Whether
this effect could have provided a significant contribution to the
global warming of the Earth during the last century is an open question.
Based on a statistical study of earlier periods of increased solar
activity, the researchers predict that the current level of high solar
activity will probably continue only for a few more decades.
*Forensic experts and geologists in the village of Nandgaon in India are
trying to ascertain whether a black stone — weighing a kg — which fell
on one of the farms, is a meteorite. Villagers reported a loud bang and
falling of a burning stone in a farm on Sunday evening. The fallen stone
had created a little crater on the ground. Villages in the area have
been experiencing unseasonal rains for past couple of days.
* Swarms of locusts have hit Lebanon for first time
since World War I.
*Cyprus is also suffering a rare locust invasion.

Monday, November 1, 2004
* Two more earthquakes hit the central region of Japan, where
more than 70,000 residents are still living in emergency shelters
after the major quake more than a week ago. There were no
immediate reports of casualties or damage from the latest quakes,
which measured 5.0 and 4.0.
More than 40 percent of houses in areas hard hit by the Oct. 23
earthquakes have to be rebuilt or repaired before residents return.
16 percent are on the verge of collapsing.
*Dome growth continued Saturday at Mount St. Helens, with a
new lava extrusion driving an uplift of glacial ice, rock and lava
between the old lava dome and the south wall of the crater. The
southern part of the new dome showed continued southward
motion, about 30 feet since Oct. 28. A station near the summit
of the old dome showed continued northward motion.

Sunday, October 31, 2004
*The risk of a landslide in the Canary Islands causing a tidal
wave (tsunami) able to devastate America's east coast is
vastly overstated, according to marine geologists studying
ancient landslides in the area. In typical Canary Island landslides,
chunks of land break off in bits, not in one dramatic plunge, they
claim. However, the researchers behind the original claim are
sticking to their guns, pointing to evidence of catastrophic
past events in the region.
*Britain has more chance than ever of a thick cover of snow this
Christmas, scientists say. A study of 140 years of winter weather
has found that while short showers are declining, heavy and
prolonged blizzards are increasing decade after decade.
*Scientists are able to do a good job of monitoring the changes
that occur at volcanoes as they wake up, but are still quite a
long ways from being able to forecast the time, the magnitude
and the character of an eruption. Rapid advances in technology
and innovative studies, including a bold project to drill into the heart
of an active volcano, are poised to strip away some of the mystery
that makes volcanoes so unpredictable. Scientists are wiring
volcanoes with sophisticated new seismometers to better understand
a type of rattle that frequently foreshadows eruption. 500 million
people around the world are living near active volcanoes.

Saturday, October 30, 2004
*The death toll from the series of earthquakes in Japan has risen
to 36. Several deaths among quake victims have been caused by
deep vein thrombosis, because many residents have stayed in
cramped cars instead of public shelters. The earthquakes collapsed
or partially damaged about 6000 houses, caused cracks in 2580
roads and triggered at least 216 landslides.
*Alert Level 1 was hoisted over areas surrounding the Taal volcano
in Talisay, Batangas in the Philippines. Alert Level 1 means that there
is a slight increase in seismic activity but no eruption is imminent.
Surface observations do not indicate any significant change in the
thermal and steam emission characteristics of the main crater lake area.
*Every second, the Mount St. Helens volcano is pumping up about
7 cubic meters of lava, roughly enough to fill a dump truck. Scientists
believe the lava, some of which has pushed to the surface while the
rest lurks beneath about 60 feet of rock and ice, may be pushing up
from a reservoir about five miles beneath the crater floor. Scientists
don't know if the lava reservoir is being replenished and therefore
primed for future eruptions. The lava working up to the surface comes
with fewer earthquakes and a relatively low concentration of gases,
which suggests the volcano currently is less explosive than it was
during 1980. A glacier, which is up to 600 feet thick, wraps around
the 24-year-old old lava dome. Although portions have melted under
the intense heat, scientists expect it to survive the current eruption.
*We know that an asteroid will hit us at some point in the future.
On average 30 to 40 Near-Earth Objects - asteroids or
comets on a path to Earth - are discovered each month. More
than 3,000 NEOs have now been found so far. Generally it is
not a 24-hour or even a 45-minute warning that we get. It is
normally timescales of years or even decades.

Friday, October 29, 2004
*The Amber Alert reports that Mount Rainier and Mount Hood
continue to pose serious risk to the surrounding region as the Pacific
Rim transitions into a new period of activity. At Mount St. Helens
steam blasts began and are continuing with little ash content. The dome
has grown to be greater than that of a modern naval carrier.
The crater rim and flanks of the Mount St. Helens volcano above
4800-feet have been closed due to an increased potential for
steam explosions from the lava dome that could propel rocks
and ash above the crater rim.
*Along the Kalama River in Washington, locals say they know
something the volcanologists don't, that when the water turns milky
white it means Mount St. Helens may be about to blow. They saw
the river turn that color in 1980, just before the volcano blew its top
on May 18, killing 57 people. It hadn't turned white again in 24 years,
until mid-Septemer of this year. The river was running clear in the
morning, then all of a sudden it was running chalk white. It took
a full 24 hours before the river ran clear again. A week later
St Helens blew again.
*Two of the three people buried by the earthquake-triggered
landslide in northern Japan and previously reported to be alive
when found four days after the quake, have been declared dead.
Their crushed van was buried under tons of rock and mud
by Saturday's 6.8-magnitude earthquake.
This image shows the mountain topography of northern Japan
with the earthquake series epicenters marked.
*One person was killed as storm-force winds battered the
south-west coast of England closing seafronts and flooding
coastal villages for a second night.
*Typhoon Nock-Ten hammered Taiwan with strong winds and
heavy rains on October 25. It is the 24th typhoon to develop in
the western Pacific in 2004.
*Poor autumn rainfall has caused the worst drought
conditions in South China in nearly 50 years.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
*A 6.0 quake has struck Romania, there were no immediate
reports of injuries.
*A 39-year-old woman and her two children were rescued today
after surviving nearly four days in a car buried under the rocks
and mud of a landslide during Japan's killer earthquake.
At least 31 people have died since Saturday's initial tremor,
some from stress amid the hundreds of aftershocks.
List of large aftershocks.
*New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric
Research is warning the Pacific islands of an intense cyclone
season ahead as the El Nino effect will increase the number
and intensity of cyclones in the Pacific.
*At Mount St. Helens growth of a new lava dome continues.
Seismic and gas levels remained low compared with levels
during the height of activity. The dome is about 35 stories high.
*The worst drought in two decades is forcing farmers in Thailand's
northeastern province of Yasothon to harvest their crops early.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
*A 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Japan has hit the same area
where the 6.8-magnitude quake and a series of strong aftershocks
struck on Saturday, rocking already-damaged buildings and
terrifying residents. Media reported sporadic damage,
but no serious injuries. A 4.2-magnitude aftershock
hit about 25 minutes later. More than 440 aftershocks strong
enough to be felt have hit since Saturday, although they are
starting to become less frequent.
* Strong aftershocks rocked central Japan as exhaustion took its toll
on thousands spending a third night in shelters. Nearly 400 tremors
have followed the first quake of 6.8 on the Richter scale on Saturday.
The quakes flattened hundreds of houses, cracked more than 1,000
roads and triggered 11 fires and some 90 landslides, particularly
in ground softened by the earlier typhoon. 25 people have died,
eight are missing, and more than 2,400 injured. Fifty-eight villages
have been completely isolated, while over 100,000 inhabitants have
evacuated the area to avoid landslides and falling buildings. The
current chain of powerful and frequent earthquakes is due to the
plates not slipping at once, but at sporadic intervals, because the
fault plane features many jagged irregularities. The shock of the
earthquakes has caused massive geological shifts: the land in
several areas has risen or fallen significantly or even moved horizontally.
Quake videos
List of aftershocks.
*The American Southwest is in the seventh year of a drought
that could have a profound impact across the entire country.
Scientists are already starting to call it a "megadrought." But
more than likely it's a return to normal weather patterns for a huge
chunk of the nation. Several lines of evidence suggest that the
past few decades have been wetter than normal, and severe
droughts lasting tens of years are more likely the norm rather
than the exception. Someday, not too far down the road,
water may be more valuable than oil.
*Guangdong, China is facing its worst drought in decades.
Drought has affected more than 1 million people and
470,000 hectares of farmland.

Monday, October 25, 2004
* Mount Iabu on the northern Papua New Guinea island of Manam
has erupted, throwing up lava and ash over the weekend, prompting
authorities to advise nearly 3000 villagers to move to
safer parts of the island. A 1km-wide section of the mountain has
blown out, forcing lava to flow to the sea around the island.
*The killer earthquake that struck Niigata Prefecture Saturday
evening registered a record high maximum acceleration in Japan,
well above the figure recorded in the Kobe quake in 1995.
Acceleration is an index used to measure the strength of vibrations
in earthquakes. The temblor registered the maximum acceleration
rate of 1,500 gals. Experts say people and objects are thrust upward
if an earthquake with 980 gals or above strikes, suggesting that the
record high acceleration is responsible for massive damage caused
by the Niigata quake. The earthquake moved the earth's crust in
extensive areas. The active fault that triggered the temblor
shifted 1.4 meters horizontally.
Strong aftershocks have continued to hit Japan two days after
24 people died in the country's deadliest earthquake in almost
a decade. No fatalities were reported after the latest aftershock,
which measured 5.6 in magnitude and hit this morning.
The Japanese meteorological agency has warned that more quakes
are likely in the near future, and has also forecast several days
of heavy rain. The weekend's events follow a record 10 typhoons
to hit Japan this year, including one that killed 80 people last week.
List of aftershocks.

Sunday, October 24, 2004
*Thousands of people in northern Japan are spending a
second night in emergency shelters or out in the open after
the series of earthquakes. Military helicopters have joined rescue
efforts to reach isolated rural villages cut off by landslides. There
is a desperate need for food, water and blankets. At least 21
people are reported to have died, and a number are still missing.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by widespread power cuts,
blocked roads and collapsed bridges. Local hospitals say they
have been overwhelmed by 2000 casualties. Aftershocks continue.
*A magnitude 4.1 earthquake jolted northern Taiwan
at 10:04 pm Saturday.
*What was once Typhoon Tokage is now extratropical and rapidly
moving away from Japan. Unfortunately Tokage claimed the lives
of dozens of people in mudslides. Meanwhile, Typhoon Nock-Ten,
with maximum sustained winds of 110mph, is now west of Guam
and moving northwestward and will be closely monitored as it
approaches islands in the northwest Pacific Ocean.
*Lava continued to ooze into Mount St. Helen's crater and the
new lava dome remains substantial, scientists said Friday. Recent
activity is strangely quiet as the seismic activity increased only
slightly in the past 96 hours. Dome building could continue
for months or years.
*This weekend was the one year anniversary of two of southern
California's most devastating wildfires.
*A barrage of powerful earthquakes and aftershocks lasting for
about two hours has thundered across northern Japan,
killing at least 13 people, knocking down buildings and forcing
tens of thousands to flee their homes for safety.
( magnitudes 6.9, 6.1, 5.9, 6.1, 5.5, 5.8, 5.5)
The quakes were centered in relatively rural areas away from heavily
populated areas. The Government has estimated about 7000 people
would die if such a powerful quake were to hit the Tokyo area.
* Earthquakes can be triggered by the Earth's tides, UCLA scientists
have confirmed. Earth tides are produced by the gravitational pull of
the moon and the sun on the Earth, causing the ocean's waters to
slosh, which in turn raise and lower stress on faults roughly twice a day.
In California, the overall effect of the tides is small; tides may vary
the rate of earthquakes at most one or two percent; because the
faults are many miles inland from the coast and the tides there
are not particularly large. Earthquakes in "subduction zones",
where one tectonic plate dives under another, such as near the
coasts of Alaska, Japan, New Zealand and western South America
show a stronger correlation with tides.
*Typhoon Tokage produced the biggest wave ever recorded in
Japan as it rampaged across the country this week,
claiming nearly 80 lives.

Saturday, October 23, 2004
*Five years after the October 1999 super-cyclone, death is
still raging inside the minds of hundreds of survivors in Erasama,
India. Many are victims of post-traumatic stress disorders,
flashbacks and sleep disturbances. Others are plagued by guilt
that they survived and their loved ones didn't. So far, about 59
survivors have committed suicide and many more have tried and
failed. Over 8000 people died in Erasama in the cyclone.
*The Ecuadorian Red Cross said a landslide near the capital on
Wednesday afternoon left six workers injured and eight missing.
*Two are dead as heavy rains caused flash flooding in Portugal.
*There are still 39 days left in hurricane season and the water
remains warm in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
But there is a stubborn ridge of high pressure smothering the
Gulf right now, which tends to shut down any tropical
activity for quite some time. As each day goes by, the
likelihood of another hurricane decreases.
*Victoria, Australia faces a bushfire risk as severe as the one two years
ago, when well over one million hectares of public land was burnt out.
*Residents of Dibba Al Fujairah in the UAE have been
experiencing tremors for six days now, the last one was on
Thursday afternoon. Many residents spent Wednesday night in
the open fearing that the walls of their homes might collapse on
them if a major earthquake struck.

Friday, October 22, 2004
*Rescuers in Japan are still searching for more than 20 people
missing after what the government is calling the worst typhoon
to hit the islands in 25 years. 67 people are now confirmed dead.
*There has been some worry Yellowstone National Park is
close to experiencing the same type of volcanic incident as the
State of Washington has. The fear of some is the rising temperature
in the water, a change in geyser activity and hot pots, but others
insist that this is normal for an area like Yellowstone. The potential
for a huge disaster is enormous but "it would be accompanied by
tremendously more thermal activity than we're seeing today, as
well as ground swelling of great magnitudes, so we'd
know if it were coming."
*Testing with dye is planned to find out why a creek near the East
Entrance of Yellowstone has turned greenish. Middle Creek,
which flows into the North Fork of the Shoshone River, has
been the color of glacier water since August. Glaciers tint ponds
and streams by filling them with the fine dust they grind off rocks.
The Sylvan Pass pond is not near a glacier. But glacial ice or ice
remnants might have resurfaced after being buried. The Wyoming
Department of Environmental Quality, Federal Highway
Administration, National Park Service and U.S. Geological
Survey have all been trying to solve the mystery.
*Last week a visitor to Yellowstone National Park was hospitalized
with second-degree burns on both legs after he left a trail and broke
through fragile crust near a geyser, submerging both legs up to
his knees in scalding water. He suffered second-degree burns
to about 25 percent of his body.
*The new lobe on the lava dome at Mount St. Helens has grown
to about the size of an aircraft carrier. The new extrusion is about
900 feet long, 250 feet wide and 230 feet high. Scientists say
earthquake activity indicates magma is still pushing into the volcano
where it continues to build the lava dome as it has for more than a week.
*There are 13 other major active volcanoes in the Cascade Range
of the Pacific Northwest, besides Mount St. Helens. The most
dangerous is considered to be Mount Rainier, towering over
Seattle and its 3 million metro area residents, 80 miles away.
More ice and snow cover its dome than all the other Cascades
volcanoes combined. A big eruption would trigger gigantic
debris flows - "more like a wall of wet concrete that nothing can
stop" - plus enormous snow and ice surges, all the way to Puget
Sound. The government has spent millions of dollars in recent years
installing alarms around the volcano. Residents of nearby towns
would have less than an hour to get to high ground and watch
their homes be swept away.
*A small 2.5 earthquake shook windows in western Tennessee
Thursday morning, but officials said that there were no reports
of casualties or any serious damage.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
*Monitoring the gases emitted by lava from Mount St. Helens may
provide clues to future eruptions, volcano experts reported.
Researchers examined the isotope content of gases in rocks from
the mountain's 1980 eruption and concluded
there were two magma reservoirs.
*A dark plume of ash streams from the Sheveluch volcano in
Kamchatka, Russia, in its latest eruption on Wednesday.
*Japan's deadliest storm in more than a decade, typhoon Tokage,
unleashed flash floods that washed away entire hillsides, killing
up to 51 people and leaving at least 30 people missing before
it veered east into the Pacific Ocean.
*An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale shook
parts of northern Germany Wednesday, causing a minor scare
but no damage or casualties.
*In the midst of a long and devastating drought, parts of Australia
were hit by flash flooding, while winds of up to
95km/h caused extensive damage.
*The probability of another round of a drought emergency
larger than the 2002/03 emergency occurring in
Ethiopia is highly likely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
*At least 12 people were injured and some 20,000 houses collapsed
when an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit
southwest China early Tuesday. One person was seriously
injured although no deaths were immediately reported.
*Scientists believe the growth of the new lava dome at Mount
St. Helens continued Monday, although the view into the crater
remained obscured by clouds. Seismicity has increased slightly
since falling off substantially last week, although it still remains
overall low, compared to the days leading up to the emergence
of lava a week ago. Scientists are detecting negligible levels of
magma-related gases, which raises the possibility that the volcano's
current eruptive activity could be winding down. However,
another round of dome-building could ramp up again at any time.
* Mount Soputan volcano in Indonesia's northern-most province
has begun spewing smoke, ash and potentially deadly heat clouds
with temperatures as high as 600 degrees Celsius. The volcano
sprang into life on Monday, throwing up smoke to
a height of up to 400 metres.
*The Philippine Institute Volcanology and Seismology on Tuesday
advised the public to stay away from the six-kilometer radius
permanent danger zone around Mayon volcano following information
that seven low-frequency quakes were reported there
for the past 24 hours.
* Climate change threatens to undo the world's attempts to
eradicate poverty, a coalition of aid agencies warn.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
*While many Jamaicans gave thanks that Hurricane Ivan spared them
a direct hit, doing less damage there than the hurricane delivered
to Grenada and Grand Cayman, the storm devastated pockets
of the island, striking some of the poorest and most vulnerable
islanders the hardest. About 47,000 homes were damaged,
and 5,600 were destroyed.
*An official report says that there is no sign that the 1961 Volcano
on the island of Tristan da Cunha is about to re-awaken and tremors
and steam release are simply what would be expected for a volcano
cooling down 40+ years after its most recent eruption. Tremors were
first felt on July 29th and 30th. They were the type expected from rocks
breaking under pressure [below the seabed] from rising magma, prior
to its eruption as pumice, which then floated to the surface. Earthquake
activity in the region is ongoing, although at too low a level for tremors
to be felt and at reduced frequency in comparison with the past two
months. Prior to any significant volcanic activity, warning tremors of
far greater intensity than those felt to date would be expected.
*A comet or asteroid smashed into modern-day Germany
some 2,200 years ago (200 BC), unleashing energy equivalent
to thousands of atomic bombs.

Monday, October 18, 2004
*Growth of the new lava dome inside Mount St. Helens' crater
continues. Under current conditions, small lahars, or volcanic
debris flows, could suddenly descend the Toutle River valley if
they are triggered by heavy rain or by interaction of hot rocks
with snow or glacier ice. Measurements continue to indicate only
minor deformation of the northern part of the lava dome created
in the 1980s and no deformation of the outer flanks of the volcano.
*While Mount St. Helens has been belching out dramatic columns
of steam and ash, in Naples volcano experts regard all the excitement
across the Atlantic as a mere diversion. The area around Mount St.
Helens is largely uninhabited, but Mount Vesuvius stands within the
Naples megalopolis of 5 million inhabitants. No volcano on Earth
could put as many people in immediate danger. Vesuvius has not
erupted since 1944, and the longer a volcano sleeps, the more
powerful an explosion is likely to be when it awakens.
*A small team of Portland-area scientists have seen dozens of major
eruptions in the past 18 years. Since 2002, members of the Volcano
Disaster Assistance Program have stood on erupting mountains in New
Guinea, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the
Mariana Islands and Ecuador.
*Motorists using two Malaysian highways have been warned of
landslides due to bad weather.
* Those who lived through the Oct. 17, 1989, 6.9 Loma Prieta,
California earthquake talk of violent shaking that seemed to last
forever, but the highly expected rip of the San Andreas fault will
shake the area three times as long and three times as hard. "Worse,
in the 15 years since the Bay Area's last Pretty Big One, the region
is still digging out. Permanent repairs on the Richmond-San Rafael
Bridge are still a year from completion. The elevated freeway in San
Francisco is six years from being made safe. The Golden Gate Bridge
is partially repaired, but no money yet exists to bolster the towers
or deck. Only last month BART began exploratory work to strengthen
the Transbay Tube, which sits in a trench in the geological equivalent
of a bowl of Jell-O...Thousands of Bay Area homes remain vulnerable...
Three thousand unreinforced masonry buildings still need repairs...And
every new quake brings new questions, breaks old assumptions and
leads to changed building methods. Early data from the 6-pointer on
Sept. 28 in Parkfield found the earth tore in the opposite direction
than expected, and the ground shook in inexplicable ways."

Sunday, October 17, 2004
*Magma continues to push to the surface, where it becomes lava,
in the Mount St. Helens crater in southwest Washington. Lava
continues to extrude at the surface, building the dome steadily
each second. As the dome-building continues, it could produce
small explosions with little warning. A large explosion is still possible
but is among the least likely scenarios. Seismic activity is flat and
the Alert Level may lower in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 16, 2004
*A spire of hot rock is jutting 200 feet up from the growing lobe
on the side of Mount St. Helens' lava dome. The spire may
be part of the hard plug that trapped molten rock inside the volcano
before lava finally forced its way to the surface earlier this week.
The stone "fin" on the new lava lobe inside the crater at
Mount St. Helens seems to be starting to split. Earthquake activity
remained low yesterday, and levels of gas found above the crater,
which could indicate a stronger eruption is likely, were unchanged.
*Mount St Helens images
*After the strong 7.0 earthquake that shook all of Taiwan yesterday,
reports came in island-wide of small fires caused from the temblor.
*In California, where much of the earthquake talk focuses on the
"Big One," many people breathed a little easier after the October
17, 1989 quake, but 15 years later San Francisco is still vulnerable.
A U.S. Geological Survey report last year predicted a 62 percent
chance that a 6.7 magnitude or larger quake will strike in the Bay
Area in the next 30 years. At particular risk is the Hayward Fault line
that runs through the heart of the metropolitan area. In the 1989
quake, 63 people died, and damage was estimated at six billion to
ten billion dollars. Experts say the "Big One" is not necessarily going
to do the most damage. In bigger earthquakes, shaking merely lasts
longer and is felt over a larger area. Smaller earthquakes, on the other
hand, have higher-frequency energy (or oscillate more rapidly), which
can be particularly harmful to residential homes.
*If it didn't rain on Friday, San Diego, California tied a record for the
longest period without rain. The last time it rained in the San Diego
area was 180 days ago – on April 17. San Diego broke the record
just last year, so that's two years in a row with record streaks of no
measurable rainfall in the area. A 20% chance of precipitation today
could stop the region from setting a new record.
*Sydney, Australia's dam levels fell to 42 per cent this week
after the hottest October day on record.

Friday, October 15, 2004
*A strong 7.0 earthquake today in the Pacific Ocean off Taiwan
has rocked the northeast of the island, shaking office buildings in
Taipei, damaging houses and injuring several people.
*An earthquake measuring five on the Richter scale shook the
resort island of Bali and East Java province of Indonesia on Thursday.
*An unexpected distribution of ground shaking during the
6.0-magnitude Parkfield, California, quake last month may mean
that some state building codes are unnecessarily strict. At a distance
of more than 6 miles from the Parkfield segment of the San Andreas
Fault, the shaking was less intense than expected, as has been the case
with two previous large quakes in the nearby area. Unfortunately, other
data from the Sept. 28 quake was so peculiar that it might throw a
wrench into hopes for improved seismicity maps. During the quake
shaking intensity varied from place to place in ways that defy easy
explanation. Another oddity: Like a zipper opening the wrong way,
the earthquake ruptured the San Andreas Fault starting from the
epicenter toward the northwest, stopping at Middle Mountain,
rather than rupturing toward the southeast as expected.
*Two wildfires burning out of control in rugged areas northwest
and east of Sacramento, California, on Wednesday forced
evacuations of a subdivision.
*The ongoing drought in Eritrea is set to continue as failing rains
are expected to produce a total crop failure in the country.
*More lava emerged Thursday on the crater floor of Mount St.
Helens, expanding a rock formation building on the volcano's
old lava dome.
*Mexico's Volcano of Fire spewed hot lava and rock Thursday,
the latest in a series of spectacular but non-threatening eruptions.
*The Sheveluch Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes on
Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. On October 12, it erupted with a
cloud of steam.
*The ice-covered Mount Belinda volcano began to erupt in October
2001 and the eruption is ongoing. The volcano is located in the
southern Atlantic Ocean between Antarctica and South America.
* Subtropical storm Nicole was approaching land in the northwest
Atlantic on October 12.

Thursday, October 14, 2004
*The molten rock rising inside Mount St. Helens is giving the peak
an eerie red glow at night. Lava has been climbing to the surface
at nearly 1,300 degrees for the past few days in a process that
scientists said Wednesday could go on for days, weeks or months.
At this point, scientists believe there is only a 10 percent chance
of a level four or larger eruption.
*Little rain is forecast for Hawai'i this winter, making renewed
drought a real threat for the state.
*The United Kingdom government's top scientist says atmospheric
carbon dioxide concentrations are now becoming dangerous. He
says the world has to adapt to prepare for significant changes ahead,
and also must reduce greenhouse gases. On present trends, the world
is just 60 years from triggering an irreversible climate disaster.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
*Extremely hot temperatures, on the order of 1,000 degrees
Fahrenheit, have led scientists to believe lava has reached the
surface of the rapidly swelling area in the crater of Mount
St. Helens. In fact, the geologists are saying that there are signs
the southwest Washington volcano is creating a new lava dome.
Small earthquakes (maximum about magnitude 1) continue to
occur at a rate of about one per 5-10 minutes.
*New South Wales, Australia agricultural authorities have topped
up locust pesticide stockpiles to record levels in preparation for a
huge outbreak of the insects brought on by recent hot weather.
*Authorities closed part of a major highway in northern Malaysia
after heavy rains caused a landslide that swept over vehicles
and left one person injured.
*In the last 10 years we have seen more hurricanes than in any
decade in the past 150 years. Officials at the Canadian Hurricane
Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia say "get over it - we have to
stop talking about WHY they are out there and we have to start thinking
about what are we going to do about it."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
* Mount St. Helens was venting again on Monday. This was not
an eruption. It was clear that no magma has reached the surface
as lava. No significant ash was in this steam blast. It is speculated
that part of the glazier broke free and fell into the vents of the caldera.
This volcano can be underestimated, so officials remain vigilant, yet
confidant that if and when she blows again, a little time will be
available to raise the alert levels.
New thermal images revealed that parts of the lava dome in the
crater are very hot, a sign that magma continues to rise within the
volcano. Heat from parts of the lava dome exceeded scientists'
instruments, which hadn't been calibrated to measure temperatures
that high. Activity is expected to ebb and flow, and scientists say
the most likely scenario is weeks or months of occasional steam
blasts and possibly some eruptions of fresh volcanic rock.
*Mexico's Colima Volcano is putting on a spectacular light show.
The volcano spewed hot ash and lava early Sunday morning.
*U.S. scientists are trying to figure out what caused the 10-year-old
surge in hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean. This year was
particular rough with four hurricanes hitting Florida, but the
change dates back to 1994. In the 24 years from 1970 to 1994
there were 123 hurricanes and only 38 major storms. The nine
years from 1995 through 2003 produced 69 hurricanes with
32 reaching major-storm status. This could keep going
for 15, 20 or 30 years.

Monday, October 11, 2004
*The death toll from flooding in Vietnam's southern Mekong Delta
has claimed 27 lives, while another nine people were killed
when heavy storms lashed the region.
* Mount St. Helens vented a new column of steam Sunday, a plume
that rose out of the crater of the volcano. The steam emission followed
an increase in earthquake activity over the previous two days, with
quakes of magnitude 2.4 occurring every two minutes until Sunday,
when the vibrations were more frequent but weakened to magnitude
1 or less. What has been peculiar about these earthquakes is that
there seems to be a disproportionate number of them that are
uniform in size. It indicates that pressure in the system is very uniform,
which may suggest magma is constantly moving upward.
*More than 200 aftershocks followed the Sept. 28 Parkfield, California
6.0 tremor, including two quakes with magnitudes of 4.0 and 3.2 near
Paso Robles, site of December's magnitude-6.5 quake that killed two
people and caused a century-old clock tower to fall. Aftershocks can
last years after the initial quake. In the case of Parkfield, they expect
to have aftershocks for months, maybe even for a few years. In addition
to aftershocks, tremors can also trigger quakes on other fault lines.
Whether this occurred after last week's quakes is still under scrutiny.
Experience with trigger earthquakes show that they usually happen
within a few days or even a few weeks, and then the effects wind
down. With the Parkfield one, it is likely they would have occurred
by now. Though experts suspect there is no link between the
thousands of tiny earthquakes that have been rattling Mount St.
Helens since September 23, and the strike-slip fault earthquakes
in California, it remains an intriguing coincidence. When the volcano
erupted on May 18, 1980, less than 10 days later, there were four
6.0 earthquakes in the magma-rich Mammoth area.

Sunday, October 10, 2004
* Unseasonably heavy downpours have triggered landslides
and submerged large areas in northeastern India, Bangladesh and
Nepal for three days, leaving at least 93 people dead.
*Powerful Typhoon Ma-on swirled near Japan's Pacific coastline
yesterday, unleashing gusts and torrential rains that grounded planes,
flooded homes and triggered landslides. One person is dead and
another one missing. The full brunt of the tempest - which had
sustained winds of 162km/h - is likely to be stronger than any
other to strike the eastern coast in 10 years. The storm comes
a week after Tropical Storm Meari tore through Japan, killing 22
and injuring at least 80 others. This year's typhoons are the most
on record since recordkeeping began in 1951.
* Tropical Storm Matthew, the 13th named storm of the 2004
hurricane season, formed in the western Gulf of Mexico yesterday,
and its effects were already being felt in Louisiana where homes flooded.
A three-day forecast from the National Hurricane Center showed the
storm making landfall along the Alabama coastline Monday morning.
Forecasters said they did not believe that it would
strengthen into a hurricane.
*Geologists say recent low-magnitude earthquakes at Lake Mead,
Nevada, can be blamed on a drop in the water level due to
ongoing drought. There've been 78 temblors measured around
the vast Colorado River reservoir since January 2002. That
includes 20 this year - and six in the last two weeks of September.
*A magnitude 6.9 earthquake near the coast of Nicaragua has
occurred 80 km (50 miles) SSW of Managua (pop. 864,000).

Saturday, October 9, 2004
*With sustained winds of 160 mph (257 kph) and gusts of up to
185 mph (298 kph), Super Typhoon Ma-On was situated due
south of Japan yesterday, and was expected to make landfall
within the next 48 hours.
*Japan's northern island of Hokkaido was hit by an earthquake
with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 early Friday morning.
*About 60 people were injured when a 5.8 earthquake hit the
north-eastern Iranian province of Golestan near the border with
Turkmenistan. Five similar quakes shook the region overnight.
Residents of the province took fright and spent the night outside
their homes. The southern Iranian city of Bam was devastated in
a quake in December 2003 that killed 31,000 people.
*A strong 6.4 earthquake shook the Philippine capital on Friday
night, lasting well over a minute and sending Manila residents
out into the streets. The quake caused high-rise buildings to sway
in the city, knocking out power in some areas. An earthquake
measuring 6.2 hit the Manila area three weeks ago.
*A magnitude 6.9 earthquake has occurred in the Solomon Islands
50 km (30 miles) SSE of Kira Kira, San Cristobal, (pop. 2,000)
*An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale shook
Skopje, Macedonia's capital, on Friday.
* Fire bans were declared across south-east Queensland, Australia
yesterday, as firefighters braced themselves for tougher weather
conditions and a looming hot summer.
*Seismic activity at Mount St Helens continues to be at a low to
moderate rate with an overall trend of slightly decreasing energy
release. Earthquakes are occurring at a rate of 1 to 2 per minute
with the largest magnitudes about M1.5. Field crews reported a
new vent near the two that have been present for several days. They
also reported that there has not been noticeable additional uplift of
the south part of the dome and adjacent glacier in the prior 24 hours.
*The Ambrym Volcano is one of the most active in the chain
of Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. On October 4,
MODIS captured a satellite image of one of its frequent eruptions.

Friday, October 8, 2004
* Mount St Helens was active yesterday with a basic steam blast
with some ash (shortly after 1400 CST). No expectations of real
eruption exists. Part of Mount St. Helens' crater floor has risen
50 to 100 feet since Tuesday while earthquake rates have been low,
signs that magma is moving upward without much resistance, scientists
said Thursday. With the latest rising, an area of the crater floor just
south of the nearly 1,000-foot lava dome has risen about 250 feet
since the mountain began stirring two weeks ago. There's no way to
tell when magma might reach the surface. Volcanoes in the Cascade
Range are all at normal levels of background
seismicity except for Mount St. Helens.
*At least fifteen people were killed and some 150 others injured in
tornadoes that swept over central Bangladesh on Thursday.
*The total number of tornado reports in the United States reached
a record high for the second month in a row because of land-falling
hurricanes, according to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.
Preliminary numbers indicate a total of 247 tornadoes reported
during the month of September. This significantly tops the previous
September record of 139 tornadoes set in 1967. The average
number of tornadoes in the U.S. during September is 47.
The total number of tornadoes reported in 2004 so far is
1,516, already surpassing 1998's record total of 1,424
tornadoes for the year. The actual number of tornadoes for
2004 will not be known until June 2005.
*A 3.5 earthquake rumbled the ground near Lakeview, Oregon
early Thursday morning. In late June and early July a swarm of
quakes rocked and rolled close to Lakeview. The biggest
earthquake was a 4.4 that shook at 5:22 a.m. on June 30.
Since the swarm of quakes this summer, scientists have put in
more sensors in hopes of getting better data on the quakes.
Scientists said there is no way to tell if the latest quake will
be the first of a new swarm.

Thursday, October 7, 2004
*Scientists said Wednesday the chance of Mount St. Helens in
Washington state erupting soon was declining, but warned the
mountain could continue venting steam and volcanic rock for
several weeks. The scientists reduced the alert level to
Category 2. Seismometers have detected fewer earthquakes
beneath the volcano since a Tuesday morning eruption of steam
and ash. Also, the crater floor south of the lava dome is no
longer rising as fast as it had earlier.
Satellite image.
Cascade Range latest update
*On October 5th, Sheveluch Volcano, one of the most active
volcanoes on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, erupted. It has been
erupting on and off for much of 2004.
*A 5.8-magnitude quake hit eastern Japan at 11:40 pm and was
centered some 40 miles beneath the earth's surface. It shook
buildings in Tokyo and other nearby areas, but there were no
immediate reports of damage or injuries.
*Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu
viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which
killed millions. The virus killed more people than any other single
outbreak of disease, surpassing even the Black Death of the Middle
Ages. Scientists believe the 1918 virus leapt to humans by mutating
from bird flu. For that reason, experts are deeply concerned that the
avian flu that has broken out in poultry flocks in parts of south-east
Asia may acquire genes that will make it highly infectious as well
as lethal for humans.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004
* Mount St. Helens spewed a cloud of steam and ash again
Tuesday morning. Scientists said the emission indicated super-heated
rock was coming into contact with run-off water and ice from the
glacier in the volcano's crater. The southern portion of a 925-foot
lava dome in the crater is now "radically deformed" by the upward
pressure of the rising magma and a portion of a nearby glacier is
deeply cracked. The deformed area is roughly a quarter-mile long.
Scientists remain somewhat puzzled about how fresh magma has
reached so high in the volcano. They are hoping the addition of
more sensitive equipment will give them some clues to its origins.
*Hikers have been banned from climbing Mount Rinjani in Indonesia
after the volcano, located on the eastern island of Lombok, spewed
out smoke and showers of stones on Tuesday. The volcano
began rumbling last week.
*Unlike Mount St. Helens, all is quiet on the Arizona volcano
front. The territory that we now know as Arizona was home to
myriad active volcanoes as recently as about 1,000 years ago.
Even today, the state is pockmarked with volcanic fields. The last
eruption happened more than 900 years ago, at Sunset Crater, and
there are no rumblings to indicate any activity anytime soon.
*A NASA-funded earthquake forecast program has an amazing
track record. It has accurately forecast the locations of 15 of
California's 16 largest earthquakes this decade, including last week's
tremors near Parkfield. The study does not try to predict WHEN quakes
will happen. In California, quake activity happens at some level
almost everywhere. This method narrows the locations of the largest
future events to about six percent of the state.
*Haiti's death toll from last month's floods caused by tropical
storm Jeanne has risen to nearly 2,000.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004
* Mount St Helens has belched more steam after several days
of tremors, raising expectations that the volcano might erupt
at any moment. A small amount of ash followed the 10-minute
emission. Pressure is still mounting within the volcano and geologists
say there is about a 70% chance that it will erupt and a 30% chance
that it just might go back to sleep. Survey crews observed a shift in
the crater floor and on part of the 1,000-foot (300-metre) lava dome,
which keeps down magma. "Cracks are opening up, so we know
something is pushing up close to the surface right now." Scientists
estimated the width of the volcano's crater had
expanded by 15 to 30 metres.
*A small 2.7 earthquake rumbled beneath Mount Hood in Oregon
on Monday but it wasn't related to Mount St. Helens' venting of
steam and ash, according to scientists, even though both events
occurred at the same time and even though when Mount St. Helens
erupted in 1980, a swarm of earthquakes shook Mount Hood.
* Mount St. Helens webcam - static image, updated every 5 minutes.
*The ozone hole over Antarctica appears to have shrunk about
20 per cent from last year's record size.
*Around 2000 fishermen from Gujarat, India have been reported
missing since the recent cyclone in the Arabian sea.

Monday, October 4, 2004
*Scientists are still warning that Mount St. Helens may erupt at
any time following another day of volcanic rumblings, earth tremors
and landslides inside the smoking crater. It could erupt in a day, a
week, or not for a couple of months. Friday's eruption
destroyed most of the scientific instruments that had been set up
inside the crater, making it even tougher to pin down
the timeline for the next eruption.
* Mount St. Helens webcam - static image, updated every 5 minutes.
*Following a period in which millions of people in the Caribbean
and along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic coasts were on hurricane
alert constantly, October may bring only three more storms, two
of which may become hurricanes, said William Gray, noted storm
forecaster, in an updated storm forecast. Little hurricane activity
is expected in November. "Although Floridians should always be
prepared for landfalling hurricanes, they should not expect what we
have experienced this year to become the norm for future years."
*A tropical cyclone hit Pakistan's southern coast,
killing at least nine people.

Sunday, October 3, 2004
*The Mount St. Helens eruption may be larger than previously
expected. New eruptions now appear imminent. New events are
expected in the next week. The Forest Service will announce
further restrictions as magma is expected to flow soon. Experts
agree that the huge amount of energy released in the recent
earthquakes has already allowed for lava to be released as the
magma rises to the surface near the current crater topology. Tremor
mode indicates that the flow of magma is ongoing and constant.
News teams covering the volcano have been relocated to a new
safe distance.
Government scientists raised the alert level on Saturday for Mount
St. Helens after its second steam eruption in two days was followed
by a powerful tremor. They said the next blast was imminent or in
progress, and could threaten life and property in the remote
area near the volcano. The hundreds of visitors at the Johnston
Ridge Observatory just five miles from Mount St. Helens
were asked to leave. There was a very brief steam release
Saturday - a puff of white cloud, followed by a dust-raising
landslide in the crater. A volcanic tremor signal that came next
was what prompted the heightened alert level. A tremor indicates
movement of gases or fluid within the volcano, while individual
earthquakes indicate "a pounding and breaking of rock." More
steam explosions are likely, and possibly an extrusion of lava.
The intensity of quakes "probably just reflects the fact that more
rock needs to be broken for magma to reach the surface". Air
sampling has detected only tiny amounts of volcanic gases,
which could mean the activity only involves the 1998 magma,
which has been "degassed" over time or that there is fresh magma
but the gases are sealed inside the system.
In just a few hours after Friday's event, the volcano started
ramping up again to levels seen just before the event. By
Saturday morning, seismic energy releases at the peak were
10 percent higher than they were before the steam blast. The
volcano system essentially resealed itself after blowing off
steam and ash Friday. The ramping up of seismic activity on
Saturday morning indicates "we're right back in line as if that"-
Friday's eruption — "didn't happen." Friday's explosion in the
mountain's gaping crater tossed some rocks around. None was
thrown far enough to escape the crater or do any damage off
the mountain, but seismic and deformation instruments on the dome
were destroyed.
In the 24 hours before the eruption, a section of a glacier inside the
crater had fractured and risen as much as 11 yards as pressure
built inside the mountain, scientists said. After about 20 minutes,
the mountain calmed and the plume dissipated, revealing a
100-foot-wide crater in the 600-foot-deep glacier. Apparently
no magma reached the surface. A few hours later small
earthquakes resumed. Within an hour they hit a one-per-minute pace.
Those levels of heat and intensity have since gone higher. The
growing consensus among scientists is that new magma is
probably entering the volcano's upper levels, possibly bringing
with it volatile gases that could lead to more eruptions.
Mount St. Helens webcam - static image, updated every 5 minutes.
*Authorities in India on Saturday sounded an alert in four districts
in Gujarat as a cyclone approached the coast. Thousands of villagers
living along the coast have been evacuated.
*Southern California's Angeles National Forest and Cleveland
National Forest are experiencing extremely dry conditions this
season. The extreme fire danger has fanned fears that even the
smallest spark could start a tremendous wildfire. "Fall is usually
our dry time, but this season may be more extreme. And the
Santa Ana winds just make it worse."

Saturday, October 2, 2004
*A large, white cloud of steam and ash rose from Mount St. Helens
volcano in Washington state on Friday following days of rumblings
and small earthquakes. The minor eruption occurred at 12:03 local
time, lasted 24 minutes and created a plume that rose about 3,000
metres. No magma seems to have reached the surface. Seismic
activity decreased shortly after the noon (3 p.m. ET) eruption, but
picked up again within hours. The water flow out of the crater
appears to have increased since the eruption, though no potentially
destructive mud flows were reported.
*Western Mexico's "Volcano of Fire" unleashed a towering column
of smoke and ash Friday, after ropes of burning, orange lava poured
from its peak overnight. A light coating of ash dusted nearby
communities that are home to about 600 people. Authorities were
on heightened alert but said they had no plans to order evacuations.
Earthquakes and explosions of hot rock within the volcano began
Wednesday, provoked by the collapse of a dome that formed recently
in its center. Small landslides tumbled down the volcano's northern
and western slopes. Lava flowed Thursday night and early Friday
morning. Vulcanologists consider the volcano to be one of the most
active and potentially the most destructive in central Mexico.
*A moderate 5.3 earthquake shook the Pacific coast of Nicaragua
early Friday, cracking a few walls and sending
frightened residents running.
*The ground near Parkfield, California continues to shake and
a magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck Thursday, the third aftershock
of that strength to rattle the area since Tuesday's magnitude-6.0 quake.
*A research seismologist from India is promoting a new theory -
there exists a human earthquake precursor and medical doctors
can help seismologists in early prediction of earthquakes. About
ten to twenty hours before the occurrence of any moderate to large
earthquake most of the animals, birds, fish, insects, etc. become
restless and make noise. Similar to the animal precursor, there exists
a human precursor. The number of deliveries and abortions - reported
one or two days before an earthquake, were five times more than the
normal average. Similarly, the number of patients suffering from blood
pressure, headache, heart trouble, respiratory diseases, restlessness,
etc. was five to seven times more than the daily average number.
* Tropical Storm Lisa stayed just below hurricane strength Friday
as it remained far out in the Atlantic Ocean, only threatening ships.

Friday, October 1, 2004
* Mount St. Helens was shaking even harder Thursday than
Wednesday, strengthening the opinion of scientists that a small
or moderate eruption is imminent. Scientists now say that there
is a 70 percent chance the volcano will erupt within the next few
days to months. Some tremors on Thursday reached magnitude 3.3.
The rate remains high, with three to four earthquakes occurring
every minute, but the lava dome apparently hasn't swelled significantly,
which indicates that magma is probably not migrating toward the surface.
The area around the volcano is virtually uninhabited.
Mount St. Helens webcam - static image, updated every 5 minutes.
*Rumors that Mount Rainier and other Cascade volcanoes in
Washington are also reawakening are untrue, scientists say.
Mount Hood, a volcano just east of Portland, Oregon, and 55 miles
south of Mount St Helens, last erupted in 1805. Swarms of earthquakes
rumble beneath it about once a year. Hot gas and steam occasionally
spew from vents. The odds of Mount Hood erupting lava and hot mud
down its flanks over the next 30 years range from 1-in-15 to 1-in-30,
according to the USGS. Earthquakes and venting on Mount Hood in
recent years show no indication the mountain has been preparing to erupt.
Last March, small earthquakes shook an area west of the Three Sisters in
Central Oregon. Gases from magma have been detected near springs at
the base of the connected trio of Cascades peaks. In addition, a large
bulge has grown over the past seven years near the dormant volcanoes.
A Three Sisters eruption is unlikely without more intense activity. Other
peaks in the Cascade Range have been relatively quiet. Mount Washington
erupted about 1,300 years ago. Mount Mazama exploded about 7,000
years ago, and Mount McLoughlin last erupted about 30,000 years ago.
*Calls are coming in to the U.S. Geological Survey from Australia,
Asia and Europe, and everyone wants to know about the
coincidence of a 6.0 earthquake in California on Tuesday and the
accelerating tremors at Mount St. Helens. Both the San Andreas
fault and Mount St. Helens are near where the Pacific plate is
being pushed underneath the North American, but the San Andreas
goes offshore at about Point Reyes and does not run under the
Cascades, so scientists believe the two events are not related and
that the timing is just coincidental.
*Portland's mayor is urging all relevant city bureaus to update
preparedness plans to deal with the possible eruption of the
Mount St. Helens volcano. Ash is the greatest threat to
Portland from a major eruption. Residents are being urged to
maintain an emergency kit that would contain three days of
drinking water, canned food, a first aid kit and breathing masks.
*To see the current ash plume projections, go online to
www.wrh.noaa.gov/Seattle/ St_Helens.html and follow
the links to ash plume trajectory models.
* Typhoon Meari has now left 20 people dead, seven missing and
70 injured in its wake after ripping through Japan yesterday,
dumping heavy rain and causing mudslides and flooding. It was
the season's 21st typhoon in the Pacific region, and a record eighth
to directly hit Japan, and has wreaked havoc in southern and western
regions of the country since landing on the main southern
island of Kyushu Wednesday.
*A 4.0 earthquake in the Marble Sea caused panic in Istanbul,
the largest Turkish city.

Thursday, September 30, 2004
*Two aftershocks measuring magnitude 5.0 and 4.5 hit Parkfield,
California on Wednesday morning, among the strongest of the
more than 500 aftershocks roiling the area where a 6.0 earthquake
occurred the day before. A 5.0 quake also struck Keene, California
on Wednesday which is east of Parkfield.
*The alert level for a volcanic eruption at Mount St. Helens in
Washington state was raised to the third of four levels on
Wednesday. Magma is on the move several kilometres below
the surface, creating a swarm of up to four small earthquakes
every minute. The dome of hardened lava formed in the crater
has moved four centimetres, which usually means tremendous
pressure is building.
* Mt. Asama in central Japan erupted for the second time in a week
on Wednesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries from
the 12:17 p.m.(0317 GMT) eruption, which is thought to be medium
in scale and smaller than the September 23 eruption. Warning level is at
3 on a scale of six.
*At least 12 people died and 12 others are reported missing as
tropical storm Meari hits southwest Japan. It is the
eighth typhoon of the season. to hit Japan.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
*The 6.0 earthquake yesterday shook California from Los Angeles
to San Francisco, cracking pipes, breaking bottles of wine and
knocking pictures from walls near the epicenter. The area is 34km
north-east of Paso Robles, scene of an earthquake that killed
two people in December. There were no reports of any injuries
from the quake or its more than 260 aftershocks.
*The remnants of Hurricane Jeanne veered northward into Virginia
on Tuesday after pelting Georgia and the Carolinas with heavy
rains and leaving thousands in these states without electricity.
*The hurricane season in Florida has already exceeded all expectations.
Four major hurricanes have hit the state in six weeks, a feat not seen
in the United States since 1886. September is often the busiest
month and no threatening systems are on the immediate horizon,
but the hurricane season does not end until Nov. 30. Hurricanes
tend to come in clusters, which means the next couple of weeks
could be quiet. But when the first two-thirds of a season are active,
like this year, October and November tend to be busy as well.
*A small explosion of rocks, ash and steam could occur within the
next few days within the crater of Mount St. Helens, where
earthquake activity has been steadily building for nearly a week.
Tuesday morning, the quakes were occurring at a rate of two or
three a minute. The volcano was releasing three to four times the
energy it was releasing on Monday. Still, the likelihood of a
significant eruption "is fairly small".
*Building sea defences could leave some coastal areas of England
and Wales at greater risk of flooding, a report says. 61% of the
shorelines and beaches have steepened over the last century because
of man-made defences. The report says steeper beaches allow more
destructive waves to pound the coastlines. "We need to allow more
room for coastlines to function as nature intended them to."
*Dozens of small Arizona dams, most of them earthen dams used
for flood control, are in need of repairs to
prevent catastrophic failures.
*A series of earthquakes measuring up to 6.0 on the Richter scale
struck central California this morning. There were no immediate
reports of damage or injuries. The biggest quake struck just south
of the town of Parkfield at 10.15am local time. That 6.0 quake was
followed four minutes later by a second quake measuring 5.0 on the
Richter scale, which was centered five miles from Parkfield. At least
31 aftershocks measuring between 4.7 and 3.6 on the Richter scale
shook the region along the state's notorious San Andreas fault over
the following 30 minutes. As of 5:00pm local time, there have been
over 250 aftershocks. Parkfield, population 37, is heavily outfitted
with seismic monitors since it had experienced six similar, magnitude
6.0 earthquakes with previous regularity - one approximately
every 22 years. The last large quake in the area was in 1966.
The next one was due by 1987 but did not occur. Scientists
feared that, because so much pressure had built up along the fault,
that the next quake would be of a magnitude 7 or greater.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
*The situation in Haiti continues to worsen, with the number of
dead continuing to climb and more soldiers being sent to help keep
order as relief supplies are distributed. The number killed when
tropical storm Jeanne swept across the country last weekend now
stands at 1,500, with another 1,251 missing and presumed dead.
More than 300,000 people have been left homeless. The Haitian
government is considering a rotating evacuation of the city of Gonaives
to allow workers to dispose of the bodies, carcasses and debris that
has been rotting in the streets for the past week.
* Hurricane Jeanne has killed 6 people, smashed homes, torn off
roofs, flooded streets and left 2.3 million people
in Florida without electricity. Floods are expected in South
Carolina as Jeanne moves northward.
*Scientists are divided on why hurricanes are on the increase.
Some say the hurricanes are "strongly linked" to global warming,
while other scientists believe it's all part of the normal climate cycle.
*The 2004 hurricane season may be the costliest on record.
*An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale shook southern
Romania and was felt in the capital Bucharest on Monday,
but no damage was reported.
*Seismologists are trying to figure out if Mount St. Helens in
Washington State is set to blow, nearly 25 years after a massive
eruption killed 57 people. More than 1,000 small earthquakes
inside the volcano have been recorded since Saturday. On Sunday,
the quake measurements got much larger, signalling something
may be up. Researchers plan to fly over Mount St. Helens to
test for carbon dioxide and sulphur, which would indicate
fresh magma is near the surface.

Monday, September 27, 2004
* Hurricane Jeanne sliced across Florida on Sunday, covering much
of central Florida. The storm, which hit Florida as a Category 3
hurricane and left three people dead, has been downgraded to a
tropical storm. Jeanne was expected to stay inland, moving into
Georgia and then the Carolinas through Tuesday.
* Typhoon Meari lashed Japan's southern islands yesterday with
heavy rains and winds that injured one man and reportedly killed
another, and prompted authorities in Taiwan to issue a warning of
rough seas. Three deadly typhoons have already slammed
into Japan and Taiwan this year.
*A strengthening series of earthquakes at Mount St. Helens has
prompted seismologists to warn that the once-devastating volcano
may see a small explosion soon. The quakes were tiny at first, but
on Saturday and Sunday there were more than 10 temblors of
magnitude 2.0 to 2.8, the most in a 24-hour period since the
last dome-building eruption in October 1986. Some of the
earthquakes suggest the involvement of pressurised fluids,
such as water or steam, and perhaps magma.
*The Soufrière Hills Volcano on the Island of Montserrat
has been relatively quiet since the last major eruption in
July 2003. This may have lulled the local residents into
a false sense of security.
*More study is being urged for the southern San Andreas fault
in California. One of the goals is to narrow a broad forecast that
suggests there is a 20 - 60% chance the fault will produce a major
quake within 30 years. "This is the fault that is most likely to give
us a big earthquake." The fault is crossed by freeways, electricity
and gas lines, aqueducts and canals that carry crucial resources
to millions of people in Southern California.

Sunday, September 26, 2004
*Ferocious winds and rain are battering Florida as Hurricane
Jeanne whips across the state, the fourth major hurricane to
strike in six weeks. 115 mph (185 km/h) winds are knocking down power
lines, ripping off roofs and whirling up debris left behind by the last storm.
Earlier, Jeanne battered the Bahamas. Jeanne is expected to turn north
over central Florida before heading towards Georgia and the Carolinas.
Jeanne may be the worst hurricane yet - combining the speed of Charley,
the size of Frances and potentially the fury of Ivan in one deadly package.
Florida has never had four hurricanes hit in one year. Texas was hit
by four hurricanes back in 1886.
*Stromboli is Europe's only permanently active volcano and it is
constantly spitting red fountains of lava and clouds of smoke.
Every 10-20 minutes, Stromboli spews gas, ash and up to 200- metre
(656 feet) high spurts of red hot lava into the sky. Occasionally the
volcano puts on an even more dramatic show. Webcams

Saturday, September 25, 2004
*Hundreds of tiny earthquakes have been reported at Mount
St. Helens, but it is unlikely they pose any hazard to anyone outside
of the volcano's crater, seismologists said Friday. The seismology lab
at the University of Washington in Seattle is having trouble keeping
up with the hundreds of tiny quakes that began Thursday and show
no sign of letting up. A similar swarm of quakes in November 2001
and another in the summer of 1998 did not result in an eruption.
However, the quakes could increase the likelihood of small rock slides.
*With a strong enough jolt - a 7.6 -magnitude earthquake - the seafloor
under Catalina Island could be violently thrust upward, causing a
tsunami along the Southern California coast, according to
researchers at the University of Southern California. Catalina Island
is just 25 miles off the Los Angeles coast.
*A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the Gulf of California has occurred
140 km (90 miles) NNW of Santa Rosalia, Baja Calif. Sur,
Mexico (population 10,000).
*Authorities in the Bahamas and in Florida have urged more than 500,000
people to leave their homes as Hurricane Jeane approaches.
* Mount Asama, one of Japan's most active volcanos, has erupted
for a second straight day. A toll road running below Mount Asama
closed in order to clear molten rock and ash from the previous
eruption. Yesterday's eruption was described as small-scale.

Friday, September 24, 2004
*The storm formerly known as Hurricane Ivan is gathering strength
in an encore visit to the Gulf of Mexico. This time it's a tropical storm
spinning toward Texas and threatening to cause flooding in Louisiana.
An Ivan remnant broke from the original main storm system, headed
south in the Atlantic, crawled over Florida and now packs 60 mph winds
- 14 mph shy of becoming a hurricane once more. Tropical Storm Ivan
is unlikely to gather much more strength but will bring heavy rains
and possible floods within the next 24 hours.
* Hurricane Jeanne is currently is showing a landfall north of West
Palm Beach on Florida's densely populated east coast, possibly as
early as Saturday night.
*Within nine months, sniffer rescue dogs trained to find explosives
or earthquake survivors buried in rubble may have some competition
- rats. Electrodes implanted in their brains will send signals to a radio
transmitter pack strapped to the rat's back. Rescuers on the surface
will be able to track the signal and locate any survivors.
*The Indian Government is contemplating legal action against a
researcher in seismology, for creating an earthquake scare that
triggered widespread panic in some parts of the State last month.
*The collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica two years ago
has accelerated the flow of glaciers into the nearby Weddell Sea.
The Antarctic Peninsula has seen some of the fastest temperature
rises on Earth in the last five decades. How much this is raising the
level of the oceans isn't known.
*The Japanese Asama volcano, which burst into life earlier this month
with its biggest eruption in 21 years, erupted again yesterday. An eruption
measuring three on a scale of zero to five, was observed at 7.44pm.
Tremors related to the mid-scale eruption continued, but local authorities
did not issue an evacuation warning and there were no reports of injuries.

Thursday, September 23, 2004
*Deadly Hurricane Jeanne could head back toward the United
States and threaten the storm-battered Southeast coast, including
Florida, as early as this Sunday.
*The number of dead left behind in Haiti by Hurricane Jeanne
climbed to more than 1,000 on Wednesday, and that
number could double.
*The three hurricanes that roared across Florida knocked down a lot of
trees across the state, and that's raising concerns about wildfires.
*The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters in China
on Wednesday announced the end of this year's flood season, saying
that 1,029 Chinese had perished this year during flood season.
*A 4.5 quake on Tuesday injured three people in Russia and
seventeen houses were damaged. Two additional 5.0 tremors
followed two and a half hours later, sending many citizens outdoors
to sleep, in dread of more earth tremors to come.
The quake was felt as far away as Oslo, Norway where many large
buildings swayed and glassware rattled. Experts say it is very unusual
that an earthquake that far away was registered at such strength.
It is also unusual that two such strong quakes occured within
two-and-a-half hours. Scientists are at a loss to explain possible
reasons for the earthquake as the region is not considered to be
seismic. Earthquakes in the region were only registered twice
previously - in 1903 and 1977. The quake was one of the
strongest in Northern Europe for several decades.
*If last Thursday's magnitude 3.7 earthquake in southeastern Kentucky
had been in the mid- to upper-4 range, it could have triggered mudslides
and landslides, as remnants of strong winds from Ivan arrived about the
same time the quake rumbled across the region. "If it had been a larger
event, that would have been exactly the worst time for it to happen." The
region registers a quake similar to last week's about
once every three years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
*Haiti's president has appealed for aid to help the island in
the aftermath of tropical storm Jeanne whose floods have
claimed nearly 700 lives. Large swathes of the northwest of the
country remain submerged and some 1,000 people are still missing.
More than 80,000 people have absolutely nothing to eat.
*Insurers are having their costliest hurricane season since Andrew
devastated Florida in 1992. Lloyd's of London, the world's biggest
insurance market, faces as much as $1 billion in claims from the
three hurricanes that have struck the U.S. in the last six weeks.
Total claims expected from the hurricanes are within the market's
disaster planning, which considers losses of as much as $60 billion
from U.S. windstorms.
*A computer model unveiled Monday in Palm Springs shows that
the Coachella Valley would bear the brunt of a major earthquake
on the San Andreas fault. Under certain circumstances, the shaking
would be three times as long as that of the great San Francisco
earthquake of 1906. There is a 20-to-60% chance the southern
San Andreas will rupture within 30 years.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
*The death toll in Haiti has risen to about 600 after Tropical Storm
Jeanne triggered floods as it swept across the island of
Hispaniola over the weekend. There is particular concern about
the island of La Tortue, which is said to be barely visible under the
water. Floods can be particularly devastating in Haiti because
it is almost entirely deforested.
*Las Vegas is drying up with a six-year-long drought that shows no
signs of ending. Water supplies are so tight the Nevada Water
Authority is paying homeowners $1 per square foot to rip up their
water-guzzling lawns. The gushing fountains in Las Vegas are
running on water imported from Canada.
*Drought may spark coal-seam fires - this is a fire that "starts in a
coal seam near the surface, then follows the seam underground, burning
for decades beyond the reach of any efforts to put it out, undermining
the integrity of roads or buildings that happen to be above it, all the
while releasing tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.
Coal-seam fires are burning in spots throughout the world. In Centralia,
Pennsylvania a fire that started in 1961 is still burning 43 years later.
*Millions of people across the globe are set to die early due to extreme
weather events such as floods and heat waves caused by climate
change, a British scientist says. There are predictions of a
10-fold increase in heat waves.
*Several documentaries have recently been made about the 7.6-magnitude
quake that struck Taiwan. The 921 Earthquake was the nation's
deadliest in five decades, killing 2,415 people and injuring more
than 10,000. More than 100,000 residents were displaced, and
property damage was on a massive scale.

Monday, September 20, 2004
* Flooding in Haiti killed at least 50 in the wake of tropical storm
Jeanne, with several others missing. The disaster came four months
after floods killed more than 3,000 people in the border area
between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In the Bahamas the
government on Sunday called off all warnings as Jeanne took
a north-westerly turn out into the sea, where it could gain strength.
* Hurricane Karl gained strength Sunday but remains on a course
that will keep it in the Atlantic, a threat only to shipping, forecasters
said. It's current track would keep it far from any land until it dies
over the chilly water of the northern Atlantic.
*The total area burned by wildfires in the U.S. this year - almost
7.7 million acres, or about 12,000 square miles - is the second
largest in almost a half-century, behind 2000's 8.4 million acres
scorched. But 83 percent of that was in Alaska, where backcountry
fires can burn for weeks without threat to people. Fire specialists
expected more large tracts of forest and grasslands in the Western
states to burn this year, but instead, wildfires have been fewer and
smaller. Lightning normally starts more than 70 percent of the West's
wildfires. But this year, whenever they had lightning, they had rain.
Southern California is still at risk, they are bracing for the Santa Anas,
the hot, dry desert winds that blow from October to February.
*An earthquake swarm continues to shake a sparsely populated
area along the eastern Sierra Nevada. No injuries or damage have
been reported from the temblors centered along the California-Nevada
line 30 miles northeast of Mammoth Lakes. There were 275 quakes
Saturday and 206 temblors Sunday as of 5 pm. Ten of Sunday's quakes
were 3.0 and above in magnitude, the largest was 3.9. It's uncertain how
much longer the quakes will continue, and experts say it's premature to
say whether the swarm is related to volcanic activity.
There was a 3.5 quake in Colorado and a 6.1 quake
in the Alaskan Near Islands on Sunday also.
*The Cascade Mountain range is actually a chain of active volcanoes.
For the past seven years, volcanologists along the West coast
have eyed a 150-square-mile area in the Cascades near South Sister
that is steadily rising. The most likely outcome for the bulge is that it
will just stop growing. And if it blows, scientists aren't exactly sure when
or where the eruption will happen.

Sunday, September 19, 2004
* Tropical storm Jeanne has killed eight people in the Dominican
Republic and Puerto Rico and forced hundreds to leave their homes.
It is heading for the Bahamas. It is unclear if it will eventually hit the U.S.
*Remnants of Hurricane Ivan soaked portions of
northern New Jersey on Saturday, with some areas of the
state getting 5 inches or more of rain.
* Mount Asama, one of Japan's most active volcanos, appears to be
quieter after nearly a week of eruptions, the
Meteorological Agency said Saturday.
*Lots of quakes on the California - Nevada border yesterday - the
largest were 5.5 and 5.4, others were 4.0, 4.1, 4.1, 3.6, 3.6,
3.3, 3.1, 3.1, 3.0 and 3.0. There have been over 155 smaller
aftershocks. A similar sequence was centered in the same area over
a one-week period in 1980. The activity died down in 1984 before
picking up again in 1992. A magnitude-4 temblor in April 1997 was
the biggest on the fault over the last decade.
*An earthquake expert has raised new questions about the safety
of Jackson Lake Dam in Wyoming, saying a strong quake could
collapse the structure and cause catastrophic flooding in Jackson Hole.
About 18,000 people live in Teton County downstream of the dam.
Bureau of Reclamation officials have maintained that the dam is safe,
even though they acknowledge it would be damaged in a quake.
*More and more people are being caught up in a growing number
of natural disasters, a UN agency said on Friday. 254 million
people were affected by natural hazards last year - nearly three times
as many as in 1990. Events including earthquakes and volcanoes,
floods and droughts, storms, fires and landslides killed about 83,000
people in 2003, up from about 53,000 deaths 13 years earlier. There
were 337 natural disasters reported in 2003, up from 261 in 1990.

Saturday, September 18, 2004
*Volcanic ash sprinkled over downtown Tokyo on Friday as one
of Japan's most active volcanos erupted for a fourth straight day.
Mount Asama, about 90 miles west of Tokyo, erupted almost
continuously throughout the day, setting off close to 600 tremors. Nearly
1,400 similar earthquakes were detected on Thursday.
*As of Friday, Mount Egon volcano in the Philippines was still
spewing thick smoke 2,500 meters into the sky. It has been belching
out ash for almost two weeks, forcing some 2,000 residents on the
slopes of the mountain to flee to safer areas. Conditions in the refuge
camps are said to be very poor.
*Lava continues to flow from new fissures on Mount Etna. Webcam
* Hurricane Ivan has killed at least 30 people in the southern United
States and left about two million people in six states without power.
* Hurricane Javier is heading up Mexico's coast and is expected to hit
Baja California with rainfall of 3 to 6 inches and life-threatening flash
floods and mudslides. It should swing north into western Arizona on
Meanwhile in the Atlantic, tropical storm Jeane will graze the
coast of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It will cruise toward
the Bahamas by Monday.
Tropical storm Karl is also developing.
*A long-range weather forecaster says the U.S. hurricanes could be
repeated off the Queensland, Australia coast this coming cyclone
season. He uses sunspots to make his predictions, and believes there'll
be heavy cyclone activity and flooding in Queensland early next year.
*Vietnam on Thursday found two more bodies of local people
in northern Lao Cai province killed by a big landslide, raising
the death toll to 17, with 7 still missing.
*Nine people were killed and 13 were declared missing today
after strong rains triggered flooding and mudslides in Panama.
*A mother and her two-year-old son were killed when their home was
flattened by a mudslide bringing the death toll from flash flooding in
northern Thailand this month to at least eight.
*An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale has been
felt in southern Kentucky.
*Preliminary 4.1 and 4.0 quakes have been registered on the
California - Nevada border.
*An earthquake measuring at 5.0 on the Richter scale shook
the tremor-prone Indonesian town of Bengkulu on the island of Sumatra
on Friday, causing people to flee their homes in panic.
* Hundreds of wildfires in Bolivia have created a thick haze of smoke,
killed two people and prompted two regions to declare
a state of emergency.

Friday, September 17, 2004
* Hurricane Ivan tore through southern Alabama early yesterday,
slamming the U.S. coast from Mobile to Pensacola, Florida with
fierce winds and pounding surf and spawning tornadoes that
killed at least twelve people. It was the worst weather to
hit the area in 25 years.
* Tropical Storm Jeanne strengthened to a hurricane and made a
direct hit on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic with heavy
winds and drenching rains. A blacked-out Puerto Rico is still
counting damage from the storm that turned roads into raging rivers
and killed two people as it passed over the day before. It remains
dangerous, with many rivers on the point of bursting their banks.
It was headed for the Bahamas, and uncertainty about its future path
could have it anywhere from Cuba to the open Atlantic by Monday.
There remains the possibility it could reach into Florida and
other southeastern states.
*Numerous scientific researchers are showing that pollution particles
in clouds can reduce precipitation. In a study of two otherwise identical
storms - one dirty and one clean - the system sullied by specks of air
pollution snowed 50 percent less and the snow that did fall
contained 25 percent less water.
*A drought in the 1950s still affects the flow of water in the Rio
Grande, and a string of recent dry years could have
a similar effect 50 years from now.
*In India is Majuli, the largest riverine island in the world. It is eroding
right out of existence. In 1947, the island covered 1,500 sq km. Today,
the island in the Brahmaputra river is less than half its original size.
The threat to Majuli's existence began in 1950 after a severe
earthquake shifted the riverbed, causing massive silting that in turn
led to heavy river erosion, particularly during the rains. Hundreds of
villages have simply vanished without a trace with the river eating
away a large chunk of the island year after year.
There are 150,000 islanders.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
*Heavy rains and strong winds are lashing the U.S. coast as
Hurricane Ivan roars inland from the Gulf of Mexico,
spawning huge waves and tornadoes. The giant storm is expected
to sweep through Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.
Two people have died in Florida in tornadoes produced by the storm.
At the same time, the Caribbean is on renewed alert as Tropical
Storm Jeanne threatens Puerto Rico.
*A 5.5 earthquake caused a wall to collapse on Indonesia's Bali island
yesterday, killing one person and injuring two others. A gale also swept
through several parts of the country claiming one life and damaging
hundreds of houses in North Sumatra. Strong winds also continued
in South Sulawesi, destroying about 1,725 buildings over the last few
days, but no deaths were reported.
*A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 jolted awake
residents of the Philippines' capital, but there were
no reports of damage or casualties.
*Sunday's quake in Indiana was not on a known fault. A fault that could
produce such a small quake can be as short as 100 to 150 miles long.
*A small 2.5 quake was recorded in northeastern Arkansas.
*Governments in areas prone to natural disasters such as flooding,
landslides and drought have been urged to turn the aftermath of
catastrophic events into greatly improved living
conditions for the people affected. A "pro-poor approach" -
putting those most likely to be affected by environmental hazards
at the heart of decision-making - has massive potential to reduce
the problems resulting from natural disasters. While the death rate
from natural disasters has fallen over the last 20 years, there has
been a 17-fold increase in the economic cost.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
*Offices and transport shut down in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka
as the worst flooding in decades hit the city. Nearly all main
roads in the city are under water. Officials say such severe
flooding is "unprecedented". 341mm of rain have fallen in Dhaka
as of Monday, the highest recorded level in 50 years, and two more
days of rain are forecast.
* Flash floods have killed two people in northern Thailand, leaving
thousands either stranded or forced to abandon their homes, as the
capital braces for potential flooding.
* Tropical storm Haima buffeted eastern China as authorities evacuated
a large number of people as a precaution against danger from flooding
and landslides. It is the 21st storm of the season.
*More than 1.2 million people in metropolitan New Orleans have
been warned to get out as 225km/h Hurricane Ivan churns toward
the Gulf Coast of the U.S. The hurricane was threatening to
submerge the below-sea-level city in what could be the most
disastrous storm to hit in nearly 40 years. About three-quarters
of a million more people along the coast in Florida, Mississippi
and Alabama also were told to evacuate. Ivan could blow ashore
as early as today somewhere along the Gulf Coast.
* Tropical Storm Jeanne strengthened yesterday, prompting a plea
from Puerto Rico's governor for islanders to evacuate from
flood-prone areas and causing a panic among residents who
flocked to supermarkets for supplies. The storm's eye was
expected to hit Puerto Rico's south-west coast by this afternoon,
prompting a hurricane warning in the U.S. Virgin Islands also.
Jeanne will probably become a hurricane today.
*This hurricane season started rather quietly, there were no hurricanes
and only one tropical storm (winds 90-100km/h; 55-63mph) in the
months of June and July. In August four hurricanes and four tropical
storms formed, with four of them hitting the Caribbean or the U.S.
The 2003 season was also very active, but very few storms made
landfall and so there was little media attention. The number of
category 5 storms in the Atlantic Ocean has not increased in recent
years. There are still two months of hurricane season to go.
* Mount Asama, one of Japan's largest and most active volcanoes,
erupted three times Tuesday, spewing smoke about 300 meters
(1,000 feet) into the sky and raining ash onto nearby towns. It
was the second day of eruptions in two weeks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
*Strong rains and waves have been lashing Cuba's west coast, although
the eye of the category-5 Hurricane Ivan looks set to
miss the country's mainland. The prime concern now is the torrential
rain, which is expected to continue for hours and cause massive flooding.
In Mexico, the government issued a hurricane warning from the city
of Tulum to Progreso. The Cayman Islands have suffered enormous
damage - thousands of homes lost their roofs and key
government buildings have been hit.
*At least three people, including a child, died in Haiti in storms
linked to Hurricane Ivan.
*The Mayon volcano spewed out fragments amid signs that
magma was rising in its crater. The volcanic material set fire to
the grass on the volcano's slopes south of the Philippine capital
of Manila. "There is magma going up but the volume is not yet
big enough to create a volcanic explosion." Mayon still remains
on alert level two, meaning that the volcano is undergoing abnormal
activity but an eruption is not yet imminent.
*In Hawaii, Mauna Loa's summit caldera, the basin inside the volcano,
has begun to swell and stretch at a rate of 2 to 2½ inches a year,
which can be a precursor of an eruption. Lava could reach Hilo on
the eastern side of the island and the Gold Coast resorts of Kona in
the west, and inundate neighborhoods in the southwest rift zone
above South Point - possibly without much warning.
*The Sept. 11 flooding and its aftermath saw many television journalists
in Taiwan reporting on the state of the floods as they dramatically stood
neck-high in water, risking their lives for ratings. Some TV journalists
say the news stations were deliberately picking petite fragile-looking
female journalists to report on the floods, as their short heights made
the flooding look much worse when they stood in water,
sensationalizing the disaster and creating a sense of urgency in viewers.

Monday, September 13, 2004
*The tiny low-lying Cayman Islands are taking a battering from
155 mph (250km/h) winds as Hurricane Ivan passes over. Many
of the 45,000 residents were hiding in homes and shelters as the
hurricane unleashed ferocious winds, rain and waves of up to 20ft
(six metres) while cutting off power lines, uprooting trees and
scattering debris. Many of the best-constructed buildings on the
Islands - famed as an affluent, off-shore banking centre - appear
to have been unable to withstand the power of Ivan. Ivan is the
sixth-strongest storm to ever hit the Atlantic basin. Cuba is next
in line and Ivan is expected to pass through early today.
Ivan has strengthened to Category 5 - the strongest - capable of
causing catastrophic damage. The storm, initially predicted to brush the
Florida Keys, now appeared to be on a track to hit the Florida Panhandle.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Javier, with sustained winds of 75 mph, was
building up strength Sunday far off the Pacific coast, meaning Mexico
could face two hurricanes in one week.
* Rainstorms have pounded Bangladesh - five people have died
in a landslide, a boating accident killed 7, and 42 people
are missing.
*At least four people are dead after the latest tropical storm, Haima,
swirled over northern Taiwan yesterday, causing a mudslide in a
mountainous region that buried a family. Parts of northern Taiwan
are still recovering from flooding and mudslides triggered
by Typhoon Aere last month.
*Earthquakes have been rumbling more frequently in Hawaii, deep
beneath Mauna Loa, suggesting that the world's largest volcano is
getting ready to erupt for the first time in 20 years. Since July, more
than 350 earthquakes have been recorded. "Such a concentrated
number of deep, long-period earthquakes from this part of Mauna
Loa is unprecedented, at least in our modern earthquake
catalog dating back to the 1960s."

Sunday, September 12, 2004
* Hurricane Ivan has claimed at least 14 lives in Jamaica, including
three members of one family found dead in their home. Ivan has
been upgraded to the most dangerous category-five level of
hurricane and is one of the worst storms ever seen in the Caribbean.
Homes and roads were swept away in flooding caused by heavy
rain and huge waves up to 23-feet (seven metres) high. The Cayman
government warned its 45,000 citizens to prepare for "direct impact"
today. Evacuation plans are also in place in Cuba, which is
expecting the storm to hit on Monday.
*The Pacific island of Niue is struggling to rebuild nearly
eight months after it was hit by a fierce cyclone.
*The September 21, 1999 Chi Chi tremor in Taiwan measured 7.2
on the Richter scale and was a record-breaker in many ways, foremost
in the amount of data measurement obtained, made possible by a
decision of the government to install 600 strong-motion seismic stations
across the country. The quake knocked out the power grid in parts
of Taiwan and shut down many of the country's manufacturing plants.
Record-breaking facts about the tremor include: it produced the largest
ground motion in a tremor at 3 meters per second, the largest ground
displacement ever measured at 8 meters, and the most seismic data
recording right along the extension of a major fault.

Saturday, September 11, 2004
*Heavy rains and high winds are pounding Jamaica as one
of the most powerful hurricanes in the island's history
reaches its shores. Waves around two-stories high were reported
on Jamaica's exposed eastern shores - several hours before the
eye of Hurricane Ivan was expected to hit.
Hurricane Ivan is expected to hit Cuba on Sunday evening, by
which time some forecasts predict that it will have
regained its category five strength.
*Parts of Quebec and the Maritimes were bracing themselves for
heavy rainfall Friday as the tail end of hurricane Frances moved
across Eastern Canada.
*Lava was seen flowing yesterday from a new crack on Mount
Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, which had been virtually dormant
since early last year. Lava was flowing into the uninhabited Bove
Valley on Etna's southeastern flank and for the present was no
threat to villages lower down.
*A series of small earthquakes beginning at 3:23 am Thursday and
lasting for more than two hours rattled through Saratoga, California
on the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay area. The largest
quake was 3.4.
*If the current drought in the western U.S. follows long-term climate
patterns, we could be only about halfway through it. Two mega
droughts have parched the West in the past 100 years, and the
region may be in the midst of a third. The current drought, however
long it may last, followed a prolonged wet period between 1965
and 1995. During that period, much of the West was urbanized
and its population soared.

Friday, September 10, 2004
*Jamaicans are braced for the worst as one the most powerful
hurricanes in decades heads towards their island. Hurricane
Ivan has weakened from a category five, highest on the scale, to a
category four but forecasters warn it may pick up again before reaching
land. It is almost 16 years since Jamaica was last struck by a hurricane.
Correspondents say this threatens to be the worst natural disaster to hit
the island for 50 years. After Jamaica, Ivan is expected to move on to
Cuba and the south-eastern United States. Residents and tourists in
the Florida Keys are already being evacuated. Venezuela and the
Dominican Republic are the latest countries to report casualties from
the hurricane, which has so far wrought the worst havoc in Grenada.
*The British Geological Survey have taken an interest in the
on-going tremors that have been plaguing the island of Tristan da
Cunha for the past month and a half. Seismic activity was noticed
on Tristan da Cunha over the weekend of July 29th, when it was
reported that the 1961 volcano was vibrating. The latest data shows
that the Island has suffered a series of swarm earthquakes in recent days.
*A magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the Cayman Islands region has occurred
900 km (560 miles) S of Miami, Florida.

Thursday, September 9, 2004
* Hurricane Ivan has killed 10 in Tobago, Grenada and St Vincent,
only three of many Caribbean islands threatened by the storm,
which is currently churning off Venezuela's coast. The Prime Minister
of Grenada said the island was 85 per cent destroyed.
*In Japan, typhoon Songda has been downgraded after killing 32
and leaving 14 missing and 948 injured. Authorities warned of possible
landslides caused by a combination of heavy rains and aftershocks
that followed weekend earthquakes in the western part of the country.
A 5.4-magnitude was the latest aftershock to hit the island nation, but
no injuries or damage were reported.
* At least 19 people were injured and hundreds of houses were toppled
when an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale rattled
northwestern China on Tuesday. The earthquake affected more than
100,000 people, damaging more than 3800 houses
and destroying at least 600.
*The European Space Agency's chief scientist has said that
there should be a 'Noah's Ark' on the Moon, in case the Earth
is destroyed by an asteroid or nuclear holocaust. The ark would
be a repository for the DNA of every single species of plant and animal.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004
*At least 161 people have died in floods in south-west China and
the Three Gorges dam is on alert for a huge flood surge.
Flash floods and landslides were triggered by days of torrential
rains and 60 people are still missing. Officials say that the largest
flood peak on the Yangtze River for decades is expected within hours.
*Powerful Typhoon Songda battered Japan and South Korea
yesterday, killing five people, injuring almost 300, and cutting power
to millions. The storm hampered coastguards in western Japan in
their search for 18 missing Russian seamen whose ship went down,
and in their attempt to rescue 22 Indonesian seafarers. Songda is
the seventh typhoon to strike Japan this season.
* Hurricane Ivan flattened homes and power lines in Grenada.
The storm has been upgraded to category four and appears to
be crossing the Caribbean Sea towards Jamaica. Long-term forecasts,
which have a wide margin of error, have the hurricane slamming into
Jamaica on Friday local time and then into Cuba on Sunday.
This would bring the storm dangerously close to Florida..
Hurricane Frances was blamed for at least nine deaths and the
loss of power for six million people when it hit on Sunday. It moved
into Georgia on Monday, and led to the death of an 18-year-old
woman whose car overturned during the storm.
*The Portuguese mid-Atlantic Azores archipelago has been rocked
by a string of low magnitude earthquakes in the past three days.
Some 180 tiny jolts have been registered in the main island of Sao
Miguel since Sunday, although the level of seismic activity
diminished on Tuesday.
*An unusually strong 6.3 earthquake shook central and western
Argentina Tuesday, leaving one woman dead. Several children
were also reportedly hurt as a result of falling building debris.
Tremors were felt as far as Buenos Aires, where buildings shook
and several were evacuated as a precautionary measure. Tremors
in the region usually originate in neighboring Chile
and rarely reach 6 or higher.
*A new fissure yawned open on the southeastern side of Sicily's Mount
Etna volcano on Tuesday, oozing out enough lava to cross a city block.
There is currently no danger, the non-gaseous nature of the lava means
there is no danger of an explosion. Etna has not produced any
serious activity since 2002, when an explosion injured
32 people at a tourist complex. Webcam
*2004 is the wettest summer on record for North Texas.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004
*Residents of the Caribbean islands of Barbados, St Vincent,
St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Martinique are
bracing themselves for the arrival of strong hurricane Ivan
over the next 24 to 36 hours. Forecasters expect that the storm,
the ninth tropical cyclone and fourth hurricane of the current storm
season, will make landfall late today.
* Typhoon Songda, the third typhoon in three weeks, is set to bring
torrential rain and high winds to south-western Japan. It is expected to
pound the island of Kyushu and head up Japan's west coast over the
next three days. It appears to be following the route of its predecessor,
Typhoon Chaba, which left a trail of destruction and killed at least 13
people last week. It is the fourth major storm to hit Japan since late
August, and is reportedly the most powerful to hit Okinawa since 1972.
Also, western Japan has been jolted by another strong earthquake,
a 6.4 magnitude, two days after two quakes hurt 38 people.
*Florida's roads were jammed yesterday as hundreds of thousands
of residents returned home after fleeing from Hurricane Frances. Frances
has done more damage to the Kennedy Space Center than any
other storm in history. In Florida, officials on Monday said
that nine people have died due to the hurricane.
*The Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka unexpectedly discharged ashes
to the altitude of four kilometers above sea level on Monday. About
200 local earthquakes were registered in the area for the past day.

Monday, September 6, 2004
* Two powerful earthquakes injured 38 people in Japan yesterday.
Both quakes were offshore, the first was a magnitude 6.9, followed
five hours later by a 7.3. Strong aftershocks continue to rattle
western Japan, the strongest was 5.7. A powerful typhoon has also
hit Japan's southern islands, injuring 21 people, and the storm could
bring heavy rains and mudslides to areas hit by the quakes. A series
of magnitude-5 aftershocks could continue up to the next 10 days.
They could cause tsunami waves, and people have been urged to
evacuate to higher ground. Japan's meteorological agency said that they
had never before recorded two large quakes happening within such
a short time frame and they are investigating the phenomenon.
*At least 79 people were killed and 74 missing in torrential
storms lashing south-west China.
* Hurricane Frances continued to pound Florida with high winds
and heavy rain yesterday after it smashed across the state's east coast,
knocking out power to 4 million people, shredding roofs and
uprooting trees. Forecasters warned that its path would take the
centre of the storm over the warm water of the northeastern Gulf of
Mexico, north of Tampa, last night. It was possible Frances would
then regain intensity and hit the central Panhandle near Apalachicola.
Next it will be moving up into Georgia and Alabama.
State officials are already eyeing a fourth storm threatening Florida.
Hurricane Ivan was gaining strength and was reported to be about
3900km east-southeast of Miami, with wind of 185 km/h. It was
expected to move into the Caribbean sometime Tuesday. Ivan
has the potential to become a Category 5 hurricane.
*The death of hundreds of seabirds washed up on the coast of
Scotland has been blamed by bird experts on the recent freak
weather that has battered Britain. It is estimated that thousands of
guillemots have died, mostly by drowning, but it is baffling as to
why no other species of auk, such as puffins, have been affected.
The phenomenon, known as a seabird wreck, was probably caused
by the severe storms and torrential rain over the last month. The
deaths follow the worst breeding season on record for seabirds in
Scotland, which - like the recent extreme weather - has
been blamed on climate change. Seabird wreaks happen in winter,
not this early and not on this massive scale.

Sunday, September 5, 2004
*President Bush declared "a major disaster" in Florida
after Hurricane Frances slammed the southern U.S. state, leaving
more than two million people without power and
causing widespread damage.
*More than 1100 forest fires burning in central Indonesia have enveloped
the region in a choking haze that's reduced air quality and delayed flights.
Smoke has been billowing over large parts of Indonesia's Sumatra and
Kalimantan islands in recent months, and the cloud has also spread to
neighbouring Malaysia. Indonesia's central government has expressed
concern about the fires, but insisted it was up to the regional governments
to handle the matter. The regional governments, in turn, complain
they have no money to fight the fires.
*The clock is running out on a highly publicized prediction that a major
earthquake will rip through Southern California by today. But even
if the earth does not move this weekend, seismologists largely
agree that the forecast has done more good than harm by reviving
interest in the controversial science of quake prediction. Seismologists
agreed there was only a 2 percent chance of the quake now striking
in the predicted time in an area comprising the Mojave desert, Palm
Springs and San Bernardino. One of the biggest challenges is
predicting which of the 35,000 earthquakes that occur every year
in California will cause vast damage. "We don't understand the
physics of earthquakes...We don't know how they start, or how
they stop, and how they stop determines how big they are."
*Over this summer and next, a rig will bore more than 10,000
feet into the earth on a ranch northwest of Parkfield, California
and place an array of sensors across the San Andreas Fault. The
goal of the project is to allow scientists to study how faults work
and how earthquakes happen. The last large quake in the area was
a magnitude 6 which occurred in 1966. Quakes were occurring on a
20 year cycle so the next one was due by 1987 but one has not yet
occurred. Scientists fear that, because so much pressure has built up
along the fault, that the next quake will be of a magnitude 7 or greater.

Saturday, September 4, 2004
* Hurricane Frances weakened slightly as it hit the Bahamas Friday, but
officials worry that the Category 2 storm could regain strength by the
time it reaches Florida, most likely this afternoon.
Frances threatens to devastate the Indian River Citrus District, a strip
of land stretching 200 miles from Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach.
This area produces about three-quarters of Florida's $205 million
grapefruit crop. The double whammy of Charley and Frances has the
potential to cause the greatest crop damage to Florida's $9 billion
citrus industry since the crippling freezes of the 1980s.
* Hurricane Howard is churning in the Pacific Ocean off the coast
of Baja California.
*Five people were killed while two others were injured in a
landslide taking place in the wee hours of Thursday in the
county of Shenmu in western China.
*The United Nations has called for emergency assistance to help
over 6.5 million people at risk from Afghanistan's worst drought
in recent history. Weather officials in neighbouring Pakistan have
also said they are facing a drought because of insufficient rain.

Friday, September 3, 2004
*Welcome to the ad-free page! All of the linked pages have not yet
been transferred, but I will be moving them as quickly as I can.
*Residents of Florida are again preparing themselves for
the onslaught of a massive hurricane - the second in less
than a month. More than half a million people have been told to
evacuate their homes and a state of emergency has been declared.
Hurricane Frances is just as strong as Charley, but twice the size.
Frances could cause the same kind of devastation as Charley did
but over a larger area. Major highways leading away from the
Florida coast were clogged Thursday after officials issued the
biggest evacuation order in the state's history.
*Dengue cases are on the increase in northern Philippine villages
as the flood caused by heavy typhoon rains is still worsening.
*Volcanic tremors and earthquakes emanating from Mt. Asama
in east Japan, subsided Thursday after the volcano erupted
Wednesday night. The number of volcanic quakes dropped to three
from 183 Wednesday. Crustal alteration stopped within an hour
after the eruption and the mountain fire has died out. Warnings
are out that the volcano could again become active but evacuated
residents have returned to their homes. Japan currently has 80
active volcanoes that either have erupted during the past 2,000 years
or are currently secreting volcanic gases.
*The Farmers' Almanac predicts a wild winter ahead with
unusually wet weather and dramatic temperature swings in the
Northeastern U.S. The northern Plains and Great Lakes will be
snowy, the almanac says, while it will be milder in the southern half
of the country. In 2005, the almanac predicts a wet spring for
most of the country and an active pattern for the
Midwest's "Tornado Alley" in April and June.

Thursday, September 2, 2004
* Mount Asama, one of Japan's largest and most active volcanoes,
has had a minor eruption, sending smoke and ash thousands of metres
into the air. It was the largest eruption in 21 years. The volcano's last
big eruption was in 1783. The number of volcanic quakes began
increasing at around 3 p.m. Tuesday, with a total 116 tremors registered
on that day. On Wednesday, some 177 quakes were recorded around
the mountain by 5 p.m.
Earlier yesterday, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake was recorded off the
coast of Fukushima state – 250km north-east of the eruption. No
injuries or damage were reported.
*Seismologists and officials yesterday urged villagers to evacuate
their homes near eastern Indonesia's Mount Egon volcano after it
spewed ash and dust on its slopes. Several eruptions on Tuesday
sparked fears about the safety of about 2,000 people living on the
mountainside. It was the second time in two months that
the volcano had shot out ash.
* Hurricane Frances roared toward the Bahamas and the southeastern
U.S. after churning past Puerto Rico, bringing heavy surf and
blustery winds to the U.S. territory.
After 18 days, piles of tree limbs and metal and wood pieces torn away by
Hurricane Charley still are piled alongside many Southwest Florida roads.
*China says floods and typhoons have killed 800 so far this year.
* Lightning has killed 16 in Romania in two months.
*A moderate 5.7 earthquake rocked the southern Philippines early today, but
there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
*England and Wales have just splashed through the wettest August
in almost half a century. Rainfall figures for August - which saw flash
flooding sweep away cars and ruin homes in Boscastle, southwest
England - had been the highest for that month since 1956. Last
August Britain recorded an all-time heat record of 101.3 degrees fahrenheit.
* Leaves are changing color weeks ahead of schedule
in Wisconsin and Minnesota, likely due to unusually cool weather.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004
*A menacing Hurricane Frances gathered strength in the Atlantic
on Tuesday, unnerving Florida residents still picking up the pieces
weeks after Hurricane Charley flattened thousands of homes. Forecasts
had it plowing through the Bahamas on Thursday or Friday before
approaching the U.S. mainland.
Satellite view of Hurricane Frances swirling through the
tropical Atlantic Ocean.
*Satellite view of Tropical Storm Gaston and Tropical Depression
Hermine spinning side-by-side on August 30.
*A tornado hit and sank a boat in northern Vietnam on Saturday
and at least 15 people were drowned.
*In early summer, a landslide in the Zaskar Mountains, a range of
the Himalayas, blocked the Pareechu River in its course from Tibet
to northern India. The water is slowly building behind the natural dam,
creating an artificial lake in the remote mountain region and officials
fear that the unstable dam will burst, releasing a torrent of water
on populated regions of northern India.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
* Europe is due for another huge earthquake like the one which hit
Portugal in 1755 killing an estimated 60,000 people. New evidence
shows that the activity in the Earth's crust which triggered the Great
Lisbon quake is continuing. However it may be a few hundred years
before another disaster strikes, as powerful earthquakes are likely to
occur in the region at 1,000 to 2,000-year intervals.
*Japan's capital has a 90 percent chance of being devastated by a
major earthquake some time in the next 50 years, according to a study.
*A seismologist at the University of California Los Angeles, Vladimir
Keilis-Borok predicted months ago that an earthquake of at least
magnitude 6.4 would strike the southeastern portion of the Mojave
Desert in California by next Sunday. So far it hasn't happened.
*A 4.0 earthquake rattled parts of Monterey County, California
yesterday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.
*Six days after Typhoon Aere struck Taiwan more than 700 people are
reportedly still waiting to be rescued, but landslides are making rescues difficult.
*The large and powerful typhoon Chaba has hit Hokkaido, Japan. Warnings
are out of heavy rain, strong winds, landslides and floods in
Hokkaido and northeastern Honshu. 164 people were injured, six houses
were destroyed, 17 structures were partially damaged and nearly
9,000 buildings were flooded across the country as a result of the typhoon.

Monday, August 30, 2004
*Powerful Typhoon Chaba struck southern Japan yesterday, unleashing
a downpour, strong winds and high tides that left 300,000 without power,
forced thousands to flee their homes and disrupted air and sea transport
links. At least 30 people were injured and four are dead. There are
warnings of flooding and landslides and Chaba has generated winds
measuring 210km/h (130mph) - reportedly a record high for the area.
*A typhoon watch may be required for portions of the Northern Mariana
Islands by this morning. Last night, Typhoon Songda was moving rapidly
and could affect all of the Marianas. The typhoon's closest point of
approach to Guam will be about 400 miles east of the island sometime
Wednesday - if it continues on its west-northwest track. Last week
Typhoon Chaba damaged hundreds of homes in the Mariana Islands.
* Tropical Storm Gaston left 125,000 residents in South Carolina without
power Sunday before heading toward North Carolina.
*A minor 3.8 earthquake rattled east-central Wyoming on
Sunday afternoon but apparently caused no damage.
*A minor 2.8 earthquake, the second this month, was reported in central
Alabama Saturday, but was smaller than the first one (3.5).
*A minor 2.1 earthquake shook southern New Hampshire
Saturday morning but caused no damage. New England sees
about six small quakes a year.
*The increasing acidity of the world's oceans could banish all coral
by 2065, a Danish marine expert warns.

Sunday, August 29, 2004
* Mount Vesuvius has been described as the world's most dangerous
volcano. Italian experts warn that by 2100, Vesuvius, the only active
volcano on the European mainland, will most certainly repeat its most
dramatic performance, which buried Pompeii Aug. 24, 79 A.D.
Vesuvius erupts dramatically in cycles, and has erupted about
three dozen times since 79 A.D.
*Almost all climate scientists, atmospheric chemists and oceanographers
say the greenhouse effect has arrived and that we should expect more
droughts, hurricanes, flash floods, forest fires and giant storms. The
kind of extreme weather that happened once in 100 years, they say,
could soon take place every 20 years. 2004 may be remembered for
its floods. Just eight months into the year, Bangladesh, and to a lesser
extent India and Nepal, have had some of the severest seen in decades,
with tens of millions made homeless. Less noticed have been major floods
in Hungary, Vietnam, Kenya, Romania, Lagos, Nicaragua, Iran, Siberia,
Bosnia and Papua New Guinea.

Saturday, August 28, 2004
*Hundreds of rescue workers have been airlifted to a Taiwanese
village hit by a huge mudslide Wednesday, triggered by Typhoon
Aere. Seven bodies have so far been found in the debris of Tochang
village, and rescuers are looking for another eight. At least 12 people
have now been confirmed dead on the island, while more than 20
others are missing, presumed dead. Typhoon Aere dumped a total
of 1,335mm (53.4in) of rain on the area in three days. The government
had issued a landslide warning to 80 towns across the island.
* Typhoon Aere killed two people and destroyed more than
10,000 houses on China's mainland this week.
* Typhoon Chaba is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds to
large areas in south-western Japan over the weekend.
*The death toll from recent floods has climbed to 25, with wide
swathes of the northern Philippines still under water.
* The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology is sending
a team of geologists to look into the sinking of a large land mass in Glan,
Sarangani Province. The phenomenon has already damaged at least
four hectares of coconut farm and 300 meters of the national road. At
least eight families, numbering at least 70 persons, have evacuated
the area since it started to collapse on August 18.

Friday, August 27, 2004
*Indian military helicopters have been plucking survivors out of the
water after flash-floods swept away 29 people on Thursday morning
in the northern Indian state of Uttaranchal.
*Six forestry workers were killed yesterday while battling a forest fire
in a rugged area of the southern Turkish province of Antalya.
* Hurricane Frances is east of the Lesser Antilles, moving northwest,
strengthening, and could become a category two hurricane today.
*Lawyers in South America are looking at the possibility of suing
industrialised countries for 'direct liability' over climate change. Britain
fears it could be sued for billions of pounds by countries suffering climate
change effects, the result - they say - of Britain pumping millions of tons
of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past 200 years.
*On March 31st, a rock measuring less than 10m across zipped past
the Earth at the closest distance ever detected. It would not have
posed any threat if it had struck our planet because it would have
exploded in the upper atmosphere had it hit. Robot telescopes
operated by NASA in New Mexico under the Spaceguard Survey
to track potential threats from asteroids, spotted the object,
2004 FU 162, just a few hours before the flyby.

Thursday, August 26, 2004
*The world has barely begun to recognise the danger of setting
off rapid and irreversible changes in some crucial natural
systems, a scientist says. Twelve "hotspots" have been identified so
far, areas which act like massive regulators of the Earth's environment.
If these critical regions are subjected to stress, they could trigger
large-scale, rapid changes across the entire planet. But not enough is
known about them to be able to predict when the limits of tolerance will
be reached. Scientists have begun to realise that change could be sudden,
not gradual - in some cases it could happen within a few decades.
*Farmers are driving Asian countries towards an environmental
catastrophe, using tube wells that are sucking groundwater reserves
dry. Tens of millions of these wells have been drilled over the past
decade, many of them beyond any official control, and powerful
electric pumps are being used to haul up the water at a rate that far
outstrips replenishment by rainfall. Water tables are falling so dramatically
that within a short time, some landscapes could become arid or
even be transformed into desert.
*France, Spain and Italy are sending water-bomber planes to
Morocco to fight a major forest fire raging in the north of the
country. Morocco's government appealed for help from its neighbours
after more than 2,000 hectares of forest had been devoured by flames.
Mediterranean forest fires are common during the hot summer months,
but in Morocco they are rare, largely because it has fewer forests.
* Hurricane Charley destroyed 12,000 homes in Florida.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
*China has evacuated 249,000 people from coastal areas as it
prepares for Typhoon Aere to hit the mainland after it killed at least
five people on Taiwan.
*Two people have died and another is missing after Super Typhoon
Chaba blasted the Mariana Islands. Authorities in the Northen
Marianas have asked the United States to declare it and the neighbouring
territory of Guam a major disaster. The typhoon is moving slowly
toward southwestern Japan.
*The Kenyan government Monday put residents of Mt Elgon District
and other parts of Western Province on high alert after emissions of
smoke and gases intensified in a cave on Mt Elgon volcano. The
move caused a major panic among the residents over a possible
volcanic eruption. The locals were further warned against using rain
water as it may contain poisonous substances from the emissions.
*A major 'landslide audit' of every road in Scotland is to be carried out
over two years to check the nation's roadside hills and soils.
*An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale has jolted a sparsely
populated mountainous area in Tibet. It is the second earthquake to
rattle Tibet in little more than a month, after one measuring 6.7
on the Richter scale was reported in mid-July.
*A 4.5 earthquake rattled Olympic venues in and around
the Greek capital yesterday. Olympic venues built near the fault line
were designed to withstand a potentially massive quake.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
*The tropical typhoon Aere is approaching Taiwan's capital, Taipei,
having already brought raging winds and heavy rain to the north of
the country and with four fishermen already reported dead.
Satellite image.
*Satellite image of Typhoon Chaba on August 23rd at 3:50 UTC,
about 8 hours after it struck the Northern Mariana Islands.
*In Sri Lanka, officials have been instructed to take swift measures to
relocate the Haldummulla town which is facing a severe landslide threat.
*15,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, catastrophic waters
roared over Dry Falls in Washington state. The spectacle dwarfed
Niagara Falls, its power 10 times greater than the force of all the
world's rivers combined. The cataclysmic water scoured away the
soils of Eastern Washington and carried house-sized boulders from
Montana as far away as Oregon. Now Congress is considering whether
to create a National Geologic Trail that would stretch from Missoula,
Montana, to the Willamette Valley in Oregon and tell the
story of the Ice Age Floods.

Monday, August 23, 2004
*The New Madrid fault line covers northern Arkansas, eastern
Tennessee, most of Missouri and parts of Kentucky and Illinois.
There is a nine in 10 chance that a magnitude six to seven earthquake
will hit the New Madrid seismic zone in the next 50 years. Geologists
have come to this conclusion based on the history of the zone and
current geological activity taking place in the Mississippi River Valley
area. Recently, geologists uncovered a series of deposits known as
liquid faction deposits that are formed from vigorously shaken sediments
that liquefy after a violent earthquake. The liquid faction deposits in the
Mississippi River Valley region are the largest in the world. "A major
earthquake – it will happen. We just don't know when."
*Researchers at Oregon State University are somewhat perplexed
after a close-to-shore earthquake rumbled across Lincoln County for
the second time in two months. Wednesday night's 4.7-magnitude quake
was called "very odd." It followed in the wake of a 4.9-magnitude
earthquake that briefly shook things up July 12. Off-shore earthquakes
are extremely common, but those with magnitudes higher than 4.0 are
"extraordinarily rare" so close to shore (within 20 to 35 miles). In fact,
they could find no record of any earthquake of similar magnitude that
close to the Oregon shoreline in the past 30 years. Even more mystifying
than its occurrence was its perceived strength. Most folks said this quake
shook them up much more than the previous one, yet scientific readings
revealed a slightly lower magnitude.

Sunday, August 22, 2004
*A half-ton boulder has crashed into a Virginia house, killing a
three-year-old boy as he slept in his bedroom.
*Residents of new homes built in San Bernardino County, California
since the October wildfires need to know that worst-case storms could
overwhelm the flood-control structures designed to protect them. But
post-fire flood potential is not listed in natural-hazard disclosure forms
required by law in home sales. Moreover, while local, state and federal
authorities prepare for the worst, no single agency has assumed
responsibility for overseeing the post-fire situation and its impact on
development. "No one wants to take responsibility. That way they
can keep building and call the next disaster an act of God." Severe
storms on slopes still recovering from October fires can unleash up
to 50 times the boulders, rocks and mud a similar storm
would generate in normal conditions.
*A lightning strike has killed 31 cows sheltering under a tree in
Jutland in rural Denmark, setting a gruesome world record for the
largest number of deaths of farm animals from a single bolt of lightning.
*Minnesota has had frost in August and some record low temperatures.

Saturday, August 21, 2004
* July was the coldest worldwide since 1992. That year's cool spell
was precipitated by the eruption of the Philippine volcano Pinatubo.
Scientists don't know why the Earth's thermostat has dropped this year.
Both the tropics and Antarctica showed a marked coolness that has
been going on since March.
*A band of wild summer weather has settled over Manitoba, Canada,
handing the province severe thunderstorms, snow pellets and frost.
*The death toll from a devastating mudslide in eastern China rose to 38
Thursday with nine people still missing.
*Five of a family are missing and one injured when a landslide
swept their house into the Bhote Koshi River in Nepal.
* Tropical storm Megi continued its deadly progress on Friday, killing
one man and cutting off electricity to thousands of homes as it
swept over northern Japan.
*Europe is warming up more quickly than the rest of the world, and cold
winters could disappear almost entirely by 2080 as a result of
global warming, researchers predicted. The average number of
European climate-related disasters per year doubled over the
1990s compared to the previous decade, costing
economies around $11 billion a year.

Friday, August 20, 2004
* Wildfires have scorched over 5 million acres in Alaska as of
Tuesday, forestry officials said, a new record that signals
possible changes in climate conditions and the future
composition of the vast forests. In a typical summer, 500,000 to
1.5 million Alaska acres burn. Fire managers are still waiting for
the heavy rains that usually douse Alaska's blazes by August.
*The amount of dust blowing around the world may have serious
environmental effects, geographers say. The world's primary
dust source is the Bodele depression in Chad, in central west Africa.
In parts of North Africa, annual dust production has increased
tenfold in the last 50 years. Dust storms transport large amounts
of material for long distances, for example from the Sahara to Greenland
and from China to Europe, which can cause problems
far from the dust's source.
* Heavy rains and fierce storms in parts of western Europe caused
more flooding, destruction and loss of life both offshore and on dry land,
after several days of freak weather and strong
winds left at least 15 feared dead.
*Death Valley National Park has been closed indefinitely because
of heavy flooding in the Mojave Desert that killed at least two people
and washed away stretches of road. Fierce storms that hit the desert
over the weekend triggered flooding that washed cars off roads and
sent mud, rock and debris cascading into the Furnace Creek Wash.
California Highway 190 - a main road between the eastern Sierra and
Nevada - was closed to through traffic for 130 miles as a 6-foot by
50-foot wide section has been completely washed away.
*Scientists have mapped enormous impact craters hidden under
the Antarctic ice sheet using satellite technology. The craters may
have either come from an asteroid between 5 and 11km across that
broke up in the atmosphere, a swarm of comets or comet fragments.
The space impacts created multiple craters over an area of 2,092km
(1300 miles) by 3,862km (2,400 miles). The impacts occurred roughly
780,000 years ago during an ice age. Early humans would have been
living in Africa and other parts of the Old World at the time of the strikes.
Impacts would have melted about 1% of the ice sheet, raising water
levels worldwide by 60cm (2ft).

Thursday, August 19, 2004
*More than 2,400 people have been evacuated as Typhoon Megi
lashes the southern shores of South Korea. Megi has already swept
through Japan, leaving at least seven dead in floods and mudslides, two
were swept out to sea.
*Health officials are worried there could be more deaths and injuries
in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley than during the storm itself. The
hurricane caused billions of dollars in damage across Florida, and power
outages and debris are creating hazards for residents. At least 21 U.S.
deaths have been linked to the storm. Charley also killed four people in
Cuba and one in Jamaica.
*Rescuers began airlifting drivers and passengers from a group of vehicles
trapped between two landslides on a central Scotland motorway which
was washed out by "a colossal band of rain sweeping up Scotland". The
landslides come amid roiling storms that have battered western Europe
this week, leaving four dead in southern France and a stretch of the
southwest English coast wrecked by flash floods.
*Rising sea levels, disappearing glaciers in the Alps and more deadly
heat waves are coming for Europeans because of global warming,
Europe's environmental agency has warned. Melting meant Europe's
glaciers lost a tenth of their mass last year, and harvests
fell by almost a third.
* Waves over 20m high are getting bigger, more frequent and are
eroding Britain's Atlantic coast, experts say. The waves rip huge
boulders from cliff faces and sweep them up to 50m inland in
exposed areas such as Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
*Sydney, Australia, has been dumped with more rain in 24 hours
than it would usually get in a month, but the deluge has brought
no relief to dams or drought-stricken regions.
One man is dead and several people injured after storms and the
first substantial rainfall in three months caused havoc
in south-east Queensland, Australia.
*A severe storm battered central New Zealand overnight, cutting highways
and halting train, aeroplane and sea ferry services to the
capital city and nearby regions.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
*The world's biggest international aid agency has warned that tens of
millions of the world's poorest people are threatened by an unprecedented
wave of freak and extreme weather. Clouds of locusts, cyclones, massive
floods and devastating droughts are wreaking havoc in many of the world's
poorest countries, and agencies don't have the resources to cope.
*Police in eastern India shot at about 500 rioting villagers who were
demanding more government assistance amid devastating
monsoon flooding, killing five people.
*Three people are missing after flash floods tore through a popular
tourist area in southwest England, sweeping dozens of cars into the
sea and leaving hundreds feared trapped.
*A five-year-old boy was electrocuted in a refrigerator at his family
home in Qena, Upper Egypt, after climbing inside to escape from
the heatwave raging in the region.
*About 500 residents in northwestern British Columbia, Canada
are on evacuation alert following weekend lightening strikes
that sparked more than 100 new wildfires in the area.

Monday, August 16, 2004
*The death toll from Hurricane Charley is now at 16. Florida officials
predict that damage from the Category 4 storm could top $15 billion
- as much as the earthquake in Northridge, California, in 1994.
*At least 25 people were killed and 22 others were missing after a
landslide destroyed 52 homes in China following Typhoon Rananim.
*The world's future water supply is a problem that's an entire order
of magnitude greater than we've begun to realise. Scientists say the
world will have to change its consumption patterns to have
any realistic hope of feeding itself.

Sunday, August 15, 2004
* Hurricane Charley killed at least 14 in Florida as it ripped through
the state and moved on to the Carolinas. Charley destroyed thousands
of homes, left more than one million people without power and
hundreds of thousands without water.
* Tropical Storm Earl grew from a tropical depression and gathered
strength as it neared several eastern Caribbean islands with heavy
rains and hazardous winds. The tropical storm, the fifth of the Atlantic
season, was forecast to churn over the Windward Islands on Sunday.
Forecasters said the storm could strengthen to a hurricane by Monday
once it is over the Caribbean Sea. It was expected to head in the general
direction of Jamaica, Hispaniola and eastern Cuba in the next three
to five days.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Danielle strengthened over the far eastern
Atlantic and was forecast to become a hurricane by Sunday,
although it wasn't expected to threaten land.
*Melbourne, Australia was whipped by an Antarctic blast, shivering
through its coldest day in six years yesterday and its coldest
August day in 26 years.
*Queensland, Australia Premier Peter Beattie admitted he was
"terrified" of the potentially massive damage huge bushfires could
cause in south-east Queensland this season.

Saturday, August 14, 2004
* Hurricane Charley has slammed into the coast of Florida,
ripping up trees and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands
of residents. Packing winds up to 145mph (230km/h), Charley hit
land south of Tampa and threatened to swamp the low-lying
area with a 15-foot (4.6m) tidal surge. Before reaching land, Charley
increased to "category four" - the second most severe. Meteorologists
say this could be the worst storm to hit the U.S. since 1992 when
Hurricane Andrew caused billions of dollars worth of damage in Miami.
A woman died when her car ran off a road in western Florida yesterday,
becoming the sixth victim of Hurricane Charley. Four were killed in Cuba.
*Climbers have been temporarily banned from Semeru Volcano in
Indonesia's East Java province after it erupted on Wednesday, throwing
sand, dust and stones into the air.
* Flooding in Nigeria has killed 23 and left 2,500 homeless.

Friday, August 13, 2004
*At least 63 people were killed and more than 1,800 injured as
powerful Typhoon Rananim hit eastern China. The typhoon is
thought to be the 2nd worst storm ever - the worst storm hit in 1997
and 236 people were killed. Officials have warned of flooding, landslides
and house collapses.
More than a million people in China have been relocated from their
homes this year because of extreme weather conditions. More than 650
people have been killed by natural disasters, which have cost more
than $4 billlion in damage, so far.
*Tropical storm Bonnie weakened as it reached north Florida's
western coast on Thursday afternoon. But with Hurricane Charley
approaching, 800,000 people have been told to evacuate. Charley was
expected to hit Cuba by Thursday night and pass almost directly over
the capital Havana, before reaching Florida early today. Storms have
not struck so close together in Florida since 1906.
*Three people have been reported missing after an avalanche
hit a main New Zealand ski-slope.
* Heat waves this century will be more intense, more frequent and
longer lasting, experts predict. Over the coming century, the number
of heat waves in Paris was expected to increase by 31%
and in Chicago by 25%.
*A severe drought has put at risk the nomadic lifestyle of 250,000
herdsmen in northern Somalia.
* Freakish storms moved through New York City all afternoon on
Wednesday and a young couple who leapt from their car as a flash
flood engulfed it at an intersection were electrocuted by a downed
power line.
*Seismologists are warning, on the basis of statistical analysis
and historical records, that a major earthquake is due to hit Israel
in the next 50 years.

Thursday, August 12, 2004
*More than 125,000 people have been left homeless after the
5.6 earthquake in south-west China that killed four
and injured nearly 600. 18,556 houses collapsed, 65,601 houses
were damaged, as were schools, factories, office buildings and
reservoirs. The earthquake was the third in a year to strike Ludian
county, one of the poorest in China. Quakes measuring 5.1 and
5.0 on the Richter scale on November 15 and 26 last year
killed four and injured 120.
*More than 25,000 people in Cuba's western Pinar del Rio province
and about 1300 foreign tourists on the Cayo Largo del Sur vacation
islet were evacuated to safer ground ahead of Hurricane Charley.
Charley is expected to hit the
Cayman islands today. It did not hit Jamaica directly, but rains from
the hurricane are believed to have caused mudslides
and flooding in parts of the island. It is expected to hit Cuba and
the Florida Keys by Friday.
* Tropical storm Bonnie, located in the Gulf of Mexico, has forced
the evacuation of more than 100 oil rigs and is now moving towards
Florida, which has declared a state of emergency. The storm is
thought to be accelerating and could turn into a hurricane later today.
*Iceland's capital experienced its hottest day on record overnight
as temperatures in Reykjavik hit 24.8 degrees Celsius. The unusually
warm weather was caused by slow-moving low fronts resulting from
Hurricane Alex, which hit the east coast of the United States last week.
*A war on locusts has been declared as the New South Wales,
Australia Government braces for the worst plague in 30 years.
*Chinese officials say that due to rain, fears remain high of a lake
overflowing in Tibet and flooding an Indian state. The lake was created
last July by a landslide in the Parechu river in Tibet. Thousands of
people have been evacuated from 50 villages that are likely to
be submerged if the lake overflows.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
*A strong 5.6 earthquake rumbled through southwest China
yesterday, killing three people and injuring another 200. The extent
of damage was not immediately clear.
* Fire season came early this year in the U. S. Pacific Northwest.
Numerous wildfires are taking their toll in Oregon and Eastern
Washington, surprising communities west of the Cascades and
along the coast. Fires west of the Cascades are more rare, and
when these woods go up, they really go up. Weeks of unseasonably
warm weather have dried fuels and reduced humidity levels.
Densely wooded western forests once ignited, burn intensely
making traditional firefighting particularly hazardous.
*The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warns the next
couple of months will be critical for the main crop season
in drought-stricken Sri Lanka.
*The annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaks tomorrow
morning, August 12, could provide a "spectacular" show this
year, experts have forecast. If you go out tonight and Thursday
(or even on Friday night) and find a dark location, you can expect
to see about one meteor per minute on average. A meteor surge
may occur tonight at 2200 BST, while another may be visible just
before dawn on Thursday.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
*Giant tsunamis that can devastate coastal cities, super volcanoes
so big that their ash crushes houses 1,500km (932 miles) away, giant
earthquakes and asteroid impacts could pose a greater threat than
terrorism, scientists claim. The global community needs to monitor
these risks, and develop strategies to cope in the face of a catastrophe.
Careful preparation could potentially save thousands of lives. In any
one year the chances of one of these things happening is probably much
less than 1%. But in the longer term it is 100%. The potential threat that
scientists currently have their eye on is an insecure rock in the Canary
Island of La Palma. The rock is in the process of slipping into the sea
and when it finally collapses, the resulting tsunami will cause massive
destruction along the coasts of countries like the USA, UK and many
on the African continent, within a matter of hours.
*Two mudslides came crashing down a mountain in southeastern
British Columbia on Saturday, destroying at least three homes,
a garage and several cars.
*Firefighters on Sunday battled to contain several wildfires in California
that had blackened thousands of acres and forced scores of
people to evacuate their homes.
*At least 15,000 people are homeless after days of storms and
heavy rains around Cape Town in South Africa.
*Thousands of rare tortoises have died in forest fires across
south-eastern Spain, a nature group says.
*The erratic weather that has been battering the United Kingdom
this summer is set to continue into the week, forecasters have
warned. The beginning of the week saw sunshine turn to humid thundery
showers with flash flooding in places.

Monday, August 9, 2004
*Forty Russian mountaineers remained unaccounted for as a
helicopter lifted out four survivors from the Central Asian peaks
of Kyrgyzstan, where avalanches have killed 11. Three days of
snow and fog hampered rescue attempts and there is virtually
no chance anyone would still be found alive.
* Emergency preparation guidelines - studies show that Americans
live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. In fact,
the United States is threatened by an average of 10,000 thunderstorms,
2,500 floods, 1,000 tornadoes and six deadly hurricanes each year.
* Japan is suffering unusual weather this year. In fact, it seems
downright abnormal this summer.

Sunday, August 8, 2004
*The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is asking
the U.S. government to fund a four-year, 7 million dollar study into
the island chain's nine active volcanoes. They would like a network
to monitor the volcanoes and attempt to provide early warning
of potentially hazardous activity. Very little is known about the
active volcanoes in the island chain ( about 3800 miles SW of Hawaii.).
*In New Zealand, anglers have reported changes in Lake Okataina's
color, a rise in water levels and now there are reports of bubbles
coming from the lake bed. Another rumour has ash floating on the
lake's surface. But experts are quashing fears of the "reawakening"
of the Okataina caldera (crater), saying they have seen
nothing to cause concern.
*A moderately strong 5.3 quake hit southern Mexico
- no damage was reported.

Saturday, August 7, 2004
*Colorado State University researchers have lowered their Atlantic
hurricane forecast for this season but said they still expect
above-average activity.
*The Red Cross in Nepal sought emergency aid today after a violent
monsoon triggered landslides and floods that have killed
at least 185 people.
*At least six Indian children drowned in a reservoir as they travelled
home from school, and mudslides killed 11 workers sleeping near
a shrine in Kashmir as the death toll from the
monsoon season across South Asia rose today.
*A powerful cyclone that came from the island of Sakhalkin hit
Kamchatka peninsula Friday with gale winds and showers. From
10 to 30 percent of the monthly precipitation norm fell in the
western part of the peninsula.
* El Nino weather conditions, which can bring drought to Asia and
cause flooding in South America, have returned.
*Semi-molten volcanic rock, rising from deep in the Earth's crust miles
beneath Lake Tahoe, has moved an entire mountain northeastward and
upward by nearly a half-inch and triggered a swarm of 1600 tiny
earthquakes that shook the north shore of the lake between
last August and early this year. The movement of Slide Mountain
was about four times greater and faster than it had been
during the previous four years.
*Fishermen from Tristan are reporting floating rocks all around the
Island. Tristan da Cunha is located near to the Atlantic Ridge on the
African Plate and could well receive pummace from eruptions. Beneath
the 1961 Volcano the rocks are still shaking. Indeed, there has been
other seismic activity along the Atlantic Ridge, which has contributed
to seismic instability in the South Atlantic.

Friday, August 6, 2004
*At least 10 persons were killed and several injured in India
in a major landslide that occurred in Kerala's Vannachichira village.
*Six mountaineers from Russia and the Czech Republic died yesterday
when they were caught in a series of avalanches in Kyrgyzstan.
At least 20 others, out of a group of 30, remain trapped at the
avalanche site.
*An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale struck Tokyo
and its vicinity yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damage.
*A magnitude 5.6 earthquake off the east coast of Kamchatka has
occurred 95 km (60 miles) SE of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy,
Russia (population 196,000). It was preceded by quakes measuring
4.8, 5.0, 4.7, & 5.0.
*Swedish geologists may have found a way to predict earthquakes weeks
before they happen by monitoring the amount of metals like zinc and
copper in subsoil water near earthquake sites. In water samples taken
in Iceland, the levels of manganese, zinc and copper all increased by
up to 1,000 percent before quakes.
*Emergency crews in Australia are worried that bushfires which
yesterday threatened homes over a vast area from central
Queensland to Brisbane might flare up again.

Thursday, August 5, 2004
* Earthquake swarms and large-magnitude tremors continue to rock
Batan Island, Philippines, recording 708 quakes in the 24-hour
monitoring period ending Monday at 6 a.m. Some 3,368 earthquakes
have been recorded since July 29. Residents have experienced
earthquake swarms in 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2003.
*The Geological Survey Department warned that Accra,
Ghana was on the verge of experiencing an earthquake due to the
frequency of seismic readings in recent times. Small tremors have been
recorded at least once in every month or two. The last major tremor
in Accra was in October last year and measured 3.8 while the
last catastrophic earthquake was in 1939.
*As many as 450,000 British Columbia, Canada, schoolchildren
spend their days in buildings more likely than almost any other kind
of structure to collapse in an earthquake.
*A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in the Dodecanese Islands, Greece has
occurred 555 km (345 miles) SW of Ankara. It was followed by
aftershocks of 4.5, 5.4, 4.1, and 4.1.
*Increasing volcanic activities have been recorded on Mount Kerinci
in Indonesia since June, with the volcano sporadically emitting smoke
and noxious sulphur fumes that have even reached areas
around the foot of the mountain.
*In February 2005, nearly 300 Montserratians, who have been
allowed to stay in the U.S. since a 1997 eruption buried much
of their tiny Eastern Caribbean island in lava and ash, will be ordered
to leave the country. The volcano, which has chased more than half
the population from the territory, is still erupting. The southern half of
the island, an area that includes the capital, the hospital and the
airport, remains uninhabitable. The volcano erupted most recently
in March, and is expected to continue for decades.
*Coastal areas of eastern Australia have suffered a ``severe''
lack of rain since April, prolonging a drought that began more
than two years ago.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004
*New deaths raised the toll from six weeks of monsoons across
South Asia to 1627. Millions of people are battling hunger and
homelessness in flood-devastated Bangladesh and eastern India.
The devastation is far from over as weather officials predicted heavy
rains in northern and western Indian states over the next week.
*Romania floods have killed eight and damaged homes & roads.
* Floods have displaced 20,000 families in Mindanao, Philippines
with roads blocked by landslides.
*In Russia a landslide in the Kochubeyevskoye district was caused
by heavy showers on Monday. High ground water eroded a bank
of the Bolshoi Zelenchuk river which later collapsed. Water and
gas pipes, electric lines and communication lines were damaged.
22 homes are still threatened. Rescuers have evacuated 14 people
to safe paces, but other residents refused to leave their homes.
* Fears of widespread flooding continued today in Adelaide, Australia
as the city received its average August rainfall in just three days.
*A 14-year-old boy was killed by lightning as violent storms swept
across Britain, causing flooding in the capital and closing down
sections of London's underground train system.
* Freak weather has caused the collapse of some of the most famous
peaks in the Italian Dolomites in what some scientists say is an effect
of global warming. In little more than a month at least four massive
rock formations have fallen away. Scientists say the erosion process
was accelerated by a summer of violent storms and an unseasonably
cold and snowy winter that followed last year's
hottest summer in 250 years.
* Hurricane Alex flooded hundreds of homes and cars, sent water
swirling along roads and cut power to thousands of people in North
Carolina on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004
* Heavy rains drenched a broad swath of southern Japan, causing
flash floods and landslides that left one woman dead and two others
missing. About 2140 homes were flooded or levelled and at least
18 people were injured, including three seriously. Heavy rains were
expected to continue through tomorrow in parts of southern Japan.
*Alex, the first named storm of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season,
may become a hurricane within 24 hours as it moves toward
the North Carolina coast. Choppy seas off Tybee Island, Georgia,
Sunday caused injury to one boater and precipitated a rescue, all
while the tropical storm swept off the coast.
* The swarm of earthquakes on Tristan da Cunha on the nights of
July 28 and 29 have been confirmed. The main swarm lasted about
eight hours and was located 30km below the 1961 volcano. After the
main swarm, there were a few individual earthquakes. Seismic activity
tapered off since then, however, and there has been no report
of additional quakes since July 31.
*A pair of small earthquakes rattled the region around San Diego
on Sunday and Monday. The first was a 3.0 and the second 3.6.
*Retreating glaciers may spur Alaskan earthquakes. A study
examined the likelihood of increased earthquake activity in
southern Alaska as a result of rapidly melting glaciers.
As glaciers melt they lighten the load on the Earth's crust. Tectonic
plates, mobile pieces of the Earth's crust, can then move more freely.

Monday, August 2, 2004
* Torrential rains severely damaged crops in North Korea and
left hundreds of people homeless, reports say.
* Tropical Storm Alex, the first Tropical Storm of the 2004 hurricane
season, was upgraded Sunday from a Tropical Depression.
*The last three years are probably the driest in the 90-year history
of San Luis Obispo, California. Santa Margarita Lake, a vital drinking
water supply for the city, is just 31 percent full - the emptiest it has
been in a decade. A computer model has predicted the city will run
out of water in 4.5 years (January 2009).
*Reports from several sources have been coming in about seismic
activity around the 1961 volcano on Tristan da Cunha in the South
Atlantic Ocean. According to Tristanians, the 1961 volcano smokes
and even vibrates occasionally, but no one pays any attention to it.
Reports began to filter through on Friday, July 30, but at this stage,
they have not been proven.

Sunday, August 1, 2004
*Animals in a north-east China zoo are being recruited to help monitor
for possible earthquakes because of their innate ability to detect
major seismological changes. About one week before an
earthquake happens, animal behaviours would become obviously
abnormal and the more abnormal the animals act, the stronger the
earthquake would probably be.
* Typhoon Namtheum pummelled southern Japan with powerful winds,
heavy rains and huge coastal waves yesterday, disrupting transport
services, forcing dozens to evacuate their homes and leaving
at least one person injured.
* Wildfires in Washington state have burned more than 25,000 acres.
*The New South Wales, Australia, bushfire season officially begins
today, two months earlier than last year because of
the ongoing drought.
* Drought is bringing Cuba to its knees. Swathes of central and
eastern Cuba have been hit by the most serious drought in 40 years.
And still the drought deepens.
*A magnitude 4.7 earthquake off the coast of Oregon has occurred
350 km (215 miles) WSW of Salem.
*A magnitude 4.4 earthquake in Colorado has occurred.

Saturday, July 31, 2004
*Chaos erupted as a 4.7 earthquake jolted Turkey. It said a
16-year-old youth suffered head injuries in the panic following
the tremor, and died later in the hospital. Reports from rural villages
suggested some houses there had toppled in the quake. Six people
were injured while jumping off balconies or out of windows.
* Forest fires in British Columbia are shaping up to be much more
destructive even than last year's disastrous fire season, the province's
forestry minister said Friday.

Friday, July 30, 2004
*The government of Bangladesh puts the cost of the devastating floods
at $7 billion, and the number of those killed is approaching 500.
*Farmers in southern Spain say the summers are getting longer and
dryer. The rains, when they come, they are heavier and shorter. Climate
change could turn southern Spain into a dust bowl.
* Greenland ice-melt is 'speeding up'. The edges of the ice-sheet
are melting up to 10 times more rapidly than earlier research had
indicated. Many more icebergs falling into the sea will cause two
things to happen - the sea-level will rise and the injection of freshwater
could disrupt the ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream.
* Within 100 years the Maldives could become uninhabitable, since
80% of its 1,200 islands are no more than 1m above sea level and
sea levels around the world are rising.
*Recent efforts to improve hurricane tracking and intensity predictions
have focused on the effect the ocean has on the movement of hurricanes.
Ocean roughness and breaking waves affect hurricane predictions.

Thursday, July 29, 2004
*Two people burnt to death after their car was engulfed in a huge
forest fire in Spain, as firefighters battled blazes in many parts
of sweltering southern Europe. Three firefighters have been injured,
and dozens of homes have been destroyed in Portugal since the
wildfires began over the weekend.
*Nearly 400 wildfires are burning in southern British Columbia, Canada
with a forecast of hot, dry weather leading firefighters to fear another
devastating August will blacken the province.
*Last fall was the most disastrous fire season in California history.
Gigantic blazes burned across more than 750,000 acres, destroying
3,650 homes and killing 24 people. Firefighters fear the unprecedented
early onslaught of wildfires this summer could foretell a replay of
last year's catastrophic fire season.
* Mount Spurr, the volcano on Anchorage's doorstep, is kicking up
once again, the first time since it erupted 12 years ago. Tiny earthquakes
by the hundreds have been rumbling beneath the mountain. The recent
activity began slowly in February and intensified on July 4. An average
of 20 quakes are now occurring every day, a rate higher than at any
time since 1992. It's gone on long enough and intensely enough for
the color code to have been raised to yellow.
*Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii continues to flow - track it online.
* Typhoon Namteun is churning ever closer to Japan.
* Tropical Storm Darby strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday,
but was drifting far out into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico,
presenting little danger to North America.
*Built on the edge of the Gulf of Finland and on the banks
of the mighty Neva River, St. Petersburg, Russia is
surrounded by and threatened by water. A prominent
Moscow geologist and oceanographer gives the city as
little as another 20 years before rising seas caused
by global warming overwhelm it. Not only St. Petersburg,
but also Venice, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London and other cities
located below or just above sea level may go under.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
*Some 1,400 people have fled the slopes of Mount Egon volcano
in the eastern Indonesian island of Flores after it began rumbling
and spewing fumes and ash late Sunday night. The volcano already
has begun to calm down again and there has been no renewed
surface volcanic activity. Sunday's eruption was the third this year.
*Scientists were closely watching one of the Philippines' most destructive
volcanos, Mayon, on Monday after it spewed ash on two villages,
but they said an eruption was not imminent. Mayon has
been showing signs of restiveness since October 2003.
*Hundreds of firefighters continued to battle against wildfires in
Portugal on Monday after scorching weekend weather triggered
blazes across southern Europe.
*Residents of Dhaka waded through sewage and rowed boats through
the flooded city of 10 million people, as 109 more people died, bringing
the toll from monsoon rains in South Asia to 1187. The new deaths
in Bangladesh were caused by drowning, lightning, snakebites
and outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Flood waters that have
submerged two-thirds of Bangladesh and left 30 million people
cut off or homeless will not recede for at least a week, experts say.
*A mounting body of scientific evidence is beginning to link dirty air
and pollution to drought.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
*Over the last two decades more than 200 super-carriers - cargo
ships over 200m long - have been lost at sea. Eyewitness reports
suggest many were sunk by high and violent walls of water that rose
up out of calm seas. During a three week period two satellites detected
10 giant waves, all of which were over 25m (81ft) high. Figures show the
waves exist in higher numbers than anyone expected. Further
research plans to create a worldwide atlas of freak wave events
to find out how these strange cataclysmic phenomena may be
generated, and which regions of the seas are most at risk.
*Concern is growing about the spread of disease in Bangladesh's
flooded capital, Dhaka. About 40% of the city is under water
and in places the sewage system has failed. Flood forecasters
say there is no relief in sight.
*A university report suggests an earthquake along the southern end
of the New Madrid Seismic Zone could cause more than
$3 billion in damage in Mississippi.
*Every year, the National Hurricane Center releases a list of
potential hurricane names for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.
*Global warming is melting Peruvian peaks.

Monday, July 26, 2004
*A 7.2 tremor was felt in Sumatra and neighboring Singapore.
There has been no immediate report of fatalities but land cracking
was found in the area.
*One nomad is dead, 10 injured as giant hailstones the size
of billiard balls struck Iran on Friday.
*Beaches and homes were evacuated in Portugal as wildfires rage.
*The ground in the Las Vegas valley is less stable than previously
thought and more prone to shaking in the event of a powerful earthquake
which could make quakes in the area more damaging.
*The application of an emerging satellite technology "could advance
earthquake science towards a better predictive capability."
*Fresh data on sprites, jets and elves - strange flashes of
colored light in the Earth's upper atmosphere - is being returned
to Earth by a new satellite which is studying the high-altitude
phenomena. They are believed to be discharges of electricity from
above thunderstorms, part of a global electrical circuit.

Sunday, July 25, 2004
*The weight of floodwater in the eastern Bay of Plenty on North
Island of New Zealand is believed to have triggered the swarm of
earthquakes that have rocked the region. Since last Sunday, the
area has experienced hundreds of earthquakes.They began after
more than 250mm of rain fell in 48 hours.
*In poorer areas of the world, such as parts of Iran, Turkey or the
slums of Mexico, cheaply built housing can collapse almost
instantly during an earthquake, killing thousands.
* Natural disasters in China have killed 659 people this year and
caused losses of about 39.26 billion yuan ($4.75 billion). An estimated
388,000 houses collapsed and 2.4 million were destroyed. Precipitation
in central and south China has been 20 to 50 percent higher than
average since June, while the northern provinces are suffering chronic
drought. Three typhoons are forecast to hit China next month
bringing devastating floods.
*The death toll from nearly a week of torrential rain in
Vietnam's mountainous north has risen to 31, but another 22
people are missing and feared dead.
*At least 46 children have died in Peru during one of the coldest
spells in the Andes in 30 years.
*Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the
south of France as firefighters battled to control widespread wildfires.
*From Juneau to Nome, it was really, really, really hot last
month in Alaska.

Saturday, July 24, 2004
*A listing of this week's largest wildfires in California.
*India is on the brink of declaring drought. The deficiency of monsoons
in this crucial month of July is alarmingly close to the levels in 2002,
when India faced its worst drought in three decades.
*A magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled towns in extreme Northern
California and Oregon. The quake, latest in a series, rattled the area
around Lakeview. No damage or injuries were reported. A 4.4
magnitude earthquake hit the same area on June 30.
*Celia became the first hurricane of the season in the northeastern
Pacific on July 22.
*A small volcano eruption in southwest Colombia sent smoke
and ash into the sky and raised concerns for the safety
of neighboring villagers. (linked site requires registration, free)
*The state of emergency in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand has
been extended through the weekend after a series of slips continued
to threaten roads and houses. Another small earthquake rocked the
district on Thursday night and was coupled with a major road
slip that closed a State Highway for 12 hours. Along one 117 kilometre
stretch of road alone 488 slips were counted.
*A strong 6.4 tremor shook the southern Japanese Ryukyu Islands.

Thursday, July 22, 2004
*Hundreds of California residents fled their homes north of Los
Angeles as a vicious new wildfire that has ravaged 4000ha of land
bore down on them. Officials are facing an unprecedented challenge
as three separate blazes burn in the area three months ahead
of the usual peak of the annual fire season.
*A fresh and major landslide occurred yesterday in India at a place
lying between Mao and Tadubi, in Senapati district,
destroying about 90 houses.
*Bill Gray, a noted hurricane forecaster at Colorado State University,
predicts a 71 percent chance of a major hurricane
hitting the United States this year.
*The National Hurricane Center is continuing to watch a tropical
wave speeding westward in the Caribbean Sea. The tropical
system could dump heavy rains on Hispaniola.
*What happens if New Orleans suffers one of its worst nightmares:
a slow-moving hurricane that would flood much of the below-sea-level
city? Louisiana is vulnerable to a major hurricane, and a federal
emergency official says Louisiana doesn't need a "perfect storm"
to suffer catastrophic losses.
*A small 3.1 earthquake rumbled beneath Summerville, South Carolina
early Tuesday but there were no reports of damage and most
people didn't even notice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
*The temperature in central Tokyo hit a record 39.5 degrees
celsius yesterday as a heatwave continued to scorch many parts of Japan.
A short rainy season in many parts of the country and the hot and
humid weather have claimed several lives and caused more than
300 people to collapse and require hospital treatment so far this month.
*The heavy rains have left flood-ravaged South Asia reeling. Most of
the rivers are overflowing and fast changing course, submerging
large areas of human population.
*A magnitude 4.6 earthquake off the coast of Oregon has occurred
410 km (255 miles) WSW of Salem.
* Smoke which originated from the intense fires burning in Alaska has
been observed by satellite blowing eastward over the Atlantic Ocean
off the Canadian coast. Smoke from the fires has also been observed
blowing over the southeastern U.S down to Louisiana.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
*A magnitude 6.3 earthquake and a 4.5 quake have occurred
in the Vancouver Island region, 280 km (175 miles) West of
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A magnitude 5.8 quake
hit the same area last Thursday.
*A big wildfire fanned by shifting winds has prompted an
evacuation of hundreds of people in northern Los Angeles
County. More than 600 homes near Santa Clarita were at risk as
the fire grew in size. California has been hit by a series of fires
over the past week.
*A tornado lashed four villages in Araihajar upazila, Bangladesh,
leaving over 500 people wounded and innumerable houses
and trees flattened.
*The death toll has reached 80 from the recent landslides and floods
in various districts of Nepal.
*The government of Mauritania has issued an urgent appeal for help
in what could be the worst locust outbreak in 15 years.
*New earthquake sensors are being deployed in Charleston, South
Carolina. Charleston has known earthquakes in the past, including the
magnitude 7.7 quake of 1886 which caused 60 deaths, widespread
injuries and millions of dollars in damages.
*Australia is shaken by about 200 tremors each year, but most
register only about 3 on the Richter scale and usually occur in the
sparsely populated outback. But scientists say a major earthquake
could strike Australia's largest city, Sydney, population 4.5 million.
Every five years or so a potentially disastrous earthquake of 6.0 or
more rocks Australia and a quake as high as 7 is expected
to occur every 100 years.

Monday, July 19, 2004
*Parts of New Zealand's central north island remain under water
after once-in-a-century flooding and more than 100 minor
earthquakes hit the region. Two people were killed, one by a tree
knocked down by a 5.4 quake and the other in a landslide that swept away
two houses. The main danger from serious flooding in the eastern
Bay of Plenty appears to have passed and the swarm of
earthquakes is tailing off. Swarms of shallow earthquakes are reasonably
common in the area, although this one was unusual in that the
magnitudes of the largest earthquakes were bigger than normal.
*Dry temperatures and strong winds have fanned a wildfire toward
hundreds of houses in northern Los Angeles County, forcing
about 1000 people to flee their homes.
*The death toll from flooding that has swept through northern Japan
since last week rose to 18, as four bodies were found and
more rainstorms added to the chaos.
*In 1914, the quietest hurricane season ever recorded,
only one tropical storm emerged - and that was on Sept. 14.
Although the tropics have been tranquil so far this year, experts
predict several systems will emerge by mid-September. Historically,
the first tropical storm forms by July 11. But in the past 100 years,
the first system has surfaced 26 times in August and five times in
September. Records show that there is virtually no correlation between
when a season starts and how busy it will be. On the other hand, if
two hurricanes form in the deep tropics before Sept. 1 then the entire
season is likely to be active. On average, four hurricanes arrive
between mid-August and October, the most active part of a season.
* Drought and weird weather have combined to create a witch's
concoction of poisonous plants on Montana rangelands this year,
killing cattle and sheep and increasing the chances for deformed calves
next winter. Lupine poisoning has been a problem in Washington and
Idaho with incidences of "crooked calf," reaching 15 percent in some

Sunday, July 18, 2004
*Authorities in Arizona are investigating the cause of a fissure north
of Willcox that spans a quarter mile, is up to five feet wide at some
points, is too deep to see the bottom and appears to be expanding.
The fissure was discovered Wednesday morning by a resident who
awoke to loud rumbling and crackling overnight. Gas and power
lines run in the area, but there are only two houses nearby. Willcox
is about 80 miles east of Tucson.
* Floodwaters are continuing to rise in South Asia, where more
than 20 million people have been left stranded and hungry
in scores of ravaged villages.
*A tornado lashed Sunamganj, Bangladesh. At least 100 persons
including women and children were injured and 200 homes damaged
when it hit six villages of the district in the early hours.
*Nine people were killed or are missing after torrential rains hit
South Korea for three days last week.
*One person was feared dead and 2,000 people were evacuated
as floods swamped parts of the east coast of New Zealand's
North Island.

Saturday, July 17, 2004
*Hundreds of people in the U.S. states of California and Nevada
face being evacuated from homes as firefighters
battle to control wildfires. Firefighters kept an explosive wildfire from
destroying more homes in Carson City, Nevada, but warned the flames
were still so intense they were burning through
retardant dropped by tankers.
*Officials in Dawson City were working on evacuation plans Friday
in case the forest fires burning near the Yukon town move much
closer. Dozens of forest fires were burning across the territory, and
the forecast was calling for dry weather and lightning.
*Officials in Bangladesh say flood problems have worsened in
central areas as monsoons continue to disrupt large areas
of Bangladesh and India. Action is needed to prevent epidemics
of dysentery and cholera in affected areas. More areas around the
capital, Dhaka, could be flooded this weekend. Bangladesh suffers
annual monsoon floods but officials say the extent of this year's
flooding caused by torrential downpours and melting ice
from the Himalayas, has been unusual.
*An earthquake measuring five on the Richter scale has jolted
northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. A spokesman told the Associated
Press news agency that the town of Abbotabad, about 150 kms
northeast of Peshawar, had been badly hit on Thursday.
*A minor 3.5 quake shook parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky
at about 10:25 Thursday night.
*A minor 3.3 earthquake rumbled across parts of Nebraska, Missouri
and Iowa early Friday, shaking houses but not causing major damage.
*A strong storm system closed down Hong Kong, bringing with it
heavy rain and forcing millions of people to rush home after the
government issued its third highest weather warning. But the territory
appeared largely spared by tropical storm Kompasu which made
landfall in the northeast of Hong Kong on Friday afternoon.
* Severe cold and heavy snow caused destruction across much of
South America in early July, particularly in the Andean highlands
of southern Peru.

Friday, July 16, 2004
*Relief efforts for millions of people in South Asia affected
by floods are being badly hit by continuing bad weather and
organisational problems. Up to 80 more people were reported
missing on Thursday in separate incidents in India and Bangladesh.
Scores have already died in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
* Europe's weather is out of whack - Snowball fights in July. Mulled
wine instead of wine coolers. Thermostats set on high. Spring has
come and gone, autumn approaches - and Europeans from Oslo
to Budapest are still waiting for the northern summer.
*An out-of-control wildfire in Nevada destroyed at least six luxury
homes and came close to the governor's mansion. Four firefighters
and a television reporter were injured. Ten other homes, businesses
and outbuildings were also destroyed yesterday, and about 550 more
were threatened by the blaze. "The trees are just exploding."
Other significant wildfires are burning in California and Alaska.
*A moderate 5.9 quake hit Vancouver Island, British Columbia,
Canada. The quake was felt as far away as Vancouver. There have
been nine quakes of similar magnitude in the region in the past 30 years.
There are unlikely to be aftershocks from the quake.
* Natural disasters are more frequent than before, says a U.N. official.
Natural disasters affect up to 10 times more people per year than war
and global conflict. The Bam [Iran] earthquake and the Algerian
earthquake killed 30,000 people in seconds. That is more than
most wars kill in a decade.

Thursday, July 15, 2004
*Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, is without drinking water, following
Tuesday's landslide that left some 400 people trapped in a mountain
resort after heavy rainfall.
*A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the Fiji region has occurred
205 km (130 miles) SE of Lambasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji.
*The close-to-shore 4.9 earthquake in Oregon has been deemed an
'extraordinarily rare event' by a researcher and seismologist who
could find no record of any earthquake of similar magnitude that
close to the Oregon shoreline (33 miles out) in the past 30 years.
*Kenya in Africa has declared their drought a national disaster
and on Wednesday appealed for $76 million to fund emergency
relief operations to help 3.3 million people affected by the drought.
*A storm is brewing in China as drought-plagued regions accuse
one another of stealing clouds for rain-seeding.
* Wildfires that forced 1,000 people from homes and campgrounds
raged out of control Wednesday in three Southern California counties.
*Officials are assessing the damage done by wildfires that have burned
nearly 30-thousand acres in the southeast Arizona mountains.
*Mississippi and Louisiana officials hope a hurricane evacuation
exercise next week will answer some questions about how to
evacuate the New Orleans area during a major hurricane.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
*At least seven people were killed and 20 others injured when
a hurricane lashed China's largest city, Shanghai, triggering
more than 180 building collapses.
*Torrential rains and flooding in north-western Japan killed at least
five people and forced the evacuation of thousands. One
person is missing.
* Five dams collapsed in New Jersey and emergency workers
used boats to rescue people trapped in their cars after more than
300 millimetres of rain fell in several northeastern American states
Monday night. About 500 people were evacuated from their homes.
Some residents said the flood damage was worse than that of Hurricane
Floyd or Tropical Storm Isabel.
*Concern is growing that India could be facing drought in significant
parts of the country this year even as the death toll rose on
Tuesday from flooding.
* Tropical Storm Blas is growing off Mexico's Pacific coast.
Wind speeds are about 58 mph and are expected to strengthen
further before moving over cooler water and starting to fade.
*A magnitude 4.1 earthquake shook the central California coast
near where a deadly quake struck Paso Robles in December.
A separate 4.0-magnitude quake shook the Riverside County
desert south-east of Los Angeles. No reports of damage or injury.
*In Oregon, officials from around the state are urging all residents
to start preparing 72-hour emergency kits in case a major earthquake
strikes. On Monday, two earthquakes struck off the Oregon Coast,
the largest registering magnitude 4.9. On Tuesday there were 3 more
quakes: 3.3, 3.3, and 3.1.
* Wildfires that prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes in
Southern California remained out of control Tuesday after
burning 8,400 acres.
*Clouds of ash and steam were billowing from the Nyiragongo
Volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when it
erupted on July 12.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
*A wildfire near a village of about 60 residents almost tripled in
size Monday as warm, dry weather gave new life to it and dozens
of other fires in Alaska's Interior. 71 fires are already burning and
fires have scorched more than 2.3 million acres so far.
*A 5.2 earthquake in Slovenia also provoked fear in Austria and
the north-eastern regions of Italy. According to the Slovenian
media, some houses collapsed and two mountaineers are reported
missing in quake-caused landslides.
*Only slight damage was reported Monday morning as the result
of a pair of small earthquakes reported off the central Oregon coast.
The largest was magnitude 4.9.
*More than 10 million people across South Asia have been hit
by what officials are calling the worst monsoon floods for
over a decade. More than 50 people have been killed in India in
the past few days and millions have left their homes as the annual
rains continue to cause problems. A third of Bangladesh has been
affected, with three million people marooned and several people killed.
The worst is yet to come, with more low-lying areas of the country
likely to be severely flooded.
In Nepal, flash floods have killed at least 50 people in the past week.
*In India, 10 landslides, covering an area
of more than 300 metres, have occurred and following heavy rains
yesterday a major landslide occurred at Sonapur.

Monday, July 12, 2004
*Dozens of people were killed and large parts of northeastern India,
Nepal and about one-third of Bangladesh were flooded, after annual
monsoon rains caused several regional rivers to burst their banks.
* Extreme temperatures, which have killed at least 22 people in
Romania in the space of a week, continued to plague Europe yesterday,
with Greece sweltering in a heatwave and parts of Germany
under a blanket of snow.
*More than 87 per cent of New South Wales, Australia is now
officially in drought, the worst position in nearly a year.
*A pair of wildfires had merged Sunday in Arizona as firefighters
fought back flames near a mountaintop observatory and nearly
100 summer homes.
* Wildfires continue to burn in western Miami-Dade County,
where smoke-obscured roadways may have caused
accidents that left one man dead.
*A earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale rattled through
Tibet today, but there were no immediate reports
of casualties or damage.

Saturday, July 10, 2004
* Wildfires ignited earlier this week by lightning strikes continue to
burn in western Miami-Dade County, Florida, roughly doubling in
size compared to the day before.
*Firefighters in Arizona and New Mexico Friday were on alert for
new wildfires that could be triggered by lightning.
*The flood situation in Assam, India, yesterday deteriorated, with
the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries rising alarmingly
following incessant rains. Over two million people are affected.
*High atmospheric pressure has caused high temperatures in
Florida and is elevating anxiety about wildfires and about
hurricanes that might approach from the Atlantic. An offshore
high pressure system called the Bermuda High is a permanent
atmospheric presence over the Atlantic and is usually found near
the island of Bermuda. But this year, the system has demonstrated
a particular affection for the region east of Central Florida. For
months, it has been suppressing the formation of thunderstorms. If
it remains in the same general location, it could be treacherous to
Florida as it could drive hurricanes towards them.

Friday, July 9, 2004
*Firefighters battled wildfires around Athens into the night today after
more than a dozen homes were destroyed. Fires fanned by high winds
killed a man before being halted yesterday within four km of the
newly built Olympic Village. Fire warnings for greater Athens have
been issued for the next three days - with searing temperatures
and gale force winds expected.
*Costa Rica's Arenal volcano, one of the Central American
country's key tourist attractions, erupted on Tuesday. Although
there have been no eruptions since then, the National Emergency
Commission has issued warnings about further eruptions and is
preparing evacuation orders for nearby residents.
*British Columbia, Canada, is experiencing its worst drought in
400 years. Prolonged drought conditions have created a once-in-400-year
fire threat for coastal forests.

Thursday, July 7, 2004
* Flooding and landslides set off by heavy summer rains have killed
288 people and destroyed thousands of homes in the past week
in central and southern China.
*3 were killed after a hurricane hit Eastern China. The hurricane hit
the Xiao region of Anhui province early Tuesday, uprooting trees,
destroying homes, and injuring livestock.
*A landslide has swept a busload of Hindu pilgrims into a river in
northern India killing at least 18 people and leaving 2500 stranded.
*Six people in India were killed when a landslide caused their vehicle
to roll down a deep gorge in West Bengal's Darjeeling hills.
* Mount Egon Volcano in Indonesia is active again after Monday's
calm. An earth tremor lasting about one minute, followed by a huge
explosion, occurred on Tuesday night, after the volcano had
temporarily showed decreasing signs of activity. More than five
centimeters of sulfuric ash has descended on areas around the
volcano. Most trees and roads are covered in ash.
* Small earthquakes, 50 since June 24, persist near Lakeview, Oregon.
Scientists with the National Earthquake Information Center upgraded
the largest of the quakes to a magnitude 4.7 from a magnitude 4.4.
A similar flurry of earthquakes occurred in 1968 about
30 miles east of Lakeview.
*Arizona is in one of their worst droughts on record. It's definitely
the worst drought for a five-year period in their hundred years
of recorded history.
*Typhoon Mindulle brought several days of heavy rain to southern
Taiwan, triggering the worst floods the country has seen in 25 years.

Wednesday, July 6, 2004
* Mudslides and flooding triggered by torrential rains killed at least
17 people in China's south and north-west.
*Miners have been ordered out as wildfires rage in the Yukon. More
than 160 forest fires in the Yukon have burned 5,000 square
kilometres of land in Canada so far this season.
*A strong 5.8 quake rocked Taiwan as the island struggles
with massive flooding.
*More than 16 earthquakes have been detected in south-central
Oregon in the past few days, which has local officials on edge. The
epicenters have been just a few miles east of the southern
Oregon town of Lakeview.
* Sunspots are reaching a 1000-year high - the Sun is more active
now than at anytime in the past 1,000 years, according to an analysis
of ice cores and sunspots by Swiss-based researchers. This latest
analysis shows that the Sun has had a considerable influence on the
global climate in the past, causing the Earth to warm or chill.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004
*At least 30 people have been washed away in flash floods
in India's north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. The
victims were swept away while trapped inside trucks as they
were working on the Bordikrai river late on Monday. The flash
floods also inundated more than 15 villages.
*Two wildfires on a mountain in the southeast corner of
Arizona threatened an observatory that houses the $120 million
Large Binocular Telescope and nearby cabins.
*In Colorado firefighters tackled blazes in three areas of the Western
Slope on Sunday as hot, dry conditions increased the potential for
a forest fire outbreak that is threatening homes.
*Firefighters in Washington state made progress in their battle
with wildfires. Lightning has sparked most of the state's wildfires
so far this season.
*People displaced by the Alaska wildfires began returning home as
cool, humid weather on Sunday helped slow the advance of a fire
that had caused the evacuation of hundreds of homes and businesses.

Monday, April 5, 2004
*At least 53 people were killed as tropical storm Mindulle swept
through the Philippines, Taiwan and southern China.
*Hundreds of residents in Indonesia fled their homes on Sunday
for safer areas on Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara after
Mount Egon volcano erupted again.
*A magnitude 5.0 earthquake in southeastern Alaska has occurred
85 km (50 miles) WSW of Craig (population 1,300) -
1005 km (630 miles) NW of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sunday, April 4, 2004
*Fire crews in British Columbia, Canada are hoping they'll get
a hand from Mother Nature over the next several days in their
battle against the more than 440 fires burning across the province.
*The flood situation in Bangladesh improved as water levels of
most rivers were fell during the last 24 hours.

Saturday, April 3, 2004
*A 5.1 earthquake killed 18 people in Turkey. Several aftershocks
were reported. The quake was centered near the town of Dogu
Beyazit, but also affected Agri, Igdir and the village of Yigimcal.
50 people were reported injured, 20 of them seriously.
*A 53-year-old woman has died of heat exhaustion in southern
Spain, becoming the fifth victim of the heatwave that has gripped
the country for the past week.
* Continuous drought and heat have nearly depleted water resources
in south China's boomtown Shenzhen,which neighbors Hong Kong.
* Wildfires just west of Reno, Nev., are causing smoke problems
in the city. In Arizona the 43,000-acre Willow wildfire is still only
5 percent contained. Huge wildfires continue to scorch Alaska.
Hundreds of residents from small communities north of Fairbanks
were still evacuated as the 225,000-acre Boundary fire crept closer
to homes. The smoke from some 60 wildfires across the state
is visible even from space.
*Rivers in Mississippi are reaching their flood stage as
a tropical air mass continues to fuel rain over the region.

Friday, April 2, 2004
*The Lakeview, Oregon 4.4 earthquake early Wednesday morning
was the latest and largest of about three dozen quakes to rattle the area.
*A noontime lightning storm touched off a pair of serious wildfires
west of Reno, Nevada that charred as much as 900 acres.
* Heavy rains in Southwest China killed 15 people. A landslide in
the city of Yibin killed six people and left seven missing.
*Nine months after Hurricane Juan touched down in the Maritimes,
residents and city workers are still cleaning up a potentially dangerous
mess, with complete clean-up years from completion.
* Typhoons Tingting and Mindulle spin side by side in
the Pacific Ocean.

Friday, April 1, 2004
*Queensland, Australia is fast becoming a tinderbox just waiting
to ignite, with about two thirds of the state rated a high bushfire risk.
Dry conditions are already two or three months ahead of what
could normally be expected for this time of year.
*The early morning earthquake in Illinois is unlikely to signal that the
big one is on the way, geologists say, even though the Midwest is
riddled with ancient faults, which have the power to set off
a quake at any time.
And it is their third earthquake in just more than 30 years, so
researchers are looking a little closer at a geological anomaly
known as the LaSalle Anticline. In an anticline, instead of rocks
breaking as they do at a fault, the rocks fold or bend downward.
*Trends from 45 points along the U.S. Gulf and East coasts, from
South Padre Island, Texas, to Eastport, Maine, show three spots
that are facing significant hurricane risk - south Florida, North Carolina
and the northern Gulf Coast.
*A quake in Lake County in Northeast Ohio registered at a
3.3 on the Richter Scale. Their last earthquake was
in March 2003, and it registered 2.4.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
* Wildfires have grown in Eastern Washington. Meanwhile, wildfires
are burning on more than a half-million acres of remote forest in Alaska,
which is experiencing dry weather and near-record heat.
*The 2004 fire season has not yet truly begun in the West, and already
three fire-fighting pilots have died in crashes.
* Typhoon Mindulle was located approximately 450 miles south-southeast
of Tapei, Taiwan yesterday.
*The latest estimates say the Aral Sea in central Asia is receding
so rapidly it could vanish within the next 15 years. The region has
abnormally high cancer rates and high levels of DNA damage.
The sea was once the world's fourth largest inland body of water.
Now there are vast stretches of desert, laden with heavy doses of
salt and burdened with a toxic mix of chemical residues washed
down over the decades from the farms upstream.
* Global warming could have a severe effect on rice production,
say scientists working in the Philippines. Yields dropped by 10%
for each nighttime degree of warming, an alarming trend since rice is the
staple diet for most of the world's expanding population.
*Chinese meteorologists predict China's "north drought and south
flood" climate pattern will last for at least ten years.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
*At least 16 people died and 24 are missing after heavy rains
lead to mudslides in Nicaragua.
*A magnitude 6.7 earthquake in southeastern Alaska has occurred
365 km (225 miles) south of Juneau. The quake shook residents
out of their sleep and seemed to last about 20 seconds.
*A magnitude 4.5 earthquake in Illinois has occurred, 120 km
(75 miles) WSW of Chicago. (population 2,896,000) The quake
shook homes and rattled windows early Monday morning, awakening
sleeping residents and prompting alarm in many areas. The quake
rumbled residents in northern Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin,
Indiana and Missouri.

Monday, June 28, 2004
*Seven passengers were killed in a landslide that interred the bus they
took on Saturday afternoon in Lingyun County, China. Nine were injured.
*1 person is dead, two missing in rainfall-led flooding in Yunnan, China.
Another 18 people were injured during the flood that has affected
at least 3,000 people and damaged 1,000 houses.
*The flood death toll in Bangladesh has risen to 19. About
40,000 others were marooned in rain-soaked hamlets as rising
rivers engulfed thatched huts, rice farms and muddy roads in
the flood-prone country.
*The flood situation in Assam, India remained grim yesterday as
rising waters in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries inundated vast
tracts of human habitation and agricultural land taking the
death toll in the state to nine.
*Authorities have evacuated seven homes at the top of a cliff in
eastern Tasmania after heavy rains caused a landslip and flooding.
* Lightning struck a group of villagers taking shelter under trees
during torrential rain in China's south-east, killing at least 17 people.
*In New Zealand a South Island radio station is being swamped
with reports of a meteor strike in the Mackenzie Country.
*330 homes were damaged by a rare tornado in Saga, Japan
on Sunday. 13 people were injured.
*Colorado's drought history and future are written, in large part,
by the fickle nature of oceans that lie thousands of miles away.

Sunday, June 27, 2004
* Monsoon floods have killed six people this week, marooned at least
half a million others in their villages and destroyed crops, roads
and railway lines in Bangladesh. Flood waters may still rise as
monsoon rains continue to lash Bangladesh.
*Eight people drowned in rising waters across India, bringing to
29 the death toll from annual floods that began this week and
which have already displaced 300,000 people.
*Fire officials say there are now more than 400 wildfires burning
in British Columbia. Reports say the Canadian province was hit
by 14,000 lightning strikes.
*Dangerous wildfires are still expanding in Alaska after their
record amount of lightning strikes.
*Several wildfires are still burning after lightning sparked numerous
small fires in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests this
week in Washington state.
*Researchers are using new space radar to track even the tiniest
fractions of the earth's movement, including San Francisco Bay Area
landslides. With new satellite radar measurements, very large areas
can be surveyed very quickly to find likely trouble spots. For the
first time, researchers are able to see the landslide from space,
and measure its movement.

Saturday, June 26, 2004
*Rising temperatures are shrinking all but two of the main
glaciers that give Europeans clean water, scientists say. The
current rate of glacier retreat is now reaching levels higher than
those of the last 10,000 years. Climate change is affecting the
whole environment, from the plight of glaciers to plants' growing
seasons. The European Environment Agency is developing a
continent-wide internet information system to help people to
prepare for extreme weather.
*Alaskan wildfires kept 90 miles of highway closed Friday,
stranding at least 150 people and dozens of RVs.
*Australia announced on Friday a national plan to save the
country's rivers, hit by the worst drought in 100 years.
*A tornado in Madison, Wisconsin was the first to
strike there in more than a decade.
*The flood situation continues to be grim in Tripura, India.
Authorities said they have opened more relief shelters in the
worst-hit areas. The total number affected by the flooding is
over 300,000 people.

Friday, June 25, 2004
*Twenty-seven people were confirmed dead and another 27 were
missing after huge rainstorms lashed central China's Hunan
province, forcing the evacuation of 168,000 people.
*There are 298 wildfires burning in British Columbia, almost triple the
number that were raging in the province at this time last year.
*Malaysia is worried that the haze caused this week by wildfires
from the nearby Indonesian island of Sumatra may be a prelude
to an unhealthy smoggy summer.
*As the Brahmaputra river in Assam in India continues to rise,
two persons including a seven-year-old boy have perished
in the flood waters.
*A flood watch is being maintained on river levels in parts of Scotland
after heavy rainfall continued overnight.
*A powerful cyclone has brought a windstorm and heavy rains
to Kamchatka, Russia's southern coast.

Thursday, June 24, 2004
* Wildfires are flaring up all over the Alaskan Interior. Wildfires
started by lightning last week are growing and new fires are cropping
up and spreading through the dry wildlands, outpacing
firefighting resources.
*12 central coastal provinces in Central Vietnam are at high risk
of wildfires due to their long hot spell.
*Three persons were buried in a landslide in Mong Sen village,
in a northern province in Vietnam.
*Scientists are studying a new fault in Colorado. So far they believe
the fault, found under farmland about 6 miles northeast of Anton,
could trigger an earthquake that could cause nearly $3 billion in damage.
*More than 110 glaciers have disappeared from Montana's Glacier
National Park over the past 150 years.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
*West and Central Africa are on the brink of the largest polio
epidemic in recent years, experts have warned.
*Hot weather is hindering fire crews in Alaska, where wildfires
started by lightning have burned more than 80,000 acres.
*After a 15-year drought, Cuba's land looks like the handiwork
of arson - as if someone took a torch and set fire to all the
pastures and meadows in sight.
* Several quakes have occurred off the coast of Northern
California 580 km (360 miles) WNW of Sacramento:
magnitudes 4.0, 3.7, 4,6, 4.5 & 3.8
*A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1
shook northern Japan on Tuesday. There were no reports
of injuries or damage.
*There are differences in the level of preparedness for earthquakes
among some of the Japanese prefectures that are likely to be hit by
an expected Tokai earthquake.
* Tornado touchdowns are running ahead of last year in North
Dakota. June and July are considered the most active months
of North Dakota's tornado season, forecasters say.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
*Powerful Typhoon Dianmu lashed western Japan with heavy rains
and strong winds, grounding airplanes and forcing hundreds to
evacuate their homes. The three people drowned in stormy seas in
stormy seas over the weekend as the typhoon approached Japan's
main islands, while two others were missing. Seven people were
injured. Typhoons generally hit Japan during August and September,
and it is rare for them to make their way across the archipelago in June.
*A tornado tore through eastern Bangladesh, injuring at least
20 people and leaving about 300 villagers homeless.
*A worldwide experiment to test the plausibility of the disaster
movie 'The Day After Tomorrow' starts today. Computer users
across the world are being invited to download and run a climate
model of what may happen this century. The test will see how
predictions may change if the behaviour of the Gulf Stream
is affected, as the film shows.
*Glacier scientists trying to understand more about how the
huge bodies of ice behave have made use of innovative
wireless "electronic pebbles" to help. It is the first time such
sensors have been put in glaciers to collect information and transmit
it instantly over the net to computers elsewhere. The low-powered
pebble probes are placed near the bottom of the glaciers and move
with the ice, recording temperature, pressure, speed and the
makeup of the glacier's sediment.

Monday, June 21, 2004
*Tests on patients with probable Sars suggest the deadly virus
can be detected in, and transmitted by, tears.
*Residents living along the Mississippi River are watching rising
waters. East Dubuque, Iowa may flood worst than first predicted.
*Crews in British Columbia are battling to keep a forest fire from
getting any closer to homes near Lillooet, 300 km north of Vancouver.
*A car-sized meteor rocked Missouri residents on Friday morning.
The likely culprit was a "sizable" meteor ripping apart as it blasted
through the atmosphere at 100,000 mph.

Sunday, June 20, 2004
*Since Thursday, Mount Ijen volcano in Idonesia has shown
increasing activities so the area has been closed to tourist visits.
There have been sulphuric rocks coming out of the edge of the
crater, the fluid in it has turned from green to white, and it has
emitted hot foam. There are also increasing tremors. Ijen is
about four hours from Mount Bromo, which erupted on June 8
killing 2 people.
*The eruption of the Bezymyanny volcano has started on the
Kamchatka peninsula (Russia's northeast). Its eruptions are strong
but short and occur once or twice a year. The last were Janaury 14 & 15.
* Record-breaking lightning ignited Interior Alaska wildfires.
Lightning struck forests and tundra almost 15,000 times over
a few days this week, setting a record for the most bolts in a
single day while sparking 47 new wildfires.
*The drought in the Western U.S. could be the region's worst in
500 years, and the arid conditions may persist for several decades.
*The continuing drought has become worse than the Dust Bowl
and will likely lead to a drought emergency in southern Nevada
by the end of the year.
* Cuba's worst drought in a decade has dried up reservoirs and
stunted crops, including sugar cane for next year's harvest.
*Some 1.4 million Kenyans are threatened with hunger because of
food shortage, especially in regions affected by prolonged drought.
*A freak tornado killed at least three people, injured 14 others and
caused widespread damage in a small town near the Turkish capital.
* Storm tours capitalize on the public's thirst to confront Mother
Nature's fury. "Storm tours" are typically weeklong ventures for
which people pay in the neighborhood of $1,600 to traipse
across Tornado Alley.

Saturday, June 19, 2004
*The three-month monsoon period officially began on Tuesday
and flood-prone Bangladesh has since experienced
virtually ceaseless rain.
*Korea will see rain over the weekend, as hurricane Dianmu is
headed north accompanied by rain clouds.
* Flood damage in Wisconsin is at $6 million and still rising.
*Following more than 10 hours continuous rainfall, most parts
of Lagos State in Africa were yesterday taken over by flood.
*An urgent landslide warning sent residents in Thailand along the
border of Phrae and Phayao scurrying yesterday to move their
belongings out of harm's way.
*Current wildfire prevention strategies are giving Californians a
false sense of security and don't go far enough to eliminate the
threat of catastrophic wildfires, says the "father" of
restoration forestry, Thomas M. Bonnicksen.

Friday, June 18, 2004
* The world is turning to dust, with increasingly vast
areas becoming desert wastelands every year and threatening to
send millions of people fleeing to greener countries, the U.N. said.
The transformation into desert seems to be picking up speed -
doubling its pace since the 1970s. One third of the earth's surface
is now at risk. Entire parts of the world may become uninhabitable.
*The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects
drought conditions to persist across the western Plains through September.
* Drought continues to plague the upper Missouri River basin, despite
spring rains, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.
*The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China and
neighboring northeastern provinces are sustaining the severest
drought since New China was founded in 1949.
*Three separate wildfires are burning in southern Utah - all
are lightning caused.
*A landslide caused by continuing torrential rains killed at least
three people in southern Kyrgyzstan earlier this week.
*In Fiji a landslide threatens livelihoods. Nawi villagers say
they are finding it hard to transport their produce to the
market because of the landslide near the village.
* Hurricane Isabel may be long gone, but her effects are still being
felt on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
*NASA data shows hurricanes help plants bloom in 'ocean deserts'.

Thursday, June 17, 2004
*The possibility of aftershocks from a magnitude-5.2 earthquake
centered about 46 miles offshore of Baja California are "not very
probable," a seismologist said Wednesday. The first quake struck
at 3:29pm on Tuesday. It was followed by a magnitude-3.6
aftershock at 5:43 p.m. The first quake was felt in San Diego,
Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Had it been centered
closer to dry land it would have caused some "localized damage."
There is only a 5 percent chance that the quake was a foreshock
to a larger quake.
*The U.S. is on pace for a record tornado year.
It may be one of the most active tornado seasons in U.S. history.
*Millions of people still continue to suffer food shortages due to
ongoing drought in parts of the south and east of Afghanistan.
*Claims that wind turbines are responsible for the three-year
drought blighting parts of the sub-continent are being investigated
by a group of India's most eminent scientists.
*If all the concrete structures in America's 48 contiguous states
were added up, they would cover a space almost as big as Ohio.
The replacement of heavily vegetated areas by concrete cover
reduces the depletion of carbon dioxide, which plants absorb
from the atmosphere. This can speed up global warming. It can
also alter the water cycle and disrupt aquatic ecosystems. The
population of the US is increasing by three million a year.
Concrete cover is spreading to match.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
*A passenger train derailed when it hit boulders washed on to a
river bridge by heavy monsoon rains in western India and 14
people are feared dead and 115 injured.
*An offshore earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale swayed
buildings in city of San Diego, California and was felt across the region.
*A small earthquake shook southeast Missouri in the area of the
New Madrid fault early Tuesday, rattling dishes but causing
no damage or injuries.
*A strong 5.9 earthquake has struck southern Chile, but there
are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
*A strong earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale
struck under the Greek-Turkish sea border Tuesday.
*An earthquake measuring 3.9 hit the city of Takestan in Qazvin
province, in northern Iran, early Tuesday.
*The devastating 6.5 earthquake at Bam, Iran, in December 2003
was caused by a rare, hidden fault that is invisible at the surface,
researchers have claimed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
*A 5.6 earthquake shook Mexico City yesterday, swaying
skyscrapers, panicking residents and temporarily knocking
out power to some neighborhoods.
*A system in the Gulf of Mexico is being watched today for any
development that could turn it into the season's first tropical storm.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami has been checking the
Gulf system over the weekend and found much disorganization.
*Representatives from Hawaii and 16 Pacific nations and territories
are meeting in Hawaii this week to plan a regional strategy for
helping island economies recover from natural disasters.
* Severe thunderstorms swept across the midwestern U.S. during
the weekend, spinning off tornadoes, causing power outages and
delaying travel for airline passengers. Two people were killed in
storm-related accidents in Missouri.
* Three wildfires broke out around the San Franciso Bay Area
in California on Sunday afternoon, all within the same hour.
*Nearly one month old, the Peppin Fire in New Mexico continues
to elude firefighters' complete control due to rugged, inaccessible
terrain, drought, high winds, and abundance of dead trees
and other fuel.
*Seven pilgrims were killed on Sunday in a landslide at Baldora, India.
*Global warming has caused a sharp rise in sea levels around
Hong Kong and could make the city of seven million people
more vulnerable to floods during severe storms.

Monday, June 14, 2004
*Vulcanologists downgraded the alert on Indonesia's northern
Mount Awu volcano, saying it had cooled after an eruption
several days ago.
*The number of people vulnerable to floods around the world is
expected to double to at least two billion by 2050, particularly in Asia,
due to climate change and population growth, a U.N. expert warns.
*Three fishermen have drowned and about 200 others are missing
after a powerful sudden storm sank at least 18 trawlers off
Bangladesh's southern coast. The storm was spawned by a
monsoon depression in the Bay of Bengal. It is moving
toward India's eastern coast.
*Efforts are under way to try to control an aquatic plant which
is threatening to choke one of South America's largest bodies
of water. "Dog weed" or water lentil - a floating green plant - already
covers a quarter of western Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo. Officials
have declared a state of emergency as the lake is turning green at an
astonishing rate. Experts believe it may be linked to recent heavy
rains, which contaminated the water.
*Iran has dropped the idea of moving their capital from Teheran
to a less quake-prone area. Experts predict that Teheran could
be hit by a quake measuring more than 7 on the Richter scale
within the next few years. More than 11 million people live in or
commute into Teheran during daytime. Considering the capital's
fragile residential buildings, a 7 degree quake would be catastrophic.
*Arizona could be in the grips of a mega-drought, and the
temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean could be partly to blame.
* Four years of drought have shrunk "Big Mac," once the largest
lake in the four-state region of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and Kansas.

Sunday, June 13, 2004
*Some residents of a Missouri suburb lost their lakeside views this
week when a 9.3-hectare manmade lake drained down a sinkhole.
Lake Chesterfield, once home to sailboats and waterfowl, was
reduced to a muddy crater filled with rotting fish after heavy
rain fell for several days and eroded the underground limestone.
*A meteorite has crashed through the roof of a house in Auckland,
New Zealand, much to the surprise of the home's owners.
*The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
is amassing evidence showing that Kilauea Volcano can erupt
with greater force than previously believed.
*Sydney, Australia's main source of drinking water, Warragamba
Dam, has dropped to its lowest level in more than 20 years.
*U.N. officials say drought in Eritrea has been so intense people
are migrating in search of new water sources and fresh
grazing lands for their animals.
*While Haiti grapples with the results of devastating floods
along its border with the Dominican Republic, a new report by
the humanitarian organisation CARE International is warning
of a potential catastrophe due to drought.
*A Chinese scientist living in California claims he can predict
earthquakes by cloud formations apparently caused by the heat
given off by strained seismic faults.

Saturday, June 12, 2004
*A 4.8 earthquake rattled northeastern Japan.
* Wildfires burning in New Mexico destroyed two houses and
jumped across the Rio Grande, forcing evacuations.
*Film crews from around the world are rolling into Hawai'i
Volcanoes National Park for that red-hot shot of lava oozing
into the ocean from Kilauea volcano.
* Global climate patterns stretching back 740,000 years have
been confirmed by a three-kilometre-long ice core drilled
from the Antarctic. Analysis of the ice proves our planet has had
eight ice ages during that period, punctuated by rather brief warm
spells - one of which we enjoy today. If past patterns are followed
in the future, we can expect our "mild snap" to last another 15,000 years.

Friday, June 11, 2004
*For the second time this week a small earthquake (2.9, 3.7) has
been reported in southern Oklahoma.
*Concerns about the safety of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant
following the San Simeon Earthquake in California dominated a
town hall meeting of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
*The man hailed as the world's leading earthquake predictor, who
has proven his ability forecasting quakes in California and Japan,
now wants to help Israel become the forecasting center for the
Middle East. His four symptoms that might point to an eventual
large quake: small quakes in an area - becoming more frequent,
becoming more clustered in time and space, occurring almost
simultaneously over large distances within a seismic region, and
the ratio of medium-sized quakes to smaller quakes increasing.
If the symptoms fall in line, a nine-month alarm is given.
*A tornado has ripped through a town in the central Philippines,
destroying hundreds of flimsy houses and killing at least two people,
while typhoon "Gener" brought flooding.

Thursday, June 10, 2004
* Mt. Bromo volcano, in East Java, shot out a shower of rocks and
stones the size of footballs yesterday, killing 2 tourists - a 13-year-old
boy and an Indonesian, and injuring five others. Search and
rescue teams planned to scour the slopes for any further victims.
*A major eruption shook Mount Awu volcano in northeastern
Indonesia today, hurling stones and spewing smoke, but causing
no injuries because the thousands of villagers living along the
mountains slopes already were evacuated.
*There may be a connection between dry Mays and hurricanes
striking Florida. Since 1912, 16 hurricanes have affected the
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County region. The average
May rainfall totals recorded at the three major airports in those
counties was below normal in years when 15 of those storms struck.
Last month was the 13th-driest May on record in Florida. Eight of
the 12 driest Mays produced a tropical storm or hurricane that
struck the three-county region. The driest May on record was 1965,
when Hurricane Betsy struck; the second-driest was 1992, the
year of Hurricane Andrew.
*For millennia, it seems, almost nothing has been safe from
the summer hurricanes - not World War II warships,
not treasure-filled galleons, perhaps not even the dinosaurs.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004
*Mount Awu in Indonesia continues to show indications that it will
erupt. There is continuous smoke and small stones being thrown up
to 2,000 metres high. Earthquakes are also happening continuously,
although they are still not very strong. As of mid-morning on Tuesday,
20,000 villagers had been evacuated and the island's airport had been
closed. One of Indonesia's most famous volcanoes, Mount Bromo,
on the main island of Java, also began belching smoke 1.8 miles into
the air on Tuesday, prompting officials to raise the alert level there.
*Taiwan has issued a warning of landslides and torrential rain as
tropical storm Conson approaches the island's south.
*Utah's drought is the worst in 6 years.
*Millions of Tehranis fear the Iranain capital will be hit by an
impending earthquake of biblical proportions as rumours
keep making the rounds and dates are predicted of when the
killer quake will strike. But scientists say the faults under Tehran have
not moved since March. A quake measuring over 6 degrees on the
Richter scale could kill more than one million people.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004
*About 20,000 people have been evacuated from the slopes of
Mount Awu volcano in northern Indonesia which has begun
showering hot ash on villages. The vulcanology office on Sunday
raised the status on the volcano to "beware", the highest alert level.
*A fresh earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale jolted the
mountains north of Tehran in Iran on Monday, just over a week after
a quake in the region left 35 dead and hundreds injured. On May 28
a quake measuring between 5.5 and 6.1 on the Richter scale hit the
Elburz mountain range, followed since then by 297 aftershocks.
*Twelve mountain climbers will ascend the erupting Shiveluch
volcano on Kamchatka, a peninsula in northeastern Russia.
Presently, the volcano's activity has decreased, however it is still
erupting. Seismologists are registering a series of earthquakes
in the area of the cupola.
*The drought in New South Wales, Australia continues to worsen,
according to the latest State Government figures.
*Colorado's populous Front Range faces an above-average
risk of wildfire this summer, says an updated risk assessment
by an interagency team.

Monday, June 7, 2004
*A wildfire in Southern California scorched more than
5,000 acres Saturday and forced the evacuation of hundreds.
*Vents have been found in the Nordic Seas that may have released
enough methane to cause massive global warming 55 million years ago.

Sunday, June 6, 2004
*The toll of dead and missing has risen to more than 3300
two weeks after floods that raged through Haiti and the
Dominican Republic wiped out entire communities.
*A landslide killed three people and buried at least 21 others
under rubble yesterday afternoon in a mountainous
area of southwestern China.
*After five years of drought in southwest Kansas they have
had their driest May on record.
*Plants in wet tropical forests adapt to changes in precipitation
and become as efficient in their water use during droughts as plants
in arid deserts. There is a point beyond which plants may not
be able to acclimate to precipitation changes.
*Two small earthquakes (2.2 & 2.4) have rolled through
Central Oregon in the past two weeks. Both were in areas
not known for quake activity.

Saturday, June 5, 2004
*One of the UK's best-known scientists says only a catastrophe
will prompt the world to tackle the threat of climate change. He
thinks the Earth's attempts to restore its equilibrium may
eliminate civilisation and most humans. He wants a rapid end to
the destruction of natural habitats, which he says are key to
planetary climate and chemistry.
* Flood warnings in Fiji - torrential rains that have already
forced the evacuation of hundreds of villagers could cause sudden
flash flooding on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu today. Two months
ago rainstorms caused major damage and killed 11 people.
*A meteor about the size of a computer monitor flashed across
the U.S. Northwest sky early Thursday, setting off booms
that stunned witnesses. It was the most dramatic celestial light
and sound show over Puget Sound in decades. The speeding
meteor - estimated to be the size of a large garbage can -
was spotted for about three seconds at 2:40 am, when it broke
into pieces.

Friday, June 4, 2004
*No injuries or damage were reported after earthquakes rattled
the Lake Tahoe, Nevada area - the largest was 4.5.
*In Iran, quakes continue to hit the city of Bam.
A 3.4 hit on Thursday. A devastating earthquake with a
magnitude of 6.3 rocked the historical city of Bam on December 26,
2003, killing over 30,000 people. That quake was the fourth
largest in terms of victims since 1970.
*It was an event people in Northern New York never thought
would happen - a tornado touched down Tuesday evening.
*June in Darwin, Australia, is normally dry, but this year, the first
two days brought more rain than the city normally
sees in the entire month.
-Moderate drought conditions have returned northeast Georgia.
-May rains have washed northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas
off a national drought map for the first time in almost two years.
-Drought emergency areas were declared in three more Idaho
counties, bringing the statewide total to 16.
-The Western U.S. drought probably will spread this summer, government
forecasters say, and warmer than normal temperatures are expected.
- Western forests may be on the brink of epochal change, driven to
permanent retreat in lower elevations by years of drought and
decades of fire.
-After six years of drought in much of the West, sagebrush lands -
critical to wildlife, agriculture and underground water supplies - are dying.
- Summer forecasts call for more heat and drought in parts of
Washington and Oregon. There's also high potential for drought
in Oklahoma and north Texas.
-Runoff in all of Colorado's Western Slope rivers peaked two to
three weeks early, portending another summer of
low rivers and drought.
-Despite recent rain and snow, most of Teton County in Montana,
is still either at an "extreme" or "exceptional" drought rating.
-Dry weather has increased the risk for wildfires in Florida.
- A cold, rainy May at least put a damper on drought concerns
in Minnesota. Whether Minnesota is really past drought
concerns will depend on rainfall events through the summer.

Thursday, June 3, 2004
* Heavy rains in the northeast Brazilian state of Alagoas have left
20 people dead and 2100 homeless, mainly from mudslides in
hilly slums around the state capital, Maceio.
*A wildfire forced the evacuation yesterday of about 60 families in
northern Florida after growing rapidly during the night, and a huge
blaze in a New Mexico forest jumped containment lines.
*Natural disasters, drought, civil conflict and disease have left
35 countries with serious shortages of food.
*In Hawaii, the Kilauea Volcano is sparking high concern. Streams
of lava are pouring into the Pacific. It is the first time the lava has
reached the ocean since July of last year. But so far, there have
been no noticeable tremors from the volcano. Eruption updates

Wednesday, June 2, 2004
*There is a widespread misconception that in natural disasters,
dead bodies pose public health risks and cause epidemics, but
the bodies do not pose a threat to health, according to a
study. They should be treated with dignity and treated in line
with local customs and traditions.
*A landslide triggered by torrential rains buried a village
in China's southwest, killing eight people.
*There are hundreds of thousands of mud volcanoes
scattered all over the globe. Most of the time they just bubble
away gently, but when a mud volcano suddenly ejects large amounts
of gas, there is a risk of asphyxiation for humans and animals in the
immediate vicinity. Most mud volcanoes are found on the sea floor
where they cause little harm.
*Massachusetts sees about one earthquake a year and none have
caused major damage in the Boston area since one at
Cape Ann in 1755.
*Plans are under way in California to put 10,000-gallon portable
tanks in strategic locations in the Angeles National Forest, and
several other locations, to help firefighters better control
wildfires this season.
*Australia's agricultural economy is facing a sharp decline over
the next 12 months amid fears the worst drought in the
country's history is back after a brief respite.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004
* Hurricane season begins today, and 60 percent of those
most at-risk are unprepared, according to a national poll.
* Tornadoes and severe weather in the midwestern United
States have destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at
least eight people. Tens of thousands of homes have been left
without power as high winds swept through eight states. Heavy
rains also caused flooding in Illinois, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
At least 84 tornadoes were spotted in the last 24 hours in Indiana,
Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Iowa. The worst of the storms
appear to be over, although Louisiana, Texas and the mid-Atlantic
states could still see some severe weather.
*Scientists have found firm evidence for a global winter following
the asteroid impact that is thought to have killed off
the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
*Mount Nyamulagira and Mount Nyiragongo volcanoes were both
erupting on May 25th in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Monday, May 31, 2004
*Aid workers say that up to 1,500 people are still missing in
the Haitian village of Mapou, one of the areas worst affected
by Caribbean flooding. Continuing rain is hampering rescue efforts.
At least 2,000 people are known to have died or disappeared in
severe flooding in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
In Mapou, the several thousand that
survived are now almost entirely depending on
international aid to stay alive. The survivors are not out of danger,
as Haiti's rainy season, which lasts several months, is due to begin.
Floodwaters which had been beginning to drain from the
worst-affected areas look set to rise again.
* Tornadoes have ripped through northwest Missouri and parts
of Nebraska, killing three people and injuring at least eight others.
*A magnitude 5.1 earthquake in southern Alaska has occurred
125 km (80 miles) W of Anchorage (population 260,000).

Sunday, May 30, 2004
*A 4.4 earthquake has shaken the flood-hit border of Dominican
Republic and Haiti, where torrents of water and mudslides killed
more than 1100 people this week.
Aid agencies say bad weather is slowing efforts to get help to
survivors of the flooding .
*A magnitude 6.6 earthquake off the east coast of Honshu, Japan
has occurred 210 km (130 miles) SE of Tokyo.
*South Korea registered a 5.6 earthquake, its strongest
quake in 26 years.
*Earthquakes not only shake up the local area but they also
increase the rate of earthquake events locally and at a distance.
Earthquake triggering happens a lot more than was thought,
but the mechanism is not well understood. Researchers believe
they know why a delay exists between the vibration waves of
the initial earthquake and the motion on other faults.
*A powerful 7.9 earthquake that rocked Alaska in 2002 not
only triggered small earthquakes almost 2,000 miles away at
Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park – as was reported at the
time – but also changed the timing and behavior of some of
Yellowstone's geysers and hot springs, a new study says.
The Denali quake was one of the strongest of its type in
North America in the past 150 years.

Saturday, May 29, 2004
*Rescue efforts have been going on through the night in
Iran following a violent 6.3 earthquake which shook much
of the north of the country on Friday. About 30 people are
reported to have been killed in towns and villages over a large area.
Dozens of after-shocks were recorded but of diminishing intensity.
The total number of injured is reported to be in the region of 150.
Roads have been ripped apart in the worst-hit areas.
*Four bodies were retrieved, while 14 persons remained missing
as of 10 pm Friday, one day after a disastrous flood in central China.
*A cyclone that swept through western Myanmar last week
left more than 140 people dead or missing, and about
18,000 people homeless. It was the worst storm to hit the
impoverished and remote area in more than 30 years.
* Drought-hit northern Somalia faces a looming disaster, the U.N.
warns. Without substantial rains in the next two weeks, northern
Somalia could suffer worsening drought conditions that would
overtake the current capacity of aid agencies.
*Forecasters predict three major storms this hurricane season.
Hurricane forecaster William Gray and his team say there will
be 14 named storms for the season. The forecast calls for six
named storms in the Atlantic that do not reach hurricane status.
*Hurricane haters overlook the good side - "If it doesn't kill you,
flood your home, or send a tree crashing through your roof,
a hurricane can be a good thing."

Friday, May 28, 2004
*As many as 1,000 people are feared missing in the remote
Haitian town of Mapou after last weekend's disastrous floods.
At least 300 bodies have been found so far and the town remains
submerged. Thousands of people have been made homeless by
the floods, in which about 1,000 people in Haiti and the Dominican
Republic are so far known to have died. More rain is forecast.
*Scientists warn that the world is heading for a catastrophic
earthquake within the next century that will kill at least
1 million people in one of the huge cities of the developing world,
where strict building codes either don't exist or are rarely enforced.
As those cities grow, millions of people are moving into flimsy
buildings within easy reach of major faults. It wouldn't take a big
quake to bring those buildings down. A magnitude 6.7 quake in
Tehran, Iran, would kill 200,000 to 400,000 people and knock
down more than 80 percent of the city's buildings, according to
a recent scenario. There are now 35 metropolitan areas in the
world with populations of 2 million or more within
125 miles of an earthquake zone.
*Scientists believe they are a step closer to understanding the
way tectonic stresses translate into earthquakes in New Zealand.
In what scientists consider a significant advance, they have linked
unusual land movements north of Wellington to a recent swarm
of earthquakes under Upper Hutt. The latest findings suggest
slipping or "slow earthquakes" are occurring.

Thursday, May 27, 2004
*Six people died and dozens more fell ill as temperatures soared
to 47 degrees Celsius (116 Fahrenheit) in a heatwave in
central Pakistan on May 21 and 22.
*In the previous 24 hours the Popocatepetl volcano showed a
small increase of activity. There were 9 small exhalations
accompanied by steam, gas and small amounts of ash. The
most important exhalation produced an ash plume that reached
1.5 km above the crater. There were reports of ash fall in
Tetela del Volcán, Mor. Also there was a volcano-tectonic
microeartquake of magnitude 2.4.
*An extended volcanic eruption in Iceland in 1783 may have killed
more than 10,000 people in England. In Iceland alone, some 9,000
people - about a quarter of the population - were killed. But
the massive discharge from beneath the Earth also fumigated
many parts of Europe with volcanic gases and airborne particles.
*In Italy, Stromboli volcano's frequent but mild explosions usually allowed
it to let off steam without a heavy outpouring of lava. These small
outbursts had been so long characteristic of it, that the term
"Strombolian" is used to describe similar activity by volcanoes
worldwide. But early last summer, shedding its predictable image,
Stromboli poured out a constant river of lava which slid into the sea.
The lava flow stopped in July 2003. The classical Strombolian
activity has returned, with some moments of particular intensity.
A ban remains until at least the end of 2004 on tourist treks
to the crater. Webam - click on Stromboli Q.400.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
*Floods unleashed by torrential rains killed more than 80 people
in a small farming town and left about 200 missing when a
swollen river rushed through a neighbourhood, sweeping away
dozens of houses in the Dominican Republic. 58 people were
reported killed in flooding in Haiti. Meteorologists predict the
heavy rains will continue throughout today and Wednesday.
Torrential rain has been falling for more than two weeks in the
Dominican Republic, swelling rivers and saturating the land.
In the neighbouring U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, at least one
man was missing and more than 100 people were staying in
shelters due to flooding. Puerto Rico has seen unusually large
amounts of rain this month.
*The Des Plaines River in Illinois is expected to crest this
morning and it would be six inches above the record-setting
level of the 1986 flood.
*The National Weather Service has identified Southwest Florida
as one of the most hurricane-vulnerable areas of the United States.
Southwest Florida experienced 49 storms of hurricane intensity
from 1873 to 1993. Southwest Florida has a hurricane-shelter
deficit of 169,043 spaces and the Tampa Bay region has a
208,554 shelter-space deficiency. A significant shortage of
evacuation routes and shelters, coupled with the tremendous
increase in number of people living in hurricane-prone areas,
has contributed to a critical public-safety problem.
Hurricane season begins June 1.
*It is the 44th anniversary since a deadly tsunami struck Hilo,
Hawaii on May 23, 1960, leaving few surviving landmarks.
The 35-foot wall of water destroyed much of Hilo and
killed 61 people. The tsunami was generated by an
8.6 magnitude earthquake in Chile that traveled about
6200 miles before reaching Hawaii. It caused little
damage outside Hilo.

Monday, May 24, 2004
-So far this month there have been more than 100 tornadoes
reported around the United States. In the month of May in 2003
there were 539 tornadoes.
*Houses lay crumpled to their foundations, and hundreds of
thousands of people were without power after storms tore
through the Midwest, including a tornado that leveled the
tiny Iowa town of Bradgate.
*At least one person was killed as a storm system that spawned more
than a dozen tornadoes swept through Nebraska.
*A rare tornado touched down in Spokane during a storm that
also brought lightning, hail and heavy rain to northeast Washington.
It was a wild week around Washington state with numerous
thunderstorms, flash floods, hail and tornadoes. The state
averages about one tornado annually; but in just the past
three weeks, they have recorded four.
*The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched
down near Pendleton, Oregon on Sunday afternoon.
*A cleanup has begun after an unusually strong tornado
swept through southwestern Ontario, leaving a path of
destruction in the town of Mitchell.
*With warm temperatures in March and April, the grounding loss
of 33 heavy air tankers for safety reasons, and a years-long drought
continuing, Western states and the federal government are grimly
facing the possibility of an exceptionally devastating fire season.

Sunday, May 23, 2004
*At least four people were killed and thousands were affected
by severe flash flooding in northern Thailand. Some 6019
villagers from 2113 households were affected and 79 houses
completely destroyed in the worst flash flood to hit in a decade.
Large areas of Thailand have experienced heavy rains since
Wednesday, with the rainy season beginning well ahead of schedule.
*Canadian scientists are eagerly awaiting the return of a "slow
earthquake" that could give them clues to when and where the
next major quake will strike. Researchers thought they had spotted
the start of the phenomenon in late April near Centralia, Washington.
south of Seattle, but the activity quieted down before it reached
north to Vancouver Island. The recently discovered phenomenon
is believed to occur about every 14 months, which would put the
next event anytime now. The coastal region of northwest Washington
state and southeast British Columbia is prone to earthquakes, and
scientists warn that the area gets hit with a devastating shake of
magnitude 9 about every 500 years, the last was in 1700.
*Geologists are preparing to dig a trench into what they suspect
is Colorado's longest earthquake fault, a 95-mile scar across
the Great Plains east of Denver. The most pressing questions
they hope to answer are: Is the arrow-straight Anton Scarp
really a fault? If so, is it still active and capable of producing
large earthquakes? Colorado's largest-known earthquake was
a magnitude 6.6 that occurred Nov. 7, 1882.

Saturday, May 22, 2004
*A major landslide in the mountain resort Sa Pa district of Vietnam
has buried the home of a family with seven members inside, killing
three of them and injuring four.
*New Zealand's Geological and Nuclear Sciences have installed a
digital camera in the crater of a remote New Zealand volcano which
makes up most of White Island in the Bay of Plenty, east of Auckland.
A photo taken every hour is posted on their website.
But suddenly a pink dinosaur has appeared in
the shot, placed there by some prankster. They are not planning on
removing it, counting on the sulphur and high acid environment
to deal with the creature.
*The current volcanic hazard-zone map for Hawaii divides the island
into nine zones based on rates of coverage by past lava flows.
Zones 1-3 are limited to the most active volcanoes, Kilauea and
Mauna Loa. Zone 1 is the most hazardous, and it includes the summits
and rift zones of these volcanoes, where vents have been repeatedly
active in the last 200 years and lava flows will originate in the future.
Areas adjacent to and down slope of the rift zones make up zone 2.
All 186 houses destroyed in the ongoing eruption of Kilauea were
in zone 2, most about 13 km (8 miles) from the vent. Preparations are
underway to produce the next generation of lava-flow hazard maps,
based on the probability of an area being covered by lava in a given time,
say 50 years. 12,000 people live in the two highest lava-flow hazard zones.

Friday, May 21, 2004
*Scientists in the Northern Mariana Islands are warning that the
Anatahan volcano, which erupted two months ago, is becoming
dangerous and could become more explosive at any time with
little or no warning. The volcano's seismic energy release
has nearly doubled since May 17.
* Mount Awu, an active volcano on an island in the northernmost
Indonesian province of North Sulawesi, has shown increased
activity, spewing flames and smoke. Some villagers have
already left their homes on the slope.
*A previously unknown underwater volcano has been discovered
off the coast of Antarctica. The finding helps explain mariners'
historical reports of discoloured water in the area. There is no
previous scientific record of active volcanoes in the region
where the new peak was discovered.
*Medium to large earthquakes occurring along the central San
Andreas Fault appear to cluster at regular three-year intervals -
a previously unnoticed cycle that provides some hope for
forecasting larger quakes along this and other California faults.
Assuming the three-year cycle has continued, the next upswing
in preceding microquakes should occur in late 2004. The southern
portion of the central San Andreas, just north of Parkfield, showed
a different periodicity in microquakes, about 1.5 years. Large
quakes are not known to occur on this part of the fault.
*Right on schedule, a slow earthquake apparently has started deep
beneath western Washington. At least nine previous so-called slow
earthquakes have been documented going back to 1992. They
seem to occur every 14 months or so, and last about a month.
The last one happened in February and March of last year. A big
question is whether deep tremors and the slow slip are the same event,
or if they are separate events that are somehow interrelated. Making
that determination will help in understanding whether they are adding
to or relieving stress in the Cascadia subduction zone
off the Washington and B.C. coast. The current event is expected
to continue for another week or two. It started farther south than
previous episodes, so it might last longer if it migrates its full path,
all the way up to Vancouver Island.
*Seismologists have identified a wider region for potential
large earthquakes in the Midwest. That could mean St. Louis
is at greater risk for damage from future quakes. Odds of a
quake actually occurring are no greater. The probability that
a quake of large size could strike the New Madrid region in
the next 50 years is 1 in 10, while a smaller earthquake in that
period is 40 percent likely. Research suggests that a large New
Madrid quake could trigger a quake on a fault nowhere
near New Madrid. "It opens up the Pandora's Box for
other parts of the country."

Thursday, May 20, 2004
*The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has so
far recorded 15 aftershocks, as of Wednesday, in the Nabunturan
faultline since the May 16 earthquake that shook most parts of
Mindanao with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale.
*One year later, Algiers and the surrounding region that was
ravaged by a killer 6.8 earthquake last May still bear the painful
scars of a catastrophe that claimed 2,277 lives and sharpened
the trauma of a country trying to recover from a decade of bloody
disarray. It is unlikely the situation will return to normal
for at least two years.
*An expert predicts that tree-killing beetles will have a more
deadly effect on forests in the Rocky Mountains this year than
wildfires. The sixth year of drought in the West has left scores
of water-starved trees without the ability to produce sap or
chemicals to keep the beetles at bay.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
*Eight people drowned when a ferry capsized and a man was
killed by lightning as Typhoon Nida lashed the Philippines,
causing floods and landslides that also buried entire villages.
More than 11,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
*Three women were killed after heavy rains triggered flash
floods in Vietnam's central coastal province of Binh Thuan.
*A 5.8 earthquake shook buildings in Taiwan's capital, Taipei,
today but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
*After two earthquakes struck the Philippines, at 7 pm. Sunday and
4:12 pm Monday, text messages were sent to people in Nabunturan
and Maco and neighboring areas which sent them into panic with
reports that Mt. Angelo would erupt. The Philippine Institute of
Volcanology and Seismology says that there is no such
volcano named Mt. Angelo and no sign of eruptive activity.
*Seismic detectors placed in deep gold mines to monitor safety
are shedding light on the small earthquakes not usually picked up
by surface based seismic arrays. We will not understand how
earthquakes work until we understand the little ones better.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
*Three fishermen are missing and more than 7,000 ferry passengers
stranded in the eastern and central Philippines today as
hurricane-force winds from Typhoon Nida forced ports to close.
*A coral reef off Western Australia has suffered huge damage
in March from tropical cyclone Fay which scientists have described
as nature at its wildest. The degree of destruction observed at
Scott Reef is extremely rare, at most a one-in-100-years event.
Green algae now dominates the areas once abundant with coral.
The few coral survivors are only remnant stumps.

Monday, May 17, 2004
*An offshore earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale
rattled eastern Taiwan yesterday, but there were no immediate
reports of damage or injuries. A quake with a magnitude of 5.8
shook Taiwan on May 1, killing two Taiwanese and injuring
a Canadian tourist.
* Sakurajima Volcano on Kyushu Island has erupted in southern
Japan, shaking the nearby area with an explosion and
spewing smoke high into the air on Saturday.
*Hundreds of residents within one or two kilometres (about
one mile) of Mount Sirung on Pantar Island have been forced
from their homes after the volcano in E. Nusa Tenggara province
in Indonesia began spewing smoke and dust about two days ago.
*The first direct observation of an active underwater volcano
spewing rocks and molten sulphur has been made by New Zealand
marine geologist Dr Cornel de Ronde.
*The 1883 Krakatau Volcano blast rocked the world. In an ancient
cycle of death and rebirth, the offspring of the legendary
volcano is growing at the spot where its parent was destroyed
in the most cataclysmic natural event in recorded history. The ash
and rock blasted into the air circled the globe for a year, and the
Earth's weather patterns were disrupted for several years. A
130-foot-tall tsunami inundated some 100 villages, killing
an estimated 37,000 people. Anak Krakatau, The Child of
Krakatau, is now growing at an astounding five yards a year.
Geologists predict Anak will continue growing for several centuries
and eventually be vaporized in another colossal eruption.
*One person was killed in a landslide following incessant
rains the last few days in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Saturday, May 15, 2004
*An earthquake has been rumbling under Western Washington
for weeks, and no one has felt a thing. This quake very, very, slowly
slips. So, it really doesn't generate any shaking but it relieves the
same amount of stress over a large area that a larger earthquake,
like the 6.8 Nisqually quake of 2001, would. The slow earthquake
started at the end of April and might not end for several more days,
maybe even weeks.
*In the next 34 years there is a 90 percent probability of a large
earthquake in Bali, Indonesia, similar in scale to the last major
one of January 2000. Nobody died in the 2000 quake, which
measured 6.2 on the Richter scale, but more than 500 people
were hurt, most by falling buildings.
*The Shiveluch volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula is
once again erupting, dusting the surrounding snow-white landscape
with a wide expanse of dark ash that is visible from space. A
lava dome is growing in the crater and another explosive eruption
could be due at any time. Strong volcanic tremors and surface
earthquakes have been detected, while heavy mudslides from
Shiveluch have also blocked roads in the area.

Friday, May 14, 2004
*Eleven people were missing after a landslide took place in
southwest China's Chongqing Municipality yesterday at noon.
*A serial arsonist is suspected in a dozen wildfires near Flagstaff,
Arizona. A single person is believed to be responsible for wildland
fires that were set in three areas around the city on Wednesday.
*Over 2,000 people were forced from their homes when heavy
rains triggered floods across the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
*A moderate 5.5 earthquake shook a town in southwestern
Pakistan yesterday, damaging three homes, but there were
no immediate reports of injuries. On Sunday, an earthquake
shook the nearby town of Quetta, injuring 19 people.
*Scientists find signs of an ancient crater created by an asteroid
impact off the Australian coast possibly linked to the greatest
mass extinction in Earth history.

Thursday, May 13, 2004
*Generally, fire season really begins statewide in Montana
toward the end of June or in early July, but wildfires are
beginning to spring up already.
* In Singapore a highway collapse and Tuesday's tremors
from an earthquake off Sumatra have prompted tenants of Golden
Mile Tower and Golden Mile Complex to have second thoughts
about the buildings. Some tenants are now looking for a new place.
The authorities will continue to monitor existing cracks but say
both buildings are structurally safe.
*The eastern states of the U.S. are bracing themselves for what
scientists say will be the largest insect emergence on Earth.
Trillions of cicadas are waking from a 17-year slumber.
They are expected to swarm over 14 eastern states including
Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New York and Ohio.
*The disaster movie 'The Day After Tomorrow' contains flawed
science but will help warn people about climate change,
UK scientists say. The film portrays the switching off of the
Gulf Stream and the Northern Hemisphere's subsequent
plunge into a new Ice Age.
* Tropical Cyclone 01A is swirling in the Arabia Sea.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
*Numerous explosions were registered at Shiveluch volcano,
the most northern of the active volcanoes on the Kamchatka
peninsula of Russia. It has produced substantial mudslides which
damaged the bridge over the Bekesh River. One mudslide has
covered about 20 kilometers of highway and is five meters
thick at certain points.
*Using global positioning system devices, Japanese researchers
have measured the amount of magma in Mt. Mihara, a volcano
on Izu-Oshima island, creating a new method that could be used
to predict future volcanic eruptions at other locations. Using GPS
they discovered that magma in Mt. Mihara's approximately
seven-kilometer-deep magma chamber had reached about
70 percent of the volume that gushed from the volcano
when it last erupted in 1986.
*Tremors from a 6.3 earthquake in Sumatra caused panic
yesterday. Tremors from the quake were also detected in Singapore.
*A 3.3 magnitude earthquake was reported Tuesday with an
epicenter 23 miles southwest of Malibu in the Pacific Ocean.
*A father and son were missing and feared dead after they were
apparently buried under a landslide in southern Kyrgyzstan.
*It's been five years since eight people died in a Mother's Day
landslide at Oahu's Sacred Falls State Park.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
* Earthquake myths:
1) Mega quakes can really happen.
Theoretically, yes.
Realistically, no.
The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the length of the
fault on which it occurs - the longer the fault, the larger the earthquake.
The San Andreas Fault is only 800 miles long. No fault long enough
to generate a magnitude 10.5 earthquake is known to exist.
2) The ground can open up during an earthquake.
Fiction. Gaping faults exist only in movies and novels. The ground
moves across a fault during an earthquake, not away from it. If the
fault could open, there would be no friction. Without friction,
there would be no earthquake.
3) California will eventually fall off into the ocean.
Fiction. The ocean is not a great hole into which California can
fall, but is itself land at a somewhat lower elevation with water
above it. It is absolutely impossible for California to be swept
out to sea. Instead, southwestern California is moving horizontally
northward toward Alaska as it slides past central and eastern California.
4) People can stop earthquakes.
Fiction. We cannot prevent earthquakes from happening
(or stop them once they've started).
5) Nuclear explosions can start or stop earthquakes.
Fiction. Scientists agree that even large nuclear explosions
have little effect on seismicity outside the area of the blast itself.
6) The Golden Gate Bridge, Seattle Space Needle and other
buildings will all eventually fall during an earthquake.
Not likely. Architects and engineers are using knowledge learned
from past earthquakes to make structures safer.

Monday, May 10, 2004
*Peru has begun rationing water to its capital, Lima,
following one of the worst droughts in a decade. Millions
of people in the coastal city are being left without water supplies
for twelve hours every night.
*At least one person was killed and 37 others were injured
in a 4.7 earthquake on Sunday in southwestern Pakistan.
* Three quakes rattled the Wellington area of New Zealand -
a quake at 7.31am measured 4.1 on the Richter scale, the
second at 8.10am was also 4.1, and the third at 8.24am
measured 3.4.
*A magnitude 4.6 earthquake in Santa Barbara Channel has
occurred 30 km (20 miles) West of Santa Barbara,
California (population 92,000)

Sunday, May 9, 2004
*An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale jolted southern
Iran overnight, destroying four schools and damaging several others.
*A mild earthquake shook the city of Quetta, in southwestern
Pakistan, early today, injuring 15 people in the panic.
* Two earthquakes shook Taiwan - the first quake was of
magnitude 5.2 and the second was 5.7. No damages reported.
*The bodies of three people have been discovered from under
the remains of houses torn down by a landslide on Friday evening
in central China.

Saturday, May 9, 2004
*A series of local earthquakes was recorded at Shiveluch Volcano
on Kamchatka Penninsula on Friday.
*What would San Francisco have done before the 1906 earthquake
if they had a warning there was a 50-50 chance the Big One
would hit within nine months? In Palm Springs and throughout
the Southern California desert today, there is such a warning.
So what are people there doing about it? Not much.
*A massive landslide from mountains overlooking the hilly route
to the twin Hindu holy pilgrimages of Badrinath and Kedarnath in
Uttaranchal, India has disrupted the pilgrimages of hundreds.

Friday, May 7, 2004
* A massive quake may hit Delhi, India in the near future, warn
experts. It is built on soft alluvial soil, and contributing to this risk
factor is Delhi's saline underground water that makes
buildings more susceptible to quake action.
*Firefighters tightened containment Thursday on destructive
wildfires that have burned across nearly 29,000 acres
of Southern California.
*International experts warn that the emergence of new diseases
that are passed from animals to humans, such as avian flu, is
accelerating and they are ill-equipped to counter the trend.
The number of these diseases is very large and those that emerge
as public health problems in both the developed and developing
world is increasing continuously.

Thursday, May 6, 2004
*Fire officials in southern California are warning that the early start
could make this wildfire season one of the worst ever.
The season's first wildfires have burned with an intensity
usually not seen until late summer.
*Tents and other supplies were being rushed to an area of western
China after a strong earthquake left thousands of people homeless
but no one injured.
*New Zealand's Mount Ngauruhoe starred as fiery Mount Doom
in the film trilogy Lord of the Rings, but neighboring Mount Ruapehu
is the volcano scientists fear most. Ruapehu is showing some signs
of volcano unrest, with "elevated hydrothermal activity" in the
crater lake. The simmering acidic crater lake, belching steam and
gas that smells like rotten eggs, has been the site of more eruptions
than any other crater lake in the world. Ruapehu's crater lake erupts
every one to three years, emptying out completely during major
eruptions. Scientists studying the lake say higher levels signal a
greater chance of a mudflow, and warn that a disastrous mudslide
could flow down the mountain some time between November
this year and next March. When the level of the lake, now about
95 percent full, rises another 16 feet it may break free, releasing
a fast-moving wave with the consistency of wet cement.
*A fiery stream of lava is inching toward the ocean at Kilauea
Volcano in Hawaii this week, affording some of the best views
of flow in nearly a year.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
*Thousands of people have had to flee their homes as
firefighters struggle to control wildfires in southern
California. As many as 4,000 homes were evacuated.
Up to four buildings, including a university research centre,
are thought to have been destroyed. The wildfires broke out
on Sunday after a drought and an unusual heat wave, with
temperatures as high as 100F (37C). The so-called wildfire
season usually starts at the end of May, but officials said
it had started by Monday.
* Mount Veniaminof Volcano has been restless over the
past week, spitting up ash and steam, and lightly shaking the ground,
said the Alaska Volcano Observatory. A major eruption is not expected,
but scientists say there could be additional low-level action at the volcano
about 480 miles southwest of Anchorage. Veniaminof is one of the
largest and most active volcanoes in Alaska, with a 6-mile-wide
caldera and 12 eruptions over the past 200 years. The most recent
occurred in 1993-95.
*Scientists say that southern Nevada is due for a huge quake. The
only questions now are when, and what will be left standing. Las
Vegas officals say the buildings on the strip will stay standing if the
big one hits. Some facades, signs, windows and other features that
aren't tied to structural design will come down. Houses will probably
come out okay, as wood structures absorb plenty of the shock
and do well in earthquakes.
*Michigan is also an earthquake hot spot. In fact, some of the
strongest quakes in United States' history took place along the
region's New Madrid Fault in Michigan, in 1811 and 1812.
However it is not a seismically-active zone, although they
sometimes feel earthquakes that happen elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004
*A 6.6 magnitude earthquake shook southern Chile early Monday
causing panic, power outages and minor property damage, but no injuries.
*A moderate 5.7 earthquake shook El Salvador and Guatemala
on Monday, but caused no damage or injuries.
*Maybe there's a secret desire among television viewers to see
California crumble in an earthquake. The first part of the NBC
miniseries, 10.5, was seen by 20.4 million viewers Sunday night,
the most popular movie on NBC in five years. It was the
most-watched movie on any network in more than two years,
since the CBS documentary about a real disaster, 9-11. However,
the lack of scientific basis and blatant inconsistencies in the movie
has earthquake experts shaking their heads.
*A study commissioned and then shelved by San Francisco officials
says the city would lose nearly 30,000 buildings and suffer hundreds
of fatalities in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
*Because of a phenomenon called "liquefaction," several areas
in San Diego are at high risk, warn experts. Liquefaction occurs
in earthquakes from magnitude 6 on up. When an earthquake hits
and the waves start rolling, they can cause loose sediment
to literally liquefy.
*Two University of California Irvine researchers say seismic
hazard maps issued by the state may underestimate the
earthquake risk in Orange County. They say that the maps
should be reevaluated in light of evidence that significant faults
are hidden underground.
*Millions of people in California are living next to the coastline, yet
their awareness of the tsunami risk is close to nil. Experts at
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that
sooner or later, a tsunami will strike every coastline in the Pacific.
Since 1945 more people have been killed around the world as a
result of tsunamis than have died as a direct result of an earthquake's
ground-shaking. In the early 1990s, the National Tsunami Hazard
Mitigation Program set about completing inundation maps for every
U. S. coastal community at risk - that is about 3 million people in 512
cities and towns in five Pacific states (Washington, Oregon,
California, Hawaii and Alaska).

Monday, May 3, 2004
*2 people have been killed in a 5.8 quake in Taiwan.
*The Golden Gate Bridge is undergoing a $392 million seismic
upgrade, which will allow it to withstand an 8.3-magnitude quake.
*In response to the devastation caused in Nova Scotia and Prince
Edward Island, no more hurricanes will bear the name Juan.
*A woman has died and another patient is listed in serious condition
following a new outbreak of "flesh-eating disease" in Canada.

Saturday, May 1, 2004
*A mighty earthquake could be coming to Salt Lake City, Utah
and engineers are warning that most of the buildings in the
community might not be able to withstand the quake. In a quake
of magnitude 5.0 or greater, the University of Utah's main library
is expected to "pancake'' on itself. Officials say two out of every
three buildings here are considered unsafe - even from moderate
shaking. Geologists for years have warned that the basin is due for
a powerful jolt, one that returns with fair regularity about every
1,300 years. The Wasatch fault last slipped about 1,284 years ago.
* Anatahan Volcano seismic activity increased abruptly early
on April 24 and on April 28 the seismicity level increased
further to a new high. Currently regular puffs of yellow-brown
steam and ash are still being emitted explosively at 1/2 - 2 minute
intervals and probably still rising to ~2,000 ft. The eruption
on Anatahan Island (part of the Pacific Mariana Island chain)
could become more explosive at any time with little or no
warning. The island has been placed off-limits until further notice.
*A team of scientists was heading to Papua New Guinea's
Bougainville island on Thursday to assess whether central
Mt. Bagana volcano, which is spewing a lava flow threatening
nearby villages, could erupt.
*A plume of volcanic ash was rising from the Ambrym Volcano
on Vanuatu Island in the South Pacific Ocean on April 27.
* Shiveluch Volcano is erupting again - ash has been ejected
2,000-5,000 meters into the air from the crater of the volcano
in Kamchatka, a peninsula in Russia's Far East.

Friday, April 30, 2004
*Concern is mounting over an erupting volcano that is spewing
lava towards nearby villages on the Papua New Guinea
island of Bougainville. Attempts at establishing communication
with smaller villages close to Mount Bagana have so far failed.
*A broad lava flow heading downhill in Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park is Kilauea's best display since fall. There are
moments of excitement as the lava burns through isolated trees,
and one after another goes up in flames. The flow could get
more exciting, since it has reached a steep area where
its speed could increase.
*Heavy rains over much of Arkansas have triggered floods.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
*Monday's deadly landslide in southern Kyrgyzstan - where at
least 33 people lost their lives - caught Kyrgyz emergency officials
by surprise, despite a recent landslide risk assessment in the region.
A high level of moisture [in the soil] and a series of recurring tremors
over the past week resulted in the land mass, of more than three
million cubic metres, rushing down. Near-by on Saturday, an
18-year-old shepherd was killed by a landslide while herding his
flock. On Sunday, another landslide occurred in the area
killing some 50 head of livestock. The tendency of growth in
the number of landslides will probably continue until the end
of July. Everything will depend on weather conditions. Over
the past four months 91 landslides have been registered
in the former Soviet republic.
*Scientists have discovered evidence for the earliest known
wildfire in Earth's history.
*Jet trails may change climate - condensation trails
from the engine exhausts of jet aircraft may have provoked the
warming trend in the climate seen from 1975 to 1994,
a NASA researcher has said.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
*A landslide in southern Kyrgyzstan killed 33 people and injured
19 others in the mountainous Central Asian country on Monday.
*Over half a million people have been evacuated from northern
Bangladesh after a series of destructive hot-season storms
triggered wide-spread flooding.
* Anatahan Volcano located about 100 kilometres north of
Saipan, the capital of the Northern Marianas in the Pacific, has
erupted again after almost a year of inactivity. Ash plumes are
heading towards the northern Philippines but a change in wind
direction may bring it to the islands. The volcano continues to
emit regular puffs of yellow-brown steam and ash every two minutes.
*Scientists have discovered that a fault line beneath Cook
Strait is much longer than previously thought and it increases
the earthquake and tsunami risk to central New Zealand.
While scientists knew it existed they were unaware that
the faultline was so long.
*A shallow earthquake measuring 3.8km on the Richter scale
rattled the Wellington region of New Zealand early yesterday.
*On the North Island of New Zealand is Mount Ruapehu volcano,
one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes, and it threatens to
cover nearby communities with volcanic mudflows.
* Two minor earthquakes rattled southern Bulgaria within 24 hours.
*California firefighters on Monday began to get the upper hand
on a 2,334-acre wildfire that had threatened as many as
400 homes in Riverside County.
*Scientists say a giant meteorite struck western Wisconsin
long ago. It struck with catastrophic force about 70 miles east of
what's now Minneapolis, Minnesota. The impact dislodged rocks
and created a massive hole in a four-mile area.

Monday, April 26, 2004
*Four farmers have died due to a landslide in northwest China's
Shaanxi province.
* Anatahan Volcano's seismic activity increased abruptly on 4/24
to a high level unseen since summer 2003. Since then, the
seismicity increased slowly but fairly constantly to a level similar
to that of the eruption of mid-June 2003. Today an overflight
observed regular puffs of yellow-brown steam and ash every 1-2
minutes, a rate virtually identical to that of seismic events recorded
during that time. Maximum height of the steam and ash plume
has been about 2,000 ft (600 m) during the past 48 hours.
Located in the Mariana Islands, central Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, April 25, 2004
*The western Pacific and Asian region has experienced the highest
number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the world. A
new observation system is proposed to provide tsunami forecasts
and eruption alerts, and is expected to reduce damage resulting
from natural disasters. It would be built within the next ten years.
*In Japan, Volcano Island evacuees may return home. The island
was evacuated three years ago after the volcano on the island
erupted, spewing out poison gas and making the area uninhabitable.
There is still an ongoing risk from poison gas.
*A four-hour TV drama to air May 2-3 on NBC, depicts the
destruction of some well-known California landmarks by a series
of devastating earthquakes and the government's frantic efforts
to stop the "Big One" - a 10.5 magnitude temblor that threatens
to send part of California off into the ocean. Scientists say that in
reality it would take a rupture 6,000 miles long - the distance
between the North Pole and the Equator - to cause a 10.5 quake
and they believe a plate boundary of that type and size does not exist.

Saturday, April 24, 2004
*A rain-triggered landslide smashed into a bus on
Indonesia's Sumatra island, killing at least 37 passengers and
leaving six others buried under tons of mud.
*A powerful 5.5 quake in Indonesia damaged dozens of buildings.
*A whirlwind hit Kampung Dapur neighborhood in Batam, on
Friday afternoon, damaging dozens of houses and
leaving 50 families homeless.
*A University of North Carolina study suggests gigantic volcano
eruptions capable of threatening human extinction may not be as
common as once believed.
*April is earthquake preparedness month. Statistics show that
about one million earthquakes, including those too small to be felt,
occur each year across the globe. California has the most damaging
earthquakes on average in the U.S. In any given year, some 37,300
quakes are recorded in California.
*Experts say the U.K. faces a huge 20-fold rise in the cost
of damage from floods unless global warming is curbed.

Friday, April 23, 2004
*About half the average April rainfall was expected to fall on
Melbourne, Australia in one day, as heavy rain swept across
the city and regional Victoria.
*A moderate 4.9 earthquake shook northern Japan yesterday.
*A magnitude 6.4 earthquake in the Savu Sea has occurred
115 km (70 miles) NW of Kupang, Timor, Indonesia
(population 403,000).
*Mississipppi's wildfires are dying down but more rain is needed.
*With less rainfall than usual this year, the hillsides and canyons
of Southern California are once again at risk for wildfires.
*Many birds and marine species benefit from the effects of
hurricanes, leading to increases in population, U.S. researchers say.

Thursday, April 22, 2004
*At least 13 people were killed when a landslide triggered by
heavy rains buried homes in Indonesia's West Java province.
*A tornado-laden storm has ploughed through the north-central
part of the U.S. state of Illinois, flattening or damaging dozens
of buildings and killing at least four people.
*The eighth quake in just over a month to hit Delhi, India
was of 'slight' 1.5 intensity and no damage was reported. The
seismology section of the India Meterological Department yesterday
announced that it was intensifying seismic monitoring of the Indian
capital and surrounding areas.
*A new book is a 'what if' look at a big quake on the New
Madrid Fault in the southern U.S.
*A growing global population and unprecedented international travel
have put humankind at risk of uncontrollable epidemics of
potentially hundreds of new diseases, a virus expert has warned.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
*Yesterday an earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale
shook Bam in southeastern Iran, where a powerful quake killed
thousands of people on December 26. The tremor knocked
down some walls already damaged in previous quakes. There
were no reports of casualties.
* Anatahan Volcano is rumbling to life again - a swarm
of seismic activity is heralding renewed eruptive activity. On Sunday,
new lava was spotted forming a short flow or dome inside Anatahan's
crater. Aviation warnings for ash emissions have been issued. Each
year approximately 25,000 large commercial passenger jets fly
through a small area of airspace immediately surrounding
the Mariana Islands in the Pacific.
*A Reno geologist predicts a large earthquake near or under
Lake Tahoe could trigger a tsunami.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
*At least five people have died in flooding which has swept
away roads and houses in southern Saudi Arabia. Many families
are living in tents after their homes were destroyed.
*At least seven people were killed and 150 injured in violent
storms that struck three Bangladeshi districts overnight. The
seasonal storms followed last week's tornado that left at least
65 dead and more than 1,000 others injured.
*Shiveluch, Kamchatka's northernmost active volcano, has
erupted with a 8,000-meter-high pillar of ash. The eruption
was accompanied by an earthquake that lasted 4.5 minutes.
Seismological stations are registering spasmodic volcanic quakes.
*The 5.0 earthquake that hit Bali on Saturday caused cracks in
the walls of houses and buildings.

Monday, April 19, 2004
*An area in India, already hit by famine, was hit again, this
time by an unprecedented storm with hail and rain for a continuous
five days now. A road which is the only link for the district with
the rest of the world has been cut off by more than 30 landslides.
Power supply to the district has been snapped since last week.
Telephone lines were also destroyed by lightening two days ago.
Two persons were seriously injured in a landslide that occurred
yesterday night. Several houses were also destroyed by storm
and landslide. Many villages have been destroyed by the recent
thunder squalls and heavy downpour. All major rivers in the
district have also reached a flashpoint. There has been a report
that hailstones as heavy as half to one kilograms that fell in
the area have uprooted over 60 houses.

Sunday, April 18, 2004
*A landslide in southern Kyrgyzstan buried five children today,
and rescue crews were prevented from reaching the area
due to the threat of further landslides.
*Fears that Southern California is in store for a major earthquake
in the near future were heightened Thursday by the findings of an
Oregon scientist who says that the strains on the southern San
Andreas Fault are at their highest levels in some 1,500 years and
could soon could begin producing tremors to relieve the pent-up stress.
There is a 30% to 50% chance of a big one in the next 30 years -
"This is going to happen in your lifetime"..."It's like pulling a rubber
band and it's about to break."
The last earthquake 7.0 magnitude or larger to strike the San
Andreas Fault in the San Bernardino area was 192 years ago.
For information on making earthquake preparations, see 'Family
and Home Planning' from the Los Angeles City Fire Department's
Earthquake Handbook.
*The Transbay Tube is the busiest and probably the most critical
stretch of the BART system, carrying roughly 145,000 riders a day
between West Oakland and downtown San Francisco at depths of
as much as 135 feet below the bay's surface. A 2002 seismic safety
study of the system concluded that a major earthquake could shake
the concrete tube so severely that it could leak or even flood
and take two to three years to repair.
*Remote villages in Fiji remained cut off by severe flooding yesterday
after more than a week of torrential rain, as the country called for
assistance in flying urgent supplies to affected areas.

Saturday, April 17, 2004
*The U.S. Geological Survey warns that ash from a freshly
active volcano in the Northern Mariana Islands in the South
Pacific could pose a serious threat to aircraft. The current round
of seismic activity peaked on April 6 with approximately one small
earthquake each minute and was similar in nature to that observed
at other volcanoes before they erupted. Earthquakes are still
occurring frequently, and steam and ash emissions and small
explosions are likely to occur. Anatahan Volcano is on an
uninhabited island.
*Rapid snowmelt and expected warmer-than-normal temperatures
have set up the Four Corners as one of the U.S.'s three riskiest
areas for wildfires this summer.
*Maine has had 50 wildfires in the state so far this season.
*South Dakota is among the danger zones for wildfires. In
2002 smoke and wildfires discouraged tourists from visiting.

Friday, April 16, 2004
*Fijian army troops evacuated thousands of people to high ground
today as the South Pacific island nation, its rivers already
swollen by floods, braced for more torrential rains.
*The Kamchatka regional seismic service says the probability of an
earthquake with a magnitude above seven has increased in the
Kamchatka Bay. Possible quakes in the area would not pose
a serious threat to residential areas.
*In the past month Delhi, India has been rocked no less than
seven times by tremors ranging from 1.6 to 3 on a Richter scale.
And that has been the lucky part, for Delhi lies in Seismic Zone IV
- meaning it is susceptible to quakes with magnitudes
ranging between 5.5 to 6.8.
*Scientists have launched an online calculator that works out the
environmental effects of an asteroid colliding with Earth. Users
can choose the size and type of space object and the distance
they are standing from the impact site. The program then calculates
the scale of the fireball, the size of the crater left behind and even
whether the impact will ignite your clothes.

Thursday, April 15, 2004
* Tornadoes have torn through northern Bangladesh, killing
dozens of people and injuring hundreds.
*In Australia high winds are hampering Victorian firefighters
battling to save houses under threat from bushfires in the state's east.
*The relentless drought is worsening across the Western U.S.
and the threat of wildfires is growing with water supplies dwindling.
Arizona is facing its worst drought on record. Already this year,
10,000 acres have burned in Arizona, along with 8,500
acres in Colorado.
*A summer of major wildfires is predicted for California - last
fall's wildfires in Southern California consumed 738,000 acres,
destroyed more than 3,600 homes and structures, and killed
26 people. Last year's record wildfires began in late October,
and already last month a controlled blaze near Big Bear Lake
burned out of control in one of the nation's most heavily urbanized forests.
*Using fossilized coral reefs, a scientist constructed a 7,000-year
climate history of cool/warm cycles in the Indian Ocean. In the
course of her research she discovered that wildfires in Indonesia
during the 1997-98 El Nino indirectly killed the Mentawai Reef.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
*A state of emergency was declared yesterday after a devastating
typhoon swept through the remote Micronesian islands of Yap.
Winds of 212km/h and waves of more than 10 metres battered
the chain of atolls and its 8000 residents for more than five hours.
*Up to 50 people are reported dead and thousands made homeless
after heavy rains in Kenya and Djibouti in eastern Africa.
*The great 1906 earthquake struck early on April 18, 1906.
It leveled much of San Francisco, and most of what didn't
collapse burned to the ground in the following days. More
than 3,000 people perished in one of the greatest disasters
in U.S. history. Most people believe that the epicenter was
somewhere around Point Reyes or San Francisco, but the
true epicenter of the quake is just off the coast of Daly City.
*NBC's upcoming miniseries, "10.5," is a disaster epic about massive
earthquakes that topple the Golden Gate Bridge and cause the ocean
to sweep over Los Angeles. Seismic experts say the NBC program is
scientific fantasy and that such a quake is unlikely. The show
airs May 2 and 3.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
*The Karymsky volcano in the Russian Far East, may erupt at
any time. It has become much more active of late. More than
400 smoke and ash emissions have been registered daily in the
past few days. 100-200 emissions are ordinary for the volcano.
There have been 470 surface quakes in the past few hours. The
last eruption was registered in January 1996, when molten lava
shot up even from the bed of the nearby lake, killing all living
organisms in it. An eruption will not threaten the population
of the peninsula.
*A slight tremor measuring 1.6 on the Richter scale was
experienced in Delhi, India Friday night, the sixth low-intensity
earthquake in the region in under a month.
*A moderate earthquake shook parts of western India on
Monday night, sending panicked residents into the streets,
but causing no damage or injuries.
*An offshore earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7
shook northern Japan early on Monday, but there were no
reports of damage or injuries.

Monday, April 12, 2004
*Fiji, still reeling from a severe storm that killed seven people
last week and left 10 missing, was braced today for strong
winds that the meteorology center warned were on the way.
*An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook the
northern Japanese island of Hokkaido yesterday.
* Forest fire researchers are predicting that British Columbia is
in for another early and dangerous summer and people should
prepare for the worst.
*A landslide that occurred Friday night killed eight people in Gongliu
County of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
*A Japanese tourist was killed and three others were injured on
Saturday when a huge landslide hit their vehicle on a Pakistani highway.
*In Nairobi there are fears of a looming disaster following heavy
rains in the Aberdares region. The Environment Minister
has warned that the rains would trigger landslides.

Sunday, April 11, 2004
*A landslide hit the tourist town below Peru's famed Inca
citadel of Machu Picchu today, leaving 11 people missing and
feared dead and blocking the only route into the town. Eleven
people disappeared, six were injured and 1500 tourists were
trapped in the Incan ruins. Also destroyed were homes
and a train track.
*Police hunted for a bus that was carrying five people when it
was swept into a river during wild storms that lashed Fiji
and killed three people.
*The death toll from flash flooding in Mexico has risen to 36 people
at the devastated border city of Piedras Negras. At least 18 people
are still missing after torrential rains caused the Escondido River to
overflow, triggering flash flooding that damaged 600 homes,
destroyed 150 others and left 2000 people in makeshift shelters.

Friday, April 9, 2004
*One person was killed and another is missing, feared dead, after
a severe rainstorm struck Fiji yesterday. Much of the main island
of Viti Levu was hit by the heavy rain, with extensive flooding in
towns and villages in the west of the island. The storm was
continuing last night and Fiji's major rivers were rising.
*The rivers of Central Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine are
brimming past capacity as spring returns to the region.
*Heavy rains on April 4 and 5 triggered deadly flash floods
across Texas and Northern Mexico.
*There is extensive flooding along the Red River in North Dakota
and Minnesota near the Canadian border.
* Satellite image of Typhoon Sudal located about 95 miles
east-southeast of Yap.
*A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in the state of Yap, Micronesia
has occurred 470 km (290 miles) SW of Guam.

Thursday, April 8, 2004
*In Canada, Manitoba's Fisher River continued to rise above its
banks Wednesday, forcing 232 members of the Peguis First
Nation to leave their homes for safer ground.
*No damages were recorded as a result of an earthquake
measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale that was recorded at 4:30am
Wednesday at the Greek-Albanian border.
*Thousands of lives could potentially be saved by a new method
of identifying earthquake aftershock danger zones. The
research is based on complex analysis of stress interactions
in the Earth. While the technique has been proven, more
work needs to be done before it can be put into practice.
*Greenland's ice sheet could start to vanish in the next few centuries
leading to a catastrophic rise in global sea level, scientists warn.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004
*The Mexican army was searching for survivors Tuesday morning
after a flash flood killed 34 people in Piedras Negras on the
Mexican-U.S. border. Twelve people are still missing.
*A landslide in China's northwest forced at least 680 villagers
to flee from their homes, but no deaths or injuries were reported.
*A powerful 6.8 earthquake jolted the remote Hindu Kush
mountains along Afghanistan's northeast border with Pakistan
early Tuesday. The quake jolted the Pakistani cities
of Rawalpindi and Islamabad located 275 miles (450 kilometers)
south of the epicenter.
*The California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council has
recognized that the method developed by a team of researchers
from UCLA, Russia, France and Japan "appears to be a legitimate
approach in earthquake prediction research." The team has
predicted that an earthquake of a magnitude 6.4 or greater will
occur in Southern California on or before Sept. 5. The area that
could be affected includes parts of the Mojave Desert, Coachella
Valley, Imperial Valley and eastern San Diego County. But the
council has decided not to act in response because the area in
question is so large and because the council could not validate
the prediction based solely on two previous successes. The area
in question is a hotbed of seismic activity, and the report stated
that the probability of a large earthquake in a random nine-month
period is about 10 percent.

Monday, April 5, 2004
*A fairly strong earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale
jolted Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures in eastern Japan. There were
a few minor injuries, but no immediate reports of serious damages
and no tsunami warnings have been issued.
*The activity of the Shiveluch volcano is on the rise in the Kamchatka
Peninsula. A series of local tremors has taken place in the volcano's area.
*Australian emergency services have faced about 100 calls for help
with damage to houses after 24 hours of heavy downpours
in New South Wales.
*With the almost unique combination of steep hillsides, dense urban
development and heavy summer rainfall, HongKong has long been
facing the problem of frequent and damaging landslides. Just in the
50 years after World War II, more than 450 people died in landslide
tragedies and many more were injured. To maintain public awareness
about landslide risk, Hong Kong's Civil Engineering Department has
jointly organized a major exhibition on the landslide history of Hong Kong.
*Mt Fuji in Japan has been thought to contain two old volcanoes
inside its splendid cone shape, but the results of three-year drilling
research that ended in February suggest the existence of
another volcano deep within it.

Sunday, April 4, 2004
*The body of an SES volunteer has been found in a remote
West Australian gorge after he was swept to his death in a
flash flood while trying to save an injured tourist.
*Some people living in small communities along the Red River
north of Winnipeg, Canada, say measures aimed at protecting
that city from spring flooding are threatening their homes.
*Federal geologists are launching a study of soils in parts of Missouri,
Illinois and Indiana to chart how strongly earthquakes would shake
different areas. Three giant earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 devastated
what were sparsely populated areas near New Madrid. Geological
Survey scientists estimate there is a one in 10 chance that a similar
quake could happen in the next 50 years. In other words, there is
a 90 percent chance that there won't be an earthquake of that size.
Movement along the fault has caused about 800 earthquakes
of 3.0 or larger since 1699.

Saturday, April 3, 2004
*Manitobans living on the Red River in Canada are starting to
evacuate their homes because of flooding. Ice jams in communities
just north of Winnipeg are submerging large portions
of land and highways.
*New Zealand's capital, Wellington, was rattled awake early
today by five small earthquakes which struck in quick succession.
The quakes started just after midnight with a jolt that measured 3.9
on the Richter Scale. It was followed by two stronger tremors,
both measuring 4.6, that were only seconds apart. The fourth
measured 3.4 and came at 12:45am and the fifth, half an hour
later, measured 3.8. There were no reports of damage or injury.
*When it comes to predicting "the big one," scientists still can't tell
when a major earthquake will hit. But thanks to research by Simon
Fraser University, they may have a better idea of where it might occur.
Using Canadian and American data from 1985, '89 and '98, has
determined a certain kind of earthquake is likely to occur on either
side of southern Vancouver Island near populated areas
in Canada and the United States.
* Rising salt levels threaten water supplies in one of Australia's biggest
cities and threaten damage to farmland and rivers.

Friday, April 2, 2004
*An Australian State Emergency Service volunteer, who was part
of a search party for two tourists, remains missing after being
washed down a gorge by a flash flood in a remote
West Australian national park.
*The Gowa regental administration will soon relocate at least
63 families from Tinggimoncong subdistrict who were affected
by a recent landslide in Indonesia.
*The outer wall of a hotly contested Jerusalem holy site is in
danger of collapse because of damage caused by a recent earthquake.
*Residents of Russia's Altai region say that a 2500-year-old mummy,
that was dug up 11 years ago, is causing earthquakes in this
corner of Siberia, and have demanded that it be reburied.

Thursday, April 1, 2004
*A large landslide triggered by a 4.9 earthquake near Karabuin
village in Tajikistan is threatening 36 homes. The earthquake
partially or fully destroyed 28 houses. Rescuers are now
shoring up the banks of a local mountain stream to avert the worst.
*Scientists say the dust and sand storms that have regularly
blanketed north-east Asia for centuries are becoming more
dangerous to health. Similar dust storms from the Sahara have
been blamed for spreading illness and destroying Caribbean coral
reefs. What scientists believe is happening now is that the intensity
of the damage caused by the storms is increasing, and that they
are combining with pollutants like soot and microscopic particles
given off in vehicle exhausts and by power plants.
*Poor co-operation among all levels of governments and chronic
underfunding of emergency response workers have left Canada
unprepared for potential disasters, man-made or natural. A report
found that larger cities are generally better prepared than smaller
cities. But even there, only half of big municipalities said they are
prepared for a major disaster. Health Canada has emergency
medical supplies and equipment cached across the country,
but two-thirds of the 86 municipalities that responded to a
committee survey said they didn't know they exist.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
*Much of southern Manitoba, Canada was deluged with a
record-setting rain storm on the weekend. Now people south
and west of Winnipeg are being warned that they may be
flooded out as a result.
*One of the worst dust storms to hit northern China in years
swirled into Beijing on Monday. Visibility in parts of north China
was cut to 10 m (33 feet) over the weekend, complicating relief
efforts after an earthquake last week in Inner Mongolia. 80 percent
of the 1,500 tents put up after the earthquake have been destroyed,
leaving 10,000 earthquake victims in the open air waiting
once again for help.
*Sonar analysis has identified a bulge beneath Yellowstone Lake
the size of seven football fields. Such a dome caused the park's
greatest exposion 13,800 years ago. While scientists do not believe
that the dome is about to explode at this time, they also admit that
not enough is known about Yellowstone's volcanic potential. Should
the dome release hot gasses into the lake, a vast amount of water
could be turned into superheated steam. The dome is not likely to
outgas or explode without warning. As magma moves up from below,
the rate of microquakes in the region will increase, giving scientists
early warning of a potential problem. At present, microquake activity
is somewhat above normal, but there appears to be
no reason for immediate concern.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
*Iran has substantially lowered the death toll in the 6.6
earthquake that devastated the south-eastern city of Bam
last year, cutting the fatalities by more than a third, to 26,271.
525 people are still listed as missing from the quake, and more
than 9,000 people were injured.
*Two fishermen were rescued after spending more than 36
hours at sea and another was found dead after their boats sank
following the powerful storm that swept southern Brazil. Rescuers
carried on with their search for nine other fishermen as the latest
victim brought to three the death toll from the storm.

Monday, March 29, 2004
*Two people died and dozens were injured Sunday after an
unusual storm slammed into southern Brazil, destroying
hundreds of homes with winds roaring at up to 150 kilometers
per hour. Brazilian meteorologists called it an extra-tropical storm,
but its winds were so strong that normally it would be classified
as a hurricane. Such conditions "had never occurred" in that part
of the southern Atlantic and scientists can not explain
what caused the storm.
*A strong 5.3 earthquake shook eastern Turkey on
Sunday, collapsing buildings and injuring at least 12 people.
It came 3 days after another quake killed 10 people in the region.
10 villages suffered severe damage in the quake.
*The 9.2 Good Friday earthquake of 1964 killed 131 people from
Alaska to California, generated immense tsunami waves, caused
about $2 billion in damage in today's money and was felt as far
away as Mississippi. Earthquake experts say it's not a question
of whether another big quake will hit Anchorage, Alaska, but when.
But another tremor of the kind that shook Southcentral Alaska 40
years ago is not likely to hit the area in the lifetime of anyone now living.

Sunday, March 28, 2004
*A strong 5.8 earthquake struck the Chinese region of Tibet
early today. There was no immediate information
about possible injuries or damage.
*The death of a young girl on Saturday raised to 10 the number
of people killed in the 5.1 earthquake earlier this week in eastern
Turkey. The quake destroyed mud-brick homes in 15 villages.
More than 100 aftershocks followed Thursday's quake. 3 children
were injured Friday when the wall of a house collapsed in an aftershock.
*A large spiraling storm lashed southern Brazil Saturday night,
downing trees and ripping tiles off homes as Brazilian and U.S.
meteorologists disagreed over whether the storm is a hurricane,
the first on record in the South Atlantic.
*Just how big a flood does it take to truly reshape the landscape?
Try one that started in Montana 15,000 years ago after a massive
ice dam broke, sending a wall of water more than 1,000 feet high
raging through the Columbia River Gorge toward what is
today the Portland, Oregon metro area.

Saturday, March 27, 2004
*At least 32 people are missing after landslides swept through
two remote villages in Indonesia's South Sulawesi yesterday.
Incessant rains caused the landslides.
* Cyclone Fay has been downgraded to a category three storm
as it crosses the West Australian coastline but wind gusts over
200km/h are still expected.
* Scientists in Hawaii monitoring the ongoing inflation of the
13,680-foot summit of Mauna Loa Volcano paused yesterday
to recall the volcano's most recent eruption 20 years ago that
threatened homes and businesses in Hilo. The eruption was
preceded by three years of increasing seismic activity, with a
marked rise in the number of earthquakes six months before lava
began surging out of fissures on the mountainside, generating
mile-long curtains of lava fountains that shot 160 feet in the air.
The earthquakes came after a period of inflation at the summit
region, as magma accumulated inside the volcano. That's exactly
what has been happening at Mauna Loa since April or May 2002.
Although scientists say Mauna Loa is sure to erupt again, low
seismic activity suggests an eruption is NOT imminent.

Friday, March 26, 2004
*A 5.5 earthquake has hit eastern Turkey, killing at least
nine people, including seven children. Dozens were injured
as houses collapsed in three villages.
*More than 100 people were injured, 3 seriously, when the
earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit north China's
Inner Mongolia region on Wednesday.
* Hundreds of tiny earthquakes only minutes apart occurred in
an area west of the South Sister volcano in central Oregon,
beginning Tuesday morning and continuing into Wednesday.
None of the quakes reached a magnitude of 2.0 on the Richter
Scale. The earthquakes are a symptom of a ground deformation,
from magma moving underneath, that has been happening over the
past seven years. It is slightly unusual that seismic activity from
the bulge hasn't been detected before now. The quakes do NOT
signal imminent volcanic activity. Most likely, it will probably just
die down. Similar earthquake clusters happen around Mount Hood
at intervals of about one year.
*Australian firefighters are battling three bushfires in Victoria's
east, and have much work to do ahead of expected
hot weather on Sunday.

Thursday, March 25, 2004
*An earthquake measuring 5.9 degrees on the Richter scale hit
the central-eastern part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
early Wednesday. Forty percent of residential houses in and
around the epicenter suffered damages but no casualties have
been reported so far. Hundreds of school buildings at the epicenter
and surrounding areas were seriously damaged. Experts say
that within 24 hours another quake over 5.5 degrees is NOT likely in
the area, but quakes of 5.0 degrees or below are possible. 13
aftershocks were reported with the biggest one 3.5 on the Richter scale.
*A Kentucky state agency says a magnitude eight-point earthquake
there would buckle roads, destroy thousands of homes and kill
forty-three hundred people in western Kentucky. Natural gas
lines running through the area would erupt and cause fires.
*The 6.5 magnitude San Simeon Earthquake increased the
likelihood of another shock on the Central California Coast.
*Victorian, Australia firefighters were battling three blazes today
as temperatures across the state topped 30C.
*Schools and businesses have been closed, flights cancelled and
an evacuation centre set up as a strengthening Cyclone Fay
bears down on the West Australian coast.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
* Tropical Cyclone Fay weakened overnight but communities along
Western Australia's Kimberley and Pilbara coasts have been
warned to brace for gale-force winds.
*Emergency teams were converging on a remote cavern system
in central Mexico where flood waters had trapped six British
cave divers for nearly six days.
*The U.S. space agency Nasa is clarifying the procedure
for telling the President if the Earth is in danger of being
hit by a newly discovered asteroid. If necessary,
the President would start a Federal Emergency Response Plan.
*British geologist Marie Edmonds has come to the Hawaiian
Volcano Observatory with a new way to study volcanic gases,
reducing the danger while gathering much more information.
Combined with other data, such as earth tremors and ground
deformation, the result could be prediction of eruptions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
* Cyclone Grace is moving away from the Queensland, Australia
coast but is still generating huge seas that are pounding beaches.
*198 people were killed when Cyclone Gafilo lashed northern
Madagascar two weeks ago, substantially raising the toll from
an earlier tally which put the number of dead at 130. 166 are still
missing and 216,000 were made homeless by the powerful storm.
*A moderate 2.0 earthquake occurred near Lindenwold, New
Jersey around 10:30 am Monday morning.
*Emergency officials had to reassure dozens of callers in Canada that a
colorful fireball seen speeding across the sky over Manitoba and
Saskatchewan Sunday night was not an exploding plane
but a large meteor.
*Commercial airliners in parts of the world have been put in
near-disaster situations by flying near erupting volcanoes.
A vulcanologist fears a similar event could occur in Washington
state or British Columbia, if Mount Baker, which last erupted in
the 1880s, was to erupt again and the ash was sucked into
a jet's turbines. It's a remote but possible scenario.

Monday, March 22, 2004
*At various times throughout the year, emergency responders
in Flathead County, Montana, train for the worst disaster
imaginable. It isn't a terrorist attack. It isn't a raging wildfire
or a freezing blizzard. It isn't even the collapse of Hungry
Horse Dam. It's the Big One - a destructive earthquake
with a magnitude around 5.5 to 6.5. The worst-case scenario calls
for a 7.5 quake - the kind of monster shake-up that hasn't happened
there in almost 10,000 years. Historically, Montana has had some
of the highest seismic activity in the United States
and a large quake is overdue.
*A minor earthquake measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale struck
Helena, Montana on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey
has confirmed. No injuries were reported.
*A large tropical low which brought heavy rain and flooding to far
north Queensland, Australia over the weekend has strengthened
into category-two Cyclone Grace. The southern
coast of Queensland is expecting gale force winds and heavy rain.
*A 29-year-old man was killed in an avalanche in British Columbia.
*A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the Bolivia - Argentina border
region has occurred.

Sunday, March 21, 2004
* Tropical Cyclone Fay was upgraded to a category four cyclone
today but has turned away from the northern
coastline of Western Australia.
*Scientists are closely watching Montserrat's volcano
after a week of increased activity that brought strong tremors
and sent ash clouds into the sky.
*Another small earthquake (3.0) rumbled near the town of
Nephi, Utah on Friday, where two others (3.0 & 3.3) were
reported Thursday. They are part of a series of small
earthquakes that began March 10. Scientists say this occurrence
is NOT unusual and that a similar sequence of earthquakes
occurred in the same area last December.
*One of the largest emergency-preparedness exercises ever held
in the New Madrid fault region took place on Friday in Tennessee.
The New Madrid fault stretches from the boot heel of Missouri
south into Arkansas. It's considered the most likely site of a future
major earthquake east of the Rocky Mountains. Scientists believe
such a quake could be felt in 20 states and might cause billions
of dollars in damage to property.

Friday, March 19, 2004
*A cyclone warning has been issued for coastal and island
communities in north-east Queensland, Australia, with gales,
flooding and more heavy rain predicted for the region.
*A new glacier is forming in the crater of Mount St. Helens.
Geologists say that the growing glacier is increasing the flood
and mudflow hazards in front of the crater, the same place
where some people think it would be a good idea to
build a tourist highway. Over the past 525 years, Mount
St. Helens has been mostly active and has experienced five
explosive eruptions. Renewed eruptive or thermal activity at
the lava dome at any time could suddenly melt the glacier,
sending floods and mudflows down toward Spirit Lake
and the North Fork Toutle River in Washington state.

Thursday, March 18, 2004
*Tonight a small space rock makes the closest approach to Earth
yet recorded by an asteroid, but there is no danger
of an impact say astronomers.
*Communities in the north of Western Australia are bracing for
destructive winds and heavy rain as severe tropical Cyclone Fay
intensifies off the state's coast.
* Earthquakes in California:
16th 3.5, 3.6, 3.4. 4.3
17th 3.5, 4.5 (in Washington state 3.8)
18th 3.0, 3.7, 3.2 (in Utah 3.3) (in Hawaii 3.3, 3.5)
*The world is badly prepared for an inevitable human flu pandemic
and urgently needs to boost health care, surveillance and the supply
of key medicines, scientists warned today after
a meeting at the UN's health agency.
*Last November's record solar flare was twice the size originally
calculated, New Zealand scientists say.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
*A light earthquake jolted San Benito County in central California
yesterday. There were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake
had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3.
*Earthquakes early today:
Magnitude 5.7 earthquake in Crete, Greece
Magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Bolivia
*Three people were killed when a boulder hit their jeep near the
mountainous hill town of Sapa in northern Vietnam.
* Millions of locusts are moving from the Australian outback
into southern towns, say officials.
* Will runaway water warm the world? As the Earth heats
up, more water will make its way into the atmosphere, trapping
even more heat near the surface. To predict how much temperatures
could rise in the future, scientists are working to understand how
much water could enter the atmosphere and how that might
contribute to climate change.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
*Two brothers were among four people struck dead by lightning
while they tried to repair a shrine in a central Malaysian town.
* Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis poses a serious threat to the
European Union, says a World Health Organization report.
*The death toll from a massive landslide in southeastern
Kazakhstan mounted on Monday to 28 people including
six children.

Monday, March 15, 2004
*Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of a woman and
a child killed by landslide in southern Kazakhstan, bringing the
death toll to 26 people.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
*Ecuador was trying to gauge the environmental damage caused
by the spilling of thousands of barrels of oil after 2 landslides broke
a pipeline running from the Amazon jungle to a Pacific port.
*The worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century occurred in
1902 on Martinique, an island in the French West Indies.
Explosions, lightning storms, and downpours of volcanic ash
marked the "roller coaster" revival of Mount Pelée, which killed
over 26,000 people.

Saturday, March 13, 2004
*NASA is setting up a system that will search for disease outbreaks
via satellite. What NASA will be doing is looking for weather
conditions that create ideal conditions for outbreaks of dangerous
diseases, and then warning the countries where the conditions are
taking place to be on the watch for outbreaks. India is planning on
creating its own early warning system in order to cope with disease
outbreaks among its highly concentrated population.
*The U.K. government is not serious in its study of potentially
threatening rocks from space, claim scientists. They say
recommendations made by an acclaimed task force looking into
Near Earth Objects (Neos) in 2000 have not been implemented.
*Visibility across much of northeastern China, including downtown
Beijing, was reduced to 500 meters as a severe sandstorm swept
southeastward out of the Gobi desert on Wednesday.

Friday, March 12, 2004
*Two survivors confirm that the Samson Ferry carrying 113
people bound for Madagascar did sink during a cyclone.
*Climate change means there is little unusual about the early spring
in the U.K., scientists say.
*A big online attempt to predict how the global climate will
change this century wants to hear ordinary people's views.
climateprediction.net, a British initiative, is asking people to log on
and say which of four possible worlds they think will be most
likely by 2100.Voting will close on March 21st.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
*A magnitude 4.6 earthquake in northern Alaska has occurred
360 km (225 miles) N of Fairbanks.
*A moderate 5.2 earthquake shook central Japan, including
the capital, today.
*The parents of the 20-year-old woman crushed to death in
debris when a building collapsed during the December earthquake
in Paso Robles, California, want state officials to enforce an
existing law. It requires posted warnings at unreinforced buildings.
*An intense dust storm across Central Africa nearly hides the
land from the view in this satellite image from March 8th.
*The U.S. will have to help combat climate change if extreme
weather events are to be avoided, the government's chief
scientist has warned.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
* Cyclone Gafilo crossed the Indian Ocean island on Sunday, killing
at least eighteen and making 50,000 homeless. Officials
in Madagascar said they have had no word from a ferry carrying
113 passengers which has been missing since soon after the
cyclone passed by. The storm, which had moved offshore
and was stationary in the Mozambique Channel late Monday,
was on its way back to Madagascar on Tuesday.
*Two natural gas platforms off Nova Scotia's Sable Island have
been evacuated of all personnel as a huge field of pack ice heads
toward the rigs.
*In New York, some Schenectady residents don't know if or
when they'll be able to return to their homes. Six houses along
the top of a steep ridge were evacuated Sunday after a crevice
opened up and the hill gave way.
*In New Zealand, it is predicted that early next year, the water
and ash in Mt Ruapehu Volcano's crater will spill hundreds of
millions of litres of sludge down the mountain. It is estimated
that next year's lahar will be 50 percent greater than the 1953
Tangiwai disaster that killed 151 people. Local bodies
preparing for the life-threatening mudslide down
Mt Ruapehu are demanding they be protected from
legal liability because of the Government's
refusal to drain the crater lake.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004
*Although no one was hurt from the 4.1 quake in the Antique
town of Anini-y in the Philippines on Tuesday last week, residents
must continue keeping their guard as the town might continue to
experience more tremors. In January two scientists went to Anini-y
to check on the reports of a continuous quake taking place in
the town since early this year. The earthquake swarm may remain
just a cluster of small magnitude earthquakes similar to previous
periods of earthquake swarm that did not culminate in a
large-magnitude, damaging earthquake. Or the swarm may be
foreshocks of a larger-magnitude earthquake.
*On March 4th a large eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano,
on the island of Montserrat, shot a large cloud of volcanic
ash 20,000 feet into the air.
*A milky green cloud in the water off Namibia marks an eruption
of hydrogen sulfide gas from bacteria on the ocean floor.

Monday, March 8, 2004
*Scientists on Friday studied the most recent activity from Kilauea
Volcano on the Island of Hawaii. The current flow is the furthest
from the vent that lava has traveled since last October. Scientists
consider this part of the same eruption that began over 20 years ago.
* In Paso Robles, California, the legacy of December's 6.5 earthquake
is a new hot spring that bubbled up in the City Hall parking lot. It
is a stinking, steaming, simmering cauldron that wafts a rotten-egg
fog through part of downtown. 110 degree water spouts from the
parking lot at about 350 gallons a minute - enough to fill six
Olympic-sized swimming pools a day.

Sunday, March 7, 2004
* Tropical cyclone Galifo hit Madagascar yesterday, blasting
powerful winds across the storm-ravaged north of the Indian
Ocean island, as rescue officials said as many as 50,000
people could be left homeless.
*Six people were killed and five others reported missing in floods
fed by torrential rains and melting snow in
eastern and south-east Turkey.
*Two people died, including a 10-year-old boy, as communities
adjoining several rivers in northern New South Wales, Australia
were deluged by torrential rain today.
*Food was flown in to thousands of motorists stranded on South
Korean highways yesterday as snowfalls wreaked havoc with
traffic and forced schools to close. Some 5000 cars with 10,000
people remained stuck. The central provinces received the heaviest
single-day snowfall since 1904 when the country began
collecting weather data. Property damage was estimated at $100 million.
*Russian scientists rescued from an Arctic research station flew
home to a hero's welcome yesterday, days after narrowly escaping
death atop drifting ice floes.

Friday, March 5, 2004
* Near-cyclonic conditions began lashing south-east Queensland,
Australia causing blackouts and initial minor damage.
*A total of 628 people were ultimately killed and 926 others
injured in last week's earthquake in northern Morocco.
*Last year's deadly summer in Europe probably was the
hottest on the continent in at least five hundred years, according
to researchers who analysed ancient temperature records.
*Most of the buildings of Russia's North Pole-32 research station
sank overnight on Wednesday when the ice below it first cracked
and then disintegrated. All of a sudden around 5:15 pm a huge
wall of ice appeared that kept growing and growing. None of the
12 researchers posted to the station were hurt and all took shelter
in the few structures that did not sink in the icy water. The station,
set up in April 2003 to study climate change, had travelled about
3000km atop the ice floes since then and was now
about 700km from the North Pole.

Thursday, March 4, 2004
*A major eruption at Montserrat's Soufriere Hills volcano sent
a massive cloud of ash about 6000m into the sky today and
pyroclastic flows went down the eastern flank of the volcano,
but no injuries or damage were reported.
* Disasters killed 60,000 people in 2003. The earthquake in the
Iranian city of Bam accounted for two-thirds of the deaths, 41,000
were killed there. The death toll from 2003 was the seventh highest
since Swiss Re started its survey in 1970.
* Two tropical cyclones made landfall in Australia just hours apart.
Cyclone Monty came ashore along the northwest coast of
Western Australia on the evening of March 1, while Cyclone Evan
made landfall a few hours later in the early morning hours of March
2nd along the east coast of the Northern Territory.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004
*A small 3.8 earthquake has shaken the southeastern Turkish
province of Adiyaman, killing six people when one house collapsed.
*A couple on a remote West Australian pastoral station has
been rescued by helicopter after climbing on to the roof to escape
rapidly rising flood waters dumped by tropical cyclone Monty.
*One of the United Kingdom's largest insurers has unveiled
technology that will enable it to pinpoint whether individual
homes are at risk from flood. As well as showing whether an
individual property is at risk, the map shows how often a flood
is likely to occur and to what depth.
*The frequency of large, explosive volcanic eruptions over the
last 200 years has been remarkably constant. The number of
volcanoes actively erupting has remained quite steady at 50 to
70 per year. There are usually about 20 volcanoes erupting
at any given time on Earth. About 1500 volcanoes have erupted
in the last 10,000 years, and that's just counting the ones on land.
If you include young seafloor volcanoes, the estimate could go
up by a factor of at least 100. Many other volcanoes are currently
exhibiting signs of unrest, which can include increased levels of
seismicity, deformation of the ground surface,
and volcanic gas emissions.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004
* Australia's weather is changing, with more hot days and
fewer cold nights, the director of the Bureau of Meteorology says.
Plus the number of extreme weather events in the country is
increasing. Another sign of Australia's changing weather is the
drop-off in the number of tropical cyclones.
*A tiny West Australian town was being pounded today by
the category-three force of tropical cyclone Monty, as residents
further south braced for severe storms and flooding.
*A moderate earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale
rattled the Indonesian resort island of Bali today but there were
no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Monday, March 1, 2004
*Communities along the Western Australian coast are being
warned to take precautions as severe category four
tropical Cyclone Monty approaches.
*Australia was sending emergency supplies to cyclone-ravaged
Vanuatu, as the government met with New Zealand and French
officials to coordinate aid for the Pacific nation.
* Heavy snowfalls and high winds hit parts of Europe over the
weekend, leaving about 5000 trucks stranded in southwest France
after the main crossing-point to Spain was closed.
*A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in southern Greece has occurred
155 km (95 miles) WSW of Athens (population 772,000).

Sunday, February 29, 2004
*73 people have been evacuated near Como, Italy for fear of
landslide. About 40 square meters of rock have fallen , placing 20
apartments in two buildings in danger. The phenomenon began
Friday when a loud noise was heard throughout the town. A
rocky mass landed on a floor above living space and three
other masses of rocks were stopped by trees.
*A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 on
the Richter scale jolted northern Japan on Saturday.
*Shiveluch, the northernmost of active volcanoes in Kamchatka
(Russian Far East) is ejecting ash clouds to the height of 2.5
kilometers. Two powerful eruptions occurred on Saturday with
an interval of 17 hours. Adverse weather conditions hinder
observation of the volcano, yet the seismologists believe that the
eruptions have caused massive avalanches of debris. The
seismological stations located in the area keep registering
continuous volcanic tremors as well as weak but
extensive surface earthquakes. Catastrophic eruptions take place
at Shiveluch every 100-300 years, with the latest in 1964.
Weak and medium eruptions occur there much more frequently.

Saturday, February 28, 2004
*Communities along the mid-north coast of Western Australia
were being warned to expect strong gale winds today, due to
a tropical cyclone likely to continue moving towards the coast.
*A magnitude 6.0 earthquake in the Macquarie Island region
has occurred 330 miles SW of Auckland Is., New Zealand.
*A magnitude 5.7 earthquake in the Southern East Pacific Rise
has occurred 510 miles SSW of Hanga Roa, Easter Island.
*A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in Mindanao, Philippines has
*The No. 2 insurance provider in South Carolina wants to
raise the price of its earthquake coverage by an average of
20 percent statewide. The actual risk of a large earthquake
is no greater today than at any other point in history, but the
potential for economic damage may have increased, due to
population and infrastructure growth and higher property values.
There were about 190 small earthquakes recorded in South
Carolina from 1974 to 1993. But the fear of an earthquake
disaster runs deep in the region, fueled in part by the notorious
7.3 quake of 1886, which killed 60 people in Charleston and
damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings. It was felt as far
away as Cuba and Boston. There were 22 small earthquakes
in the seismic zone centered around the Summerville-Middleton
Plantation area in 2003. They ranged from less than 1 to slightly
more than 3 on the Richter scale. There have been two tremors
this year, both registering about 2 on the Richter scale.

Friday, February 27, 2004
*An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook
northeastern Taiwan Thursday, but no casualties or
damages were reported.
*A magnitude 5.9 earthquake in the Mauritius - Reunion region
has occurred 3105 km (1930 miles) SSW of Sri Lanka.
*Deaths in Britain from an increasingly drug-resistant superbug
are 15 times higher than they were a decade ago, according to
new figures released Thursday. Health authorities have become
increasingly worried over the past 50 years about the spread of
the bacteria, called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.
Countries around the world have reported similar increases in
such infections for many years. Although new antibiotics are
constantly being developed, some experts fear it is only a matter
of time until virtually every drug is useless.

Thursday, February 26, 2004
*The Pentagon's secret climate report warns that in next 20 years,
there could be a global catastrophe costing millions of
lives in wars and natural disasters. Major European cities will be
sunk beneath rising seas and Britain will have a "Siberian" climate
by 2020. There could be widespread flooding, due to a rise in
sea levels, by next year. The Pentagon says that the report is a
'worst-case' scenario, not a prediction of the future.
*Packing winds of up to 190kph, tropical Cyclone Ivy smashed
through the centre of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu today,
tearing down homes, ripping out trees and cutting
most national communications.
* Two 5.5 earthquakes have occurred near the coast of Guatemala.
One was at 5:53am Central Standard Time and the other
followed at 12:22pm.
*A magnitude 5.6 earthquake in the southwestern Ryukyu Islands
of Japan has occurred.
*A magnitude 5.7 earthquake in Tonga has occurred.
*Rescuers using pick axes and bare hands chipped through the
rubble of flattened mud-and-stone houses and concrete apartment
blocks, after the powerful earthquake that killed more than
560 people in northern Morocco.
*The worldwide federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
societies has launched an appeal for 2.8 million Swiss francs
($2.96 million) to care for survivors of a killer earthquake in Morocco.
*Aid and development groups on Wednesday pointed an
accusing finger at construction firms over the high death toll
in the earthquake that rocked northeast Morocco, saying
they ignored the building code for the quake-prone region.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
*The quake toll in Morocco has risen dramatically - a 6.4
earthquake rocked a picturesque but impoverished region of
northern Morocco, killing 564 people as they slept, and
injuring about 300. Reports say that Ait Kamara - a village of
6000 - was completely destroyed. An aftershock with a magnitude
of 4.1 was felt nine hours later.
*A 4.8 earthquake shook the small African nation of
Burundi on Tuesday, killing three people and destroying
at least two dozen homes.
*Astronomers have revealed how they came within
minutes of alerting the world to a potential asteroid strike last month.
Some scientists believed on January 13th, that a 30m object, later
designated 2004 AS1, had a one-in-four chance of
hitting the planet within 36 hours.
* Torrential rain, which had pounded several parts of North
Sumatra for the past week, has caused floods and landslides.
Thousands of residents' homes and public facilities, such as
schools and government offices, have been inundated.
* Cloud seeding is to be trialled in the Snowy Mountains region
of Australia this winter to try to increase river flow in the Murray
River system. Ski slopes are also set to benefit from increased
snowfalls thanks to the privately funded trial. The government
believes there is merit in this research to see if they can off-set
the impact of global warming on the national park so future
generations can continue to enjoy the alpine region.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
*An unusually strong 6.5 earthquake struck the Strait of Gibraltar
in between Spain and Morocco early this morning, but no damage
was immediately reported.
*A moderate earthquake struck eastern France near the city
of Lyon on Monday. Nobody seemed to have been hurt by the
quake and no damage was caused.
*A magnitude 6.2 earthquake in the Samoa Islands region
has occurred.
*A magnitude 4.7 earthquake in central Alaska has occurred
410 km (255 miles) ENE of Anchorage.
*French scientists say that the east coast of Ambrym Island in
Vanuatu rose by more than a metre in the major 7.5 earthquake
that shook up much of Vanuatu five years ago.
* Fear of earthquakes is the reason some companies give for
considering New Zealand an unsuitable place to outsource
information technology jobs.
*Using Terra satellite data, scientists detected an ongoing
eruption of Mount Belinda on Montagu Island in the South Atlantic.
Previously, there had been no historical record of any volcanic
activity on that island.

Monday, February 23, 2004
* Rising sea temperatures will cause most of the coral on
Australia's Great Barrier Reef to perish in the next 50 years.
By the middle of this century, less than 5% of the reef coral
will remain alive. Most of the colourful fish for which the reef
is also famous will disappear.
* Ocean-surface changes may mark tsunamis - A new
theoretical model that describes a tsunami's interaction with
winds may explain enigmatic observations associated with the
waves and could lead to a technique for spotting them
long before they hit shore.
*A strong 5.9 earthquake shook the Indonesian island of
Sumatra Sunday for the second time this month, leaving
houses damaged.
*An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted
northern Pakistan Sunday but there were no immediate reports
of casualties or property loss.
*Last year there were 10,591 earthquakes on the island of Hawai'i.
Of these, 2,079 were magnitude 1.5 or greater. The largest
was a 5.0 earthquake which occurred on August 26. Most of
these quakes are related to the active volcanoes on the island.

Saturday, February 21, 2004
*Three people were reported missing and thousands of residents
of low-lying districts of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, were
evacuated as flooding spread through the sprawling city.
*Several days of heavy rains led to widespread flooding on the
island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
*Victoria, Australia firefighters have contained more than 50
grass and scrub fires which broke out as the state
experienced searing heat and strong winds.
*A "classic nor'easter" dumped record amounts of snow on
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Thursday, causing
both provinces to declare states of emergency.
*Five people on a farm in British Columbia, on Canada's west
coast where bird flu was discovered this week, have fallen ill
with flu-like symptoms.
*The Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle was damaged in the
February 2001 Nisqually earthquake. It continues to move
and is now only 2 inches away from potentially expensive repairs.
* The scope of the damage of the two earthquakes that hit
Pakistan on February 14 is still incomplete. At least 24 were killed,
dozens were injured as mudslides and landslides showered
down on roads and goat-tracks that wind up and down the hills.
People have been forced to spend each night out in the freezing
cold because they're afraid to go into their houses which they fear
will fall down with the next slightest tremor.

Friday, February 20, 2004
*About 80 towns and cities around Australia have reached
record maximum temperatures for February. They have had
the most extraordinary run of hot weather, breaking record
temperatures all over the country.
*Swaziland's prime minister has declared a national disaster due
to the combined effect of AIDS, hail and a fourth successive
year of drought. Much of southern Africa is suffering from lower
than average rainfall for the current summer season.
*The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been detected in
two tigers and a domestic cat in Thailand in the first confirmed
cases of the disease in the cat family, increasing the risk to humans.
*A special SimCity-like game has been devised to help plan
for Britain's future flood defenses.

Thursday, February 19, 2004
* Strong winds and searing heat forecast for today could ignite
the first big Victorian bushfires of the summer, the Australian
Country Fire Authority warns.
*In Jerusalem,Israel, a report on the consequences of an
earthquake that would damage the nuclear reactor in Dimona
has been ordered to be "immediately" transmitted to the prime minister.
Prime Minister Effi Eitam says he is having sleepless nights
worrying about the ability of the nuclear reactor to
withstand a serious earthquake.
*A magnitude 5.6 (possibly 5.8) earthquake in the Gulf of
California has occurred 150 km (90 miles) NE of Cabo San
Lucas, Baja Calif. Sur, Mexico (pop. 37,000).

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
*A report prepared by the UN Development Program said that
Turkey ranked third in the world in earthquake casualties,
after Iran and Yemen.
*Five people, including a mother and child, have been confirmed
to have died when a powerful 5.6 earthquake hit the Indonesian
island of Sumatra on Monday.
*A magnitude 4.6 earthquake in central California has
occurred 40 km (25 miles) SSW of Bakersfield (pop. 247,000).
*NASA predicts more tropical rain in a world warmed
by climate change.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
*A 5.6 earthquake has struck Indonesia's Sumatra island,
killing two people and damaging a number of homes. Earlier
this month, an earthquake in West Papua province with an
estimated magnitude of 6.8 killed three dozen people
and injured more than 100.
*The Aleutian Chain's first confirmed undersea volcano - a
dramatic coral-covered cone that rises 1,900 feet from the
abyss of Amchitka Pass - has been given the name Amchixtam
Chaxsxii, or Amchitka Reef, in Unangan, the Aleut language.

Monday, February 16, 2004
*An arsonist was believed to have started two fires in South
Australia today as the state remained on high bushfire alert
amid an ongoing heatwave.
*Water levels in dams across south-east Queensland, Australia
are still critically low despite heavy rain and storms in recent weeks.
*Storms have lashed central New Zealand, leaving two men
missing, presumed drowned, and forcing the evacuation of
hundreds of people as flood waters rose.
*Rescue workers were struggling today to reach remote
northern areas of Pakistan where the death toll from this
weekend's twin earthquakes rose to 24 people.
*The pastor at one of the most prominent churches in Bethlehem
says the building is in danger of collapsing, following last
week's earthquake.

Sunday, February 15, 2004
*Twenty people died and several were injured after an earthquake
measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale hit northern Pakistan.
An aftershock was felt 90 minutes later which measured
5.5 on the Richter scale. It is feared that people have been
buried by debris in some areas, but snow and cold weather
could hamper rescue efforts.
*The crew of a Russian aircraft has observed a powerful
belching of ash by Kamchatka's Karymski volcano. Since
Friday morning, about 190 local trust tremors have occurred
near the volcano, and thermal anomalies were also registered.

Saturday, February 14, 2004
*More than 160 people have died and 230,000 displaced
by floods and mudslides in 17 Brazilian states this year.
*An avalanche in Canada's Banff National Park killed three ice
climbers. Parks Canada had warned of a considerable risk of
avalanches in the area in the past two days because of prolonged
sun exposure on the south side of the mountain.
*After killing millions of chickens and ducks across Asia, bird
flu is feared to have jumped to more exotic species, possibly
killing a leopard and cranes in Thailand and pheasants in Taiwan.
*The death toll from Indonesia's quake on Feb. 6, which
measured 6.9, has risen to 37. Another 592 residents were
injured, some seriously.

Friday, February 13, 2004
*South Australia faces a day of severe fire danger, with fears
conditions will mirror those that sparked the Ash Wednesday
bushfires in 1983.
*The Bodele Depression has generated wave after wave of
intense African dust storms in recent days. These Terra images
show the genesis of massive dust storms just as they are forming.
*Strong winds swept large plumes of dust off the southern coasts
of Iran and Pakistan south and eastward across the Arabian Sea
on Feb. 9th.

Thursday, February 12, 2004
*A controversial claim by an Australian scientist says that just
because Australian volcanoes aren't smoking like their Pacific
counterparts doesn't mean they don't pose a threat. Volcanoes in
Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland could erupt at any time
he says. However, no volcano in Australia has erupted for at least
two hundred years, with the most severe eruption at Mt Gambier,
in Victoria, 4500 years ago.
* Two earthquakes struck the Australian outback - the
first quake, magnitude 5, occurred yesterday evening in the
desert and was followed 12 minutes later by a 5.4 earthquake that
is the largest on record in the sparsely populated area.
*South Australia residents are bracing for a sustained period of
extreme fire danger with temperatures across the state tipped
to edge into the 40s this weekend and continue hot for
much of next week.
*The cyclone warning for Australia has been cancelled, as
the tropical low off the West Australian coast has fizzled out
after days of warnings it would develop into a cyclone.
*A 4.5 earthquake has shaken parts of Israel, the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to witnesses. Cable
TV and wireless networks were knocked out. There were no
reports of substantial damage or casualties.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
*The Bureau of Meteorology is warning that a monsoon low off
the West Australian coast could develop into a cyclone.
*Five children of a family on Monday night were buried alive
when a landslide hit their house in a village of the Swat district
in northern Pakistan.
*Geologists say there's a one-in-four chance that an earthquake
will rock St. Louis in the next 50 years. Business professionals
met last week for a conference on earthquake preparedness.
*A magnitude 5.8 earthquake on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
has occurred 235 km (145 miles) SSW of Anchorage.
*Snowmelt from a rare snowstorm flooded the rivers of
Western Turkey in this satellite image.
*Mud-rich waters gush off the northwestern shore of Madagascar
in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Elita.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
* Quakes in Mexico yesterday:
5.2, 5.3, 5.1, 4.3, 5.1, 4.4
*A strong 5.3 earthquake shook western Greece early Monday
and authorities said there were no reports of injuries or damage.
*A team of scientists credited with getting earlier earthquake
predictions right, now expects a 6.4 magnitude or larger temblor
in the Southern California desert by Sept. 5, according to a
report in the Los Angeles Times.
*More Australian firefighters were being brought in from around
Victoria to help contain two bushfires which have burnt more
than 400ha of state forest north-east of Melbourne.

Monday, February 9, 2004
*Another large aftershock hit Papua yesterday. This one
was magnitude 6.5.
*Australian firefighters were battling to contain four small bushfires
in Victoria's north-east caused by lightning strikes.
*This image shows a clear view of the Cape Verde Islands in the
eastern Atlantic as a massive wall of Saharan Desert dust
approaches from the east.
A widespread plume of Saharan Desert dust blew off the northwest
coast of Africa and directly over the Canary Islands on Feb. 3.

Sunday, February 8, 2004
*A cyclone alert has been issued that a cyclone could form off
far north Queensland, Australia this week, the weather bureau said.
*Indonesian police say the number of people killed in Papua
province has risen to 27 following the second, stronger, earth
tremor in the region. Over 33 aftershocks have occurred since
the first quake. The latest large one was 5.8.

Saturday, February 7, 2004
*Another, larger earthquake has struck Papua - this one magnitude 7.1.
* Earthquake rescue efforts in the Indonesian province of Papua
are being hampered by a damaged airstrip in the area. At least 34
people were killed in the series of quakes on Thursday and 500
of homes leveled.
*A cyclone brought heavy snow and gale winds to Kamchatka
peninsula, and the Shiveluch volcano erupted and added to
the natural calamities Friday. The cyclone dropped up to 70
percent of the monthly precipitation norm in two days and
increased the risk of avalanches.
*The drought in New South Wales, Australia is showing its best
signs of easing in nearly two years. But mosquitoes and locusts
swarming after recent rain in northern NSW poses risks to animals
and the environment, the NSW government warned farmers.
* Bird flu has been discovered in the U.S. - officials in Delaware
ordered the destruction of some 12,000 farm chickens today
after confirming that the flock was infected by avian influenza.

Friday, February 6, 2004
*At least 22 people have been killed and 600 are believed
injured by a powerful 6.9 earthquake in Indonesia.
Villagers in the area of Cendrawasih
Bayhad reported a tsunami, or tidal wave, but this could not be
confirmed. Nine aftershocks immediately followed the major quake.
*British rescue services were racing to locate 20 people,
thought to be Chinese, who were in danger of drowning
after being trapped by rising tides on mudflats off the
northwest coast of England. Six bodies have been found.
*The 1918 influenza pandemic that killed some 20 million people
worldwide was likely made possible by a virus that evolved from
an avian virus, like the current 'bird flu'. The current strain of avian
flu that has killed people in Asia exposed to infected birds is closer
to that of the Hong Kong flu. But slight alterations in the influenza
virus's infectivity could spawn a major epidemic.

Thursday, February 5, 2004
*More rain is forecast in Brazil, where a month of heavy rain
has already claimed at least 91 lives and up to 117,000 people
have been forced out of their homes.
*An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale shook several
regions in Panama, leaving four injured and causing panic.
* Landslide warnings from satellites may save lives.

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
*A strong earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale
struck northern Japan on Wednesday.
* An earthquake registering 6.0 on the Richter scale rattled
eastern Taiwan Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports
of casualties or damage, officials said.
* Mudslides and floods have forced more than 40,000 Brazilians
to leave their homes and have killed 84 people since heavy rains
began in late December. Rains are expected to continue. The
government is scrambling to rescue people trapped in towns
that have become islands.

Tuesday, February 3, 2004
* Rising sea levels threaten China - Global warming will cause
sea levels around China's coasts to continue rising in the next three
to 10 years, creating problems for the country's coastal residents.
*Earth recovered on its own from a sudden episode of severe
global warming that took place at the time of the dinosaurs,
new evidence suggests. There are still vast reserves of carbon
locked up as methane ice in ocean sediments. If global temperatures
reach a critical point, it is possible they might suddenly be released
into the atmosphere causing a similar warming event to the one
that occurred during the Jurassic - recovery took 150,000 years.
*Indonesia confirms cases of the most dangerous type of bird flu,
as experts prepare for an emergency summit.

Sunday, February 1, 2004
*A small earthquake shook western Ohio Friday, causing
some residents to think there was an explosion.
*A minor earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude
3.6 rattled the town of San Martin in California on Friday night.
*Alaskan quakes:
Friday - 4.3, 3.1, 4.1, 4.1, 3.0, 4.1
Saturday - 4.1, 3.3, 5.1, 4.7, 4.7, 3.4

Saturday, January 31, 2004
*At least one person was reported dead, apparently from smoke
and ash inhalation, and some 5,000 others evacuated from
their homes, after Mount Egon volcano on Flores island in East
Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia erupted. Eyewitnesses
said the lower part of the crater was seen bursting. Material
losses were yet to be calculated as eruptions are still ongoing.
Indonesia's vulcanology agency says more than 20,000 residents
could be in danger if Mount Egon has a major eruption.
*At least 15 people have been confirmed dead after a landslide
hit a village in the Central Java district of Purworejo in Indonesia.
Several houses have been flattened following torrential rainfall and
a mud slide which swept down a mountain and surged through
two villages.
*A skier is missing after an avalanche in Southeastern British
Columbia, Canada.

Friday, January 30, 2004
*Hundreds of people have been evacuated from the slopes of
Indonesian Mount Egon volcano after it began spewing
dark smoke. Egon's only confirmed eruption was in 1907.
*A strong 6.8 earthquake hit several islands in Maluku province
on Wednesday but there were no reports of damage or casualties.
Antara reported the earthquake caused a tsunami (tidal wave) to
hit Namlea, the capital of Buru district, at 7:15am Thursday, but
locals said the wave caused no damage to nearby houses.
*Fresh lava continues to flow out of the Karymsky volcano's
crater; located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far
East. There is substantial volcanic activity in that area; the
volcano's crater keeps spewing volcanic ashes at 4-5-minute intervals.
* Tropical Cyclone Elita was making landfall off the coast
of Mahajanga, Madagascar.
*A category one cyclone warning for the Cocos Islands has been
issued, saying the area could be battered by winds gusting up to
110kph later today. The Islands lie to the north-east of
Western Australia.
*South-east Queensland, Australia is cleaning up after the
fourth night of storms in a week.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
*An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted
Indonesia's eastern Moluccas island chain today and may have
caused a tsunami, officials said. Aftershocks were also reported.
*The damage bill from a series of storms which have hit
Queensland, Australia since the weekend is expected to
run into millions of dollars.
*Earthquake relief workers in Iran are engaged in a race against
time to protect the 65,000 homeless survivors of the Bam quake
from diseases brought on by warmer spring weather.
* What will warn of a Yellowstone super volcano eruption? A
dramatic increase in seismic activity in the area of the park will
be the early warning sign, followed by larger and larger quakes
and significant increases in ground temperatures and outgassing
over wider areas. Right now, we appear to be in the early stages
of this, and nobody knows whether current activity will subside
or get worse.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
*The bird flu epidemic has spread to the Thai capital,
where delegates were gathering for an international conference
to find ways of halting its gallop across the Asian continent.
International agencies say the world only has a brief window to
stop avian flu becoming a global threat to humans.
*At least 56 people have died and one is missing in heavy rains
that have lashed Brazil over the past month. People in 190 cities
throughout Brazil were affected with about 6,803 people left homeless.
*One man is presumed dead following an avalanche near the
community of Pangnirtung on Baffin Island in Canada.
* Two earthquakes measuring 5.0 and 4.7 on the Richter scale
struck different regions of Japan Tuesday. There was no
immediate report of injuries or damage.
*Twelve tent camps have now been set up in and around the
city of Bam to house survivors of the devastating Iranian earthquake.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
* Snow and freezing rain iced highways across the U.S. from
the mid-west to the mid-Atlantic, a day after a separate storm
made travel risky from the central Plains to the Carolinas.
The heaviest snowfall was 23 inches at Duluth, Minnesota, as
moist air swept inland from Lake Superior.
*Police closed highways, trains were held up and flights cancelled
as winter storms battered parts of Europe and left at least 10
people dead since the weekend. Romania has been worst hit
by blizzard conditions, the worst snow storms there in 40 years.
*According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 2003 closed as the
deadliest year for earthquakes since 1990, 25 times more fatal
than 2002. 43,819 deaths have been reported for the past year;
in 2002, 1711 people died in quakes around the world; in
1990, 51,916 people were killed in various seismic events.
*Terra, a giant satellite launched in late 1999 as part of NASA's
Earth Observing System, has among its array of instruments
for studying Earth an infrared camera that is giving scientists
some unprecedented views inside some very dangerous volcanoes.
Better forecasts would be particularly important for the volcanoes
in the Aleutian Arc and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. These are
some of the most volatile and remote volcanoes in the world,
but they also lie underneath one of the world's busiest air trade routes.

Monday, January 26, 2004
*Two people were killed and at least 72 others are missing
after scores of small fishing boats encountered strong winds
in waters off the northern Philippines.
*In Kathmandu, a landslide, triggered by rains, blocked a major
highway, severing the Nepalese capital from the rest of the
country, officials said on Sunday.
* A magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook parts of the Pacific
nation of Tonga today, but there were no reports of injury
or damage.
*A magnitude 5.3 earthquake in the Vancouver Island region
in Canada has occurred. It was later followed by a 4.2 quake.
*Authorities issued evacuation alerts Sunday as ice and slush
jams sent water spilling over the banks of a river that runs
between Montreal and neighbouring Laval. The flooding
threatens hundreds of homes.

Sunday, January 25, 2004
*The massive storm lashed some regions around the Black Sea
and eastern Mediterranean on Saturday, with parts of
southeastern Europe blanketed by the biggest snow fall in two
decades. As the storm swept east, it drove cargo ships onto
rocky shorelines, stranded motorists and downed power lines.
At least 10 people died in weather-related incidents.
*A seventeen-year-old was killed on the spot after heavy rain
caused a landside which broke down a sidewall of his house
at Kampung Podam, Malaysia.
*A series of 1-1.5 kilometre ash discharges from Volcano
Sheveluch on Kamchatka over the past 24 hours was reported.
A lot of local earthquakes and thermal anomalies were recorded
in the area of the volcano.
Two other Kamchatka volcanoes also remain active. Seismic activity
was recorded in the area volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka.
One hundred and fifty local earthquakes and ash discharges have
been reported from seismological stations at Karymsky Volcano.

Saturday, January 24, 2004
*Freezing temperatures, heavy snow and high winds threw parts
of southeastern Europe into chaos yesterday, claiming dozens of
lives and overwhelming emergency services in the
usually temperate region. In Turkey the equivalent of a month's
precipitation fell on the region in just 24 hours. Two young
students both froze to death travelling between home and school.
Forecasters warned that snow would continue falling
throughout the weekend.
Egypt has closed the Suez Canal as severe storms continue
to wreak havoc in the eastern Mediterranean.
*In Hawaii, there had been accelerating expansion at Kilauea's
volcanic summit for the last 8-9 months, leading scientists to
speculate that a new vent would open sometime this January
or early February. The volcano becomes pressurized and
existing vents at Pu`u `O`o are insufficient to reduce the pressure.
The pressure builds slowly, expanding the volcano, and
accelerates up to the time that Pu`u `O`o breaks open with a
new vent. On January 18, 4 new vents opened and lava
flow began.
Also in Hawaii, a small swarm of earthquakes took place
at Lo`ihi, the submarine volcano off the south coast of the
island, on January 21-22. This is the first significant swarm
at Lo`ihi since January 12-16, 2003.
*A chicken butcher thought to have contracted bird flu has died
amid fears that a virulent new flu strain could emerge.
Bird flu has affected poultry in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan,
South Korea - and also Vietnam, where it has killed five people.
In humans, symptoms include fever, sore throat, and cough.

Friday, January 23, 2004
*A thick and massive Texas-sized cloud of Saharan Desert
dust filled the skies over most of Egypt and eastern Libya yesterday.
* Volcanic eruptions on the Kamchatkan Peninsula -
Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Shiveluch and Bezymianny are active again.
*If the 24 January landing on Mars of the Opportunity
rover is successful then the next target should be an
extinct volcano, say scientists.
*Extreme tides - If Earth had been somewhat larger, it's
possible that it would not have survived tides induced by its
moon or even by an encounter with a passing asteroid. That's
one scenario suggested by a recent investigation of a venerable
equation that serves as a model for planetary tidal effects.

Thursday, January 22, 2004
*In Canada, 2003 was not the deadliest or costliest year,
but what was different last year was the relentless, unstoppable
weather extremes and coast-to-coast disasters. From the
SARS health emergency in Toronto, to Juan's fury over Nova
Scotia, from terrifying firestorms in British Columbia, and the
"rainstorm of the century" in the Pacific Northwest, the hits just
kept on coming.
*The only known submarine eruption in Hawaii in the last 200 years
occurred on Feb. 28, 1877. In 1953 all 31 people aboard the
Japanese research vessel Kaiyo-maru were lost when the ship
passed directly over the erupting Myojin-sho volcano in Japan.
Rapidly rising gasses ejected from the undersea volcano decreased
the water's density and hence its ability to support the heavy ship,
causing it to slip beneath the waves.
*A northern monsoon brought heavy rains and floods to
Eastern Australia.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
*It is just a little more than 192 years since the start of the massive
New Madrid earthquake that was felt for hundreds of miles
and caused the mighty Mississippi River to flow backwards for a
short time. In southern Illinois the shakings and wave-like movements
of the ground continued from November 1811 until the following
March. Hundreds of square miles sank in Missouri and Arkansas
and many square miles of heavily timbered high land
sank in western Tennessee.
*Montserrat, a 38-square-mile Caribbean island, had been sliced
in two when its volcano rumbled to life in July 1995. On July 12,
2003, 140-million cubic meters of ash blanketed the island. Since
then, the volcano has been silent, its longest period of quiet during
eight years of restiveness. Scientists plan to re-evaluate
the volcano in March.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
*New studies describe California's earthquake zones as more
complex - and possibly more lethal - than previously thought.
A large earthquake along the northern region of the San Jacinto
fault could trigger a cascading rupture of the Sierra Madre-
Cucamonga system, potentially causing a major earthquake
of magnitude 7.5 to 7.8 near the Los Angeles metropolitan region.
*In Japan major Nankai and Tonankai earthquakes are anticipated.
They ``run the risk of triggering enormous disasters simultaneously
over a wide area'' including Tokyo, since in the past, temblors in
those regions have occurred simultaneously or within several days.
At worst, two successive earthquakes could claim 21,000 lives. A
major earthquake could also hit the Tokai region at any time, forcing
an estimated 1.9 million people to evacuate to shelters for at least a
week without adequate supply of food and water. Coastal areas
must prepare for tsunami of 10 meters or higher.

Monday, January 19, 2004
*Is the Yellowstone 'Super Volcano' about to blow? Official
sources say no, but others are concerned about recent eruptions,
200 degree ground temperatures, magma movement just
three-tenths of a mile below the bulging surface of the ground and
84 degree water temperatures. Some geologists predict that when
the volcano blows, which may not occur for 100,000 years or more,
every living thing within six hundred miles is likely to die.
*Volcano Shiveluch on Kamchatka has spewed ashes to
the altitude of 3 kilometers above its crater. A big number of
small tremors have been registered at the volcano, and thermal
anomalies have also been registered there. Shiveluch awakened
January 11 after a brief period of dormancy.
Klyuchevskaya Sopka is also showing heightened activity,
with ash spews reaching 100 meters above the crater and a
big number of local crust tremors registered.
About 300 tremors were registered in the vicinity of the
Karymski volcano.
Gases are rising to the altitude of 500 meters above the
volcano Bezymianny, which spewed ashes to the altitude
of 8 kilometers on January 14.
*Five Romanian skiers, including a soldier, died when they
were hit by a massive avalanche in the central Bucegi mountains.
*A new look at which areas in Southern California are most at
risk if a large earthquake hits - 3-D flyover maps show areas
prone to landslides and places that could liquify in a big quake,
meaning the land could become like quicksand because of it's
high water content.
*Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, is at high risk from earthquakes
based on its location, infrastructure, facilities and population,
density, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency
Mangement has said. Jamaica lies in Earthquake Zone 3 and
has a high probability of major damage from
magnitude 6-7 earthquakes.

Sunday, January 18, 2004
*The death toll rose to 11 Saturday as heavy rains and mudslides
pounded the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro for the second
day in a row.
*One person was injured and up to three were still missing
after an avalanche hit a skiing area near the Swiss resort of Verbie.
*Tamworth, Parry and Moree Plains shires in Australia were
declared natural disaster zones following flash flooding in the region.

Saturday, January 17, 2004
*A commuter bus packed with farmers and merchants on their
way to a Colombian market was struck by a mudslide and
careened off the road, killing seven passengers and injuring 12 others.
*Eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States were
shivering under "life-threatening" Arctic conditions yesterday,
as record-breaking low temperatures led the U.S. National
Weather Service to issue wind chill warnings for several states.
Temperatures fell to their lowest in more than a century
in New York City. In Michigan, the storm has claimed
at least five lives.
*Thousands came together to pray, mourn and light candles as
the city of Kobe, Japan remembered a devastating earthquake
that killed more than 6000 people nine years ago.
* Tropical Cyclone Heta caused an estimated $150 million
in damage American Samoa, officials said.

Friday, January 16, 2004
*A huge column of ash shot out of the Ecuadorean Sangay
Volcano, making it the SIXTH showing signs of eruption
in the South American country.
* Another volcano on Kamchatka awakened on Wednesday -
this one appears to be an unnamed volcano. Scorching avalanches
were spotted in the region. The top of the volcano is shaking.
Also, a number of local earthquakes have been reported.
*Bone-chilling temperatures and lots of snow are causing major
fender benders and snarling travel plans across the U.S. as
some of the coldest weather in 50 years blows into the Northeast.
*An http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2004/1/15/latest/15512Strongear&sec=latest "> earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 rattled
northern Japan on Thursday.
*Southern Iran was hit by moderate 5.0 earthquake on Thursday
in the province of Fars but there were no reports of serious injury.
*The death toll in Iran's recent devastating earthquake has
reached 41,000.
* Ten years after the Northridge earthquake - the costliest temblor
in the state's history - California has made extensive safety
improvements but remains unprepared for a great earthquake.

Thursday, January 15, 2004
*At least 15 million people face shortages as a severe drought
in Southern Africa ruins grain crops. Farmers' leaders say the
current drought is possibly the worst to hit the country
in nearly a century.
* Lake Balkhash, the second largest lake in Central Asia, could
dry up, sparking an environmental crisis, the U.N. warns.
*Heavy rains have caused deadly flash floods in Iran.
* Extreme cold gripped New England Wednesday. The
coldest spot was New Hampshire's Mount Washington, where
the temperature dipped to a record 44 below with
a wind chill of minus 100. Weather forecasters said the cold snap
won't loose its grip on New England until Saturday.
*Eastern Canada has been plunged into yet another deep freeze,
with frigid temperatures all the way from Ontario to Newfoundland.
*Researchers are investigating the destructive force of thunderstorm
downbursts, freak winds which can bring down aircraft and
uproot electricity pylons.
*The bird flu virus, which has caused an Asian-wide health
scare, has the potential to be far more serious than SARS,
the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
* Mount Aso Volcano in southern Japan erupted today, spewing
a column of ash and smoke into the air and prompting officials
to close off the area around its crater. Today's eruption was
significantly stronger than Aso's recent rumblings.
*A series of massive ash emissions from the Shiveluch volcano
has been registered on the Kamchatka Peninsula over the past
24 hours. Scientists have registered a lot of local tremors and
thermal anomalies in the area. Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano,
which is near Shiveluch, is also showing a high activity. Both
volcanoes activated on Sunday.
*A series of powerful discharges of ashes from the crater of
the Karymsky volcano has been registered on the Kamchatka
peninsula. About 280 local quakes have rocked its area since
Tuesday morning and thermal anomalies have been registered.
*A fifth volcano on Russia's far eastern Kamchatka peninsula
has now erupted, spewing out a huge cloud of ash and steam.
The plume rose some 8,000 metres above the Bezimyanny
volcano, with dirt and snow avalanches streaming down its
slopes and numerous tremors registered in its depths.
* Satellite image of the eruptions of Shiveluch and
Klyuchevskaya Sopka Volcanoes on Kamchatka peninsula.
*A 5.1 earthquake caused tall building to sway in downtown
Mexico City, less than two hours after a moderate quake
shook the southern Mexican coast.
*The devastating earthquake in Iran has led to a serious examination
of proposals to shift the Islamic republic's political capital out
of the quake-prone city of Tehran.
*Swiss glaciers have been melting faster than in previous years
due to the warm weather of 2003 in Europe. For the first time
since annual measurements began in 1880, all 96 of the glaciers
evaluated this year have become shorter. In previous years, a few
were unchanged or had even grown longer due to snow that
had accumulated during the prior winter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
*Scientists believe they have detected a pattern in earthquakes
occurring along the San Andreas Fault. Small, recurring quakes
along a section of the fault tend to follow a three-year cycle.
Meanwhile, larger quakes in the area studied tended to occur
at the beginning of the cycle, when the small quake activity
was on the upswing. If the pattern continues, the next upswing
in small quakes should occur later this year. That doesn't
necessarily mean a big one's coming - because scientists didn't
find large earthquakes in every three-year cycle.
*An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale was registered
near the Commandor Islands in the Pacific off Russia's Far
Eastern Kamchatka peninsula early Monday. This follows the
eruptions of 4 volcanoes on the peninsula during the weekend.
*The heatwave which scorched much of Europe in 2003
could become a frequent event, Swiss scientists believe.
*Army soldiers uncovered the bodies of two children on
Sunday who were buried by a mudslide in southwestern Mexico.
* Solar activity - Sunspot 537 isn't very big, but it has
a complex magnetic field that harbors energy for strong
solar flares. Eruptions from the spot during the next few
days would likely be Earth directed.

Monday, January 12, 2004
*The Shiveluch volcano on Kamchatka grew active on Sunday.
A series of explosions happened in the volcano crater within
a one hour period. This follows the increase in activity of the
Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, the largest Eurasian volcano
located on Kamchatka. Scientists think the increased activity
is unrelated, and there is no danger to townships at present.
The Avachinsky volcano located 25 kilometers away from
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky has grown active, too. None
of the five seismological stations in the volcano zone has
registered an increase in seismic activity. Seismologists
previously have reported thermal anomalies indicating higher
activity of Karymsky Volcano on Kamchatka.
* One of the world's most active volcanoes, Piton de la Fournaise,
located on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean,
erupted early Friday. The intensity of the activity was
not immediately known.
*Southwestern Pennsylvania is among the most landslide prone
region in the country, evidenced by several recent hillslides
that closed roads and damaged houses when heavy rains fell.
Landslide maps document more than 15,000 ancient and
geologically recent major landslides in Allegheny and
Washington counties alone.
*The Queensland, Australia heatwave got so bad last week,
goldfish literally sizzled to death in their fish tanks.

Sunday, January 11, 2004
*Three hundred people were injured when an earthquake
measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale hit the region around
the Algerian capital.
* Floodwaters swept a bus carrying 30 orange pickers off a
road in southeastern Brazil, and at least eight people drowned.
*Kamchatka's Karymsky Volcano has discharged ash to the
height of 7,000 metres above sea level. Seismologists also
report thermal anomalies indicating higher activity of Karymsky.
*Temperatures dropped well below minus 18 Celsius yesterday
across the Northeast, making it the coldest day in a decade
for some U.S. cities.
*Heavy rains have spurred floods and landslides along the Andes
Mountains in Eastern Peru.

Saturday, January 10, 2004
* Major earthquakes can be predicted months in advance,
argues a UCLA seismologist and mathematical geophysicist.
Borok's team now predicts an earthquake of at least magnitude
6.4 by Sept. 5, 2004, in a region that includes the southeastern
portion of the Mojave Desert, and an area south of it. UCLA
says the team's current predictions have not missed any
earthquake, and its two most recent ones have come to pass.
*The U.N. tells donors the long-term rebuilding of the Iranian
quake-hit city of Bam could cost up to $1 billion.
* Bushfires burning north of Sydney were being contained
thanks to the efforts of hundreds of firefighters overnight.
*New warning over monkeypox threat - The U.S. could face
further outbreaks of dangerous monkeypox if the virus has
gained a foothold among native animals.

Friday, January 9, 2004
*The Volcano of Fire near Guatemala is spewing ash and lava.
Emergency teams are on alert but authorities said the situation
wasn't serious enough to warrant evacuations. The volcano was
expected to remain active through the night, but the lava flow
was not likely to increase, according to the national volcano
and earthquake center.
*Rakes, brooms and hoses are in full swing around bushland
communities in Sydney's outer north-west where a bushfire
continues to burn unchecked. Bushfires erupted
simultaneously yesterday, forming a ring around Sydney as
firefighters' worst fears of a flare-up materialised.
*New South Wales, Australia is slipping into its third
consecutive year of drought.
*The cold wave sweeping north India has killed 168 more people
in the past four days in the country's most populous state, Uttar
Pradesh, taking the winter toll there to 324 dead.
*A 56-year-old man has been pulled alive from the rubble of the
Bam earthquake in south-west Iran, 13 days after the tragedy,
although he is in a coma and may not survive.
* Wyoming's early morning earthquake on Wednesday was one
of 10 earthquakes to shake both Utah and Wyoming since
Christmas day. Four of the ten earthquakes were in central
Utah near Nephi. This earthquake was felt over an area at
least 200 miles long.
*A sulfur smell coming from a mud spring opened by the
6.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Paso Robles, Calif.,
last month is getting better. Workers have begun piping
the mud from the spring into the Los Angeles city sewer,
causing the stink to subside.

Thursday, January 8, 2004
*Quakes in Wyoming yesterday:
2.9, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, 3.4, 3.7, 3.0, 5.0 (earliest)
*A quarter of all land animals and plants could be wiped out
by warming global temperatures, scientists say.
*A freak summer storm tore through north-eastern New
South Wales yesterday and cut power supplies, damaged roofs
and ripped branches from trees, but was over as quickly as it started.
* Heavy rain inundated the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, pushing
Lake Tempe and the Tondano River over their banks.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
*The worst cyclone in living memory has devastated the tiny
South Pacific island of Niue. At least one person died and Niue's
capital of Alofi was flattened.
*In Australia it is so hot in the Queensland outback that kangaroos
have been abandoning their joeys.
More than 300 firefighters were trying to stop the spread
of an 1800ha bushfire in central New South Wales.
*About 80 campers were evacuated from a Tasmanian national
park as a bushfire raged nearby.
*Two minor earthquakes hit Indonesia's holiday island of Bali
on Tuesday, four days after a powerful tremor damaged
more than six thousand buildings and causing financial losses
of 12 million dollars. The deep-sea quakes registered at 3.7
and 4.1 on the Richter scale. There were no reports of casualties
or damage.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004
*A relatively strong 5.2 earthquake struck southwestern
Japan today.
*High temperatures and strong winds forecasted for central
western New South Wales, Australia threaten to fan a
large bushfire near Dubbo.
*Spanish police were combing parts of the country today after
thousands of people reported seeing a "ball of fire" in the sky,
prompting astronomers to speculate fragments had
broken off a large meteorite. Behind a disco in Castellon
province the fireballs started a small fire.

Monday, January 5, 2004
* Tropical Cyclone Ken formed off the northern West Australian
coast overnight, with communities warned to brace for possible
heavy winds.
*What happened in Bam could occur on a far larger scale in
Tehran, the capital of Iran. In February 2003,
the head of the International Seismological Research
Center made a stark warning that the fault lines around Tehran
were sliding and accumulating energy. He made an ominous
prediction: "There is a strong likelihood of an earthquake
striking the Iranian capital … the probability of a quake above
seven degrees on the Richter scale in the next 10 years currently
stands at 65 percent, and this is expected to increase
with the passing of time."
*About 30 Russian anglers are missing, adrift on an iceberg
somewhere in the Gulf of Finland, after ignoring advice
against wandering onto the ice.
*At least 14 people are believed to have died when a
landslide in northern China's Shanxi province came tumbling
down on a group of 5 houses.

Sunday, January 4, 2004
* Heta, a tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds, churned
southward as forecasters issued a hurricane watch Saturday
for American Samoa and the neighboring nation of Samoa. Heta
is the first tropical cyclone to threaten the Pacific archipelago
in more than a decade.
* A meteorite has hit northern Iran causing minor damage to
property but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
*The man believed to be the lone American to die in Iran's
devastating 6.6-magnitude earthquake last week was a
newly engaged executive.
Rescuers have pulled a 97-year-old woman alive from the
rubble of the Iranian earthquake.
*A powerful 7.1 earthquake struck off the east coast of the
French island of New Caledonia on Saturday, the latest in a string
of strong temblors to hit the area.
*A three-week cold front in parts of South Asia has killed
at least 300 people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, with winter
fog fracturing air, road and rail traffic.
*Confusion over whether a suspected SARS patient in China
has the disease deepened today when tests suggested he may
have been infected by a new strain of the virus.

Saturday, January 3, 2004
*Communities along the far north coast of Western Australia
are being warned to expect gale-force winds today as a
tropical cyclone escalates.
*An avalanche has crashed down onto a mountainside cabin
in Idaho in the United States, killing a couple inside.
*Near-freezing temperatures have killed at least nine more
people in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal over the past two
days. The death toll from the week-long cold snap has now
reached 19 in Nepal, where temperatures dropped following
rain and snow last weekend.
*Australia will become hotter and more prone to drought over
the next 70 years, leading climatologists say.

Friday, January 2, 2004
*The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone warning for
the northern West Australian coast.
*The death toll from a cold wave sweeping northern
India climbed to 98.
*A strong 5.7 earthquake rocked Mexico City yesterday, but
no major damage or injuries were immediately reported. The
quake rocked downtown highrises, sent many running from
their homes and caused scattered power outages.
*An 5.4 earthquake shook parts of eastern Indonesia yesterday.
At least twenty-nine people were injured
*A young girl and a pregnant woman were among three people
pulled out alive from the rubble of the Bam earthquake yesterday.
*Winnipeg hospitals saw a record number of cases of
a "superbug" this past year.

Thursday, January 1, 2004
* Four aftershocks shook the ancient Silk Road city of Bam
on Wednesday in the wake of last Friday's quake. About 40,000
people were now left in Bam - most spending the bitterly cold
nights in tents - out of an original population of 103,000. The
remainder were either dead, missing, in hospital or had left town.
*A strong 5.9 earthquake shook buildings in the capital of Taiwan
but no damage was immediately reported.
*Gadget-hungry people and shrinking households are
creating huge, unnoticed climate problems, a report says.
As manufacturers produce increasingly energy-efficient goods
to protect the climate, people are simply buying more of them
- wiping out green benefits.
*Scientists have known for some time that the Earth's
magnetic field is fading. Its strength has steadily and
mysteriously waned, leaving parts of the planet vulnerable to
increased radiation from space. It is uncertain whether the
weakened field is on the way to a complete collapse and a
reversal that would flip the North and South Poles.