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Study links swarm of quakes in Texas to natural gas drilling

April 22, 2015 5:53 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

With real-time monitors, scientists have linked a swarm of small earthquakes west of Fort Worth, Texas, to nearby natural gas wells and wastewater injection.  In 84 days from November 2013 to January 2014, the area around Azle, Texas, shook with 27 magnitude 2 or greater earthquakes, while scientists monitored the shaking. It's an area that had no recorded quakes for 150 years.

Unseasonal Rainstorm Kills at Least 32 in Eastern India

April 22, 2015 5:41 pm | by Indrajit Singh, Associated Press | News | Comments

An unseasonable storm with heavy rain and hail killed at least 32 people, injured more than a...

Almonds Get Roasted in Debate Over California Water Use

April 21, 2015 12:26 pm | by Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press | News | Comments

California almonds are becoming one of the world's favorite snacks and creating a multibillion-...

One Dead in Taiwan from Fire Sparked by Quake off South Japan

April 21, 2015 12:24 pm | by Associate Press | News | Comments

 A strong undersea earthquake struck between Taiwan and southern Japan, sparking a house fire...

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Tornado Kills Two, Leaves 1,000 Homeless in Southern Brazil

April 21, 2015 12:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities say two people have been killed and 1,000 have been left homeless by a tornado that struck a southern Brazilian city. The state of Santa Catarina's civil defense department said that the vast storm that blew through the city of Xanxere Monday night damaged about 500 homes. Lampposts were knocked down, and the strong winds flipped vehicles over and blew off the roofs of homes.

Unseasonable Rain Causes Heartache for Many Indian Farmers

April 16, 2015 11:20 am | by Biswajeet Banerjee, Associated Press | News | Comments

April is usually a time of celebration for millions of farmers across northern India. The winter wheat crop is ready to be harvested, and there's money to clear past debts and plan future planting.  This year, however, unseasonable rain and hailstorms in March destroyed millions of acres of farmland in the region.

Residents Allowed to Return to Tornado-Hit Illinois Town

April 14, 2015 10:57 am | by Kerry Lester, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Residents of a small northern Illinois farming community that took a direct hit from a half-mile-wide tornado were allowed back into the area to assess damage and salvage what they could.  In all, some 70 buildings were destroyed or damaged in Fairdale, authorities said. Another 50 buildings were hit in nearby Rochelle.

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Millions Facing Higher Premium Rates for Flood Insurance

April 14, 2015 10:52 am | by Frank Eltman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A $24 billion sea of red ink has millions of Americans in vulnerable flood zones, including homeowners still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy, facing steep increases in flood insurance premiums.  New legislation that went into effect this month — the second time in two years Congress has tweaked the troubled National Flood Insurance Program — allows rate increases of up to 18 percent.

Middle America Braces for Strong Storms, Possible Tornadoes

April 9, 2015 11:12 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The conditions are ripe for a series of storms to gain strength and buffet Middle America over the next two days, with hail and tornadoes possible in parts of the nation's geographic heartland, forecasters warned. Areas that don't see strong storms could see heavy rain instead.

36 Dead, Dozens Hurt as Storms Lash Bangladesh

April 7, 2015 10:38 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Separate tropical storms that have swept through parts of Bangladesh have left at least 36 people dead and scores injured.  Media reports said that the casualties have been recorded since Saturday and that most deaths took place in the northern district of Bogra.

Hurricane Sandy Funds Went Toward Shoddy Work

April 1, 2015 2:06 pm | by Mike Balsamo, Associated Press | News | Comments

A program that was supposed to rebuild homes wrecked by Superstorm Sandy paid $6.8 million to contractors for work that was "flawed or incomplete," the city's comptroller said in an audit.  The audit examined whether the city properly ensured benefits to storm victims from June 2013 through August 2014.

Typhoon Weakens as it Heads for the Philippines

April 1, 2015 1:35 pm | by Grace Garces Bordallo, Associated Press | News | Comments

A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend.  Typhoon Maysak packed winds of 160 kilometers per hour (100 mph) when it passed north of the Yap State atolls of Ulithi and Fais in the Federated States of Micronesia.

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Fatal Floods, Landslides Strike India, Kashmir

April 1, 2015 12:13 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Rescuers recovered 16 bodies Tuesday from two houses hit by rain-triggered landslides in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, following its second major floods in six months. Elsewhere in India, fierce rain and lightning toppled houses and trees in Bihar state, killing 20 others.

Glitch Shows There's Still a Long Way to go in Fukushima

March 30, 2015 1:10 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The cutting-edge technology was billed as a way to decipher where exactly the morass of nuclear fuel might sit at the bottom of reactors in the Japanese power plant that went into multiple meltdowns four years ago.  But what went wrong, even in a simple demonstration for reporters Friday for the $5 million project, was a sobering reminder of the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the decommissioning of Fukushima Dai-ichi.

Flooding in Chile Kills Nine

March 30, 2015 12:53 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

 Communities in Chile's northern desert region are digging houses out of the mud and working to reopen roads after floods pummeled several cities and left nine people dead.  he heavy rains  swelled rivers and led to flash-flooding in cities including Copiapo, Chanaral, Tierra Amarilla and Taltal, all north of Santiago.

Continuity and Concrete Sea Walls in Japan

March 26, 2015 11:46 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

In 2011, an earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that struck northern Japan, leaving thousands dead and causing billions of dollars in damage.  It also resulted in nuclear meltdowns, including the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant.  Now, the government is considering something drastic: building a 250 mile chain of cement sea walls more than five stories tall.

During Cyclone, Vanuatu Residents did More With Less

March 24, 2015 12:04 pm | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Last week, the island nation of Vanuatu was hammered by a massive cyclone that destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in Port Vila, the nation’s capital.  The challenges of recovering from a catastrophic weather incident of this magnitude in a country like Vanuatu are going to be far more amplified than they would elsewhere.  Still, residents did their best to prepare for the storm. 

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Japan Hopes Sea Wall will Protect Against Tsunamis

March 23, 2015 10:49 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press | News | Comments

Opponents of the 820 billion yen ($6.8 billion) plan argue that the massive concrete barriers will damage marine ecology and scenery, hinder vital fisheries and actually do little to protect residents who are mostly supposed to relocate to higher ground. Those in favor say the sea walls are a necessary evil, and one that will provide some jobs, at least for a time.

Vanuatu Continues to Rebuild after Cyclone

March 23, 2015 10:30 am | by Nick Perry, Associated Press | News | Comments

A week after a cyclone tore through the South Pacific archipelago with winds of 168 miles per hour, people are focused on the task of rebuilding.  About 65,000 people across Vanuatu were left homeless by the cyclone, which killed 17 people.

Lack of Snowpack Could Contribute to Continuing California Drought

March 23, 2015 10:00 am | by Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Spring is arriving with the Pacific Northwest measuring near record-low-snowfall, and much of the rest of the West below average. But what California is experiencing is historically low snowpack — a meager accumulation that has serious implications not only for the state but potentially for the entire West if the drought not just of water, but of snow, persists.

Residents Find Ways to Avoid Cyclone's Wrath in Vanuatu

March 19, 2015 10:14 am | by Nick Perry, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tanna Island in the southern part of the Vanuatu archipelago was one of the hardest hit when Cyclone Pam tore through the South Pacific nation early Saturday.  Among the island's 30,000 residents, however, there were just five confirmed deaths, a testament to their experience in dealing with cyclones as well as some narrow escapes.

Island Nation Vanuatu Hammered by Cyclone

March 16, 2015 4:04 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has lost years of development progress and must "start anew" following a powerful cyclone that destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the capital of Port Vila, the country's president said.

Residents Concerned as Ohio River Hits Highest Level in Decades

March 16, 2015 3:26 pm | by Dan Sewell, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Ohio River crested  at its highest level in two decades, leaving riverside residents relieved but cautious as forecasters warned that flooding problems will linger much of the week ahead.  The National Weather Service said the river crested at around 6 a.m. at 57.7 feet, or seven feet below the 1997 level that caused severe, widespread flooding in the Cincinnati area and in Kentucky. 

New Snow Record Set in Boston

March 16, 2015 3:01 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Boston finally has its snow record, and it could get more.  With 2.9 inches Sunday, Logan International Airport hit 108.6 inches for the season, topping the previous record of 107.6 inches set in 1995-96, according to the National Weather Service.

Train Service Halted after Mud Blocks Tracks

March 16, 2015 2:51 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Heavy rain over the weekend caused mudslides around western Washington, including one that has stopped passenger train service between Seattle and the city of Everett, about 25 miles north.  The National Weather Service says Sunday's rainfall broke records across western Washington.

CPE Meeting Focuses on Storm Resilience

March 12, 2015 11:31 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

The New York Chapter of the Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE) hosted its half day quarterly event, which featured presentations and a panel discussion focusing on storm and flood resilience in New York City, on Wednesday, March 11 at Credit Suisse.

Soy Sauce Maker Endures After Tsunami

March 12, 2015 11:19 am | by Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press | News | Comments

When the tsunami warning sounded, workers at the two-centuries-old soy sauce maker in northeastern Japan ran up a nearby hill to a shrine for safety, and watched in disbelief as towering waters swallowed their factory.  They all believed the business and its precious fungal cultures that give soy sauce its unique taste were lost forever. Everyone except for Michihiro Kono, the ninth-generation son of the founding family.

Has Record Snow Harmed New England's Economy?

March 9, 2015 4:35 pm | by Philip Marcelo, Associated Press | News | Comments

Retailers and restaurants were among the hardest hit, as customers held off on big purchases or chose to stay at home rather than enjoy a night on the town.  A survey released this week by Massachusetts business groups representing those and other industries reported sales dropped an average of 24 percent and payroll dropped about 7 percent among their small businesses members.

More Snow, but Could This be the End?

March 3, 2015 11:34 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

It seems like I have written these words dozens of times since the winter started and it looks as though I will have to write them at least one more time: more snow is coming to the Northeastern United States.  

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