October 28th, 2011
03:15 PM ET

6.9 magnitude earthquake hits Peru

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Peru on Friday, some 32 miles south of Ica, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Natural Disasters • Peru
October 20th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

4.6 earthquake strikes near San Antonio

A rare 4.6-magnitude earthquake struck 50 miles south-southeast of San Antonio, Texas, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Thursday. The earthquake was just over 2 miles deep.

The earthquake was felt in Wilson County, Atascosa County and Bexar County, making it the largest to hit the area since 1993, when a 4.3-magnitude quake shook the area, WOAI reported, citing the U.S. Geological Survey.

"I felt the earthquake this morning around 7:20. I was sitting on my love seat in my bedroom reading my Bible. I felt a swaying movement. My husband was in the shower. He felt nothing," Patricia Hardeman, of southeast San Antonio told WOAI. "I lived in California most of my life and knew it was an earthquake."

Employees were briefly evacuated from the a federal building in downtown San Antonio and allowed to return inside just before 9 a.m., the San Antonio Express-News reported, citing Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Fernie Karl.

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On the Radar: Philippine typhoon, Washington Monument, Australia military
Resident rescue a pig from a flooded Manila street on Tuesday.
September 27th, 2011
06:01 AM ET

On the Radar: Philippine typhoon, Washington Monument, Australia military

Three things you need to know today.

Philippine typhoon: As many eight people were dead and almost 2 million without power as Typhoon Nesat slammed into the Philippines with torrential rains and winds up to 87 mph.

Among the dead were a grandmother and her three grandchildren killed when a wall of their home collapsed on them, the Philippine Star reported. They were among eight killed across the country, according to a report on Inquirer.net.

In metro Manila, 1.9 million of Manila Electric Co. were without power, according to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The typhoon, known in the Philippines as Pedring, made landfall about 190 kilometers (120 miles) north of Manila about 5 a.m. Tuesday (5 p.m. Monday ET), according to the Philippine national weather agency. The storm was dumping up to 25 millimeters (1 inch) of rain per hour as it moved across the country.

Nesat was expected to cross the archipelago and head toward southeastern China.

Washington Monument: Architect/engineers will rappel down the sides of the Washington Monument on Tuesday, looking for damage caused by the August earthquake in Virginia.

The National Park Service announced Monday that experts have completed an interior assessment of the monument and found it to be structurally sound.

To get a closer look at the outside of the structure, architect/engineer/rappellers from the firm of Wiss, Janney and Elstner, the architectural firm hired by the National Park Service, will scale the outside of the structure to get a closer look.

Their "difficult-access team will install climbing ropes and safety lines on all four sides of the monument, then clip on to those lines and exit the monument from the windows at the observation level," Vogel said. Weather permitting, they will climb up the pyramidion and then descend the length of the monument looking for exterior damage.

Women in combat: Women in the Australian armed forces will be able to serve in front-line combat roles, the government said Tuesday.

The new plan will be phased in over a five-year period.

Australia's decision makes it one of only a few countries in the developed world with no restrictions for women in combat. Canada and Israel are among the other nations that allow so.

The United States prevents women in serving in certain combat roles.

On the Radar: 787 delivery, Palestinian statehood, Washington Monument
A 787 painted in ANA colors lands in Japan after a July test flight.
September 26th, 2011
06:01 AM ET

On the Radar: 787 delivery, Palestinian statehood, Washington Monument

Three things you need to know today

ANA Dreamliner: Boeing delivers its first 787 Dreamliner today, handing over the airliner to All Nippon Airways at a ceremony at Boeing's facility in Everett, Washington.

You can follow the events live on Boeing's website beginning at noon ET, 9 a.m. Pacific.

The plane is the first commercial airliner to be made mostly of carbon composites or super durable plastic. Those materials mean a lighter plane that Boeing says could use 20% less fuel than conventional airliners, making way for a more environmentally-friendly and cost effective aircraft option for airlines.

So far, according to Boeing, the manufacturer has more than 800 orders for the 787 Dreamliner, which has a list price of about $200 million each.

The interior of the plane also sports a variety of upgrades. Gone are traditional plane window shades. Instead, a button on the window allows passengers to gradually darken their surroundings.

All Nippon Airways has ordered 55 Dreamliners.

Palestinian statehood: The historic Palestinian bid for statehood goes before the United Nations Security Council Monday, where it looks set for a largely symbolic debate in the face of a promised American veto.

Lebanon's Nawaf Salam, the Security Council president for this month, said he circulated the letter of application to all 15 members of the Security Council last week.

While a U.S. veto would block the bid for full U.N. membership, the General Assembly could still vote to upgrade the status of Palestinians, who currently hold the status of non-voting observer "entity."

The body could change that status to permanent observer "state," identical to the Vatican's standing at the United Nations.

Washington Monument: National Park Service officials will hold a news conference Monday afternoon to offer details on damaged sustained by the Washington Monument during the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast on August 23.

The service has been working with an engineering firm to determine the extent of the damage and what it will cost to fix it.

The monument has been closed to the public since the earthquake.

September 19th, 2011
04:02 PM ET

5.8-magnitude earthquake hits Guatemala; 3 reported dead

[Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET] Three people have been killed following a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Guatemala on Monday, according to local firefighters.

Ana Staackman, who lives in Guatemala City, Guatemala, said she felt a strong shaking in her office building during the quake.

Staackman said she is used to the earthquakes since they happen every other week but this one lasted longer and felt stronger than usual.

[Posted at 3:02 p.m. ET] A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck Guatemala on Monday, about 53 kilometers (32 miles) southeast of Guatemala City, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"We felt some strong termors. We heard that the first tremor registered about 4.8 and the second, 5.8," Evelyn Ruano, a spokeswoman with the President's office, told CNN. "There are people buried in rubble. Firefighters are on the scene in the department of Santa Rosa. We have one confirmed dead."

The earthquake, which the USGS reported to be some 25 miles deep, was felt in the capital.

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Japan feared evacuation of 30 million in nuclear crisis, ex-PM says
Residents of the area near the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the crippled Japanese nuclear plant are tested for radiation earlier this month.
September 19th, 2011
11:13 AM ET

Japan feared evacuation of 30 million in nuclear crisis, ex-PM says

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami off Japan damaged the Fukushima Daichi nuclear reactor, the Japanese government was presented with a scenario which would have required the evacuation of half of Tokyo and the entire width of the main island of Honshu, former Prime Minister Naota Kan says in an interview with Kyodo News.

The evacuation zone would have covered all areas within 200 to 250 kilometers (125 to 155 miles) of the nuclear reactor, meaning about 30 million people in Tokyo and its surrounding areas would have needed to be moved, according to the Kyodo report in The Japan Times.

Kan said he feared such an evacuation would have resulted in chaos, according to the report.

"I wasn't sure whether Japan could continue to function as a state," he is quoted as saying.

Kan also said Japan was not prepared for the disaster resulting from the 9.0-magnitude quake.

"We had never foreseen a situation in which a quake, tsunami and a nuclear plant accident would all happen at the same time," he is quoted as saying.

Kan resigned in August after widespread criticism of how his government handled the aftermath of the quake. His approval rating plummeted.

As of early September, more than 75,000 residents who live within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of the crippled nuclear plant were still unable to return to their homes because of high radiation levels.

Toshio Nishizawa, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima plant, has said he hopes to achieve the second phase of a cold shutdown of the plant before a January deadline.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Earthquake • Energy • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • Tsunami
6.6-magnitude quake hits Japan
September 16th, 2011
03:59 PM ET

6.6-magnitude quake hits Japan

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday morning near the east coast of Japan's main island of Honshu, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake happened at 4:26 a.m. local time, about 67 miles (108 kilometers) east-southeast of Hachinohe, Japan, according to the USGS.

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September 15th, 2011
04:20 PM ET

Magnitude 7.3 quake strikes near Fiji

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck early Friday in the Fiji Islands region of the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

According to the U.S.-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, "a destructive tsunami was not generated, based on earthquake and historical tsunami data."

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September 15th, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Quakes hit off Cuba, Japan and New Zealand

[Updated at 10:39 a.m. ET] The U.S. Geological Survey has revised downward the magnitude of Thursday morning's earthquake off Cuba to magnitude 5.1 from magnitude 6.0.

[Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET] A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit off the southeastern coast of Cuba early Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake was centered 77 miles north of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 370 miles southeast of Havana, Cuba. It hit at 4:43 a.m.

Forty-three minutes earlier, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake rumbled off the east coast of Japan, the USGS reported.  No tsunami warning was issued.

Both quakes were shallow, striking at a depth of six miles.

And seven minutes before the Japan quake, a magnitude 6.0 quake was recorded off the coast of New Zealand, according to the USGS.

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Filed under: Cuba • Earthquake • Japan • Natural Disasters • New Zealand
September 9th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

6.7-magnitude earthquake near Vancouver

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck near Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter was about 175 miles west of the city of Vancouver and nearly 50 miles underground.

There was no immediate danger of a tsunami, authorities said.

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September 3rd, 2011
09:59 PM ET

7.0 earthquake strikes near Vanuatu in South Pacific

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck Sunday morning off the southern tip of the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck about 75 miles (122 km) southeast of Isangel, the administrative capital of the island of Tanna, and 134 miles (217 km) northeast of New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands.

A tsunami alert has not been issued for the South Pacific or the U.S. western coast.

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7.1 quake strikes off Alaska
The epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude temblor was in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska's coast.
September 2nd, 2011
07:23 AM ET

7.1 quake strikes off Alaska

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck Friday off the coast of Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake was 6.2 miles deep - a relatively shallow temblor capable of causing damage.

The epicenter was in the Aleutian Islands, about 120 miles from Atka, Alaska.

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for coastal areas of Alaska, from Unimak Pass, Alaska to Amchitka Pass, Alaska, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the sparsely populated area near the epicenter.

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September 1st, 2011
06:53 AM ET

3.4-magnitude quake hits Virginia

A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled Mineral, Virginia, early Thursday, nine days after a 5.8-magnitude temblor in the same area shook up much of the eastern United States.

Thursday's quake, which struck at 5:09 a.m., was centered four miles south-southeast of Mineral at a depth of about three miles, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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August 27th, 2011
05:28 PM ET

'Mild earthquake' reported in New York, governor says

A 2.9 magnitude earthquake has been reported near Altamont, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Saturday.

"Although this was a mild earthquake, out of an abundance of caution, I have ordered immediate inspection of nearby infrastructure, including a NYPA (New York Power Authority) inspection of the Blenheim-Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County," Cuomo said.

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August 24th, 2011
02:06 PM ET

6.8-magnitude quake strikes northern Peru

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit northern Peru on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Authorities did not immediately report any victims or significant damage.

The temblor struck at a depth of 90 miles, about 350 miles north-northeast of Lima and about 50 miles north of Pucallpa, at 12:46 p.m. local time (1:46 p.m. ET), the USGS said.

The epicenter is also about 130 miles west of Cruzeiro do Sul in western Brazil.

The quake shook buildings hundreds of miles away in the capital and temporarily interrupted phone service there, and postings on social network sites say Ecuador and Brazil felt the quake, according to El Comercio newspaper in Lima.

El Comercio reported that people in the cities of Moyobamba, Loreto, Ica and Trujillo also felt the quake.

The USGS considers anything above 6.0 magnitude a "strong" quake.

Read CNN's full coverage of the earthquake in Peru
August 23rd, 2011
04:06 PM ET

Earthquake shuts down Virginia nuclear plant

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Tuesday afternoon near Washington, D.C., the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia. The quake was four miles deep, according to the USGS. Did you feel it? Send CNN an iReport.

To get complete coverage and all the latest updates, click on CNN's main story here. View a CNN Open Story about the quake. CNN Open Story combines iReports with reports from CNNers across the globe on a map and timeline.

Update 3:36 p.m. ET: Terminal A at Washington Reagan National Airport has been evacuated because of an odor of gas, airport spokeswoman Courtney Mickalonis said. Initial sweeps of the building showed no major damage from the earthquake.

Light structural damage has been reported in Culpepper and Orange counties in Virginia, said Laura Southard of the state Emergency Operations Center. She said there have been no reports of injuries in Virginia.

Update 3:28 p.m. ET: The White House and adjacent buildings evacuated as a precaution following the earthquake have been given the all-clear, the U.S. Secret Service said. The FBI and Justice Department have also reopened evacuated buildings.

Update 3:25 p.m. ET: East Coast residents should be prepared to feel aftershocks from Tuesday's earthquake, a U.S. Geological Survey official said.

Update 3:22 p.m. ET: The North Anna nuclear power plant, located 20 miles from the epicenter, is shut down and in a safe condition, a company official and the Louisa County public information office report. There has been no release of nuclear material, Louisa County spokeswoman Amanda Reidelbach said.

Update 3:04 p.m. ET: All national monuments and parks in Washington are "stable but closed" following Tuesday's earthquake, a United States Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said. A couple of minor injuries and some minor structural damage have been reported in Washington, following Tuesday's earthquake, according to Schlosser.

Part of the central tower of the National Cathedral, the highest point in Washington, was damaged, according to spokesman Richard Weinberg. "It looks like three of the pinnacles have broken off the central tower," Weinberg told CNN.

Update 3:02 p.m. ET: Amtrak is reporting service disruptions between Washington and Baltimore because of the earthquake, the company reported on Twitter.

Aftershocks are a concern, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones told CNN. "People should be expecting (them), especially over the next hour or two," she said.

The quake was felt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City and on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is vacationing. It's unknown if the president felt the quake.

The Pentagon has been evacuated, CNN's Barbara Starr reports. "When the building began shaking rather violently, hundreds of people began streaming out," she said, because many people thought that the building was under attack. Starr was standing in the Pentagon's press office when the roof started to shake.

Cell phone service has been disrupted in New York City, CNN learned within minutes of the quake.

FULL POST

Scientists: March 11 tsunami produced Antarctic icebergs
Top image shows the Sulzberger Ice Shelf on March 12 and the bottom on March 16 after the tsunami broke off icebergs.
August 9th, 2011
09:40 AM ET

Scientists: March 11 tsunami produced Antarctic icebergs

The tsunami spawned from the March 11 earthquake off eastern Japan broke up parts of an Antarctic ice shelf that hadn't moved in 46 years, scientists say.

Though the tsunami waves were only about a foot high when they reached Antarctica, their consistency was enough to crack the 260-foot-thick ice and split off icebergs with combined surface areas more than twice the size of Manhattan from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf, the scientists report in a NASA statement.

It was the first time scientists have been able to tie icebergs directly to a tsunami, according to NASA.

The tsunami waves traveled 8,000 miles and took 18 hours to reach the ice shelf, the scientists said, giving them time to validate theories on how an earthquake can affect geography a hemisphere away.

"In the past we've had calving events where we've looked for the source. It's a reverse scenario - we see a calving and we go looking for a source," Kelly Brunt, a cryosphere specialist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in the NASA statement. "We knew right away this was one of the biggest events in recent history - we knew there would be enough swell. And this time we had a source."

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July 26th, 2011
02:21 PM ET

Earthquake strikes off Mexican coast

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Tuesday morning in the Gulf of California, off the coast of northwestern Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake happened at 11:44 a.m. MT, just more than 50 miles southwest of Los Mochis, Mexico, and 588 miles south-southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, according to the USGS.

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On the Radar: Shuttle set to leave, heat staying, Japan typhoon
The space shuttle Atlantis prepares to dock with the International Space Station on July 10.
July 18th, 2011
06:03 AM ET

On the Radar: Shuttle set to leave, heat staying, Japan typhoon

Three things you need to know today.

Hatch closed - At 9:19 a.m. ET on Monday, the hatch between the space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station will be closed for the final time and the shuttle will prepare for a return to Earth.

Tomorrow, the shuttle will undock from the station and fly around it so visual inspections of both the space station and the shuttle's thermal protection system can be performed.

Atlantis is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:06 a.m. on Wednesday, bringing an end to three decades of space shuttle flight.

Hot temperatures - A heat wave will continue to roast the country's midsection even as it spreads to the east, according to the National Weather Service.

The hottest spots from Oklahoma through South Dakota should see highs of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and top temperatures are forecast in the 90s for most of the rest of the country - with the exception of some mountain and coastal regions, according to the weather service.

On Sunday, daily temperature records were broken from Alpena, Michigan, south to Miami, Florida.

"Heat index values" - how hot it feels outside - have been running over 125 degrees Fahrenheit in the worst-hit areas, the National Weather Service said. The scale designed to describe how intense heat feels also includes factors such as humidity.

Japan typhoon - Workers in Japan scrambled Monday to build a protective covering over a damaged nuclear reactor ahead of an approaching powerful typhoon, an energy company spokesman said.

Typhoon Ma-on  should strike Japan well south of the damaged No. 3 reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

But the Tokyo Power Company, which is responsible for the plant wracked by the March 11 tsunami that struck northeast Japan, is constructing a "roof-like structure to prevent rain from entering holes on the turbine building," spokesman Satoshi Watanabe said.

The energy company says it aims to complete construction late Monday.

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Japanese PM ready to abandon nuclear power; utility to inject gas into reactor
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday that nuclear power carries too much risk.
July 14th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

Japanese PM ready to abandon nuclear power; utility to inject gas into reactor

Japan's energy plan needs to be completely revised and must eliminate the nation's dependence on nuclear power, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday, according to The Daily Yomiuri.

"I have realized that nuclear accidents cannot be prevented completely with the conventional safety measures we have at present," he said.

It's a sharp about-face for Kan. His government approved a plan just last year that called for 14 new nuclear reactors by 2030 and an increase in nuclear energy production from 26% to 53% of total electricity generated, The Daily Yomiuri reported.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. planned Thursday to inject nitrogen into the last of the damaged reactors at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Kyodo News Agency reported.

The inert gas will help stabilize the reactors as the utility aims for a cold shutdown by January at the latest, Kyodo reported.

TEPCO already has new water circulation systems working at all three reactors to keep their temperatures under control.

Meanwhile, the Fukushima municipal government says it plans to cleanse the entire city of radioactive contamination, Yomiuri Shimbun reported. The city is about 30 miles from the damaged plant.

The effort, which could take nearly 20 years to complete, would involve pressure-washing buildings and scraping off the top layer of soil.

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