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Magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocks Chile

A powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake jolted Chile's northwestern coast Sunday, US geologists said, though there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries. The quake struck at 5:16 pm (2116 GMT), according to the US Geological Survey, which had originally said that two quakes rattled the area within a minute of each other. Located 61 kilometers (38 miles) northwest of the port city of Iquique, the temblor was 35 kilometers deep. A 5.1 aftershock struck 10 minutes later, at 5:26 pm (2126 GMT). It was located 36 kilometers north-northwest of Iquique.

Melting away: vanishing ice warning for 'Africa's Alps'

In swirling snow, John Medenge prods a thin ice bridge over a crevasse with an iron-tipped spear, guiding climbers scaling the steep glacial wall using crampons and axes. "We are the last few who will climb on the ice, it is going so fast," said Medenge, after scaling the treacherous ridge up Mount Stanley, part of the dramatic Rwenzori mountain range straddling the border between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Strong 6.3-magnitude quake hits off Japan, injures 17

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off southern Japan early Friday injuring 17 people, reports said as officials warned residents to be alert to the danger of landslides following the tremor. There was no tsunami warning or reports of major damage. Public broadcaster NHK said 17 people were injured. None of the injuries seemed to be life-threatening.

Jules Verne on to something: Study hints at water deposits deep in the Earth

EDMONTON - Jules Verne was on to something. In his classic 1864 adventure story "Journey to the Centre of Earth," the French novelist imagined a vast ocean deep within the planet's bowels. University of Alberta scientists have found the first direct evidence that he wasn't far off. "The original idea is a Jules Verne idea, isn't it?" laughs geologist Graham Pearson. "One hundred years later it turns out to be pretty much true — except you can't really stand around and see the water."

Volcanoes saw species survive ice ages

The steam and heat from volcanoes allowed species of plants and animals to survive past ice ages, a study showed Tuesday, offering help for scientists dealing with climate change. An international team of researchers said their analysis helped explain a long-running mystery about how some species thrived, often in isolation, in areas covered by glaciers, with volcanoes acting as an oasis of life during long cold periods.

Volcanoes helped species survive ice ages

The steam and heat from volcanoes allowed species of plants and animals to survive past ice ages, a study showed Tuesday, offering help for scientists dealing with climate change. An international team of researchers said their analysis helped explain a long-running mystery about how some species thrived in areas covered by glaciers, with volcanoes acting as an oasis of life during long cold periods.

Dinosaur-killing impact acidified oceans

The space rock that smashed into Earth 65 million years ago, famously wiping out the dinosaurs, unleashed acid rain that turned the ocean surface into a witches' brew, researchers said Sunday. Delving into the riddle of Earth's last mass extinction, Japanese scientists said the impact instantly vaporised sulphur-rich rock, creating a vast cloud of sulphur trioxide (SO3) gas. This mixed with water vapour to create sulphuric acid rain, which would have fallen to the planet's surface within days, acidifying the surface levels of the ocean and killing life therein.

Italy says to unblock 2.0mn euros to save Pompeii

Italy vowed on Tuesday to unblock some 2.0 million euros ($2.8 million) to save the long-neglected ruins of Pompeii after rain caused further damage to the UNESCO World Heritage landmark. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said he was "unblocking many measures which will get the machine working" amid anger about the slow pace of a multi-million EU-backed project to restore the famous Roman site. Franceschini's statement came after the Temple of Venus and the walls of a tomb and shop in the archaeological site near Naples were damaged by rainfall on Sunday and Monday.

Damage found in ancient ruins of Pompeii

The Temple of Venus and walls of a tomb and shop in the long-neglected ruins of Pompeii near Naples have been damaged, possibly due to heavy rain, officials said on Monday. Custodians found that a two-metre wall of an ancient shop in the ruined city -- which had recently been restored -- had collapsed under the weight of another wall that crumbled onto it. It followed the discovery Sunday that parts of an archway in the temple had fallen off and a wall in the necropolis -- the biggest in the ancient Roman city -- had tumbled down.

New collapses occur at Pompeii

Rome, Mar 2 (EFE).- Portions of the Temple of Venus and the Porta Nocera necropolis in the Pompeii archaeological complex near Naples in southern Italy suffered fresh collapses caused by recent heavy rains in the area, Italian media reported Sunday. The problems affected part of the Temple of Venus and one of the walls of a tomb in the Porta Nocera necropolis in the ancient Roman city, which was completely buried by ash during an eruption of the nearby Vesuvius volcano in 79 A.D., rediscovered in 1748 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
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