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Earthquakes down under: A rare but real hazard

Buckled railway lines caused by the 1968 earthquake near Meckering in Western Australia. Alice Snooke/Geosciences Australia

Buckled railway lines caused by the 1968 earthquake near Meckering in Western Australia. Alice Snooke/Geosciences Australia

Australia is generally regarded as a flat and seismically inert continent that is safe from any serious earthquake hazard. While this is generally true, we do occasionally experience moderate earthquakes, with a magnitude greater than 5. This fact was witnessed first hand by the residents in Bundaberg and Brisbane, who at 2am (AEDT) yesterday morning felt a magnitude 5.2 earthquake and several smaller aftershocks…

 

Animated map of what Earth would look like if all the ice melted

We learned last year that many of the effects of climate change are irreversible. Sea levels have been rising at a greater rate year after year and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates they could rise by another meter or more by the end of this century. As National Geographic showed us in 2013, sea levels would rise by 216 feet if all the land ice on the planet were to melt. This would drastically reshape the continents, and drown many of the world’s major cities…

 

Recent flood in Argentina’s Cordoba province kills 7

Recent flood in Argentina’s Cordoba province has claimed lives of at least seven people. Heavy rainfall triggered flood in Ascochinga, Jesús María, Juárez Celman, Río Ceballos, Unquillo and Mendiolaza areas of Argentina. Three of them were swept away by strong currents in the town of Rio Ceballos when the local river burst its banks. “There are 1,000 evacuees in the Sierras Chicas area and Córdoba City who have not been able to return to their homes,” Buenos Aires Herald reported as quoted by the governor José Manuel De la Sota…

 

Experts brainstorm ways to fund cities to withstand disasters

Governments must persuade businesses to invest in protecting cities from natural disasters, and climate and development experts should heed the needs of poor communities hardest hit by climate catastrophes, experts said. Some 80 per cent of global wealth is generated in cities, so the private sector has an interest in protecting those assets, according to Peter King, who works for a USAID project that helps Asia-Pacific countries polish climate adaptation projects and access funding…

 

 

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