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Thursday, Oct 19th

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Puerto Rico dam failure prompts mass evacuation

Damaged dam prompts mass evacuation in PR

Puerto Rican officials rushed to evacuate some 70,000 people downstream of a failing dam in the wake of Hurricane Maria, while at least six people were confirmed dead on the US Caribbean territory following the storm.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood emergency at the Guajataca Dam in Isabela Municipality, saying on Twitter that it was "an extremely dangerous situation" and that buses were evacuating residents from their homes "as quickly as they can".

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Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico as devastating Category 4 storm

Maria hits Puerto RicoOne of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico pummeled the island Wednesday, tearing off roofs and sending doors flying from hinges as officials warned Hurricane Maria would decimate the power company's crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.

Maria, which has killed at least nine in the Caribbean, made landfall early Wednesday in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph (250 kph) winds, and it was expected to punish the island with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours, forecasters said.

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Hurricane Maria smashes Dominica, now menaces Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria devastates DominicaHurricane Maria smashed into Dominica with 160 mph winds, ripping the roof off even the prime minister's residence and causing what he called "mind-boggling" devastation Tuesday as it plunged into a Caribbean region already ravaged by Hurricane Irma.

The storm was on a track to wallop Puerto Rico on Wednesday "with a force and violence that we haven't seen for several generations," the territory's governor said.

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Study shows Arctic sea ice continues to melt considerably

Arctic ice continues to meltArctic sea ice shrank to roughly 4.7 million square kilometers in September, making the sea ice extent in 2017 far below numbers from 1979 to 2006.

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, the University of Bremen and Universitat Hamburg reported Friday that the minimum sea ice extent for 2017 is average for the past 10 years, despite being far below average from previous decades.

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How Man-made Earthquakes Could Cripple the U.S. Economy

Oklahoma fracking earthquakeWhen Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, U.S. oil refining plummeted to record lows. Now, nearly three weeks later, six key refineries remain shut down and an additional 11 are either struggling to come back on line or operating at a significantly reduced rate.

That slowdown, coupled with predictions of decreased demand in the wake of Hurricane Irma and the devastating earthquake that struck Mexico last week, has shifted oil pressures in other places, too. And none may be quite as vulnerable as the tank farms in Cushing, Oklahoma.

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These Caribbean Islands Are Reeling After Hurricane Irma’s Deadly Rampage

Caribbean islands hit by Irma

Hurricane Irma left behind death and destruction on several Caribbean islands after a nearly weeklong rampage across the region toward Florida.

At least 38 people in the Caribbean were killed and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed as maximum sustained winds of 185 mph wreaked havoc on residents and tourists alike.

Some islands, such as Puerto Rico and several southeastern islands of the Lesser Antilles, were spared direct hits, though they still incurred damage and casualties. In Barbados, a 16-year-old professional surfer was killed trying to catch a wave during the storm.

Here are the islands that were hit hardest by Irma:

NASA maps summer melt of Greenland Ice Sheet

NASA maps summer ice melt in GreenlandNASA's Operation IceBridge has been mapping summer ice melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet since Aug. 25 using a B200T King Air aircraft.

The flights will go through Sept. 21, with repeat paths to be flown in the spring to monitor seasonal changes in the elevation of the ice sheet.

"We started to mount these summer campaigns on a regular basis two years ago," Joe MacGregor, IceBridge's deputy project scientist and a glaciologist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a press release. "If the flights go as expected, the result will be a high-quality survey of some of the fastest melting areas in Greenland and across as much of the island as possible."

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