Earth’s rotation is going to slow down next year – and it could unleash dozens of devastating earthquakes in heavily populated areas, scientists have warned.
Researchers believe that tiny variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation can release huge amounts of energy beneath the ground – triggering intense earthquakes.
Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado said, ‘The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year.’
Bilham and his colleague Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana analysed earthquakes going back to 1900.
The researchers found that periods where Earth’s rotation slowed coincided with a rise in intense earthquakes from around 15 a year to 25-30, the Guardian reports.
Bilham said, ‘It is straightforward. The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes.’
‘The inference is clear. Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes.
‘We have had it easy this year. So far we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018.’
WHO accused Tanzania of hiding information on Ebola victims
Ebola virus has cause major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in Africa.
The number of cases has began to decline gradually, following the commitment of substantial international resources.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has rebuked Tanzania for failing to provide information about possible Ebola virus infections.
The WHO said it had learned of one suspected fatal case in Dar es Salaam and two others but, despite repeated requests, was given no information
Tanzania has said it has no suspected or confirmed cases.
The latest outbreak has killed more than 2,000 in eastern DR Congo, with Uganda battling to stop any spread.
Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead
All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.
Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.
But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.
In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.
At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.
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