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More Than 300 Dead and Thousands Injured After Massive Earthquake Strikes Iran-Iraq Border

By Jake Johnson

Rescue teams in Iran and Iraq continued urgently searching through the rubble of collapsed buildings Monday after a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the nations' border region Sunday night, killing more than 300 people and injuring thousands.

More than 100 aftershocks reportedly followed the quake, which forced thousands to flee from their homes and subsequently sparked landslides that hindered rescue efforts.

According to Iranian Red Crescent, a disaster relief organization, the earthquake and its aftermath has left more than 70,000 people in need of emergency shelter.

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Politics
North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Google Earth

Fears of Radiation Leak Soar After North Korea Nuclear Site Collapse Kills 200

Experts are issuing urgent warnings of a possible radiation leak following the collapse of a tunnel at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, an accident that reportedly killed at least 200 people.

"Should [the Punggye-ri site] sink, there is a possibility" that hazardous radioactive gas could be released into the atmosphere, warned South Korea weather agency chief Nam Jae-cheol during a parliamentary meeting on Monday, ahead of reports of the incident.

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Hundreds Dead in Mexico After Earthquake Strikes on Anniversary of Devastating 1985 Quake

In Mexico, a massive 7.1-magnitude quake struck 100 miles southeast of Mexico City Tuesday, collapsing dozens of buildings around the capital city and trapping schoolchildren, workers and residents beneath the rubble.

At least 217 people are dead, and hundreds more are missing. Among the dead are least 21 students at a primary school in Mexico City and 15 worshipers who died during a Catholic mass when the earthquake triggered an eruption at a volcano southeast of the city.

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Energy
A fracking operation. Lock the Gate Alliance / Flickr

Fracking Debate Ramps Up Again in Illinois With First Permit Application Under New Rules

By Kari Lydersen

Four years ago, the Illinois legislature passed a law to regulate high volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, after months of contentious negotiations between oil industry interests, environmental watchdogs and community groups.

Leading up to the law's passage, companies had secured hundreds of leases to potentially frack in Southern Illinois.

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Magnitude 4.2 earthquake shakes central Oklahoma on Wednesday night. USGS

8 Earthquakes Shake Oklahoma in 24 Hours

Several earthquakes have struck Oklahoma this week, including a magnitude 4.2 that hit the central part of the state on Wednesday night.

"The past 24 hours have had an uptick in earthquake numbers, with 8 quakes ranging from 2.6-4.2 magnitude occurring in Oklahoma," USGS tweeted.

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A 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rattled Pawnee, Oklahoma in September 2016 was classified as largest in state history. USGS

Erin Brockovich Helps Pawnee Nation Sue Fracking Companies Over Induced Earthquakes

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is helping Oklahoma's Pawnee Nation take on several fracking companies in a lawsuit alleging that damages to its tribal buildings and reservation property was the result of man-made, or induced, earthquakes.

National Geographic reports that the Native American tribe has retained the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, with the aid of Brockovich, to sue Eagle Road Oil LLC, Cummings Oil Company, and 25 other oil and gas companies.

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A Pennsylvania family shows their contaminated water supply. Les Stone / Greenpeace

Fracking Study Links Pollution, Earthquakes to Drilling in Texas Shale

A new analysis of Texas' oil and gas development underscores how there really are two sides to the energy debate. We know that drilling has brought the state billions in wealth, but its vast impacts on the environment cannot be ignored.

The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)—the state's top scientific community—has released a comprehensive, peer-reviewed report today analyzing the wide-ranging environmental, economic and social impacts of shale oil and gas production in the Lone Star State.

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Climate

Anything But the Wine! Climate Change Takes Its Toll on Grapes

A new Global Wine Index outlines the most at-risk wine regions according to natural disasters, rising temperatures and other climate change factors. Unfortunately, some of the world's finest grapes are unlikely to survive.

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Photo credit: Wikimedia

Earthquake Strikes Wayne National Forest Near Fracking Operations

By Jen Miller

The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake Sunday in Monroe County with the epicenter located at 39.6663º N, 81.244º W. The 3.0 magnitude earthquake was located in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest. Approximately 40,000 acres of the forest are slated for fracking by the Bureau of Land Management.

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