About noon today, people in eastern Kentucky were startled by a novel event - an earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey says a tremor shook the region near Whitesburg. It's a rural area about 150 miles southeast of Lexington, Ky., and about 140 miles northeast of Knoxville, Tenn. No one was hurt.
The magnitude was 4.3, which the USGS site says triggers a "sensation like a heavy truck striking the building" and is "felt by nearly everyone".
Six Italian scientists have been sentenced to six years in prison for what a judge said was a faulty forecast of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila.
The BBC reports that prosecutors said the scientists, who work for the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, "gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defense maintained there was no way to predict major quakes."
On April 11 of this year, an extraordinary cluster of earthquakes struck off Sumatra. The largest shock, magnitude 8.7, produced stronger ground-shaking than any earthquake ever recorded. And it surprised seismologists by triggering more than a dozen moderate earthquakes around the world.
The quakes are also a sign of big changes to come in the Earth's crust.