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Islamic eschatology is the branch of Islamic scholarship that studies Yawm al-Qiyamah ("the Day of Resurrection") or Yawm ad-Din ("the Day of Judgment").  This is believed to be the final assessment of humanity of Allah, with annihilation of all life, resurrection, and judgment.

By End-Times April 20, 2014 8:08:00 PM UTC

Around 49 people have been infected in the last six days by the incurable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, which has claimed 76 lives in Saudi Arabia. The country's health minister said he did not know the cause of the sudden rise in cases

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry this weekend confirmed 20 new cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS. All told, the MERS virus has infected 244 people in Saudi Arabia, with 49 confirmed cases in the last six days alone.

Of the 244 infected people in total, 76 have died, Reuters reports. MERS has no known cure and kills approximately a third of the people it infects.

Saudi Arabia Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabia said Sunday that he did not know the cause of the sudden rise in cases. He said there was no current need for extra precautionary measures such as travel restrictions.

Authorities say the disease, which scientists have linked to camels and is similar to the SARS virus, does not spread easily from person to person and could die out on its own. However, some experts have warned the virus could mutate, allowing for easier human-to-human transmission.

By End-Times April 20, 2014 1:12:00 PM UTC

The object was captured streaking through the night's sky in the early hours of this morning by drivers in the city of Murmansk

A huge meteorite has reportedly been captured streaking through the night's sky above Russia, before disappearing in a blaze of light.

People living in the northern city of Murmansk spotted the object exploding in the dark at around 2.10am this morning, with many capturing the moment on cameras mounted on the dashboards of their cars.

Video footage shows a white blue light shooting through the sky, before appearing to explode and disappear from view.

Those who saw it believe it was a meteorite, but RT news say officials have not confirmed what it was or whether any "fragments" landed on Earth.

Emergency services said no injuries or damage was reported.

The latest sighting comes after a large meteorite exploded over Chelyabinsk last year , briefly outshining the sun and inflicting severe burns on observers below .

By End-Times April 20, 2014 11:47:00 AM UTC

A fourth earthquake has struck off Papua New Guinea, the US Geological Survey says.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake follows a powerful magnitude of 7.5 in the area on Saturday night, which sparked a tsunami warning for PNG and the Solomon Islands.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later cancelled the alert.

The latest earthquake struck 96km southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville at a depth of 18 kilometres at 10.30am (AEST) on Sunday, USGS said.

A 5.6-magnitude quake hit the same area on Saturday night at a depth of 69 kilometres, after a 6.6-magnitude tremor on Saturday morning.

Quakes of such magnitude are common in PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire'', a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

In February last year the remote town of Lata in the Solomons was hit by a devastating tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake.

It left at least 10 people dead and thousands homeless.

By End-Times April 19, 2014 6:43:00 PM UTC

(Reuters) - An earthquake with a magnitude 7.5 struck off Papua New Guinea on Saturday and a tsunami warning was briefly issued for the Pacific Island nation and neighboring Solomon Islands, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake, at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), struck 68 km southwest of Panguna on the island of Bougainville, the U.S. Geological Survey said, revising down the magnitude from an initial 7.8.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later cancelled a tsunami warning for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and there was no threat to neighboring Australia or across the Pacific Ocean.

At least six strong tremors have hit near Bougainville in the past week or so, including a magnitude 7.3 on April 11, but there have been no reports of major damage.

"Certainly it has been very active, more active than usual,"

said Jonathan Bathgate, a seismologist at Geoscience Australia. "(The spate of earthquakes) is relieving some pressure on this faultline, but we can't rule out another large earthquake."

The quake would have been felt strongly on Bougainville and nearby islands, but given its position on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire" where earthquakes are frequent, extensive damage was unlikely, Bathgate said. However, a local tsunami may have been generated, he added. Readings showed a small wave had been generated, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

In 1998, a magnitude 7 earthquake triggered a tsunami that smashed into villages near Aitape on Papua New Guinea's north coast and killed more than 2,000 people.

Resource-rich Bougainville, which neighbors the Solomon Islands, fought a war for independence from Papua New Guinea in the 1990s, leading to the closure of the Panguna copper mine, majority-owned by Rio Tinto Ltd. Bougainville is now an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.

By End-Times April 19, 2014 9:54:00 AM UTC

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake has struck off PNG's Bougainville Island, however seismologists say there is no risk of a widespread tsunami.

The earthquake could be felt in Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, where people are recovering from floods earlier this month that claimed at least 21 lives. (Credit: Audience submitted)

A strong magnitude 6.6 earthquake has struck off Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island, however seismologists say there is no risk of a widespread tsunami.

The quake, scaled back from an initial reported magnitude of 6.9, hit at 0104 GMT on Saturday and was centred 59 kilometres southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville at a depth of 24 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

In its initial estimate the USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

According to the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center there was no threat of a destructive widespread tsunami based on historical data.

Geoscience Australia measured the quake at magnitude 7.0 and said it was probably felt within a wide radius, with the potential for localised shaking damage.

By End-Times April 18, 2014 3:07:00 PM UTC

MEXICO CITY – A powerful earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey calculated its magnitude at 7.5 and said it was centered near the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

An Associated Press reporter said it was felt strongly in the resort city but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake shook Mexico City for at least 30 seconds, with buildings swaying as people fled high rises and took to the streets. Because of the Easter holiday, that city was less crowded than usual.

Mexico City is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit.

The magnitude-8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centered 250 miles away on the Pacific Coast.

By End-Times April 15, 2014 6:39:00 AM UTC

A 6.9 earthquake shook the remote Bouvet Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean Tuesday Morning.

Bouvet Island (Norwegian: Bouvetøya, is an uninhabited subantarctic volcanic island and dependency of Norway located in the South Atlantic Ocean at 54°25.8′S 3°22.8′ECoordinates: 54°25.8′S 3°22.8′E. It lies at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is the most remote island in the world, approximately 2,200 kilometres (1,400 mi) south-southwest of the coast of South Africa and approximately 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi) north of the Princess Astrid Coast of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.

By End-Times April 14, 2014 9:51:00 PM UTC

The first total lunar eclipse of 2014 will occur overnight tonight, marking the start of an eclipse tetrad — four back-to-back total lunar eclipses — that will happen over the next 18 months.

During the skywatching spectacle, Earth's shadow will block out the sun's light, casting an eerie veil over the moon. The eclipse is set to begin around 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), and should last for about 3.5 hours.

Here are five things to know about tonight's lunar eclipse.

1. People in North America should look up

Skywatchers across most of North America and parts of South America should be able to see the total lunar eclipse unfold, weather permitting. Detailed visibility maps, including graphics that show which parts of the world may be able to see the various stages of the eclipse, are available at

2. It will be broadcast live

If you live outside of North America, or if clouds are threatening to block your view of the eclipse, you may still be able to enjoy the celestial show. Tonight's total lunar eclipse will be broadcast live on, courtesy of NASA, the Slooh community telescope and the Virtual Telescope Project. The eclipse webcasts will begin at 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT Tuesday), and will include live feeds from telescopes across North America.

The Slooh webcast will also feature commentary from the online observatory's director, Paul Cox, and astronomer Bob Berman, who will be reporting live from the Prescott Observatory in Prescott, Ariz.

3. There are more lunar eclipses to come

Tonight's eclipse will be the first of four total lunar eclipses that will occur over the next 18 months, according to astronomers. The eclipses in this so-called tetrad should be visible for all or parts of the United States, Fred Espenak, a NASA astrophysicist and eclipse specialist, said in a statement.

The next total lunar eclipses will occur Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and Sept. 28, 2015. Previously, an eclipse tetrad occurred from 2003 to 2004. The next time skywatchers will be treated to four consecutive total lunar eclipses will be in the years 2032 to 2033, according to NASA.

4. It's called a "blood moon"

During an eclipse, the moon may turn a red or coppery color as it reflects sunrises and sunsets happening around the world. While the moon is in shadow, some light from the sun shines through Earth's atmosphere. Red light (unlike other colors that are blocked and scattered) is better able to penetrate the atmosphere, which creates this "bloody" effect.

5. Don't worry, the world is not going to end

Despite rumors circulating online that suggest the lunar eclipse tetrad is linked to biblical prophesies of the apocalypse, there is no reason to fear tonight's blood moon, according to astronomers. In fact, eclipse tetrads are not particularly rare, Espenak said.

"During the 21st century, there are nine sets of tetrads, so I would describe tetrads as a frequent occurrence in the current pattern of lunar eclipses," he explained. "But this has not always been the case. During the 300-year interval from 1600 to 1990, for instance, there were no tetrads at all."

By End-Times April 12, 2014 9:09:00 PM UTC

(Reuters) - A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A tsunami warning was issued for the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and surrounding areas, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. A tsunami watch was in effect for Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Guam and nearby areas.

Originally registering as magnitude 8.3, the quake was 60 miles south of Kira Kira in the Solomon Islands at a depth of 18 miles, according to USGS.