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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 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.

By End-Times April 11, 2014 9:17:00 PM UTC

The strongest cyclone in three years is poised to bring winds up to 300 km per hour to Australia’s northeast coast.

Residents are bracing themselves for the cyclone that is expected to hit land later.

They fear the destruction the twister may bring.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita will hit the coast near Cooktown. Torrential rains are forecast, posing a threat to about 9,000 people.

Campbell Newman, Queensland State Premier, explained: “…it crosses the coast around Cape Flattery, Cooktown and Hope Vale. But I want people to know that everything that we can do to protect communities – has been done.”

Newman warned that homes built before 1985 may not withstand the impact.

Local residents have been urged to go to cyclone shelters.

Sugar farmers in Queensland are worried about potential damage to up to 7 million tonnes of cane. 95 percent of Australia’s sugar is produced in the area.

By End-Times April 11, 2014 9:14:00 PM UTC

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude-6.6 earthquake has shaken Nicaragua, a day after a magnitude-6.1 quake rattled the country.

People rushed into the streets after the latest quake. There were no immediate reports of new casualties of damage.

Earlier, the government raised the number of injured people from 23 to 200 after the Thursday evening quake. It also said that a 23-year-old woman had died of an apparent heart attack after the quake.

In the capital city of Managua, 300 homes were damaged and at least 20 were destroyed by the shake, said one of the mayor's deputies, Fidel Moreno.

Authorities ordered the demolition of two old buildings that had withstood the earthquake of 1972 that killed 10,000 people.

By End-Times April 11, 2014 10:25:00 AM UTC

MANAGUA (AFP) - A shallow 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Nicaragua on Thursday close to several cities, including the capital, injuring 14 people and damaging dozens of houses.

The strong quake struck at 5.27pm at a depth of 10km, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The epicentre was 18km from Larreynaga and 50km north of the capital Managua, USGS said.

Government spokesman Rosario Murillo said 14 people were injured and 89 homes damaged.

By End-Times April 11, 2014 10:24:00 AM UTC

SYDNEY - A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 was recorded off Papua New Guinea's remote Bougainville Island, the US Geological Survey said on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a destructive widespread tsunami was not expected but said waves could be generated along coasts in the area from an earthquake of that magnitude.

"This is a highly active area seismically," said Chris McKee, the assistant director at the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory in the Papua New Guinea capital. "The population is strung out along the coast in a number of centres, but it's not densely populated."

The quake was initially measured at 7.4 but was later revised down to 7.3. It was centred in the sea about 75 km (45 miles) southwest of the town of Arawa on Bougainville, at a depth of about 50 km (30 miles), the USGS 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 neighbours the Solomon Islands, fought for a bloody 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

Residents in Bougainville's second-largest town of Buka and Gizo in the north of the Solomon Islands reported feeling tremors but said there was no immediate signs of any damage.

By End-Times April 6, 2014 2:34:00 PM UTC

(Reuters) - Earthquakes rattled residents in Oklahoma on Saturday, the latest in a series that have put the state on track for record quake activity this year, which some seismologists say may be tied to oil and gas exploration.

One earthquake recorded at 3.8 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey rocked houses in several communities around central Oklahoma at 7:42 a.m. local time. Another about two hours earlier in the same part of the state, north of Oklahoma City, was recorded at 2.9 magnitude, USGS said.

Those two were preceded by two more, at 2.6 magnitude, and 2.5 magnitude, that also rolled the landscape in central Oklahoma early Saturday morning. A 3.0 magnitude tremor struck late Friday night in that area as well, following a 3.4 magnitude hit Friday afternoon.

Austin Holland, a seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey who tracks earthquake activity for the USGS, said the earthquake activity in the state is soaring.

"We have had almost as many magnitude 3 and greater already in 2014 than we did for all of 2013," Holland said.

Last year's number of "felt" earthquakes - those strong enough to rattle items on a shelf - hit a record 222 in the state. This year, less than four months into the year, the state has recorded 253 such tremors, according to state seismic data.

"We have already crushed last year's record for number of earthquakes," Holland said.

Most earthquakes occur naturally. But scientists have long linked some small earthquakes to oil and gas work underground, which can alter pressure points and cause shifts in the earth.

Oil and gas exploration has increased in recent years across the country, spurred by U.S. efforts for energy independence. Modern hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is one particularly controversial technique.

For bigger quakes, so far this year the state has recorded 106 at 3.0 magnitude and above, according to Holland. For all of last year the state had 109 at 3.0 and above.

In November 2011, Oklahoma suffered a 5.6 magnitude quake that damaged more than a dozen homes and several businesses.

Wastewater disposal related to the fracking is suspected by many scientists to contribute to the earthquake activity. Millions of gallons of wastewater are typically trucked from a fracking site to wells where the water is injected thousands of feet underground into porous rock layers. That work, if done near a fault, can trigger larger quakes, according to several recent scientific studies.

Oklahoma recorded 278 earthquakes from 2008 through 2013 that have registered on the Richter scale at a magnitude of 3.0 or greater, a level that can shake objects inside a home.

Before that, from 1975-2008, the state on average recorded less than six earthquakes a year.

By End-Times April 5, 2014 7:15:00 PM UTC

HONIARA, Solomon Islands – Flash floods in the Solomon Islands have killed 14 people and left thousands more homeless.

Government spokesman George Herming said Saturday that the death toll could rise further, with many people listed as missing. He said as many as 15,000 people have had their homes destroyed or made uninhabitable.

The South Pacific island nation is home to 600,000 people.

Herming said there were several days of rain before the Mataniko River in the capital, Honiara, burst its banks Thursday and flooded low-lying settlements alongside the river.

He said the flooding continued through Friday, and waters began to gradually recede Saturday.

New Zealand's government has pledged 300,000 New Zealand dollars ($258,000) to the relief effort.