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Our Daily Planet: Christchurch Earthquake Witness and Severe Weather

Each weekday morning, OurAmazingPlanet takes the pulse of the Earth, reporting on natural phenomena and exploration news from around the globe.

New Zealand Earthquake Witness: Climate scientist and native New Zealander Kevin Trenberth was in Christchurch when the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck. Read his account of the disaster. The quake's official death toll is now at 113. [Related: The Science Behind the New Zealand Quake .]

Hawaii Quake: A magnitude 3.6 earthquake hit near Honolulu yesterday afternoon (Feb. 24) local time. The quake did not trigger a tsunami or cause significant damage, but people reported feeling the shaking up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) away.

Severe Weather Outbreak: The first severe weather event of 2011 arrived last night. Tornadoes reportedly touched down in Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri last night, with 10 tornado reports in Tennessee and Arkansas alone. Flash flooding from the severe weather killed four people in Kentucky.

Glory Postponed: NASA's new climate satellite was scheduled to launch this morning, but it will have to wait at least another week to launch due to technical problems. [Related: FAQ: Inside NASA's Climate-Watching Glory Mission .]

Previously on Our Daily Planet: Christchurch Earthquake Survivor Search and Mega Droughts

Reach OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel at bisrael@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @btisrael.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.