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Our Daily Planet: Japan Aftershock and Iowa's Tornado Outbreak

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

Japan Aftershocks: Exactly one month after a devstating 9.0 magnitude quake struck, a 6.6 magnitude aftershock rocked Japan today. [Related: When Will the Aftershocks in Japan End?]

Terrible Tornado: Mapleton, Iowa, is in shambles after a huge tornado swept through town on Saturday (April 9). The twister was rated as an EF-3, with winds of up to 165 mph (266 kph). [Infographic: Tornado! An Inside Look at Tornado Season ]

Texas Wildfires: Hot and windy weather fueled raging wildfires in Texas. The fires have scorched nearly 400 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) and destroyed dozens of homes.

Red River Becomes Red Sea: The Red River Valley became a shallow sea Sunday as flooding hit houses and closed highways. [Related: 6 Signs That Spring Has Sprung ]

Philippine Volcano: Scientists say the Taal volcano could soon erupt. An increase in carbon dioxide from the volcano suggests the magma is rising.

Previously on Our Daily Planet: Fargo Flood Watch and a Gruesome Gulf Coast

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.