NASA scientists estimate that the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend was equivalent to 5-6 megatons of TNT.
Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.
Even as firefighters reported some overnight success, the Rolling Pines Fire east of Austin remains a threat Wednesday morning to residential communities, forcing more than 250 families to evacuate.
Driving the news: Officials said it was too early to draw conclusions about the cause of the wildfire, which is running roughly along the same burn scar of a record 2011 blaze. But it was likely linked to a planned, 150-acre burn in Bastrop State Park, they added.
The COVID-19 pandemic could be over this year if inequalities in vaccinations and treatments are addressed, the head of emergencies at the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
Driving the news: The WHO's Michael Ryan said that although the coronavirus may never end, there was a chance the worst was over and that it could become a "part of the ecosystem."