Sala y Gomez IslandOct. 6, 1948: A magnitude-7.3 earthquake strikes near Ashgabat, Turkmenistan — then part of the Soviet Union. The Soviets initially announce that 10,000 had perished, but years later the Turkmen government puts the actual death toll at 176,000.

Oct. 6, 2008: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that one-fourth of all mammal species could face the threat of extinction from habitat loss, climate change and other threats.

Oct. 6, 2010: The Chilean government declares a 58,000 square-mile no-take marine sanctuary around Sala y Gomez (at right), a South Pacific island near Easter Island. Ocean researchers say the area is one of the most unspoiled ocean environments remaining in the world.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.