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EARTHQUAKES

Nov 13th 2017

At least 67 people were killed and more than 500 others were hurt in a powerful earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border region Sunday, Iranian officials revealed.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced, as reports of serious structural damage started to emerge.

The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network quoted the head of the country's emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, as saying at least 61 had been killed and 300 injured on Iran's side of the border. Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in Khanaquin city. No reports were immediately available from Iraq's government.

On its website, the USGS placed the quake's epicenter at about 18.6 miles southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja.

The USGS also issued an "orange" alert for "shaking-related fatalities and economic losses."

"Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread," the agency said online. "Past orange alerts have required a regional or national level response."

In Iraq, the quake destroyed old houses in Sadr City and triggered supermarket damage in the area. Traffic across Baghdad was slowed to a standstill.

The health department in Baquba, Iraq, said that it had received more than 30 fainting cases. In Khanaqin, the quake hurt five people and the minaret of one of the city's biggest mosques toppled to the ground.

Koulivand earlier told a local television station that the earthquake knocked out electricity in Iran's western cities of Mehran and Ilam. He also said 35 rescue teams were providing assistance. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call with the Interior Ministry emphasized the need for maximum effort from officials.

The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

Sept 30th 2017

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexico City school that collapsed in a powerful earthquake last week killing 19 children buckled under the heavy weight of floors added over the years with scant steel support, according to experts and witnesses.  

    The tragedy at the privately owned Enrique Rebsamen school in southern Mexico City, in which seven adults also died, has become a symbol of the devastation inflicted by the country’s 7.1 magnitude quake, the worst in a generation. At least 355 people died in the capital and surrounding states.

     “The building was badly designed, poorly calculated and poorly constructed,” said Alfredo Perez, a 52-year old civil engineer who dashed to the school shortly after the Sept. 19 quake to help rescue efforts. “The reinforced concrete doesn’t comply with specifications in construction regulations.”

    Alongside rescue workers, Perez said, he pulled bodies from the rubble. Then he sat in one of the undamaged classrooms and drew plans detailing potential design failures in the collapsed building.  

    Reuters showed those plans to six structural engineers along with Reuters’ photos of the ruined structure. They independently concluded that the structure’s columns lacked sufficient steel rebar to support all four floors and prevent them from snapping in such a powerful earthquake.

    While the quantity of steel required under Mexico’s stringent post-1985 building code varies depending on the size of structure, all six engineers said the building’s columns were built with too little steel to withstand strong quakes.

Perez and another engineer specified that columns appeared to have less than half the required amount of steel reinforcement. They base their view on the number of vertical and horizontal steel rebar rods in the columns, which are visible in Reuters photos along with the measurements in Perez’s plans.

    “It comes down to the lack of steel,” said Troy Morgan, a New York-based senior managing engineer at Exponent, an engineering consulting firm.   

    Since a 1985 quake toppled hundreds of buildings in Mexico City, planning officials developed a strict building code at the forefront of international standards for quake-proofing that raised the proportion of required steel reinforcement.

    Reuters was unable to locate or contact the school’s owner and principal, Monica Garcia. Teachers, current and former students and their families all said she had been at the premises during the quake and survived.

    Reuters was unable to identify the builder. A spokesman for the Tlalpan district where the school was located said property owners are not required to notify authorities of the builders or architects they used for modifications. The spokesman said the district had no record of the builder that worked on the new floors at the school. People living by the school said they did not know who had done the work.

    The Mexico City urban development department did not respond to requests for comment on whether the inspectors who certified the school had proper licenses or any history of complaints. 

    Although the school was founded in 1983, before the new code took effect, the administrative building that buckled was expanded from two to four floors over the last decade or so, neighbors and former students said.

    Photos published by Google Maps show the building had four floors as of 2009 with an expansion of the top floor by 2014 and a further expansion in 2016.     

    “It definitely did not comply with the post-1985 code,” said Eduardo Miranda, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Stanford who collected statistics on buildings that collapsed in Mexico’s 1985 earthquake, citing the code, photos and plans.

    Construction permits released by local authorities dated in 1983 and 1984 authorized a four story structure at the school site. The top two floors were added much later, meaning the existing structure should have been brought up to modern standards, according to Mexico City’s construction code.

The engineers who studied the photos and plans said the existing building had not been visibly reinforced.

    Mexican prosecutors said they had opened a probe into potential criminal responsibility of the owner and private inspectors for the collapse. Prosecutors also said they had opened an investigation in February into whether the school had the proper zoning permits to operate.  

    Luis Felipe Puente, coordinator of Mexico’s Civil Protection department, told Reuters that local officials, the construction company and the owner of the property could all be held accountable if any violations were discovered. 

    One inspector, Juan Apolinar Torales Iniesta, gave the buildings its most recent safety certificate in June according to documents filed with the local government, which released them publicly.

    Torales did not respond to requests for comment sent to telephone numbers and emails listed in a government database. At Torales’ government-registered address, a man refused to identify himself and said the registered architectural engineer did not live there.

    Claudia Sheinbaum, Tlalpan district mayor, filed a criminal complaint on Thursday accusing two prior attorneys for the district Alejandro Zepeda and Miguel Angel Guerrero of maliciously failing to enforce the law after discovering unpermitted construction between 2010 and 2014 on the upper floors.

    “What we’ve found is truly outrageous,” she said, referring to a document dated Nov. 8, 2013 by the Tlalpan public works department that described demolition work on the upper floors causing structural damage to the building. Despite that document, which she made public and was reviewed by Reuters, the school was allowed to keep operating with a small fine, Sheinbaum said

    Guerrero did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent to his email address. Zepeda did not respond to a message sent to his Facebook account.

    All six engineers said the addition of two floors dangerously loaded down the building, given its lack of steel support. 

    “If it was kept at two levels, it would have not collapsed...it would not have caused so many deaths,” said Casey Hemmatyar, managing director at Pacific Structural and Forensic Engineers Group, a consultancy firm in Los Angeles.

    Based on the position of the ruins, the school lurched as much as 18 feet (5.5 m) towards the street before collapsing, a sign of weak columns, said Geoffrey Hichborn, chief engineer at Building Forensics International, a concrete consulting firm in Anaheim, California.

    Mexico City’s government has not completed its own analysis, and Sheinbaum said the rubble would be left in place for engineers to investigate.

    Documents published by Sheinbaum on Tlalpan district’s website, including building inspection reports and closure orders from the district’s attorneys, show that officials ordered fourth-floor construction to be halted at several points between 2010 and 2014 because it lacked proper permits.  

    Sheinbaum’s complaint filed Thursday refers to these documents and others filed with the district to say the irregularities were never resolved.

   “No evidence or documents exist that allow the conclusion that these irregularities were corrected,” the complaint said. Reuters was unable to independently confirm whether or not corrective measures were taken.

 

Sept 19th 2017 Today a new Earthquake

MEXICO CITY — The seven-story apartment building had just flattened into a layer-cake of concrete.

Cirilo Cortez Alta, who lived on the ground floor and worked as a janitor, had been outside when the earthquake started after 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. But he believed his 17-year-old daughter, Anayeli Juarez Hernandez, was still inside on the fifth floor, where she worked as a maid. He had frantically called her phone but received no answer.

In the throng of hundreds of volunteers frantically picking through the rubble, amid the blare of shouting and ambulance sirens and the rumble of dump trucks, Cortez stood silently, staring at what had been his home, with no idea whether his daughter was dead or alive.

“This is a tragedy,” he said.

The massive 7.1-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 149 people also knocked down dozens of buildings, including many in densely packed neighborhoods of Mexico City, converting neighborhoods in this city into a frantic mass-rescue effort. Along one block of Escocia Street in the Colonia del Valle neighborhood, two multi-story apartment buildings collapsed, with an unknown number of people trapped inside.

Residents flocked to the wreckage, using whatever tools they could find, most often their bare hands, to clear the rubble in the hopes of finding survivors. Every few minutes, someone would scream “silencio” to try to quiet the crowd in the hope of hearing voices amid the downed buildings, but shouting and sirens soon returned.

When medical workers carried bodies out on a stretcher — it was hard to tell if they were dead or alive — the crowd would clap and cheer.

In the first hours after the quake, the response came from all corners: volunteer medical workers, police, firemen, Marines, whoever was nearby. Residents by the hundreds rushed to pick up chunks of concrete in the air clogged with dust. Lines formed spontaneously to pass buckets, crates, plastic barrels, shopping carts, wheelbarrows — whatever receptacle could be found — to be filled with rubble and then shuttled back through the sea of hands to waiting trucks.

Down the street, residents formed blocks-long lines to pass water, shovels and surgical masks into the areas with the worst damage. At a nearby clinic, more than a dozen hospital beds were placed in the patio as a triage center for the wounded.

“This is a tragedy and everyone who can is helping,” said one man with a surgical mask over his mouth and sweat pouring down his face, before he rushed back into the fray.

In the chaos, authorities sought to control the crowd while they pursued the rescue.

“You guys organize this, you know what you’re doing,” a Marine shouted at a Red Cross worker. “There are a thousand people here.”

Outside the flattened 7-story apartment building, search and rescue teams scaled ladders up the wreckage, to try to peek through cracks in the concrete.

“Is there anyone in here?” one volunteer shouted into the building. “We are here to rescue you.”

A guy in a yellow sweatshirt began scaling the collapsed façade, which tilted at a dangerous angel. As he grabbed for a handhold, chunks of concrete tumbled down to the street below.

“Aguas!”—“Watch out”—someone screamed below. “There are people under you.”

Word spread that a resident named Juan Pablo lived in the building so the crowd started shouting his name.

By late afternoon, rescuers had already pulled out at least a half dozen people, some of them alive.

“We think there are more people inside,” Armando del Toro, a 46-year-old volunteer paramedic said. “Nobody can go inside there. And if you start taking any pieces out, it could all come crashing down.”

Del Toro remembered jumping into rescue-mode on the same day 32 years ago, when another devastating earthquake struck Mexico City in 1985.

“Right now we are going through the exact same thing,” he said.

Sept 8th 2017

An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude has shaken parts of Mexico, causing buildings to sway in the capital.

The US Geological Survey said it was centred near the town of Tecpan de Galeana in southern Guerrero state, about 190 miles (300km) south-west of Mexico City.

It was also felt in the resort city of Acapulco, the Associated Press says.

There are no reports of any damage or injuries but frightened office workers ran into the streets in the capital.

'Too scary'

Engineer Daniel Rodriguez, 55, fled his second floor office. "At first it felt like a jolt and then it started to move," he told AFP news agency.

"The floor I was standing on started to creak," another office worker said.

And businesswoman Carmen Lopez told AP: "That was just too scary."

Mexico lies on top of three continental plates and is regularly shaken by tremors.

Finance Minister Luis Videgaray was mid-speech at the National Palace in Mexico City when the latest quake struck, Reuters reports.

"I think we'd better take a pause if you don't mind," the news agency quoted him as saying.

The quake had a depth of 15 miles (24km).

The US Geological Survey downgraded the magnitude from an earlier figure of 6.8.

A 7.2-magnitude quake with an epicentre about 40 miles (66 km) from Thursday's quake shook central and southern Mexico last month.

In 1985, at least 10,000 people were killed in Mexico City by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake.

August 8th 2017

An earthquake measuring 6.5 in magnitude struck a remote and mountainous part of the southwestern province of Sichuan on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, killing seven people and trapping 100 tourists in a popular scenic spot.

The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km (120 miles) west-northwest of the city of Guangyuan at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the USGS said. It had earlier put the quake at magnitude 6.6 and 32 km deep.

The Sichuan earthquake administration said the epicentre of the tremor was in Ngawa prefecture, largely populated by ethnic Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic herders. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination.

State television said seven people had been killed and 88 were injured, 21 of them seriously. The official People's Daily said five of the dead were tourists.

Sichuan's government added that 100 tourists had been trapped by a landslide, but that there were no reports of any deaths or injuries amongst them yet.

Sichuan government spokesman Chen Weide said it was unclear at present what had happened to them and whether they had been buried or were just trapped by a blocked road.

The Sichuan fire service said the reception area in a hotel had collapsed, trapping some people, but that 2,800 people had already been safely evacuated from the building.

State television said another tourist had been pulled out alive from rubble in a different part of Jiuzhaigou.

AREA OFTEN HIT

While there was no confirmation of their nationalities, Jiuzhaigou is far more popular with Chinese tourists than foreigners, meaning the dead were likely to be Chinese.

The area is frequently struck by earthquakes.

Pictures on state media-run social media sites showed some damage in Jiuzhaigou, with tiles having fallen from buildings and people gathering outdoors.

State television said electricity had now largely been restored to the affected areas and the military was also sending rescuers to help with relief efforts. Jiuzhaigou airport was operating as normal after the runway was checked for damage, the report added.

A police official told state television that there had been some panic among the tourists when the quake hit.

The Sichuan government said on one of its official social media sites that more than 38,000 tourists were currently visiting Jiuzhaigou.

Shaking was felt in the provincial capital Chengdu and as far away as Xian, home of the famous Terracotta Warrior figures, according to users of Chinese social media.

A quake in Sichuan in May 2008 killed almost 70,000 people.

July 29th 2017

There have been over 500 earthquakes in Iceland in the last four days, leading experts to believe that a volcanic eruption could be imminent.

A series of 40 small earthquakes occurred just North East of Mount Fagradalsfjall two days ago, with the final one felt in Reykjavik, measuring at almost 4 on the Richter scale.

"It's quite normal for Reykjanes, there have been a series of quakes there in the past few years,” the Met Office commented.

According to a post on volcano enthusiast site Volcanocafé, eruptions occur in Iceland every three to seven years.

The ash cloud caused by Mount Eyjafjallajökull's eruption that caused enormous disruption to air travel across Europe for three months took place in 2010 - seven years ago.

“We have never seen a large powerful intrusion at a Mid Oceanic Ridge at such a well instrumented place,” Carl Rehnberg wrote on Volcanocafé.

“We now know that the initial swarm rapidly transformed from tectonic earthquakes, via volcano-tectonic, to earthquakes consistent with moving magma in a surprisingly short timeframe. As such this is turning into a potential eruption, or a state of volcanic unrest.”

Normally, this kind of data would lead experts to believe that an eruption could be days or even weeks away.

July 21st 2017

Two people have been killed and five more seriously injured on the Greek island of Kos after tourist destinations around the Aegean Sea were rocked by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in the early hours. A further 200 people in Greek and Turkish coastal towns were injured.

Travel around the area is expected to be heavily affected, the UK government said, as many families prepare to head to the eastern Mediterranean for their summer holidays.

A holidaymaker in the Greek island of Kos, Michael Heckmann, told the Guardian: “It was very scary – the whole room was shaking when the earthquake hit. We were woken up when the beds were shaking and bending.”

He was staying with his wife and four children, aged 10, eight, five and one, at a hotel in the north of the island. “When I stood up, I was still being shaken and the whole room seemed to be moving around. It was really frightening. I woke up all my kids and told them we had to get outside. It was my first earthquake and was very scary,” Heckmann said.

Tom Riesack, who is staying at a resort in north-east Kos with his wife and nine-year-old twins, said: “We were literally shaken out of our beds from deep sleep. The whole room was shaking and we fled the room into the open.”

Riesack added that he and his family could still feel “scary” aftershocks, which experts have said could continue for up to two more weeks.

The earthquake struck at the start of the peak tourist season for Kos and Bodrum, Turkey, with many travellers expected to arrive in the coming weeks. This weekend would typically be one of the busiest for arrivals.

The damage caused by the quake was, however, much less than could have been expected for one of its size. The US Geological Survey said it was a very shallow quake – the focus six miles (10km) below the seabed – off Marmaris in Muğla province, Turkey.

Fraport, the German-led consortium managing 14 regional airports in Greece, said Kos airport was operating “only with slight delays” and these should lessen during the course of the day. It said the airport’s runways and buildings had all been “extensively checked” for possible damage.

Ferries to Kos were suspended after damage to the port. The UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to reflect the disruption that is likely to follow as a result.

The epicentre was just six miles south of the Turkish resort of Bodrum and 10 miles from Kos.

One of the dead was identified by the Turkish government as Sinan Kurdoglu, while the other man was a Swedish national. They were killed when the ceiling of a bar in the centre of Kos Town collapsed. Five other people in the bar – two Swedes, two Greeks and one Norwegian - were seriously injured and flown to Crete for medical treatment. One is reported to have sustained extensive leg injuries.

The quake, the second exceeding magnitude 6 to hit Greece’s coastal region bordering Turkey in recent weeks, produced more than 100 aftershocks. A second tremor measuring 5.1 struck 16 miles south of Leros, after the initial earthquake at 1.53am local time. Three further tremors measuring 4.6, 4.5 and 4.7 followed.

Television footage from Muğla province showed hundreds of people abandoning their buildings and waiting on the streets, as others ran away from buildings on roads.

Ethymios Lekkas, Greece’s top geology professor, said Kos should expect to be rattled by aftershocks “for up to two weeks”. He added that for an earthquake of such magnitude, the damage had been very limited. A similar 6.2-magnitude quake that hit Lesbos last month caused much greater destruction.

“With the exception of our two fellow human beings who died, the effects have been very small,” Lekkas said. “We have had a very big earthquake of 6.5 and only the port and two very big buildings have really been affected by it, which is very important and shows the level of construction.”

He said the aftershocks would gradually reduce tectonic tension in the region. “They will be well under five on the scale and won’t cause a problem,” he said. “I am not worried. Buildings on the island have shown great resilience because they have been constructed to strict antiseismic criteria.”

Lekkas also clarified that the wave caused by the quake and witnessed in Kos port was much smaller than originally reported. “It did not exceed 70 cm and was very small,” he said.

Yiannis Glynou, who heads the technical chamber in the Dodecanese islands, is in Kos surveying the impact on buildings. He told the Greek news agency AMNA: “The damage is limited to old stone buildings. New buildings on the island, including numerous hotel units, are showing almost none or no problems.”

A Greek government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, said that in contrast to the Lesbos quake the damage on Kos was limited. “Slowly, slowly life is returning to normality,” he said.

The UK Foreign Office has advised British tourists to follow the advice of local authorities and tour operators.

More than 600 people died in October 2011 in Turkey’s eastern province of Van after a 7.2 magnitude quake and powerful aftershocks. In 1999, two massive earthquakes killed about 20,000 people in the densely populated north-west of the country. A 5.9-magnitude quake in 1999 killed 143 people in Greece.

 

Dec 17th 2016

 A magnitude 7.9 earthquake has struck off the east coast of Papua New Guinea, according to reports. 

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible.

The centre said tsunami waves were possible in the next three hours along some coasts of not only Papua New Guinea but also Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Nauru, Kosrae and Vanuatu.

New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence has also issued a warning for all of the country's coast. A spokesman said: "We're continuing to assess the situation ...at this stage we are advising New Zealanders to stay off the beaches, stay out of the water, not to go sightseeing and to listen to the radio and TV." 

The earthquake struck 60km to the east of Taron on Saturday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. There are no reports of casualties.

The USGS added: "Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking...some casualties and damage are possible."

Papua New Guinea sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.

More follows...

Nov 21st

  * AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.3 OCCURRED

    NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN AT 2100 UTC ON MONDAY

    NOVEMBER 21 2016.

  * TSUNAMI WAVES HAVE BEEN OBSERVED.

 * BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA... HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES ARE

    FORECAST FOR SOME COASTS.

 

Nov 13th

 A tsunami has hit New Zealand's South Island after a series of powerful earthquakes struck across the centre of the country. 

New Zealand's Geonet says the majority of the quakes were on land.

The largest quake was 7.4 magnitude, according to the United States Geological Survey.

It hit 57 miles (91km) from the the city of Christchurch, which was badly damaged by one that measured 6.3 in 2011.

The initial tremor was followed by several aftershocks, further north and also inland - including a several above magnitude 6.

The February 2011 tremor was just a few miles outside of New Zealand's third biggest town and caused widespread damage and left 185 people dead.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no risk of a tsunami from the first quake which struck just after midnight on Monday, local time.

But NZ civil defence later revised the warning, saying anyone near the east coast of the South Island should move to higher ground.

There are reports that waves of up to two metres may have hit the Kaikoura area.

The civil defence tweeted: "A tsunami has been generated, the first wave has arrived in the North Eastern Coast of the South Island."

It added: "The first wave may not be the largest. Waves may continue for several hours. Waves are expected to arrive at the Chatham islands immediately - anyone in the Chathams should move to high ground urgently."

Geonet, which describes itself as the official source of geological hazard information for the country, listed dozens of quakes between 6.6 and 3.8 after 12.02am local time.

The relatively shallow first quake occurred at a depth of six miles (10km). Shallow tremors are said to be felt more strongly on the surface.

Strong jolts were reported over 120 miles (200km) away in the capital, Wellington, where at least several tweeters posted pictures of damage to their homes and other buildings.

Witnesses in Christchurch have told Sky News that the tremors lasted for a longer time that previous quakes but were less intense.

But others further north described strong shaking, with some calling the feeling "weird".

One Tweeter, Rick Kiesseg, posted: "Primary New Zealand #earthquake lasted about a minute. Long, long, long shake and roll. About 17 aftershocks so far, biggest mag 6.1"

More follows...

Nov 11th

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of buildings sustained "substantial damage" after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck an Oklahoma town that's home to one of the world's key oil hubs, but officials said Monday that no damage has been reported at the oil terminal.

 Cushing City Manager Steve Spears said 40 to 50 buildings were damaged in Sunday's earthquake, which was the third in Oklahoma this year with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater. No major injuries have been reported, and Spears said the damage included cracks to buildings and fallen bricks and facades.

 Oklahoma has had thousands of earthquakes in recent years, with nearly all traced to the underground injection of wastewater left over from oil and gas production. Sunday's quake was centered 1 mile west of Cushing and about 25 miles south of where a magnitude 4.3 quake forced a shutdown of several wells last week. Some longtime Cushing residents said Monday they've become accustomed to the unsettled ground beneath their feet. Others shrugged it off as a cost of doing business living next to an oil hub.

 Fearing aftershocks, police cordoned off older parts of the city about 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City to keep gawkers away late Sunday, and geologists confirmed that several small quakes have rumbled the area. Spears said an assisted living community had been evacuated after damage was reported. The Cushing Public School District canceled Monday classes.

 The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reported Sunday night that no highway or bridge damage was found within a 15-mile radius of the earthquake's epicenter.

 The quake struck at 7:44 p.m. Sunday and was felt as far away as Iowa, Illinois and Texas. The U.S. Geological Survey initially said Sunday's quake was of magnitude 5.3 but later lowered the reading to 5.0.

In recent years, Oklahoma regulators have asked oil and gas producers to either close wastewater injection wells or cut back on the volume of fluids injected. The reductions have generally led to a drop-off in quakes and their severity, though not always.

 Oklahoma's strongest quake on record, a magnitude 5.8 temblor on Sept. 3, occurred in Pawnee, on the fringe of an area that had already restricted wastewater disposal. Shortly afterward, geologists speculated on whether the temblor occurred on a previously unknown fault.

 Oklahoma Geological Survey geophysicist Jefferson Chang said Sunday's quake and several aftershocks have been occurring on a fault line located about 2 miles west of Cushing.

 "The activity has been going on for the past year and a half or so," Chang said. "This is just a spike in the activity."

 Cushing's oil storage terminal is one of the world's largest. As of Oct. 28, tank farms in the countryside around Cushing held 58.5 million barrels of crude oil, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The community bills itself as the "Pipeline Crossroads of the World."

 Cushing Assistant City Manager Jeremy Frazier said two pipeline companies had reported no trouble as of late Sunday but that the community hadn't heard from all companies. Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted that no damage was reported at the storage tanks at Cushing's oil storage terminal.

Oct 30th

A powerful earthquake has hit central Italy, striking communities already attempting to rebuild after a series of devastating tremors. 

Buildings already weakened by the earthquake in August, which left 298 people dead, and two massive aftershocks last week, finally collapsed after the strike early on Sunday morning.

The magnitude was recorded at 6.6, with a depth of 10km, and if that stands, it would make it the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in 36 years.

In the town of Norcia, near Perugia, in the region of Umbria, nuns and monks fled into the street as a cathedral and a church, which had been left standing after the recent earthquakes, crumbled.

Oct 5th 2016

AMATRICE: -- Pope Francis has made a surprise visit to Amatrice and other towns in central Italy devastated by an earthquake six weeks ago.

 The Vatican had kept the trip secret until Francis’ arrival.

 The head of the Catholic Church had expressed his wish that it be made in private in order to be closer to those affected.

 wanted to come earlier but I didn’t because I thought that, in the first days of so much pain, my visit could have perhaps been more a hindrance than a help.’‘

 Nearly 300 people were killed and 4,000 left homeless by August’s 6.2 magnitude quake.

 Most of the buildings in Amatrice, which was virtually destroyed, were either flattened or considered too badly damaged to live in.

Sept 11th Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — A 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook the Lake Victoria region of East Africa on Saturday, killing at least 11 people in Tanzania, a police official said. The country's president said that many were dead.

 The quake was felt as far away as western Kenya and parts of Uganda, which share the waters of Lake Victoria. Tremors were also felt in Kigali, Rwanda.

 The 11 who died in Tanzania were in brick structures in the town of Bukoba, said Augustine Olomi, regional police commander for the Kagera region.

 A statement from the Tanzanian president's office said that he was "shocked by reports of the earthquake that caused the death of many people, injury to others and destruction of property."

 The statement didn't provide specific figures on casualties.

 Saturday's quake was shallow, occurring at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles). Shallow quakes generally tend to be more damaging than deeper quakes.

 Seismic waves from deep quakes have to travel farther to the surface, losing energy along the way, while the shaking from shallow quakes is more intense.

Earthquake in Italy

Aug 24th.

At least 38 people are believed to have been killed and many more unaccounted for after a strong earthquake struck central Italy, causing extensive damage to buildings and blackouts. 

As dawn broke, emergency services and residents were scrambling to rescue people trapped under the ruins of razed old buildings, digging with shovels, bulldozers and even their bare hands to reach survivors.

Dazed and frightened families - some in tears - could be seen huddling in the streets, wrapped in blankets.

Ten people were reportedly killed in Pescara del Tronto, in the Marche region, to the east of the epicentre.

Among the dead were an elderly couple who died when their home collapsed.

Seventy-five-year-old Rocco Girardi was brought out alive from the carnage in Arquata del Tronto.

Aleandro Petrucci, the village's mayor, said Pescara was one of "two or three hamlets that have just completely disintegrated".

The mayor of Accumoli, where two bodies have so far been recovered, said he had seen no signs of life from a family of four, including two children, trapped under debris.

"Now that daylight has come, we see that the situation is even more dreadful than we feared," said Stefano Petrucci.

Sergio Perozzi, mayor of Amatrice, a remote town in northern Lazio devastated by the quake, told state-run RAI radio that buildings had collapsed and lights had gone out across the town centre.

"The town isn't here anymore," said Mr Perozzi. "The aim is now to save as many lives as possible. There are voices under the rubble, we have to save the people there."

Several bodies have so far been found among the rubble, but images also showed survivors - including a woman and a child - being pulled out alive from beneath the ruins, as well as a dog rescued.

At the town's badly damaged hospital, patients were reportedly being moved out into the streets.

The quake struck just after 3.30am local time and was felt across a large swathe of the country, including in Rome, where people in the historic centre were woken by rattling furniture and swaying light-fittings, followed by aftershocks.

"It was so strong. It seemed the bed was walking across the room by itself with us on it," said Lina Mercantini, of Cesalli, Umbria.

Pope Francis prayed with the crowds at his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday for victims and survivors, saying: "Hearing the mayor of Amatrice say that the town no longer exists and hearing that there are children among the victims, I am deeply saddened."

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the epicentre was northeast of Rome, near Norcia in Umbria, while the US Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.2.

In 2009 a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck in L'Aquila, 55 miles south of the latest quake, killing more than 300 people.


Ecuador is still reeling from its worst earthquake in almost seven decades.

At least 587 people were killed in Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 ‘quake. More than 8,000 were injured, 155 people are still missing and close to 2,000 buildings were damaged, according to government figures.

Some 657 aftershocks were felt in the days leading up to Thursday and more are expected.

April 17th Equador

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS

  * MAGNITUDE      7.7

  * ORIGIN TIME    2359 UTC APR 16 2016

  * COORDINATES    0.2 NORTH  80.1 WEST

  * DEPTH          10 KM / 6 MILES

  * LOCATION       NEAR THE COAST OF ECUADOR  

EVALUATION

* AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.7 OCCURRED

    NEAR THE COAST OF ECUADOR AT 2359 UTC ON SATURDAY APRIL 16

    2016.

  * BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA... HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES ARE

    FORECAST FOR SOME COASTS. 

TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST...UPDATED

* TSUNAMI WAVES REACHING 0.3 TO 1 METERS ABOVE THE TIDE LEVEL

    ARE POSSIBLE FOR SOME COASTS OF

      ECUADOR. 

  * NO TSUNAMI THREAT ELSEWHERE.

TOKYO (AP) — An offshore earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 shook a wide swath of central and western Japan on Friday. No tsunami warning was issued, and there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake struck at 11:39 a.m. (0239 GMT) off the Pacific coast of Japan at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

The epicenter was about 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of Osaka, and roughly 80 kilometers (50 miles) from where the leaders of the G-7 nations will meet for their annual summit in May.

Earthquakes

March 2nd

A massive quake struck on Wednesday off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a region devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean quake and tsunami, but initial fears of another region-wide disaster faded as tsunami warnings were cancelled.

Indonesian and Australian authorities called off their tsunami alerts within two hours of the 7.8 magnitude tremor, though it was still unclear if the quake had destroyed any buildings or killed people in Sumatra.

A National Search and Rescue Agency official gave an initial report of some deaths, but later withdrew those comments.

"Up until now, there is no information about deaths," said Heronimus Guru, the agency's deputy head of operations.

Any rescue operation will be hampered by the dark, which falls early in the tropical archipelago.

There were no immediate reports of damage, but the shallower a quake, the more dangerous it is. The U.S. Geological Survey originally put the magnitude at 8.2, revising it down to 7.8.

The epicentre was 808 km (502 miles) southwest of the coastal city of Padang. It was 24 km (15 miles) deep, it said, after first putting its depth at 10 km.

"So far there have been no reports (of damage)," Andi Eka Sakya, head of the National Meteorological Agency, told TVOne. "In Bengkulu (in southwest Sumatra) they didn't feel it at all."

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said a tsunami was unlikely.

"Local governments of the city of Padang and some other areas in west Sumatra have said there was no tsunami and the warning can now be revoked," spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

President Joko Widodo was staying overnight at a hotel in Medan in North Sumatra and was safe, palace officials said. A Medan resident said he did not feel the quake.

Erwin, a resident of Mentawai, a chain of islands off Sumatra, told Metro TV: "I am at the beach currently looking to see any tsunami sign with my flashlight. There's nothing. A few minutes have passed but nothing, but many people have already evacuated to higher places."

On Pagai, an island off the west coast of Sumatra, resident Jois Zaluchu told Reuters by phone that there were no reports of damage or casualties there.

But Kompas TV said patients at hospitals in Padang were being evacuated. A TVOne reporter said Padang residents were panicking and there were heavy traffic jams.

Indonesia, especially Aceh, was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

A 9.15-magnitude quake opened a fault line deep beneath the ocean on Dec. 26, 2004, triggering a wave as high as 17.4 meters (57 feet) that crashed ashore in more than a dozen countries to wipe some communities off the map in seconds.

The disaster killed 126,741 people in Aceh alone.

Indonesia straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.


Scientist says governments are ignoring threat of a piece of rock as big as the Isle of Man crashing into the Atlantic

It has everything you could wish for in a cliche-ridden disaster movie. A beautiful volcanic island in the Atlantic is on the brink of catastrophic collapse, threatening to unleash giant waves that will wreak havoc around the globe within hours. And while scientists try in vain to make their concerns heard, the world's governments look the other way.

But yesterday a leading expert claimed the doom-laden scenario was not only real but was being almost completely ignored by people in power.

Bill McGuire, the director of the Benfield Grieg Hazard Research Centre at University College London, said a huge chunk of rock, roughly the size of the Isle of Man, was on the brink of breaking off the volcanic island of La Palma in the Canaries.

When - Professor McGuire says it is not a matter of if - the rock plunges into the ocean it will trigger giant waves called mega-tsunamis.

Travelling at speeds of up to 560mph, the huge walls of water will tear across the ocean and hit islands and continents, leaving a trail of destruction.

Mega-tsunami waves are much longer than the ones we are used to.

"When one of these comes in, it keeps on coming for 10 to 15 minutes," Prof McGuire said.

"It's like a huge wall of water that just keeps coming."

Computer models of the island's collapse show the first regions to be hit, with waves topping 100 metres (330ft), will be the neighbouring Canary Islands. Within a few hours the west coast of Africa will be battered with similar-sized waves.

Between nine and 12 hours after the island collapses, waves between 20 and 50 metres high will have crossed 4,000 miles of ocean to crash into the Caribbean islands and the eastern seaboard of the US and Canada.

The worst-hit will be harbours and estuaries, which will channel the waves inland. The loss of life and destruction to property will probably be immense, according to Prof McGuire.

Britain would not escape entirely, he added. Waves of around 10 metres are likely to strike the south coast four to five hours after the island collapses, causing damage to seaside resorts and ports.

Such devastating natural disasters are rare, occurring on average every 10,000 years. But La Palma could collapse much sooner than that. "The thing about La Palma is we know it's on the move now," Prof McGuire said.

The island came to the attention of scientists in 1949 when its volcano, Cumbre Vieja, erupted, causing a huge chunk of its western flank to drop four metres into the ocean. Scientists believe the chunk of land is still slipping slowly into the water, and say another eruption is likely to make the entire western flank collapse. "When it goes, it will likely collapse in around 90 seconds," Prof McGuire said.

Precarious

Despite the potential scale of the threat, little is being done to monitor the geological activity of La Palma. Only a few seismometers have been set up on the precarious western flank of the island, which do not provide enough information to predict when another eruption might occur.

"It's really a worrying situation," Prof McGuire said. "It will almost certainly go during an eruption. The problem is that with just a few seismometers on the island, we may not get the notice we need."

The scientist called for an international effort to install more sophisticated sensors on the island, as well as global positioning satellite units to detect how quickly the land mass was falling into the ocean. "We need to have better monitoring so we know when an eruption is about to happen," he said. Such a system could cost as little as a few hundred thousand dollars.

"The US government must be aware of the La Palma threat. They should certainly be worried, and so should the island states in the Caribbean that will really bear the brunt of a collapse.

"They're not taking it seriously. Governments change every four to five years and generally they're not interested in these things."

Even with new monitoring equipment in place, La Palma presents a difficult problem for those charged with mitigating against natural disasters.

Little can be done to protect against the waves produced when La Palma collapses. Barriers would not be able to sustain the battering, and breaking the island apart before it collapses is either too dangerous or time-consuming.

New sensors could warn of an impending eruption two weeks in advance. But no one knows whether the island will collapse during the next eruption, or in an eruption that will not happen for centuries.

Ordering mass evacuations would have a huge financial impact that could cause resentment if it turned out to be a false alarm. The disaster could affect up to 100 million people from the coast of Africa to the Canary islands and the east coast of North America.

"The future president of the US has got to make a call at some point, that when La Palma erupts, what is he going to do?" Prof McGuire said.

"Is he going to evacuate all the major cities on the east coast? If he gets it wrong, nobody's ever going to pay attention again and he'll be out of a job."

If you wish to comment on this story you can do so in the comment box at the bottom of this page, and I encourage you to do so.

Earthquakes are one of the geological threats that can steal any moments of our life because it can occur any time without any notice. A little knowledge and some safety tips can enormously increase your chances of surviving an event.

We should educate ourselves and our family for we might not be there to protect our love ones and our family when it strikes. We will give you safety tips below that can make a life-saving difference if you or your family are in this terrifying situation.

buzcall.com advises you to always be aware that quakes can happen at any time. Be ready all the time and always STAY CALM and REMEMBER the safety tips

Take particular note of your animals and watch for any strange behavior, they are better able to sense strange sounds and vibration and can often warn you went danger threatens.

My sister would always remind me that when a tremor happens and she is not there to protect me to always consider protecting myself from falling objects by covering myself with a strong table, chair or any hard object.

When I was a teenager and a quake strikes while I was cooking my sister shouted me “turn off the stove” and if you still have time turn off the gas and electricity supplies main switch.

If you are outdoors, don’t get in a panic but do move to an open area where you think there are no falling objects and stay away from buildings, power lines and trees.

My dad has been a taxi driver for 20 years, I remember my mom always reminding my dad that if he is driving during an earthquake, he should slow down smoothly and stop on the side of the road and avoid bridges, overpasses, power lines, trees and large signs.

·When the shaking stops there is a very important thing that we advise you that there is a possibility that a tsunami might happen SO STAY ALERT AND be prepared, pick up your grab-bag and your battery operated radio.

Keep yourself updated with the news, if you live near the sea watch for signs of the water suddenly receding as this is a sure sign that a big wave is coming, if you see this get to a higher location immediately. 

We advise you to check the damages to your house before entering to avoid injuries.

A quake can occur at any time but with our experienced safety tips you will always be better able to cope with any emergency.

Fortunately with modern communication systems these dangerous situations can be monitored easily and warnings issued by local government, civil defense, police, local radio and television

http://www.world-earthquakes.com/index.php?option=eqs&year=2015

Study the chart below, just remember that each step is 10 times more powerful than the step below. ie an 8 is 100 times more than a 6.

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