Magnitude 4.5 Quake Hits Near Iran Nuclear Power Plant

 

 

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake on Wednesday rattled an area less than 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant near the country’s Gulf coast, a US monitor said.

The quake, which had a depth of 10 kilometres, struck 17 kilometres south-southeast of Borazjan city at 6:49 am (0319 GMT), the US Geological Survey said on its website.

State news agency IRNA said the earthquake was felt in Bushehr, site of the country’s sole nuclear power plant.

So far, there were no reports of any deaths or damage, IRNA said, citing Jahangir Dehghani, the head of Bushehr’s crisis management centre.

The latest quake comes exactly a fortnight after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit the same area, without causing any casualties or major damage.

The Bushehr plant, which produces 1,000 megawatts of power, was completed by Russia after years of delay and officially handed over in September 2013.

In 2016, Russian and Iranian firms began building two additional 1,000-megawatt reactors at Bushehr. Their construction was expected to take 10 years.

Almost 50 Dead, More Than 5,000 Displaced In Albania Quake

 

 

Albania’s prime minister said the country had been “wounded” by the violent earthquake this week that killed whole families and pulverised buildings, as he gave a new toll on Friday of 49 dead and 5,000 displaced.

The 6.4 magnitude quake that jolted Albania before dawn on Tuesday was the most deadly and destructive in decades.

Entire families were crushed by their homes while they were sleeping.

“We have all been touched and wounded” by the tragedy, said Prime Minister Edi Rama, his voice strained as he mentioned the death of a close friend of his son, a medical student whose body was found in the rubble with her brother and two parents.

The damage was most concentrated near the Adriatic coast in the port city of Durres and the town of Thumane, where scores of people were trapped beneath the wreckage of toppled apartments and hotels.

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Loved ones and neighbours have watched in agony this week as rescue teams pulled corpses from the ruins.

On Friday the search effort wound down to focus on one or two sites in Durres, including a collapsed beach-side hotel.

Around 45 people were rescued from the ruins alive by relief teams, who were backed up by experts from around Europe with dogs, cameras and other equipment to comb through the rubble.

In Durres and Thumane, almost 2,000 people have been moved into hotels or other buildings — either because of severe damage to their homes or because hundreds of aftershocks made their apartments unsafe.

Another 3,480 people in the capital Tirana fled in panic to shelters, with some now housed in reception centres and many staying in the homes of relatives, Rama said.

There were no casualties in Tirana but nearly 70 buildings and 250 homes were damaged, he said.

Teams of experts are being organised to assess the risk of damaged buildings, said Defence Minister Olta Xhacka, who urged residents to leave any homes affected by the quake.

“The situation of buildings with damaged structures is as dangerous as on the first day, so don’t stay there, leave them,” she said.

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe and its urbanisation developed chaotically after the fall of communism in the 1990s.

A lot of construction has been done “without a building permit, without respecting rules… using non-standard materials,” local architect Maks velo told AFP.

The government has promised to build new houses for earthquake victims by 2020.

Donations in multiple currencies have poured in and are expected to exceed five million euros ($5.5 million), as well as $1.5 million, Rama said.

5.3-Magnitude Quake Shakes Greece

 

A 5.3-magnitude quake jolted central Greece on Saturday, the national observatory said, with no immediate reports of damage.

The quake had a depth of around 14 kilometres (8.6 miles) and an epicentre in the Gulf of Corinth, some 200 kilometres (320 miles) northwest of the Greek capital, the Observatory said.

“It was a strong earthquake felt in the general area and in Athens as well,” Efthymios Lekkas, head of Greece’s earthquake planning and protection agency, told state TV ERT.

“The situation is under control and we are monitoring it. There are many fault lines in the Gulf of Corinth,” he said.

Greece lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties.

In July 2017 a 6.7-magnitude earthquake killed two people on the island of Kos in the Aegean sea, causing significant damage.

In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake killed 143 people in Athens and the region northwest of the capital.

Nine Copper Miners Missing After Quake Hit Poland

 

Rescuers were searching for nine copper miners reported missing Tuesday after a tremor at the Rudna mine in south-west Poland, its operator KGHM said.

“There were 32 people in the danger zone, currently nine are missing. Seven workers were taken to hospital for tests,” the company said on Twitter.

Five miners had been found since KGHM earlier put the number of missing at 14, and were being brought to the surface, company spokeswoman Lidia Marcinkowska-Bartkowiak told broadcaster TVN24.

KGHM said the tremor occurred around lunchtime some 770 metres (2,526 feet) underground.

According to the US Geological Survey, a magnitude 4.1 quake struck near the southwestern village of Grebocice.

Rudna is Europe’s largest copper mine and one of the biggest in the world. It has 11 operating shafts, the deepest of which is 1,25 kilometres (0.77 miles) deep.

In late 2016, a quake at the mine killed eight miners.

Strong 6.6-Magnitude Quake Hits Off Indonesia

 

A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian coast early Monday, sending residents running out of their homes, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake hit at a depth of 60 kilometres (40 miles) under the Molucca Sea, some 175 kilometres north northwest of the city of Ternate, according to the USGS.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and Indonesia’s geophysics agency did not issue a tsunami alert.

“We felt the quake and some people got out of their house but there was no real panic. There is no damage in my area,” said a man from Ternate called Budi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Bani Nasution, a man who was in the city of Manado when the quake struck, told AFP: “I ran out of my house and so did other people here, but we’ve all returned to our houses now.”

A series of aftershocks also rocked the area.

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Indonesia is still reeling from a deadly tsunami at the end of December triggered by an erupting volcano in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands that killed more than 400 people.

The vast Southeast Asian archipelago is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.

The tsunami was Indonesia’s third major natural disaster in six months, following a series of powerful earthquakes on the island of Lombok in July and August and a quake-tsunami in September that killed around 2,200 people in Palu on Sulawesi island, with thousands more missing and presumed dead.

Haiti Quake Toll Rises To 17

A faimily looks at the rubbles of their destroyed house in Gros Morne, on October 8, 2018. A 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the northwest coast of Haiti during the weekend of October 6, 2018, has killed at least 15 people, authorities said on October 8, increasing the previous toll by three.
HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

The death toll from the earthquake that struck northwest Haiti over the weekend has risen to 17, with nearly 350 others injured, the interior ministry said Tuesday.

Nine people were killed in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix, the closest major town to the quake’s epicentre.

Seven more died in Gros-Morne, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the southeast and one was killed in the city of Saint-Louis du Nord, the ministry said.

Emergency personnel deployed to the quake zone have said roughly 7,800 homes were either destroyed or damaged in the 5.9-magnitude tremor, according to the authorities.

In Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, building codes are often not respected, meaning that an earthquake of even a moderate size can result in fatalities and level buildings.

The country’s Nord-Ouest department, where Port-de-Paix is located, is the worst-off part of Haiti, with many areas isolated due to the dire state of the roads.

The quake and several aftershocks were felt as far away as the capital Port-au-Prince, sparking fear among residents still reeling from the massive 2010 earthquake that left at least 200,000 people dead.

Indonesia Death Toll Nearly 2,000 As More Bodies Found

 

An Indonesian search and rescue team uses heavy equipment to recover bodies from the debris in Petobo in Central Sulawesi on October 8, 2018, following the September 28 earthquake and tsunami. Nearly 2000 bodies have been recovered from Palu since an earthquake and tsunami struck the Indonesian city, an official said on October 8, Photo: MOHD RASFAN / AFP

 

Nearly 2,000 bodies have been recovered from Indonesia’s disaster-ravaged Palu city, an official said on Monday, as the search for victims ended at a hotel destroyed in the powerful earthquake and tsunami.

The death toll from the twin disaster on Sulawesi island that erased whole suburbs in Palu has reached 1,944, said local military spokesman M. Thohir.

“That number is expected to rise because we have not received orders to halt the search for bodies,” Thohir, who is also a member of the government’s official Palu quake taskforce, told AFP.

Authorities have said as many as 5,000 are believed missing in two hard-hit areas since the September 28 disaster — indicating far more may have perished than the current toll.

Hopes of finding anyone alive have faded and the search for survivors amid the wreckage has turned to gather and accounting for the dead.

The disaster agency said the official search for the unaccounted would continue until October 11 at which point they would be listed as missing, presumed dead.

But rescuers called off the search Monday at Hotel Roa-Roa, which was reduced to a tangled mess of twisted rebar and smashed concrete by the force of the quake.

The hotel emerged as an early focus of efforts to extract survivors, with seven people pulled alive from its mangled ruins in the immediate aftermath.

But nobody else was saved as the days passed, and optimism faded as corpses surfaced from the wreckage.

“The SAR (search and rescue) operation at Hotel Roa-Roa has ended, because we have searched the entire hotel and have not found any more victims,” Bambang Suryo, SAR field director in Palu, told AFP.

Agus Haryono, another SAR official at the scene who confirmed the search was off, said 27 bodies were recovered from the hotel including three pulled from the debris Sunday.

Among the confirmed dead were five paragliders in Palu for a competition, including an Asian Games athlete and a South Korean, the only known foreign victim in the disaster.

Authorities believed the 80-room hotel was near capacity when the district was ravaged by a 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami and estimated 50 to 60 people could be trapped inside.

Mass graves

Rescuers have struggled to extract bodies from the wreckage of Palu, a job made worse as mud hardens and bodies decompose in the tropical heat.

The government has said some flattened areas will be declared as mass graves and left untouched.

Balaroa resident Sarjono agreed with sealing off the obliterated neighborhood where vast numbers of bodies are believed trapped beneath the ruins.

“But only if they help us relocate elsewhere. If they don’t, where will we live?” the 50-year-old told AFP near the debris of his former home.

Gopal, whose aunt and uncle were missing in Balaroa, picked through wreckage knowing just days were left to find his loved ones.

“Even if they (search teams) stop looking, we will still try to find them ourselves,” said the 40-year-old who, like many Indonesians, goes by one name.

“When we can no longer do it ourselves, we leave it to Allah.”

Excavators and rescuers combed Balaroa on Monday, where a massive government housing complex was all but swallowed up by the disaster.

Officials say as many as 5,000 people were feared buried at Balaroa and Petobo, another decimated community.

Petobo, a cluster of villages, was subsumed when vibrations from the 7.5-magnitude quake turned the soil to quicksand — a process known as liquefaction.

Relief efforts have escalated to assist 200,000 people in desperate need. Food and clean water remain in short supply, and many are dependent entirely on handouts to survive.

Helicopters have been running supply drops to more isolated communities outside Palu, where the full extent of the damage is still not entirely clear.

The Red Cross said Monday it had treated more than 1,800 people at clinics and administered first aid to a similar number in the immediate disaster zone.

Indonesia sits along the world’s most tectonically active region, and its 260 million people are vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

AFP

 

 

Japan Toll Rises To 35 After Powerful Quake

Rescue workers search for missing people in Astuma on September 8, 2018 after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on September 6. Jiji Press / AFP

 

The death toll from a powerful quake that triggered landslides in northern Japan rose to 35 Saturday, as tens of thousands of rescue workers raked through the mud for survivors.

The majority of the dead are from the small rural town of Atsuma, where a cluster of dwellings were wrecked when a hillside collapsed from the force of the 6.6-magnitude quake, causing deep brown scars in the landscape.

Public broadcaster NHK said 35 were dead, with around five people still unaccounted for in the town.

More than 600 sustained minor injuries, according to the Hokkaido island local government.

“We never had landslides here,” said Akira Matsushita who lost his brother in Atsuma.

“I couldn’t believe until I saw it with my own eyes,” he told TV Asahi. “When I saw it, I knew no-one could survive.”

Some 40,000 rescue workers, including Self-Defense Forces drafted in specially, were searching for survivors with the aid of bulldozers, sniffer dogs and 75 helicopters, according to the top government spokesman.

“They’re doing their best around the clock,” Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will meet quake survivors in Hokkaido on Sunday, according to Jiji Press.

All three million households in Hokkaido lost power when Thursday’s quake damaged a thermal plant supplying electricity to the region, but Abe said power was mostly restored.

“Thanks to hard work to boost power supply throughout the night, the number of households without power has declined to 20,000,” he told a cabinet meeting.

Abe said the government would release emergency funds to deliver food, water and fuel needed for power generators at hospitals.

A total of 31,000 households still have no water and around 16,000 people have evacuated to shelters.

The earthquake also collapsed a handful of houses and walls in the main regional city of Sapporo but considering the strength of the quake, the death toll was relatively light, with the majority of victims coming from the landslide in Atsuma.

International flights at the main airport in Sapporo resumed operations on Saturday, while bullet trains began service the day before.

The quake was the latest in a string of natural disasters to batter the country.

Western parts of the country are still recovering from the most powerful typhoon to strike Japan in a quarter of a century, which claimed 11 lives and shut down the main regional airport.

Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.

On March 11, 2011, a devastating 9.0-magnitude quake struck under the Pacific Ocean, and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed thousands of lives.

Japan Quake, Landslides Leave At Least Nine Dead

Japan Quake, Landslides Leave At Least Nine Dead
Cars are parked along a road damaged by an earthquake in Sapporo, Hokkaido prefecture on September 6, 2018. JIJI PRESS / AFP

 

Devastating landslides caused by a powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake in northern Japan claimed at least nine lives on Thursday, with dozens still missing as homes were engulfed.

Multiple, large-scale landslides struck the sparsely populated countryside, which was also hit by the edge of a powerful typhoon that surged through Japan earlier this week.

Aerial views showed dozens of houses destroyed at the bottom of a hill, with a rescue helicopter winching a resident to safety.

Around three million homes lost power after the quake damaged a major thermal plant supplying the region.

The Tomari nuclear power plant in Hokkaido, which was not operational before the quake, was forced to turn to emergency backup power to keep its cooling system working, NHK said.

Kazuo Kibayashi, a town official at hard-hit Abira town, told AFP: “There was a sudden, extreme jolt. I felt it went sideways, not up-and-down, for about two to three minutes.”

“It stopped before shaking started again. I felt it come in two waves. I am 51, and I have never experienced anything like this. I thought my house was going to collapse. Everything inside my house was all jumbled up. I didn’t have time to even start cleaning,” he added.

Moments after the initial quake, an aftershock measuring 5.3 rocked the area and dozens more aftershocks followed throughout the night and into the morning.

Akira Fukui, from the main city of Sapporo, told AFP: “I woke up around 3am with a vertical jolt. I put the light on but it went out shortly afterwards. All the traffic lights are out and there’s no power at work.”

No tsunami warning was issued after the relatively shallow quake, which struck 62 kilometres (39 miles) southeast of the regional capital Sapporo.

“We will do our best to save lives,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after an emergency cabinet meeting.

NHK reported that nine people had lost their lives, many of them in the village of Atsuma, where the landslide engulfed the homes. Thirty-three people were still missing, the broadcaster added.

Local media said the dead also included an 82-year-old man who fell down the stairs at his home during the quake and that around 130 people had sustained minor injuries.

Around 20,000 rescue workers, including police and members of the Self-Defence Forces were responding to the disaster, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said. Another 20,000 SDF troops are expected to join the effort.

“I urge people in areas shaken by strong quakes to stay calm, pay attention to evacuation information… and help each other,” Suga added.

“It’s going to rain (in Hokkaido). Please be very careful of further landslides,” the spokesman warned.

Japan is still recovering from the worst typhoon to hit the country in 25 years, which struck the western part of the country on Tuesday, claiming at least 11 lives and causing major damage to the region’s main airport.

– ‘Ring of fire’ –

Officials warned of the danger of fresh quakes.

“Large quakes often occur, especially within two to three days (of a big one),” said Toshiyuki Matsumori, in charge of monitoring earthquakes and tsunamis at the meteorological agency.

The risk of housing collapses and landslides had increased, he said, urging residents “to pay full attention to seismic activity and rainfall and not to go into dangerous areas.”

The earthquake also caused travel disruption, with all flights cancelled from Sapporo’s main Chitose airport, where the quake brought down part of a ceiling and burst a water pipe. Local buses and trains and bullet train services were halted.

A friendly football match between Japan and Chile planned for Sapporo was cancelled, with the Japanese FA citing the quake’s severe impact on power and transport.

Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said it would take “at least a week” for power to be restored to nearly three million homes after a fire in the area’s largest thermal plant was discovered.

And the national meteorological agency warned that more bad weather could be on the way for Hokkaido, urging people to be vigilant for landslides, high tides and heavy rain.

Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.

In June, a deadly tremor rocked the Osaka region, killing five people and injuring over 350.

On March 11, 2011, a devastating 9.0-magnitude quake struck under the Pacific Ocean, and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed thousands of lives.

AFP

Oyo Govt Allays Fear Of Residents Over Reported Quake

 

The Oyo State Government has allayed the fears of the people of the state over what was misinterpreted to be an earthquake in Oke-Ogun area of the state in April.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Solid Minerals, Mr Mathew Oyedokun, on Tuesday said the land shaking was as a result of force exploration which led to meteorite breakages of Galactica Rock on the earth surface.

He disclosed that samples of the meteorite have been sent to the Department of Geology, University of Ibadan, to analyse the body of the rock and determine its composition.

Oyedokun explained that the government was committed to identifying the rock radioactive and hazard associated with the meteorite breakages as it awaits the result of the investigation.

According to him, a solid piece of debris from an object such as a comet, asteroid or meteoroid that originate from the planetary orbit between Mars and Jupiter found its way through the atmosphere to reach the surface of the earth on April 19.

The governor’s aide said this affected villages nearby Ipapo in Itesiwaju Local Government Area (LGA), as well as Aba Leke, Anberee Oke, Owode and Tede in Atisbo LGA of the state.

He further revealed that said that meteorite was accompanied by series of reverberating and disturbing noise in the earth subsurface, as observed by residents of the affected localities and other parts of the state.

Oyedokun noted that a team of government officials has visited the affected areas to ascertain the level of impact and damage to the communities.

He urged the residents to be calm as the meteorite impact that occurred in the state did not occur in a built-up area, gas station among others, which could have resulted in catastrophic events.

The governor’s adviser, however, admitted that ground impacts were made in the localities and a tree was completely burnt down since meteorites are hot bodies moving at high velocity.

He informed the people that the government has begun a further investigation into the meteorite breakages.

Taiwan Rescue Workers Pull More Bodies From Quake Rubble

 

 

After hours of painstaking search efforts, Taiwanese rescue workers pulled two more bodies from the flattened remains of a hotel Friday, bringing the death toll from a deadly 6.4-magnitude quake to 12.

Scores of emergency responders combed the rubble of the lower floors of the 12-storey Yun Tsui apartmentblock, which housed the Beauty Stay Hotel and had pancaked during the quake, leaving the building leaning at a 50-degree angle which complicated the rescue effort due to fears of an imminent collapse.

“The rescue mission was difficult as the space is narrow but rescuers continued to work hard and finally found the Canadian couple,” a government statement said.

“A doctor evaluated that there is no sign of life and their bodies have been sent to a funeral parlour,” it added.

The couple, who were Hong Kong-Canadian, were identified as Freda and Peter So.

The new discovery means that nine of the 12 people killed when the quake hit the eastern tourist city of Hualien Tuesday perished in the Yun Tsui building.

The remaining missing, a Chinese family of five, were also hotel guests there. They were sharing a room on the second floor of the building, officials said.

National Fire Agency search and rescue team leader Liang Kuo-wei told AFP it had taken 12 hours to break through to the second-floor hotel room where the Canadian couple were staying.

They had found their suitcase and “running shoes, sunglasses, and thermos,” he said, which had raised initial hopes that the couple would be found alive.

– Damaged buildings demolished –

The powerful tremor left a handful of buildings badly damaged — some tilting at precarious angles — as well as roads torn up.

Three of the partially collapsed buildings have been cleared of people and are now being demolished “in order to maintain safety for the public,” Hualien mayor Fu Kun-chi said, adding that authorities are probing possible construction irregularities.

The daughter of victim Chiang Chen-chang, who was employed at the Beauty Stay Hotel, said she saw her father’s name on the missing persons list during her shift working at the emergency operation centre.

“I had to keep composed so I could carry on my work. It was only when I was alone that the emotions came,” Hsu Pao-yu said as she struggled to hold back tears.

Hualien is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist destinations as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and near the popular Taroko Gorge.

But the mountains that rise up behind the city — and bestow Taiwan’s east coast with such majestic beauty — are a testament to the deadly tectonic faultlines that run through the island.

The government said 16 foreigners sought medical treatment for minor injuries.

The Hualien quake came exactly two years to the day after a similar sized tremor struck the western city of Tainan, killing 117 people — most in a single apartmentblock which collapsed.

Five people were later found guilty over the disaster, including the developer and two architects, for building an inadequate structure.

The island’s worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.

That quake ushered in stricter building codes but many of Taiwan’s older buildings remain perilously vulnerable to even moderate quakes.

Fresh Earthquake Rocks Iran

Fresh Earthquake Rocks Iran
People leave their house and wait in the streets in Tehran overnight on December 21, 2017, after an earthquake was felt in the Iranian capital. ATTA KENARE / AFP

 

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Iran on Thursday, less than 24 hours after a similar tremor killed two people in the capital Tehran.

Thursday’s tremor hit the Kubandan region, 140 kilometres (90 miles) north of the provincial capital of Kerman, at 8:34 pm (1704 GMT), according to the University of Tehran’s Iranian Seismological Centre.

Local media reported that the rural area faced power cuts but that no serious damage had been reported. Rescue teams were sent to the area.

The epicentre of Wednesday’s quake, also measuring 5.2 magnitude, was just 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the capital.

It killed an elderly woman and a young girl in Tehran as well as injuring around 120 people.

Iran sits atop several fault lines, and this week’s quakes are the latest in a series to have hit the country in recent weeks.

On November 12, the western province of Kermanshah was hit by a 7.3-magnitude quake that killed 620 people.

AFP