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Author Topic: Earthquakes  (Read 40646 times)
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2007, 12:20:15 PM »

2 quakes hit near Vanuatu in South Pacific
No tsunamis expected with tremors

Two strong earthquakes struck on Sunday near the archipelago of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, Australia's geological agency reported, but there were no reports of damage.

The first quake, measured at magnitude 7.3 at 0040 GMT, occurred two minutes before a large quake jolted the western coast area of central Japan.

Vanuatu's second quake, at magnitude 7.1, occurred 28 minutes later.

Police on Vanuatu, an islands nation of 209,000 people which is popular with divers, said there appeared to be no damage, although buildings in the capital, Port Vila, shook when the quakes occurred.

"So far we haven't received any damage or any injury," Senior Inspector Tapeirangi Seru told Reuters by telephone from Port Vila. "There's a shaking of buildings, but not strong enough to damage the buildings here."

Vanuatu, which is around 2,000 km (1,240 miles) east of Australia, around three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia, is regularly rattled by earthquakes.

It is perched on the so-called Pacific ring of fire, a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Its clear waters, coral reefs, volcanoes and pristine forests are a big draw for tourists.

There was a state of emergency in Port Vila for two weeks this month after tribal clashes left three people dead.

However, Vanuatu has escaped the worst of the rioting, gang warfare and military coups which have shattered the peace in other South Pacific island nations in recent years.

Australia's geological agency Geoscience Australia said on Sunday that Vanuatu would likely escape quake damage.

"I wouldn't be expecting any damage," said Mark Leonard, the duty seismologist at Geoscience Australia. "Earthquakes of this size only do damage 50 or 100 km (30 or 60 miles) away and there was no land (nearby), unlike the Japan one," he said.

The earthquake occurred out at sea, within 200-300 km (125-190 miles) of Vanuatu's southern islands, he said.

No tsunami warning had been issued for Vanuatu and no damage had been reported, he said.

"It's likely that it's caused a very small tsunami ... about 0.3 or 0.4 of a metre (12 or 16 inches) in that local area," he said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the first Vanuatu quake was centred 337 km (210 miles) south-south-east of Port Vila and 1,833 km (1,140 miles) east-north-east of the Australian city of Brisbane.
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« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2007, 12:26:14 PM »

Somalia: Earthquake, tsunami rock Puntland

A powerful earthquake of unknown magnitude hit a northeastern Somalia town with many people unaccounted for overnight, local official said on Sunday.

The tremble rocked Qandalla town of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in northeastern Somalia. At least eight people are missing and are feared to have died in the quake.

Saed Waberi, the chairman of Qandalla said the earthquake generated a tsunami which rocked the town mid last night causing casualties.

Powerful ocean waves wiped out the town destroying many fishing boats. 16 people were rescued from the waves.

It was for the first time that tsunami hit northeastern Somalia town of Qandalla since December 2004 when tsunami waves from as far as Indonisia hit Hafun district of Puntland settlements.

Meanwhile the Somalia tragedy follows an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 which struck off the west coast of Japan's largest island, Honshu.

At least one person was killed and 150 were reportedly injured by the tremor which was felt in the capital, Tokyo.

A tsunami warning was issued for a short time in Ishikawa prefecture, with swell of up to 50cm reported.
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« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2007, 10:44:10 PM »

Quake triggers tsunami in Solomons 
8 people, including 6 children, reported missing after 10-foot wave

A powerful undersea earthquake Monday in the South Pacific sent a tsunami several yards high crashing into the Solomon Islands, devastating at least one village, officials and residents said.

Police and residents said a wave about 10 feet high struck the western town of Gizo, inundating buildings and causing widespread destruction. A man who answered the telephone at the Gizo police station said there were initial reports that eight people, six of them children, had been killed by the tsunami but they were still unconfirmed. The phone cut out abruptly before the man gave his name.

Gizo resident Judith Kennedy said water “right up to your head” swept through the town.

“All the houses near the sea were flattened,” she told The Associated Press by telephone. “The downtown area is a very big mess from the tsunami and the earthquake,” she added. “A lot of houses have collapsed. The whole town is still shaking” from aftershocks.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude-8.0 and struck at 7:39 a.m. about 6 miles beneath the sea floor, 217 miles northwest of the capital, Honiara.

The Pacific region from Australia to Hawaii went on high alert for several hours after the quake struck between the islands of Bougainville and New Georgia, though officials canceled a region-wide tsunami warning after the danger period passed.

Gizo, a regional center, is just 25 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter.

Another witness in the town, dive shop owner Danny Kennedy, estimated the height of the wave at 10 feet.

“I’m driving down the street — there are boats in the middle of the road, buildings have completely collapsed and fallen down,” he said in a telephone interview.

‘Not a very good scene’
“We’re just trying to mobilize water and food, and shelter for people at the moment because ... in the town alone there’s going to be between 2,000-3,000 homeless. It’s not a very good scene at the moment.”

Harry Wickham, who owns a waterfront hotel in Gizo, said the damage was widespread.

“The waves came up probably about 10 feet and swept through town,” he told Australia’s Nine Network television by telephone. “There’s a lot of water damage and a lot of debris floating around,” he added.

“Ten feet of water washing through town — you can imagine what damage it has done here.”

Julian McLeod of the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office said there were unconfirmed reports that two villages in the country’s far west were flooded.

“Two villages were reported to have been completely inundated,” McLeod told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. “We have received reports of four people missing.”

A town in the west, Munda, was believed to be badly damaged, officials and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp. said, but communications were difficult and details were not confirmed.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported the quake at magnitude 8.1, and said a temblor of that strength could cause a destructive tsunami and issued a warning bulletin for the Solomon Islands and neighboring Papua New Guinea.

It ordered a lower-level “tsunami watch” for other places, including most South Pacific countries, but later canceled the alert. The center said a 6-inch wave had been reported in Honiara.

Police Sgt. Godfrey Abiah said in Honiara that police in Gizo had received warning about a possible tsunami and were helping people leave the town for higher ground when the wave hit.

“We have lost radio contact with the two police stations down there and we’re not getting any clear picture from down there,” he told The Associated Press by telephone.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, Deli Oso, said the quake was felt in Honiara but there were no reports of any damage.
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2007, 05:01:47 AM »

Solomons hit by new quake
Smaller 6.2 temblor follows tsunami on South Pacific chain of islands

The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says another earthquake has rocked the Solomon Islands, as relief workers struggle to assess the damage in areas hit by yesterday's tsunami.

Today's quake happened about 9:00am AEST and measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. The bureau says there is no tsunami threat to Australia.

Thousands of people in the western Solomon Islands slept on hilltops overnight fearing another deadly quake as aftershocks hit the region, local officials say.

The government information service quoted former governor-general Sir Moses Pitakaka saying from the Western Province town of Gizo that thousands were homeless there.

Sir Moses said thousands more were likely to have lost their homes in other affected areas in the west of the impoverished South Pacific country.

Emergency workers on the island of Ghizo, which includes the town of Gizo, said they had already exhausted all of their stored supplies.

The Solomon Islands Red Cross estimated approximately 2,000 people, or 10 per cent of Gizo's population, were now homeless. Some 500 houses may have been damaged or destroyed.

Preliminary reports from other islands suggest similar or worse levels of damage, the government said in a statement.

Gizo, a popular diving centre, lies just 45 kilometres from the epicentre of the magnitude 8.0 earthquake which triggered Monday's tsunami.

Areas in Western Province and neighbouring Choiseul province bore the brunt of the damage.

Deputy police commissioner Peter Marshall said there were 20 confirmed dead so far and he feared the toll would rise.

Police spokesman Mick Spinks said reports had come in of 13 villages being destroyed by the tsunami.
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2007, 10:12:02 AM »

Tsunami leaves thousands homeless

Some of the thousands left homeless by a tsunami ventured back into the devastated Solomon Islands town of Gizo Tuesday, picking their way through the ruins of stores in search of food and water.

But most were still too scared to leave the hillside where they have camped out since a powerful undersea earthquake sent waves up to 30 feet high crashing into several of the South Pacific islands.

At least 28 people in the Solomons died in Monday's tsunami and quake, measured at a magnitude of 8.1 by the U.S. Geological Survey. The victims include a bishop and three worshippers killed when a wave hit a church and a New Zealand man who drowned trying to save his mother, who remains missing.

Another five deaths were reported in neighboring Papua New Guinea, but those have not been confirmed.

Officials said the total was likely to rise once communication with surrounding villages on Gizo island is restored. They were also awaiting more detailed assessments of the situation on at least four other Solomon islands: Taro, Simbo, Choiseul and Ranunga.

Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said planes searching coastlines had spotted bodies but that these were in hard-to-reach areas.

"Some settlements have been completely wiped out by the waves," Alfred Maesulia, a government spokesman in the capital, Honiara.

As many as 4,000 people were camped on a hill behind Gizo (pronounced GEE-zoh), said Alex Lokopio, premier of Western Province, which includes the town of 7,000. Many were too scared to return to the coast amid more than two dozen aftershocks, including at least four of magnitude-6 or stronger.

The Solomon Islands Red Cross said about 2,000 Gizo residents were left homeless and that about 500 houses were destroyed, noting that "initial reports from other islands suggest similar or worse levels of damage."

The Disaster Management Office said initial assessments indicate at least 916 houses destroyed nationwide and about 5,000 people affected.

TV footage taken by helicopter showed a muddy shore covered with flattened tin- and thatched-roof houses. Some buildings leaned awkwardly on broken stilts as men picked through the debris.

Lokopio said few of the homeless had even basic supplies, and that their situation would turn desperate within days without help.

Danny Kennedy, a dive shop operator, said teams from the hillside camp had ventured into town looking for bottled water and other supplies — and found a mess.

"Unfortunately a lot of the stores, their cargo has fallen from the higher shelves and covered lower things, and the buildings are quite unstable," Kennedy told New Zealand's National Radio.

Deputy police commissioner Peter Marshall said officials would tolerate survivors taking goods until emergency supplies arrived.

"They are desperate times in Gizo," he said. "And we've got to be practical."

A police patrol boat carrying emergency supplies arrived in Gizo from Honiara overnight and three private charters were due on Tuesday. Australian and New Zealand military helicopters, part of an island security force, also were expected to assist with relief.

Three medical teams — six doctors and 13 nurses — were to fly to the region Wednesday morning from the capital. The teams were to set up medical centers at Gizo and the nearby town of Munda and on Taro island.

The quake struck shortly after 7:39 a.m. Monday (4:39 p.m. ET Sunday) six miles beneath the sea floor, about 25 miles from the western island of Gizo, the USGS said.

The quake set off alarms from Tokyo to Hawaii, testing procedures put in place after the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster that left 230,000 dead or missing in a dozen countries.

But because of Gizo's proximity to the epicenter, the destructive waves hit before an alarm could be sounded.

"There wasn't any warning — the warning was the earth tremors," Lokopio told New Zealand's National Radio. "It shook us very, very strongly and we were frightened, and all of a sudden the sea was rising up."

Within five minutes, a wall of water up to 16 feet high plowed into the coast, inundating homes, businesses, a hospital, schools and two police stations, witnesses and officials said. Phone and power lines were downed, and the main airport damaged.

Maesulia, the prime minister's spokesman, told the Sydney Morning Herald that some coastal villages were struck by waves up to 30 feet tall, although most reported heights of between 9 and 15 feet.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare declared a state of emergency and met with the impoverished country's aid donors.

"We were lucky it happened during the day time and the people observed that the sea receded and that that was a sign that something was not right and most people moved to higher ground," Sogavare said.

More than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people make up the Solomon Islands. They lie on the Pacific Basin's so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines where quakes are frequent.
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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2007, 08:18:00 PM »

Quake lifts Solomons island metres from the sea

by Neil Sands Sat Apr 7, 8:52 AM ET

RANONGGA, Solomon Islands (AFP) - The force of this week's Solomons earthquake has lifted an island in the South Pacific archipelago and pushed out its shoreline by tens of metres, exposing surrounding reefs.

The remote island of Ranongga in the western Solomon Islands used to have submerged coral reefs that attracted scuba divers from around the world.

But since Monday's massive earthquake in the Solomon Islands, the reefs are now exposed above the water and are dying, an AFP reporter and photographer have seen.

The AFP team, which travelled to Ranongga on a chartered outboard after the quake, saw exposed reefs bleaching in the sun, and covered with dead fish, eels, clams and other marine life.

The 8.0-magnitude quake, caused by a shift in the Earth's tectonic plates, triggered a tsunami that killed at least 34 people in the remote western Solomons and left 5,500 homeless.

Aid agencies have yet to reach Ranongga, but the AFP team saw the devastation that has permanently altered the geography of the island, 32-kilometres (20-miles) long and 8-kilometres wide.

Although Ranongga escaped the fury of the tsunami, the seismic upheaval from the quake pushed out the shoreline by up to 70 metres, local resident Hendrik Kegala also said.

"Plenty big noise," he told AFP in the local pidgin dialect.

"Water go back and not come back again," he added, saying the whooshing sound of the receding water and the shaking from the quake occurred simultaneously.

The loss of the reefs was a huge blow for the fishing communities that are dotted along Ranongga's coast, said Jackie Thomas, acting manager for Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the Solomons.

"The fish from the reefs are the major source of protein for the villagers," she told AFP from the provincial capital Gizo.

"They use shells for tools and rely on the sea for many of their basic needs.

"It just shows the incredible force of the earthquake, to move a whole island."

She said the reefs around Ranongga were a protected marine environment and locals had worked hard with WWF in recent years to ensure that they were managed sustainably.

"Now it's another marine environment that has been destroyed," she said.

"Who knows if the coral reefs will recover and the fish will come back? Villagers will have to travel further to find the same sort of food and nutrition they've relied on -- the whole food chain has been disrupted."

Quake lifts Solomons island metres from the sea
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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2007, 08:19:08 PM »

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place;
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2007, 09:27:15 AM »

Strong Earthquake Jolts Mexico City, Knocking Out Power

A strong earthquake hit Mexico early Friday, knocking out power in parts of Mexico City and Acapulco and sending frightened residents into the streets.

Civil defense officials in Mexico and the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, where the quake was centered, said there were no reports of any deaths, serious injuries or major damage.

The quake hit at 12:42 local time and lasted less than a minute, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was strongly felt from the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco to the mountain capital of Mexico City, however, because it was centered inland, 40 miles northwest of Acapulco, and just 18 miles below the earth's surface.

Many of Mexico's earthquakes are centered out at sea. Gerard Fryer of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was too small and too far inland to produce a tsunami.

Mexico City Civil Defense Secretary Miguel Moreno Brizuela said the quake knocked out power to about 20 percent of the homes in the city's downtown district, and there were reports of blackouts in parts of Acapulco.

At the high-rise, beachside Fairmont Acapulco Princess Hotel, hundreds of guests rushed outside, huddling on deck chairs as security officials used megaphones to urge them to remain calm.

"We flew out of bed. The building was shaking," said Marcy Olsen, 41, a manager of gas stations in Grand Marais, Minn. "I said, 'I think this has to be an earthquake.' We looked out the door, and everyone was leaving."

She was on vacation with her husband, Brian Olsen, 46, and their 13-year-old twin daughters.

"Where we are from, there's no such thing," Brian Olsen said. "Blizzards and colds, yes, but no earthquakes."

In Mexico City, ambulances could be heard wailing through the streets amid reports of panic attacks. People waited outside their homes for fear of aftershocks, as police patrolled streets for damage.
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« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2007, 04:24:46 PM »

Earthquake sparks Japan tsunami warning
April 20, 2007

Japan's Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for parts of southwestern Japan after an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 6.7 struck this morning.

The agency said islands around Miyakojima, part of the Ryukyu island chain that stretches south-west toward Taiwan, could expect waves as high as 0.5 metres.

The quake came about an hour after an earlier tremor with a preliminary 6.2 magnitude quake struck the same area.

Earthquake sparks Japan tsunami warning
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« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2007, 10:51:50 PM »

 Strong quake jolts Fareghan city in Hormuzgan
Tehran, April 26, IRNA

Iran-Earthquake-Hormuzgan
An earthquake measuring 4.8 degrees on open-ended Richter scale jolted surrounding areas of Fareghan in southern Iranian Hormuzgan Province Wednesday evening.

According to the report of Seismography Center affiliated to Tehran University's Geophysics Institute, tremor occurred at 23:32:18 hours local time (20:02 GMT) and its epicenter was at 28.10 degrees latitude and 56.32 degrees longitude.

There is no immediate report on possible casualties or damages of the quake.

Strong quake jolts Fareghan city in Hormuzgan
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« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2007, 06:20:38 PM »

Quake shakes southeast England 
'It literally felt like the whole house was being slid across like a funfair ride'

An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale shook parts of Kent today, leaving at least one woman with head injuries.

The tremor struck just after 8.15am this morning.

The emergency services were inundated with calls as the ground shook and buildings were damaged, with cracks and toppling chimneys. Homes were evacuated and power was cut.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service took more than 100 emergency calls, ranging from issues concerning structural damage to gas smells. A spokesman said: "We have had calls from people saying their chimneys have fallen down, large cracks in people's houses."

 The fire brigade investigated reports of someone trapped under a collapsed building but everyone was accounted for.

Electricity and gas supplies to houses in some parts of Kent were cut off. Scottish and Southern Energy, which supplies gas to the area, was investigating 300 "possible gas escapes" in the system.

EDF Energy, which supplies electricity to people in the Dover and Folkestone area, said several thousand customers lost power, but it was later restored.

Police said there were no reports of serious injuries.

But south-east coast ambulance service, which sent five ambulances and three officers to the area, said one woman in her 30s suffering from a minor head injury and neck pain was taken to hospital.

The quake is the largest in Britain since an earthquake in Dudley in 2002.

British Geological Survey seismologist Roger Musson said the tremor was around 4.3 on the Richter scale, with an epicentre 7.5 miles off the Dover coast, meaning it could be weakly perceptible as far as London.

"This is by no means a complete surprise," he said. "There have been earthquakes in this location before.

"Two of them have been some of the biggest earthquakes ever to affect Britain."

The first was in 1382 and in 1580 a quake with a magnitude of about six killed two people in London. There were also smaller tremors in 1776 and 1950 in the area, which were in the "low fours" and on a similar scale to the one today.

"It was a matter of time before we had another earthquake here," he added.

Richard Ashworth, Conservative MEP for the south east of England, who lives in Folkestone, said: "At first I thought a lorry had crashed into the back of our house, but having lived in New Zealand I soon realised what it was.

"The entire house shook. It was quite frightening and I am astonished there is no damage to our house."

Roads were cordoned off by police amid fears that dislodged chimney pots and masonry could fall, residents gathered outside to survey the destruction and because of fears of possible aftershocks.

Paul Hatton, 38, said that he and his brother Neil initially thought the tremor was caused by an explosion.

He said: "I was upstairs and my brother was downstairs and I heard a bang and thought that a lorry had crashed into something or that there had been a gas explosion. I went outside and could smell a bit of gas and there were lots of people outside."

Another local, Bill Byrne, 47, said: "We've got lots of cracks throughout the house but thankfully no one has been injured round here. Everyone's been outside just talking about what had happened. It has been quite good to see the community rally round like this."

The Salvation Army comforted those affected by the tremor with shelter and refreshments.

Up to 100 people, including families and the elderly, arrived at a church in Canterbury Road, Folkestone.

It was one of the places affected by power cuts - but Salvation Army minister Captain Peter West came to the rescue with an emergency vehicle equipped with its own gas and electric generator, to provide food and drinks.

He said: "There was a lot of activity in the Canterbury Road area, which happens to be where the Salvation Army church is. "A lot of people had been directed here by the emergency services.

"Personnel were on the scene providing refreshments and emotional support.

"A lot of people were upset and confused, but there was no serious trauma."

Sharon Hayles, who lives in the village of Stanford near the Eurotunnel at Folkestone, said her house slid from side to side for about 10 to 15 seconds but escaped damage.

Mrs Hayles, who was sitting in her living room with her husband Martin, said: "We were looking at each other in amazement - you don't expect to feel a tremor that size here.

"It literally felt like the whole house was being slid across like a funfair ride.

"We did expect to see some kind of damage, because we have a quite a large house and it was shifting under our feet. It was horrible."

Hendrick van Eck, 27, who lives in Canterbury, said: "It felt as if someone was at the end of my bed hopping up and down."

A spokesman for Eurotunnel said everything was "running normally" with the Channel Tunnel, which runs close to Folkestone.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reassured householders that damage will be covered. Nick Starling, speaking for the ABI said: "These sudden, unexpected, and unwanted events are exactly what insurance is designed to cover."
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« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2007, 02:16:15 PM »

Quake shakes up residents in Montana 
Students at school hide under desks

Students at Sheridan Elementary School were under their desks Tuesday morning, in some cases before teachers realized an earthquake was shaking the area, the school secretary said.

“It was a hard jar, and really loud,” said secretary Jenny Burke. “It was like somebody just shook the heck out of us for two seconds.”

The magnitude 4.6 quake, reported at 9:46 a.m., was centered about nine miles northeast of Sheridan in the Tobacco Root Mountains. It was felt in the Helena, Butte, Dillon and Hamilton areas and as far away as Idaho, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.

“Some facades of some buildings on Main Street were knocked off,” said Frank Ford, Madison County's former emergency management director. “A few of them, bricks were still hanging there.”

One Sheridan family was evacuated from a downtown apartment that was damaged until it can be proven safe, and engineers were brought in to examine the high school, Ford said.

“They're inspecting the school to see whether the cracks noted in the walls were old cracks or new cracks as a result of this,” Ford said.

The elementary school, a separate building, was not damaged, and NorthWestern Energy did not find any natural gas leaks, Burke said.

The children responded like they were taught during earthquake drills, Burke said.

One teacher “said the students were under the table before he said a word,” and before he really realized what was going on, she said.

Madison County Commissioner Jim Hart was on the third floor of the courthouse when the earthquake hit.

“We all just kind of held onto the table for a second or two, and then went, ‘We need to get out of here,' ” Hart said.

Ford said the Ruby River Dam appeared to be fine and, during a flight over irrigation dams in the Tobacco Root Mountains, “we didn't see any evidence of damage.”

Ford said more in-depth engineering inspections will be done on dams and buildings in the area.
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2007, 11:15:40 PM »

Quake hits southern Iran Tehran, May 17, IRNA
Iran-Quake
An earthquakes measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale jolted the vicinity of Baldaji in the southern province of Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari on Thursday.

According to the seismological base of the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University, the quake was registered at 12:46 hours local time (09:16 GMT).

The quake was epicentered in an area measuring 50.95 degrees in longitude and 31.87 degrees in latitude, the report added.

There are no reports of any casualty or damage to property caused by the quakes.

Iran is often hit by quakes of varying magnitudes as it sits on some of the world's most active seismic fault lines.

Quake hits southern Iran
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« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2007, 12:43:23 AM »

Earthquake in southwest China kills 2

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer 28 minutes ago

BEIJING - A strong earthquake shook southwest China's Yunnan province early Sunday, killing at least two and injuring hundreds, state media reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 and hit about 1,470 miles southwest of Beijing.

At least two people died and more than 200 were injured, 15 seriously, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The local seismological bureau had recorded 55 aftershocks by 8 a.m., the strongest with a magnitude of 4.0, Xinhua reported.

The earthquake caused several houses to collapse and damaged the communications network in the area, making it difficult for residents to make phone calls, Xinhua reported. Roads, water and power supplies were also affected.

The temblor could be felt as far as 190 miles away, Xinhua said.

Rescue teams with thousands of tents, quilts and other relief supplies were rushing to the area, Xinhua reported.

Pu'er City, near the epicenter of the quake, is located in southwest Yunnan province and shares borders with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. It is prone to strong earthquakes, with 20 temblors above magnitude 5.0 hitting the area since 1990, Xinhua said.

Earthquake in southwest China kills 2
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2007, 12:17:53 PM »

6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Guatemala's Pacific Coast

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

AP
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GUATEMALA CITY  —
A powerful earthquake shook Guatemala on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

The quake struck at 1:29 p.m. local time (1929 GMT) and was centered 70 miles southwest of Guatemala City off the Pacific coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It gave a preliminary calculation of magnitude of 6.8.

Some landslides occurred in the southwest province of Escuintla, but there were no reports of injury or damage immediately after the quake, said Benedicto Giron, spokesman for the National Disaster Reduction Center.

But he added that phone service was knocked out in some areas and information was tricking in slowly.

The earthquake may have caused damage due to its location and size, the Geological Survey said.

The quake was felt strongly in neighboring El Salvador, where people ran into the streets in the capital of San Salvador, but the Red Cross there said it had no reports of damage or injury. It was also felt in the Mexican city of Tapachula along the Guatemalan border.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center based in Hawaii said no tsunami was expected from the quake.

The region is prone to earthquakes. Almost 23,000 people died in a 1976 earthquake.

6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Guatemala's Pacific Coast
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