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6.1-magnitude earthquake shakes Nicaragua

Posted by Nuttapon_S On April - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

At least 23 injured and three in “delicate condition,” officials say, as people run into streets in panic.

Nicaraguans ran into the streets in panic as a 6.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Central American country, damaging dozens of houses and knocking out power to some areas.

At least 23 people were injured by falling ceilings, beams and walls in the town of Nagarote, 50km northwest of the capital of Managua on Thursday, said Guillermo Gonzalez, director of the disaster prevention agency.

Gonzalez said that three of the injured were in “delicate condition.” He gave no other details.

More than 100 houses were damaged in Nagarote and nearby communities and another two houses were damaged in Managua, he said.

Landslides were blocking two highways south of Managua, he added.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 5:27 pm local time (23:27 GMT), and was centered about 18km southeast of the city of Larreynaga. It had a depth of 10km.

Nicaraguans reported feeling a strong aftershock minutes later that the USGS said was a 5.1-magnitude quake centered 5km west of Ciudad Sandino.

Panicked people from different parts of the country called the popular radio station Radio Ya to report feeling a strong shaking and say they had lost electricity and potable water.

Authorities suspended classes on Friday in the cities of Leon and Managua.

Tsunami alert after 8.2 quake strikes off Chile

Posted by Nuttapon_S On April - 2 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

An earthquake of 8.2 magnitude has struck off northern Chile, triggering a tsunami alert for Latin America’s Pacific coastline, the US Geological Survey says.

It said the quake was very shallow, only 10km below the seabed, striking 86km (56 miles) north-west of the mining area of Iquique.

There are reports of 2m (6ft) waves striking some of the Chilean coastline.

Chilean authorities have ordered the speedy evacuation of coastal areas.

There are some reports of landslides hitting highways and Chilean TV has broadcast pictures of traffic jams as people evacuate coastal areas.

The Chilean interior ministry told the BBC that one of the main roads outside Iquique was cut off because of hillside debris on the road.

The ministry says that partial landslides have also taken place between the towns of Putre and General Lagos.

‘A big one’

A warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) said that the coasts of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua were all at risk of a tsunami.

A man stares at a restaurant by the sea shore burning after a powerful earthquake hit Chile's Pacific coast
A fire broke out at a restaurant on the shore at Iquique

“Everyone along our coast should be alert and ready,” Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said on Twitter.

The Chilean navy said some high waves had hit the coast within 45 minutes of the quake.

“We have asked citizens to evacuate the entire coast… there is no serious damage to houses… there have been no people hurt,” said Chilean home office minister Mahmud Aleuy.

“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,” a TWC statement said.

People take refuge in the Chilean coastal city of Antofagasta, 1 April
People take refuge in the Chilean coastal city of Antofagasta

A British expatriate near the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta told the BBC that there had been several tremors since the last quarter of last year.

“But this earthquake, even with the increased distance, seemed to last a lot longer,” Patrick Moore said.

“I was just sitting on my bed and normally these tremors using last at the very longest about 40 seconds – this one felt like it lasted about two minutes.

“I knew it was bad so I immediately went online to see what had happened and saw a tsunami warning that’s been put in place which confirmed my fears that it was a big one.”

Kurt Hertrampf, a hostel owner in Arica, told the BBC there was a big blackout in the town after the quake and he was surprised the telephone line was still working.

Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world.

Central and southern areas of the country were hit by a powerful earthquake of 8.8 magnitude quake followed by a tsunami that devastated scores of towns in February 2010.

In 1960 an area of Chile south of Concepcion was hit by a 9.5 magnitude which caused about 1,655 deaths and a tsunami in Hawaii and Japan.

The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck Japan on 11 March 2011 caused a devastating tsunami and left more than 15,000 people dead, with more than 3,200 missing.


Earthquake felt in Los Angeles area

Posted by Rattana_S On March - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Los Angeles area of southern California, the US Geological Survey says.

The quake happened at about 21:10 local time on Friday (04:10 GMT on Saturday) and its epicentre was 2km (1 mile) east of the town of La Habra.

There were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries.

A 4.4-magnitude quake was felt near Los Angeles earlier this month, rattling nerves but causing no major damage.

The San Andreas fault, on the edge of the Pacific tectonic plate, runs directly through California, and the western US state has long braced for a devastating quake.

The 1994 Northridge quake, at 6.7 magnitude, left at least 60 people dead. A 6.9-magnitude quake in San Francisco five years earlier killed 67 people.

Protests mark Japan earthquake anniversary

Posted by Nuttapon_S On March - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Memorials held in Fukushima Prefecture, where communities are still dealing with damage caused by 2011 disaster.

Koriyama, Japan – Marches have taken place in Japan to mark the third anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing and devastated local infrastructure.

Although the anniversary of the event falls on Tuesday, several events and protests were planned in the region on Saturday, when more people could attend them.

In snowy Koriyama, a committee of anti-nuclear groups – mostly unions – coordinated the “No Nuclear Fukushima Citizen’s Rally” to commemorate the disaster and to warn the community of what they said were the dangers of nuclear energy.

“I’m here because I want to hear the voices of the people who live here,” said Hiroyuki Inoue, a 34-year-old construction worker who had travelled from Tokyo for the event, which included local vendors and entertainers.

The capital voted in a man many see as a pro-nuclear candidate , Yoichi Misuzoe, as its governor in February, a sign, some say, that political will to listen to the concerns in the affected communities is waning there.

“I don’t support Masuzoe – there are some people who have forgotten [the ongoing nuclear crisis] but many of us haven’t,” said Inoue.

“We’re still protesting.”

Koriyama was a place to which many were evacuated from the 20km nuclear exclusion zone, only to find out that Koriyama itself, about 55km west of the damaged Daiichi plant, had higher levels of radiation.

“We’ve had a lot of problems since the nuclear accident, and of course, it could happen again,” said Junpei Sato, 31, who was attending the event with his 4-year-old daughter, Ririko.

“The radiation, even now, is not under control – there’s a limit to what people can manage.”

Continued distrust

The Tokoku region in northeast Japan violently shook to the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, ushering in a tsunami with waves higher than 20m crashing several kilometers into coastline, crushing and washing away entire communities in its path.

An estimated 136,000 people in Fukushima Prefecture remain displaced from their homes.

In the three years since the earthquake, there have been reports of leaks and other issues at the still damaged plant, whose presence and instability have largely overshadowed the recovery effort in the region.

In Fukushima City, a rally of over 1,000 people gathered in a hall, listening to speakers from different areas talk about what they’d lost over the course of the past three years.

Roughly half of that crowd poured onto the streets in an orderly march to the main prefectural hall, chanting against the restarting of the 50 nuclear plants currently shut down for inspections in Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart some of those plants.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” said Shinya Miura, 29, an administrator for a medical union, when asked if he believed official claims that radiation levels as they stand pose no threat to the general public.

“I might believe that, but it doesn’t change my mind – I don’t want nuclear power,” said Miura.

TEPCO, the operator of the Daiichi power plant, and the government are not entirely trusted in the region, and claims and promises of a safe, decontaminated region being delivered by 2017 are viewed with suspicion.

“Maybe they’ll be able to clean around the homes, but we have a lot of mountains around here and that they won’t be able to clean,” said Mika Watanabe, 27.

The kindergarten teacher added she did not believe that the cleanup of the Daiichi plant is going well and that the area “has not become any more safe in the past three years.”

To commemorate the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami on Tuesday, cities across Japan will observe a moment of silence at 2:46pm local time – when the earthquake struck – followed by candlelight vigils.