Experts warn a huge quake is the greatest threat facing Israel

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

After tremors, experts warn a huge quake is the greatest threat facing Israel

Scientists say thousands could die because Israel, which sits on a major fault line, has ignored warnings to strengthen homes and schools

IDF soldiers search for survivors in a building that collapsed during an earthquake that struck Mexico on September 24, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF soldiers search for survivors in a building that collapsed during an earthquake that struck Mexico on September 24, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

After a series of minor tremors rattled northern Israel over the last two weeks, experts warned that the country is negligently unprepared for a major earthquake that would likely kill thousands of people, including many children.

“The threat of an earthquake, is in my eyes, the greatest threat facing the state of Israel,” geologist Ariel Heimann told Hadashot news on Friday. “It is definitely a greater threat than the Qassam [rockets] fired from Gaza, and it is a far greater danger than the Iranian threat.”

Israel sits on the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth’s crust running the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan, and is part of the Great Rift Valley, which extends from northern Syria to Mozambique.

The last major earthquake to hit the region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700. And experts have warned Israel is due for a major quake in the near future.

“If, God forbid, we have an earthquake like this, it will leave thousands dead and hundreds of thousands of people will have to leave their homes. Houses will be destroyed, there will be massive economic damage that will set the country back dozens of years,” Heimann warned.

Another expert said school children were particularly vulnerable, pointing to a recent report that out of 1,600 schools deemed to be in danger of collapsing in a survey three years ago, just 53 have since been reinforced.

Schoolchildren taking part in a Home Front drill, simulating an earthquake, at a Jerusalem school on February 20, 2012 (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

School children taking part in a Home Front drill, simulating an earthquake, at a Jerusalem school on February 20, 2012 (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

“In Haiti 38,000 children died, in China more than 10,000 children were among the 120,000 killed, in Pakistan it was 17,000 among 83,000 dead — do people understand this?” asked Ephraim Leor, an expert on mass casualty disasters. “We could lose an entire generation between the ages of 6 and 18.”

Col. Itzik Bar from the IDF’s Home Front Command, put expected casualties from a major quake at 7,000 dead and 200,000 homeless.

“Apparently it will unfortunately take a mid-sized quake with 100-200 casualties to make this country wake up and seriously prepare,” he told Hadashot.

A minor earthquake hit northern Israel on Monday evening, bringing the number of tremors in the area in recent days to more than 40, further fueling fears that a major earthquake could be on its way.

View of damage caused to houses in northern Israel, after earthquakes shook the area, on July 9, 2018. (David Cohen/Flash90)

The epicenter of the 3.2 quake was at the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee, similar to the previous ones. It hit at 6:15 p.m. without causing damage or casualties.

But despite the looming threat, new details show that the government has been making very little progress in preparing for a strong tremor and strengthening structures.

None of the 108 dangerous material factories, ordered two years ago by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to strengthen their structures, has completed the process, an earlier Hadashot news report said. Only one factory has presented a plan to implement the decision. The ministry said it was behind schedule, due to a “severe shortage of manpower.”

A nationwide early warning system approved in 2012 only began its deployment a year ago. The Geological Survey of Israel has only deployed 55 of the 120 alert stations, none of which are operational.

But sounding dire warnings appears to have little effect. Previous warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

A State Comptroller report in 2001 found that no funding had been allocated for strengthening buildings and infrastructure. It was followed by another report in 2004, which said that not much had been done in the intervening years, due to spats between ministries over responsibility for the work.

An inter-ministerial committee set up in 2004 proposed making preparations for a 7.5 magnitude quake to the country’s north, with catastrophic loss of life and severe damage to infrastructure. It raised the prospect of 16,000 dead and nearly 100,000 wounded in such an event, with 10,000 buildings destroyed.

In 2011, another state comptroller report sounded further warnings about the threat to northern communities and infrastructure from an earthquake, and once again lamented the dearth of precautionary measures taken.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced last week that a new multi-year plan to protect Israel from earthquakes will be presented to the cabinet this month.

READ MORE:

Further Hawaii Volcano Eruptions after Major Quake

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Further Hawaii Volcano Eruptions after Major Quake

Saturday, 5 May, 2018 – 08:30
Lava is seen coming from a fissure in Leilani Estates subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island on May 4, 2018. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook Hawaii’s Big Island on Friday, prompting fresh eruptions of the Kilauea volcano that has been spewing lava into residential areas, and forcing hundreds of people to flee amid a high alert.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 12:32 pm and was centered on the south flank of the volcano, which first erupted on Thursday after a series of tremors on the island.

“This is in almost exactly the same location as the deadly 1975 M 7.1 quake,” USGC said in a tweet.

Another 5.7-magnitude tremor hit the island earlier on Friday and authorities said they expect more seismic activity.

The quakes have prompted the volcano, one of five active on the island, to erupt.

Drone and video footage showed orange magma gushing up from cracks in the ground and snaking through a wooded area.

Molten lava could also be seen bubbling up through cracks on streets in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhood where residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday.

The area is home to about 1,700 people and 770 structures. The broader district potentially impacted by the threat is home to some 10,000 people.

No injuries have been reported but several homes were said to have been destroyed or badly damaged on Friday, authorities said.

Officials urged any remaining residents to evacuate and warned of extremely high levels of toxic fumes.

“Elderly, young and people with respiratory issues need to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and leave the area,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.

Governor David Ige said residents were being housed in community centers until the danger from Kilauea has passed.

Ige signed an emergency proclamation releasing disaster funds to the Big Island.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in an alert that a total of six lava fissures had occurred. Although no significant lava flows have yet formed, additional outbreaks of lava, which can reach temperatures of about 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (1,150 Celsius), were expected, the agency said.

Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes and one of five on the island, has been in constant eruption for 35 years.

Possible Eruption at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano as Earthquakes Continue

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

This May 1, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano near Honolulu, Hawaii.
This May 1, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano near Honolulu, Hawaii.
U.S. Geological Survey—AP/Shutterstock
By KATIE REILLY

9:30 PM EDT

Dozens of earthquakes shook Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Wednesday, as scientists warnedof a possible eruption following the collapse of the crater floor at the Puu Oo vent.

“An eruption is possible because magma is clearly moving through the East Rift Zone and it could come to the surface. The possibility is definitely there, I can’t give you a probability,” U.S. Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb told the Associated Press.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a “high rate” of earthquakes in the area of the rift zone Wednesday. As the magma continues to flow underground, the observatory warned that an outbreak of lava — which is magma that reaches Earth’s surface — was possible.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense advised residents in certain areas to prepare an emergency plan in case an evacuation becomes necessary. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said county, state and federal agencies were preparing for a possible eruption, identifying shelters, mobilizing police and road crews, and warning residents in the lower area of the district of Puna to prepare to evacuate.

“Should an eruption occur, residents along the East Rift Zone may have little warning. Residents in that area should be prepared to evacuate,” Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said in a statement.

Magnitude-7.5 quake strikes Papua New Guinea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Magnitude-7.5 quake strikes Papua New Guinea

  

(CNN)Authorities in Papua New Guinea are assessing the damage after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck the Pacific country early Monday.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 3:45 a.m. local time (12:45 p.m. ET Sunday) near Porgera, northwest of the capital Port Moresby. It was 35 kilometers deep.
“The National Government has dispatched disaster assessment teams to parts of Southern Highlands Province and Hela Province following an earthquake in the early hours of this morning,” Chief Secretary to Government Isaac Lupari said in a statement.
“The National Disaster Centre is working with provincial authorities to assess any damage and impacts on service delivery in the area. The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has also been mobilized to assist with the assessment and the delivery of assistance to affected people as well as the restoration of services and infrastructure,” the statement said.
Lupari warned residents to be aware of potential aftershocks: “It is advisable to stay out of multistory buildings, to be aware of the potential of landslides, and to be prepared to move to open ground in the event that an aftershock is felt.”
According to the USGS’s assessment, “significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread.”
It estimated that the quake could have been felt by more than a million residents, with approximately 40,000 exposed to “violent” shaking.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Papua New Guinea, especially in Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces, affected by this morning’s earthquake and aftershocks. Australia stands ready to assist in assessing the damage and meeting the needs of affected communities,” Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said on Twitter.
Radio New Zealand International reported that three deaths had been confirmed.

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southeastern Mexico on Friday night

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southeastern Mexico on Friday night, with the epicenter in the state of Oaxaca, the US Geological Survey reported.

Emergency authorities in the Oaxaca reported “only material damage and no loss of human life” during the earthquake.
In Mexico City, where more than 200 people died in a large earthquake last fall, people streamed out of shaking buildings and into the streets. Video showed ceiling lamps swaying and people embracing after evacuating buildings.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in Mexico City, which is about 348 kilometers (216 miles) away from the epicenter of the earthquake.

A woman embraces a boy after an earthquake shook buildings in Mexico City.

The USGS initially reported a magnitude of 7.5 but revised it downward. Later Friday, a magnitude 5.8 aftershock hit Oaxaca, the USGS tweeted.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that “based on all available data … there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.”
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted that the earthquake was northeast of Pinotepa Nacional, in Oaxaca, and that “protocols have been activated.”

People fled into the streets after the earthquake caused buildings to shake in Mexico City.

Two deadly earthquakes struck Mexico in September.
A magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off the southern coast on September 8, killing at least 90. On September 19, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City, killing at least 216 people.

At Least 6 Dead and 76 Still Missing in Taiwan After Earthquake

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By TAIJING WU / AP

12:30 PM EST

(HUALIEN, Taiwan) — Rescuers worked Wednesday to free people trapped after a strong earthquake near Taiwan’s east coast caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. At least six people were killed and 76 could not be contacted following the quake.

At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris. Firefighters climbed ladders hoisted against windows to reach residents inside apartments.

The shifting of the buildings after the magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground beneath a building loses its solidity under stress such as that caused by an earthquake.

A maintenance worker who was rescued after being trapped in the basement of the Marshal Hotel said the force of the earthquake was unusual even for a region used to temblors.

“At first it wasn’t that big … we get this sort of thing all the time and it’s really nothing. But then it got really terrifying,” the worker, Chen Ming-hui, told Taiwan’s official Central News Agency after he was reunited with his son and grandson following the quake. “It was really scary.”

Two employees of the hotel were killed in the disaster, CNA said. Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said rescuers freed another employee from the rubble.

Other buildings slanted at alarming degrees and rescuers used ladders, ropes and cranes to move residents to safety.

Six people were killed in the quake, while 256 others were injured and 76 unaccounted for, according to the fire agency. CNA reported that seven had been killed.

The force of the tremor buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households, the fire agency said.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said nine Japanese were among the injured. Six mainland Chinese were also injured, the Chinese Communist Party-run People’s Daily reported.

Rescuers focused on the Yunmen Tsuiti residential building that was tilted at a nearly 45-degree angle, erecting long steel beams to prevent it from collapsing.

Concrete blocks were laid on the steel rods to anchor them. Half a dozen excavator trucks surrounded the site, where rescue efforts were temporarily suspended because the building was “sliding,” according to Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center.

More than a hundred rescue workers were around the building, including military personnel and volunteers who were distributing food and hot drinks. Away from the disaster area, the atmosphere in the city was calm as rain beat down on largely deserted streets.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen moved to reassure the Taiwanese public that every effort would be made to rescue survivors. In a post on her official Facebook page, Tsai said she arrived in Hualien on Wednesday to review rescue efforts.

Tsai said she “ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind.”

“This is when the Taiwanese people show their calm, resilience and love,” she wrote. “The government will work with everyone to guard their homeland.”

Bridges and some highways along Taiwan’s east coast were closed pending inspections.

With aftershocks continuing to hit after the quake, residents were directed to shelters, including a newly built baseball stadium, where beds and hot food were provided.

Speaking from a crisis center in Taipei, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said rail links appeared to be unaffected and the runway at Hualien airport was intact.

“We’re putting a priority on Hualien people being able to return home to check on their loved ones,” Hsu said.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck just before midnight Tuesday about 21 kilometers (13 miles) northeast of Hualien at a relatively shallow depth of about 10.6 kilometers (6.6 miles).

Taiwan has frequent earthquakes due to its position along the “Ring of Fire,” the seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

Exactly two years earlier, a magnitude 6.4 quake collapsed an apartment complex in southern Taiwan, killing 115 people. Five people involved in the construction of the complex were later found guilty of negligence and given prison sentences.

A magnitude 7.6 quake in central Taiwan killed more than 2,300 people in 1999.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

A 6.4-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Taiwan’s East Coast

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN, AND GOOGLE MAPS)

 

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake strikes off Taiwan’s coast

Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan 01:38

(CNN)A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Taiwan just before midnight Tuesday local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The quake was centered in East China Sea about 21 kilometers north-northeast of Hualien City. Light shaking was felt in the capital of Taipei, about 120 kilometers north of Hualien City, according to reports sent to the USGS.
The USGS estimates a low likelihood of causalities and damage. There is no tsunami warning at this time.
A 5.1 aftershock also hit Hualien City shortly after the larger earthquake, according to USGS. There have been several other strong quakes in the area in the last few days.
Cellphone video from Hualien City shows a large building leaning at a dangerously sharp angle as sirens are heard in the background. The video shows people gathering near the building and shining flashlights on windows.
Laura Lo, a worker at the 7-Eleven convenience store across the street from the Marshal Hotel, told CNN that the first and second floors of the hotel appeared to be severely damaged.
Her store also suffered broken glass from the quake, she said. Lo said she can see police officers conducting rescue operations at the Marshal Hotel and that the roads in the area are closed.
An employee at the Park City Hotel down the street told CNN that he felt the quake but there is no damage at his location.
Epicenter of quake
Map data ©2018 Google, ZENRIN
Margaret K. Lewis, a Seton Hall University Law School professor currently living in Taipei, said she felt prolonged swaying at her modern high-rise apartment building in Beitou District, in the northern part of the city.
“Nothing broken, and two children slept peacefully through the event. We have since felt a few mild aftershocks,” Lewis said in an email. “Nerves are jangled, but otherwise all appears well. I have not been outside to look for damage, but my expectation is that my area is generally fine.”

Tsunami Warning Canceled After 7.9 Earthquake Just Off Of Alaska

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Forecasters canceled tsunami warnings for Alaska and the US and Canadian west coasts Tuesday after an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska stoked fears of damaging waves.

The tsunami alerts were canceled “because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat,” said the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.
Small tsunami waves of less than 1 foot were reported in Alaska, the center said.
The minor tsunami was triggered by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake that struck the Gulf of Alaska shortly after midnight. It was centered about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, at a depth of 15 miles, the US Geological Survey said.
Although the tsunami warnings were canceled, San Francisco officials warned residents to stay away from coastlines for 12 hours.
close dialog
Receive Fareed Zakaria’s Global Analysis
including insights and must-reads of world news
Activate Fareed’s Briefing
By subscribing you agree to our
privacy policy.
Shoreline areas, marinas and harbors may have “dangerous, strong & unpredictable currents,” the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management tweeted.

‘Whole town is evacuating’

Nathaniel Moore was on a commercial fishing boat in Kodiak when the quake hit. He said he felt it “shake really good for a minute.” He and others on the vessel quickly got to shore and headed for higher ground amid the tsunami warning.
“The whole town is evacuating,” he told CNN early Tuesday.
Tsunami sirens sounded in Kodiak, and police warned: “This is not a drill.”
Though the tsunami warnings were canceled, schools in Kodiak canceled classes Tuesday after campuses opened overnight as emergency shelters, the district announced via Facebook.
Wendy Bliss Snipes described the quake as “a slow roller, so it was felt for at least a minute before the real rolling started. Nothing fell off the walls, and I didn’t have to wake my kiddo.”
Heather Rand, who was in Anchorage, Alaska, told CNN that the earthquake felt like the longest she had ever experienced.
“It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here,” Rand said. She reported no damage besides cracks in the drywall.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly attribute a quotation from an Alaska resident.

Deadly earthquake shakes southern Peru

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Deadly earthquake shakes southern Peru

(CNN)Two people were killed when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook Peru on Sunday, according to a regional governor.

One of the two victims was a 55-year-old man crushed by a rock in Yauca, tweeted Yamila Osorio, governor of the Arequipa region in southern Peru. The other victim died in the same region, Hernando Tavera, president of the Geophysics Institute of Peru, told TV Peru, without providing further details.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of southern Peru.

At least 65 people have been injured in the cities of Arequipa, Ica and Ayacucho, also in southern Peru, the National Civil Defense Institute reported.
The earthquake was centered near the coast of Peru, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south-southwest of Acari, according to the US Geological Survey. Acari is about an eight-hour drive down the coast from Lima, the capital.
The quake produced no tsunami threat, the USGS said.

Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Caribbean, Mexico

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Caribbean, Mexico

(CNN)The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves were possible for several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico, after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck 27 miles off the coast of Honduras.

“Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meters above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica,” the agency said.
The earthquake was 44 kilometers east of Great Swan Island, Honduras, the US Geological Survey said.