Yellowstone Super volcano’s Nasty Surprise: Only Decades?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FORBES SCIENCE)

 

Science #WhoaScience

Yellowstone Supervolcano’s Nasty Surprise: Only Decades To Prepare For An Eruption

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Grand Prismatic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Beneath the beautiful Yellowstone National Park lies a supervolcano, a hidden a force of nature that has the potential to blanket the United States in ash and send the world into a volcanic winter.

While scientists have studied Yellowstone’s supervolcano extensively, the fact of the matter is there’s not much we can do about it if/when the supervolcano erupts again. Albeit, that hasn’t stopped NASA from trying to engineer a solution to the next supervolcano eruption.

What scientists have relied upon is that when Yellowstone’s supervolcano begins to rumble and its magma chambers begin to fill, we would have centuries to prepare for the devastating eruption. However, recent studies find that the speed at which the volcano can fill its magma chamber and erupt is on the order of a few decades. That means Yellowstone supervolcano could go from its usual activity like today to erupting in 2030’s.

Unraveling Yellowstone’s Past Eruptions

How did scientists unravel the timing of the latest Yellowstone supervolcano eruption? As the magma chambers filled, portions of the magma were cool enough to solidify into rock. While they solidified or lithified, the minerals grew over time, creating bands of progressively younger mineral around older mineral.

Scientists inspected the bands of these minerals and what they found is the last few bands of mineral formation recorded a sudden spike in temperature on the order of decades before mineral lithification stopped. Hence, the rapid increase in temperature on the order of decades represents the time required for a sudden injection of magma and release through an eruption.

USGS

Highlighted areas are where ash beds have been identified from previous Yellowstone supervolcano eruptions.

Tech #CyberSecurity

Puerto Rico, Trapped Between Colonialism and Hurricanes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Puerto Rico, Trapped Between Colonialism and Hurricanes

Puerto Rican Graffiti. Photo by Flickr user Juan Cristóbal Zulueta. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

Puerto Rican Graffiti. Photo by Flickr user Juan Cristóbal Zulueta. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

You came to Puerto Rico for the golden sand and sun—gold, you will recall, was also the basis of our first colonizers’ initial attraction. For the endless piña coladas and rum-spiked mysteries. For the colonial charm and quaint, humble lifestyle. Poverty looks so alluring in the Caribbean, what with the bright colors, crystal-clear waters and the backdrop of lush greens—besides, it’s only for a week. Your friends say it’s the hottest Spring Break spot; the newspapers say it’s a debt-ridden disaster; your parents say it’s dangerous and that the water is undrinkable; and the brochures say it’s a (tax) haven, an absolute paradise. So here you are, in your bathing suit and sarong, mojito in hand, ready to focus on your one task for the week: getting a tan.

But it turns out that the sun isn’t nailed onto the sky, and it doesn’t run on one-million 100-watt light bulbs that never fail. The tides rise and the swells are ferocious. Coconuts, palm trees and branches are potential projectiles. And a hurricane is heading straight for your worry-free fantasy.

So you try to catch a flight out of this paradise-turned-inferno, because a hurricane was not on your must-see itinerary. Instead, JetBlue takes you to a hurricane shelter in San Juan, a hot and humid coliseum, where your beach chair is replaced by a cot; your piña colada by a Walgreens water bottle; your dream, by our reality.

The power was out in my house as I imagined the scenario above, which had taken place the day before, right before Irma’s arrival. After Irma’s passing the next morning there were more than a million households without power. The Electric Power Authority (AEE) was predicting the outages would last two to four months, and almost 80,000 households had lost water service as well. Over 6,200 people were in shelters on the northeastern side of the island, and Puerto Rico’s agricultural industry had suffered $30.4 million in losses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Governor Ricardo Rosselló were still evaluating infrastructural and residential damages. And now a powerful new storm was heading our way: María.

Puerto Rico is no stranger to crisis. Before Irma’s rampage through the archipelago, Puerto Rico was already in the midst of one of the most devastating financial and socio-political crises in its recent history, with an unaudited $74 billion debt under its belt, $49 billion in pension obligations, and several decades’ worth of illegal bond issuances and trading related to its status as an overly-advertised tax haven. Neoliberal policies such as draconian budget cuts and extreme austerity measures had already rendered life in Puerto Rico quite precarious. And the whole thing was being overseen and managed simultaneously by Governor Rosselló, an unelected and antidemocratic Fiscal Control Board, and judge Laura Taylor Swain, all of whom were going back and forth on the country’s fiscal management and debt restructuring processes.

But even as Hurricane Irma headed straight towards it, for many outside of the country, Puerto Rico is a mere blip on CNN’s news ticker, an enchanting US-owned island on a tourist brochure, that exotic place where the music video for “Despacito” was filmed (and made all the better by Justin Bieber), a pebble sinking between an ocean and a sea that have seen too much.

But Irma’s passing and aftermath have once again brought to light Puerto Rico’s primordial conundrum: colonialism.

Puerto Rico has been a US colony (the US prefers the euphemistic designations of “commonwealth”, “unincorporated territory” and “free associated state”) for 199 years, a relationship that has led to the country’s being trapped in a steep downward spiral. The current fiscal and socio-political crisis is only one of the side effects of this relationship.

Hurricane Irma’s passing underscored the damage done by the neoliberal austerity measures imposed by the Fiscal Control Board and the crimes committed by corporations taking advantage of Puerto Rico’s colonial status. For starters, as a result of the massive closure of public schools, only 329 schools across the island were available as hurricane shelters compared with the 372 available during Hurricane Bertha’s passing in 2014.

Puerto Rico’s infrastructure also finds itself in an advanced state of deterioration, including roads, bridges, the University of Puerto Rico and public service buildings all of whom were critically endangered during Irma’s passing. A good part of the country’s “essential infrastructure” is on the coast, making it vulnerable to flooding, high tides and storm surges, especially during hurricanes of Irma’s or Maria’s intensity.

It is notable that much of that infrastructure was built to benefit the tourist industry and mercantile trade with the US, and the US alone. Money invested in infrastructure tends to go towards revitalizing these “essentials”, not to repairing the potholed roads in our communities, remediating asbestos-filled buildings or replacing crumbling light poles at the mercy of hurricane winds. All of this is further proof of our colonial market dependency and the essentially colonial nature of the tourist industry, which caters particularly to PR’s relationship with the US.

Even the disaster declaration signed by the US President authorizing FEMA assistance for Puerto Rico second-rate, allowing only for search and rescue, public health and safety, and debris removal. It didn’t include rebuilding or even restoration of power, and with the current fiscal crisis and the Fiscal Control Board’s silence since Irma’s passing, rebuilding and restructuring will be a tough feat for Puerto Rico given the lack of available resources.

Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico’s Carla Minet said:

The budget cuts, in an already weak economy, will probably make the storm’s social impact worse.

Minet added that a pre-Irma forecast by the Center for a New Economy’s policy director, Sergio M. Marxuach, predicts that the recently approved the Fiscal Plan would result in another lost decade, continued population loss due to migration and lower birth rates, lower employment, less access to public education, pension cuts, worsening health outcomes, higher mortality and lower life expectancy, and, ultimately, higher rates of poverty and inequality. “Now add in the cataclysm of a monster hurricane that the plan never accounted for,” said Minet.

The Fiscal Control Board is likely to use Irma as an excuse to aggressively push the many policies it has in line, such as the privatization of PR’s Electric Power Authority (AEE). Nor would it be surprising if Gov. Rosselló and the Fiscal Control Board used the occasion to dismantle and privatize the University of Puerto Rico, the only public higher education institution in the country, as well as a number of other public institutions that are defenseless against the colonial rule of the Fiscal Control Board and its blatant neoliberal attacks.

Now, barely two weeks after Irma’s passing, we’ve just been hit by another category 5 hurricane, María. This just as some household have just got back their electricity supply, and while others are still living in the dark; while the ground is still strewn with fallen trees and light posts waiting to take on second lives as projectiles; while many, both locals and refugees from neighboring Caribbean islands, are still recovering from the loss of their homes, their entire reality; and while crisis and colonialism continue to hold hands, as they do every day.

And so, you’re sitting in your cot with your straw hat on, hundreds of locals scrambling around you with what’s left of their lives stuffed into a bag or a suitcase, wondering why JetBlue dropped you off here and high-tailed it; why the shelter is so understaffed; why the power went even though it hasn’t yet started raining and not a gusts of wind has blown; why CNN wasn’t covering Irma’s passing over Puerto Rico. “I’m here, send over an Embassy representative for me!” you yell in your mind as you stare at the screen of your almost-dead smartphone. Why, you wonder, has life had been so unfair to you, ruining your longed-for vacation in the Island of enchantment.

Then your thoughts are interrupted as you spot a window and you walk gloomily towards it and look through pigeon-christened glass, and watch as the storm clouds gather and gusts of wind batter a US flag—oh, and a Puerto Rican one too.

Israeli rescue team applauded in the streets of Mexico

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Israeli rescue team applauded in the streets of Mexico

Dozens of individuals, some waving Mexican flags, spontaneously cheer delegation that is aiding in the search for survivors following earthquake

  • Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, three days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (iAid)
    Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, three days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (iAid)
  • Rescuers from Mexico and Israel (olive green) search for survivors in a flattened building in Mexico City on September 21, 2017 two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (AFP / Ronaldo SCHEMIDT)
    Rescuers from Mexico and Israel (olive green) search for survivors in a flattened building in Mexico City on September 21, 2017 two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (AFP / Ronaldo SCHEMIDT)
  • Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
    Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
  • Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
    Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
  • Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
    Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
  • Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
    Rescuers from Mexico and Israel search for survivors on September 22, 2017, 3 days after a strong quake hit central Mexico (iAid)
  • A man is pulled out of the rubble alive in Mexico City on September 20, 2017 as the search for survivors continues a day after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (AFP PHOTO / Pedro PARDO)
    A man is pulled out of the rubble alive in Mexico City on September 20, 2017 as the search for survivors continues a day after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (AFP PHOTO / Pedro PARDO)
  • Israeli rescue workers are present as the body of Maria Ortiz, who survived the earthquake in Mexico City but died before the rescuers could get to her, is removed on September 22, 2017, three days after the powerful quake that hit central Mexico. (AFP PHOTO / Pedro Pardo)
    Israeli rescue workers are present as the body of Maria Ortiz, who survived the earthquake in Mexico City but died before the rescuers could get to her, is removed on September 22, 2017, three days after the powerful quake that hit central Mexico. (AFP PHOTO / Pedro Pardo)

An Israeli rescue delegation was greeted with spontaneous applause in the streets of a Mexican town Friday, in a show of gratitude for the team’s efforts to aid in the search for survivors following a devastating earthquake Tuesday.

In a video published by Channel 2, dozens of individuals, some waving Mexican flags, can be seen cheering the Israeli rescue team as the delegation crosses their path in a town hit by the earthquake.

A 71-member Israeli delegation from the Home Front Command arrived in Mexico on Thursday, some 48 hours after the 7.1-magnitude quake hit. Two Israeli aid organizations — IsraAID and iAid — also sent delegations to help with the search and rescue efforts.

Anxiety was mounting on Friday as Mexico approached the crucial 72-hour mark after the powerful tremor, and exhausted rescuers raced to locate possible survivors trapped in the rubble.

Authorities put the death toll from Tuesday’s quake at 286 people, but it was expected to rise further with scores still missing in Mexico City.

The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday that the 71-member delegation was made up of a small search and rescue team, with a majority being engineers who would help assess the structural integrity of buildings in Mexico City and other affected areas.

Locals rescuers said the Israeli teams came with equipment enabling them to detect cell phone signals in the rubble.

Israel did not set up a field hospital yet, but the army has said this could be added in the future.

Members of the 71-member Israeli delegation from the IDF Home Front Command arrive in Mexico on September 21, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israel is often one of the first countries to send humanitarian delegations to countries hit by natural disasters.

Israeli disaster relief delegations provided rescue and medical services after an earthquake in Turkey in 1999, an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, a typhoon in the Philippines in 2013 and, most recently, an earthquake in Nepal in 2015.

The delegation is slated to return on September 29, ahead of the Yom Kippur holiday, the spokesperson said. The IDF chief rabbi granted the delegation special dispensation to travel, as the team was in the air during the Jewish Rosh Hashanah holiday, when such activities are generally avoided under religious law.

Members of the Israeli aid delegation from the IDF Home Front Command arrive in Mexico City, September 21, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Families in waiting

Anguished families watching and waiting at buildings that collapsed with their loved ones inside pleaded with authorities not to send in the bulldozers while there is still hope people could be alive inside — something the government vowed not to do.

“We know she’s alive and we’re not leaving until she leaves with us,” said Olinca Gonzalez, 29, whose father’s wife worked in a Mexico City building that was flattened in the quake.

Families were already circulating fliers reading, “No heavy machinery.”

A crushed car and sofas are seen under a pile of rubble from a collapsed building in Mexico City on September 21, 2017, two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (AFP/Pedro Pardo)

President Enrique Pena Nieto promised authorities were not giving up the search.

Experts say the average survival time in such disasters is 72 hours, depending on injuries. But trapped survivors have been known to hang on for many days more, including after a massive earthquake that devastated Mexico City in 1985, killing more than 10,000 people.

The 72-hour period will be up at 1:14 p.m. (18:14 GMT) Friday.

“The rescue and support effort in the buildings that collapsed is still on,” Pena Nieto said during a visit to the state of Puebla, where the epicenter was.

“We are not suspending it. We have to keep up the rescue effort to keep finding survivors in the rubble.”

Volunteer rescuers working through their third straight night fought off growing fatigue to remove tons of rubble at dozens of flattened buildings in the capital and across several central states.

In the capital’s central neighborhood of Roma, rescue workers scrambled to locate 23 people believed to be in the wreckage of a collapsed seven-story office building.

They have already pulled 28 survivors from the mountain of rubble.

Aaron Flores’s sister Karen and friend Paulino Estrada were both trapped inside.

Estrada managed to contact his family by cellphone, even making a video call. But there has been no news from Karen Flores.

“We’re feeling disoriented and desperate because we haven’t heard anything from her,” said her brother, 30.

Soldiers and volunteers remove a crushed car from the rubble in Mexico City on September 22, 2017, three days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (AFP/ Alfredo Estrella)

At other locations, hope turned to grief.

“At 1:00 p.m. they pulled my mother’s body out of the debris, but identified her under a different name, and it wasn’t until 5:00 p.m. that they gave us the bad news,” said Maria Dolores Martinez, 38, at a Mexico City morgue.

But real stories of hope continued to emerge from the ruins.

In the north of the city, a man who had been trapped for 26 hours — and a 90-year-old woman — were pulled alive from the rubble.

Rescue teams have flown in from the US, Israel, Japan, Spain and numerous Latin American countries.

As rescuers race against the clock to find survivors, others wondered where they will live after the quake damaged an estimated 20,000 homes.

“I’m waiting for the civil protection service to tell me if we can go home or not,” said street vendor Erika Albarran, who has been staying with her family in a shelter for people with no place to go.

Her family has only 100 pesos ($5.50) among them and she doesn’t know how they will manage once assistance such as food, shelter and baby supplies runs out.

“We don’t have cash. We’re living day-to-day,” she said.

Tuesday’s tragedy struck just two hours after Mexico held a national earthquake drill — as it does every year on the anniversary of the 1985 quake.

READ MORE:

New quake spreads alarm, sends Mexicans into streets

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

 

New quake spreads alarm, sends Mexicans into streets

A woman prays after a tremor was felt in Mexico City, Mexico September 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – An magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook southern Mexico on Saturday and was felt in the capital, where seismic alarms sounded, residents ran into the streets and rescuers briefly stopped combing the rubble left by a bigger tremor earlier this week.

The United States Geological Survey said the new quake was relatively shallow and hit near Juchitan, which is a tropical region of Oaxaca state hard hit by another major earthquake on Sept 7.

Already shaken by the two recent earthquakes that have killed at least 380 people in Mexico this month, thousands of people ran out onto the streets again in Oaxaca and Mexico City, some in pajamas when the new tremor shortly before 8 a.m. (1300 GMT).

“I heard the alarm and ran downstairs with my family,” said Sergio Cedillo, 49, who was watching rescuers efforts to find survivors from Tuesday’s quake when the alarm sounded.

No new damage was immediately reported, but rescue efforts were suspended in areas affected by Tuesday’s quake to allow authorities to see if the new tremors would put workers at risk, Luis Felipe Puente, the head of Mexico’s civil protection agency said.

Reporting by Julia Love and Alexandra Alper; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Franklin Paul

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

All Children Accounted For In Collapsed Elementary School In Mexico City

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Mexico City (CNN) The search for a 12-year-old thought to be trapped in a Mexico City elementary school ended Thursday with the news that all students have been accounted for.

But rescuers will continue their work, as signs suggest that someone may still be alive in the rubble, Angel Enrique Sarmiento, Mexico’s sub-secretary of Navy, said Thursday.
For days, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen was the site of a massive search and rescue operation offering a glimmer of hope in the chaotic aftermath of Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 quake. Reports of the missing 12-year-old riveted people across the country, who watched the rescue efforts unfold live on television.
However, as of Thursday afternoon, authorities had determined the whereabouts of all the school’s students, both alive and dead, Sarmiento said.
Authorities have confirmed 25 dead — 19 children and six adults — at the school, and 11 more have been sent to hospitals, he said. But there are indications that someone may still be alive in the rubble, he added.
“We are certain that all the children either passed away, are in local hospitals, or are safe and sound in their houses,” he told reporters.

A look at the Enrique Rebsamen elementary school in Mexico City, which collapsed in the earthquake. The after photo on the right is from Wednesday, September 20, when rescuers continued to search through the rubble.

GOOGLE EARTH/GETTY IMAGES

Two earthquakes in 12 days

The rescue attempt was one of many searches underway Thursday, after the earthquake turned dozens of buildings in central Mexico into dust and debris, killing at least 273 people.
Tuesday’s temblor was the second major one to hit the country in less than two weeks, following an 8.1 magnitude earthquake farther south on September 8, killing nearly 100 people. It hit hours after a citywide drill on the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed an estimated 9,500 people in and around Mexico City.
President Enrique Peña Nieto declared a national emergency, and the country is observing three days of national mourning. An unaccounted number of people are staying at shelters around Mexico City after losing their homes. Schools have closed indefinitely, and millions remain without power.
Despite the president’s request that people stay indoors while rescue attempts continue, residents are joining forces with rescue teams to search for survivors.
In Mexico City’s Condesa section, a large rescue operation was underway Thursday at a collapsed building that had housed an outsourcing company. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, police blocked a road leading to a food processing company that also was damaged.
Cristobal Perres Garcia, 59, said police told him that one of his cousins — a worker at the food processing plant — was among several who died when it collapsed.

A rescue operation is underway Thursday at a collapsed building in Mexico City's Condesa section.

In Puebla state, southeast of Mexico City, the quake crumbled a church, killing a girl who was being baptized and 11 others attending the event, Gov. Tony Gali said. More than 9,700 homes and 100-plus government buildings were damaged in the state, Gali said.
There were more than 100 deaths in Mexico City, one of North America’s most populous metropolises with more than 21 million people. Other deaths included 69 in Morelos state, 43 in Puebla state, 13 in the state of Mexico, four in Guerrero state and one in Oaxaca state, according to Luis Felipe Puente, national coordinator of civil protection for the Interior Ministry.
To provide some scope of the affected area, Oaxaca de Juarez, the capital of Oaxaca state, is almost 480 kilometers (300 miles) from Mexico City.

‘I thought someone was kicking my chair’

About 2,000 public schools were damaged in Tuesday’s quake, Secretary of Public Education Aurelio Nuños said. Sixteen of the 212 affected schools in Mexico City had serious damage, he said.
At the private Colegio Enrique Rabsamen, where rescuers were trying to reach the girl, the temblor caused the school to fold in on itself, sandwiching and collapsing classroom onto classroom.
Foro TV interviewed two girls who said they were doing their English homework as the building began to shake.
Colegio Enrique Rebsamen
“I thought someone was kicking my chair, but I turned around and no one was kicking me,” one girl told the station.
“The English teacher said there was a quake. Our teacher took us to the stairs, and that’s when part of the building started to come down. There was dust everywhere. We couldn’t see.”
The loss of lives weighed heavily on volunteers at the school site such as Ivan Ramos, whose son survived.
“This is a tragedy,” he said. “It’s kids. It will take a long time to heal.”

6.1-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off the Coast of Japan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM)

 

6.1-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off the Coast of Japan

3:56 PM ET

A magnitude 6.1 hit off the coast of Japan east of Fukushima and Kamaishi on Wednesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey, or the USGS, recorded the earthquake near Japan at 11:37 a.m. EST. The agency’s website also showed that 41 people responded saying they felt the earthquake along Japan’s eastern coast.

No further details have been released on the earthquake. However, USGS estimates few economic losses and little to no fatalities will come of the earthquake. No tsunami warning has been issued so far.

An earthquake and tsunami in Japan 2011 caused meltdown in three reactors of Fukushima’s nuclear power plant, the Associated Press reported. The disaster forced residents to leave their homes, many remaining displaced years later. Since then, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has supported nuclear energyand its economic benefits.

The earthquake off Japan’s coast comes as Mexico is still recovering from two deadly earthquakes less than two weeks apart. The latest earthquake causes buildings to collapse and killed over 200 people.

Strong earthquake shakes Mexico, killing at least 119 people

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Strong earthquake shakes Mexico, killing at least 119 people

 Play Video 1:31
People flee onto streets of Mexico City after powerful earthquake
A 7.1-magnitude earthquake sent people in Mexico City into the streets on Sept. 19, the anniversary of another powerful quake. (Sarah Parnass, Joshua Partlow/The Washington Post)
 September 19 at 7:55 PM
 A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing buildings and killing dozens of people on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City.Coming less than two weeks after a deadly temblor off the country’s Pacific coast, and just hours after a siren signaled an annual earthquake drill in the capital, Tuesday’s quake shook the ground with terrifying force, buckling walls and sending panicked residents fleeing into the streets. There were reports of fires and gas leaks.

At least 119 people were reported killed, local officials and news agencies reported. They included 54 people in Morelos state south of Mexico City, 26 in the state of Puebla, nine in the state of Mexico — which surrounds the capital — and 30 in Mexico City.

Residents feared more people were buried under rubble. At least 44 buildings collapsed or partly collapsed in the quake, according to Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera. In the central Mexico City neighborhood of Del Valle, a frantic scene played out Tuesday afternoon as hundreds of people gathered to search for trapped residents. At least two multistory apartment buildings fell, and residents said dozens of people could have been inside. Marines, medical volunteers and regular citizens formed lines to pass trash cans, plastic crates, and plastic barrels to remove debris.

Rescue workers carried at least one person out on a stretcher while helicopters circled.

Victor Arrecha, 25, who lived nearby, said he feared that up to 40 people might have been trapped inside one of the buildings.

“My friends lived there,” he said, looking at the pancaked apartment building directly in front of his house.

Elsewhere, dozens of people were rescued from collapsed buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake was 76 miles southeast of the capital, near the town of Raboso in Puebla. (The epicenter is the point on the earth’s surface directly above where the earthquake occurs.) The quake struck at 1:14 p.m. local time, the agency said. There appeared to be widespread damage, including to a major highway connecting Mexico City to Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos, about 35 miles to the south. Authorities closed the Mexico City airport to inspect it for damage.

At the Clínica Gabriel Mancera in Mexico City, more than a dozen hospital beds had been set up on the patio outside as a triage center on Tuesday afternoon. Leticia Gonzalez, a 45-year-old maid in a nearby apartment building, said she tried to race out of the building but that concrete crashed down as she fled. Her right leg was wrapped in a bandage as she grimaced in pain outside the hospital.

“We were all running like crazy,” she said. “This was the worst earthquake I’ve ever seen.”

Marisela Avila Gomez, 58, was in her apartment in the central Narvarte neighborhood in the capital when the shaking began, toppling her furniture and shattering the windows. A piece of glass sliced deep into her right leg.

“My whole house is full of blood,” she said.

Her husband, Francisco Vicente Lozada Garcia, 55, a landscaper, tried to drive across town to get to his wife, but traffic was snarled and the “street felt like gelatin.”

The couple eventually made it to the Clínica Gabriel Mancera, where Avila Gomez was treated.

The earthquake struck less than two weeks after the 8.1-magnitude quake off the Pacific coast of southern Mexico. Scientists said the same large-scale tectonic mechanism caused both events: The larger North American Plate is forcing the edge of the Cocos Plate to sink. This collision generated both quakes. But it was unlikely that the quake earlier this month caused Tuesday’s disaster.

“In general, we don’t think there’s a triggering effect over that kind of a distance,” said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the USGS. In California, he said, there have been earthquakes that set off quakes tens of miles away and within hours. This distance was farther and the timeline longer. The recent Mexico quakes also did not share a fault line, he said.

Mexico City is partially built on old lake sediment, which is much softer than rock. The seismic waves can be amplified traveling through the sediment, Blakeman said, making the damage worse than in areas on more solid ground. He said aftershocks were possible, too. The rupture was approximately 50 kilometers, or 31 miles deep, and as a rule, the shallower an earthquake is, the higher the chance for aftershocks. “Fifty kilometers is pretty shallow, so I would expect aftershocks,” Blakeman said.

The USGS’s model for estimating earthquake damage predicts 100 to 1,000 fatalities and economic losses of between $100 million and $1 billion for a temblor of this scale and proximity to population centers.

The quake shook Mexico City so hard that the murky, stagnant waters of the city’s ancient Xochmilco canals were churned up, turning the waterways into rollicking wave pools. Videos posted to social media showed tourists in flat-bottomed tour boats struggling to stay in their seats and hold onto their beers.

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said that one U.S. Embassy worker suffered a broken elbow in the quake but that no other staffers were hurt.

Mexico City has a large U.S. expatriate community, but Jacobson said she had not received reports of American deaths or injuries. “We’re not hearing of U.S. citizens affected yet,” she said in a phone interview, calling Tuesday’s quake the strongest she had experienced. “I was on the fifth floor of the embassy, and it felt like a long roller coaster ride,” she said.

The embassy building, constructed in 1964, did not appear to sustain structural damage, Jacobson added. She said U.S. officials were in touch with Mexican civil defense authorities and had extended offers of assistance.

In a Twitter message Tuesday after receiving news of the quake, President Trump wrote: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”

President Enrique Peña Nieto was traveling to Oaxaca to inspect the earthquake damage that occurred earlier this month when the latest temblor struck. He turned around and returned to the capital, where he convened a national emergency council.

In the capital’s southern neighborhood of Coyoacan, the walls of colonial-era buildings cracked and sagged in the quake, with some collapsing into rubble. Residents hugged and cried in the streets. At the Barricas Don Tiburcio shop, shelves bearing food crashed down and wine bottles shattered on the floors.

“This is the worst one I have ever felt,” shopkeeper Beatriz Aguilar Bustamante said. “I don’t know if I will have a house when I go home.”

Nick Miroff and Ben Guarino in Washington contributed to this report.

2 Major Earthquakes Shake Central Mexico On The Anniversary Of Tragic 1985 Quake

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE YUCATAN TIMES)

 

Two powerful tremors shake central Mexico on the anniversary of tragic 1985 earthquake

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Around 1 pm Tuesday Sept. 19, two earthquakes with 7.1 and 6.8 points on the Richter scale were recorded in central Mexico, with both shaking Mexico City and with effects felt in other major cities.

The 6.8 point quake had its epicenter seven kilometers west of Chiautla de Tapia, Puebla. The epicenter of the second quake of 7.1 points was 12 kilometers south of Axochiapan, Morelos.

Citizens left immediately from their homes and jobs. Besides the capital, the earthquake was also felt in Cuernavaca, Puebla and smaller cities in Guerrero, Oaxaca and Hidalgo.

The telephone lines are saturated, so it is recommended to the population to use instant messaging.

sismo



The earthquake occurred on the anniversary of the earthquake on September 19, 1985.

During the morning of Tuesday, dozens of buildings were routinely evacuated in the country’s capital, after 11am warning alarms were activated for an simulation exercise, announcing an earthquake, reports La Jornada.

Just over four million people participated in this massive civil protection exercise that is held each year on Sept. 19 to commemorate the 1985 earthquake.

Source: http://sipse.com/

8.2 Earthquake Strikes Mexico Strongest In A Hundred Years: Dozens Killed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

JUCHITÁN DE ZARAGOZA, Mexico — Thousands of homes in this city were severely damaged. Half of the 19th-century city hall, with its 30 arches, collapsed. The main hospital here was so devastated that staff members evacuated patients to an empty lot and worked by the light of their cellphones.

By the time the earthquake’s tremors finally faded, at least 36 people in Juchitán de Zaragoza were dead.

“It’s a truly critical situation,” Óscar Cruz López, the city’s municipal secretary, said Friday. “The city,” he said, and then paused. “It’s as if it had been bombed.”

Over all, the earthquake — the most powerful to hit the country in a century — killed at least 58 people in Mexico, all of them in the southern part of the country that was closer to the quake’s epicenter off the Pacific Coast.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.2 and struck shortly before midnight on Thursday, was felt by tens of millions of people in Mexico and in Guatemala, where at least one person died as well.

In Mexico City, the capital, which still bears the physical and psychological scars of a devastating earthquake in 1985 that killed as many as 10,000 people, alarms sounding over loudspeakers spurred residents to flee into the streets in their pajamas.

The city seemed to convulse in terrifying waves, making street lamps and the Angel of Independence monument, the capital’s signature landmark, sway like a metronome’s pendulum.

But this time, the megalopolis emerged largely unscathed, with minor structural damage and only two of its nearly nine million people reporting injuries, neither serious, officials said.

In the southern part of the country, however, at least 10 people died in Chiapas State and three died in neighboring Tabasco, including two children: one when a wall collapsed and the other after a respirator lost power in a hospital, officials said.

Photo

Residents of Mexico City gathered outdoors after an earthquake struck off the Pacific Coast, about 450 miles away, late Thursday. CreditPedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Chiapas officials said that more than 400 houses had been destroyed and about 1,700 others were damaged.

In Oaxaca State, at least 45 people were killed, including the 36 in here in Juchitán, a provincial city of 100,000.

“A total disaster,” the mayor, Gloria Sánchez López, declared in a telephone interview in which she appealed for help. “Don’t leave us alone.”

President Enrique Peña Nieto flew to the region on Friday afternoon to assess the damage. And several leaders in Latin America and elsewhere offered assistance to Mexico, including the presidents of Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Spain.

Mexico is also facing the additional threat of Hurricane Katia, which is gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico and expected to make landfall in Veracruz State early Saturday.

“You can count on us,” President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia said on Twitter.

Residents in Juchitán spent the morning using backhoes and their bare hands to dig through the wreckage of collapsed buildings and pull the injured, and the dead, from the rubble.

By early afternoon, the efforts had mostly turned from rescues to a cleanup operation, though the municipal secretary, Mr. Cruz, said that workers were still trying to claw through the mounds of debris left by the collapse of the city hall to reach one last victim, a police officer. Nobody knew if he was still alive.

“It is a nightmare we weren’t prepared for,” said a member of the City Council, Pamela Teran, in an interview with a local radio station. She estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the houses in the city were destroyed.

“A lot of people have lost everything, and it just breaks your heart,” she added, bursting into tears.

Mexico City
MEXICO
Earthquakeepicenter
GuatemalaCity
Map data ©2017 Google, INEGI

200 km

With the hospital — the region’s main medical center — destroyed, officials converted a grade school into a makeshift clinic and moved the hospital’s patients and the hundreds of injured survivors there.

Local officials appealed to state and federal governments for aid to help with the recovery.

“It’s impossible to resolve this catastrophe, to respond to something of this magnitude, by ourselves,” Mr. Cruz said.

Aftershocks continued through the day Friday, unnerving the city’s residents, many of whom spent much of the day out in the street rather than return to their homes, said Juan Antonio García, the director of the Juchitán news website Cortamortaja.

Reports of damage elsewhere in the region continued to emerge throughout the afternoon. In Union Hidalgo, just to the east of Juchitán, the mayor reported that about 500 houses had been destroyed.

Schools in at least 10 Mexican states and in Mexico City were closed on Friday as the president ordered an assessment of the damage nationwide.

“We are assessing the damage, which will probably take hours, if not days,” President Peña Nieto said in televised comments to the nation two hours after the quake.

Throughout the day Mexicans lined up at emergency collection centers around the country to donate food, water and other supplies for delivery to the earthquake victims.

Mexico is situated near the colliding boundaries of several sections of the earth’s crust.

The quake on Thursday was more powerful than the one in 1985 that flattened or seriously damaged thousands of buildings in Mexico City.

While the quake on Thursday struck nearly 450 miles from the capital, off the coast of Chiapas State, the one in 1985 was much closer to the capital, so the shaking proved much more deadly.

Photo

Patients in a clinic in Puebla, Mexico, were taken outside after the quake. CreditImelda Medina/Reuters

After the 1985 disaster, construction codes were reviewed and stiffened. Today, Mexico’s construction laws are considered as strict as those in the United States or Japan.

Though many Mexicans have grown accustomed to earthquakes, taking them as an immutable fact of life, Thursday’s quake left a lasting impression on residents of the capital for both its force and duration.

“The scariest part of it all is that if you are an adult, and you’ve lived in this city your adult life, you remember 1985 very vividly,” said Alberto Briseño, a 58-year-old bar manager. “This felt as strong and as bad.”

“Now we will do what us Mexicans do so well: Take the bitter taste of this night and move on,” he added.

The quake occurred near the Middle America Trench, a zone in the eastern Pacific where one slab of the earth’s crust, called the Cocos Plate, is sliding under another, the North American, in a process called subduction.

The movement is very slow — about three inches a year — and over time stress builds because of friction between the slabs. At some point, the strain becomes so great that the rock breaks and slips along a fault. This releases vast amounts of energy and, if the slip occurs under the ocean, can move a lot of water suddenly, causing a tsunami.

Subduction zones ring the Pacific Ocean and are also found in other regions. They are responsible for the world’s largest earthquakes and most devastating tsunamis.

The magnitude-9 earthquake off Japan in 2011, which led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the magnitude-9.1 quake in Indonesia in 2004, which spawned tsunamis that killed a quarter of a million people around the Indian Ocean, are recent examples.

Those quakes each released about 30 times as much energy as the one in Mexico.

Mexico’s government issued a tsunami warning off the coast of Oaxaca and Chiapas after Thursday’s quake, but neither state appeared to have been adversely affected by waves.

248COMMENTS

In Guatemala, the military was out Friday morning assessing the damage, found mainly in the western part of the country.

In Huehuetenango, bricks and glass were strewn on the ground as walls in the city collapsed. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second-largest city, which was beginning to recover from a tremor in June, suffered more damage to its historic center.

Continue reading the main story

Powerful Earthquake Strikes SW China At Least 13 Dead 175 Injured

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

CNN) At least 13 people were killed and 175 more injured late Tuesday after a powerful earthquake struck a popular tourist area in southwest China, according to state media.

Of those hurt, about 28 had been severely injured, state-owned media outlet Xinhua said.
The quake struck Jiuzhaigou County in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province late on Tuesday night.
At least five of the people who died were tourists, Xinhua reported, citing the information office of the provincial government. About 2,800 people were evacuated from the severely damaged Intercontinental hotel.
Epicenter
Map data ©2017 Google, SK telecom, ZENRIN
Rescuers are still working to clear the rubble, and there are people buried beneath the debris, state broadcaster CCTV said.
There was some disagreement over the size and power of the earthquake.
The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude-6.5 quake 35 kilometers (22 miles) west-southwest of Yongle, Xinhua reported it was 7.0-magnitude, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center.
Residents in Chengdu, the provincial capital — 300 kilometers (186 miles) away from the epicenter — told state media they had felt the quake.

Chinese paramilitary police search for survivors after an earthquake in Jiuzhaigou in southwest China's Sichuan province early on August 9.

The China Earthquake Administration has launched a Level I emergency response, the highest of its four levels, according to state media.
Almost 400 fire trucks and more than 1,100 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, CCTV said. They are bringing with them 55 life detectors, 30 rescue dogs and 24 generators.
Local authorities announced the closure of the Jiuzhaigou tourist area, which includes a national park known for its waterfalls and topographical formations, beginning Wednesday.
Yu Qian, a local taxation bureau official, told Xinhua that the earthquake cut off power and disrupted phone service in her neighborhood.

Firefighters in China's Gansu province preparing to head to Sichuan on August 8.

Photos from the scene showed what appeared to be pieces of buildings lying in the street, a stone the height of a small automobile in the street and a heavily damaged hotel entrance, its revolving doors twisted and rubble lying in front of them.
The temblor wasn’t the only quake in China in the past 24 hours.
On Wednesday morning, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake struck northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, close to the border to Kazakhstan, the United States Geological Survey said.
The quake struck at 7:27 a.m. local time. Its epicenter was 107 kilometers (67 miles) south-southeast of Dostq, Kazakhstan, at a depth of 25.9 kilometers (16 miles), the USGS said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, due to the sparsely populated nature of the area.

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