Volcano erupts on Indonesia’s quake and tsunami-hit Sulawesi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Volcano erupts on Indonesia’s quake and tsunami-hit Sulawesi

Volcanic activity had been increasing at Mount Soputan since August and began surging Monday, three days after the twin disasters.
by Associated Press /  / Updated 

JAKARTA, Indonesia — An Indonesian island devastated by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that has killed at least 1,400 people was was hit with another natural disaster early Wednesday: A volcanic eruption.

A government volcanologist said it’s possible the eruption of Mount Soputan, on the island of Sulawesi, was accelerated by Friday’s 7.5 magnitude temblor.

“It could be that this earthquake triggered the eruption, but the direct correlation has yet to be seen,” Kasbani, the head of Indonesia’s Vulcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation agency, told online news portal Tempo.

Kasbani, who uses one name, said volcanic activity had been increasing at Soputan since August and began surging Monday. No evacuations were immediately ordered after Wednesday’s eruption, which sent ash 19,700 feet — more 3.7 miles — into the sky.

Nazli Ismail, a geophysicist at University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh on Sumatra island, urged caution and stressed there was no concrete evidence to show they are linked.

“People talk about the butterfly effect. The concept is that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a catastrophe,” he said. “So it is possible for the earthquake to trigger the volcano eruption, but it’s not conclusive.”

Nazri said the Soputan volcano eruption isn’t surprising as Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire,” and Soputan is one of the most active volcanoes on the island.

Planes were warned of the ash clouds because volcanic ash is hazardous for their engines.

The earthquake in Central Sulawesi set off a tsunami and has devastated several communities.

Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 250 million people and government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

Desperation as quake, tsunami death toll passes 1,200 mark

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)

 

Desperation as quake, tsunami death toll passes 1,200 mark

PALU, Indonesia — Indonesian authorities were still desperately working on Tuesday to get food and other aid to victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck last Friday. Drone video has revealed the widespread destruction from the twin natural disasters, and the confirmed death toll reached almost 1,300 on Tuesday morning.

That number was still expected to climb as some of the hardest-hit areas are reached, and as CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports, more than 60,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Tracy was in the hard-hit town of Palu on Tuesday where rescuers were frantically digging through mud and rubble, searching for survivors. The situation in Palu is desperate. There is very little water, electricity or gas. As the town digs a mass grave for victims, survivors have resorted to looting stores for food and thousands are flocking to the damaged airport, hoping to get out.

When Tracy and his team arrived in Palu on Tuesday, they saw thousands of people camped out on the airport tarmac, desperately hoping that one of the cargo planes bringing in aid will deliver them from the hell that is now their home.

Tracy spoke to one woman who had been waiting outside with her 8-month-old baby girl for three days. She said she was finally expecting to board a plane on Tuesday, and she was “absolutely delighted and thankful to God” for it.

As Tracy asked her how her family was coping, the ground started shaking as another aftershock hit the battered region.

For the beleaguered residents who have just been through a nightmare, it is extremely frightening to have the ground start shaking again — especially as they sit under a structure at the airport to try and shelter from the sun in the 90 degree heat.

It has been four days since the earth violently shook when the massive 7.5-magnitude quake struck, triggering a tsunami nearly 20-feet-tall which smashed right into Palu.

Heavy machinery has finally arrived to aid the rescue effort, said Tracy, but it was quickly turning into a grim recovery operation, rather than a rescue mission.

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In one part of Palu, the earthquake shook the ground so violently it basically turned the soil into quicksand and swallowed everything on top of it. Rescue workers told Tracy that they believed as many as 70 bodies could be buried under the rubble at the one site alone.

But there are still signs of hope. On Monday night a 38-year-old man was pulled alive from the rubble of a building in Palu. He was able to talk to the rescuers who spent three hours extricating him from the huge slabs of concrete.

Sadly that kind of story was becoming increasingly rare by Tuesday. One rescue worker showed Tracy the big sheet of white paper on a wall, where they note the victims found in their small search area. On Tuesday they found seven more bodies.

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.
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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.

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.