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.

39 Dead After Earthquake Hits Indonesian Resort Island

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)

 

39 dead after earthquake hits Indonesian resort island

  • A strong earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Sunday.
  • The latest quake triggered a brief tsunami warning.
  • A magnitude 6.4 quake hit Lombok on July 29, killing 16 people.

A Balinese temple is seen partially collapsed in Badung in Bali island on August 5, 2018 after a major earthquake rocked neighbouring Lombok island.

Gung Aji Ngurah | AFP | Getty Images
A Balinese temple is seen partially collapsed in Badung in Bali island on August 5, 2018 after a major earthquake rocked neighbouring Lombok island.

MATARAM, Indonesia (AP) — A powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Sunday, killing at least 39 people and shaking neighboring Bali, one week after another quake on Lombok killed more than a dozen.

The latest quake, which triggered a brief tsunami warning, damaged buildings as far away as Denpasar on Bali, including a department store and the airport terminal, where ceiling panels were shaken loose, authorities said.

Video showed screaming people running in panic from houses in a Bali neighborhood and vehicles rocking. On Lombok, soldiers and other rescuers carried injured people on stretchers and carpets to an evacuation center.

Muhammad Rum, head of the disaster management agency in West Nusa Tenggara province, which includes Lombok, told Indonesian TV the death toll had risen to 39. Earlier, officials had said at least three people had died.

The quake, recorded at magnitude 7.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck early Sunday evening at a depth of 10.5 kilometers (6 miles) in the northern part of Lombok.

“I was watching TV when I felt a big shake,” said Harian, a Lombok woman who uses one name. “The lamp was shaking and people were shouting ‘Get out.’ I ran out into the dark because the power cut off.”

A tsunami warning was lifted after waves just 15 centimeters (6 inches) high were recorded in three villages, said the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, Dwikorita Karnawati.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the quake was felt strongly across Lombok and Bali and had damaged houses on both islands.

Iwan Asmara, a Lombok disaster official, said frightened people poured out of their homes to move to higher ground, particularly in North Lombok and Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province.

The Bali and Lombok airports continued operating Sunday night, according to the director general of civil aviation. There had been a half hour evacuation at the Lombok airport following the quake because the electricity went off. TV showed crying women consoling each other outside Lombok’s airport.

The island was already reeling from a magnitude 6.4 quake on July 29, which killed 16 people.

Like Bali, Lombok is known for pristine beaches and mountains. Hotels and other buildings in both locations are not allowed to exceed the height of coconut trees.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

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.

Magnitude 7.8 quake between Russia and Alaska

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC AND REUTERS)

Magnitude 7.8 quake between Russia and Alaska to cause tsunami waves: US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

2 Hours Ago

A view of the southern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Yuri Smityuk | TASS | Getty Images
A view of the southern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Monday evening that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake had occurred off the coast of Russia’sKamchatka Peninsula.

“Based on preliminary earthquake parameters… hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km (186 miles) of the earthquake epicenter,” the center wrote in an official message.

Tsunami waves, however, were unlikely to reach Kamchatka’s eastern coast, some 500 km (310 miles) away.

The quake was followed by several aftershocks, including a couple above magnitude 5.0.

The earthquake was originally reported as a 7.4 magnitude, but it was subsequently upgraded to 7.8.

On Twitter, the center confirmed that it was not expecting tsunami conditions to impact North American coasts.

Tsunami Info Stmt: M7.4 140mi SE Bering I., Komandorski 1634PDT Jul 17: Tsunami NOT expected; CA,OR,WA,BC,and AK

7:43 PM – 17 Jul 2017

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

Tsunami hits Japan after 7.4 quake, Fukushima nuclear plant ops affected

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS PAPER)

Tsunami hits Japan after 7.4 quake, Fukushima nuclear plant ops affected

  • Reuters, Tokyo
  • |

  • Updated: Nov 22, 2016 07:25 IST
Passengers crowd at Sendai Station in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan on Tuesday after train services are suspended following an earthquake. Coastal residents in Japan were ordered to flee to higher ground on Tuesday after a strong earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima prefecture. (AP Photo)

A powerful earthquake rocked northern Japan on Tuesday, briefly disrupting cooling functions at a nuclear plant and generating a tsunami that hit the same region devastated by a massive quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011.

The earthquake, which was felt in Tokyo, had a magnitude of 7.4, the Japan Meteorological Service said, and was centred off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10km.

There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries several hours after the quake hit at 5:59 am (2059 GMT Monday).

A tsunami of up to 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) had been observed around Sendai, about 70km north of Fukushima, with smaller waves hitting ports elsewhere along the coast, public broadcaster NHK said.

Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from harbours as tsunami warning signals wailed, after warnings of waves of up to 3 metres (10 feet) were issued.

“We saw high waves but nothing that went over the tidal barriers,” a man in the city of Iwaki told NTV television network.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said the tsunami threat had now largely passed.

“Sea level fluctuations may continue along some coasts of Japan over the next few hours,” it said.

The US Geological Survey measured Tuesday’s quake at magnitude 6.9, down from an initial 7.3.

All Japan’s nuclear power plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami are shut down in the wake of the March 2011 disaster, which knocked out Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, spilling radiation into the air and sea.

A spokesperson for Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, said the cooling system for a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the reactor at its Fukushima Daini Plant had been halted. A spokesman said the cooling system had restarted soon after.

No other damage from the quake has been confirmed at any of its power plants, although there have been blackouts in some areas, the spokesperson said.

Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest. Even when in shutdown, nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.

Tohoku Electric Power Co <9506.T> said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant, while the Kyodo news agency reported there were no irregularities at the Tokai Daini nuclear plant in Ibaraki prefecture.

An aerial view shows Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant in Naraha town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on Tuesday. (Reuters via Kyodo)

Coast evacuated

One woman suffered cuts to her head from falling dishes, Kyodo news agency reported, citing fire department officials. Japanese Minister for Disaster Management Jun Matsumoto told reporters about three hours after the quake that there had been no reports of significant injuries so far.

NHK showed footage of residents of Ishinomaki, a city badly hit in 2011, standing on a hill dressed in hats and heavy coats, staring down at the ocean. Several thousand people along the coast evacuated or were told to evacuate.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

The March 11, 2011, quake was magnitude 9, the strongest quake in Japan on record. The massive tsunami it triggered caused the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

Nissan Motor Co said it would suspend work at its engine factory in Fukushima at least until the latest tsunami warning was lifted. A spokesman said there were no injuries or damage at the plant, which was badly damaged in the 2011 disaster.

Separately, Toyota Motor Corp said all its factories in northeastern Japan were operating as usual.

An Iwaki city fire department official said there was smoke or fire at Kureha’s research centre in a petrochemical complex in Iwaki city at 6:17 am (2117 GMT Monday) but it was extinguished soon after. Other details were not clear, he said, but no other major damage had been reported in the city so far.

Japan’s famous Shinkansen bullet trains were halted along one stretch of track and some other train lines were also stopped.

One hotel in Ofunato, also badly hit by the 2011 quake, initially told guests to stay in the facility but later bussed them to higher ground.

Japanese financial markets were little affected, with Nikkei futures <NKc1> recovering after a brief fall and the yen up a touch against the US dollar, although still near a five-month low hit earlier in the session.

7.8 Quake Jolts New Zealand

 

At Least Two Dead, Tsunami Warning Issued After New Zealand Rocked by Strong Earthquake

Magnitude-7.8 quake struck near Christchurch, prompting warnings of 16-foot waves on parts of country’s east coast

Firefighters gather in Wellington, New Zealand, after a powerful earthquake struck the country’s South Island, northeast of Christchurch, just after midnight Sunday.ENLARGE
Firefighters gather in Wellington, New Zealand, after a powerful earthquake struck the country’s South Island, northeast of Christchurch, just after midnight Sunday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

At least two people died when a powerful earthquake struck New Zealand near the city of Christchurch, causing strong jolts felt more than 120 miles away and prompting a tsunami threat along the country’s east coast.

The quake, which the U.S. Geological Survey initially recorded as magnitude 7.4 but later raised to 7.8, struck just after midnight Sunday and was centered 93 kilometers (57 miles) northeast of Christchurch, on the country’s South Island.

Pacific Ocean

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said at least two people were killed, but provided no details at a news conference Monday morning in Wellington, the capital.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management said on its verified Twitter account that a tsunami threat covered all of New Zealand’s east coast, including Christchurch, Wellington and the Chatham Islands, and urged people in those areas to move to high ground or go inland.

The agency later said the first wave had arrived on the northeastern coast of the South Island, but didn’t say how tall it was. “The first wave may not be the largest. Waves may continue for several hours,” MCDEM said on Twitter. At 6.09 a.m. local time, the tsunami threat was downgraded for much of the east coast, although the agency continued to warn of unusually strong currents and unpredictable flows of water close to shore.

The USGS said the quake was at a depth of 23 kilometers. The quake was followed by a number of strong aftershocks.

New Zealand Police said one casualty had been reported at a collapsed property in Kaikoura, a coastal town on the country’s South Island. “Police are also trying to access a property at Mt Lyford, north of Christchurch, where a further casualty has been reported, which is believed to be a fatality,” it said.

In Wellington, 214 kilometers north of the quake’s epicenter, people were urged not to travel into the city as train and ferry services were suspended and some roads could be blocked. However, the city’s airport remained open following an inspection of the runway.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had just completed a visit to New Zealand, leaving for Oman hours before the earthquake struck.

New Zealand is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean prone to seismic upheaval. In 2011, a 6.3-magnitude quake killed 185 people in Christchurch—most because of building failures—triggering a nationwide clampdown on unsafe properties.

When the latest quake hit, Christchurch resident Hannah Gin had just sat down in her living room to watch a replay of the recent All Blacks versus Italy rugby union match when her house started shaking, she told the Associated Press. Upstairs, her mother let out a scream.

Ms. Gin, a 24-year-old lifelong Christchurch resident, is accustomed to quakes, so she said she sat calmly and waited, figuring the rumbling would stop in a few seconds. Instead, the shaking just went on and on—for at least three minutes, according to the clock on her phone, she told AP by phone.

The quake was far less violent than the one that struck her city in 2011, she said, adding that there was no jarring up and down or side to side, just a long, rolling sensation. But it went on for much longer than the typical quakes that strike the area, she said.

“I could hear the sliding door sliding back and forth and we’ve got washing hanging up and I could see the washing moving,” Ms. Gin told AP. “It just kept going and going.” Her house, which was damaged in the 2011 quake, didn’t appear to have sustained any damage from the latest quake, she said.

The quake also knocked out New Zealand’s emergency call number, 111, for about 10 minutes, the AP reported, citing police.

Evacuated hotel guests stay warm in a car park in Wellington early Monday, after the earthquake struck.ENLARGE
Evacuated hotel guests stay warm in a car park in Wellington early Monday, after the earthquake struck. PHOTO:GETTY IMAGES

Stephen Horrell runs a bed and breakfast five minutes outside of Kaikoura, 180 kilometers north of Christchurch, where much of the worst damage was reported.

He was asleep on the third floor of his establishment when the quake struck.

“There was a big jolt and there was rolling, he said. “It was so strong that when I tried to get out of bed it just rolled you over. It was impossible to stand.

“We just started grabbing stuff. Blankets, some food, our phones. But there was no power and so no light. It’s amazing what you can’t find when there is absolutely no light.”

Mr. Horrell and some of his neighbors drove up a hill near the property and waited until sunrise before moving on.

In Wellington, 214 kilometers north of the quake’s epicenter, power was knocked out in some places, and some windows were smashed and some chimneys collapsed, the AP reported. It caused items to fall from shelves and windows to break in Wellington, and forced hundreds of people on to the streets as hotels were evacuated, AP said.

“You couldn’t really stand up, you just had to force yourself up from the carpet and try to move along to get hold of the doorway,” said Christine Hay, who runs the Bella Vista Motel in Wellington, a few minutes’ drive from the central business district. Three of the motel’s 16 units were unlet prior to the quake, but quickly filled with guests who had fled high-rise accommodation closer to the city, she said.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said there was no tsunami threat to the country.

Write to David Winning at [email protected] and Lucy Craymer at WSJ