Showing posts with label earthquake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label earthquake. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Powerful 8.6-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Coast of Indonesia

Powerful earthquake in Indonesia
The epicenter of the 8.7 magnitude earthquake that struck just off the coast of Indonesia
A powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia, triggering a tsunami watch for countries across the Indian Ocean. The 8.6-magnitude quake was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor about 270 miles from Aceh's provincial capital.

The tremor was so powerful it was felt in Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Malaysia, where tall office buildings shook for more than a minute, according to the Associated Press.

An 8.2-magnitude aftershock was reported off the coast of northern Sumatra with an epicenter 382 miles from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, around 6:43 a.m., according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

powerful earthquake in Indonesia
Acehnese people run shortly after a powerfull earthquake hit western coast of Sumatera in Banda Aceh

Workers at the Hermes Palace Hotel in Banda Aceh described a scene of panic, near the coast, as people fled to higher ground. Employee Cut Arlista said the shaking was so strong that water from the hotel pool spilled out, although the 70 guests at the hotel were not evacuated.

"People were crying, and everybody was running inland as fast as they can," Arlista told ABC News.

The nature of the quake made it less likely a tsunami was generated because the earth moved horizontally, rather than vertically, and therefore had not displaced large volumes of water, Bruce Presgrave of the USGS told the BBC.

"We can't rule out the possibility, but horizontal motion is less likely to produce a destructive tsunami," he said.

Still, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore, according to the AP.

The tsunami warning was extended until 9 a.m. E.T.

The latest quake struck off the west coast of Sumatra, the same region devastated by a magnitude-9.1 earthquake in December 2004. That tremor triggered a catastrophic tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people.

"I think a lot of people learned from the past," Arlista said. "Everybody knew to run as soon as the earthquake hit."

Gary Peart, an Australian worker at the Lumba Lumba Diving Center on the beach in Banda Aceh in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, said the quake lasted quite a while.

"It was long for an earthquake," he said. "Maybe a minute and a half, and then it got slowly, slowly stronger, and then it faded away."

News by ABC

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7.4 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexican resorts, capital

7.4 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexican resorts
People run to safety on the streets of Mexico City after a strong quake hits Mexico
A strong, long 7.4 earthquake with an epicenter in Guerrero state shook central southern Mexico on Tuesday, swaying buildings in Mexico City and sending frightened workers and residents into the streets.

More than 60 homes were damaged near the epicenter in Ometepec in southern Guerrero state, though there were no reports of death or serious injury. Fear and panic spread as a less powerful, magnitude-5.1 aftershock was also felt in the capital, where there were also no reports of deaths.

Other aftershocks were felt around the borders of Oaxaca and Guerrero states close to the epicenter.

"It was very strong, very substantial," Campos Benitez, hospital director in Ometepec.

Police radio operator Marcos Marroquin said there were preliminary reports of 60 houses damaged in the municipality but only a report of a broken arm.

Telephone service was down in the city and throughout the area where the quake was felt, and some neighborhoods were without power, according to Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who set up a hotline for people to report damage.

About 40 passengers were stranded for a short time on the Mexico City airport air train, but later released. The airport closed for a time but officials said there was no runway damage and they resumed operations.

"I swear I never felt one so strong, I thought the building was going to collapse,'' said Sebastian Herrera, 42, a businessman from a neighborhood hit hard in Mexico's devastating 1985 earthquake, which killed thousands.

7.4 magnitude earthquake hits Mexican resorts
a collapsed bridge that had fallen on a bus in Mexico City

Groups of women hugged and cried at Mexico City's Angel of Independence monument, where hundreds of people evacuated from office buildings said they never had felt such a strong earthquake.

Others typed ferociously on their Blackberries. Samantha Rodriguez, a 37-year old environmental consultant, was evacuated from the 11th floor on the Angel Tower office building.

"I thought it was going to pass rapidly but the walls began to thunder and we decided to get out," she said.

Mexico City, built on a lakebed, was badly damaged in 1985 when an 8.0 earthquake killed at least 10,000 people. In past years, Guerrero has suffered several severe earthquakes, including a 7.9 in 1957 which killed an estimated 68 people, and a 7.4 in 1995 which left three dead.

Tuesday's quake was the strongest shaking felt in the capital since a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck also in Guerrero in December. Officials said at least three people died in Guerrero, but there were no reports of widespread damage.

A magnitude-8.0 quake near Manzanillo on Mexico's central Pacific coast killed 51 people in 1995 and a magintude-7.5 quake killed at least 20 people in the southern state of Oaxaca in 1999.

Victor Flores, an official at the Guerrero emergency management agency, told that initial reports from teams near the epicenter were of damage only to homes built of adobe or other weak construction material.

Aerial teams will follow up,” he added, “but so far no deaths or injuries.”

A person at Acapulco City Hall told NBC News that they felt the quake had no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

No damage was reported in Oaxaca, about 100 miles west-southwest of the epicenter, according to local television. The front desk at the Hotel Real Oaxaca told NBC that the temblor scared residents but there was no damage.

A worker at Rica Pizza in Ometepec, one of the towns nearest to the epicenter, told NBC News that there was no damage to his business but he heard of damage to some other buildings in the area. He said electricity had gone out at his location -- and many of his business neighbors had lost theirs. His phone was working -- though he said there were some businesses without phone service. He also said he had heard lots of ambulance sirens but doesn't have any specifics on injuries.

The quake was followed by several aftershocks, he said.

"It was very strong, but we didn't see anything fall," said Irma Ortiz, who runs a guesthouse in Oaxaca. She said that their telephones are down and that the quake shook them side-to-side.

Celia Galicia, who works at the U.S. consular office in Oaxaca, had just flown in from Mexico City when it hit.

She said there was panic in the airport, and a dash for the doors. But she said that she saw no damage at the airport and no one was hurt. She says one building in downtown Oaxaca appears to be damaged and has been evacuated.

She added that they've had two strong aftershocks, and that in downtown Oaxaca most people are out on the street at this point.

"It started shaking badly," she said.

The White House said President Barack Obama's oldest daughter, Malia, is safe and never was in danger during  the quake. Malia, 13, is on vacation with a school group in southwestern Mexico, according to reports from the region.

Earlier the quake had been reported at 7.9 magnitude. No tsunami was expected.

News by MSN

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