Worldwide EARTHQUAKE related news – Archive September 2012

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$ : little importance $$$$$ : a must read!


September 30, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Indonesia, 2009 - Magnitude : 7.6 - 1117 people killed
Deadliest earthquake in 2009.
At least 1,117 people killed, 1,214 injured, 181,665 buildings destroyed or damaged and about 451,000 people displaced in the Padang- Pariaman area. Landslides disrupted power and communications in the area. Damage estimated at 2.3 billion U.S. dollars. Felt (VII) at Padang; (VI) at Bukittinggi; (IV) at Bengkulu, Duri, Mukomuko and Sibolga; (III) at Pekanbaru. Also felt (IV) at Gunungsitoli, Nias and (II) at Jakarta, Java. Felt throughout Sumatra and in much of Java. Felt (III) in Singapore and at George Town, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Sungai Chua, Malaysia. Felt in much of Peninsular Malaysia and as far away as Chiang Mai, Thailand. A 27-cm (center-to- peak) local tsunami was recorded at Padang, Sumatra.

A few words about earthquake hazards
Earthquakes produce effects which can cause damage and loss of life. These effects, called hazards, include ground shaking, landslides and rockfall, and ground rupture (surface faulting).
In general, the hazard that produces the most widespread damage and loss of life (besides tsunamis) is ground shaking, because it can cause building failures and collapses at distances tens to hundreds of kilometers from the earthquake fault rupture.

September 29, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Pacific Ocean, 2009 - Magnitude : 8.1 - 192 people killed by  tsunamis
Largest earthquake in 2009.
At least 149 people killed in Samoa, 34 killed in American Samoa and 9 killed, 7 injured and 500 displaced on Niuatoputapu, Tonga. Widespread damage to infrastructure occurred at Pago Pago, American Samoa, in many parts of Samoa and on Niuatoputapu, Tonga. Nearly all of the casualties and damage was caused by large tsunamis, with runup heights of 12 m at Poloa, 7 m at Pago Pago and Tula, American Samoa and 3 m on Niuatoputapu. Felt (VI) at Nu`uuli and (IV) at Ili`ili and Tafuna, American Samoa. Felt (V) at Apia, Samoa. Felt in much of American Samoa, Samoa and northern Tonga and as far away as Wallis and Futuna Islands. The tsunami was recorded with the following wave heights (peak-to- trough) on these selected tide stations: 411 cm at Pago Pago, American Samoa; 140 cm at Apia, Samoa; 111 cm at Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 64 cm in the Chatham Islands, 37 cm at Raoul, 21 cm at Tauranga, 14 cm at Gisborne and 11 cm at Wellington, New Zealand; 28 cm at Nuku`alofa, Tonga; 22 cm at Point Kemblao, Australia; 25 cm at Luganville, Vanuatu; 36 cm at Honolulu, Hawaii; 29 cm at Papeete, French Polynesia; 36 cm at Ofunato, Japan; 11 cm at Old Harbor and 4 cm at Seward, Alaska; 66 cm at Crescent City and 26 cm at Los Angeles, California; 42 cm at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; 27 cm on Baltra, Ecuador; 73 cm at Antofagasta and 40 cm at Valparaiso, Chile.

Earthquakes, native Americans and the first settlers
Native Americans told the first settlers of earthquakes dating back to 1568, around what is now Moodus, Connecticut. In 1638, the pilgrims experienced their first earthquake, which was probably centered in the St. Lawrence Valley region.

September 28, 2012

American Red Cross App for earthquakes
The American Red Cross today released its official Earthquake App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas. This free app - available in English or Spanish - is the third in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Earthquake App comes on the heels of the highly successful First Aid and Hurricane apps, which have more than 1 million users. $$$$ Read more ...
ER comment : A great initiative from the American Red Cross, but only serving the American territory.  The app is giving a lot of information (in some cases a little too much). We do applaud this app. If they would add our reporting + @shakingearth tweets  it would be perfect 🙂 .

San Francisco BART installs system to slow trains seconds before an earthquake wave arrives
In a marriage of technology and earthquake safety, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has become the first U.S. transit system to install an early-warning system that can detect major earthquakes seconds before the ground begins shaking and then slow trains to reduce the risk of derailments, injuries and deaths. $$$$$ Read more ...
ER comment : This system exists already in Japan and is very effective in case of major quakes at a reasonable distance from the epicenter. If the earthquakes epicenter is below San Francisco itself, it will not change anything as the P and S waves are almost occurring simultaneously.  The same system is also used by elevators. Elevators equipped with such a system are stopping at the next level and are opening doors automatically when the P wave is picked up. The S waves who arrive later (a factor 2 to 4) are the destructive ones. In case of the destructive Japan tsunami earthquakes, the high speed bullet trains were stopped already when the S wave arrived on the mainland, but luckily the epicenter of this destructive earthquake was far out in the sea.

September 27, 2012

April 11 Indonesia earthquake triggers earthquakes all over the globe
Seismologists have known for more than 20 years that major earthquakes can trigger small seismic slips thousands of miles away. But the one on April 11 caused what scientists termed an astonishing increase in dangerous quake activity across five continents for at least six days, with temblors in, among other places, Japan, Alaska, Mexico and off the coast of Oregon. $$$$$ Read more ...
ER comment : not a big surprise to us and surely not only these mega-quakes but also  earthquakes at lesser magnitudes have the ability to disturb the balance in nearby parts of the world, although we see at that mostly linked plates are triggered by these earthquake waves. One should not be a scientists to understand that if a big construction tumbles gradually other parts of the building do the same. This is happening precisely in these cases although the building "earth" is far more stronger than a construction build by humans. A quick look at our Major April 11 earthquakes page shows that exactly the same day, also major Oregon and Mexico quakes were reported. Both quakes happened as part of stress in the Oceanic Pacific Plate.  We are however NOT convinced that all the earthquake locations reported in this article are due to the Sumatra earthquake. On a normal day like today earthquakes are also happening everywhere in the world without a mega-quake. At the present level of science it will be almost impossible to proof a strong relation.

What is a subduction earthquake ?
Subduction zones are found where one plate overrides, or subducts, another, pushing it down into the mantle where it melts. An example of a subduction-zone plate boundary is found along the northwest coast of the United States, western Canada, and southern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Subduction zones are characterized by deep-ocean trenches, shallow to deep earthquakes, and mountain ranges containing active volcanoes. (USGS)

September 26, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Italy, 1997 - Magnitude : 5.7 and 6.4 
As a result of these two earthquakes, a total of eleven people killed, more than 100 injured and about 80,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the Marche and Umbria regions. Maximum intensity (VIII) in the epicentral area. Damage to the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi.

The (killing) transform faults
Transform faults are found where plates slide past one another.
The San Andreas fault, along the coast of California and northwestern Mexico, is an example of a transform-fault plate boundary. Earthquakes at transform faults tend to occur at shallow depths and form fairly straight linear patterns.
ER comment : Transform faults are the most deadly shaking faults of the planet. The Magnitudes are normally a lot lower than the mage subduction earthquakes, but the shaking is extremely destructive. Apart from the San Andreas faults, transform faults are mainly found in Europe (ie Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Italy) and Asia (Armenia, Iran, China, India, etc).
Some subduction areas have also some shallow transform faults who are also responsible for a lot of misery.


September 25, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Japan, 2003 - Magnitude : 8.3 
Largest earthquake in 2003.
At least 589 people injured, extensive damage, landslides and power outages occurred and many roads damaged in southeastern Hokkaido. A tsunami generated with an estimated wave height of 4.0 meters along the southeastern coast of Hokkaido. Felt strongly in much of Hokkaido. Also felt in northern and much of central Honshu as far south as Tokyo. Recorded (6L JMA) in southern Hokkaido, (5L JMA) in central Hokkaido and (4 JMA) in parts of northern and southwestern Hokkaido. Also recorded (4 JMA) in northern Honshu and (2 JMA) as far south as Shizuoka Prefecture, Honshu. Recorded (1 JMA) on Hachijo-jima, Miyaki-jima and Sadoga-shima.

What happens in the spreading Oceanic plates
At spreading zones, molten rock rises, pushing two plates apart and adding new material at their edges. Most spreading centers are found in oceans. The North American and Eurasian plates are spreading apart along the mid-Atlantic ridge. Spreading zones usually have earthquakes at shallow depths (within 30 kilometers of the surface). 

September 24, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Arizona, USA, 1910 - Magnitude : ?? 
A MMI VII earthquake !
At Cedar Wash, a house was moved off its foundation, its chimney was shaken down, and one corner of the house was cracked severely. Huge lava stones weighing many tons were torn from the old lava beds and thrown down the mountainside. About 80 kilometers north of Flagstaff, in the Coconino Forest, boulders rolled down a mountain into the camp of a construction crew. Fifty-two shocks were felt by the construction crew between September 10 and 23, 1910 (local time). The strongest shock was so violent that the construction crew temporarily abandoned the work site. Plaster cracked and fell at Flagstaff.

How many big tectonic plates are forming the top layer of the earth ?
The Earth is formed of several layers that have very different physical and chemical properties. The outer layer, which averages about 70 kilometers in thickness, consists of about a dozen large, irregularly shaped plates that slide over, under, and past each other on top of the partly molten inner layer. Most earthquakes occur at the boundaries where the plates meet.

September 23, 2012

Is a fault area earthquake free for a long time after a major earthquake ?
Earthquakes tend to reoccur along faults, which reflect zones of weakness in the Earth's crust. Even if a fault zone has recently experienced an earthquake, however, there is no guarantee that all the stress has been relieved. Another earthquake could still occur. Further more, relieving stress along one part of the fault may increase stress in another part.

September 22, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? China, 1989 - Magnitude : 6.1 
At least 54 people injured, about 4,270 houses destroyed, more than 300 animals killed and damage caused to bridges, highways and to a phosphorus mine in Xiaojin County.

Earthquakes and Landslides
Landslides triggered by earthquakes often cause more destruction than the earthquakes themselves.
During the 1964 Alaska quake, shock-induced landslides devastated the Turnagain Heights residential development and many downtown areas in Anchorage.
ER : During the last China,Yunnan earthquake (double M5.6 earthquakes) almost all of the destruction and the 81 people killed can be allocated to earthquake generated landslides. Especially moist saturated soil is vulnerable for landslides.

September 21, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Oregon, 1993 - Magnitude : 6.0 
One of the largest historical earthquakes in Oregon.
The Klamath Falls earthquakes caused two deaths and approximately 7.5 million U.S. dollars in damage. One person was killed when the car he was driving was crushed by a boulder in an earthquake-induced rockfall and another person died of a heart attack. More than 1,000 homes and commercial buildings were damaged. Maximum intensity VII in downtown Klamath Falls and at the Oregon Institute of Technology about three kilometers north of downtown. Three highways leading to Klamath Falls were temporarily closed because of rockfalls or concern about possible damage to bridges. Rockfalls and rockslides occurred in roadcuts and on steep slopes throughout the epicentral region. Ground cracks in fill material were observed at several locations in the area. Felt in southern Oregon as far north as Eugene and in northern California as far south as Redding. (USGS)

Earthquakes and Liquefaction !
Liquefaction, which happens when loosely packed, water-logged sediments lose their strength in response to strong shaking, causes major damage during earthquakes. During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, liquefaction of the soils and debris used to fill in a lagoon caused major subsidence, facturing, and horizontal sliding of the ground surface in the Marina district in San Francisco.

September 20, 2012

Image courtesy

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Taiwan, 1999 - Magnitude : 7.6 - 2400 fatalities
At least 2,400 people killed, 8,700 injured, 600,000 people left homeless and about 82,000 housing units damaged by the earthquake and larger aftershocks. Damage estimated at 14 billion U.S. dollars. Maximum intensity (VI JMA) in Nan-tou and Tai-chung Counties. Half of a village was lost by subsidence into the Ta-an Hsi and landslides blocked the Ching-shui Hsi, creating a large lake. Two other lakes were created by substantial ground deformation near the epicenter. Surface faulting occurred along 75 km of the Chelungpu Fault. Felt (V JMA) at Chia-i and I-lan; (IV JMA) at Kao-hsiung, Taipei and Tai-tung; (IV JMA) on Lan Yu and Peng-hu Tao; (III JMA) at Hua-lien. Felt strongly in Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang Provinces. Felt (IV) in Hong Kong. Also felt (II JMA) on Iriomote-jima and Yonaguni-jima; (I JMA) on Ishigaki-jima and Miyako-jima, Ryukyu Islands. Complex earthquake. A small event is followed by a larger one about 11 seconds later.

The devastating earthquakes which struck central Taiwan (the largest measured as 7.6 Richter by USGS and at a depth of 1.1 km by the Central Weather Bureau ROC) beginning on Monday, September 20 and the series of more than 9,000 aftershocks which have followed the first event have resulted in official estimates of 2,161 deaths, 8,736 injuries with approximately 150 people still listed as missing. There are over 60 km of surface faulting, substantial lateral displacements up to nine meters. Vertical displacements are large. $$$$$ Read more here ...

What to do if an earthquake strikes and you are driving a vehicle ?
During an earthquake: If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits, and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses or utility wires. Then, proceed cautiously, watching for road and bridge damage.

September 19, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Mexico and Mexico City, 1985 - Magnitude : 8.0 - 9500 fatalities
One of the world's deadliest earthquakes.
At least 9,500 people were killed, about 30,000 were injured, more than 100,000 people were left homeless, and severe damage was caused in parts of Mexico City and in several states of central Mexico.

The 1985 Mexico City earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that struck Mexico City on the early morning of 19 September 1985 at around 7:19 am (CST), caused the deaths of at least 10,000 people and serious damage to the Greater Mexico City Area. The complete seismic event consisted of four quakes. A pre-event quake of magnitude 5.2 occurred on 28 May 1985. The main and most powerful shock occurred 19 September, followed by two aftershocks: one on 20 September 1985 of magnitude 7.5 and the fourth occurring seven months later on 30 April 1986 of magnitude 7.0. The quakes were located off the Mexican Pacific coast, more than 350 km away, but due to strength of the quake and the fact that Mexico City sits on an old lakebed, Mexico City suffered major damage. The event caused between three and four billion USD in damage as 412 buildings collapsed and another 3,124 were seriously damaged in the city. While the number is in dispute, the most-often cited number of deaths is an estimated 10,000 people but experts agreed that it could be up to 40,000. $$$$$ Read more in this extensive Wikipedia report ...

Effects from earthquake waves at a huge distance of the epicenter
The swimming pool at the University of Arizona in Tucson lost water from sloshing (seiche) caused by the September 19, 1985 magnitude 8.0 Michoacan, Mexico earthquake 2000 km (1240 miles) away.

September 18, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Turkey, 1984 - Magnitude : 6.4 - 3 fatalities
Three people killed, 38 injured, and 75,000 houses destroyed or damaged in the Olur-Senkaya area.

What to do if an earthquake strikes and you are in a high rise or apartment building ?
During an earthquake: If you are in a high-rise building, get under a sturdy desk, away from windows and outside walls. Stay in the building on the same floor, an evacuation may not be necessary. Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on. Do not use the elevators. (USGS advise)
ER comment : we can show tens and tens of videos where people are running away while the shaking is still going on. Earthquake drills in companies or apartment buildings should be mandatory (in earthquake sensitive countries). During these earthquake drills, management or apartment staff have to explain to the people working or living in these buildings that the building has been constructed to resists earthquakes until a Magnitude XX and that they are far safer to stay inside than to run away. When the shaking stops, people should meet at outside meeting points who are far enough away from the outer building walls.
The image below shows people standing against the walls. If an air-conditioning or stone would come down, the earthquake will be a deadly one !

An example of where people should NOT be staying while evacuating. Only the middle of the road or a nearby location in open space should be used (traffic can be stopped ). A strong aftershock will be potentially deadly here. Image courtesy

September 17, 2012

What to do when an earthquake strikes when you are in a crowded area ?
Suppose you are in a sports stadium or an indoor shopping complex. Suddenly the ground starts to shake. What to do ?
Do not rush for a doorway - other people will have the same idea.
Take cover, and move away from display shelves containing objects that can fall.
Running to the exit can cause much more problems than Drop, Cover and Hold until the shaking ends.
Another reason why to behave like this : Shopping centers and modern  stadiums are designed to resist very strong earthquakes. You should normally be safer inside with the normal Drop, Cover and Hold attitude
The picture below comes from a frightening example in Surigao, Philippines.The video itself is below the picture. We strongly suggest sensitive people NOT to watch this video (there are no victims but the sound is extremely scary - please avoid such situations by following up this (USGS) advise.

Earthquake architecture exhibit bridges the gap between art and engineering

Engineers and architects don’t always get along. Architects try to increase the aesthetic appeal of a building, sometimes at the expense of safety. If engineers were given full control over cityscapes, you might end up seeing a lot more buildings that look like U of T’s Athletic Center around the city. Clearly, the collaboration between engineers and architects is of prime importance when it comes to building design, as was made clear by Design Exchange Canada’s Considering the Quake exhibit. $$$$ Read more

September 16, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Iran, 1978 - Magnitude : 7.6 - 15000 fatalities
One of the world's deadliest earthquakes.
The earthquake was centered about 600 kilometers southeast of Tehran in the vicinity of Tabas. The death toll was about 15,000, many were injured, and damage was extensive. Tabas had the highest death toll - 9,000 killed out of a population of 13,000, Dehesk had 2500 killed out of 3500, and Kurit had 2000 killed out of 3500; the remainder of the deaths were in surrounding areas.

Wikipedia version of this earthquake :
The 1978 Tabas earthquake was an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale which struck on September 16, 1978 in central Iran. The death toll was approximately 15,000[1] and the worst damage was to the town Tabas, which was at the epicentre of the quake and completely flattened. 40 villages within a 30 miles (48 km) radius were damaged. All the town's doctors were reported to have died, leaving civilians to treat others. All water and electricity was cut from Tabas, along with phone lines. The nearest accessible place to gain water was the town of Ferdows, a three hour drive away.
The earthquake lasted around three minutes[2], compared to the normal earthquake duration of 10 – 20 seconds. It struck at 19:38 local time. In the aftermath of the quake, bodies were burned where found to prevent the spread of disease.

Image courtesy USGS

What to do when you are outdoors ?
During an earthquake: If you are outdoors, stay there. Move away from buildings, street lights and utility wires to avoid being hit by falling debris.

September 15, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Italy, 1976 - Magnitude : 6.3 - 11 fatalities
Aftershocks of the May 6, 1976 earthquake. These earthquakes occurred within 6 hours of each other. Eleven reported killed, some injured, and caused extensive damage in the already stricken area, leaving an additional 20,000 people homeless. The earthquakes were also felt sharply throughout central Europe.

What to do when you are indoors (a wise USGS advise)
During an earthquake: If you are indoors, take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or bench, or against an inside wall, and hold on. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors or walls and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
ER comment : we normally not repeat what we have written before, but we make an exception for today's USGS earthquake tip.

September 14, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Mexico, 1995 - Magnitude : 7.5 - 3 fatalities
Three people killed, nearly 100 injured, 500 homeless and extensive damage in Guerrero. Several people injured, 400 homeless and considerable damage in Oaxaca. Some minor damage occurred in Puebla and at Mexico City. Felt strongly along the Pacific coast of Mexico from Michoacan to Chiapas.

Where to run to when an earthquake starts ?
In an earthquake, keep calm and stay where you are. Most injuries during earthquakes occur when people are hit by falling objects when entering or exiting buildings. (USGS)
Example : Lorca Spain 2011 : All people who got killed, were killed by falling objects
Example 2 : During serious MMI VII or more shaking (like in most killing and damaging earthquakes) you will not be able to walk or run. Compare it with walking or running on a small boat during a heavy surf.

September 13, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Greece, 1986 - Magnitude : 5.7 - 35 fatalities
At least 35 people killed, about 300 injured, 2,500 homeless and 1,500 buildings damaged or destroyed (X) in the Kalamai (Kalamata) area. Felt in Lakonia and on Zakinthos. Also felt at Athens and in central Greece.

Image courtesy :

image courtesy shoutaboutcarolina

Family earthquake drills
If you live in an earthquake sensitive country or area, you should be prepared for whatever strong earthquake to happen.
Family earthquake drills are an absolute must.  What to do ?
- make sure you do not run to the exit when the shaking starts
- make no more than 3 to 5 steps
- hide under a very strong table /object (not under the door) OR sit down against an inner wall protecting your head against falling object with your arms.
- run to the middle of the street or an open space when the shaking stops
- DO NOT RETURN to the house if you forgot some belongings
Take the drill opportunity to check if all hanging objects are well fixed to the walls + make sure that also cupboards and heavy furniture is also fixed to the wall
- If you have children running around in houses and have heavy objects on cupboards, please make sure that these are fixed too. One example : a baby got killed in the Christchurch earthquake when a tv set on a cupboard fell on her body ! This can happen everywhere. People living in Costa Rica have written us that all kind of objects did fall and that they were not able to walk during the heavy shaking.

Japan : New Tokyo 'disaster mitigation' plan to slash death toll from 'deadly earthquakes'
Japan's Tokyo Metropolitan Government has unveiled a draft plan, which has been designed to sharply reduce the death toll from a major earthquakes in near future.
Through the plan, featuring enhanced quake resistance measures for homes and expanded firefighting steps, Tokyo aims to cut by 6,400, or 60 percent, the estimated toll of up to 9,600. The figures are based on a scenario of a magnitude 7.3 quake striking on a winter evening, with the epicenter in the northern part of Tokyo Bay, the Japan Times reports. $$$$$ Read more ...

September 12, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Indonesia, 2007 - Magnitude : 8.5 - 25 fatalities
Largest earthquake in 2007.
Twenty-five people killed and at least 161 injured, 56,425 buildings damaged or destroyed and roads damaged in Bengkulu and Sumatera Barat. Power and telephone outages occurred. A seiche was observed in Khlong Saensaep in Bangkok, Thailand and sink holes which may have been caused by the earthquake appeared at 3 locations in Ipoh, Malaysia. A tsunami was generated which caused some building damage in the Serangai area, north of Bengkulu.

About Tsunami waves
A small tsunami at one beach can be a giant wave a few miles away. Do not let the modest size of one wave allow you to forget how dangerous tsunamis are. The next wave may be bigger. (USGS)

Azerbaijan creates a satellite system of earthquake (source) prediction
The Institute of Cybernetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan intends to create a system of forecasting the earthquake sources. Institute’s head Telman Aliyev says that in the last two years it has been established 5 seismic telemetry stations for forecasting earthquakes.  "Today, through the stations operating in Gum Adasi, Siyazan, Neftchala, Shirvan and Naftalan, we can predict the earthquake for 15-20 hours before its start. $$$$$ Read more ...
Comment ER : This would be really great if it becomes reality, but even their own damaging earthquake a few months ago was not predicted at all. We expect " breakthroughs " like in the medicine world. A lot of hope but only few medicines being so promising at the beginning are ending up in the pharmacy's shelves.

September 11, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Zaire, 1992 - Magnitude : 6.4 - 8 fatalities
The earthquake was centered about 250 kilometers south-southeast of Kibombo.
At least eight people were killed, 37 were injured and several buildings were destroyed at Kibombo.
The earthquake was also felt at Bujumbura, Burundi.

How many earthquakes per day around the world and are they increasing ?
Thousands of earthquakes occur every day around the world, although most are so small they can only be detected by sensitive seismographs. As more and more seismographs are installed, more earthquakes can be and have been located. However, the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 6.0 and greater) that occur each year has stayed relatively constant.

What Makes Some Earthquakes Feel Different From Others?
Earthquakes –they’re all the same, right? Well, the answer to that is more like a politician’s reply than a scientist’s… it’s yes, and it’s no. Earthquakes are complicated things, caused by the earth’s tectonic plates moving in different ways and the shaking they produce is affected in different ways by local geology. We recently received a question, “Why do some earthquakes feel different? Some seem to shake side-to-side, and some seem to almost roll. What causes that?”  Let’s have a look at how these different types of quakes work. $$$$ Read more ...

Philippines : 29 town in Eastern Visayas denominated as high risk earthquake areas
Philvocs disclosed that the Central Leyte Fault forming part of the 1,200 kilometers Philippine Fault Zone stretches in some areas of Mahaplag, Ormoc City, Kananga, Capoocan, Javier, MacArthur, La Paz, Abuyog, Burauen, Leyte, and Albuera and where the crossing faults list as earthquake-prone areas the towns of Sogod, Libagon, Saint Bernard, Liloan, and San Ricardo in Southern Leyte.
The towns of Taft, San Julian, Sulat, Borongan City, Balangiga, and Lawaan in Eastern Samar as well as the towns of Marabut, Basey Pinabacdao and Hinabangan, Samar are subject to jolts by the movements of Southern Samar Lineament.  $$$$ Read more ...

September 10, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Mexico, 1993 - Magnitude : 7.2
One person killed, 3 injured and considerable damage in southwestern Guatemala.
Rockslides blocked some roads in Guatemala. Some damage in parts of Chiapas, Mexico. Felt strongly in southern Mexico and as far away as Mexico City. Felt in much of Central America.

What happens in the Red Sea ?
In East Africa, spreading processes have torn Saudi Arabia away from the rest of the African continent, forming the Red Sea.
The actively spreading African Plate and the Arabian plate meet in a triple junction, where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden.

Re-Insurance world meets in Monaco to discuss pricing
At the annual event in Monte Carlo, the global reinsurance market discusses trends, rates and upcoming renewals. In terms of catastrophes, apart from some US crop losses and the potential impact of Hurricane Isaac, this year has been somewhat tranquil. There have been no other billion dollar-plus losses, so it’s unlikely to be discussed at length by delegates in Monte Carlo. $$$$ Read more ...

September 9, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Algeria, 1954 - Magnitude : 6.8
1,250 deaths.
Severe damage and about 3,000 people injured in the Orleansville area, which was rebuilt and renamed El Asnam (now Chlef). Felt from Mostaganem east to Tizi Ouzou and south to Tiaret. Faults and fissures occurred in a 16-km (10-mi) zone at the southern edge of the Dahra Massif. Undersea cables in the Mediterranean broke several hours after the earthquake. There were many aftershocks - a strong one on Sep 16 at 22:18 caused additional damage. See also the El Asnam earthquake of 1980 Oct 10.

Tsunami's : Inundations and Runup explained
During post-tsunami field surveys, inundation and runup measurements are taken to describe the tsunami effects.
Inundation is defined as the maximum horizontal distance inland that a tsunami penetrates.
Runup is the maximum vertical height above mean sea level that the sea surface attains during a tsunami.
Actual tsunami wave heights can be measured from the amplitude of the wave signals seen on sea level or tide gauge instruments.

September 8, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Italy, 1905 - Magnitude : 7.9
557 deaths.
Over 14,000 houses damaged throughout Calabria. Some damage on Lipari Island and in parts of Messina Province. Felt strongly throughout southern Italy and eastern Sicily.

Hawaiians should ALWAYS be vigilant after a major earthquake in the Pacific
The Hawaiian Islands are especially vulnerable to destructive tsunamis generated by major earthquakes in the circum-Pacific Ring of Fire.

Canada, BC controversy over earthquakes generated by (natural gas) fracking
Several minor earthquakes in British Columbia’s Horn River Basin were caused by a controversial drilling process for natural gas known as fracking, reveals a new report. Low-level quakes recorded by Natural Resources Canada between April 2009 and December 2011 in the northeastern region prompted an investigation by the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. $$$$$

September 7, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Greece, 1999 - Magnitude : 6.0
One hundred forty-three people killed, 1,600 injured, 50,000 homeless and at least 53,000 buildings damaged or destroyed (IX) in the Athens area.

Why is an earthquake felt over a greater area at the USA East coast than at the USA West coast ?
East Coast earthquakes are felt over a much larger area than earthquakes occurring on the West Coast, because the eastern half of the country is mainly composed of older rock that has not been fractured and cracked by frequent earthquake activity in the recent geologic past. Rock that is highly fractured and crushed absorbs more seismic energy than rock that is less fractured.

September 6, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Turkey, 1975 - Magnitude : 6.7
One of the world's deadliest earthquakes.
This destructive earthquake struck eastern Turkey. The earthquake reportedly killed more than 2,000, injured 3,400, and caused extensive property damage in the Lice area. The earthquake struck at lunch time when most people were inside and the children were home from school. Reports indicated that most schools were not seriously damaged. The districts reported hardest hit were Hazro, Hani, Kulp, and Lice, which was almost completely destroyed. Many strong aftershocks followed the main shock, causing the collapse of already partly damaged homes, and keeping the surviving residents quite frightened.  (USGS)

Totally collapsed house in Lice. Photo by P.I. Yanev. (USGS)

Easter island : the speediest traveling island in the world !
Easter Island, which lies on the Nazca Plate close to the East Pacific Rise, is moving eastward toward South America by seafloor spreading at the fastest rate known in the world, more than 15 cm/yr.

September 5, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? New York, 1944 - Magnitude : 5.8
The largest historical earthquake in New York.
This severe earthquake was felt from Canada south to Maryland and from Maine west to Indiana. It caused property damage estimated at $2 million at Massena and Cornwall. Many chimneys in that area required rebuilding, and several structures were unsafe for occupancy until repaired. Residents of St. Lawrence County reported that many water wells went dry.

Why is the highest mountain chain in the world, the Himalayas, so often struck by killing earthquakes ?
Among the most dramatic and visible creations of plate-tectonic forces are the lofty Himalayas, which stretch 2,900 km along the border between India and Tibet. This immense mountain range began to form between 40 and 50 million years ago, when two large landmasses, India and Eurasia, driven by plate movement, collided. Because both these continental landmasses have about the same rock density, one plate could not be subducted under the other. The pressure of the impinging plates could only be relieved by thrusting skyward, contorting the collision zone, and forming the jagged Himalayan peaks. (USGS)

September 4, 2012

Earthquake signs installed along a Phillipines earthquake fault
In Quezon City on Tuesday, a signage placed by the city's Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council warns residents living along the West Valley Fault of the impending danger of earthquakes. (courtesy GMA)

Click on the picture to be linked to the GMA image - Image courtesy GMA Philippines

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Alaska, 1989 - Magnitude : 6.9
One of the Largest Earthquakes in the United States.

Greatest risk during earthquakes ?
The greatest risk in an earthquake is the severity of the shaking it causes to manmade and natural structures and the contents within these that may fail or fall and injure or kill people.

September 3, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? New Zealand, 2010 - Magnitude : 7.0
Two people seriously injured, six bridges and many buildings damaged in the Christchurch area. About 30 km of right- lateral surface faulting with a maximum offset of more than 5 m was observed southeast of Darfield. Liquefaction caused damage at Bexley, Kaiapoi and in parts of Christchurch. Landslides were observed along the Rakaia River and the Port Hills area. Maximum intensity IX in the Christchurch-Greendale area and felt (VI) in much of Canterbury. Felt throughout New Zealand.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Iceland
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge appears above sea-level at Iceland. This offers scientists a natural laboratory for studying on land the processes also occurring along the submerged parts of a spreading ridge. Iceland is splitting along the spreading center between the North American and Eurasian Plates, as North America moves westward relative to Eurasia.

September 2, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Nicaragua, 1992 - Magnitude : 7.6
At least 116 people killed, more than 68 missing and over 13,500 left homeless in Nicaragua. At least 1,300 houses and 185 fishing boats were destroyed along the west coast of Nicaragua. Total damage in Nicaragua is estimated at between 20 and 30 million U.S. dollars. Some damage was also reported in Costa Rica. Most of the casualties and damage were caused by a tsunami affecting the west coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, reaching heights of up to 8 meters. Tsunami run-up of 1,000 meters was reported at Masachapa, Nicaragua. Maximum wave heights (in cm. peak-to-trough) at selected tide stations were as follows: 111 at Baltra Island, 83 at Easter Island, 28 at Socorro Island, 18 at La Libertad, Ecuador, 10 at Valparaiso, Chile and 10 at Hilo, Hawaii. Felt in Chinandega and Leon Departments, Nicaragua. Also felt at Crucero, Managua and San Marcos, Nicaragua and at San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Atlantic Ocean spreading ridge
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a submerged mountain range, which extends from the Arctic Ocean to beyond the southern tip of Africa, is a divergent tectonic plate boundary. It is just one segment of the global mid-ocean ridge system that encircles the Earth. The rate of spreading along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge averages about 2.5 centimeters per year, or 25 km in a million years. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge separates the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate in the North Atlantic, and separates the African Plate from the South American Plate in the South Atlantic.

September 1, 2012

Did you  know this earthquake happened on the same day in history ? Iran, 1962 - Magnitude : 7.1
12,225 people were killed. One of the world's deadliest earthquakes.
Ninety-one villages destroyed and 233 damaged; over 21,000 houses destroyed, nearly all built of poor-quality materials. Slight damage at Tehran. Felt as far away as Tabriz, Esfahan and Yazd. Based on damage to old structures, this was probably the largest earthquake in this immediate area since at least 1630. Surface faulting with small offsets occurred in a 100-km (63-mi) east-west zone of the Ipak Fault. Some landslides and sandblows occurred. Earthquake lights (a red to orange glow) from the Rudak area were observed prior to the quake by various people.

Unusual animal behavior before earthquakes
The earliest reference to unusual animal behavior prior to a significant earthquake is from Greece in 373 BC. Rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes reportedly left their homes and headed for safety several days before a destructive earthquake. Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects exhibiting strange behavior anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake. However, consistent and reliable behavior prior to seismic events, and a mechanism explaining how it could work, still eludes us.

QuakeSOS+ and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news. The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

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