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Massive 7.6 earthquake rocks Papua New Guinea, at least 10 dead (UPDATE)

Debris lies strewn across a highway following a landslide near the town of Kainantu, following a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern Papua New Guinea on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022.
© Renagi Ravu/AP
Debris lies strewn across a highway following a landslide near the town of Kainantu, following a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern Papua New Guinea on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022.
A massive 7.6 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Sunday, causing landslides, cracking roads and damaging buildings.

While the extent of the damage remains unclear, photos showed debris strewn across highways and cracks opening up in roads.

The quake struck at a depth of 90 kilometers (roughly 56 miles) near Kainantu, a town with a population of roughly 8,500 people, the United States Geological Survey reported.

Comment: AFP reports:
Five dead in 'massive' Papua New Guinea quake

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook Papua New Guinea Sunday, damaging buildings, triggering landslides and killing at least five people, with several others severely injured.

Residents in northern towns near the epicentre reported intense shaking mid-morning that cracked roads and rattled the cladding off buildings.

Local member of parliament Kessy Sawang said at least two people had died in remote mountain villages, with four others airlifted to hospital in critical condition.

"There has been widespread damage," she told AFP, adding that a landslide had buried homes and "split" one village where people had "lost their houses".

In nearby Wau, Koranga Alluvial Mining said three miners had been buried alive.

There are limited communications in the area, few government resources and very few paved roads, making assessment and rescue efforts difficult.

Small aviation companies and missionary groups were involved in airlifting some of the injured across the rugged jungle landscape.

"It's very difficult, the terrain, the weather. It's challenging," said Nellie Pumai of Manolos Aviation, which had transported one person out and was trying to return.

In the eastern highland town of Goroka, residents captured images of window awnings falling off the cracked walls of a local university.

It was "very strong", said Hivi Apokore, a worker at the Jais Aben Resort near the coastal town of Madang.

"Everything was like sitting on a sea -- just floating."

The quake was felt as far as the capital Port Moresby about 300 miles (480 kilometres) away.

The US Geological Survey initially issued a tsunami warning for nearby coastal areas, but subsequently said the threat had passed.

But fearful locals near the sea nevertheless fled for higher ground -- reporting that the water level had suddenly dropped.


The nation's leader, James Marape, said the quake was "massive" and told people to be cautious, but said he expected the damage to be less than that from a 2018 quake and series of aftershocks, which killed an estimated 150 people.

However, the scale of the damage and number of casualties from Sunday's quake was still unclear.

"National and provincial disaster agencies, as well as leaders, have been asked to assess the damage and injuries to people and attend to these as soon as possible," Marape said.

State-backed communications firm DataCo said it was experiencing "multiple service disruptions" to the operation of a domestic undersea communications cable as well as the PIPE Pacific Cable 1 that runs from Sydney to Guam.

It was not yet clear if there was any damage to regional airports.

The quake struck at a depth of 61 kilometres (38 miles), about 67 kilometres from the town of Kainantu, according to the US Geological Survey.

Papua New Guinea sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", causing it to experience frequent earthquakes.

Earlier Sunday, the US Geological Survey also reported two strong quakes in the remote Mentawai Islands off the western coast of Sumatra in neighbouring Indonesia.
Update September 14

The New Zealand Herald reports:
Reports say death toll has risen to 10 after Papua New Guinea quake

Media in Papua New Guinea are reporting as many as 10 people have now died following the weekend earthquake.

The 7.6 magnitude quake, which was followed by a 5.0 magnitude shake an hour later, affected much of the Highlands, as well as the coastal provinces of Madang and Morobe.

It said four people have now died in Nawaeb, and three in Wau-Waria.

The secretary general of the Papua New Guinea Red Cross, Valachi Quagliata, estimated that about 100 families were hurt by falling debris, either as their houses collapsed, or from landslides.

He doubts all the people injured in the earthquake have been airlifted to safety.

The Post-Courier is reporting that the latest confirmed death is of a man killed by falling rocks by a river in Nawaeb District.

The newspaper reports eight people in the area have been injured and admitted to hospital or health centres.

"I don't think everyone has been brought out because of the geographical location of the earthquake. There's still a few finding their way to where the choppers are airlifting the people out."

There has been an extensive airlift because of the lack of medical facilities in the remote areas but he is certain there are some people still to be reached.

Quagliata said many people in the Highlands now face a tough period ahead.

"It's severe at the moment because of the fallen houses and other damage. Following the earthquake, there are assessments going on with PNG Red Cross. We're still assessing the situation right now."


New wildfires rage in southwestern France amid record temperatures

The blazes have forced the evacuation of residents amid record temperatures for September.

The blazes have forced the evacuation of residents amid record temperatures for September.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated in southwestern France as new wildfires rage amid record September temperatures.

Around 1,340 people in the Gironde region have been moved from their homes since blazes broke out on Monday.

The flames have destroyed four houses, several other buildings and 3,500 hectares of land, authorities say.

The largest fire is currently burning near the town of Saumos, while a smaller blaze has broken out south of Bordeaux, near Dax, where temperatures reached 39°C.


Typhoon Muifa slams Ishigaki, Japan

Extreme wind storm! Typhoon Muifa on Ishigaki near Taiwan.

Typhoon Muifa is bringing torrential rain, flooding and extreme winds to the southwest islands of Okinawa Prefecture as it moves slowly in that direction. Ishigaki Island is in the path of a powerful typhoon, which has already covered the majority of the Sakishima Islands.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain caused flash floods in San Bernardino County California: Oak Glen and Forest Falls

The weekend and early this week's heavy rain in Southern California caused landslides and debris flows that forced rescue efforts and damaged highways in some areas. As a result of the extreme weather that has affected the region, flash flood warnings have been issued for San Bernardino County, California.

Cloud Lightning

Cow and calf struck dead by lightning after 'horrific' thunderstorm strikes Western Australia

David Slade had two cows die in his paddock, after being struck by lightning in a thunderstorm.

David Slade had two cows die in his paddock, after being struck by lightning in a thunderstorm.
On Tuesday morning, David Slade woke up to find a cow and calf dead in his paddock where lightning had struck.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the Bureau of Metrology for Monday night in the region near his farm north west of Mount Barker.

Mr Slade described the storm as the worst he had seen pass through in years.

"The thunder and lightning, [it] was horrific.

"I haven't seen a lightning show like that for a while," he said.


7.0-magnitude earthquake hits southeast of Loyalty Islands

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 jolted southeast of the Loyalty Islands at 11:04 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 144.885 km, was initially determined to be at 21.1908 degrees south latitude and 170.2397 degrees east longitude.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods and landslides cause severe damage in Manteigas, Portugal

Floods and debris flows in Sameiro, Manteigas municipality, Guarda District, Portugal, 13 September 2022.
© Presidente da Câmara Municipal de Manteigas
Floods and debris flows in Sameiro, Manteigas municipality, Guarda District, Portugal, 13 September 2022.
Heavy rainfall in central Portugal caused severe flooding and debris flows in areas of Manteigas municipality, Guarda District on 13 September 2022.

Heavy rain fell on burn scar areas of the Serra da Estrela mountain range. The areas had seen intense forest fires during the summer and by late August the government declared a state of calamity.

From late 12 September 2022 flood water, mud, downed trees and debris raced down hillsides around the village of Sameiro. Images show damage to buildings and infrastructure. At least 4 vehicles were dragged into the river Zêzere.


Man dies in pit bull attack in Old Fort,Tennessee

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says a dog attacked and killed a man in Old Fort over the weekend.

The Sheriff's Office confirmed that the dog was an alligator pitbull.

Deputies arrived just after 2 p.m. Sunday with E-M-S on hand.

When authorities arrived on the scene, 32-year-old Rusty Burris was declared unconscious according to the police report.

E-M-S Paramedic Chris Boggs said Burris did not have a pulse as he was put in an ambulance.

He was then pronounced deceased.


There is officially a new volcano in Iceland!

During the August 2022 and March to September 2021 volcanic eruptions in Iceland, something strange was observed. Initially, these highly effusive eruptions were thought to have originated from the Krysuvik volcanic complex. Yet, the fissure direction, size of the eruption, and nonexplosiveness were different than what was expected to occur. From this and other evidence, the two latest eruptions at Geldingadalir and Meradalir were designated as originating from a completely separate and completely new volcano. This new volcano is known as Fagradalsfjall.


Firefighters battle 11 major California wildfires, including Mosquito and Fairview

A firefighter battles the Mosquito Fire in Placer County, Calif., on Wednesday.
© Noah Berger / AP
A firefighter battles the Mosquito Fire in Placer County, Calif., on Wednesday.
Firefighters in California are making progress against 11 major wildfires, including the Mosquito and Fairview fires, according to a statewide fire update published Sunday.

More than 8,300 firefighters are working to contain the fires across the state, but they are bracing for more potential significant wildfires because of coming critical fire weather. So far this year, 325,083 acres have burned in California, according to the fire summary.

Potential critical fire weather includes a high risk for lightning in Northern California "in eastern areas on Sunday combined with very flammable fuels," it said. Breezy west and southwest winds at 25 to 35 mph will also develop through the San Francisco Bay Area coastal gaps, and south to southeast winds of 15 to 25 mph will extend up to the Sacramento Valley.