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Fri, 26 Apr 2019
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At least 11 killed as strong shallow 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Luzon, Philippines - UPDATES

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines island of Luzon on Monday afternoon
© European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre
A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines island of Luzon on Monday afternoon, the US Geological Survey said.
A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines island of Luzon on Monday afternoon, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 5.11pm local time (0911 GMT) at a shallow depth of 40 kilometers (25 miles).

AFP reporters in the capital city Manila said central offices were evacuated and buildings were shaking.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.


Comment: Update 18:00 CET

RT reports that 5 people were killed:
Three people were crushed by a collapsed building in the town of Porac, according to provincial governor Lilia Pineda. Two others victims, an elderly woman and her grandchiled, were killed in a building collapse in the town of Lubao.
Update 21:00 CET

The latest report by Reuters via The Star has at least 8 now dead:
At least eight people were killed when a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the Philippines' main island of Luzon on Monday and officials feared dozens could be trapped in the rubble of a collapsed commercial building.

The quake hit 60 km (37 miles) northwest of the capital, Manila, disrupting air, rail and road transport and causing some damage to buildings and infrastructure.

The province of Pampanga was worst hit. Eight people were killed and about 20 injured, provincial governor Lilia Pineda said by telephone, citing information from disaster officials.

Rescuers were using heavy duty equipment and search dogs to try to reach people trapped after a four-storey building went down, crushing the ground-floor supermarket, she said. [...]

Pampanga's international airport at Clark, a former U.S. military base, was closed and scores of flights were cancelled after damage to parts of the facility including check-in areas.

Large cracks appeared on provincial roads and electricity poles were felled.

Rescue teams in Manila were preparing to reinforce efforts to reach people trapped in Pampanga. The government urged people to be calm as rumours of greater death and destruction gained traction online.

"We urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation in social media that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress," said presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo.

In Manila, the quake, shortly after 5 p.m., caused tall buildings to sway for several minutes in the main business districts.

"We got nervous, we got dizzy. I ran downstairs with three kids," said Arlene Puno, a domestic helper in a high-rise apartment in the Makati financial centre.

Elevated rail services were halted and workers were evacuated from offices and condominiums, sending a flood of people onto sidewalks and into bus queues and adding more chaos to roads that are among the world's most congested. [...]

Mark Genesis Samodio, 23, a maintenance worker at a Makati condominium in the capital, said the quake's impact was unusual, even for a city that has grown used to them.

"I was sitting down then it shook so strong I thought I was being rocked in a cradle," he said.

Update: The New York Times reports on the 22nd of April:
A powerful earthquake shook the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving at least 11 people dead in collapsed buildings, municipal and disaster relief officials said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake had registered a magnitude of 6.1 and had been centered near the town of Castillejos in Zambales Province, west of Manila. It struck shortly after 5 p.m., as government offices and private businesses were closing for the day.

In the town of Porac, northwest of Manila, five people were reported crushed to death after a wall in a four-story supermarket collapsed, RJ Mago, a spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, told a local radio station.



Seismograph

New 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Philippines a day after earlier one kills at least 11

quake
The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.3 earthquake has hit the central Philippines, a day after 6.1 quake hit the country's north and killed at least 11 people.

The new quake hit Tuesday afternoon and was centered 13 kilometers (8 miles) east of Tutubigan in the country's central region. The quake was relatively deep at 70.2 kilometers (43 miles).

A supermarket crashed down in Monday's powerful earthquake, which damaged buildings and an airport in the northern Philippines. The death toll is now 11, with more missing.

Source: AP

Comment: Details of the earlier event: At least 11 killed as strong shallow 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Luzon, Philippines - UPDATES


Attention

Dead gray whale found beached in Washington waters, 9th in 2019 so far

The gray whale was found beached
© Adeana Rich
The gray whale was found beached Friday at Ocean Shores, Wash.
Another dead gray whale has been found washed up on the beach - this time on the Washington coast at Ocean Shores.

Michael Milstein with NOAA Fisheries says it's the ninth recorded stranding of a gray whale in Washington state this year - a higher number than is usually seen on the entire West Coast.

Just last week, a dead juvenile whale was found in Elliott Bay and towed for a necropsy.

Comment: Elsewhere recently a Cuvier's beaked whale washed up dead on a Haifa beach in Israel on the 22nd of April.


Bug

Iran facing worst locust attack in 40 years

Iran locust outbreak
© Mohammad Mahdi Amya
A locust outbreak in the Arabian peninsula has been spreading to Iran, threatening crops and food security in large areas of the coastal province of Hormozgan, an official said.

Director of a department at Horkozgan's agricultural organization told Tasnim that Iran is facing the worst locust attack in the past 40 years.

He said several swarms of locusts have come from the Arabian peninsula to Iran over the last 10 weeks, some of which have penetrated into farmlands of the province as far as 200 kilometers from the coast.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in February that a locust outbreak in Sudan and Eritrea was spreading rapidly along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.


The FAO also noted that good rains have allowed generations of locust breeding since October 2018, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms.


Comment: The desert locust is potentially the most dangerous of the locust pests because of the ability of swarms to fly rapidly across great distances reports Radio Farda.

Plagues of desert locusts have threatened agricultural production in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia for centuries. The livelihood of at least one-tenth of the world's human population can be affected by this voracious insect. In 1961, desert locusts attacked agricultural lands in Iran and damaged nearly 2.5 million hectares of farms across the country.

Recently the largest flood disaster to hit Iran in 15 years has claimed nearly 80 lives so far.


Cloud Precipitation

Floods kill one person and force 1,500 from their homes in Quebec province

Extensive flooding in eastern Canada forces evacuations
© AP
Extensive flooding in eastern Canada forces evacuations
Hundreds of Canadian armed forces are deployed to help with sandbagging and rescue efforts

Spring flooding has killed one person and forced more than 1,500 people from their homes in Canada's Quebec province, with waters expected to continue rising due to rising temperatures and more rain forecast for the coming days.

Aerial photos showed entire neighbourhoods submerged, with television news broadcasting video of residents frantically piling sandbags around their homes to hold back swollen rivers.

An elderly woman died over the weekend after rising waters washed out the road she was driving on.


Fire

Large gorsefire breaks out in County Donegal, Ireland

gorse fire donegal
© Pacemaker
The fire broke out on Monday morning
A large County Donegal gorse fire has been brought under control, a Donegal County Council official has said.

The wildfire broke out at about 06:00 local time, with 15 fire appliances from 12 brigade areas tackling it at its height.

Gary Martin, director of emergency services at Donegal County Council, told broadcaster RTÉ caution is still being applied due to wind conditions.

He said the fire has been beaten back in a number of areas.

Comment: Over at least the past 12 months warm and dry conditions have persisted throughout many parts of Eurasia and the result has been a dramatic increase in wildfires:


Cloud Precipitation

2 dead, 1,800 evacuated after floods in Chaco Province, Argentina - almost a foot of rain in a few hours

Floods in Chaco Province, Argentina, April 2019.
© Government of Chaco
Floods in Chaco Province, Argentina, April 2019.
A storm and torrential rain in northern Argentina caused major flooding in the province of Chaco from 20 April, 2019.

The country's national news agency Télam reported that 2 people died after they were electrocuted when power cables fell into flood water in the city of Las Breñas in Chaco Province.

Among the worst hit areas was Corzuela in Chaco Province, where 300mm of rain reportedly fell in just a few hours during the storm. Governor of the province, Domingo Peppo, said via Social Media that the village of Mesón de Fierro, around 50km south of Corzuela, recorded 380mm.


Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Western Australia coldest April day ever recorded

Western Australia record cold
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
West Australia earliest snow in 48 years and smashing coldest ever recorded for April temperatures, ever, as in the coldest day ever recorded. Australian wheat to 11 year lows in harvest, plus Bureau of Meteorology embroiled in another temperature manipulation scandal to cover 3rd year in a row of below normal temperatures in Australia.


Comment: Snow falls in Western Australia's Stirling Ranges in April for the first time in 49 years


Snowflake

Snow hits South Africa as temperatures plummet

The snow across the Maluti Mountains,
© AfriSk
The snow across the Maluti Mountains, taken in Lesotho
Snow fell on our side of the border with Lesotho over the Easter weekend, with parts of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal getting the best of the white stuff.

If you've noticed a certain drop in temperature this weekend, you won't be the only ones. Many South Africans are now swapping their air-conditioners for heaters as winter slowly stalks us from afar. Things got chillier in Underberg and the border of Free State and Lesotho this week, and the snow came tumbling down.

As we reported on Thursday, Snow Report SA predicted that there'd be about 5cm of snow on our side: The Drakensberg Mountains are usually the first to experience a dusting when the mercury plummets, and that's exactly what we saw on Sunday.

Snowflake

Tour of Turkey queen stage summit finish shortened due to heavy April snowfall

Tour of Turkey has been shortened due to snowy conditions on the summit finish climb.

Tour of Turkey has been shortened due to snowy conditions on the summit finish climb.
Videos from the finish line show heavy snowfall has made it impossible to scale the full 16km final climb

Race organisers have shortened the queen stage of the 2019 Tour of Turkey by 5.5km due to heavy snow falling on the summit finish.

Stage five was set to conclude with riders scaling the 16km Kartepe, but will now only ride the first 10.5km.

The steepest parts of the climb, which top out at a gradient of 12 per cent, will not be affected.