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Earthquakes


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Japan scientists detect rare, deep S wave Earth tremor for first time

© AFP/Adek Berry
Scientists who study earthquakes in Japan said Thursday they have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor for the first time and traced its location to a distant and powerful storm.

The findings, published in the US journal Science, could help experts learn more about the Earth's inner structure and improve detection of earthquakes and oceanic storms.

The storm in the North Atlantic was known as a "weather bomb," a small but potent storm that gains punch as pressure quickly mounts. Groups of waves sloshed and pounded the ocean floor during the storm, which struck between Greenland and Iceland.

Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor that usually detects the Earth's crust crumbling during earthquakes, researchers found something they had not detected before -- a tremor known as an S wave microseism.

Microseisms are very faint tremors. Another kind of tremor, known as P waves, or primary wave microseisms, can be detected during major hurricanes. P waves are fast-moving, and animals can often sense them just before an earthquake hits. The elusive S waves, or secondary waves, are slower, and move only through rock, not liquid. Humans feel them during earthquakes.

Bizarro Earth

Italian PM declares state of emergency for earthquake area; 4.7 magnitude aftershock strikes near Amatrice

© APTN
Small towns have been devastated by the quake which hit on Wednesday night.
Italy's Prime Minister has declared a state of emergency in the area affected by the earthquake which killed at least 250.

It came as a strong 4.7-magnitude aftershock struck near the worst-hit town of Amatrice on Friday morning.

PM Matteo Renzi has authorised an initial €50m in crisis funding to start the rebuilding process and offered to cancel taxes for those affected.

He also called for a national collective effort - dubbed Italian Homes - to build dwellings for the future that will be safe in the event of other quakes.

The 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit on Wednesday and devastated parts of Lazio, Umbria and Le Marche.


Comment: Italy earthquake: Death toll approaches 250 as rescue operation continues


Bizarro Earth

3.6 magnitude earthquake recorded in Saint Lucia

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWISRC) has confirmed that a 3.6 magnitude earthquake was felt in the North of St. Lucia, at around 1:03 p.m.

It was located at 14.29°N and 61.08°W and had a depth of 29km.

Persons in Rodney Bay and Beausejour felt the tremor.

Bizarro Earth

Italy earthquake: Death toll approaches 250 as rescue operation continues

© Remo Casilli / Reuters
Rescuers work in the night at a collapsed house following an earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, central Italy, August 24, 2016.
Rescuers continued to search for survivors in central Italian towns devastated by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake as the number of victims rose to 247 on Thursday morning. Accounts of lucky escapes and tragedies have emerged as communities struggle to cope with the aftermath.

Italy's earthquake death toll has climbed to 247, local wire service ANSA quoted regional officials as saying.

Meanwhile, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported yet another 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit central Italy, some 66 km northeast from the town of Terni, with a population of over 220,000 people. It was the 22nd quake in the region in less than 24 hours.

The dramatic rescue operation continued overnight into the early hours of Thursday as scores of people are still believed trapped under the rubble. Thousands have been left homeless.

At least 86 victims come from the small towns of Amatrice and Accumoli that lie close to the epicenter of the quake, about 100 km from Rome.


Comment: An earthquake of comparable force hit the nearby city of L'Aquila in 2009, killing 309 people. In the subsequent 'witch hunt' seven seismologists were convicted of manslaughter for failing to adequately assess the earthquake risk. In 2012 they were sentenced to six years in prison, six were acquitted two years later.

This is one of the most seismically active parts of Italy as clearly identified in many seismic hazard maps. Addressing the fundamental reason for such tragic loss of life, Kevin McCue, president of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society, said
"This earthquake occurred in an area rated a high earthquake hazard region of Italy. Buildings should be designed and built to withstand this level of shaking without collapse. That they don't is typical of the attitude to the hazard in Italy and Australia where the risk of being killed in a vehicle accident is much higher."
Mr Renzi, the Italian prime minister,says "Our credibility and honor depends on a real reconstruction that would prevent the inhabitants of these municipalities from leaving, to allow these beautiful places to start over."

The reason why so many buildings fall down in Italy during earthquakes is that many were put up without planning consent, with the structural guarantees that normally accompany it; but more specifically buildings have simply not been designed and built with due consideration to the seismic threat, like in Japan for instance.

According to the government own statistics office, unlawful construction in Italy is of "dimensions unparalleled in other advanced economies". The latest estimate, for 2014, is that 18% of buildings are erected without permission, excluding extensions.

Unless these planning and construction laws are completely overhauled further tragedies such as this are inevitable.


Bullseye

'Half the town is gone': 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocks central Italy; 38 people dead

A deadly earthquake has struck central Italy, leaving up to 38 people dead so far, according to provisional count by rescue officials.

The quake is said to have happened after 3:30am local time on Wednesday morning when people were still sleeping in their homes. It has been reported that some 60 aftershocks have followed in the first four hours of the initial earthquake, some having reached a magnitude of 5.5.

Geological experts estimate the depth of the quake to be around 6 miles. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the magnitude at 6.1, while the United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2. The quake was felt across a broad section of the central part of the country, including the capital, Rome.

BBC reports that some buildings in Rome shook for around 20 seconds. The quake was also felt from Bologna in the north to Naples in the south. It has been reported that somewhere between 60-80 aftershocks have followed in the first four hours of the initial earthquake, some having reached a magnitude of 5.5.

The epicenter of the devastating quake has been marked in the town of Norcia in Umbria region, about 105 miles northwest of Rome.

Comment: UPDATES

The earthquake hit 126km north of Rome, the largest and most populous city of the region with 2.6 million people.

The death toll from the earthquake has risen to 84, local broadcaster RAI has reported.

Fabrizio Curcio, the head of Civilian Defense service, who is now in Amatrice, reported that in that town and adjacent Accumoli alone the number of those dead has soared to 60.

© Emiliano Grillotti / Reuters
Amatrice, central Italy
At the same time, the Civilian Defense service of the Marche region stated that 24 people had been killed in the quake there.

The town of Norcia, home to some 5,000 residents, lies just 10km southeast of the quake's epicenter, according to US Geological Survey (USGS). The ancient Italian city of Spoleto in the Perugia province with some 40,000 residents is located 35km east of the quake.

The national civil protection agency stated the earthquake is estimated to be "severe," Reuters reported.

Apart from Amatrice, buildings have collapsed in Arquata and Norcia. At least two deaths due to the earthquake were reported in Arquata, according to RailNews 24.

© Remo Casilli / Reuters
Amatice, Italy
Four people have been confirmed dead by the mayor of the town of Accumoli, RailNews reported.

Apart from Amatrice, buildings have collapsed in Arquata and Norcia. At least two deaths due to the earthquake were reported in Arquata, according to RailNews 24.

The USGS graphics suggest "significant casualties" are likely to occur in Central Italy with small town of Accumoli, Norcia, Maltignano, Amatrice, Cascia and Cittareale are listed as most exposed to the quake. The economic damages are expected to be significant and "likely widespread."

A series of strong aftershocks followed the initial quake. One with a 5.5 magnitude occurred 4 kilometers from the town of Norcia at a depth of 10 kilometers.






Attention

Myanmar hit by 6.8-magnitude earthquake

© Bikas Das/AP
Tremors from the earthquake were also reported in Kolkata, India, where people fled office buildings.
A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake has hit central Myanmar, the US Geological Survey has said, with initial reports suggesting ancient temples at the old city of Bagan have been severely damaged.

The site, which is often compared to Cambodia's Angkor Wat, holds more than 2,000 temples and pagodas, some of them centuries old.

The earthquake was so intense that it was felt in Bangkok about 620 miles (1,000km) away.

The quake's epicentre was about 25 miles south of Bagan, which has grown extremely popular with backpackers and foreign tourists in recent years.

Ambulance

Update: Powerful shallow 6.2 earthquake shakes central Italy; 14 reported dead, towns devastated, strong tremors felt in Rome

© Remo Casilli / Reuters
Rescuers carry a person on a stretcher following a quake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016.
A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks has rocked central Italy. Strong tremors were felt in the country's capital, Rome, and several small towns and villages have been seriously damaged with at least 10 people reportedly killed.

The quake hit at 01:36 GMT with an epicenter 76 kilometers southeast of the city of Perugia, the US Geological Survey reported.

The town of Norcia, home to some 5,000 residents, lies just 10km southeast of the quake's epicenter, according to US Geological Survey (USGS). The ancient Italian city of Spoleto in the Perugia province with some 40,000 residents is located 35km east of the quake.

The earthquake hit 126km north of Rome, the largest and most populous city of the region with 2.6 million people.

The shaking appears to have woken up quite a few residents in central Italy. Besides Rome, aftershocks were also felt in Florence.


Bizarro Earth

Strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Central Italy

© STRINGER/Reuters
Rescuers work at a collapsed house following a quake in Amatrice, central Italy.

A strong earthquake has struck Italy on Wednesday near the city of Perugia. A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake has struck Italy on Wednesday near the city of Perugia,
the United States Geological Survey reported. Perugia is the capital of Umbria region in central Italy.

The earthquake was felt in Rome. There were no immediate reports on casualties or any damage.

Comment:

Update (06.30 GMT)
There are reports of up to six fatalities so far with "many collapses" in the town of Amatrice in the Rieti province.




Bizarro Earth

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits India-Myanmar border region, tremors felt in Assam

© Google maps
A 3.1 magnitude earthquake also struck Karbi Anglong district in Assam, tremors were also felt in Guwahati.

An earthquake of magnitude 5.5 on the Richter Scale hit Myanmar-India border region at 7:11 am Tuesday morning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake also struck Karbi Anglong district in Assam at 5:30 am Tuesday morning. Earthquake tremors were also felt in Guwahati in Assam, news agency ANI reported.

There are currently no reports on damage in the local areas.

Alarm Clock

Another magnitude 6.0 earthquake strikes off northern Japan; third strong quake in region in consecutive days

© U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
A strong earthquake struck off the coast of northern Japan for a third consecutive day early Sunday, but there were no reports of tsunami, injuries or damage.

The shallow magnitude-6.0 quake hit at 12:58 a.m. 170 km east-northeast of Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was followed by a magnitude-5.3 aftershock.

The Meteorological Agency, which logged the quake's magnitude at 5.9, said there was no threat of tsunami.

The temblor struck seven hours after another magnitude-6.0 quake struck the same area on Saturday, and followed a 5.3-magnitude jolt due east of Miyako on Friday.

Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year. Rigid building codes and strict enforcement mean even strong tremors often do little damage.

In April, two strong quakes hit Kumamoto Prefecture, followed by more than 1,700 aftershocks, leaving 49 dead and causing widespread damage.

A massive undersea quake in March 2011 sent tsunami barreling into the coast of the Tohoku region, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing, and tipping three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Comment: Seismic activity seems to be increasing worldwide recently. Also within the past week 6.4 and 7.3 magnitude quakes have struck near South Georgia island; while Queensland experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake - the 'biggest in 20 years'.