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Wed, 22 Feb 2017
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Swarm of nearly 300 earthquakes in Rotorua and Taupo, New Zealand

A swarm of nearly 300 quakes have been recorded in the Taupo and Rotorua areas.
Nearly 300 small earthquakes have been recorded in the Taupo and Rotorua areas since Monday last week, according to Geonet.

Geonet seismometers between Taupo and Tongariro National Park recorded the swarm of earthquakes, which are centred about 10km northwest of Tokaanu, near Turangi.

Since the quakes started on February 13 at 6pm, there have been 290 tremors. The largest was a magnitude 3.8 at 9.35pm yesterday.

Geonet said earthquake swarms were a sequence of many earthquakes striking in a relatively short time in a localised area. They are different from normal earthquakes followed by aftershocks because no single earthquake in the sequence is obviously the main shock.


Abnormal seismic swarm detected under Lanin volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina

© Hugo Moreno (University of Chile)
Lanin volcano
An energetic seismic swarm has been detected under Lanin volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina, prompting the Chilean National Geological and Mining Service (Sernageomin) to raise the volcanic alert level to Yellow. The last known eruption of this volcano took place in the year 560 (± 150 years).

According to Sernageomin's special report issued February 15, a swarm of earthquakes, associated with the movement of fluids inside the volcano, started at 18:24 UTC and lasted 59 minutes and 45 seconds. The strongest earthquake had a magnitude 1.8.

No changes have so far been observed at the surface.

Sernageomin said the seismicity continued after they issued the report and estimated that there could be a destabilization of the volcanic system.

Given the relevance of this unusual activity, the agency has raised the alert level to Yellow.

This has activated the Civil Protection System and the notification to the Argentine Mining Geological Service to take measures to safeguard the population on both sides of the border.

Bizarro Earth

Strong 6.5 magnitude tremor strikes Bolivia

A strong earthquake (terremoto) with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 has struck a mountainous region in central Bolivia, with shaking felt in Sucre, Potosi, Padilla and other cities across the region,.seismologists and residents say.

The earthquake, which struck at 10:09 a.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered about 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the town of Padilla in the Chuquisaca Department, or 143 kilometers (89 miles) east of the city of Sucre. It struck at a depth of 596 kilometers (370 miles), making it a deep earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude of Tuesday's earthquake at 6.5. The depth of the earthquake is likely to have minimized the effects of the quake and there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Tuesday's tremor is the strongest tremor to hit Bolivia since November 2011, when a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Trinidad in north-central Bolivia.

We're working to gather more information.


Shallow earthquake shakes Panama with magnitude of 4.7

A strongly felt earthquake has swayed skyscrapers in Panama's capital and caused the evacuation of some buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey gives a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 for Monday afternoon's quake.

The shaking set off car alarms and local news media said the local subway system was halted.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

The 2:35 p.m. (1935 GMT) quake was centered 6 miles (10 kilometers) deep about 51 miles (83 kilometers) south-southeast of Panama City in the Gulf of Panama.

Source: AP


Mysterious oarfish sightings stoke earthquake fears in the Philippines (PHOTOS)

© Jude Cyril Roque Viernes / Facebook
Three oarfish, which normally live deep near the ocean floor, have been found in the Philippines, sparking fears among locals that it may be a sign of an impending large earthquake.

Oarfish, which can grow to over 56 feet (17 meters) in length, are usually found at depths of between 200 to 1,000 meters, but since February 8, three have been found off the northern coast of Mindanao island, in the south of the archipelago.

The latest leviathan was found on Saturday on a beach in the city of Cagayan de Oro, measuring around 15 feet long, though it later died, according to ABS.

Comment: Also see: A few more noted sightings of this elusive and ominous fish from 2016 from around the globe:


Maui earthquake triggers widespread reports of shaking

Maui County residents felt a 4.6-magnitude earthquake that struck at 5:33 a.m. Friday between Maui and Hawaii island.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center determined that no tsunami was generated.

Wailuku resident Mahina Martin said: "I was awake and felt the house trembling. Then I noticed some things on a shelf shaking, which is when I realized it was probably an earthquake."


6.3 magnitude earthquake hits northern Argentina

The earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to scientific monitoring services
An earthquake believed to measure 6.3 on the Richter scale has struck in northern Argentina, close to the border with Chile.

Scientific monitoring service EMSC said the quake happened in the Jujuy region of the south American country today.

And government agency the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports it happened 50km northwest of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina.

It said: 'There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.'


Two earthquakes hit the province of Aceh, Indonesia in quick succession

Two earthquakes hit the Indonesian province of Aceh on Thursday (Feb 16) in an area that was struck by an earthquake in December.

The quakes measured at magnitude 5.1 and 5.6 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) hit in quick succession not long after 3am on Thursday, reported AP.

The Indonesian Red Cross said two houses collapsed in Pidie Jaya near the epicenter and at least nine people were injured in Trianggadeng district, while power was knocked out in several areas.

The Dec 7 earthquake killed more than 100 people and destroyed or damaged more than 11,000 buildings, mostly homes.

Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency said there was no potential for a tsunami from Thursday's quakes.


Southern California's Ventura-Pitas Point fault line has potential to trigger earthquakes, tsunamis

© Patrick T. Fallon / Reuters
New research has revealed that a fault in Southern California which was only identified as active in the 1980s has the potential to trigger devastating earthquakes and tsunamis along America's south west coast.

The Ventura-Pitas Point Fault runs under California from Ventura city through the Santa Barbara Channel and beneath Santa Barbara and Goleta. It also runs offshore, meaning it may be capable of generating tsunamis.

Since it was identified as a potentially dangerous fault in the late 1980s, there have been decades of debate about its exact location and its underground geometry. Initial theories assumed the fault was slightly dipping, or that it had two severe tilting sections with a flat section in between, similar to a staircase.

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters states that the fault has the staircase-like geometry, meaning it is closer to the surface and would likely cause more damage during an earthquake than previously thought.


At least 749 earthquakes have hit the Dardanelles, Turkey since February 6

© AA
At least 749 earthquakes have hit the Marmara province of Çanakkale since Feb. 6, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has stated.

The first wave of the earthquakes was recorded on Feb. 6 at 6:51 a.m. in the province's Ayvacık district with a 5.3-magnitude temblor. That was followed by another one with the same magnitude at 13.58 p.m. on the same day, and the latest major quake occurred in Ayvacık on Feb. 12 with the same magnitude, according to AFAD.

A number of buildings in the region were damaged and many locals settled in tent cities set up near the village of Yukarıköy, which was severely damaged by the quakes.

AFAD and the Turkish Red Crescent are currently setting up a container city for victims in the area.