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Sat, 23 Jul 2016
The World for People who Think



Newly discovered giant megathrust fault has potential to kill millions

More than 140 million people live within a 60 mile area of the potential disaster zone in Bangladesh.
A giant fault in the earth's crust covers by millions of tonnes of sediment in one of the world's most densely populated areas could kill tens of millions of people, scientists have claimed.

Researchers placed hundreds of highly accurate GPS receivers in locations across India, Bangladesh and Myanmar and monitored them over a ten year period.

Now the scientists fear the location is home to a megathrust fault which could unleash a 9.0 magnitude earthquake at any minute.

The scientists, led by Dr Michael Steckler from Columbia University published their findings in the journal Nature.

The experts discovered that millions of tonnes of sediment from the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers has been dumped into the megathrust fault, where one of the earth's plates is being pushed under another.


South Bay earthquake swarm continues near Hollister, California

© sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com
San Andreas Fault, latest swarm of quakes.
An earthquake swarm is continuing to rattle the South Bay near Hollister. In the past four days, more than 39 tremors have hit the area on a section of the San Andreas system known as the Calaveras Fault. Between Sunday night and Monday afternoon, 39 quakes greater than 1.0 have occurred and 20 more than 2.0, seven over 3.0, one 4.1 and one 4.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The first struck Sunday night at 10:26 a.m., 12 miles southeast of Hollister, and had a preliminary magnitude of 3.3. Over 260 people reported the incident to the USGS. The largest quake recorded on Monday gave a gentle shake at 2:27 a.m., 12 miles northeast of Hollister, and had a preliminary magnitude of 3.8.

Several quakes shook the area on Tuesday, including a 4.2 trembler recorded 11 miles southeast of Hollister and 17 miles east of Salinas. Over 650 people reported feeling this quake. On Wednesday, tremors continued to gently shake the area, and the USGS recorded two 3.0 earthquakes. One hit 12 miles southeast of Hollister at 5:14 a.m. and another two miles southwest of San Juan Bautista and nine miles west of Hollister at 7:08 a.m.

No injuries or damage have been reported.


Magnitude 6.0 earthquake hits off Vanuatu

© Dimas Ardian, Getty Images
6.0 magnitude earthquake 76 km from Isangel, Tafea, Vanuatu

2016-07-20 15:13:16 UTC

UTC time: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 15:13 PM

Your time: 2016-07-20T15:13:16Z

Magnitude Type: mwb

USGS page: M 6.0 - 76km NNW of Isangel, Vanuatu

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 1 person


Series of 70 small earthquakes in California: Big one coming?

© Dimas Ardian, Getty Images
In the last seven days, central California has been hit by 70 small earthquakes.

The seismic swarm has been concentrated on the fault lines between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

RT correspondent Brigida Santos has the report and says that the US Geological Survey does not believe this is evidence of a big earthquake occurring in the near future.

Comment: See also: Earthquake swarm hits central California

Bizarro Earth

'Smoking gun': Navy testing likely caused 3.7 magnitude 'earthquake' off Florida coast

© U.S. Navy / Facebook
A 3.7 magnitude earthquake recorded off the coast of Florida was likely triggered by a man-made explosion, in order to test the seaworthiness of a new US Navy vessel.

Asked about the reported earthquake on Monday, a public information officer for the Navy's Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC said the agency was working on a statement it expects to release this week.

Comment: See also: July 16th earthquake off Florida's coast is a rare event

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake swarm hits central California

USGS Earthquake map.
Central California is currently in the middle of an earthquake swarm, with up to 18 (and counting) tiny quakes shaking things up over the course of a single day. The situation is not, however, as ominous as it may seem.

KTLA reported that the quakes began in the Bay Area late last night and have continued through today. With nothing larger than a magnitude of 3.7, all of the quakes have been relatively small. But should the rising tally give alarm? Probably not. Central California is just in the middle of a run-of-the-mill earthquake swarm.

The precise mechanics of what sets an earthquake swarm off aren't clear, but they're pretty common in geologically active areas. The USGS defines them as simply a bunch of small earthquakes clustered around the same locale and time. There's no set limits for either the time or area. In fact, the quakes in a swarm don't even need to stem from the same fault lines.

Is a swarm a sign of something bigger on its way, though? Probably not. Although the question of whether swarms are a precursor to something larger is often asked, there's no evidence linking them directly to larger quakes or eruptions so far. In fact, they usually just pop up in geologically-active areas and then just stop without incident.

Yellowstone National Park, for instance, is famous for being hit by regular earthquake swarms, including large ones in 2004, 2009, and again in 2010. The swarm in 2010 lasted for over a month and included more than 2,000 earthquakes over that period, several with a magnitude of over 3.0.

Despite how much bigger and longer that swarm was than California's current on-going one, residents of the state should be comforted to know that Yellowstorm's 2010 swarm simply petered out on its own, with no larger quake or event at the end.

Bizarro Earth

July 16th earthquake off Florida's coast is a rare event

A 3.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Florida on July 16, 2016.
An earthquake struck off the coast of Florida on Saturday (July 16), a rare event in a relatively tectonically peaceful region.

The 3.7-magnitude quake had an epicenter that was 104 miles (168 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It hit at about 4 p.m. local time and originated at a depth of about 3 miles (5 km). According to the USGS ShakeMap, some weak tremors were reported and picked up by scientific instruments on the mainland, but the quake was too weak to cause any damage.

Earthquakes are rare in Florida, and the reason for the relative peace has to do with Florida's position on the North American plate. The state sits on the passive margin of the plate, a transition from land to ocean that isn't seismically active. In contrast, the western end of the North American plate — the active margin — is slipping under the Pacific Plate, triggering the medium-to-large earthquakes that are commonly experienced in California.

According to the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), there have only been about 24 "seismic events" reported since 1727. A 1997 review suggested that only five were actual earthquakes.


Earth tremor causes panic, cracks walls in Nigeria

© today.ng
Suspected earth tremor in parts of Bayelsa and Rivers States, has caused palpable apprehension among residents of the affected communities in the two oil-rich states. Residents of the areas noted that the tremor caused serious cracks on the walls of their buildings though no injury was reported.

It was learnt that in some of the impacted communities such as Igbogene and Akenfa in Bayelsa as well as Akinima, Akie-Oniso (Oruama), One Man Country and Mbiama - neighbouring communities in Rivers, many people who experienced it were yet to recover from the trauma.

There were heavy vibrations that lasted for some minutes during the incident which was said to have started at about 12 midnight.

An earth tremor, Wikipedia says, is the perceptible shaking of the surface of the earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the earth's crust that creates seismic waves. It adds that a tremor could be violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities. Nigeria reportedly experienced tremors in 1933, 1939, 1964, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2009 in various parts of the country.

A retired Principal and landlord in Igbogene, Bayelsa State, Chief Etekpe Friday, described the experience as "frightening". "We were about to go to bed when I heard a heavy vibration. I thought it was something else so I quickly went into prayers," the 60-year-old man stated.


Rare earthquake hits off Palm Coast, Florida

A rare 3.7 magnitude earthquake was reported off Florida's Atlantic coast on Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located just over 100 miles east of Palm Coast and occurred just after 4 p.m.

Residents of the Sunshine State didn't report feeling the minor earthquake. Feeling the effects of an earthquake is a rarity in Florida. Scientists say Florida has felt the effects of only around two dozen seismic events.

According to the USGS, one of the last earthquakes to cause damage happened back in 1879. Records state settlers in St. Augustine reported heavy shaking that knocked plaster from walls and articles from shelves.

Bizarro Earth

Punjab, Pakistan jolted by 4.4 earthquake

© Unknown
An earthquake has hit the city of Lahore in northern Pakistan, witnesses said. Buildings sway as 4.4 magnitude quake strikes about 37km southwest of Lahore at depth of 10km.

The epicentre of the 4.4 magnitude quake was located about 37km southwest of Lahore, at a depth of 10km.

Waqas Habib Rana, a resident of Lahore said the earthquake was "very intense" and might have caused damage.