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Earthquakes

Bizarro Earth

Underneath Haiti, Another Big Quake Waiting to Occur

Haiti Earthquake
© Thony Belizaire/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
A day after the earthquake, a young woman climbs over shopping carts and the rubble of a collapsed store on January 13, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Last week, on the morning of Nov. 11, a tremor shook the Port-au-Prince suburb of Carrefour. It was a minor geological event, but given the still fresh and haunting memories of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hammered Haiti on Jan. 12 and killed some 230,000 people - many of them in Carrefour - even that mild shudder caused public panic. The only reported injuries, in fact, were due to people scrambling to take cover.

To geologists, it's good to see Haitians on such heightened alert. Most scientists believe the western hemisphere's poorest country is hardly out of the seismic woods - and after studying the Haiti quake data for the past 10 months, they're more convinced than ever that Haitians can expect another major quake sooner rather than later. That's largely because they've found, according to a new study by 10 prominent geologists, that the lion's share of the January temblor occurred not along the fault line they originally suspected, known as the Enriquillo - Plantain Garden fault zone, but on a previously unknown fault. (Faults separate plates in the earth's crust, which cause quakes when stress makes them collide.) As a result, says Falk Amelung, a University of Miami geologist and one of the report's authors, "the prospects of another serious event may be rather worse than we first thought."

When Amelung and other geologists started poring over information from the earthquake's satellite-radar images last January, they were flummoxed by a variety of features. One was the vertical motion the quake exhibited - unusual because the Enriquillo, which runs across Haiti's southern peninsula just below Port-au-Prince, is a strike-slip fault, the kind that almost exclusively displays horizontal motion when it ruptures. At the same time, the quake's horizontal movement was partly north-south, another anomaly for a strike-slip fault. "Those were the two important smoking guns" that made scientists question their early assumptions about the quake, says Eric Calais, a Purdue University geologist who is in Haiti as a science adviser to the U.N. Development Program and is a lead author of the study, which was published last month in Nature Geoscience.(See more about the January earthquake that devastated Haiti.)

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 3.3 Shakes Eastern Nebraska

Image
© Unknown
A moderate earthquake centered near Schuyler rattled eastern Nebraska on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake occurred at 7:02 a.m. CST about three miles underground and registered a preliminary magnitude of 3.3, the USGS said.

Platte County emergency services director Tim Hofbauer and the sheriff's office said there were no reports of injuries or damage.

Lennie Hiltner, Schuyler police chief, said he had stopped by a car dealership when he heard a loud noise but didn't feel anything shake. He and others at Reinecke Motor Co. quickly inspected the building but found no damage.

Several people called the police department to report hearing the noise.

Evil Rays

Israel: 3.6 magnitude earthquake felt in north

Image
© Unknown
Many residents of Upper Galilee wake up as mild earthquake hits Israel. 'I felt the bed literally shaking,' Safed resident says.

A mild earthquake was felt in northern Israel early Tuesday, many residents reported. The Geophysical Institute reported an earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter Scale was felt in the Moshav Avivim area at 4:32 am. No injuries or damage were reported.

Yael of Safed said the quake caused her to wake up as she felt her house move. "I got up and felt the bed literally shaking under my stomach, actually moving. I can't fall back to sleep I'm so afraid."

Yael noted that some of her neighbors also woke up and added no damage was caused.

Bizarro Earth

What's Going On in The Gulf of Aden?

USGS is reporting a very unusual swarm of significant earthquakes starting early this morning in the sea between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, right off the coast of Yemen, and in one of the world's most important and busiest shipping lanes.

Yemeni Earthquakes
© Planet Save
Earthquakes near Yemen.
But, earthquake swarms happen, even in places that are not normally known for seismic activity. What's unusual about this particular group of earthquakes?

In this case, it seems that the vast majority of the quakes are happening at almost exactly a depth of 10 kilometers; over 20 earthquakes have occurred at that depth since the swarm began. I'm no statistician, but that seems like a pretty exceptionally unlikely scenario, especially when the region was entirely quiet in terms of seismic activity as of yesterday. It would definitely be interesting to see what real geologists make of it.

Arrow Down

5.6 earthquake hits Dominican Republic

A preliminary 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Dominican Republic early Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck 155 kilometers (95 miles) southeast of the nation's capital, Santo Domingo, at about 12:35 a.m. Saturday (11:35 p.m. Friday ET).

Bizarro Earth

Southeast Indian Ridge - Earthquake Magnitude 6.3

Indian Ridge Quake_101110
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 04:05:24 UTC

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 10:05:24 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
45.538°S, 96.394°E

Depth:
10.7 km (6.6 miles)

Region:
SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE

Distances:
2250 km (1400 miles) SW of PERTH, Western Australia, Australia

Bizarro Earth

Tonga: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - 3th Nov 10

Tonga Quake_031110
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 at 23:34:44 UTC

Thursday, November 04, 2010 at 12:34:44 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
20.440°S, 174.290°W

Depth:
33.2 km (20.6 miles)

Region:
TONGA

Distances:
120 km (75 miles) NE of NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga

200 km (125 miles) S of Neiafu, Tonga

460 km (285 miles) E of Ndoi Island, Fiji

2100 km (1310 miles) NNE of Auckland, New Zealand

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - Near the South Coast of Papua

Papua Quake_031110
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 at 11:18:16 UTC

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 at 08:18:16 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
4.614°S, 134.040°E

Depth:
14.8 km (9.2 miles) set by location program

Region:
NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA

Distances:
130 km (80 miles) N of Dobo, Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia

270 km (170 miles) WSW of Enarotali, Papua, Indonesia

930 km (580 miles) NNE of DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia

3015 km (1870 miles) E of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Bizarro Earth

Deadly earthquake shakes Serbia

Image
© AFP
Emergency workers have been deployed to clear the rubble left by the earthquake
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake has struck central Serbia, killing two people and leaving at least 50 others injured, officials said.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the tremor struck near the city of Kraljevo, which lies around 150km south of the capital Belgrade, in the early hours of Wednesday.

A couple reported to be in their 50s were killed when their roof collapsed during the quake.

Ivica Dacic, the country's interior minister said "material damage to the area is big" and that emergency teams and police had been deployed for rescue operations.

"The most important thing is that people calm down, that there is no panic and that the city authorities function," he said.

Electricity and other services have been cut in the city, which has a population of 70,000 people, while witnesses reported damage to buildings, including the local hospital.

Bizarro Earth

New Britian Region: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1 - Papua New Guinea

PNG Quake_311010
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 16:38:49 UTC

Monday, November 01, 2010 at 02:38:49 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
6.604°S, 150.241°E

Depth:
5.6 km (3.5 miles)

Region:
NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Distances:
90 km (55 miles) ESE of Kandrian, New Britain, PNG

115 km (75 miles) S of Kimbe, New Britain, PNG

460 km (285 miles) NE of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea

2325 km (1450 miles) N of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia