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Sun, 19 Aug 2018
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Powerful 6.5 earthquake in the Banda Sea

Date & time: Sun, 25 Mar 20:14:48 UTC

Magnitude: 6.5

Depth: 181.0 km

Epicenter latitude / longitude: 6.7°S / 129.72°E [Map]

Nearest volcano: Nila (31 km)

Primary data source: GFZ


Shallow 6.3-magnitude quake strikes Southeast Indian Ridge

An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale jolted Southeast Indian Ridge at 19:58:33 GMT on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 45.8299 degrees south latitude and 96.099 degrees east longitude.


6.3-magnitude earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea region

The epicentre of the quake was located 180km south-west of Rabaul on New Britain island, some 900km north-east of the capital Port Moresby, at a depth of 68km.
The epicentre of the quake was located 180km south-west of Rabaul on New Britain island, some 900km north-east of the capital Port Moresby, at a depth of 68km
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the north-east coast of an island of the Pacific Ocean nation of Papua New Guinea on Saturday (March 24), officials said, but the tremor posed no tsunami threat to the region.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake, which was centred in a much more remote region than a magnitude-7.5 tremor that rocked the country's mountainous mainland highlands on Feb 26, killing 100 people.

The epicentre of Saturday's quake was located 180km south-west of Rabaul on New Britain island, some 900km north-east of the capital Port Moresby, at a depth of 68km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The quake was revised down from an initial reading of magnitude 6.8 and a depth of 60km.

Stock Down

Lloyd's of London reports £2bn loss after natural disasters in 2017

Hurricane Irma damage
© Chris Wattie/Reuters
Local residents look inside a collapsed coastal house in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Vilano Beach, Florida.
Lloyd's of London reported a £2bn loss after a year of natural disasters

Lloyd's of London has posted its first loss in six years, after what the insurer described as "one of the costliest years for natural catastrophes in the past decade".

The iconic insurance market reported an overall pre-tax loss of £2bn for last year, down from a profit of £2.1bn the year before, despite gross written premiums climbing to £33.6bn from £29.9bn.

Major claims in 2017 were more than double the cost of the previous year, at £4.5bn, which led to an underwriting loss of £3.4bn, compared with profit of £500m in 2016.

This led the group's combined ratio to deteriorate to 114 per cent from 97.9 per cent - a combined ratio of less than 100 per cent means a firm is profitable.

A series of huge storms in the second half of 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, left homes and businesses across the south coast of the US and the Caribbean destroyed.

Earthquakes in Mexico and wildfires in California added to the financial losses due to natural disasters, with one study putting the total cost of global disasters last year at $306bn (£218bn).

Comment: The costs of natural disasters are likely to increase in the coming years. See also: World sees rapid upsurge in extreme weather says report


Tremor swarm at Yellowstone continues - began in February

CC BY 2.0 / Michael McCarthy / Yellowstone-4193
© CC BY 2.0 / Michael McCarthy / Yellowstone-4193
Laying underneath the tranquil and beautiful geysers, waterfalls, and mountains of Wyoming lies the Yellowstone caldera. The supervolcano has been worrying some for decades, but now experts fear an eruption could happen soon after reporting a "spate of tremors."

According to WMD, a spate of four mini-tremors in the area following a period of "rest" has raised fears among some that the supervolcano is about to blow. Although the Yellowstone supervolcano hasn't erupted for 631,000 years, scientists have been diligently working to understand the last eruption so they can more accurately predict when a big one will happen again.

The most recent quake came on March 11 when a small 1.5 tremor took place beneath the surface. The strongest one, a 1.8 magnitude earthquake, came just hours before this, and people are concerned that Yellowstone could be about to blow.

Comment: See Also:


Late night 5.2 earthquake strikes Galapagos Archipelago

galapagos earthquake march 2018
Parts of Ecuador are along the dreaded Ring of Fire.
A tremor measuring 5.2 in magnitude hit Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) reported.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located 14 kilometers off the coast Fernandina island. The tremor struck at about 10:00 p.m. local time. There have been no reports of damage or injuries so far.

Fernandina Island is the third largest island of the Galapagos. The island is a shield volcano that has been erupting since April 11, 2009. A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually built almost entirely of fluid lava flows.

Parts of Ecuador are along the dreaded Ring of Fire - an area in the Pacific Ocean which has a large number of seismic and volcanic activity.


Rapid earthquakes spark fears of fiery eruption at Mount Etna, Italy

Mount Etna, one of the word's most active volcanoes, sparked fears of a fiery eruption on Thursday after a rapid succession of powerful tremors rocked the fiery mountain.

Residents of the ancient city of Catania on the eastern shores of Sicily were struck with panic after several shocks reverberated through Etna in just five minutes of each other.

The terrifying Etna which only sits 18miles from the coastal town, was rocked by three shallow tremors on its southern slopes.

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) of Catania recorded the shocks in the early morning hours.


Earthquake-hit Papua New Guinea left with dead fish, eels and prawns in polluted rivers

dead fish
Contaminated drinking water and disrupted rivers are making the aftermath of several powerful earthquakes in Papua New Guinea even worse.

Dead fish, eels, prawns and other debris are clogging silt and mud-laden waterways, causing stench and unsafe water, while properties have also been damaged.

The situation is being described as "disastrous" by the Governor's Office in the badly-hit Gulf Province.

In a public notice, the office stated: "Given the magnitude of the earthquake and its resulting damage upstream in Southern Highlands and Hela Province, consequential effects and changes in the rivers systems downstream is disastrous ...


Rare M5.6 earthquake strikes Mozambique-Malawi border, is followed by M5.2

Rare M5.6 earthquake hits Mozambique followed by M5.2
© Google/TW
The first, registered by the USGS as M5.6, hit at 08:49 UTC at a depth of 6.4 km (4 miles) and was followed by M5.2 at 09:52 UTC at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The M5.6 earthquake is expected to have a medium humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 25.9 km (16.1 miles) NE of Nsanje (population 21 774) and 80.4 km (49.9 miles) S of Mulanje (population 16 483), Malawi.

There are 3 000 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles) and 8 800 within 5 km (3.1 miles).

Some 22 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 63 000 strong, 195 000 moderate and 4 783 000 light.

Comment: Earthquakes, volcanoes, sinkholes, landslides and gaping fissures, they just keep coming with a greater frequency and seem to be becoming ever more massive:


Huge earthquake strikes Ring of Fire: Papua New Guinea hit by shallow 7.5 magnitude quake - at least 100 dead (UPDATE)

map map
Papua New Guinea has been rocked by a huge 7.5magnitude earthquake just moments after a smaller seismic event struck Japan, increasing fears of a natural disaster impacting the dangerous region dubbed the 'Ring of Fire'.

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the heart of the island near the near the Southern Highlands area, with tremors felt across the nearby region.

The phenomenon hit at a depth of two kilometers at roughly 4am local time (6pm GMT).

It is currently unclea rif any damage or injuries were cause by the substantial siesmic event.

Comment: On the 26th the local newspaper the Post-Courier reported:
A huge 7.6 magnitude earthquake severely hit Hela and Southern Highlands last night.

Although communication networks into the two provinces have been cut off, reports through satellite communication by Hela Provincial Administrator William Bando reveal that about 10 people have been killed while thousands of properties have been destroyed.

Mr Bando said it is a very severe disaster as many lives have reportedly been lost.

It is believed that the earthquake started around Kiunga and affected lives and properties in Hela and Southern Highlands while other provinces also felt the effect of the quake.

Mr Bando said the Komo Airport is believed to be damaged as half of the airfield has been destroyed.

The PA is now meeting with the department of inter-government relations in relation to the disaster.

According to new information received at (11:30am) the quakes have resulted in homes and properties being buried as the ground opened up and sank. Reports are yet to be confirmed but the situation looks severe.
Update - 27th of February, 2018:

More than 30 people are now feared dead in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Papua New Guinea on Monday, local media outlets have reported. Hela Provincial Administrator William Bando noted that the earthquake led to the appearance of landslides and sinkholes. Over 300 people have been reportedly injured. Numerous properties have suffered damage and the electricity has been cut off in some of the affected areas.

Update - 5th of March, 2018:

The latest via the Loop news website:
As of midday today, 55 people have been confirmed dead in parts of Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.

This is according to the Catholic Bishops' Conference based on reports received from the Mendi Diocese in SHP.

General Secretary for Catholic Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Father Victor Roche, said coordination amongst authorities, churches and parties on ground is key during this trying time.

Initial reports provided by the Mendi Diocese following the earthquake confirm 20 deaths in Hela Province and 35 in parts of Mendi.

These figures account for just fractions of both provinces while attempts to update these statistics are ongoing.

Father Victor said coordination from the government right down to people on site at the impacted areas is crucial to enable swift coordination of relief efforts.

"Schools, houses, clinics, roads and bridges have been affected and people are finding it difficult to move around and relief efforts are also hampered by this, so it is good that we coordinate more," Fr Roche stated.
Update - 6th of March, 2018:

RNZ reports:
The death toll in Papua New Guinea following last week's magnitude 7.5 earthquake has risen to 75.

The Highlands region was badly damaged in that tremor, and continues to be rattled by aftershocks as high as magnitude 6.

Much of remote Hela and Southern Highlands provinces were cut off by massive landslides, which has hampered the delivery of much-needed aid.

PNG journalist, Scott Waide, has just visited the region closest to the epicentre, including a village where 11 people died when the mountainside came crashing through.

He said he heard of a story about a boy whose whole family was killed in the quake.

"There's a chap who is in grade 5. He goes to school in Margarima - Margarima is very far away from his village. He came back to ask his parents for school fees [but] on his way back his whole family was wiped out - his siblings, his mother, his father and an uncle have all died. So he's the only one in the family left."
Update - 9th of March, 2018:

Local newspaper the Post Courier reports:
More than 100 people have lost their lives and many others remain unaccounted for 10 days after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the resource rich provinces of Southern Highlands, Hela, Enga and Western Province.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said this yesterday after he visited the remote disaster devastated communities and people on Wednesday.

"Authorities have estimated that over 100 have lost lives and or are missing, families who are stranded in remote communities because our accesses to them especially the road links have been closed off by landslips," he said.

"As we are clearing up the existing landslips, new ones are coming up because the aftershocks are causing new landslips so it is a huge challenge which will require a lot of effort and time so that we are able to take the relief supplies to these communities." He said the work of rebuilding the affected communities is going to be difficult will take some time.

"Our government's efforts are being supported by many countries like China, the Chinese government is one of the large contributors to that, the Australian government, New Zealand government, organisations like Oil Search, PNG LNG, many Chinese businesses right throughout the country and off course many of our development partners like the World Bank and ADB (Asian Development Bank) who have supported the relief effort," he said. Mr O'Neill said this yesterday when receiving a cheque of K1.006 million from the China Enterprise Association, comprising China's state-owned companies currently operating in Papua New Guinea, towards the disaster relief efforts.

"China and PNG are very historic friends, there are many generations of Chinese who have lived and work and families have lived in Papua New Guinea and will continue to be part of our country's history for many years to come so all these support and contributions is very much appreciated by our families who are suffering the loss," he said.

"We are trying to help rebuild their lives and the funds that you contributed will immediately go to providing food, water, medicine and shelter to many of these communities who are left homeless and without food and water.

"K1 million is a lot of money in these difficult economic times and to raise that kind of money in a matter of days is something we truly appreciate."