Archive | Earthquakes

Earthquake in India: 6.4-Mag Shaker Leaves No Casualties

A sizable earthquake struck the India-Myanmar border on Friday, seismologists said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.4-magnitude tremor rattled a remote region 50 miles east-southeast of the Indian town of Imphal in the state of Manipur, and 42 miles from Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), the U.S. Geological Survey reported Friday in a written statement.

The area, which is more than 250 miles from the Myanmar city of Mandalay, is home to few residents.

The USGS said the temblor hit at a depth of about 55 miles at 8:42 p.m. Indian Standard Time.

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Small Earthquake Stirs Central California

A small earthquake shook central California Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The 4.5-magnitude tremor struck Monterey County at 12:51 a.m., with an epicenter 6 miles south-southeast of San Juan Bautista and 45 miles southeast of San Jose.

A series of light aftershocks, including a 3.4 temblor, rattled the region in the early morning hours afterward.

There were no reports of damage or injuries. The quake was not even strong enough to shake books from shelves, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Indiana Earthquake Rattles Midwesterners

A 3.8-magnitude earthquake hit north-central Indiana Wednesday morning at about 8 a.m. ET, The U.S. Geological Survey says.

The tremor occurred three miles below ground about 15 miles east-southeast of Kokomo, and 50 miles north of Indianapolis.

Earthquakes are rare for heartland areas like Indiana, so some residents were a bit shaken up.

“It was like a huge explosion under your feet,” said Kokomo denizen Debra Sholty, according to CNN.

But most people were more surprised than frightened.

“The whole building just shook,” local Laura Smith told CNN. “You could feel your body shaking.”

“It was amazing,” she added. “Personally, I thought it was exciting.”

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

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'Wall to Wall' San Andreas Quake Overdue

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10 (UPI) — Some U.S. seismologists are increasingly alarmed at the potential of an earthquake occurring along the entire length of California’s San Andreas fault.

The San Andreas has long been considered one of the most dangerous faults in the state; however recent research has some experts fearing a future major quake could occur along its entire 340-mile length.

“My concern is that we will get a series of large earthquakes along the San Andreas fault,” said Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center.

Jordan told the Los Angeles Times the quakes could include a devastating 8.1 shaker and could run “wall to wall” from Monterey to the Salton Sea near the Mexican border.

Jordan based his opinion on research from Arizona State University and the University of California, Irvine that concluded a key section of the San Andreas northwest of Los Angeles was way overdue for a major quake.

The last major quake in the section was in 1857 and was halted at the Cajon Pass north of Los Angeles., a fortunate occurrence that seismologists say can’t be counted on in the future.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Study Zeroes in on Likely Eruptions

LEEDS, England, Sept. 27 (UPI) — A study of recent volcanic activity in Africa has revealed a method to pinpoint where volcanic eruptions are likely to occur, British researchers say.

Scientists from the universities of Leeds along with U.S. and African researchers studied volcanic activity in the remote Afar desert of Northern Ethiopia from 2005 to 2009, a release said.

Looking at a sequence of magmatic events, where molten rock flowed into a crack between the African and Arabian tectonic plates, they found the location of each event in the sequence was not random.

Instead they were linked, because each event changed the amount of tension in the earth’s crust, the researchers said.

By monitoring levels of tension in the ground near where each event occurred they found subsequent eruptions were more likely in places where the tension increased.

One researcher compared the linkage to that observed for earthquakes.

“It’s been known for some time that a large earthquake has a role to play in triggering subsequent earthquakes, but until now, our knowledge of volcanic events has been based on isolated cases,” Ian Hamling at the University of Leeds said.

“We have demonstrated that volcanic eruptions can influence each other.

“Knowing the state of stress in this way won’t tell you when an eruption will happen, but it will give a better idea of where it is most likely to occur,” Hamling said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Tunnel Under San Francisco Bay Begun

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24 (UPI) — A project to create a 5-mile-long tunnel under San Francisco Bay to carry billions of gallons of water to Bay Area communities has begun, officials said.

When the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s $4.6 billion project to overhaul the area’s water system is completed in 2015, the Bay Division Pipeline 5 will replace two decaying pipelines that now traverse the bay on wooden trestles, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

“These pipelines are old, and they leak,” commission general manager Ed Harrington said. “The question is, do we really want to depend on them in a major earthquake? We really count on this system working, even if others fail.”

The current water network serves 2.5 million customers in San Francisco, the East Bay and the Peninsula. A failure at the trans-bay pipeline during an earthquake could cut off water to businesses, homes and public service agencies for weeks or even months, officials warn.

“This infrastructure was built in the 1920s and 1930s — it wasn’t meant to last this long,” Bob Mues, tunnel project construction manager, said.

“This is state of the art,” he said of the new project.

The underground pipeline won’t cross any major fault lines, but will lie between the San Andreas and Hayward faults.

Because earthquakes cause more shaking at ground level than below it, experts say the pipeline’s location is considered more secure.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Earthquake Pattern Mirrored Stress Buildup

POTSDAM, Germany, Sept. 9 (UPI) — The pattern of fractures resulting from the February 2010 earthquake in Chile was predictable from previously measured stresses, German researchers say.

GPS observations along fault zones before the earthquake showed patterns of stresses accumulated through tectonic plate movements during the past 175 years, researchers from the GFZ German Center for Geosciences said.

The earthquake fracture patterns closely followed the stress distributions, they said.

Researchers say the 8.8 magnitude quake in 2010 probably removed all the stress building up since the last major earthquake in the region in 1835, witnessed by Charles Darwin.

Therefore an earthquake of similar magnitude in the area is unlikely in the near future, the scientists say.

Science may still not be able to predict the location, time and magnitude of an earthquake, but the study suggests the predictability of possible fracture patterns and magnitudes of expected earthquakes, its authors said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Strong Earthquake hits New Zealand's South Island Near Christchurch

September 3 – A powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck New Zealand near Christchurch, the largest city in that country’s South Island with a population of about 375,000 people.

So far there are no widespread reports of damage or injury, however, power is reportedly out across the city.

The USGS reported that the large trembler was located 10 miles beneath the surface and struck at 4:35 a.m. local time (12:35 p.m. ET Friday). Only light damage is predicted based on the USGS’s Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale.

Additionally, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced the quake is unlikely to produce a tsunami, based on past earthquakes of similar magnitude, shaking, and location.

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Scientists Now 'browse' Earthquake Data

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 20 (UPI) — European scientists say a new computer tool will help them understand how earthquakes travel in the Earth’s structure and cause damage.

Seismologists measure vibrations in the Earth at hundreds of observatories across Europe. By recording the speed and strength of the vibrations at different sites, they can understand the type of ground they have traveled through, researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland said.

Seismic data from across Europe is available for analysis through Web sites such as the Earthquake Data Portal, but only a few organizations have the computer resources and technical know-how needed to process this vast store of data.

A group called Rapid, composed of computer scientists at the university, has come to the rescue.

The Rapid team developed a Web portal to “overlay” the data portal. This takes all the complex computing needed for seismic analysis and hides it behind a standard Web browser.

With all of the analysis tools presented in such a familiar environment, they say, any seismologist — even the most technophobic ones — can use the system.

Researchers say the Rapid Web portal allows even the smallest seismology groups to perform the kind of analysis previously limited to organizations that could afford their own supercomputers.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Study: San Andreas Quake 'overdue'

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 (UPI) — California’s San Andreas fault has produced more earthquakes than previously thought and is overdue for a major one, a study says.

Scientists spent years studying the geology of the Carrizo Plain area of the San Andreas about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles to produce the long-awaited report, the Los Angeles Times said Friday.

The last massive earthquake on that section of the fault was in 1857, but researchers from the University of California, Irvine and Arizona State University found that earthquakes have occurred as often as every 45 to 144 years, the newspaper said.

That would make the region overdue for a large catastrophic quake, the study suggests.

Many Southern California seismologists say the report supports their view that the San Andreas has been in a quiet period and that a major rupture is possible.

“What we know is for the last 700 years, earthquakes on the southern San Andreas fault have been much more frequent than everyone thought,” UCI researcher Sinan Akciz said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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