Posts Tagged ‘earthquake’

Latest North Korea quake a sign of instability at nuclear site: Experts — Could Explosions at Punggye-ri could trigger another volcanic eruption

October 13, 2017

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SEOUL (REUTERS) – A series of tremors and landslides near North Korea’s nuclear test base likely mean the country’s sixth and largest blast has destabilised the region, and the Punggye-ri nuclear site may not be used for much longer to test nuclear weapons, experts say.

A small quake was detected early on Friday (Oct 13) near the North’s nuclear test site, South Korea’s weather agency said, but unlike quakes associated with nuclear tests, it did not appear to be manmade.

The tremor was the latest in a string of at least three shocks to be observed since Pyongyang’s Sept 3 nuclear test, which caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Friday’s quake was a magnitude 2.7 with a depth of 3km in North Hamgyong Province in North Korea, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at 2.9 magnitude at a depth of 5km.

The series of quakes has prompted experts and observers to suspect the last test – which the North claimed to be of a hydrogen bomb – may have damaged the mountainous location in the north-west tip of the country, where all of North Korea’s six nuclear tests were conducted.

“The explosion from the Sept. 3 test had such power that the existing tunnels within the underground testing site might have caved in,” said Kim So Gu, head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute.

“I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated. If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution.”

According to 38 North, a Washington-based project which monitors North Korea, numerous landslides throughout the nuclear test site have been detected via satellite images after the sixth test. These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North’s previous tests, 38 North said.

The explosion from the sixth test was large enough for residents of the Chinese border city of  Yanji, 200km north of North Korea’s nuclear test site, to feel the ground shake beneath their feet.

“The reason why Punggye-ri has become North Korea’s nuclear testing field is because this area was considered stable and rarely saw tremors in the past,” said Hong Tae Kyung, a professor of earth system science at Yonsei University in Seoul.“The recent small quakes suggest that the test might have triggered crust deformation.”

READYING NEW TUNNELS

South Korea’s spy agency said recently the North was readying possibly two more tunnels following its latest test, according to ruling Democratic Party lawmakers who had been briefed on the issue.

The tunnel used for Pyongyang’s first nuclear test had been shut down after that test, while a second tunnel had been used for the following five, the National Intelligence Service was cited as saying last month. This second tunnel may have caved in after the sixth test, the intelligence officials said.

North Korea has hinted its next test could be above the ground. Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said last month the North could test “an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb” over the Pacific Ocean, in response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” the country.

Arms experts say detonating a nuclear-tipped missile over the Pacific Ocean, while seen as the logical final step to prove the success of its weapons programme, would be extremely provocative and carry huge risks.

Another issue that could keep North Korea from using Punggye-ri for nuclear tests the nearby active volcano of Mt Paektu, Yonsei University’s Hong said.

The 2,744-m mountain, straddling the north-western border between China and North Korea, last erupted in 1903. Since North Korea began testing its nuclear capabilities, experts have debated whether explosions at Punggye-ri could trigger another volcanic eruption.

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Small North Korean quake likely natural, not nuclear test: experts

September 23, 2017

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Reuters

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – A small earthquake near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday was probably not manmade, the nuclear proliferation watchdog and a South Korean official said, easing fears Pyongyang had exploded another nuclear bomb just weeks after its last one.

Chinese earthquake officials said the magnitude 3.4 quake detected at 0829 GMT was a “suspected explosion” but both the CTBTO, which monitors nuclear tests, and a South Korean meteorological agency official said they believed it was a natural quake.

“A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a manmade earthquake,” said the South Korean official, who asked for anonymity. “In this case we saw none. So as of now, we are categorizing this as a natural earthquake.”

The earthquake, which South Korea put at magnitude 3.0, was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong Province, where North Korea’s known Punggyeri nuclear site is located, the official said.

All of North Korea’s previous six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 or above. The last test on Sept 3 registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake.

A secondary tremor detected after that test could have been caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site, experts said at the time. Satellite photos of the area after the Sept 3 quake showed numerous landslides apparently caused by the massive blast, which North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

The head of the nuclear test monitoring agency CTBTO said on Saturday that analysts were “looking at unusual seismic activity of a much smaller magnitude” than the Sept 3 test in North Korea.

“Two #Seismic Events! 0829UTC & much smaller @ 0443UTC unlikely Man-made! Similar to ”collapse“ event 8.5 mins after DPRK6! Analysis ongoing,” CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post, referring to Sept 3 test.

Russia’s emergency ministry says background radiation in nearby Vladivostok was within the natural range.

TENSIONS HIGH

The U.S. Geological Survey said it could not conclusively confirm whether the quake, which it measured at magnitude 3.5, was manmade or natural.

“The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist,” USGS said. “The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) is the sole organization in the U.S. federal government whose mission is to detect and report technical data from foreign nuclear explosions.”

There was no immediate reaction from China’s Foreign Ministry, but the news was widely reported by Chinese state media outlets and on social media.

Tensions have continued to rise around the Korean peninsula since Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test, prompting a new round of U.N. sanctions.

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, currently in New York for a United Nations meeting, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific.

Ri is due to address the United Nations later on Saturday.

U.S. President Donald Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”.

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North Korea’s nuclear tests to date have all been underground, and experts say an atmospheric test, which would be the first since one by China in 1980, would be proof of the success of its weapons program.

North Korea has launched dozens of missiles this year, several of them flying over Japan, as it accelerates a weapons program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

While China has been angered by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and has signed up for the increasingly tough U.N. sanctions, it has also stressed the need to resume dialogue and for all sides to take steps to reduce tensions.

In a series of meetings this week at the United Nations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reiterated to various foreign counterparts that apart from sanctions, the resolutions also call for dialogue to resume and that this needs to happen.

Earlier on Saturday, China said it will limit exports of refined petroleum products from Oct. 1 and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately to comply with the latest U.N. sanctions. It will also ban imports of textiles from North Korea.

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

The North accuses the United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, of planning to invade and regularly threatens to destroy it and its Asian allies.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai, Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Christine Kim and Heekyong Yang in Seoul, Michael Shields in Zurich, Denis Pinchuk in Moscow; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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China experts say 3.4-quake hits N. Korea in ‘suspected explosion’ — Epicenter of the quake is roughly the same as that of a previous shallow tremor on September 3, which turned out to be caused by a North Korean nuclear test

September 23, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | The epicenter of the quake is roughly the same as that of a previous shallow tremor on September 3, which turned out to be caused by a North Korean nuclear test, the official Xinhua news agency said

BEIJING (AFP) – China’s seismic service CENC on Saturday detected a zero-depth, 3.4-magnitude earthquake in North Korea, calling it a “suspected explosion”.The epicentre is roughly the same as that of a previous shallow earthquake on September 3, which turned out to be caused by a North Korean nuclear test, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The earthquake comes after days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s regime over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions that has raised international alarm.

There seemed to be some initial difference of opinion, however, with Seoul’s Korea Meteorological Agency (KMA) saying that it had registered a tremor of a similar size, but judged it a “natural quake”.

The quake comes amid soaring tensions over Pyongyang’s weapons programme, with the firing of two missiles over Japan in recent weeks and its sixth and largest nuclear test earlier this month.

The September 3rd test was North Korea’s most powerful detonation, triggering a much stronger 6.3-magnitude quake that was felt across the border in China.

This week marked a new level of acromony in a blistering war of words between Kim and Trump, with the North Korean leader calling the American president “mentally deranged” and a “dotard”.

Trump has dubbed Kim a “madman” and sought to ratchet up sanctions against the isolted regime, which says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against the threat of invasion.

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and closeup

Pyongyang later said it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted onto a missile — an assertion that no foreign government has so far confirmed.

The move prompted global condemnation, leading the UN Security Council to unanimously adopt new sanctions that include restrictions on oil shipments.

Hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs, are thermonuclear weapons far more powerful than ordinary fission-based atomic bombs, and use a nuclear blast to generate the intense temperatures required for fusion to take place.

Kim on Friday threatened the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in a tirade against Trump’s warning that Washington would “totally destroy” the North if the US or its allies were threatened.

Monitoring groups estimate that the nuclear test conducted in North Korea earlier this month had a yield of 250 kilotons, which is 16 times the size of the US bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

Washington announced tougher restrictions Friday aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme, building on new tough United Nations sanctions aimed to choke Pyongyang of cash.

Russia and China have both appealed for an end to the escalating rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang.

But on the fringes of the UN meeting this week, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho upped the tensions further, telling reporters Pyongyang might now consider detonating a hydrogen bomb outside its territory.

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Korean Seismic Activity Took Place 50 Km From Prior Nuclear Tests: CTBTO

September 23, 2017

ZURICH — The nuclear proliferation watchdog CTBTO said unusual seismic activity detected in North Korea on Saturday took place around 50 km (31 miles) from previous nuclear tests.

“Korean Peninsula unusual #seismic activity: LAT=41.36 LON=129.76 mb=3.5 About 50 km from prior tests. #CTBT Analysts investigating,” CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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South Korea Says Natural North Korea Earthquake Detected

September 23, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s weather agency said a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday around where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural.

The quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea, and about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, according to an official from Seoul’s Korea Meteorological Administration.

Image result for Kilju, North Korea, map

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said earlier that the country’s seismic service detected a magnitude 3.4 quake in North Korea and saw the likely cause as an explosion. The official from the South Korean agency said the analysis of seismic waves and the lack of sound waves clearly showed that the quake wasn’t caused by an artificial explosion. She spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.

North Korea has been maintaining a torrid pace in nuclear and weapons tests as it accelerates its pursuit of nuclear weapons that could viably target the United States and its allies in Asia.

North Korea said its recent nuclear test was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for its developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles. In two July flight tests, those missiles showed potential capability to reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.

Mexicans dig through collapsed buildings as quake kills 248 — School collapse kills more than 20 children

September 20, 2017

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN and PETER ORSI

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police, firefighters and ordinary Mexicans dug frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings early Wednesday, looking for survivors of Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in decades as the number of confirmed fatalities climbed to 248.

Adding poignancy and a touch of the surreal, Tuesday’s magnitude-7.1 quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. Just hours earlier, people around Mexico had held earthquake drills to mark the date.

One of the most desperate rescue efforts was at a primary and secondary school in southern Mexico City, where a wing of the three-story building collapsed into a massive pancake of concrete slabs. Journalists saw rescuers pull at least two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets.

A mix of neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their bare hands to search through the school’s rubble. The crowd of anxious parents outside the gates shared reports that two families had received Whatsapp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed. The rescue effort was punctuated by cries of “Quiet!” so searchers could listen for any faint calls for help.

Mexico’s federal Education Department reported late Tuesday night that 25 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of a school that collapsed during Tuesday’s earthquake. Most of the dead are children. Across Mexico, more than 200 are known dead in the earthquake. (Sept. 20)

“They have heard voices in there,” said President Enrique Pena Nieto, who visited the site Tuesday night.

Rescuers brought in wooden beams to shore up the fallen concrete slabs so they wouldn’t collapse further and crush whatever airspaces remained.

The federal Education Department reported late Tuesday that 25 bodies had been recovered from the school’s wreckage, all but four of them children. It was not clear whether those deaths were included in the overall death toll of 248 reported by the federal civil defense agency. Pena Nieto had earlier reported 22 bodies found and said 30 children and eight adults were reported missing.

In a video message released late Tuesday, Pena Nieto urged people to be calm and said authorities were moving to provide help as 40 percent of Mexico City and 60 percent of nearby Morelos state were without power. But, he said, “the priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people.”

People across central Mexico already had rallied to help their neighbors as dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed and twisted and hundreds of thousands of panicked people ran into the streets.

Dust-covered and exhausted from digging, 30-year-old Carlos Mendoza said two people were pulled alive from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building in the Roma Sur neighborhood during a three-hour period.

“When we saw this, we came to help,” he said, gesturing at the destruction. “This is ugly, very ugly.”

Blocks away, Alma Gonzalez was in her fourth-floor apartment when the quake collapsed the ground floor of her building, leaving her no way out. She was terrified until her neighbors mounted a ladder on their roof and helped her slide out a side window.

Mancera said 50 to 60 people were rescued by citizens and emergency workers in the capital.

The national Civil Defense agency reported early Wednesday that the confirmed death toll stood at 248, more than half of them in the capital.

The official Twitter feed of agency head Luis Felipe Puente said 117 dead had been counted in Mexico City and 72 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. It said 43 were known dead in Puebla state, where the quake was centered. Twelve deaths were listed in the State of Mexico, which surrounds Mexico City on three sides, three in Guerrero state and one in Oaxaca.

At the site of a collapsed apartment building in Mexico City, rescuers worked atop a three-story pile of rubble, forming a human chain that passed pieces of rubble across four city blocks to a site where they were dumped.

Throughout the day, rescuers pulled dust-covered people, some barely conscious, some seriously injured, from about three dozen collapsed buildings. At one site, shopping carts commandeered from a nearby supermarket were used to carry water to the rescue site and take rubble away.

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As night began to fall, huge flood lights lit up the recovery sites, but workers and volunteers begged for headlamps.

Where a six-story office building collapsed in Mexico City, sisters Cristina and Victoria Lopez Torres formed part of a human chain passing bottled water.

“I think it’s human nature that drives everyone to come and help others,” Cristina Lopez said.

“We are young. We didn’t live through′85. But we know that it’s important to come out into the streets to help,” said her sister Victoria.

Ricardo Ibarra, 48, did live through the 1985 quake and said there hadn’t been anything like it since.

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Wearing a bright orange vest and carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag strapped to it, he said he and his friends just wanted to help.

“People are very sensitive because today was the 32nd anniversary of a tragedy,” he said.

Buildings also collapsed in Morelos state, including the town hall and local church in Jojutla near the quake’s epicenter. A dozen people died in Jojutla.

The town’s Instituto Morelos secondary school partly collapsed, but school director Adelina Anzures said the earthquake drill held in the morning came in handy.

“I told them that it was not a game, that we should be prepared,” Anzures said of the drill. When the quake came, she said, children and teachers rapidly filed out and nobody was hurt.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.1 quake hit at 1:14 p.m. (2:15 p.m. EDT) and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

Much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soil can amplify the effects of earthquakes centered hundreds of miles away.

The quake appeared to be unrelated to the magnitude 8.1 temblor that hit Sept. 7 off Mexico’s southern coast and also was felt strongly in the capital.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle noted the epicenters of the two quakes were 400 miles (650 kilometers) apart and said most aftershocks are within (60 miles) 100 kilometers.

Includes video:

https://apnews.com/7d76215423ba4fc58149c7108cdf5ee0/Mexicans-dig-through-collapsed-buildings-as-quake-kills-248

Strong quake near Mexico City kills at least 226, rescuers dig through collapsed buildings

September 20, 2017
At leas 248 people including 20 children have been killed after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, toppling buildings across the city and collapsing a school

At leas 248 people including 20 children have been killed after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, toppling buildings across the city and collapsing a school

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4900334/Strong-7-4-quake-hits-Mexico-anniversary-deadly-1985-tremor.html#ixzz4tCgRMY37
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By Anthony Esposito

Reuters

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 / 2:32 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Rescue crews and ordinary citizens searched through rubble for survivors as night fell on Tuesday on battered cities in central Mexico, including the capital, where the death toll from a major earthquake grew to at least 226.

The magnitude 7.1 quake toppled dozens of buildings, broke gas mains and sparked fires less than two weeks after another powerful quake killed at least 98 people in southern Mexico. It also hit just hours after emergency drills marked the anniversary of a temblor that killed thousands in 1985.

Millions of people fled into the streets, where they weathered the violent shaking and desperately sought word about the welfare of family and friends.

Emergency personnel in Mexico City, a metropolitan region of about 20 million people, searched frantically with picks and shovels for survivors beneath the rubble of what the sprawling city’s mayor calculated to be as many as 44 collapsed buildings, including at least one primary school.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said late on Tuesday more than 20 children and two adults had been found dead at the school, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen, in the neighborhood of Coapa. Another 30 children and 12 adults were missing, he said.

Emergency personnel and equipment were being deployed across affected areas so that “throughout the night we can continue aiding the population and eventually find people beneath the rubble,” Peña Nieto said in a video posted on Facebook earlier on Tuesday evening.

The quake happened just hours after nationwide practice drills, days after an 8.1-magnitude tremor struck the south of the country, and on the anniversary of another deadly quake in 1985

The quake happened just hours after nationwide practice drills, days after an 8.1-magnitude tremor struck the south of the country, and on the anniversary of another deadly quake in 1985

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4900334/Strong-7-4-quake-hits-Mexico-anniversary-deadly-1985-tremor.html#ixzz4tCgcQUN7
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Rescue workers and soldiers toiled around collapsed buildings where heat-sensing equipment suggested survivors could still be trapped. Bystanders joined in where they could, clearing debris with their bare hands or whatever tools they could find nearby.

“My wife is there,” said Juan Jesus Garcia, 33, choking back tears outside one building in Mexico City.

“I haven’t been able to communicate with her. She is not answering, and now they are telling us we have to turn off our cellphones because there is a gas leak.”

The quake had killed 49 people in the capital by late Tuesday, according to civil defense chief Luis Felipe Puente. The highest toll, he said, was in Morelos State, just to the south, where 55 people were killed.

Another 13 people were reported killed in the neighboring states of Mexico and Guerrero. Thirty-two deaths had been counted in the central state of Puebla, also to the south, where the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) located the quake’s epicenter.

As many as 4.6 million homes, businesses and other facilities had lost electricity, according to national power company Comisión Federal de Electricidad. Most of them were in the greater Mexico City area and in the states of Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, and Tlaxcala.

GRIDLOCK, AFTERSHOCKS

Rescue personnel and volunteers work on a four-story building that collapsed after an earthquake in Mexico City

Rescue personnel and volunteers work on a four-story building that collapsed after an earthquake in Mexico City

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4900334/Strong-7-4-quake-hits-Mexico-anniversary-deadly-1985-tremor.html#ixzz4tCgn2HoR
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Rescue workers look at fellow workers searching for people under the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

In the capital, ambulances and fire engines confronted gridlock as millions of workers tried to get home, many of them after participating in annual readiness drills that commemorate the previous disaster on this date in 1985.

Much of the country was also shaken when an 8.1 magnitude quake, the strongest in more than eight decades, struck southern Mexico on Sept. 7, killing at least 98 people.

Earthquakes of magnitude 7 or above are regarded as major and are capable of causing widespread heavy damage. Another 11 aftershocks were registered after the initial quake at around lunchtime on Tuesday, the most powerful of which measured 4.9, according to the USGS.

In addition to the school, a supermarket and a factory collapsed in the capital. Much of the damage was in the fashionable Condesa and Roma districts near the city center.

On Twitter, relatives posted pleas for news of family members. At least one survivor was pulled from a collapsed building in Condesa and another was rescued from a six-story apartment building nearby.

Mexican media showed images of desperate locals forming human chains in search of people still trapped in collapsed buildings after nightfall. With power out in much of the city, the work was carried out in the dark or with flashlights and generators.

In Obrera, a central neighborhood in Mexico City, people applauded when rescuers managed to retrieve four people alive, with cheers of “si se puede,” or “yes we can,” ringing out.

Volunteers continued arriving throughout the night, following calls from the civil protection agency, the Red Cross and firefighters.

In Puebla, university student Jevon Minto, 24, said he had just arrived at class when he felt the shaking. “We were seated when the place started shaking real, real hard … You can literally feel the fear and the panic in this city.”

Banker Jesus Gonzalez Hernandez, 55, said office lamps and furniture swayed when the tremor began. He and colleagues rushed to evacuate. “But while exiting down the stairs, the walls were coming apart,” said Gonzalez Hernandez, who fractured his ankle in the chaos.

Mexican stocks and the peso currency dropped on news of the earthquake and Mexico’s stock exchange suspended trading.

At the same time as the earthquake, Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano had a small eruption. A church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, in Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano, Puebla Governor Jose Antonio Gali said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”

For a graphic on earthquake strikes central Mexico, click: here

Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Writing by Cynthia Osterman; Editing by Leslie Adler, James Dalgleish and Paul Tait

Includes video:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-quake-usgs/strong-quake-near-mexico-city-kills-at-least-226-rescuers-dig-through-collapsed-buildings-idUSKCN1BU2IJ

Mexican Quake Death Toll Rises to 90 as Oaxaca Reports More Fatalities

September 10, 2017

MEXICO CITY — The death toll from the massive earthquake that struck Mexico on Thursday night has risen to at least 90 after emergency services in the southern state of Oaxaca said late on Saturday there had been 71 confirmed fatalities in the state alone.

“It’s 71 (dead). Just for Oaxaca,” said Jesus Gonzalez, a spokesman for the state civil protection authority.

At least 15 people died in the neighboring state of Chiapas, according to local authorities, while another four deaths have also been confirmed in the state of Tabasco to the north.

The 8.1 magnitude quake that struck off the coast of Chiapas on Thursday was stronger than a devastating 1985 temblor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands.

Relief efforts in the south continued through Saturday, with many of the people worst affected still wary of returning indoors to weakened buildings, fearing they could be brought down by ongoing aftershocks.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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BBC News

Mexico earthquake: Rescue efforts continue as death toll rises

This is what the southern region of Mexico woke up to after an 8.1 magnitude quake

The race to rescue those trapped in the rubble continues, nearly 48 hours after a powerful earthquake struck off Mexico’s southern coast.

The 8.1 magnitude quake left at least 65 people dead, according to officials.

Another 200 people were injured, President Enrique Peña Nieto said, as he declared a national day of mourning.

Meanwhile, the feared category one Hurricane Katia, which struck Veracruz on the east coast on Saturday, has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The US National Hurricane Center reported Katia had been rapidly weakening since making landfall, but local officials are worried the storm could still cause landslides and flooding.

Rescue efforts following the earthquake, which struck late on Thursday, are focussing on the worst-hit states of Tabasco, Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Tens of thousands of emergency packs, as well as 100 extra police officers and rescue dogs were sent to Juchitán, Oaxaca, which was the most affected town.

The earthquake is the most powerful anywhere in the world since September 2015, but its depth – 70km according to the US Geological Survey – means that the shaking felt at the surface was less strong than it would have been for an equally powerful but shallower tremor.

President Enrique Peña Nieto speaks in Juchitán in Oaxaca state, 8 Sept 2017
President Enrique Peña Nieto speaks in Juchitán on Friday. EPA Photo

At least 37 people have been reported dead in Juchitán, according to the Milenio newspaper. The town hall and a number of other buildings destroyed or badly damaged.

“The situation is Juchitán is critical; this is the most terrible moment in its history,” said Mayor Gloria Sanchez.

Police officer Vidal Vera, 29, who had not slept in more than 36 hours, told AFP: “I can’t remember an earthquake this terrible.

“The whole city is a disaster zone right now. Lots of damage. Lots of deaths. I don’t know how you can make sense of it. It’s hard. My sister-in-law’s husband died. His house fell on top of him.”

Mr Peña Nieto, who visited the town on Friday, said flags would fly at half-mast on Saturday out of respect for the dead and bereaved.

The president said 45 deaths had been reported in Oaxaca, 12 in Chiapas and four in Tabasco.

Damage to the municipal palace of Juchitán, Mexico, 8 September 2017
Parts of the town hall in Juchitán were levelled. EPA photo

The BBC’s Arturo Wallace says the affected region is the poorest and least developed part of Mexico and the full extent of the damage is yet to become clear.

At least one other person was killed in Guatemala, its president has said.

The huge quake struck at 23:50 local time on Thursday (04:50 GMT Friday), shaking buildings and causing panic hundreds of miles away in the capital, Mexico City.

Patients at a hospital in Villahermosa, Mexico, remain in the open after a strong earthquake on 8 September 2017
Patients at a hospital in Villahermosa, Tabasco state, were moved into the open after the quake struck. EPA

The earthquake also triggered a tsunami warning and the evacuation of thousands of people in coastal communities in Chiapas. The warning was later lifted.

Throughout Friday, the region was shaken with scores of aftershocks.

President Peña Nieto’s office said he would travel to Chiapas to survey the damage.

Pope Francis, addressing an open air Mass on a visit to Colombia, said he was praying “for those who have lost their lives and their families”.

The earthquake was more powerful than the 1985 tremor which hit close to Mexico City and caused thousands of deaths. Correspondents say the death toll appears to have been lower because it struck further away from highly populated areas.

Map locator

Media captionA bowling alley shakes in Tuxtla Gutierrez, 240km from the epicentre

Journalist Franc Contreras, who was in Mexico City, told the BBC: “You could hear loud cracks in the concrete. It sounded like a giant wooden branch being just broken open violently.

“People were streaming out of the hallways. And everybody walking out single file into the streets, trying to avoid overhead power lines.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41209243

Magnitude 8 earthquake strikes off Mexico’s southern coast

September 8, 2017

The shock of the quake was felt as far away as Mexico City. The government has said that at least five people were killed in the country’s south as a result of the tremor.

Rescue workers standing in rubble in Mexico (picture-alliance/ZumaPress/A. Salinas)

The quake struck late on Thursday, and was recorded as a magnitude 8.4 on the Richter scale according to Mexico’s National Seismological Service. Government officials said that at least five people died in the country’s south.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said that the quake, the biggest the country has seen in a century, had caused major damage and caused 1 million people to lose power, though it has been restored to about 800,000 already.

The US Tsunami Warning Center has cautioned that widespread, devastating tidal waves were possible on Mexico’s coast, as well as in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador.

Shortly thereafter, authorities reported a tsunami was indeed headed towards the coast, fortunately only 0.7 meters (2.3 feet) tall.

The quake’s epicenter was about 123 km (76 miles) south of the town of Pijijiapan in Chiapas state, but the shock was felt 1000 km (650 miles) as far away as Mexico City, sending residents fleeing swaying buildings and knocking out electricity in parts of the city. The quake was also felt in much of Guatemala, which borders Chiapas.

Mexico’s civil protection agency reported that the last comparable tremor was a 1985 earthquake that killed thousands and destroyed entire buildings in the country’s heavily populated capital.

Impresionante, un hotel en Matías Romero, OAXACA esta inclinado, huéspedes y personal al interior. Están evacuando huéspedes. Vía @rioaxaca

Civil Defense officials wrote on Twitter that their personnel were patrolling the streets in Chiapas aiding residents and looking for damage. They also issued a warning for aftershocks, several of which themselves registered a 5.0 magnitude according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Chiapas Governor Manuel Velasco told broadcaster Televisa some homes had been damaged and a shopping center had collapsed in the town of San Cristobal.

“Homes, schools and hospitals have been affected,” Velasco said.

In Tabasco state, next to Chipas, Governor Arturo Nunez said two of the dead were small children who were residents of his state. One child was crushed by a falling wall while the other was an infant who perished when his ventilator stopped functioning after a power outage in a hospital.

There were also reports of bad damage in Oaxaca state, with buildings collapsed and reduced to rubble. Throughout all three southern states, rescue workers rushed to check for anyone trapped by the debris.

Karte Mexiko Erdbeben ENG

es/ng (AP, AFP, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/magnitude-8-earthquake-strikes-off-mexicos-southern-coast/a-40409831

Related:

Deadly earthquake hits off the coast of southern Mexico

September 8, 2017

Updated 4:05 AM ET, Fri September 8, 2017

(CNN) — A massive 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of southern Mexico early Friday morning, killing at five people and triggering tsunamis.

The quake, which was felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City, struck 74 miles (120 kilometers) off the Pacific Coast at 12:49 a.m. ET Friday, when many people would have been sleeping.

Latest updates

— Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said three people died in the state of Chiapas and two in Tabasco. Gov. Manuel Velasco said two of them died in a house collapse.
— Some 23,000 people likely experienced violent shaking, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS Pager system, which predicts economic and human loss following earthquakes, issued a red alert. “High casualties and extensive damage are probable and the disaster is likely widespread. Past red alerts have required a national or international response,” it said.
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— A tsunami has been confirmed in Mexico, with one wave coming in at 3 feet (1 meter), according to a tweet from the National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center’s verified account.
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— The main quake had a depth of 69.7 kilometers (43 miles), according to the USGS. It was a particularly shallow quake, according to Jana Pursely, a geophysicist at the USGS.
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— The epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City, close to both the Mexican states of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, and Oaxaca, in the Middle America trench.
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— The USGS has reported multiple aftershocks, including four with tremors measuring above 5.0 in magnitude.
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— Gov. Velasco told Foro TV that there have been reports of damage, including hospitals that have lost power and buildings with collapsed roofs. He said that he will cancel school on Friday.
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— A tsunami threat is being evaluated by the Tsunami Warning System. The Tsunami Warning Center advised the public that tsunami waves could hit within three hours off the coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and even Ecuador.
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— Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales activated security personnel to assess the damage.
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A dark street can be seen in the street in Mexico City.

Chiapas hit hard

Gonazalo Segundo was awoken by the shaking.
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“I was already in bed. I was in my place so we were expecting to have a tranquil night but suddenly … everything breaks apart, glasses, furniture and everything,” he told CNN over the phone from Chiapas.
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The states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, home to at about 9 million people, are both located close to the earthquake’s epicenter. They are two of the impoverished areas in Mexico, and were likely hit the hardest.
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First responders at the scene after the quake.

“We have experienced earthquakes before, but not like this. It was so intense,” Segundo said. “We are alive, that’s the important thing.”
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Many of those in Chiapas may not have been so lucky. The earthquake struck in the early hours of the morning when most people would have been sleeping. Chiapas is Mexico’s poorest state.
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Pursely of the USGS told CNN she expects damage along the coast, meaning a costly cleanup could be on the way. These types of shallow quakes have the potential to be very dangerous, she said.
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CNN attempted to contact two seaside hotels in Chiapas but the lines appeared to be down.
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People gather on a street in downtown Mexico City during the quake.

Mexico City shakes

On his verified twitter account, Mexican President Peña Nieto tweeted, “Civil protection protocols are activated, including the National Emergency Committee.”
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It appears even the capital, hundreds of miles away, was not spared from the quake’s tremors. Mexico CIty Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said parts of the city are without in an interview on Foro TV.
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Videos on social media showed significant tremors in various parts of the country as well as major damage to buildings and infrastructure, including traffic lights shaking.
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Paulaina Gomez-Wulschner was driving when it struck. She heard an earthquake alarm go off on the radio, parked her car and joined others stood in the middle of the street to avoid falling objects.
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“This was a very, very strong earthquake, one of the strongest I’ve felt, and I was here in 1985 when that earthquake collapsed Mexico City,” she told CNN.”It was very scary,” she said.
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Gomez-Wulschner said she could hear sirens, ambulances and helicopters in the aftermath, but did not see any immediate damage near her.
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But a receptionist at the Intercontinental in Mexico City said he only felt light shaking.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/08/americas/earthquake-hits-off-the-coast-of-southern-mexico/index.html

See also:

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Mexico; Tsunami Warning Issued

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mexico-city-shaken-by-strong-earthquake-1504848320