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Mexico Earthquake: "Race to rescue those trapped in collapsed buildings"
Mexico: More than 200 killed after 7.1-magnitude quake strikes centre of the country
The Central American Branch was damaged after this strong 7.1 earthquake in Mexico today. They're not reported to have been injured by our brothers. ???By Bible Speaks
7.1 earthquake in Mexico
The Central American Branch was damaged after this strong 7.1 earthquake in Mexico today. They're not reported to have been injured by our brothers. Work has been suspended in buildings.
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Bible Speaks
Suirago City, Philippines last night earthquake, hope all is well. Praying for those who are living there. ??????
Sat Feb 11, 2017 | 8:16 AM EST Earthquake in southern Philippines kills four, damages infrastructure
4h ago | 01:16 Powerful quake kills at least six in southern Philippines (Reuters) - Four people died and more than 100 were injured after a powerful earthquake struck the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines late Friday, damaging some structures and cutting power in many areas, local officials said.
The 6.7 earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km and the epicenter was about 13 km east of the city of Surigao, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said there was no tsunami threat from the earthquake.
Renato Solidum, head of the Philippines' seismic agency, said on radio on Saturday morning 89 aftershocks had been recorded and more could be expected but they were unlikely to cause significant damage.
Friday's quake was the strongest since the city was rocked by a 6.9 quake in 1879, Solidum said.
People rushed to open spaces and spent the night in parks and shelter areas, according to radio reports.
By Guest Nicole
Evacuation order and tsunami watch lifted three hours after the Christmas Day quake struck, allowing 5,000 people to return home
A road in Tarahuin, Chiloé Island, damaged by the earthquake on Sunday. Photograph: Alvaro Vidal/EPA
A major 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit southern Chile on Sunday, prompting thousands to evacuate coastal areas, but no fatalities or major damage were reported.
Chile’s national emergency office (Onemi) lifted both the evacuation order and a tsunami watch three hours after the Christmas Day quake struck and told nearly 5,000 people who had been evacuated they could return to their homes.
Onemi said one bridge in the area was impassible as crews worked to restore electricity to 21,000 homes without power.
Officials had issued a tsunami warning earlier for areas within 620 miles (1,000km) of the epicentre of the quake 140 miles south-west of Puerto Montt, but the warning was downgraded to a tsunami watch. Eight mostly small ports in the area were closed, Chile’s navy said.
The quake was felt on the other side of the Andes mountains in Argentina, but structural damage in areas close to the epicentre was limited, witnesses said.
“There was a lot, a lot of movement here, but besides that nothing of note, there weren’t houses falling,” said Alamiro Vera, owner of the Cabanas hotel in the southern Chile fishing town of Quellon. “It was just scary, and some things inside fell.”
A Reuters witness said some roads and at least one bridge were damaged in Quellon, on Chiloe Island, a tourist destination in Chile’s Los Lagos region.
The quake’s depth was about 20 miles, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. According to media reports, the quake was felt in the south-west Argentinian city of Bariloche.
The area hit by Sunday’s quake was south of Valdivia, Chile, where 1,655 people died in a 1960 quake ranked by the USGS as the most powerful recorded in Chile.
The region is home to several industrial salmon farms and is a tourism hub. An official with Chile’s national fish and aquaculture service said several companies had evacuated employees and were evaluating their facilities for possible damage.
Chile’s state-run oil company, Enap, said its Bio Bio refinery in southern Chile was operating normally. The Puerto Montt airport was also operating normally, a spokesman said.
Chile has a long history of deadly quakes, including an 8.8-magnitude quake in 2010 off the south-central coast, which triggered a tsunami that devastated coastal towns.
El Salvador and Nicaragua earthquake: Tsunami warning after 7.0 magnitude quake strikes in Pacific OceanBy Guest Nicole
Earthquake hits, triggering tsunami warnings, after Nicaragua Caribbean coastline battered by hurricane
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has shaken El Salvador and Nicaragua, just an hour after a powerful hurricane hit Nicaragua's eastern coast.
The double whammy was a grim test for a largely poor region which lacks resources and emergency plans for natural disasters.
Salvadoran authorities issued a tsunami alert as a precaution after the tremor, which struck around 75 miles off the coast of El Salvador, at a depth of 20 miles beneath the Pacific Ocean, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was first measured at a magnitude of 7.2 but was then downgraded.
"Hazardous" waves measuring about up to 1m (three feet) are possible to hit coastal areas within 300km of the quake's epicentre.
Shaking was also felt in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, and as far as the Costa Rican capital San Jose.
Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, declared a state of emergency immediately after the quake. The country was already on alert for an hurricane which struck earlier the same day, as was Costa Rica.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, according to the country's civil defense agency.
Just one hour before the earthquake, a powerful hurricane, Otto, packing winds of 110mph, made landfall on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast.
Thousands of people had already been evacuated from coastal areas into shelters - a total of 7,000 people are expected to evacuate in Nicaragua alone. Government officials said some people had refused to evacuate but did not say how many. Earlier this week, four people died in Panama due to outer bands of the storm.
The heavy rains it was offloading were likely to cause dangerous flooding and mud slides, according to the US National Hurricane Center, as much as 20 inches of rain are expected in isolated areas across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua. Schools were shut down and emergency teams were mobilised.
Otto was the southernmost hurricane to ever make landfall in Central America, the NHC said, and residents were not prepared.
The storm came ashore on Thursday near the Costa Rican border on the town of San Juan de Nicaragua, also known as Greytown. Residents said they were scared, and saw heavy rains and winds rip off roofs and bring down cable lines. In the town of Bluefields, panic buying meant bottled water and lamps were swept off the shelves, and some residents fled in boats while others hammered themselves into their homes with metal sheeting, praying the storm would move on.
Otto will weaken as it moves inland and will likely become a tropical storm by Thursday evening, the center added. It is currently travelling west at around 9mph, chewing its way along both sides of Costa Rica's and Nicaragua's coastlines.
By Guest Nicole
Nicaragua's landmark Momotombo volcan erupted for the first time in 110 years back in December, 2015. | Photo: ReutersThe National
Preventive System for Disasters, or SINAPRED, have activated operatives in the affected areas including the capital city of Managua.
An earthquake measuring at least 5.4 on the Richter scale struck 7-and-a half miles from the municipality of Laz Paz Centro and in close proximity to the active Volcano Momotombo in Nicaragua late Wednesday, sparking major aftershocks, and fear, but no reported casualties.
The earthquake struck at 11:57 PM local time, and an initial afterschock measuring 4.4. After the initial aftershock, the National Preventive System for Disasters, or SINAPRED, report that another 10 had followed.
Even more are expected, according to SINAPRED authorities, who have also confirmed the earthquake is connected to the 6.1. and 7.3 earthquakes that hit Nicaragua in April and October 2014, respectively.
According to Dr. Armando Saballos, authorities are assessing the situation and monitoring the activity of Momotombo, which so far has given "no indication that the volcano has increased in activity." Various news agencies reported the Wednesday earthquake measured anywhere from 5.4 to 5.9 in magnitude. The maximum ever recorded on the Richter scale was 9.5 by a 1960 Chilean earthquake.
Thousands of Nicaraguans were evacuated after the Momotombo volcano erupted for the first time in 110 years back in December 2015, spewing lava, ash and smoke.
The volcano last erupted in 1905. In 1610, the Momotombo erupted so fiercely it forced the city of Leon to move.
By Guest Nicole
Kesia Rodriguez Merino
Hello my brothers / sisters
I am living in Italy in the north, by now we have received news that no brother / sister is dead, it is true that many have lost their homes and properties but are well and are all together ... in the village of Amatrice that has been destroyed, there is living one family of brothers but they are well thanks to Jehovah!
Pamela Esposito brothers
Hello ... I live about 100km from the quake and here they have warned us much … The circuit overseer (which was in my congregation a year ago) said that no brother has been damaged ... only homes .... even some lived there ... thank Jehovah and pray for them.
By The Librarian
On April 14 and 16, 2016, two massive earthquakes shook the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. The first registered magnitude 6.5, and the second, 7.3. Hundreds of aftershocks have since followed. Over 70 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are located in the affected area, but no Witnesses died or were severely injured in the disaster. However, over 70 of their homes sustained severe damage and 17 were destroyed. Because of the continuing aftershocks, over 400 Witnesses were evacuated from their homes to Kingdom Halls, or places of worship, where shelter and meals were provided. The branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Japan has organized a disaster relief committee of volunteers with construction experience to care for the needs of those affected.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000
Japan: Ichiki Matsunaga, tel. +81 46 233 0005
By The Librarian
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake thundered along Ecuador’s Pacific Coast on April 16, 2016. The quake and subsequent aftershocks caused extensive damage and killed more than 650. While the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ecuador was not damaged during the quake, dozens of homes of the Witnesses were destroyed. The latest reports also confirm that one Witness died. The Witnesses have dispatched trucks with food and potable water to the affected area. Two disaster relief committees were immediately sent by the branch office to supervise the initial efforts, and they established two relief centers, one in the city of Pedernales and the other in Manta. Additionally, four representatives from the branch visited the affected zone to provide pastoral support.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000
Ecuador: Marco Brito, tel. +593 98 488 8580
By Guest Nicole
It took nearly a decade, but former EPA scientist Dominic DiGiulio has proved that fracking has polluted groundwater in Wyoming
Former EPA scientist Dominic DiGiulio never gave up.
Eight years ago, people in Pavillion, Wyo., living in the middle of a natural gas basin, complained of a bad taste and smell in their drinking water. U.S. EPA launched an inquiry, helmed by DiGiulio, and preliminary testing suggested that the groundwater contained toxic chemicals.
Then, in 2013, the agency suddenly transferred the investigation to state regulators without publishing a final report.
Now, DiGiulio has done it for them.
He published a comprehensive, peer-reviewed study last week in Environmental Science and Technology that suggests that people’s water wells in Pavillion were contaminated with fracking wastes that are typically stored in unlined pits dug into the ground.
The study also suggests that the entire groundwater resource in the Wind River Basin is contaminated with chemicals linked to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
This production technique, which involves cracking shale rock deep underground to extract oil and gas, is popular in the United States. It’s also controversial. There are thousands of wells across the American West and in California that are vulnerable to the kind of threat documented in the study, DiGiulio said. He is now a research scholar at Stanford University.
“We showed that groundwater contamination occurred as a result of hydraulic fracturing,” DiGiulio said in an interview. “It contaminated the Wind River formation.”
The findings underscore the tension at the heart of the Obama administration’s climate change policy, which is based on replacing many coal-fired power plants with facilities that burn cleaner natural gas.
That reliance on natural gas has sometimes blinded agencies to local pollution and health impacts associated with the resource, said Rob Jackson, an earth scientist at Stanford and co-author of the study. In 2015, EPA said in a controversial draft study that hydraulic fracturing has not had “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States” (Greenwire, June 4, 2015).
“The national office of EPA has tended to downplay concerns of their own investigators, in part because the Obama administration has promoted natural gas,” Jackson said. “Natural gas is here to stay. It behooves us to make it as safe and environmentally friendly as possible.”
EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said the agency hasn’t yet finalized its assessment that natural gas has no “widespread, systemic impacts.” As part of that process, the agency will evaluate all recent research, including DiGiulio’s study, she said.
Encana Corp., the company that operated in the Pavillion basin, said repeated testing has shown people’s water wells are safe for consumption.
“After numerous rounds of testing by both the state of Wyoming and EPA, there is no evidence that the water quality in domestic wells in the Pavillion Field has changed as a result of oil and gas operations; no oil and gas constituents were found to exceed drinking water standards in any samples taken,” said Doug Hock, an Encana spokesman.
LABS CAN’T SEE FRACKING CHEMICALS
Water testing began in 2009 when the local EPA office responded to complaints from residents. EPA headquarters, and DiGiulio, got involved in January 2010.
“Conducting a groundwater investigation related to fracking is extremely complicated,” DiGiulio said. “It is difficult because a lot of the compounds used for hydraulic fracturing are not commonly analyzed for in commercial labs.”
These labs were originally set up for the Superfund program, under which EPA cleans up the most contaminated sites in the nation. They are great at detecting chemicals found at Superfund sites but not as good at detecting chemicals used in fracking, DiGiulio said.
“You have some of these very water-soluble exotic compounds in hydraulic fracturing, which were not amenable to routine lab-type analysis,” he said.
One such chemical was methanol. The simplest alcohol, it can trigger permanent nerve damage and blindness in humans when consumed in sufficient quantities. It was used in fracking in Pavillion as workers pumped thousands of gallons of water and chemicals at high pressure into the wells they were drilling. About 10 percent of the mixture contained methanol, DiGiulio said.
So the presence of methanol in the Pavillion aquifer would indicate that fracking fluid may have contaminated it. But methanol degrades rapidly and is reduced within days to trace amounts. Commercial labs did not have the protocol to detect such small traces, so DiGiulio and his colleagues devised new procedures, using high-performance liquid chromatography, to detect it. They devised techniques for detecting other chemicals, as well.
By then, Pavillion was roiling in controversy as EPA and residents collided with industry. EPA had drilled two monitoring wells, MW01 and MW02, in 2011, and its testing had found benzene, diesel and other toxic chemicals. But these results were contested by oil and gas industry representatives, who criticized EPA’s sampling techniques (EnergyWire, Oct. 12, 2012). They pointed to a technical disagreement between EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey on the best methods to cast doubt on EPA’s overall findings.
EPA realized it needed a consensus on its water testing methodology. In February 2012, it assembled a technical team from the USGS, Wyoming state regulators and tribal representatives from the Wind River Indian Reservation. They retested the monitoring wells in April 2012.
This time, they also tested for methanol. But EPA never released those results to the public. In 2013, the agency backed out of its investigation in Pavillion, handing it over to state regulators, who moved forward using a $1.5 million grant from Encana (EnergyWire, June 21, 2013). DiGiulio said the decision had come from EPA’s senior management.
METHANOL, DIESEL AND SALT
Industry representatives repeatedly pointed out that EPA had not published a peer-reviewed study on its findings.
“If the EPA had any confidence in its draft report, which has been intensely criticized by state regulators and other federal agencies, it would proceed with the peer review process,” Steve Everley, a spokesman for Energy in Depth, an industry group, said at the time. “But it’s not, which says pretty clearly that the agency is finally acknowledging the severity of those flaws and leaning once again on the expertise of state regulators.”
In December 2015, state regulators published a draft of their findings. It stated that fracking had not contributed to pollution in Pavillion, according to the Casper Star Tribune. The report said the groundwater is generally suitable for people to use.
When DiGiulio retired from EPA in 2014, he trained his sights on Pavillion. He felt he had to finish his work.
“EPA had basically handed the case over and a peer-reviewed document was never finalized,” he said. “If it is not in the peer-reviewed literature, then it presents a problem with credibility in terms of findings. It is important that the work be seen by other scientists and enter the peer review realm so that other scientists will have access to virtually everything.”
Since 2012, a trove of new data had accumulated from USGS, EPA and state regulators. He obtained EPA’s methanol testing results through a Freedom of Information Act request and downloaded the rest of the information from the Wyoming oil and gas regulator’s website. All of it was publicly available, waiting for the right person to spend a year crunching the information.
The end result: a peer-reviewed study that reaffirms EPA’s findings that there was something suspicious going on in Pavillion. More research is needed.
The sampling wells contained methanol. They also contained high levels of diesel compounds, suggesting they may have been contaminated by open pits where operators had stored chemicals, DiGiulio said.
The deep groundwater in the region contained high levels of salt and anomalous ions that are found in fracking fluid, DiGiulio said. The chemical composition suggests that fracking fluids may have migrated directly into the aquifer through fractures, he said.
Encana had drilled shallow wells at Pavillion, at depths of less than 2,000 feet and within reach of the aquifer zone, said Jackson of Stanford University.
“The shallow hydraulic fracturing is a potential problem because you don’t need a problem with well integrity to have chemicals migrate into drinking water,” he said.
The study also shows that there is a strong upward flow of groundwater in the basin, which means contamination that is deep underground could migrate closer to the surface over time.
“Right now, we are saying the data suggests impacts, which is a different statement than a definitive impact,” DiGiulio said. “We are saying the dots need to be connected here, monitoring wells need to be installed.”
SHALLOW WELLS ARE PREVALENT
EPA came to the same conclusion in a blistering response last week to Wyoming’s draft findings.
“Many of our recommendations suggest that important information gaps be filled to better support conclusions drawn in the report, and that uncertainties and data gaps be discussed in the report,” said Valentine, the EPA spokeswoman.
The state had tested people’s water wells and detected 19 concerning chemicals. But regulators had concluded that only two chemicals exceeded safe limits and the water could be used for domestic purposes. EPA disagreed. Nearly half the 19 chemicals are unstudied, and scientists do not know the safe level of exposure, EPA stated.
Keith Guille, spokesman for Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality, declined to comment on DiGiulio’s study and on EPA’s response to the state’s draft report. The state is finalizing its findings and has its eyes set on the future, he said.
“We are not done yet,” Guille said.
Energy in Depth, the industry group that had earlier criticized EPA for not publishing a peer-reviewed study, said that DiGiulio’s study is “a rehash of EPA’s old, discredited data by the very researcher who wrote EPA’s original report.”
Jackson stressed that the contamination seen at Pavillion could occur in other states where, according to a study published last year in Environmental Science & Technology on which he was the lead author, fracking sometimes occurs at shallow depths. That includes the Rocky Mountain region, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana and California. At present, no state has restrictions on how shallowly a company can frack, he said.
“Shallow hydraulic fracturing is surprisingly common, especially in the western U.S.,” Jackson said. “Here in California, half of the wells are fracked shallower than about 2,000 feet.”
Given the threat, fracking deserves much greater scrutiny than it has so far received from the Obama administration, said Hugh MacMillan, a scientist with the environmental group Food and Water Watch.
“Communities have never argued that every well goes bad; they’ve argued that when you drill and [are] fracking thousands, too many go bad,” he said. “For those living on groundwater, it becomes a matter of luck, and that’s not right, because over years, more and more people’s luck runs out.”
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500
The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude 5.1 earthquake strike in Oklahoma, the state's third strongest quake, northwest of Oklahoma City. No damages or injuries are reported. Oklahoma has recently experienced a surge in seismic activity, leading to calls for the governor to make changes to oil- and gas-drillingregulations.
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