|Earthquakes & Natural
"And there shall be ... earthquakes..." (Mat 24:7)
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- The Big Shake-up
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A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 shook many parts of New Zealand early Tuesday, but emergency services reported no serious damage because the temblor struck deep underground. The quake was centered near Taupo, 235 miles north of the capital, Wellington, according to the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences. The tremor, striking 100 miles underground, was felt throughout New Zealand's North Island and as far south as Christchurch, 210 miles south of Wellington, on the South Island. (AP)
TAIPEI, Taiwan (CNN) -- A strong earthquake struck southern Taiwan on Friday, toppling several buidings, setting off fires, and sending a reported 200 people to hospitals.
The Central Weather Bureau said Friday's quake was unrelated to the massive 7.6-magnitude tremor that struck central Taiwan on September 21 and killed more than 2,300 people.
There were no immediate reports of deaths after the 6.4 magnitude quake, but newspapers said that at least 200 people were injured.
Friday's quake struck at 10:19 a.m (0219 GMT) and its epicenter was 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) north of the city of Chiayi, the bureau said. About 80 aftershocks followed but only a few were strong enough to be felt, including 5.1- and 6-magnitude tremors.
Located along the earthquake-prone Pacific Rim and crisscrossed by 51 fault lines, Taiwan is rattled by scores of earthquakes each year, most harmless.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6 can cause severe damage in a populated area.
Two of Ecuador's 31 active volcanoes exploded late Tuesday after weeks of rumbling and shaking, blanketing the nearby capital city of Quito with volcanic ash.
Guagua Pichincha Volcano sent up a seven-mile-high cloud of gas, closing the capital city's airport and schools and forcing choking residents to wear face masks.
Earlier in the day, an explosion of gases was sent up from Tungurahua Volcano, 106 miles from Guagua Pichincha. Three mountain climbers and their guide sustained injuries when they were hit by an eruption of vapor and ash near the mountain's summit.
One person died and a number of others were injured on Wednesday as a result of the eruptions. The death and several of the injuries were caused when residents fell from their roofs as they were trying to remove the thick layer of ash.
OAXACA, Mexico -- At least 15 people are dead and hundreds of buildings were damaged after Mexico was shaken by the most powerful earthquake it has experienced in 14 years.
The U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado said the 7.5 magnitude temblor was centered between the Pacific resorts of Huatulco and Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca state, some 280 miles (450 kilometers) south of Mexico City.
That would make it the most powerful Mexican quake since two huge temblors killed 10,000 people in 1985.
The force and unusual length of Thursday's quake -- 42 seconds -- terrified people hundreds of miles from its epicenter. It was felt as far south as Guatemala and very strongly to the north in Mexico City.
The quake, which struck at 11:31 a.m. (1631 GMT), was almost as strong as the one which struck Taiwan on Sept. 21, killing 2,100 people. "It was very intense. There was panic because we haven't ever felt anything of this magnitude," said Norma Alquitra, Puerto Escondido spokesperson.
Fifteen buildings were damaged and one person was killed by falling debris in the city of 18,000 people.
The Oaxaca governor's office reported 300 houses seriously damaged in the state and about 100 businesses damaged in Oaxaca city, most in the historical center.
Twenty people in Oaxaca were hospitalized after suffering quake-related injuries.
In most of the affected areas of the country, roofs crumbled, roads were damaged and electrical power was cut off. There were scattered reports of cracked buildings in Puebla and Veracruz states, as well as Mexico City.
Local news media reported two other deaths which they blamed on panic related to the quake: a Mexico City man died of a heart attack and an elderly woman in the eastern state of Veracruz died after she raced from her house, slipped in the street and injured her head.
Mexico City Civil Defense officials said that while they were lucky this time, people still must be prepared to face the next one which might not be so tame.
More than 48 hours after the quake struck, the official toll had risen to 2,042 dead and 6,537 injured. About 100,000 people have been left homeless. Some 2,600 people are still missing.
There have been more than 2,000 aftershocks since the initial earthquake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck early on Tuesday local time. Some have measured as high as 6.8 and have been ranked as serious quakes in their own right. Worst-hit have been the central counties of Nantou and Taichung, where the earthquake had its epicentre and where there are few buildings still standing in some areas.
Tuesday's quake is thought to have been the strongest to hit the island this century. Every town on the island suffered damage with Pu-li reporting 98% structural damage. A clear idea of the scale of economic damage may not emerge for several days.
A BBC correspondent in Taiwan says the earthquake could disrupt the country's export industries and have a lasting impact on the economy.
Seismologists say that Taiwan's devastating earthquake which has killed thousands and rocked the capital Taipei was unusual, breaking a trend of quakes occurring hundreds of kilometres out at sea.
The tremor, which measured about 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck inland, close to the central city of Taichung. Like the recent quake which caused devastation across Turkey, it was also very near the Earth's surface.
Five aftershocks all measuring about six on the Richter scale occurred within 30 minutes of the initial earthquake. "From the previous history it looks as though there is the potential for other earthquakes on this size or even larger to occur over the next few months," said Chris Browitt.
"Back in 1935 there was a magnitude 7.1 which killed over 3,000 people in the west of Taiwan and it had an aftershock about three months later which killed just under 3,000 people."
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|Articles on this Page
6.1 strong earthquake shakes New Zealand
Earthquake strikes southern Taiwan again, 200 injured
Two Volcanoes Explode in Ecuador
15 reported dead after Mexico earthquake
Taiwan has worst earthquake in century
Taiwan earthquake 'unusual', say scientists
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