Magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits eastern Indonesia; 39 injured 21 minutes ago MANOKWARI, Indonesia (AP) — A 6.6-magnitude quake hit in waters off Indonesia’s easternmost province early Friday, injuring dozens of people, damaging buildings and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes, hotels and even a hospital.Related Stories
The quake, which struck at 00:53 a.m. Friday (1553 GMT Thursday), was centered 28 kilometers (17 miles) north of Sorong, a town in Indonesia’s West Papua province, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. It occurred at a depth of 24 kilometers (15 miles).Hundreds of people fled their homes in panic in Sorong and at least 39 people were hurt, mostly with broken bones, said Petrus Korisano from the local disaster mitigation agency in Sorong. Nearly 260 houses and buildings were damaged.Hundreds of people were evacuated to temporary shelters as authorities surveyed the damage, Korisano told The Associated Press.The panic extended to Manokwari city, 315 kilometers (195 miles) to the west of the epicenter, where hundreds of patients from at least one hospital had to be evacuated, some in wheelchairs or with IVs attached to their arms, said Burhanudin, an official at the disaster mitigation agency in the city, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. Hotels emptied and residents ran into the streets and higher ground in the Raja Ampat popular tourist destination.An official from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, Budi Waluyo, said the underwater quake had no potential to generate tsunami waves along nearby coasts.The world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific „Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.In 2004, a monster temblor off the shores of Aceh in Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Most of the deaths were in Aceh._This story has been corrected to show the earthquake took place early Friday local time.
6.6-magnitude quake sparks panic in Indonesia’s Papua 13 hours agoA powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck in the eastern Indonesian region of Papua, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued (AFP Photo/Ted Aljibe)A powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern Indonesian region of Papua on Friday, US seismologists said, causing panicked people to run screaming out of their homes.No tsunami warning was issued and there were no reports of casualties or damage after the undersea quake hit at about 1:00 am (1600 GMT), some 30 kilometres from the coastal city of Sorong, in West Papua provinceBut an AFP journalist said the quake, which struck at a depth of 24 kilometres (14 miles), was felt strongly in the city for about two minutes, and people woke up and ran outside in a panicThe quake had caused blackouts and residents were staying outside, too scared to return home, he said. But he added there were no signs of damaged buildings or injured people.Mochammad Riyadi, a senior official from Indonesia’s meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency, said there had not been any reports of damage or casualties so far.”Although the magnitude is big, we are not expecting a major impact as Sorong city is quite sparsely populated,” he told AFP.The USGS initially put the magnitude at 6.9 but then revised it down.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami.Indonesia sits on the Pacific „Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.A huge undersea quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami that engulfed Aceh province on western Sumatra island, killing more than 170,000 people in Indonesia and tens of thousands more in other countries with coasts on the Indian Ocean.
Magnitude-4.1 quake jolts Wine Country, closes bridge by KGO – San Francisco 1:49 mins There are still some frayed nerves in Napa County following a quake Thursday night centered near Yountville. The magnitude-4.1 quake hit just before 8 p.m. on Friday and it turns out, it did cause some damage after all.
Magnitude 6.6 quake hits off Indonesia’s Irian Jaya: USGS 13 hours ago WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A strong earthquake measuring magnitude 6.6 struck off Indonesia’s Irian Jaya early on Friday local time at a depth of 15 miles (24 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said on Thursday.The quake, which USGS earlier reported as magnitude 6.9 at a depth of 39.9 miles (64 km), hit 17 miles (28 km) north of the city of Sorong, it said. Previously the USGS gave the location as 15 miles (24 km) north north-west of Sorong.Irian Jaya comprises the western part of the island of Papua, which Indonesia shares with the nation of Papua New Guinea.There were no immediate reports of damage.(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Lisa Lambert and James Dalgleish)
Dispatch logs detail dramatic response to California fire that destroyed more than 1,300 homesBy Paul Elias And Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 2 hours 19 minutes agoThe Canadian Press – FILE- This Sept. 21, 2015, file photo shows shows remains of homes and vehicles scorched by a wildfire in Middletown, Calif. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster Tuesday, Sept. …more
MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – A daughter was worried about her elderly parents trying to flee a massive California wildfire on horseback.A couple needing help evacuating waited for deputies in a creek near their home. A woman fretted that her mother with Alzheimer’s disease wouldn’t know to leave.Those were just a few of the overwhelming number of calls the tiny Lake County Sheriff’s Department received during the fast-moving blaze that began Sept. 12 about 100 miles north of San Francisco.Dispatch logs released Thursday showed the small department was strained to its limits by the flames that swept across the mountainous county.”The response was as quick as we could do it,” Sheriff Brian Martin said. „In some cases, it didn’t reach everybody.”The logs show worried relatives calling often to request checks on elderly and sick residents feared trapped in their homes. Screams for help were reported from residents unable to get out of the fire zone, while other callers pleaded for deputies to rescue livestock and pets left behind.
The 40 pages of logs involving dispatchers and deputies told the story of the unfolding disaster, detailing the frantic scramble to evacuate people and animals as the fire ripped through miles of dry vegetation.Deputies were asked to help enforce mandatory evacuation orders just 30 minutes after the fire started.The records show that some people ignored those orders. In at least two instances, residents threatened or argued with would-be rescuers.”Try to get them out,” a dispatcher told one deputy who encountered resistance at a house that was on fire.Martin said his department used social media, door-to-door notifications and reverse 911 calls to tell residents of mandatory evacuation orders but conceded that not everyone received alerts.”In some cases these phone lines were burned down before the message was delivered,” he said.High school math teacher Bill Davis said last week that he watched from his home as smoke mounted from the fire.From a previous fire in late July, he knew to expect a recorded call on his cellphone or look for someone coming through the neighbourhood with a bullhorn yelling for people to evacuate.”None of that happened,” he said. His house burned after he finally rounded up his cats and left.The dispatch logs show deputies racing around winding, single-lane roads in the community and manoeuvring past downed power lines to rescue whoever they could.Authorities have since found four bodies in the charred ruins and one person remained missing and feared dead.One of the victims was Barbara McWilliams, an elderly woman with multiple sclerosis. The dispatch logs show deputies being asked to check on her at 7:12 p.m. Sept. 12 and reporting back 17 minutes later that the fire blocked their access to her home.The fire burned 1,320 homes and is one of the most destructive blazes in California history.
Norway’s Seed Vault Opens Its Doors to Save Syrian Crops By LOUISE DEWAST7 hours ago The world’s only known „seed vault” tucked away in the Norwegian Arctic has been asked by scientists to open its doors for the first time to save Syrian crops.The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, previously located in Aleppo, Syria, has made a request to the „SvalbardGlobal Seed Vault” to send back some seeds in order for them to increase yields which are threatened by drought -and war.“The collection holds some of the world’s most important diversity of Wheat, Barley, Grasspea and other crops,” the group — now located in Beirut, Lebanon — said in a statement, adding that „this diversity provides our scientists, breeders and farmers the raw material needed to improve agriculture to overcome the challenges of climatic changes, population growth, pests, and diseases.”Stampede at Hajj Kills More Than 700 People, Officials Say Volunteers Bring Wi-Fi to Refugees in Europe on Backpacks Winning Asylum Can Be as Grueling as the Journey for Refugees The Svalbard vault, located about 800 miles from the North Pole, opened in 2008 and contains seeds from tens of thousands of varieties of essential food crops such as beans, wheat and rice.Its official purpose is to service to the world community but many say it was created as a safeguard in the event of a nuclear war or worldwide catastrophe.Located 393.7 feet into the rock, the rooms remain naturally frozen “even in the event of failure of the mechanical cooling system and rising external air temperatures due to climate change,” according to the international non-profit Crop Trust.Syria has been suffering a drought for years, a March 2015 study from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports, starting in 2006 and culminating in 2009.
11 Of The Craziest Places People Actually Live In today’s world, it might be hard to believe that there are still places untouched by globalization. But there are towns that have never seen a Starbucks or McDonald’s. Explore these far flung communities where people live in the most extreme and isolated conditions known to man!Oymyakon, Russia This Russian city is one of the coldest inhabited places on earth. Winter temperatures average about -60 degrees. The town is built on a layer of permafrost, so modern conveniences like indoor plumbing can be hard to come by. The temperatures during the winter may be no-one-loves-you cold, but for about two months in the summer temperatures actually get into the 60s.Easter Island The island is well known in popular culture for its monuments, giant heads carved out of stone, known as moai. It’s located in the Southeastern Pacific far from any other islands. Technically, it’s part of Chile, but the island is more than 2,000 miles off the coast of South America.Supai, Arizona It’s hard to believe somewhere in the continental United States could be so remote, but it’s true. Supai is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Havasu Canyon. There are no roads leading in or out of the town. The only options for entry are a helicopter or an 8-mile hike. If you still doubt its remoteness credentials, it’s the only place left in the country that uses mules to deliver mail.Iqaluit, Canada Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut and is the smallest and most remote of all Canada’s territorial/provincial capitals. The town is located on Frobisher Bay in the northern reaches of the country and is inhabited mostly by Inuit people. However, unlike other places on the list, Iqaluit offers several hotels and modern comforts. It has become a popular base for wilderness adventures. Finally, a place where you can see a polar bear AND take a shower.La Rinconada, Peru La Rinconda is most elevated city in the world. The small mining city is nearly 17,000 feet above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. The city’s 30,000 inhabitants are mostly made up of miners and their families. La Rinconda is so remote that it lacks sewage and water systems. Why do people endure these conditions? Well, because of the gold mine. Under the „cachorreo” system, miners work for 30 days without payment. The next day they get to carry out as much ore as they can take. Remember that next time you complain about not getting a holiday bonus.Barrow, Alaska Barrow is the northernmost permanent settlement in the United States. The town, which has almost 4,700 residents, is located above the Arctic Circle. During most of the year, average temperatures are in the negatives. High winds and snow can lead to dangerous white out conditions, too. Oh, and there are no roads in or out of the town. Why live here? Well, government and oil industry salaries are high. The median income is around $60,000.Faroe Islands These Danish islands are located halfway between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic. The roughly 50,000 inhabitants are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. There are actually more sheep on the islands than people, though. The islands are probably best known for their distinctively patterned Faroe Isle wool sweaters.Pitcairn Island Pitcairn is home to 50 inhabitants and located in the South Pacific. They are made up of descendants of the infamous HMS Bounty mutineers and Tahitians who went with them. There are no hotels, and there is no airport. Visitors have to acquire passage on a boat and make homestay arrangements. The aging population has been declining for some time now, and the future of the island is uncertain.Medog County, China This area lies in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and is home to nearly 11,000 people. It is literally the last place in China to get a road (although it’s only open for eight months of the year). The only other way to get to Medog, or Motuo, County is a tough trek through mountains and over a terrifying suspension bridge. It could be worth it to see the landscape. The county is lush and covered with beautiful trees and foliage.Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland Greenland is a big place with a tiny population, but Ittoqqortoormiit is remote even for the sparsely populated island. There are 450 residents who only have access to one grocery store, but it’s not a problem since most people learn traditional hunting and fishing methods. Thick ice makes access by boat almost impossible except for a few months in the summer, and the nearest airport is 25 miles away.Tristan de Cunha Tristan de Cunha is regarded as the most remote inhabited place in the world. The small volcanic island in the South Atlantic is located more than 1,000 miles from South Africa to the east and more than 1,000 miles from St. Helana (another remote island) to the west. Tristan is a British overseas territory and has a population of nearly 300. However, due to its remoteness, everyone is descended from the original settlers, eight males and seven females. There are only eight different surnames.
Singapore shuts schools, distributes free masks for hazeBy ANNABELLE LIANG2 hours ago SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore shut schools Friday and began distributing free anti-pollution masks to the elderly and other vulnerable people as a thick smoky haze cast covered the island-nation with pollution reaching its worst level this year.The haze — a pall of grayness that resembles wintry fog and virtually obliterates the skyline while even seeping inside homes — is an annual problem for the region, resulting from forests being burned in neighboring Indonesia to clear the land for farming and plantations.Repeated efforts to bring the offending companies to book have not helped. Meanwhile, people in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia suffer from the smoke, a serious health hazard, especially for the elderly, children and those with breathing problems.The three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), which measures air pollution in the country, hit 341 on Friday morning, the highest level this year, before dipping below 300, the hazardous mark.The government ordered all primary and secondary schools to be shut. Also, free face masks were being distributed at community centers across the island to the vulnerable from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.. Volunteers were also expected to go house to house to give out the masks to those who were unable to come to community centers.The haze is also causing tensions between Singapore and Indonesia, apparently after Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla commented recently that neighboring countries „already enjoy 11 months of clean fresh air from Indonesia.” He suggested that it is not a big deal if they suffer from the haze for one month, when forests are usually burned.Muslims attend a morning prayer marking Eid al-Adha as haze from wildfires blanket the city in Palem …Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, in a Facebook post, responded by saying his government „takes the matter seriously” and Singapore is „ready to assist Indonesia in combatting the fires.””Yet, at the same time, we are hearing some shocking statements made, at senior levels, from Indonesia, with a complete disregard for our people, and their own — PSI levels in parts of Indonesia are at almost 2,000 PSI.””How is it possible for senior people in government to issue such statements, without any regard for their people, or ours, and without any embarrassment, or sense of responsibility?” he wrote.The haze has also hit hard festivities in Singapore whose multi-ethnic population celebrated the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Thursday and will mark the Chinese mooncake festival on Sunday, traditionally held by farmers to celebrate their autumn harvest.”The haze is very bad, there are less people in the mosque this year. Coming to the mosque to pray used to be very nice because we would mingle around after,” said Mustafa Muhamad, 61, who had come to the Hajjah Fatimah mosque to pray.On Tuesday, Indonesia’s environment and forestry ministry said the licenses of four Indonesian plantation companies were suspended or revoked for clearing land illegally and sparking forest fires.Some 27 companies are being investigated in connection with the forest fires, Indonesian authorities said, while 140 individuals are being questioned. A Singapore-listed company is among those under investigation.