Tajikistan quake shakes north India, Pakistan, no major damage

By Neha Arora

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A strong earthquake struck Tajikistan on Friday and the tremors were felt as far away as north India and Pakistan, witnesses said. Many residents ran out of their homes, but no major damage was reported.

The U.S Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9 and centered 35 km (55 miles) west of Murghob in Tajikistan, central Asia.

The Tajikistan Emergency Situations Ministry said the epicenter was 420 km (260 miles) east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe near the border with China.

The seismic service of the country’s Academy of Sciences told Russia’s RIA Novosti that the quake’s intensity was measured at 6.1. The news agency said there were no casualties or damage, citing the Committee on Emergency Situations.

Monitoring agencies in the region pegged the quake as being a bit more severe. India’s National Center for Seismology said its magnitude was 6.3, while the National Seismic Monitoring Center in Pakistan measured it at 6.4.

Tremors were felt in Dushanbe but the epicenter was in a sparsely populated area.

Cracks were reported in some homes in northern Kashmir, the Indian Meteorological Department said. A witness also reported a wall collapse near the northern Indian city of Amritsar, but there were no reports of casualties.

A resident in Indian Kashmir’s Baramulla district said it felt like a strong wind had lashed his house. “My whole house shook and cracks appeared in a corner of one of the rooms,” Firdous Ahmad Khan said.

Tremors were felt across Pakistan including the capital, Islamabad, and northwestern Peshawar, and even as far as the eastern city of Lahore, which borders India.

In Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, where a 2005 earthquake wreaked serious destruction, there was panic, according to witnesses, and many people rushed out of their homes in fear.

“I thought it’s the same like what had hit us in 2005. My children started crying,” said Asif Maqbool, a resident in Madina Market, a neighborhood of Muzaffarabad that was almost flattened in the 2005 quake.

Saima Khalid, a resident of the Khawaja Muhalla district of Muzaffarabad, said everyone in the neighborhood came out onto the streets.

The quake was also felt in northern Afghanistan but there were no reports of casualties or damage.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Osborn in Moscow, Nazarali Pirnazarov in Tajikistan Fayaz Bukari in Srinagar, Rupam Jain, Charlotte Greenfield and Umar Farooq in Islamabad, Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar, Abu Arqam Naqash in Muzaffarabad, Mubasher Bukhari in Lahore ; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Giles Elgood)

Indonesia’s president promises to rebuild city hit by earthquake as death toll reaches 90

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia will rebuild homes and buildings ravaged by a powerful earthquake that struck Sulawesi island last week, President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday, as the death toll reached 90 and thousands more people were displaced.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake caused significant damage to hundreds of homes, a mall, hospital, hotels and government buildings early on Friday and has been followed by more than 39 aftershocks since.

“Soon the central government will rebuild, then for collapsed houses, the government will help for those that were heavily damaged,” Widodo said as he visited the city of Mamuju earlier on Tuesday.

The Indonesian government will give as much as 50 million rupiah ($3,558.72) for the rebuilding of “heavily damaged” houses, while houses with “medium” and “minor” damages will given up to 25 million rupiah and 10 million rupiah respectively.

“We hope that with the help of the central government, the recovery of collapsed houses, economic recovery, recovery of service processes in government and the bureaucracy will also return to normal,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a military official who is part of the country’s official search and rescue joint forces, said that nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated from Mamuju and the nearby city, Majene.

Many of them have fled to Parepare, a neighboring city more than 250km south of Mamuju and nearly 150km from Majene, the official said.

Straddling the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.

The country’s meteorology agency has warned of continued aftershocks, and the risk of extreme weather in coming weeks.

Indonesia has faced a string of disasters this month, including a plane crash on Jan. 9 that killed all 62 on board, a flash flood in South Kalimantan on Borneo island that killed at least 15, volcanic eruptions and a deadly landslide that killed 40 in Java.

($1 = 14,050.0000 rupiah)

(Reporting by Heru Asprihanto, Stanley Widianto; Writing by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Indonesia quake kills at least 42, injures hundreds

By Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Stanley Widianto

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds on Indonesia’s island of Sulawesi on Friday, trapping several under rubble and unleashing dozens of aftershocks as authorities warned of more quakes that could trigger a tsunami.

Thousands of frightened residents fled their homes for higher ground when the magnitude 6.2-quake struck 6 km (4 miles) northeast of the town of Majene, at a depth of just 10 km, shortly before 1.30 a.m.

The quake and aftershocks damaged more than 300 homes and two hotels, as well as flattening a hospital and the office of a regional governor, where authorities told Reuters several people have been trapped under the rubble.

“Praise be to God, for now OK, but we just felt another aftershock,” said Sukri Efendy, a 26-year-old resident of the area.

As many as 42 people have been killed, mostly in Mamuju and the rest in the neighboring district of Majene, the country’s national disaster mitigation agency said in a situation report on Friday evening. More than 820 people were injured, it said.

The heightened seismic activity set off three landslides, severed electricity supplies, and damaged bridges linking to regional hubs, such as the city of Makassar. Heavy rain was also worsening conditions for those seeking shelter.

No tsunami warning was issued but the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, told a news conference that aftershocks could follow, with a possibility that another powerful quake could trigger a tsunami.

There had been at least 26 aftershocks, she said, with Friday’s quake preceded by a quake of 5.9 magnitude the previous day.

Mamuju resident Muhammad Ansari Iriyanto, 31, told Reuters that everyone panicked and sought refuge in the nearby hills and mountains.

“Mamuju is now empty, everyone went to the mountains,” he said. “Lots of buildings collapsed and people are afraid of a tsunami.”

Another resident Syahir Muhammad said: “It’s raining and we need help.”

Videos shared on social media showed residents fleeing to higher ground on motorcycles, and a young girl trapped under rubble as people tried to shift debris with their hands. Rescue workers used cutting and lifting equipment to free survivors and find the dead.

President Joko Widodo offered condolences to the victims, urging people to stay calm and authorities to step up search efforts.

Emerging workers are now trying to restore telecoms and bridge links and ensure the delivery of tents, food and medical supplies, said West Sulawesi provincial government spokesman Safaruddin.

About 15,000 people have fled their homes since the quake, the disaster agency has said, with the coronavirus pandemic likely to complicate the distribution of aid.

“It is certainly one of the most challenging, this (disaster) was one of our fears and now we are putting all of that planning and protocols into place,” said Jan Gelfand, head of the International Federation of Red Cross in Indonesia.

Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes.

In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.

A 9.1-magnitude quake off the north of Sumatra island triggered a tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004 that lashed coastal areas of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other nations, killing more than 230,000 people.

(Additional reporting by Angie Teo; Additional reporting by Yishu Ng in Singapore added as Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Gerry Doyle, Clarence Fernandez and Alison Williams)

Earthquake strikes central Croatia, killing five and damaging buildings

By Antonio Bronic

SISAK, Croatia (Reuters) -An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck central Croatia on Tuesday, killing five people and injuring at least 20, and shook several neighboring countries, officials and residents said.

Rescuers pulled people from the rubble of collapsed buildings in the town of Petrinja and army troops were sent to the area to help.

Tremors were also felt in Croatia’s capital Zagreb and as far away as Austria’s capital Vienna. Slovenia shut its only nuclear power plant as a precaution.

It was the second quake to strike the area in two days.

The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said it hit at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), with the epicenter in Petrinja, 50 km south of Zagreb.

The mayor of the nearby town of Glina said four people had been killed there, Croatian state TV reported. In Petrinja, a 12-year-old child was killed, N1 news channel quoted a town official as saying.

Tomislav Fabijanic, head of emergency medical services in Sisak, said many people had been injured in Petrinja and in Sisak.

“There are fractures, there are concussions and some had to be operated on,” he said.

Prime Minister Adrej Plenkovic, who rushed to Petrinja, said: “We have information that one girl was killed.

“The army is here to help. We will have to move some people from Petrinja because it is unsafe to be here,” Plenkovic said.

The head of the hospital in Sisak said later it was treating 20 people, two with severe injuries.

N1 showed footage of rescuers in Petrinja pulling a man and a child from the debris. Both were alive.

Other footage showed a house with its roof caved in. The reporter said she did not know if anyone was inside.

N1 also said a kindergarten was destroyed in the quake but there had been no children in it. The situation was “difficult” in retirement homes in the Petrinja area, it added.

Piles of stone, bricks and tiles littered Petrinja’s streets in the aftermath of the quake, and cars parked in the road were also smashed by falling debris.

A worker who had been fixing a roof in a village outside Petrinja told N1 that the quake threw him to the ground. Nine of the 10 houses in the village were destroyed, he said.

Croatia international soccer player Dejan Lovren made his hotel in the Adriatic town of Novalja available for the 16 most affected families from Petrinja, he said on Instagram.

WRAPPED IN BLANKETS

The quake was also felt in Zagreb, where people rushed onto the streets, some of which were strewn with broken roof tiles and other debris.

Patients and medical staff were evacuated from Zagreb’s Sveti Duh Hospital, many left sitting in chairs in the street wrapped in blankets.

In Austria’s second city Graz, about 200 km (130 miles) north of Petrinja, tall buildings wobbled for about two minutes, according to broadcaster ORF. In Carinthia province, about 300 km to the northwest of Petriinja, the earth trembled for several minutes and people described how their furniture, Christmas trees and lamps wobbled.

In Slovenia, the STA news agency said the country’s sole nuclear power plant, which is 100 km (60 miles) from the epicenter, was shut down as a precaution.

Croatia’s state news agency Hina said in total the quake was felt in 12 countries.

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said Croatia was expecting help from the European Union as it had activated its emergency situation mechanism.

On Monday a magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit central Croatia, also near Petrinja. In March, an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit Zagreb causing one death and injuring 27 people.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, Igor Ilic in Zagreb and Ivana Sekularac in Belgrade, Writing by Angus MacSwanEditing)

Earthquake of magnitude 5.2 shakes central Croatia

ZAGREB (Reuters) – A magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit central Croatia on Monday with an epicenter some 50 kilometers southeast of the capital Zagreb, Croatian state television reported, citing data from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

The quake at 0528 GMT was also felt in the capital. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

“We have no such reports yet but it is possible that such an earthquake could cause material damage in the epicenter area, which was in the vicinity of the town of Petrinja,” seismologist Kresimir Kuk told state radio.

The quake was followed by an aftershock registering 4.9 magnitude at 0649 GMT, according to the EMSC data.

Bozidar Skrinjaric, head of the Pokupsko municipality, an area near the epicenter with some 3,000 inhabitants, said people ran into the streets when the quakes hit.

“No building collapsed, but the people said they saw some cracks in the buildings and damaged tiles,” he said.

In March, an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit Zagreb causing one death and injuring 27 people.

(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island

(Reuters) – The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island erupted on Sunday night, according to an advisory from the United States Geological Survey, followed by an earthquake that struck at the volcano’s south flank.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded an earthquake of magnitude 4.4 located beneath Kīlauea Volcano’s south flank at 10:36 pm local time, according to the advisory.

The eruption was reported at the Halemaumau Crater of the Kilauea Volcano, the Hawaii county Civil Defense Agency said in a tweet early on Monday, requesting residents to stay indoors.

“Trade winds will push any embedded ash toward the Southwest. Fallout is likely in the Kau District in Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu and Ocean View,” the tweet added.

The eruption started with multiple fissures opening on the walls of Halemaumau crater, USGS said.

A picture from the USGS showed Kilauea’s summit illuminated by the hot lava with a plume of steam and gas bursting out of the volcano.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Derek Francis in Bengaluru, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Quake rattles Los Angeles, no immediate reports of damage

(Reuters) – An earthquake of 4.2 magnitude hit about a mile (2 km) north of the Los Angeles community of Pacoima on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Though relatively small in magnitude, the quake, which struck at 4:29 a.m. Pacific time (1129 GMT), was felt in much of the Los Angeles area, social media reports said. A second quake of 3.3 magnitude struck nine minutes later, the survey said.

People on social media reported feeling the quake in areas such as North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks, with some saying they did not receive a #ShakeAlert message on their phones.

“Felt it in Sherman Oaks! Woke us up from a dead sleep. No alert on the phone, though,” Twitter user Joe Hubbard said.

Another Twitter user, Lee A Houck, said she received an alert after the shaking began.

“Usually there’s more notice to drop, cover, hold on,” Houck said.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Edmund Blair and Steve Orlofsky)

Major quake strikes off Alaska, briefly sounding tsunami warning

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near the Alaskan peninsula late Tuesday, shaking buildings, but there were no immediate reports of injuries and the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center canceled an earlier warning of potentially hazardous waves.

In Kodiak, the largest community in the earthquake area on an island south of Anchorage, some residents posted video on social media of people walking up to the high school, which was serving as a shelter, and of sirens sounding alarms.

The quake struck off the coast, 65 miles (105 km) south-south east of Perryville, Alaska, at a depth of 17.4 miles (28 km), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for the coastal areas of south Alaska, the Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Islands, but about two hours later, just after midnight, it canceled the warning.

Early evidence suggests that the quake, which was felt 500 miles (805 km) away in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, struck the “Shumagin Gap” between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates, state seismologist Mike West said. Because the area was previously unruptured, it is in theory overdue for a very big earthquake, he said in a statement.

Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said emergency officials were trying to contact people in all the affected communities.

The closest is Sand Point, a town of about 1,000 on another island off the tip of the Alaskan Peninsula. Sand Point has been evacuated and sounded its emergency sirens, Zidek said.

“I believe that there’s some damage from the shaking, but they have not been able to confirm that,” he said, adding that he had heard no reports of serious injuries.

Other towns had sounded their alarms and started evacuations, he said. It was unclear what damage may have occurred.

In Homer, a Kenai Peninsula town of about 5,800 people, residents in low-lying areas were told to use the city’s high school as a shelter, according to local public radio there.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat and Radhika Anilumar in Bengaluru and Yereth Rosen in Alaska; Editing by Alex Richardson and Leslie Adler)

Major quake hits southern Mexico, triggers local Pacific tsunami

By Julia Love

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.4 struck the coast of southern Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least one person, buckling paved roads, and setting off a tsunami in nearby Pacific coastal areas.

One person died in the state of Oaxaca, Governor Alejandro Murat said, after the quake hit the Pacific coastal state mid-morning.

The country’s seismological service said a tsunami on the Oaxaca coast was ongoing, with the sea level having risen 60 centimeters (2 feet) at Huatulco beach, a popular destination for U.S. and Canadian tourists.

Mexico’s civil protection agency recommended that residents move away from the coastline. Videos on social media had earlier shown the ocean’s water receding in Oaxaca, a mountainous state that is also home to coffee plantations and Spanish colonial architecture.

Miguel Candelaria, 30, was working at his computer in his family home in the Oaxaca town of Juchitan when the ground began to tremble. He ran outside with relatives, but they had to stop in the middle of the street as the pavement buckled and rocked.

“We couldn’t walk… the street was like chewing gum,” said Candelaria, 30.

Neighbors screamed in terror and some shouted out warnings to run from the electricity poles that looked poised to fall, said Candelaria, who works in telecommunications marketing.

Quakes of magnitudes over 7 are major earthquakes capable of widespread, heavy damage. A 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck central Mexico in 2017 killed 355 people in the capital and the surrounding states.

Tuesday’s quake set off a tsunami warning for the Pacific coasts of Mexico and Central and South America. Waves of up to one meter (3.28 ft) were possible on the Mexican coast, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned.

Buildings shook in Mexico City, hundreds of miles away.

Helicopters flew low over the Roma and Condesa districts of the capital, apparently looking for damage in streets where many buildings still show the scars of the 2017 quake.

The city’s mayor said there were two people injured but no major damage from the quake, which hit as millions of people were at home in lockdown due to the coronavirus.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake was located 69 km (43 miles) northeast of the town of Pochutla.

It was very shallow, only 26 km (16 miles) below the earth’s surface, which would have amplified the shaking.

Near to the epicenter, Magdalena Castellanos Fermin was in the village of Santiago Astata when the quake struck, sending large rocks tumbling down from the hillside and alarming residents, she told Reuters by telephone.

“It was really intense, really strong,” she said.

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Julia Love, Adriana Barrera, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Dave Graham and Anthony Esposito in Mexico City and Sandra Maler in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocks Southern California, no immediate reports of damage

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck on Wednesday in the California desert about 150 miles (241 km) northeast of Los Angeles, but there were no reports of damage or injuries in the sparsely populated area.

The temblor hit in a sparsely populated area near the Mojave Desert community of Searles Valley but was felt across Southern California, as far away as Los Angeles itself.

A series of strong of earthquakes and aftershocks struck that area near the small town of Ridgecrest on July 4 and 5 of last year. Such quakes are not uncommon in seismically active California.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman; Editing by Sandra Maler and Kim Coghill)