Wednesday 27 March 2013

Earth events - 26 March, 2013

Quake hits Guatemala, no initial reports of damage

A powerful earthquake struck Guatemala close to the capital on Monday, though residents of Guatemala City felt little movement from the deep tremor and emergency services said there were no initial reports of damage or injuries.

The epicenter of the 6.2 magnitude earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 5.8, was only 6 miles southeast of Guatemala City but it was at a depth of 124.6 miles, lessening its effect.

Two Reuters witnesses in the city said they did not feel the quake, nor did they see people running outdoors as is often the case when powerful tremors hit.

David de Leon, a spokesman for Guatemala's emergency agency, CONRED, said he had no reports of damage or victims.

A magnitude 6.2 quake is capable of causing severe damage.

Last November, more than 50 people were killed in a 7.5 magnitude quake in Guatemala in San Marcos state, a mountainous region near the Mexican border.

That earthquake was the strongest to shake the country since 1976, when a magnitude 7.5 quake centered about 99 miles northeast of Guatemala City killed some 23,000 people.

Quake shakes island in Spain's Canaries

An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale shook El Hierro island in Spain's Canaries on Monday, the strongest of hundreds of tremblors recorded in recent days in the territory which suffered an undersea volcanic eruption in 2011, Spain's National Geographical Institute said Monday.

The earthquake struck at 3:41 pm (1441 GMT) and its epicentre was in the Atlantic Ocean about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) west of the island, a spokesman for the institute said. It was measured at a depth of 16 kilometres and was preceded by another earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale.

About 800 earthquakes have been recorded in El Hierro, which has about 10,000 inhabitants, since March 18, the spokesman added.

The majority have measured above 2.0 on the Richter but only a handful have been strong enough for people on the island to notice.

In October 2011 an underwater volcano erupted off the coast of El Hierro, two days after an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale rocked the island.

El Hierro, which means "Iron" in Spanish, suffered thousands of earthquakes throughout much of 2011, only a few of them, prompting officials to briefly close a tunnel linking the island's two main towns -- Frontera and Valverde -- and evacuate dozens of people over fears of landslides.

The Canary Islands are located off the northwestern coast of Africa. El Hierro, which has an area of just 267 square kilometres (103 square miles) is the westernmost of the seven islands of volcanic origin that make up the archipelago.

The last major volcanic eruption off the Canary Islands happened off Teneguia, Las Palmas, in 1971.

Mexico Earthquake 2013: Moderate Quake Hits Southern Mexico

Earthquakes shook a broad swath of southern Mexico on Tuesday, causing buildings to sway in the capital and sending thousands fleeing into the streets as quake alarms sounded. But there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude-5.5 quake hit at 7:04 a.m. (9:04 a.m. EDT; 1304 GMT), centered about 10 miles (17 kilometers) west-southwest of Pinotepa Nacional on the Pacific Coast and 227 miles (365 kilometers) south-southeast of Mexico City.

Mexico Seismology Service initially calculated the quake's magnitude at 5.9.

A second quake struck near the same spot eight minutes later, also setting off alarms in the capital and causing people to evacuate tall buildings in the capital. The USGS calculated the magnitude of that quake at 5.1.

Mexico City's soft soil and geology make it especially sensitive to distant earthquakes. But Mayor Manuel Mancera said in a Twitter post that no damage was reported. Local news media also said there were no reports of damage close to Pinotepa Nacional.

Peruvian volcano on verge of eruption

Peruvian scientists have warned that Arequipa’s Sabancaya Volcano is currently in a pre-eruptive stage. According to Domingo Ramos, head of volcano monitoring at Peru’s Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute (Ingemmet), Sabancaya’s activity has led the agency to issue a yellow alert.
We have already talked with local authorities so that they can warn the nearby population, about the volcano’s status, and how to prepare before an eventual eruption,” Ramos said according to the daily.
Sabancaya, he said, is currently emitting large plumes of smoke, and is seeing between 300 and 500 seismic movements, reported quoting Peru21.
Fredy Apaza, a chemist at Ingemmet, said the signs of continuous gas release indicates that magma is rising to the surface, but said the agency was not yet able to estimate how much magma could be on the way.
That’s why Ingemmet has installed volcanological equipment and telemetry in strategic points at Sabancaya, we expect results within 15 days,” he said. -

Iceland earthquakes prompt warning near Hekla volcano

Icelandic police say seismic activity near the Hekla volcano has prompted them to declare an "uncertainty phase" -- the lowest level of civil warning.

Monitoring of the area in southern Iceland has been increased. Police advise people not to hike in the area, though it is not forbidden.

Vidir Reynisson, the department manager for civil protection, said Tuesday that a swarm of earthquakes prompted the warning but are not necessarily a sign of pending eruption. Scientists worry that Hekla is overdue for an eruption; in recent decades it has erupted roughly every 10 years, most recently in 2000.

Concern about seismic activity in the north Atlantic nation has grown since April 2010, when ash from the Eyjafjallajokul volcano grounded flights across Europe for days, disrupting travel for 10 million people.

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