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Tremors felt in Kolkata, buildings develop cracks

News4u-News Desk- KOLKATA: Kolkata and its neighbourhood were rocked by mild tremors due to a high intensity earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday.

Tremors were also felt in North 24 Parganas adjoining Kolkata and in the north Bengal town of Siliguri, officials said.

According to reports, some buildings on Park street in the metropolis developed cracks.

Metro Rail services in the city were suspended from 2:42 PM and passengers were asked to vacate stations.

Officials in the Seismological Centre here said the epicentre of the high intensity earthquake was on the west coast of northern Sumatra. PTI


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Massive earthquake strikes Indonesia, tremors felt in India

News4u - News Desk :JAKARTA: An earthquake of 8.7 magnitude struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, sending residents there and in India dashing out of their homes and offices in fear. A tsunamiwarning was issued for the whole Indian Ocean.

The quake struck 308 miles (500 km) southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, at a depth of 20.5 miles (33 km), the US Geological survey said.

The quake was felt as far away as the Thai capital, Bangkok, and in southern India, residents said. Hundreds of office workers in the Bangalore left their buildings, workers there said.

The quake was in roughly in the same area as a Dec 26, 2004, quake of 9.1 magnitude, which sent huge tsunami waves crashing into Sumatra, where 170,000 people were killed, and across the Indian Ocean.

In all, the 2004 tsunami killed about 230,000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, includingThailand, Sri Lanka and India.

The 2004 quake was at a depth of 18 miles (30 km) along a fault line running under the Indian Ocean, off western Indonesia and up into the Bay of Bengal.

The quake was also felt in Sri Lanka and the southern Thai holiday island of Phuket, both of which were hit hard by the 2004 tsunami.

Thai Meteorological Department deputy chief Somchai Baimoung said there was no tsunami warning yet in Thailand. Provincial officials along the Andaman Sea coast were preparing for possible evacuation if necessary. Reuters



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Strong quake shakes Chile

News4u-News Desk- A magnitude-7.1 earthquake shook central Chile, two years after the region was devastated by another tremor and tsunami, the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington said.

There were no immediate reports of major damage although Sunday’s quake disrupted the area’s telephone service.

Thousands of people left coastal areas for higher ground for fear of a tsunami and chose to remain there after authorities lifted a tsunami warning after the 2010 disaster destroyed thousands of homes.

“I want to call upon citizens to be calm,” Vice-President Rodrigo Hinzpeter said.

“It was a major quake, but it’s over.”

The power supply was cut off in a large area while some towns experienced an interruption in their water supplies. Roofs were also damaged.

“We had a complete collapse of telephone lines and text messages,” said Carlos Gonzalez, Mayor of Lebu.

The U.S. agency initially put the magnitude of the tremor at 7.2 while Chilean authorities measured it at 6.8.

The quake’s epicentre was in the Maule region of Chile, 27 kilometres north-west of Talca and about 220 kilometres south-west of the capital, Santiago.

The quake was also felt in Santiago.

Thousands of football fans left the stands of Monumental Stadium in a rush during the Colo Colo-Palestino match of the Chilean championship.

On the pitch, however, players reportedly did not feel the quake, and the match went on undisturbed.




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Tremors in Gujarat, Maharashtra

News4u-News Desk- Tremors felt in Mumbai and parts of Western Maharashtra and Konkan and Kutch in Gujarat following an earthquake of magnitude 4.1 on the Richter Scale on Saturday however no damage to life and property has been reported so far.

The shocks were felt in Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra, sources in the Met department said. The Koyna dam in Satara is safe, they added.

The earthquake had its epicentre at Vamka taluka in Kutch, which is an active fault line, scientists at Institute of Seismological Research said.

Aftershocks measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale were also felt, they said.

In 2001, a massive earthquake occurred on January 26, with its epicentre in Bhuj in Gujarat. The quake killed around 20,000 people, injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 400,000 homes.

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Powerful 7.0-magnitude quake hits Japan

News4u - News Desk : 

A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit a wide area in eastern and northeasternJapan on Sunday, rattling buildings in Tokyo and jolting the nation still recovering from last year’s quake-tsunami mega-disaster.  


There were no immediate reports of damage or injury and no tsunami warning was issued.


The quake struck at 10:58 IST, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said, as Emperor Akihito led the country’s New Year celebrations by asking people to work together in rebuilding the nation from March’s disaster.


There was no immediate information about abnormalities at nuclear reactors including those of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Kyodo News agency reported.


The epicentre of the quake was located near Torishima, a northwestern Pacific island about 560 kilometres south ofTokyo.


The mid-afternoon quake swayed buildings in Tokyo and surrounding areas.


Meanwhile, in a New Year message, Emperor Akihito said: “Our country is now going through difficult times because of the earthquake and other factors.” “But I hope that the people’s hearts will always be with the afflicted, and that everyone will persevere and work together to build a brighter tomorrow.”


Japan lies along the Pacific “ring of fire,” an area of high seismic and volcanic activity.


Last year, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, leaving thousands of people dead or missing.


The 11th March earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves and sparked a nuclear crisis in the country.




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Turkey boy rescued 5 days after quake

News4u-News Desk- ERCIS: A 13-year old boy was pulled from a collapsed building without injury on Friday, five days after Turkey’s powerful earthquake struck, and state-run TV said he survived by drinking rain water that seeped through cracks in the wreckage around him.

The boy, Ferhat Tokay, also used shoes under his head as a pillow and peered through a tiny gap in the wreckage to see when it was day or night, his uncle said.

Tokay was discovered early on Friday, soon after rescue workers from Azerbaijan had sent the uncle and other relatives away from the site to get some rest, saying there was no chance of finding the missing boy alive. “He didn’t even have a scratch on him!” the uncle, Sahin Tokay, said. “He was hungry on the first day, but the hunger pangs later disappeared .” Ferhat was working in a shoe shop on the ground floor of a building in the town when the quake hit.AP



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Desperate hunt for survivors after Turkey quake carnage

News4u-News Desk-

Desperate hunt for survivors after Turkey Rescuers scrambled through the rubble in a desperate search on Monday for survivors of an earthquake that killed at least 264 people in Turkey as residents fled the scenes of devastation.


People living in eastern Van province issued cries for help on Twitter, giving out the addresses of collapsed buildings and the number of people trapped under the debris, as hundreds of rescuers worked round the clock.

Two children were plucked alive from the wreckage of a collapsed building in the town of Ercis but it was a rare slice of good news in an otherwise grim task for the rescue teams.

Many students were believed to be buried in Ercis, the town which felt the full brunt of the quake, after a dormitory collapsed and several student houses crumbled.

A total of 264 people were confirmed to have been killed by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck around lunchtime on Sunday, according to Idris Naim Sener, the country’s interior minister.

In Ercis 169 people were killed, while 95 died in Van city centre, the Anatolia news agency quoted Sener as saying.

The government said that a total of 970 buildings had collapsed as a result of the quake and aftershocks.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said that rescuers had now managed to get access to all the quake-hit zones in Van province, including remote villages.

One resident of Ercis recounted the moment when disaster struck and how many had been forced to sleep outside overnight in freezing temperatures.

“We couldn’t understand what was going on, all of a sudden there was dust everywhere, our eyes were full of dust, and we were thrown against the walls and furniture. It lasted 20 seconds,” said 23-year-old Yunus Ozmen.

“We spent the night outside in the street and made a fire to keep warm.”

His neighbour Abdul Hadi Isik said that his aunt and her children were buried under the rubble.

“There is no hope left,” he added.

AFP journalists in Ercis reported that the rescue effort was being hampered by a lack of electricity and water.

Atalay said 29 villages and 40 per cent of Ercis town were without power but denied there was a problem with water.

Many of the town’s residents were fleeing the town while police and soldiers kept watching around crumbled buildings to prevent looting.

Using electrical pliers, rescuers could be seen patiently cutting through iron rods holding concrete blocks together while other people started to sweep up the mess.

The town’s football pitch had been transformed into a sea of tents set up by the Red Crescent.

While scores of multi-storey buildings had collapsed, most single-storey houses remained intact.

Only nine per cent of buildings in Van province had compulsory earthquake insurance, according to Selamet Yazici, the general manager of the natural disaster insurance institution.

Haiti Earthquake

Turkey Earthquake

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Scores killed after strong quake hits Turkey

News4u-News Desk-

An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude rocked eastern Turkey on Sunday, with a seismological institute saying up to 1,000 people could lie dead under the rubble of dozens of collapsed buildings.


Turkey’s strongest earthquake in years struck Van, a large eastern city populated mainly by Kurds.

“Five hundred to 1,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the quake,” Mustafa Erdik, director of the Kandilli seismological institute in Istanbul, told reporters.

Earlier reports had not mentioned casualties, but many were feared trapped in collapsed buildings and officials warned they were struggling to assess the extent of the damage.

“There is serious human and material loss,” said a brief statement from the national disaster body, which is based in the prime minister’s office.

Officials said around 50 buildings had collapsed, including a dormitory.

At least 50 people were taken to hospital in Van and nearly a thousand people in Ercis, a district of around 100,000 people in the same region, where the most serious damage occurred, according to media reports.

“Many buildings alongside a major street in Ercis were collapsed,” said a news agency photographer at the quake scene.

“There is electricity cut throughout district. People are using lanterns,” he said.

Television footage showed panicked residents using shovels and other digging tools trying to rescue people trapped under a collapsed eight-storey building in the city centre.

Search and rescue teams were using electrical generator lights to help the search for trapped victims as the night fell.

“An eight-storey apartment collapsed,” a local from Ercis said.

“There are efforts to rescue people but the loss is big. I myself saw three to four dead,” he added.

Most people are expected to spend the night outdoors, with the temperature expected to dip to three degrees Celsius (37 Fahrenheit).

“People are panicked. The telecommunication services have collapsed. We cannot reach anybody,” Van Mayor Bekir Kaya told NTV television.

The government was due to send satellite phones to the region, according to media reports.

Six helicopters, including four ambulance helicopters, as well as C-130 military cargo planes were sent to the area carrying tents, food and medicine.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at 7.3 magnitude and said an aftershock of 5.6 magnitude had also been registered. It placed the epicentre of the aftershock, which happened at 1056 GMT, at 19 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Van.

The depth of the initial quake was 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles), according to the US seismologists. The depth of the aftershock was 20 kilometers, they added.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck around 1041 GMT, was at Tabanli in Van province, the Kandilli institute said.

The Turkish institute said there were two aftershocks which affected the villages of Ilikaynak and Gedikbulak in particular.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cancelled his official programme and was due to visit the quake region on Sunday, NTV said.

Although the quake damaged Van’s airport it did not disrupt the air traffic, the Anatolia news agency reported, citing civilian aviation authorities.

Van, a city of 380,000 mainly Kurdish inhabitants, is more than 1,200 kilometres from the capital Ankara.

The quake was also felt across the border in northwestern Iran, causing some panic in major cities, Iranian media reported, but without any mention of casualties or damage.

The tremors were strong enough to cause “scenes of panic among the population of the cities,” according to several Iranian media.

Earthquake-prone Turkey lies atop several fault lines.

In 1999, two strong quakes in the heavily populated and industrialised regions of northwest Turkey left some 20,000 dead.

And a powerful earthquake in the town of Caldiran in Van province killed 3,840 people in 1976.

Rescue workers and residents remove rubble from a destroyed house in Karakocan, Turkey, after a major earthquake

Rescue workers and residents remove rubble from a destroyed house in Turkey, after a major earthquake

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Strong quake hits New Zealand’s Christchurch

News4u-News Desk-

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand’s quake-hit city of Christchurch on Monday, prompting the evacuation of a building holding an inquest into February’s deadly tremor.


The USGS measured the quake, which hit just 10 kilometres from Christchurch, at 5.2-magnitude and a depth of 11 kilometres.

Police said they had received some reports of damage in the city, including flooding, but they were not aware of any injuries.

The Christchurch Press reported a building had collapsed, with some people believed to be trapped inside.

Much of central Christchurch remains closed off since February’s 6.3-magnitude quake which levelled buildings, killing 181 people in the country’s deadliest earthquake for 80 years.

An inquest into the collapse of one of these buildings, which began Monday, was briefly evacuated following the latest tremor, a correspondent said.


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PM offers India’s assistance to quake-tsunami-hit Japan

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered India’s readiness to help Japan hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying “our resources are at your disposal”.

“India stands in full solidarity with the government and people of Japan at this hour,” he said in a letter to his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan.

Singh said “we are ready to help Japan in any way required and our resources are at your disposal”.

The Prime Minister said he was shocked to learn about the devastating quake that has hit the coast of Japan causing huge damage to life and property.

He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the people who have suffered or lost their near and dear ones in the disaster.


Meanwhile, India on Friday said there were no reports of any casualties amongst the approximately 25,000- strong Indian community in Japan hit a severe earthquake and tsunami and offered assistance that may be required by that country.


“India conveys its sympathies to the government and people of Japan who have been affected by the severe earthquake and tsunami that hit parts of Japan today afternoon. We are saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage to property and infrastructure,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.


Noting that there were no reports of any casualties among the approximately 25,000-strong Indian community in Japanwhich is concentrated in the Kanto and Kansai regions, the MEA said “our Embassy in Tokyo and Consulate in Osaka are in touch with community members and verifying the situation on the ground.”

Letters of sympathy with offers of assistance were written by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to their Japanese counterparts.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has spoken to Japanese Ambassador Akitaka Saiki in New Delhi to convey heartfelt sympathies and condolences as well as offer any assistance that may be required, the MEA said in a release.
The MEA said it is monitoring the situation closely and would take all necessary steps required as per exigencies.
A control room has been established in the Indian Embassy in Tokyo which can be contacted on phone numbers 00813 32622391 to 97, it said.



No tsunami threat to India from Japan quake: Govt


India faces no threat of tsunami from the massive earthquake that hit Japan on Friday, Government said, allaying fears of the repeat of 2004 when the southern parts of the country were devastated by the tidal waves.

“As of now I am informed there is no threat of such tsunami hitting any part of our country,” Minister of State for Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar told reporters hours after the quake of 8.9 magnitude struck in Japan.

He said the Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is monitoring the situation and is in touch with its counterpart in Indonesia and Philippines.

The current tidal situation is being monitored on a “minute to minute” basis, the Minister said.

He said normal movement of the tsunami would be from east of Indonesia to western side and then northwards.

The Union Home Ministry, in a statement, also said INCOIS has informed that the tsunami threat does not exist in respect of India.

In Hyderabad, National Disaster Management Authority, Vice-Chairman M Sashidhar Reddy told reporters, “In less than eight minutes, the INCOIS which has a tsunami early warning centre, issued a bulletin in which it has been clearly stated India does not have any threat.”

“In fact, the entire Indian Ocean region does not have any Tsunami threat. So, as things stand there is no question of any threat to the Indian coast right now and this will continue to be so,” Reddy said.

India’s southern part, particularly Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry and Kerala were hit by tsunami on 26th December  2004 triggered by earthquake off the coast of Indonesia, leaving over 10,000 dead and several lakh homeless.


Japan Disaster & Dr Manmohan Singh (inset)

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