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Old 17-04-16, 21:57   #1
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Oh Crap! PhOtOs-WORLD MEGA Earthquake Coming?>Warns Top Scientist

Earthquakes Across The World Including Powerful Tremor in Ecuador and Series of Shakes in Japan Could Herald New MEGA Quake, Warns Top Scientist
  • Series of strong earthquakes prompt fears 'mega' earthquake could strike
  • A scientist has warned that strain within the earth's crust could trigger it
  • Four major earthquakes have struck 'Ring of Fire' region in the past week
  • Two have struck Japan, another hit Ecuador and one occurred near Tonga
Daily Mail UK, 17 April 2016

A series of powerful earthquakes which struck Asia and South America in the past week could be followed by a 'mega' quake in the near future, a scientist has claimed.

On Thursday and yesterday, two earthquakes struck Japan, killing at least 41 people, causing landslides and widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure.

Today, a 6.1 magnitude quake struck southeast of the Pacific island nation of Tonga, with no immediate reports of damage.

A landslide destroyed part of a road in Minami, Japan after it struck the region yesterday. A scientist has warned the recent seismic activity could see a 'mega' earthquake in the future

Rescue workers in Minami, Japan work to clear trees and dirt from an area affected by the earthquake

It is feared 11 people in the region are missing and trapped under rubble and landslides caused by the quakes

And at the other end of the infamous Ring of Fire, Ecuador was also struggling after a major 7.8 quake which hit last night, killing at least 237.

Roger Bilham, a seismologist at the University of Colorado, said: 'The current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude.

And if they delay, the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic mega earthquakes.'In addition to the four major earthquakes to have struck since Thursday, last week there were also shakes in the Philippines, Vanuatu and Myanmar.

All of the earthquakes have occurred in countries straddling the so-called Ring of Fire.
This is a horseshoe-shaped series of trenches spanning the Pacific Ocean where tectonic plates are shifting and seismic and volcanic activity is common.

The U.S. Geological Survey, an independent agency which monitors natural hazards such as earthquakes, says 'mega' earthquakes are rare, but not impossible.

It says there is no fault line - the areas where shifting plates that make up the earth's crusts meet - is known which is capable of generating a magnitude 10 earthquake.

However, scientists cannot completely discount a 'mega' earthquake because they've only been measuring seismic activity for the past 100 years.

Meanwhile, Japanese rescue teams were today scouring the splintered remains of buildings destroyed by the shakes as time ran out for finding survivors.

The 7.3 magnitude tremor which struck yesterday, killing at least 32 people, injured another thousand and caused widespread damage.

In the village of Minamiaso, 11 people were 'out of contact', said public broadcaster NHK. Rescuers pulled 10 students out of a collapsed university apartment in the same settlement yesterday.

The country's second earthquake hit on the same day as a powerful 7.8 magnitude shake rocked coastal Ecuador.
It was the largest earthquake to hit the country for several decades and a state of emergency was declared for four of the worst-affected regions.

Officials said at least 77 people were killed, over 588 injured and the damage stretched for hundreds of miles to the capital and other major cities.

Ecuador 7.8 Earthquake: Death Toll RISES > 235+

At least 235 people have been confirmed dead and over 1,500 people injured after Ecuador was hit by its most powerful earthquake in decades.

Last night in Ecuador a major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit last night, killing at least 77

Police stand guard next to an overpass in Guayaquil, Ecuador which collapsed during the shaking

Residents of the coastal city stand on the debris left by a house which collapsed after sundown last night

Some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police are being deployed in the affected areas, as rescue operations got under way.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck early on Saturday evening.

Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicentre and officials say the death toll is likely to rise as information begins to come in.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has cut short a visit to Italy to fly back and deal with the crisis.

He has declared a state of emergency and said the priority is finding survivors.

"Everything can be rebuilt, but lives cannot be recovered, and that's what hurts the most," he said.

Ecuador's Vice-President Jorge Glas, visiting one of the worst hit cities, Manta, met a resident who pleaded for people trapped under rubble.

"We have to be quiet so that rescuers can listen [for survivors]," Mr Glas told him. "We cannot go in with heavy machinery because it can be tragic for the wounded."

Helicopters and buses are ferrying troops north but have been hampered by landslides.

In some areas people are using their bare hands to try to dig out survivors.

Food and other essentials has been handed out and international aid was also beginning, with the first coming from Venezuela and Mexico.

At least 500 people were injured in the quake, which was felt across the country.

Widespread severe damage is reported, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away.

Gabriel Alcivar, mayor of Pedernales, close to the epicentre, said the "entire town" had been flattened.

"We're trying to do the most we can but there's almost nothing we can do," he added, warning that looting had broken out.

In Manta, one woman said: "The third floor collapsed on top of us.

"They are all there, my family, my sister, my children. They are all there, there are a lot of people. My God, may the help arrive."

Cristian Ibarra Santillan was in the capital Quito when the quake struck.

"There had been some small tremors going on for about two or three months and I thought it was one of those but after about 20, 30 seconds it started to get really strong," he told the BBC.

"And I grabbed my dog and I hid under the table. But then I realised that it wasn't going away so I just ran with him outside."

The quake is Ecuador's largest since 1979. More than 130 aftershocks have followed.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at a fairly shallow depth of 19.2km (11.9 miles), about 27km from Muisne in a sparsely populated area.

David Rothery, a professor of geosciences at The Open University, said Ecuador's quake was about six times as powerful as the earthquake that struck southern Japan on Saturday.

The quake was also felt in Colombia, where patients in a clinic in the city of Cali were evacuated from the building.
Analysis: Jonathan Amos, BBC science correspondent

Ecuador is well used to earthquakes. There have been seven magnitude-7.0 or greater events within 250km of this latest tremor since 1900. And some of these have resulted in very considerable loss of life, not just from the shaking but also from tsunami waves.

The country sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire" - the arc of high seismic activity that extends right around the Pacific basin. At its location, Ecuador fronts the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates.

These are vast slabs of the Earth's surface that grind past each other at a rate of about 65mm per year. The Nazca plate, which makes up the Pacific Ocean floor in this region, is being pulled down (subducted) and under the South American coast.

It is a process that has helped build the Andes and Ecuador's many volcanoes, including the mighty Chimborazo.

Models that try to forecast the likely casualty numbers from the nature of the quake and local building construction methods indicate this event could be very serious, with the number of deaths running into the hundreds.

Volunteers cover a body trapped in a collapsed building, after a massive earthquake in Pedernales, Ecuador, Sunday, April 17, 2016. The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades flattened buildings and buckled highways along its Pacific coast, sending the Andean nation into a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

Vehicles drive by a fracture on a road caused by a 7.8 earthquake in Manta, Ecuador, Sunday, April, 17, 2016. A powerful, 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador's central coast on Saturday, killing hundreds and spreading panic as it collapsed homes.(AP Photo/Patricio Ramos)

In this image made from a video, people look on after an overpass buckled in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Police and firemen inspect a collapsed overpass in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Saturday April 16, 2016. The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades flattened buildings and buckled highways along the country's coast, killing at least 41 people and causing damage hundreds of miles (kilometers) away from the epicenter in the capital and other major cities.(AP Photo/Jeff Castro)

Boys cry as they find out that their sister has been killed in an earthquake in Pedernales, Ecuador, Sunday, April 17, 2016.

Volunteers rescue a body from a destroyed building after an earthquake in Pedernales, Ecuador, Sunday, April 17, 2016.

A destroyed home is seen in Pedernales, Ecuador, Sunday, April 17, 2016. The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades flattened buildings and buckled highways along its Pacific coast, sending the Andean nation into a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

A man walks amid the debris of buildings destroyed by an earthquake in Pedernales, Ecuador, Sunday, April 17, 2016.

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