Archive for the ‘Earthquakes’ Category

Earthquake In North Korea Was Less Than TWO MILES From The Nuclear Test Site

December 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Mac Slavo

An earthquake struck North Korea less than two miles away from the reclusive nation’s nuclear test site.  The regime’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is heightening tensions globally that are set to snap at any moment.

The 2.5-magnitude earthquake which shook North Korea early Saturday morning near its nuclear test site was initially picked up by Seoul’s weather agency. According to Newsweek, around 7:45 a.m. local time, the quake struck Kilju, a county in the North Hamgyeong Province, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) reported. Kilju is located about 1.7 miles away from the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility, where the country has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006.

Although the KMA believes that this quake was natural, North Korea’s nuclear test in September could have played a role. “Kilju is a rocky area where natural earthquakes normally do not occur. However, the quake could have been caused by geological changes created from the recent nuclear explosion,” a KMA official who asked not to be named, told the United Press Association.

Following the September 3 underground atomic explosion, a 6.3 magnitude quake rocked the test site and even shook houses in China, according to The Washington Post.   The group 38 North—who closely tracks the country’s nuclear activity—believes the seismic activity is potentially a sign of “Tired Mountain Syndrome,” which is when the rock is altered as a result of detonated nuclear bombs. “What we are seeing from North Korea looks like some kind of stress in the ground,” Paul G. Richards, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told The Washington Post“In that part of the world, there were stresses in the ground, but the explosions have shaken them up.”

The earthquakes near North Korea’s nuclear test site also present even more disturbing implications. Chinese scientists have stated that more nuclear tests underneath Mount Mantap could cause the mountain to collapse. If that happens, radiation could be sent across the region, Wang Naiyan, former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and a senior researcher on China’s nuclear weapons program, warned.

North Korea’s most recent nuclear test also led to the death of at least 200 people. They’re believed to have died after a tunnel collapsed about a week after the hydrogen bomb test. Nuclear explosions can cause any number of horrific tragedies, but North Korea seems dedicated to the advancement of their weapons program, despite repeated calls for them to cease developments.

Fault Line Wakes Up: New Zealand Could Be DESTROYED By Massive 9.0 Earthquake

November 30, 2017 2 comments

Mac Slavo

A 2016 earthquake has awoken a fault line that was thought to be dormant. Now that it’s becoming active, fears have arisen that New Zealand could be destroyed by a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

The devastating Kaikura earthquake in 2016 has resurrected the Hikurangi subduction zone where two tectonic plates clash and one is pushed down. Geologists are now warning that this trench could cause a massive earthquake on the ocean floor, and could trigger other 9.0 magnitude earthquakes and tsunamis that will reach the western coast of the islands in just seven minutes.

The Australian plate is heading north while the Pacific plate is heading west, and the combination of these motions means that the Pacific plate, which includes much of the South Island, is moving relative to the Australian plate at a rate of about 40millimeterss each year in a southwesterly direction.

Ursula Cochran, from the science firm GNS, told The Marlborough Express: “We need to think Japan 2011 basically, because if our whole plate boundary ruptured it would be a magnitude-9 earthquake.” The Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami smashed through the country’s north-eastern coast killing almost 16,000 people and destroying the lives of thousands more. It also triggered a major ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“One of the biggest hazards of that kind of earthquake is the tsunami that is triggered by a fault rupture offshore.,” Cochran added. “We know from tsunami modeling from a hypothetical earthquake from the Hikurangi subduction zone that the travel times could be very short to the coast, so seven minutes for some of the south Wairarapa coast.”

One year after it struck, scientists are also warning that the Kaikoura quake was not the “big one” for the Hikurangi subduction zone. The quake on the Hikurangi subduction zone was devastating. The magnitude 7.8 that destroyed houses, lifted the Kaikoura seabed by 2m, tore apart farmland, and wrecked kilometers of State Highway 1, may be minor compared to what could come, Cochran said.

“One thing about reflecting on from the Kaikoura earthquake is we don’t want people to think this is the big one.” An international team hopes to drill boreholes into the subduction zone and place monitoring equipment there to act as an early warning system.

134 Earthquakes Rocked San Andreas Fault In ONE WEEK: ‘Prepare Now’

November 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Mac Slavo

The 134 earthquakes that have had the San Andreas fault line rocking and rolling this past week are igniting fears that the “big one” could be just around the corner.

According to The Daily Mail, in the last week, 134 earthquakes have hammered a three-mile stretch around Monterey County on the San Andreas fault. Fresh fears have been raised that a huge earthquake is about to hit California after a swarm of recent tremors in the area.

Of those earthquakes, 17 were stronger than 2.5 magnitude and six of them were stronger than 3.0, with more tremors expected in the coming weeks, experts warn. It follows fears raised last week that the ‘Big One’ is about to hit after a series of ten “mini-quakes” struck the same area. The swarm included one 4.6-magnitude quake that was felt in San Francisco more than 90 miles (145 km) away. The 4.6 shock was followed by 9 smaller aftershocks. The largest of these aftershocks measured a magnitude 2.8, Annemarie Baltay, a seismologist with the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, told SFGATE.

“This one has been a quite productive aftershock sequence,” said Ole Kaven, a US Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist. “We suspect there will be aftershocks in the 2 to 3 [magnitude] range for at least a few more weeks,” he said. There have not been any reports of injuries, writes San Francisco news outlet SFGate.  

Experts have continuously warned that any activity along the San Andreas fault line is a cause for concern because of the soaring population that would be affected. “Any time there is significant seismic activity in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault, we seismologists get nervous,” Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Centre, told the LA Times last year.

Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, from the US Geological Survey, warned in a dramatic speech that people need to act to protect themselves rather than ignoring the threat. Jones said people’s decision not to accept it will only mean more suffer as scientists warn the ‘Big One’ is now overdue to hit California. In a keynote speech to a meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union and the American Geophysical Union, Dr. Jones warned that the public is yet to accept the randomness of future earthquakes.

People tend to focus on earthquakes happening in the next 30 years but they should be preparing now, she warned. Jones said there are three key reasons why the peril is so frightening – it cannot be seen, it is uncertain, and it seems unknowable. This means people bury their heads in the sand and pretend it won’t happen when they should be prepared and soon for the “big one.”

Huge Increase In Mega Earthquakes Predicted For 2018

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Scientists have warned that there will be a huge upsurge in the number of deadly earthquakes around the globe in 2018. 

They believe that a slowing of the Earth’s rotation could trigger mega-earthquakes, capable of killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people. reports: Although such fluctuations in rotation are small – changing the length of the day by a millisecond – they could still be implicated in the release of vast amounts of underground energy, it is argued.

The link between Earth’s rotation and seismic activity was highlighted last month in a paper by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

“The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year,” Bilham told the Observer last week.

In their study, Bilham and Bendick looked at earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater that had occurred since 1900. “Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than a century and that gives us a good record to study,” said Bilham.

They found five periods when there had been significantly higher numbers of large earthquakes compared with other times. “In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year,” said Bilham. “The rest of the time the average figure was around 15 major earthquakes a year.”

The researchers searched to find correlations between these periods of intense seismic activity and other factors and discovered that when Earth’s rotation decreased slightly it was followed by periods of increased numbers of intense earthquakes. “The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks,” said Bilham.

Bilham and Bendick found that there had been periods of around five years when Earth’s rotation slowed by such an amount several times over the past century and a half. Crucially, these periods were followed by periods when the numbers of intense earthquakes increased.

“It is straightforward,” said Bilham. “The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes.”

This link is particularly important because Earth’s rotation began one of its periodic slowdowns more than four years ago. “The inference is clear,” said Bilham. “Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes. We have had it easy this year. So far we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018.”

Exactly why decreases in day length should be linked to earthquakes is unclear although scientists suspect that slight changes in the behaviour of Earth’s core could be causing both effects.

In addition, it is difficult to predict where these extra earthquakes will occur – although Bilham said they found that most of the intense earthquakes that responded to changes in day length seemed to occur near the equator. About one billion people live in the Earth’s tropical regions.

Gov. Scientist: I Had To Suppress Evidence Linking Fracking To Earthquakes

November 20, 2017 Leave a comment

An Oklahoma seismologist claims that the U.S. government pressured him to suppress evidence that linked fracking to earthquakes.

In a deposition taken on Oct. 11, Austin Holland, Oklahoma’s former lead seismologist, alleges that he was punished for publishing a peer-reviewed journal article connecting hydraulic fracturing to an increase in earthquake activity. reports: Holland said his decision to leave OU and the Oklahoma Geologic Survey in 2015 was a direct result of pressure from his employers.

“I don’t know if ‘angry’ is the right word, but just disappointed … that I’d spent my time working towards something, and I thought I was in my dream job, and then I couldn’t be a scientist and do what scientists do, and that’s publish with colleagues,” he said.

“Well, that’s the point at which I realized that for my scientific credibility, I had to leave the position I was in.”

In the deposition, Holland claims that Keller and Grillot influenced or altered wording in his findings or presentations.

Holland said he met with Grillot and provided an advance copy of a report he co-authored linking seismicity with wastewater disposal.

He said Grillot’s response was “this is unacceptable.”

Holland said the dean’s main objection was that the report made policy recommendations, specifically those in the concluding paragraph of the report:

“Even if a network is owned and operated by industry, regulators must ensure that seismic data are not withheld from the public,” the report read. “Similarly, making injection data, such as daily injection rates, wellhead pressures, depth of the injection interval, and properties of the target formation, publicly accessible can be invaluable for attaining a better understanding of fluid-induced earthquakes.

“Open sharing of data can benefit all stakeholders, including industry, by enabling the research needed to develop more effective techniques for reducing the seismic hazard.”

Holland said he was never given a written reprimand and believes conversations were conducted over the phone or in person to avoid a searchable record of conversations available through open records requests.

Holland said he wished he would have recorded the conversations, including those that took place during a 2013 meeting at OU President David Boren’s office with Boren and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.

Holland said he was summoned to the meeting after he published a paper discussing hydraulic fracturing triggering earthquakes in Oklahoma.

“Well, the president of the university expressed to me that I had complete academic freedom, but that as part of being an employee of the state survey, I also have a need to listen to the people within the oil and gas industry,” Holland said. “And so Harold Hamm expressed to me that I had to be careful of the way in which I say things, that hydraulic fracturing is critical to the state’s economy in Oklahoma, and that me publicly stating that earthquakes can be caused by hydraulic fracturing was — could be misleading, and that he was nervous about the war on fossil fuels at the time.”

Holland called the meeting “intimidating,” but he went on to publish another report on induced seismicity in February 2015. By July of 2015 it was made public that Holland would be leaving the university and the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

Holland said energy companies, industry and environmental groups reached out to him to advocate for their point of view, but he said they weren’t the source of coercion.

“I was navigating a difficult landscape, but I was not pressured by industry to change what I’m doing, I was pressured by staff,” he said. “Now, I did — was pressured by Harold Hamm to change the way I spoke about [fracking] in public.”

“And I did have people in the industry say, ‘Well, you can’t say that’ or ‘You can’t say this.’ But the ones that actually write the paycheck control what I say in the public eye and what I don’t.”

The deposition was taken as evidence last month in a lawsuit originally filed in 2015 by Jennifer Cooper against New Dominion and Spess Oil Co. for damages related to 2009 quakes in Prague.

That case and a similar case filed by Gary and Sandra Ladra in 2011 has since been settled, but Holland’s assertions raise questions about the academic integrity of the university and the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which is headquartered at the OU Norman campus.

In 2015, Boren told the Tulsa World that university research has never been compromised by donors like Hamm, who donated $20 million to the university in 2011.

Boren served on the Continental Resources board of directors from 2009 until leaving the position earlier this year. He received hundreds of thousands of dollars and stock compensation for his work with Continental, but OU Vice President for Public Affairs Rowdy Gilbert said Boren’s role with the company did not influence his role as university president.

“Board service by university presidents is commonplace as it provides additional breadth to a president’s experience, which can greatly benefit the institution,” Gilbert said. “In accordance with his employment agreement, President Boren may serve on the board of any corporation, trust or other legal entity, provided that such service will not detract from his service as president of the university.

“At no time was President Boren ever asked to take any action contrary to his duties as president. He would have stepped down from the board of any organization that requested him to take any action contrary to his commitment to free inquiry.”

Gilbert said the meeting between Hamm, Boren and Holland was called as an opportunity for dialogue

“At the time of the meeting, there was great public interest and discussion on the role of oil and gas operations on seismicity,” Gilbert said. “The university was completing groundbreaking research on the topic. The meeting was a great opportunity for dialogue and to build understanding.”

Gilbert said at no point was Holland pressured to alter the content of his research.

“In fact, President Boren used this opportunity to emphasize the importance of academic freedom to both parties,” Gilbert said. “As a taxpayer-funded seismologist for the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Dr. Holland received regular input from a wide variety of Oklahoma stakeholders including energy industry leaders and environmental groups.”

Boren said he was not privy to conversations within the department about Holland’s report, but voiced his support for academic freedom.

“I expressed publicly and privately to Dr. Holland that OGS researchers have full academic freedom and a duty to pursue the truth in their research wherever it leads them,” Boren said in a statement.

“We have learned that wastewater disposal has contributed to increased seismicity specifically based on the pioneering research provided by the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The university stands by OGS researchers and is proud to have played a role in this important scientific finding, which is being used to protect the safety and well-being of Oklahomans.”

Gilbert said the university has no intention of investigating Holland’s claims against Grillot.

“The issues in question arose in a private litigation matter and come more than two years after the departure of Dr. Holland and Dean Grillot from the university,” he said.

Grillot retired in 2015 and maintains that he did not coerce Holland.

“As I have previously stated, I did not put pressure on Dr. Holland to alter his research or conclusions,” he said. “As I have also stated, I believe that Dr. Holland is a good scientist, and I felt that we had a good working relationship.”

Powerful earthquake on Iran-Iraq border kills over 330

November 13, 2017 Leave a comment

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border region killed over 330 people in both countries, sent people fleeing their homes into the night and was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast, authorities reported on Monday.

Iran’s western Kermanshah province bore the brunt of the temblor, with Iran’s state-run news agency reporting the quake killed 328 people in the country. State television said some 3,950 were injured. The area is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming to make a living.

In Iraq, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535 there, all in the country’s northern, semiautonomous Kurdish region, according to Iraq’s Interior Ministry.

The magnitude 7.3 quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at a depth of 23.2 kilometers (14.4 miles), a shallow depth that can have broader damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes on their own are capable of widespread, heavy damage.

Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes into the night. More than 100 aftershocks followed.


Iran’s state-run news agency says at least 328 people are known dead in Iran, after a powerful earthquake on Iran-Iraq border. At least seven are known dead in Iraq. The magnitude 7.3 quake was centered outside Halabja, in eastern Iraq. (Nov. 13)

The quake’s worst damage appeared to be in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq.

Kokab Fard, a 49-year-old housewife in Sarpol-e-Zahab, said she could only flee empty-handed when her apartment complex collapsed.

“Immediately after I managed to get out, the building collapsed,” Fard said. “I have no access to my belongings.”

Reza Mohammadi, 51, said he and his family ran out into the alley following the first shock he felt.

“I tried to get back to pick some stuff but it totally collapsed in the second wave,” Mohammadi said.

Those in Sarpol-e-Zahab also said the power and water were out in the town as telephone and cellphone lines were spotty.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences on Monday morning and urged rescuers and all government agencies to do all they could to help those affected, state media reported.

The semi-official ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

Officials announced that schools in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces would be closed on Monday because of the temblor.

In Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a directive for the country’s civil defense teams and “related institutions” to respond to the natural disaster. Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, an Interior Ministry spokesman, gave the casualty figures for Iraq.

The quake could be felt across Iraq, shaking buildings and homes from Irbil to Baghdad, where people fled into the streets of the capital.

The Iraqi city of Halabja, closest to the epicenter, is notorious for the 1988 chemical attack in which Saddam Hussein’s regime killed some 5,000 people with mustard gas — the deadliest chemical weapons attack ever against civilians.

Iraqi seismologist Abdul-Karim Abdullah Taqi, who runs the earthquake monitoring group at the state-run Meteorological Department, said the main reason for the lower casualty figure in Iraq was the angle and the direction of the fault line in this particular quake, as well as the nature of the Iraqi geological formations that could better absorb the shocks.

Turkey dispatched emergency aid to northern Iraq as officials expressed their “deep sadness” at the tragedy. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country took immediate action to provide medical and food aid to northern Iraq.

Kerem Kinik, Turkish Red Crescent’s vice president, told The Associated Press from Habur border crossing that 33 aid trucks were en route to Iraq’s city of Sulaimaniyah, carrying 3,000 tents and heaters, 10,000 beds and blankets as well as food.

A Turkish military cargo plane arrived in Iraq as the official Anadolu news agency reported multiple dispatches by Turkey’s disaster agency. Ankara also said it would help Iran if Tehran requests assistance.

Relations between Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region and Turkey were strained following the Iraqi Kurds’ controversial September independence referendum.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s government also extended its deepest condolences for the loss of life and injuries suffered by “our Iranian and Iraqi brethren.”

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said Pakistanis’ “thoughts and prayers are with the Iranian and Iraqi brothers who lost their lives in this tragic calamity and we pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. The last major casualty earthquake in Iran struck in East Azerbaijan province in August 2012, killing over 300 people.

Strong Earthquake Jolts Iran-Iraq Border

November 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake impacted at least 14 provinces, deaths reported

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iranian state TV says a 7.2-magnitude earthquake has jolted the region near the border between Iran and Iraq.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake on its website, placing its epicenter at around 32km (19 miles) outside the Iraqi city of Halabja, and issuing an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.”

The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency reported that at least 14 provinces had been impacted earthquake.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: