Climbers killed during a fall on Russian volcano

At least six people have died while climbing Eurasia’s highest active volcano in eastern Russia’s Kamchatka region, local media report. Rescuers remain unable to reach another six climbers on the Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano because of bad weather – despite a renewed effort on Sunday. Two of the climbers are believed to be sheltering in a camp at 3,300m (10,827ft) above sea level, and another four in a tent at 4,000m. All the climbers are Russian nationals. The 12-strong group, which included two guides, began their ascent to the 4,754m summit on Tuesday, local media say. But four days later, on … Continue reading Climbers killed during a fall on Russian volcano

Huge 6.4 magnitude quake shakes Australia and East Timor

Darwin has been rocked by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake – with locals reporting feeling the ground shake underneath them for 30 seconds.  The epicentre of the earthquake was in East Timor with tremors felt as far away as the Red Centre in the Northern Territory, GeoScience Australia said in an alert.  The Bureau of Meteorology reassured residents there was no active tsunami threat.  Locals took to social media saying they saw buildings shake and felt the ground tremble for half-a-minute. ‘Anyone else feel that earthquake in Darwin?’ one person wrote on Twitter. Darwin has been rocked by several earthquakes in the past … Continue reading Huge 6.4 magnitude quake shakes Australia and East Timor

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake shakes southern Peru

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has shaken southern Peru, according to the US Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury. The quake struck at around 7.02am local time in the Tirapata region and was centred 8.1 miles (13km) east-southeast of Azangaro. It was fairly deep at around 135.3 miles (217.8km) beneath the surface. The US Tsunami Warning System said no tsunami warning had been issued. Earlier, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) estimated the quake at magnitude 7. The earthquake shook some buildings in La Paz, the capital of neighbouring Bolivia, as well as in Peruvian cities … Continue reading Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake shakes southern Peru

Storms kill at least 8 in Canada, leave half a million without power

The death toll from powerful thunderstorms in Canada’s two most populous provinces this weekend rose to at least eight, authorities said on Sunday, as emergency crews continued a massive clean-up to restore power to half a million people.A trampoline is blown down a street during a storm in Toronto The storms, which lasted more than two hours Saturday afternoon and packed the power of a tornado, left a trail of destruction in parts of Ontario and Quebec. Wind gusts as strong as 132 km (82 miles) per hour felled trees, uprooted electric poles and toppled many metal transmission towers, utility … Continue reading Storms kill at least 8 in Canada, leave half a million without power

Powerful 5.2 magnitude earthquake hits eastern Turkey

A powerful earthquake hit eastern Turkey on Saturday but no casualties or serious damage were immediately reported, the country’s disaster service said. The 5.2 magnitude quake struck the town of Puturge in Malatya province at 5:02 p.m. local time (1402 GMT), Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate said. The tremor was recorded at a depth of 6.7 kilometers (4.2 miles). “We have not received any negative reports so far. Our teams continue their scanning activities in the field,” Malatya Governor Aydin Barus told the state-run Anadolu Agency. Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum tweeted that the Turkish government was closely … Continue reading Powerful 5.2 magnitude earthquake hits eastern Turkey

Not Again: Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupts multiple times, 250 evacuate

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano spewed avalanches of hot clouds in eruptions overnight Thursday that forced about 250 residents to flee to temporary shelters and left ash blanketing nearby villages and towns. No casualties were reported. The volcano on the densely populated island of Java unleashed clouds of hot ash at least seven times just before and after midnight and fast-moving pyroclastic flows, a mixture of rock, lava and gas, traveled up to 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) down its slopes, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s spokesperson Abdul Muhari in a statement. The rumbling sound could be heard several kilometers (miles) away. … Continue reading Not Again: Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupts multiple times, 250 evacuate

Update: Tonga back online as undersea cable repaired

Internet connection was restored in Tonga on Tuesday, five weeks after a massive volcanic eruption shredded the undersea cable that connects the Pacific nation with the rest of the world. Telecom providers Digicel and TCC said data connectivity had been restored to two main islands, after breaks in an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch of the cable were finally fixed. Residents reported services were quickly coming back online, email seemed blazingly fast after 38 days in the internet doldrums and a slew of calls from family overseas were coming in, their voices now heard loud and clear. “YES! TCC is restoring fibre … Continue reading Update: Tonga back online as undersea cable repaired

Another Disaster: Tonga hit by 6.2-magnitude earthquake

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck about 219km (136.1miles) west-northwest of Pangai, Tonga, on Thursday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. The earthquake was at a depth of 14.5km. The USGS has issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses, however, there is a low likelihood of damage since there are reportedly no settlements within 100kms (62 miles). This is the second large-scale disaster to hit the Pacific Island nation after the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption on 15 January, triggering a tsunami alert. The powerful underwater volcanic eruption was about a thousand times more powerful than … Continue reading Another Disaster: Tonga hit by 6.2-magnitude earthquake

Update: Tonga volcanic eruption more powerful than atomic bomb

A volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered a tsunami was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima during World War Two, Nasa says. The eruption “obliterated” a volcanic island north of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa, the agency said. Tonga says more than four-fifths of the population has been affected by the tsunami and falling ash. Three people were confirmed killed in the tsunami last week. Before the eruption, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic island was two separate islands joined by new land formed in 2015. Nasa says the eruption was so powerful all the … Continue reading Update: Tonga volcanic eruption more powerful than atomic bomb

Update: New Zealand and Australian aid planes to arrive in Tonga

New Zealand and Australian aid planes and ships are due to arrive in Tonga carrying much-needed supplies for the disaster-struck nation. Hundreds of workers have cleared a thick layer of volcanic ash covering the runway at Tonga’s main airport. Saturday’s eruption of an undersea volcano and tsunami waves have killed at least three and cut communications. The ash has blanketed the islands, posing a serious health risk, and contaminated water supplies. Efforts to remove ash at the airport in the capital Nuku’alofa finished on Wednesday, after rescue teams and volunteers desperately worked to clear the tarmac using wheelbarrows and shovels. … Continue reading Update: New Zealand and Australian aid planes to arrive in Tonga

Afghanistan twin quakes kill at least 22 in poorest areas

At least 22 people have been killed so far after back-to-back earthquakes struck the west of Afghanistan on Monday, officials said. According to data from the US Geological Society (USGS), the 4.9 and 5.3 magnitude quakes affected the north-west province of Badghis, where it caused house and building collapses. A spokesman told AFP four children were among those found dead in the rubble. They added that more than 700 houses had been damaged. Earthquakes can cause significant damage in Afghanistan, where many dwellings are not as stable or well-built. The USGS captured two earthquakes on Monday, which hit about 50km … Continue reading Afghanistan twin quakes kill at least 22 in poorest areas

Update: New Zealand sends flight to assess damage in Tonga volcanic eruption

New Zealand has sent a plane to Tonga to assess the damage after a huge volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami. The eruption has covered the Pacific islands in ash, cut power and severed communications. Up to 80,000 people there could be affected, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the tsunami had wreaked “significant damage”. No deaths have been reported so far. Information remains scarce, however, and New Zealand and Australia are sending surveillance flights to assess the extent of the damage. The New Zealand Defence Force tweeted … Continue reading Update: New Zealand sends flight to assess damage in Tonga volcanic eruption