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An earthquake swarm has been occurring near the island since this morning. So far, 16 quakes of magnitudes between 2 and 3.9 and at depths ranging between about 30-6 km have been detected.
The quakes are clustered about half way between Santorini’s SW end and the Christiana Island group.
The strongest shock with magnitude 3.9 occurred at 10:27 local time and might have been felt weakly by residents of the southern part of Santorini.
Although the quakes are near the Kameni line, a tectonic lineament in SW-NE direction which has been the preferred location for magma ascent (i.e. formation of volcanic vents) in the volcano’s past few 100,000 years of history, there is currently no indication that the earthquakes are volcanic in origin. It is much more likely that they represent a normal tectonic event.
However, Santorini being both a popular tourist destination and an active volcano, the situation merits close monitoring.
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck 57 miles southwest of Adak, Alaska, at 9:47 Saturday morning. At this time, a tsunami is not expected, according to the National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center.
The earthquake epicenter was some 37 miles south of Bobrof island, just 62 miles deep. The area is in the far western Aleutians, some 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage.
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck Brazil’s Amazon region, but damage is unlikely because it struck at a depth of nearly 600 kilometers (372 miles), seismologists say.
The earthquake, which struck at 2:25 p.m. local time on Saturday, was centered in the Amazon rainforest, about 89 kilometers (55 miles) west of Tarauacá in Acre state, or 739 kilometers (459 miles) northeast of Lima.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude at 6.8 but said it struck at a depth of 575 kilometers (479 miles), making it a very deep earthquake. Peru’s seismological agency put the magnitude significantly higher, at 7.2.
Damage is unlikely because it struck far below the surface and in a remote area. Computer models from the UN estimate that nearly 5,300 people live within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the earthquake epicenter.
Saturday’s earthquake was the strongest to hit Brazil since 2003, when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the same region. However, strong and deep earthquakes sometimes hit Peru in areas that are close to the border with western Brazil. They rarely cause damage.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck Alaska today poses no local threat of a tsunami.
A earthquake magnitude 6.1 (ml/mb) has struck on Sunday, 116 km SE of Cold Bay, Alaska (72 miles). Exact location, longitude -161.4719° West, latitude 54.4279° North, depth = 26.92 km.
The 6.1-magnitude earthquake has occurred at 15:35:37 / 3:35 pm (local time epicenter). A tsunami warning has been issued near Cold Bay in Alaska (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist).
An undersea earthquake occurred Saturday off the coast of the southern Philippines. The U.S. Geological Survey says it struck at a depth of about 38 miles and had a magnitude of 7.0. According to The Associated Press, no casualties or damage had been reported as of a few hours after the quake.
It was felt in several cities in the southern Philippines and led the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami threat – which has since been lifted — for areas along the coasts of Indonesia and the Philippines.
This most recent scare, which seemed to cause little damage, is the latest seismic activity in a region reeling from disaster. On Dec. 22, a tsunami hit Indonesia and killed at least 430 people. NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reported that Indonesia’s seismic activity directors were faulty, which meant that residents were not properly warned. Kuhn also noted that Indonesians did not feel an earthquake, a common warning sign, before the tsunami struck.
A widely shared video of a concert is one of the more unsettling illustrations of how unexpected the disaster was: The local pop-rock band Seventeen was performing at a party in Java one moment and taken by a massive wave the next.
Now scientists might know why last Saturday’s disaster happened. According to a statement from the European Geosciences Union, the partial collapse of Anak Krakatau, a volcano in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, may have caused the tsunami. Researcher Raphaël Paris says Anak Krakatau’s instability will continue to pose a risk. In the EGU statement, Paris says, “There is a big uncertainty on the stability of the volcanic cone now and the probability for future collapses and tsunamis is perhaps non-negligible.”
When Anak Krakatau lost a 64-hectare portion of its west-southwest flank, tons of rocky debris fell into the sea and brought forth powerful waves. This, according to the BBC’s Jonathan Amos, could have been the source. NPR’s Julie McCarthy reports that researchers say the volcanic cone has decreased in height from 1,108 feet to just 336 feet. Satellite images also show a significant decrease in Anak Krakatau’s size.
Paris was part of a team that modeled a very similar Anak Krakatau-induced tsunami back in 2012. Mike Burton, president of the EGU Division on Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology, said in the EGU’s statement: “The hazard scenario were therefore understood, but the management of such a hazard obviously remains a major challenge.”
The exact details of the tsunami’s cause — the nature of the eruption that triggered the loss of the flank, for example — will not be determined until researchers can access the area of the volcano, according to the BBC’s Amos.
Anak Krakatau translates to “child of Krakatau.” Anak’s parent, Krakatau (or Krakatoa), is perhaps best known for exploding in 1883. According to Hawaii Public Radio’s Neal Conan, about 100,000 people died from that eruption’s direct effects and more than 35,000 others died from resulting tsunami waves. Anak Krakatau was formed from what remained of Krakatau.
Less than three months ago, another tsunami in Indonesia killed at least 1,400 others. And in August, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake killed at least 460. A statement issued in October by Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Management said 1,999 natural disasters occurred in Indonesia in 2018, leaving 3,548 dead or missing.
More than small 190 earthquakes have hit parts of Alaska since Friday, when a 7.0-magnitude tremor knocked out power, ripped open roads and splintered buildings near Anchorage.
Since Friday, Alaska has experienced at least smaller 194 earthquakes, the US Geological Survey said early Saturday.
“These numbers can change by the minute, people can be expected to feel aftershocks for some time,” Seismologist Randy Baldwin told CNN. He said while they are described as aftershocks, they are still considered earthquakes.
The magnitude-7.0 earthquake sent residents scurrying for cover when it hit about 8:30 a.m. Friday local time 10 miles northeast of Anchorage.
‘This was a big one’
“It was very loud when it came,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said. “It was very clear that this was something bigger than what we normally experience. We live in earthquake country … but this was a big one.”
The 7.0 earthquake was felt up to 400 miles outside of Anchorage, said Michael West, the Alaska state seismologist.
He called it the most significant earthquake in Anchorage since 1964.
“I think it’s safe to say that, not measured in magnitude or location but in terms of how strong the ground itself shook during the earthquake,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Two of the city’s main hospitals — Alaska Regional and Providence Alaska Medical Center — sustained damage but emergency rooms were open, according to hospital officials.
The Anchorage Police Department reported “major infrastructure damage” across the city.
Blair Braverman said she was staying in a hotel with her husband when the quake hit. She grew up in California and was familiar with earthquakes “but this was next-level,” she said.
“My husband sort of crawled across the room and threw himself on top of me and we crawled to the bathroom together and waited it out in the doorway and waited out the aftershocks.”
Roads buckled under passing cars and grocery store products tumbled from shelves. In court, panicked attorneys scurried under tables as a room rocked from side to side.
“It was absolutely terrifying,” Palmer resident Kristin Dossett told CNN.
It was the biggest quake she has felt in her 37 years in a region where temblors are common, Dossett said. One aftershock moved her piano a foot and half from the wall.
“It shook like I have never felt anything shake before,” she said.
“It just didn’t stop. It kept going and got louder and louder, and things just fell everywhere — everything off my dressers, off my bookcases, my kitchen cupboard. Just broken glass everywhere.”
Despite the chaos and confusion, Anchorage authorities said Friday night that no fatalities or serious injuries were reported. Authorities didn’t have firm figures on damage Friday night. Helicopters and drones were assessing infrastructure across the region.
The Anchorage School District canceled classes Monday and Tuesday to assess facility damage.
Seismologists predict more aftershocks
Gov. Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration as the US Geological Survey reported dozens of aftershocks. The largest, registering 5.7, was in the city of Anchorage. Seismologists predicted many more in the coming days and weeks.
Philip Peterson was in a multistory building in downtown Anchorage as the structure swayed and coffee mugs fell from tables and tiles from the ceiling.
“I just jumped under my desk and had to ride it out,” Peterson said.