Papua New Guinea – M 7.0 – Heavy earthquake under New Britain Island

Earthquake Report comment :
Earthquake occurred at a depth of 81 km, a little softening the impact.
Other area than the powerful earthquakes from the last few weeks.
GDACS ORANGE Earthquake alert = Moderately dangerous
120,000 people live in a radius of 100 km around the epicenter.
Strong to very strong shaking in 50% of the island expected.
Earthquake happened in the morning hours.
Epicenter is located in the middle of the jungle, very difficult to get by.
NO Tsunami risk for U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions (see bulletin below).
As the earthquake epicenter is under land, the chance on local tsunamis is very limited.
Based on our experience it will take many hours before aid teams can reach the epicenter area.
Based on USGS data 31,000 people may have experienced very strong shaking (living in a radius of 50 km around the epicenter).
Very big landslides maybe expected in this mountainous rain forest.
Only one road is going from west to east and a severe earthquake may render it unusable. Even without earthquakes these roads are often blocked by landslides and muddy conditions.

Update 23:34 UTC : Cloud cover for the next 5 days will be 40 to 60 % making overflying the epicenter area (almost the only means to reach this area of the country) very difficult.
Local on-line newspapers are very slow to react and have still not posted a message on their websites.
As the epicenter is in the middle of the jungle, houses are primitive and do mostly not use bricks or concrete, thus minimizing the chance on collapse and injuring the people.
USGS has received so far 3 responses of light shaking (Mercalli IV) in Kimbe, 75 km from the epicenter.

Update 12:03 UTC  August 5 : NO additional news from the earthquake area. The local press in Port Moresby has even not reported that there was an earthquake ! As mentioned earlier on in this report, it can take up to several days before a reliable report can be found. We at ‘Earthquake Report’ are pledging that the International community (United Nations ?) would help governments of poor countries to strengthen  communications and aid.

Update 12:41 UTC August 5 : The Acting Director for PNG’s National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, says a team assessing the area for damage is expected to report back in a few days. (Please read report of Radio New Zealand International in full).

Update 12:02 UTC August 6 : The National, a local Papua New Guinea newspaper has written a small report on this earthquake. As written here before, the local people and the administration do the best they can, but with only limited resources, little is really little here.

KIMBE was again shaken yesterday as an earthquake measuring 7.0 struck the West New Britain township.
There no reports of casualties and damages to properties.
The earthquake occurred at the same spot of the 7.3 quake two weeks ago that caused injuries and damage to property.
The West New Britain disaster office could not give any reports as the disaster director was out of the province.
Read the Full report of Elisabeth Vuvu from The National

Earthquake Report Preliminary conclusion
Although this will probably not be a devastating earthquake, the conditions of the terrain and the strong shaking may damage buildings and infrastructure.  It will take a lot of time (we expect more than 1 day, even many days) before villages in the interior of the island can be reached. Papua New Guinea is a very poor country with limited resources to fight catastrophes.

The island of New Britain has been squeezed over and over again during the last few weeks since a very powerful earthquake measuring M 7.3 struck  near the coast on July 18, 2010. A lot of houses were damaged and 1 person died.

New Britain, is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago (named after Otto von Bismarck) of Papua New Guinea.  The main towns of New Britain are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe.
New Britain and New Ireland are so named because their outlines on a map roughly correspond to those of the British Isles.

Tectonic plates in the area
The northward-migrating Solomon Sea Plate is subducted under the South Bismarck Plate.
The Solomon Sea Plate is also subducted beneath the Pacific Plate.
There are two short spreading centers, one at the southeast margin of the Solomon Sea Plate and the other at the north edge of the South Bismarck Plate.
As can be seen from the map below, the Woodlark Plate stretches under the North-Eastern Coast of Papua New Guinea. Powerful earthquakes and volcanoes result from the subduction of these plates.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Thursday, August 05, 2010 at 08:01:47 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 81 km (reviewed to the more dangerous depth of 54 km)
Geo-location(s) :
Nearest village Tumula
75 km (45 miles) ESE of Kimbe, New Britain, PNG
140 km (88 miles) E (80°) from Kandrian, New Britain, PNG
251 km (156 miles) SW (218°) from Rabaul, New Britain, PNG

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map
GDACS ORANGE Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)
NOAA Tsunami bulletin for U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions (NO risk)

* GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System) provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world.  GDACS is a Joint Initiative of the United Nations and the European Commission

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Chile – M 4.8 – Moderate quake 55 km from Conception

Earthquake Report comment :
A for Chilean standards very moderate earthquake in the coastal waters near Conception.
The shaking in the coastal towns of Talca and Conception was felt as “weak”

On Februari 27, 2010  a powerful Magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck in the same area killing more than 521 people (most of them by a coastal Tsunami).  Thanks to the strict building codes enforced by the government since the early seventies, a greater tragedy has been avoided.
Seismologists estimate that the earthquake was so powerful that it may have shortened the length of the day by 1.26 microseconds and moved the Earth’s figure axis by 8 cm or 2.7 milliarcseconds.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 at 11:34:24 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 23 km
Geo-location(s) :
55 km (35 miles) WNW of Concepcion, Bio-Bio, Chile
110 km (70 miles) N of Lebu, Bio-Bio, Chile
135 km (85 miles) W of Chillan, Bio-Bio, Chile

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place

Japan – M 4.8 – Light earthquake near the coast of Iwaki (Honshu)

Earthquake Report comment :
An active seismic area near the coast of Honshu, only 180 km north of Tokyo.Houses in infrastructure in Japan can withstand a lot stronger earthquakes than this one.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 at 11:11:28 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 45 km
Geo-location(s) :
55 km (35 miles) SE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
85 km (50 miles) ENE of Mito, Honshu, Japan
115 km (70 miles) SE of Koriyama, Honshu, Japan
180 km (110 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place

USA – Alaska – M 6.1 – Strong earthquake in an unpopulated area in the Bering Sea near Tanaga Island

Earthquake Report comment :
Based on reports from GDACS and USGS NO people are living in a radius of 200 km around the epicenter.
No widespread Tsunami will be triggered, although local Tsunamis generated by underwater landslides are always possible.
The nearast island to the epicenter is Ogliuga Island, it has an abandoned airfield located on Ogliuga Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
About 30 km from the epicenter on Gareloi Island,  a stratovolcano. The island is uninhabited. Coastal cliffs provide nesting habitat for more than 600,000 seabirds, mostly for crevice nesting auklets.
The island also has two small glaciers. (Source : wikipedia)

Historical earthquakes in the area
The 1965 Rat Islands earthquake occurred at 05:01 UTC, on 4 February. It had a magnitude of 8.7 and triggered a tsunami of over 10 m on Shemya Island, but caused very little damage. (Source : wikipedia)

Most important Earthquake Data:
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 at 03:58:27 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 44 km
Geo-location(s) :
143 km (89 miles) WSW (250°) from Adak, AK
312 km (194 miles) WSW (256°) from Atka, AK

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map
GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)
NOAA Tsunami report

Personal safety shelter to be used in Catastrophes

As a consequence of earthquakes and other catastrophes experienced all over the world, many friends, colleagues and loved ones have been lost.

But SOME managed to SURVIVE.  Why?

Research into these survivor situations has provided insight into the conditions which enabled them to prevail; in some cases against unbelievable odds. Simply they survived because they happened to make their way into safety zones accidentally. They were actually unaware either of the hazard they faced, or of the consequences of their decision to move in the direction and to the location they found themselves. They were lucky.

If these persons could be certain of, and directed to a Safe Haven, then there would be much higher probability of significant numbers of survivors.

By merely securing themselves inside the shelter, in protected space, persons in danger have merely so activate the identifying beacon, and await the end of the dangerous event or in worst case, the rescue teams. Strong though compact, the engineering characteristics of these havens enable them to withstand upwards of 100 to 120 tons of downward pressure, roughly the equivalent of ten floors of structure.

This personal safety device is constructed by the Lamit Company

Papua New Guinea – M 6.4 – Heavy but deep earthquake near the coast of Long Island

Earthquake Report comment :
As this earthquake occurred at a depth of 213 km, the impact on buildings, humans will be very limited.
Light shaking can be expected hundreds of km away from the epicenter area
GDACS has issued a GREEN earthquake alert for this earthquake = perceived as NOT dangerous
28000 people live in a radius of 50 km around the epicenter of the earthquake.
88000 people live in a radius of 100 km around the epicenter of the earthquake.
It is a mountainous region with a maximum altitude of 3981 m.
NO Tsunami risk may be expected.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most active earthquake areas in the world with often numerous victims.
Multiple tectonic plates collide (read more)

Most important Earthquake Data:
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 at 05:15:33 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 214 km
Geo-location(s) :
111 km (69 miles) ESE (106°) from Madang, New Guinea, PNG
139 km (86 miles) N (351°) from Lae, New Guinea, PNG
165 km (102 miles) ENE (68°) from Goroka, New Guinea, PNG

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
USGS Shaking map for the area
USGS historic earthquakes map

* GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System) provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world.  GDACS is a Joint Initiative of the United Nations and the European Commission

Tectonic plates near Papua New Guinea

The northward-migrating Solomon Sea Plate is subducted under the South Bismarck Plate.
The Solomon Sea Plate is also subducted beneath the Pacific Plate.
There are two short spreading centers, one at the southeast margin of the Solomon Sea Plate and the other at the north edge of the South Bismarck Plate.
As can be seen from the map below, the Woodlark Plate stretches under the North-Eastern Coast of Papua New Guinea. Powerful earthquakes and volcanoes result from the subduction of these plates.

Arrows show net plate motion relative to the Australian Plate.

Courtesy Oregon State University.
Read the full article  with multiple graphics here.

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