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Earthquake rocks Jamaica’sCorporate Area and neighbouring parish

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sep. 16, CMC –  Sections of the Corporate Area and the neighbouring parish of St. Catherine were rocked by an earthquake on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) , it had not received reports of damage.

“We are aware of the earthquake…however the ODPEM and the Earthquake Unit will continue to monitor the situation and provide on update once it becomes available,” the agency said in a post on its twitter page.

The Gleaner reported meanwhile, the tremor was felt mainly in Old Harbour, Portmore and Spanish Town in St Catherine, as well as Kingston and St Andrew, according to the Earthquake Unit.

However, callers to our newsroom from as far away as Clarendon and St Mary reported feeling the tremors.

The United States Geological Survey in its report said the earthquake with a magnitude of 3.3, had a  depth of 10 kilometres and was centered in Riversdale, St. Catherine.

Later reports from the Jamiaca Observer headlines the shake as a  Light 4.6 magnitude earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6, felt in the Corporate Area and St Catherine at 1:47 this afternoon.

The tremor had a focal depth of 23.1 kilometres, the unit reported.

Meanwhile, The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, says it has, so far, not received reports of damage.

Many social media users across the Corporate Area, St Catherine and Clarendon have confirmed feeling the tremor, while others as far away as Falmouth in Trelawny, and some in St Ann, have reported the earthquake.

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Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors from a building damaged by a landslide caused by a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town in Japan

Powerful quake paralyses Hokkaido in latest disaster to hit Japan

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By Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim
Reuters
People look at an area damaged by an earthquake in Sapporo in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

By Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim

TOKYO (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake paralyzed Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, killing at least seven people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

The death toll from the 6.7-magnitude, pre-dawn quake was likely to rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides.

About 33 people were missing and 300 were injured, public broadcaster NHK said. Four people were in cardiopulmonary arrest, a term used before death is officially confirmed.

(graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2oJz6zd)

The quake was the latest in a string of natural disasters to batter Japan after typhoons, flooding and a record-breaking heat wave within the past two months.

Aerial footage showed dozens of landslides exposing barren hillsides near the town of Atsuma in southern Hokkaido, with mounds of red earth and toppled trees piled at the edge of green fields.

The collapsed remains of what appeared to be houses or barns were strewn about.

“It came in four big jerks – boom! boom! boom! boom!” one unidentified woman told NHK. “Before we knew it our house was bent and we couldn’t open the door.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 25,000 Self-Defense Force troops would be deployed for rescue operations.

The island, a tourist destination about the size of Austria known for its mountains, lakes and seafood, lost its power when Hokkaido Electric Power Co <9509.T> shut down of all its fossil fuel-fired power plants after the quake as a precaution.

It was the first time since the utility was established in 1951 that had happened.

Almost 12 hours later, power was restored to parts of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital, and Asahikawa, its second-biggest city.

The government said there was damage to Hokkaido Electric’s Tomato-Atsuma plant, which supplies half the island’s 2.95 million households. It could take a week to restore power fully to all residents, Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said.

All trains across the island were halted.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party begins a leadership contest on Friday but said there would be no campaigning through to Sunday. Abe and rival Shigeru Ishiba both canceled campaign media appearances slated for Friday.

‘NOTHING I CAN DO’

Television footage from Sapporo showed crumbled roads and mud covering a main street. Police directed traffic because signal lights were out while drink-vending machines, ubiquitous in Japan, and most ATMs were not working.

“Without electricity, there’s nothing I can do except to write prescriptions,” a doctor in Abira, the town next to Atsuma, told NHK.

Media reported a baby girl at a Sapporo hospital was in critical condition after the power was cut to her respirator. It wasn’t clear if the hospital had a generator.

The quake hit at 3:08 a.m. (1808 GMT Wednesday) at a depth of 40 km (25 miles), with its epicenter about 65 km (40 miles) southeast of Sapporo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. In Atsuma, it registered a 7 on Japan’s 7-point quake intensity scale, the agency said, revising an earlier measurement.

Hokkaido’s main airport was closed, at least for the day. Debris and water could be seen on the terminal floors.

Kyodo news agency said more than 200 flights and 40,000 passengers would be affected on Thursday alone.

The closure comes just days after Kansai Airport, another major regional hub, in western Japan, was shut by Typhoon Jebi, which killed 11 people and injured hundreds.

The storm, the most powerful to hit Japan in 25 years, stranded thousands of passengers and workers at the airport, whose operator said it would resume some domestic flights on Friday.

In July, torrential rain in west Japan caused flooding that killed more than 200 people and widespread destruction. That was followed by a heat wave that reached a record 41.1 Celsius and led to the deaths of at least 80 people.

FACTORIES HALTED

Farming, tourism and other services are big economic drivers on Hokkaido, which accounts for just 3.6 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product, but there is some industry. Kirin Brewery and Sapporo Breweries both said factories were shut by the power outage.

A series of smaller shocks followed the initial quake, the JMA said. Residents were warned to take precautions.

 

By the afternoon, backhoes and other earth-moving equipment in Atsuma had begun clearing debris.

Japan is situated on the “Ring of Fire” arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin.

Northeast Japan was hit by a 9 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, that triggered a tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Hokkaido’s Tomari nuclear power station, which has been shut since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, suffered a power outage but officials said it was cooling its spent nuclear fuel safely.

Saturday marked the 95th anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area. Seismologists have said another such quake could strike the capital at any time.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim; Additional reporting by William Mallard, Osamu Tsukimori, Aaron Sheldrick, Elaine Lies and Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Malcolm Foster; Editing by Paul Tait, Robert Birsel)

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Government condemns “fake news” after earthquakes hit Trinidad and Tobago

Government condemns “fake news” after earthquakes hit Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 22, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Wednesday criticised people spreading “fake news” about the extent of the damage caused by the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that rocked the oil rich twin island republic on Tuesday.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has since expressed support to Trinidad and Tobago, adding that Havana is ‘ready to attend any emergency”.

Communications and National Security Minister Stuart Young said that while “thankfully we have had no reports of deaths and injuries” there were people, including opposition politicians, who had been using the social media network to disseminate fake news on the incident.

“I want to denounce all of those persons…circulating fake news,” Young told reporters at the weekly post cabinet news conference, adding that “this is very irresponsible, that is something that is unacceptable”.

Young warned that the “mischievous” actions of those irresponsible people “could have a very detrimental effect” on the population and urged ‘all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to act in a responsible manner and not to act in any illegal activity”.

Young said that several government buildings had been closed Wednesday as a result of the quake on Tuesday as engineers and other stakeholders undertake an assessment of the situation. He said the assessment is also being done by private building owners.

“I expect more reports of damages, “he said, adding that he hope the non-loss of lives would remain that way.

On Wednesday, the country was rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 and Young as well as the seismic Research centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) warned the population to be prepared for additional aftershocks in the coming days.

“I think we can expect aftershocks…the state will continue to monitor,” Young said, urging citizens not to take unnecessary risks” and should not crowd the various health centers and hospitals unless it is necessary..

He said the police were out in full force to maintain law and order and young appealed again to citizens to ‘continue to be each other’s keeper.

“At the end of the day we are all our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Company (T7TEC) said that nearly 100 per cent of its customers are “back on supply, with individual reports and small local outages being attended to”

It said that overnight the majority of those reports were completed as a result of additional crews being called out in all areas.

“Bearing in mind that aftershocks are expected, we want to share some safety tips with customers:

During or immediately after an earthquake we encourage customers to turn off breakers to protect appliances in the event of surges. When outdoor, stay away from poles and wires as that may be shaking, in case they fall. If poles or wires are on the ground treat as if they are live! Stay away and contact T&TEC.
“ Similarly, if trees fall on lines or poles, do not touch them as they can act as a conductor for electricity and electrocute or shock the individual.”

Posted in Earthquake, International, Local, Regional0 Comments

Trinidad hit by strong aftershock

Trinidad hit by strong aftershock

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 22, CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rattled Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday, sending an already frightened population out of building into the streets.

The Seismic Research centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), said that the quake, which occurred at 9.27 a.m. time, followed Tuesday’s major earthquake that registered 7.3.

Wednesday’s quake was located Latitude: 10.60N, Longitude: 62.87W and at a depth of 80 km.

It was felt 40 km east south east of Carúpano, Venezuela and 100 km north north east of  Maturín, Venezuela

“No tsunami warning or watch has been issued related to this morning’s 5.9 aftershock. Please ignore any “information” to this effect,” the SRC said in a statement.

Several building here have suffered structural damage as a result of Tuesday’s massive quake and the SRC has warned Trinidad and Tobago to be on the alert for many more aftershocks.

Several buildings have been damaged in the north-west including the capital, Port of Spain, causing two government offices to remain closed, one small house collapsed, about half a dozen cars crushed by falling walls.

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries as a result of the tremors

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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Venezuela And Trinidad Struck By Massive, 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake

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The quake could be felt as far away as Colombia and Grenada. No deaths had been reported.

A massive earthquake rocked Venezuela and the southern Caribbean on Tuesday evening, knocking out power throughout the region and sending people rushing out of buildings.

Preliminary reports from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate a 7.3 magnitude quake struck just 12 miles off Venezuela’s Cariaco Peninsula, its northeasternmost tip. The epicenter is not far from Trinidad’s northwestern coast. The two countries are separated by just seven nautical miles.

It was a little surreal; the country just seemed to shut down for a second. Kevin Farrick, Trinidad and Tobago

There are no reports of fatalities in either country so far. But in Venezuela, The Associated Press indicates there may be injuries from an escalator collapse in Cumana, the closest city to the epicenter. In a public address, Nestor Reverol, the country’s interior minister, asked for patience and insisted that national disaster teams have been dispatched for relief.

In July 1997, a 6.9 quake struck the same Cariaco region, resulting in more than 80 deaths.

In Trinidad, Joan Latchman, a seismologist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, told the AP that Tuesday’s quake was the strongest felt in the country since December 2016.

Stuart Young, Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of national security and communications, gave a televised address on the country’s state-owned network to confirm there were no reports of damage to the island’s infrastructure.

But images quickly flooded social media of downed power lines, toppled store shelves and fallen debris.

Kevin Farrick, a marketing consultant from Port-of-Spain, initially mistook his rocky commute home as car trouble. But once he glanced up to see the traffic lights flashing and lamp posts swaying, he realized it was more than just a bumpy ride.

“Then a transformer exploded and I was like ‘wait a minute, there’s nothing wrong with my car. It’s a damn earthquake!’” Farrick said. Soon after, he noticed people running out of area businesses and government buildings into the streets.

“It was a little surreal; the country just seemed to shut down for a second,” he said.

Many Venezuelans and Trinbagonians are now using Facebook’s check-in tool to mark themselves as “safe’ in the aftermath.

The quake could be felt as far away as Bogota, Colombia as well as several Caribbean islands in the region, including Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Although aftershocks are still being reported, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports no immediate threat of a tsunami to the surrounding region. 

Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Featured, International, Local, News0 Comments

Massive earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Massive earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has been rocked by a massive earthquake, causing serious damage to property in the twin-island republic on Tuesday.

Social media has been flooded with images of destruction to roadways, popular buildings, supermarkets and cars, with some residents announcing that they are safe.

According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, the 6.9 magnitude quake struck a latitude of 10.51 N, a longitude of 62.76 W and a depth of 73 km.

The quake occurred at 5:30pm and lasted for almost a minute. 

Take a look at some of the damage below. 

loopjamaica Massive 6.8 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

 

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Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Caribbean Disaster Agency Highlights 5 Key Areas of Concern at Meet

(CNS) The region’s disaster management chief, Ronald Jackson, has highlighted five critical areas of focus as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) seeks to develop “saer, more resilient and sustainable Caribbean communities”.

These include Enhancing Social Protection for the Most Vulnerable; Safeguarding Infrastructure; Economic Diversification; Environmental/Ecosystems Protection and Enhanced Operational Readiness.

Addressing the sixth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Cartagena, Colombia last week.

the CDEMA executive director also noted that “the region has produced a Caribbean Assessment Report that captures the performance of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy over the period of implementation 2014-2016”.

He also said CDEMA was “quite pleased” with the efforts undertaken within the context of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, UNISDR, to better harmonize reporting within the Caribbean, adding that “we remain committed to reporting on progress in the implementation of the priorities of action”.

This year’s three-day seminar, under the theme “Towards a Less Vulnerable Region with more Resilient Communities”,  allowed participants to share experiences and lessons learned in the 2017 hurricane season, transfer knowledge and show successes related to disaster risk reduction at the regional and national levels.

In addition to Jackson, other CDEMA officials, including Deputy Executive Director Elizabeth Riley and Planning & Business Development Manager Andria Grosvenor, participated in various panel discussions and delivered presentations which emphasized the need for countries, especially Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean to accelerate efforts at building resilience.

It was announced that Jamaica will be the first Caribbean country to host the Seventh Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2020.

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Earthquake jolts BVI

Earthquake jolts BVI

EARTHQUAKE

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jun. 25, CMC – Sections of the British Virgin Islands were rocked by a minor earthquake shortly after 7:00 am (local) time on  Monday.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) reports that the 3.4 magnitude quake had a recorded depth of 48 miles.

The epicentre of the tremor was located 19.8 miles north-northwest of the capital, Road Town.

The territory was last rocked by a significant tremor of 4.7 on  April 6.

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Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun. 22, CMC – Sections of the twin island republic were rocked by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake late Friday.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus reports that the tremor that occurred at 9:54 pm (local time), was felt 94 kilometres east of Carupano, Venezuela, 98 kilometres west of Port of Spain and 118 kilometres northwest of San Fernando.

It was located at latitude 10.78 N. Longitude 62.39W and at a depth of 78 kilometres.

In recent months, Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing a number of earthquakes and earlier this year, a senior official of the SRC, Seismologist Dr Illias Papadopoulos,  warned the country to be prepared for a major quake.

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UNICEF and WFP sign agreement to strengthen governments’ cash-based transfer programmes to respond to emergencies

by STAFF WRITER

ROSEAU, Dominica, May 3, CMC –  UNICEF and World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Directors for Latin America and the Caribbean on Thursday signed an agreement to support governments in the region to be better prepared and equipped to use cash transfer programmes to assist their population during emergencies. 

UNICEF’s Marita Perceval and WFP’s Miguel Barreto signed the agreement here, at the start of a workshop to review the emergency cash-based transfer programme the two agencies supported in the Caribbean country, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. 

In emergencies, transfers – either cash or vouchers – allow affected people to determine and prioritise their own needs and strengthen their autonomy and dignity. Additionally, they stimulate local economies and revitalise markets, thus promoting resilience in affected communities, as seen in Dominica. 

The three-month programme implemented by the Government of Dominica with the support of the two agencies in the aftermath of the Category 5 hurricane Maria, provided emergency cash transfers to 25,000 affected people, including 6,000 children. 

Payments helped families meet their basic needs, including food, clothes, hygiene items, school supplies and reconstruction materials. 

“Emergency cash helped vulnerable Dominicans who had lost so much get back on their feet again. The cash was a lifeline for affected people but it also allowed them to regain priceless strength and hope,”. Barreto said.

“We know these programmes work and can be used effectively by Governments, with our joint UN support, to prepare for and respond to future emergencies,” he added. 

“When we take care of a child in an emergency, we are not only giving immediate protection, we are making sure that she can develop to her full potential,” said Perceval.

“Dominica’s pioneering experience using cash transfers as a response to emergency breaks the barrier between humanitarian and development work, and is a testament to what the collaboration of UNICEF and WFP, under the Dominica’s government leadership, can accomplish for the region.” 

In the document , the two regional agencies  agreed to collaborate in preparing feasibility assessments to determine if a cash-based response is useful in a given country or context, and co-financing cash-based transfer programmes.

Both agencies will develop and/or strengthen key programme tools to implement cash- based transfer programmes in an emergency context; programme implementation and capacity strengthening of government partners; as well as monitoring and evaluation. 

 

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