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Experts say Manipur and Nepal earthquake not connected

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Kolkata:The destructive Manipur earthquake on Monday that rocked other northeastern states and neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan is not linked to Nepal’s earthquake April 25, experts have asserted. 

At least six people were killed and more than 50 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Manipur and its neighbouring states in the northeast and east India.

Reports of more death and devastation continue to trickle in, serving as a haunting reminder of the April 25 killer quake in the Himalayan nation, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale, that claimed over 8,000 lives.

However, seismologists and geologists have quashed rumours of the Manipur earthquake being an after-effect of the Nepal temblor.

“It is not connected to the Nepal earthquake,” clarified R Dharuman of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), adding a GSI team will be sent out to map the region and launch studies on the temblor.

Manipur is situated in seismic zone V, the most earthquake prone area in the country.

The temblor occurred as the result of a strike-slip faulting (vertical or nearly vertical fractures where the blocks have mostly moved horizontally) in the boundary region between India and the Eurasian plate in southeast Asia, according to the USGS.

The Indian Meteorological Department said the epicenter of the quake was in Tamenglong region of Manipur state at a depth of 17 kilometers (about 10 miles).

Allaying fears, B K Rastogi, former director general of Gandhinagar-based Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) said this earthquake is “not an indicator or precursor to a larger earthquake” in the near future.

“However, monitoring is essential. The (Indo-Myanmar) region is full of faults and many active faults are there. Monitoring and enforcement are totally missing in India. The government has to ensure monitoring and enforcement of rules while adherence to building codes must be maintained to minimise losses,” Rastogi said.

India’s northeast region is considered the world’s sixth most earthquake-prone belt.

The region has a history of powerful earthquakes caused by the northward collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates. They are moving towards each other at a rate of 4-5 cm per year.

Data from Manipur’s National Institute of Disaster Management shows that earthquakes of low to moderate intensity are regularly recorded in the state.

The state has weathered dozens of large earthquakes, the biggest in recent times being the 1988 temblor measuring 7.2 on the Richter Scale.

The distinguishing feature of Monday’s quake is its duration, pointed out Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati’s Chandan Mahanta.

Factoring in the vulnerabilities, site-specific building codes must be followed, Mahanta iterated.

“The thing that causes damage is the material on which the buildings are standing. Generally, the soil magnifies the seismic waves more so there will be more acceleration and on rocks, it is sometimes less.

“In Manipur, there are some areas where there must be soil and rocks in others. The impact also depends on the number of storeys of the building. Short buildings are vulnerable in rocky foundations and tall buildings are fine on rocky foundations. Similarly, tall buildings are vulnerable in soil foundations,” added Mahanta.(IANS)

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Earthquake Then Volcano, There is No Relief For the Hawaii Residents

Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.

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Hawaii Could Face Volcanic Smog, Acid Rain
Hawaii Could Face Volcanic Smog, Acid Rain. Pixabay

A massive quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale jolted Hawaii residents were evacuating from their homes following a volcanic eruption that has not showed any signs of slowing down, authorities said.

The temblor that struck 16 km southwest of Leilani Estates at 12.32 p.m., on Friday, was one of more than 110 earthquakes that hit the island since the Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, erupted on Wednesday, reports CNN.

US Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Jana Pursley said there have been 119 earthquakes on the Big Island since Thursday afternoon.

The USGS said Friday’s 6.9 quake was the most powerful on the island since 1975.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.
Earthquake in Hawaii, IANS

The quake has knocked out power to residents who were already dealing with mandatory evacuation orders, molten rock and high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air.

The situation wasn’t getting any better, Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters on Friday afternoon.

“Activity continues. It doesn’t look like it is slowing down,” CNN quoted Magno as saying.

He said five volcanic vents have opened and indicated that at least one house and another structure were destroyed by lava.

It is highly unusual to see the vents so far from Kilauea volcano, he said.

Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.

Harry Kim, Mayor of Hawaii County, said the government will support residents, including those who want to go back to their homes to pick up some belongings.

“We have to work with them as to how we are going to minimise (the inconveniences) as best as possible,” he said.

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Kim said people who want to check on their homes would be allowed into the neighbourhoods.

Cracks in Kilauea volcano’s rift zone — an area of fissures miles away from the summit — erupted on Thursday and early Friday, spurting lava near the island’s eastern edge.

Video posted on social media showed lava spewing several feet into the air from a new crack in a Leilani Estates street.

Aerial videos showed lava searing a long orange and smoky line through a wooded area.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and security. (IANS)