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Arunachal fortunate to be safe from quake damage

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Kolkata: Arunachal Pradesh, one of the seven sisters state, located at the tip of northeast India was luckily protected from the destructive Manipur earthquake  because of it’s geography and geology, experts said. Proper quake-resilient structures should be built, they added.

Famous for its biodiversity, Arunachal Pradesh, sharing international borders with Myanmar, China and Bhutan, was perhaps the least affected when a 6.7-magnitude temblor along the Indo-Myanmar border jolted India’s northeast and east and neighbours Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

At least eight people were killed and more than 120 injured in the Manipur temblor that affected its other northeast sisters including Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim and Nagaland. A six-storey under-construction building toppled in Manipur’s capital Imphal where the iconic Mothers’ Market also took a hit.

“Arunachal was outside a 50 km radius range from the epicentre at Manipur’s Tamenglong region. In addition, the geology in Arunachal Pradesh is different,” B K Rastogi, former director general of Gandhinagar-based Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) said.

The soil in Manipur’s quake-hot areas is alluvial which magnified the seismic waves, but most of Arunachal is rocky which doesn’t have similar amplification effects, explained Rastogi.

Common principles of geography and energy distribution played a key role in the state escaping the disaster.

“As the distance from the epicentre increases there is an equal decrease in the energy released and subsequently a decrease in the effect.

“This is one of the factors why Arunachal Pradesh did not see damage during the Monday’s quake,” said Gibji Nimasow, a professor in the geography department of the Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh.

Manipur bore the brunt of the temblor, which struck at 4.35 AM and left a trail of devastation in the region: at least four people were injured in southern Assam, walls of some residences and other buildings cracked in Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland where the intensity was strong.

IIT-Guwahati’s Chandan Mahanta pointed out the quake was distinguishable from other temblors in the region because of its duration (more than 30-plus seconds) but Arunachal, home to the great Indian hornbills, was lucky time-wise too.

“While the first quake was only for a second in Arunachal Pradesh, the second quake on Monday lasted for few seconds, less than a minute, which saved the state from disaster,” Nimasow elaborated.

While the magnitude of the tremor was 6.7 in Manipur and Assam, it slumped below 6 in Arunachal, said Nimasow.

“The potential to cause damage was low as the temblor’s intensity was less,” disaster management coordinator for UNDP project Sarat Das said, from Tripura, adding the quake was classified as a moderate intensity one.

According to the USGS, moderate to large earthquakes in the region around northeast India, where the subcontinent collides with the Eurasia plate, are fairly common.

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

In the last 100 years, some 19 other quakes greater than magnitude-6 have occurred within a 250 km range from the site of Monday’s temblor. The largest was a magnitude-8 quake in 1946.

But northeast India has not learnt its lessons yet despite its vulnerability, lamented Durgesh C Rai, of IIT-Kanpur’s National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering.

“Copying building designs from other cities for modernisation is not right. Buildings in earthquake prone regions should be according to the site-specific codes,” Rai said.(IANS)(image: orrissapost.com)

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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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Scientists have been in the field measuring the eruptions 24 hours a day, seven days a week since Kilauea first exploded more than two months ago.
Scientists have been in the field measuring the eruptions 24 hours a day, seven days a week since Kilauea first exploded more than two months ago. 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)