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Strongest-ever earthquake hits Alaska’s North Slope region




KAVIK RIVER CAMP, Alaska – Alaska’s North Slope was hit Sunday by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the region, the state’s seismologist said.

At 6:58 a.m. Sunday, the magnitude 6,.4 earthquake struck an area 42 miles (67 kilometers) east of Kavik River Camp and 343 miles (551 kilometers) northeast of Fairbanks, the state’s second-biggest city. The agency says the earthquake had a depth of about 6 miles (9.9 kilometers.)

State seismologist Mike West told the Anchorage Daily News that the quake was the biggest recorded in the North Slope by a substantial amount. “This is a very significant event that will take us some time to understand,” he told the Daily News.

The previous most powerful quake in the North Slope was in 1995 at magnitude 5.2, West told the newspaper.

The jump from a 5.2 to Sunday’s 6.4 is significant because earthquakes rapidly grow in strength as magnitude rises, he said.

“That’s why at 6.4 this changes how we think about the region,” West said. “It’s a little early to say how, but it’s safe to say this earthquake will cause a re-evaluation of the seismic potential of that area.”

The magnitude 6.5 earthquake was felt by workers at the oil-production facilities in and around Prudhoe Bay, the News reported.

The newspaper says that Alyeska Pipeline said the earthquake did not damage the trans-Alaska pipeline. The company says in a tweet that “there are no operational concerns” related to the earthquake, but the pipeline will be inspected.

At 7:14 a.m., a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit another area in northern Alaska. The USGS says the earthquake hit a spot about 340 miles (549 kilometers) northeast of Fairbanks.

Several aftershocks were reported across northern Alaska.

The Alaska Earthquake Center says the earthquakes were felt across the eastern part of the state’s North Slope Borough and as far south as metro Fairbanks. The center adds that there are no reports of damage.

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Rains abate, flood waters recede as relief pours into Kerala



Kerala Floods

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) With the rains that battered Kerala for a week finally abating on Monday, water levels dropped in the swollen rivers even as the number of people who have taken shelter in relief camps crossed the one million mark.

A total of 10,28,000 people were now housed in 3,274 camps in the flood-hit districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media while tonnes of emergency aid poured in from all over the country.

Officials have so far admitted to some 370 deaths, most of them occurring after the monsoon rains turned into a fury on August 9, forcing authorities to open the sluice gates of numerous dams across the state.

Monday did see some people return to their homes from camps in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and parts of Pathanamthitta after volunteers working selflessly helped to clean up their muddy homes.

Fifty cases of snake bites were reported in these areas as snakes from overflowing ponds had entered homes, the officials and volunteers said.

Rains in the catchment areas of the major dams in Idukki district subsided. The outflow of water from both the Mullaperiyar and Idukki dams has been reduced.

As a result, the water intake into the Periyar and its tributaries that flow through Ernakulam and Thrissur has come down considerably.

By and large the sky was clear on Monday.

On Monday, helicopters were engaged in rescue operations in places where people were still marooned — in parts of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts. Small boats helped to ferry people from interior Chengannur and Pandalam areas.

Other helicopters transported food and relief materials from here to affected areas.

Finance Minister Thomas Issac, who is overseeing the rescue operations in Kuttanadu area in Alappuzha district, said 1.25 lakh people had been moved to relief camps in the district.

Neliyamapathy in Palakkad remained cut off from the main district headquarters as the roads have been badly damaged. Essential items are being airdropped.

An Army officer said the roads would be made motorable, at least for jeeps, on Tuesday.

Waters in the Cochin airport, which was shut on August 15 after flood waters entered the operational area, receded on Monday. Small aircraft started operating from the Cochin Naval airbase.

On Monday, following a request from the Kerala government, the State Level Bankers Committee decided to provide a moratorium on agricultural loans for a year.

While seeking help was the prerogative of the Indian government, “I am here in close consultation with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to explore what help could be possible”, he tweeted.

The central government flew 100 tonnes of pulses and 52 tonnes of emergency medicines to Kerala, which is receiving donations in cash and kind from all over the country. Volunteers have also poured in from many states.

State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran said that all those who suffered property losses would be compensated.

The railways started operations in the Kottayam and Shornur routes.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corp too began services from many depots and it was expected to be fully functional in a day or two.

Kerala has faced the heaviest rains and floods since 1924, leading to unprecedented destruction.

Indian Navy personnel carry out rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala’s Thrissur on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)

Indian Army personnel carry out rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala’s Chengannur, on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/Twitter/@adgpi)

 Kerala floods

Mumbai: A team of Doctors leave for Kerala along with medical relief material as part of the Maharashtra Government’s initiative to help the victims of the flood-hit Kerala, in Mumbai on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Kerala Floods

Thiruvalla: Indian Air Force sets up a medical camp for flood-affected people of Thiruvalla in Kerala on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Kerala Floods

Kochi: Passengers at the Kochi Naval Airport on Aug 20, 2018. Commercial flight operations commenced on Monday from the Naval airport of Kochi after the Cochin International Airport was shut down following heavy rains and floods in Kerala. (Photo: IANS)

Kerala Floods

Kerala: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel distribute relief material amongst flood-affected people, in Kerala on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

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One million in Kerala relief centres: CM Pinarayi Vijayan



pinarayi vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) Over one million people are now sheltered in 3,274 relief camps in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday, even as rains that have battered the state for a week finally abated.

A total of 602 marooned people were rescued on Monday, the Chief Minister told the media.

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Al Ansari Exchange Donates half a million dirhams to Kerala Flood Victims



Mohamed Ali Al Ansari

Al Ansari Exchange, the UAE-based foreign exchange and worldwide money transfer company, has announced a donation of half a million dirhams to aid in the relief efforts in the South Indian state of Kerala that has been ravaged by unprecedented floods.

Incessant rains and floods in Kerala have led to the death of hundreds of Indian citizens and have left thousands of people homeless. To offer further support to the victims of this calamity, the company has launched a service through which, donations can be made to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) with no service charges, through its branches across the UAE.

Mohamed Ali Al Ansari, Chairman and Managing Director, Al Ansari Exchange, said: “We are keen to support Kerala flood victims in view of the massive devastation and damage caused by unprecedented floods that has struck the region. Considered to be the region’s worst flood in last 100 years, the crisis has caused several deaths and displacement of thousands of people in Kerala.

Through this contribution and by waiving off the service charges on all donations made to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund through our branches, we aim to make a positive impact in mitigating the crisis Kerala is going through and offer support to the victims of this calamity.”

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