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Strongest-ever earthquake hits Alaska’s North Slope region

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Earthquake

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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Cities

Cyclone Titli: Odisha Congress demands Rs 10 lakh to each deceased’s family

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Cyclone Titli

Bhubaneswar, Oct 16 : The Odisha Congress on Tuesday demanded that the state government should pay Rs 10 lakh ex gratia to the family members of each deceased in the cyclone and subsequent floods.

Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Niranjan Patnaik, who visited several affected areas, said the state government has completely failed to tackle the twin calamities.

“24 casualties have occurred in different parts of the state and it is increasing. Also, thousands of families have lost everything. If the state government had prepared itself as per the advice of Met department, the huge destruction would have been avoided,” said Patnaik.

He demanded that the Odisha government should pay a minimum Rs 10 lakh to the family members of each deceased in this disaster.

Also, the injured must be provided with all the help by the government, he added.

The state should continue relief and primary rehabilitation work on a war footing in affected areas, said the PCC President.

He said the government must prepare a detailed and accurate report of destruction and repair the roads and bridges immediately and construct houses for those who have lost everything.

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Disaster

Rescue efforts continue in US amid hurricane Michael devastation

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Hurricane Michael

Miami, Oct 14 (IANS) Amid the devastation caused by hurricane Michael, rescue operations in the southeastern US have focused on Mexico Beach and Panama City, two Florida towns that were nearly flattened and that could raise the death toll from the storm, which has taken at least 17 lives.

Florida Governor Rick Scott accompanied the National Guard on Saturday to survey the devastation by air, centering on the counties of Franklin, Holmes, Washington and Gadsden, in the northwestern part of the state, where Michael made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, reports Efe news.

The search for victims has been slow because numerous roads and highways have been blocked by rubble or destroyed, while cell phone service outages have prevented authorities and family members from locating missing people.

The destruction has been especially severe in Mexico Beach, where the water, sewage and communications systems were destroyed, which could take months to repair.

“Not one single store is left,” Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey told the media.

Cathey himself had been unable to communicate with state authorities and has relied on satellite phones brought by media outlets.

Authorities have been inspecting every house and boat – or what is left of them – with the help of search and rescue dogs to find people who are unaccounted for.

Some 30 km west of Mexico Beach, the school gym of Panama City has become the symbol of the devastation caused by Michael in this Florida town, where residents began to return on Saturday to search for their belongings among the rubble.

So far, eight people have been reported dead in Florida, five in Virginia, three in North Carolina and one person was killed in Georgia.

Authorities, however, have not been able to identify any of the victims yet.

The death toll from Hurricane Michael is expected to increase, especially as rescue operations continue in Mexico Beach, one the hardest-hit towns.

Meanwhile, 750,000 homes and businesses continue to be without power in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Florida, which authorises the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate rescue efforts and make federal funding available to address the situation.

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Disaster

Storm kills 9 climbers on Nepal mountain

Kim Chang-ho was the fastest person to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

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Himalayan snowstorm

Kathmandu, Oct 13 : Nine climbers, including five South Korean nationals, who were part of a trekking expedition, were killed after a snowstorm destroyed their base camp on a Himalayan peak in western Nepal, the police said on Saturday.

Wangchu Sherpa, Managing Director at Trekking Camp Nepal said that five Korean climbers — of Koreanway Gurja Himal Expedition 2018 — including their team leader Kim Chang-ho were killed when the storm struck their camp on Mount Gurja on Friday evening, the Himalayan Times reported.

Kim Chang-ho was the fastest person to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Other four climbers were Nepali. All the dead people were identified by the authorities, the report said.

The heavy snowstorm followed by a landslide buried the base camp at 3,500 metre on the 7,193 metre-high mountain when the climbers were awaiting a fair weather to head towards the high camp, Sherpa quoted the eyewitnesses as saying.

A helicopter with rescuers was sent to the site in the morning, but it failed to land at the base camp due to bad weather, said a police official.

A police rescue team was later making its way on foot to the site.

Mount Gurja sits in Nepal’s Annapurna region, next to avalanche-prone Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest mountain.

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