Sunday, October 30, 2016

Italy Trembles: Over 200 Aftershocks Follow Devastating Earthquake, Russia Sends Nuclear Subs To Syria, Spotted In Irish Sea

Italy trembles: Over 200 aftershocks follow devastating earthquake (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

The danger of a major new jolt remains in Italy, as over 200 aftershocks were registered following a devastating 6.6 magnitude earthquake in central regions of the country.
Sunday’s earthquake in central Italy was followed by numerous aftershocks, 15 of which had a magnitude ranging from 4.0 to 4.6, according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to predict in which order the other jolts will occur. Theoretically speaking, though, we cannot rule out that other earthquakes of the same power, or even more devastating, will happen in the regions next to the ones already affected,” said INGV seismologist Alberto Mikelini.

The scientist noted that the current chain of seismic events in the region had started with the previous major earthquake in August, which killed 300 people and devastated several towns.

The seismic activity is intensive enough to affect an area of at least 20-25km in radius, according to INGV seismologist Alessandro Amato.

“It [seismic activity] affects a wide area located between the epicenters of the August 24 and October 26 earthquakes,”Amato added.

A number of historical buildings, including a 14th century basilica in Norcia, were destroyed in the disaster.
"This morning's quake has hit the few things that were left standing. We will have to start from scratch," Michele Franchi, the deputy mayor of Arquata del Tronto, told RAI TV.

The earthquake on Sunday claimed no lives, but 20 people were injured and multiple buildings destroyed, according to the head of Italy’s Civil Defense, Fabrizio Curcio.
“No one among the injured is in a life-threatening condition, there are neither dead, nor missing” said Curcio.
He stressed, however, that “it was an important earthquake,” since Italy’s rescue services had to transport the injured by helicopters, due to roads being blocked by rubble.
The governor of the Marche region said that over 100,000 people in his region alone were in need of help.

On Wednesday, when we reported on the latest set of powerful, shallow quakes to strike central Italy, which themselves were aftershocks of the deadly August 24 earthquake which killed 300 people and injured many more, we quoted Salvatore Mazza, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology who said that "The earthquake today has further disrupted the tectonic plates, and in the coming hours we may see aftershocks of today’s earthquake on top of those from August 24", and concluded that it is likely that more quakes are coming. 
We didn't have long to wait, and overnight central Italy was hit by another powerful earthquake Sunday, toppling buildings that had recently withstood other major quakes and sending panicked residents back into the streets, but luckily causing no immediate loss of life. That there were no reports of deaths was largely due to the fact that thousands of residents left their homes after two strong jolts last week shook the same mountainous area.
As AP reportsthe quake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 was the strongest to strike the country in nearly 36 years. 

The Apennine Mountain region of central Italy, located along a major fault line, has been the site of dozens of significant earthquakes, including an Aug. 24 quake with a 6.1 magnitude that killed nearly 300 people.  Back-to-back jolts on Wednesday left thousands more people homeless, but the only death reported resulted from a heart attack.
Closest to the epicenter was the ancient city of Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, the father of monasticism and famed for its Benedictine monastery. Witnesses said the 14th Century St. Benedict cathedral collapsed in the quake, with only the facade still standing.

Three Russian submarines armed with cruise missiles joined a group of Russian warships led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. The submarines are heading to Syria, The Sunday Times wrote with references to naval sources. 
According to the publication, the UK Royal Navy detected two "Akula" ("Shark") class nuclear submarines and a "Kilo" class diesel-electric submarine as the subs were entering the North Atlantic from the direction of Russian naval bases in the Murmansk region.
The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and its support group reportedly remain in the "standby mode" off the coast of North Africa, the newspaper said. NATO military officials  fear that the "Caliber" cruise missiles that the submarines carry may strike targets in Syria. 
On Friday, 28 October, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, citing a source, reported that the patrol ship "Smetliviy" ("Sharp-witted") of the Black Sea Fleet was heading to Syria. However, officials with the Russian Defense Ministry said that the ship set off to the Greek port of Piraeus.
The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier  and its support group set off for a journey to the Mediterranean Sea was in mid-October. The group that consists of the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great, large anti-submarine ships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and smaller maintenance vessels. The goal of the mission, as it was said, was to  "ensure Russia's naval presence in operationally important areas of the oceans."

Russian submarines have been detected in the Irish Sea as tensions rise between Moscow and Britain over the Kremlin's aggression in Syria and Eastern Europe.
The news comes as a Russian flotilla of battleships makes its way through the Mediterranean on its way to attack Aleppo, and it is believed the submarines were going to join them.
News of the ships in British waters will will further fuel already tense relations with Russia after Britain decided to send tanks, aircraft and up to 800 troops to Estonia to deter aggression from Moscow.  

The decision comes amid increasing concern over Putin, after claiming territories in Crimea and the Ukraine, and numerous shows of force in  recent months. 
The nuclear-powered Akula-class submarines, armed with Kalibr cruise missiles capable of hitting land targets, were picked up on radar by a Royal Navy vessel, the Express reports.
Another submarine, a Kilo-class vessel from the same fleet, is believed to have travelled through the English Channel after it was spotted by Norwegian ships when it surfaced further north.
The three ships were being closely watched by a Royal Navy submarine - which has Russian speaking technicians - and tracked them closely for six hours.
The Royal Navy submarine is due to be joined by another from Nato, which earlier this week advised Spain to refuse Russia's request to land its flotilla at a Spanish port on the African coast.
'In the South West approaches, the Russian submarines made it clear that they wanted us to know they were there. Then, after a period of time, they went deep. They were located once more with support from a Nato partner,' said a naval source.

States and cities are drowning in pension debts

One of the purest mysteries in public policy these days is that while there’s a clarion call from every class of political leadership to do something about sea-level trends, one sees only a bare occasional mention about the rising tide of red ink that impacts our future in ways most people will find to be a lot more threatening.

Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and former Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson – who together represent 179 years of combined experience – tried again this week to break through the public consciousness about the likely impact of adding another $1 trillion of public obligations to our load, as we have done every year since 2009. They point out that neither of the two candidates for the White House have offered plans that would help much, particularly if interest rates normalize. And so, it must once again be up to the states to show the way toward responsibility.

Ever ready to demonstrate interest in the sorts of pressing issues the presidential campaigns ignore, the American Legislative Exchange Council released a study last week finding that state public pensions have nearly $5.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities. The findings are based on a methodology that assumes a risk-free rate of return of 2.344 percent, rather than the simple, unweighted discount rate of 7.37 percent, which ALEC found to be the completely unrealistic average of the roughly 280 state plans they analyzed. According to ALEC, more than 70 percent of the cost of state pension benefits currently are financed out of investment earnings.

The $5.59 trillion in unfunded liabilities were $900 billion more than were found in the 2014 State Budget Solutions report. With an average funding level of 35 percent across the states, the price tag for unfunded pension liabilities is now $17,427 for every man, woman and child in the United States, according to the authors.

No comments: