Thursday, September 21, 2017

5.7 Quake Strikes Bali, Indonesia, Maria Strengthens To Cat 3 After Ravaging Puerto Rico

Earthquake strikes off coast of Bali, residents evacuated

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Bali, Indonesia.
It was detected northeast of Kemeduran on Thursday, the US Geological Survey confirmed.
The quake measured at a depth of 588km and initially sparked fears of a tsunami.

It was 125km northeast of Surabaya, Java,
An official tsunami warning hasn't been issued but locals living near Mount Agung volcano were seen evacuating their homes following increased seismic activity in Karangasem.

Officials have more than doubled the size of the evacuation zone around the volcano on the tourist island of Bali and raised its alert level for the second time in less than a week.

Bali follows a number of countries that have experienced strong earthquakes in the past week.
Mexico was hit by a huge magnitude 7.1 earthquake this week, killing at least 230 people.

Two earthquakes also shook New Zealand on Wednesday, measuring 5.8 and 5.1 on the richter scale.

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake also struck the centre of Vanuatu's Erromango island and was fairly deep at 200km, USGS said.

And a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, just 320 kilometres east of Fukushima nuclear plant.

Hurricane Maria restrengthened to a major hurricane early Thursday after laying waste to Puerto Rico and leaving the island totally in the dark.
The latest update from the National Hurricane Center at 5 a.m. shows maximum sustained winds for Maria are now 115 mph. The storm returned to major hurricane status after moving back over open water before it is expected to affect Turks and Caicos Thursday night.
At least 10 people have died in the storm, including seven in Dominica, two in Guadeloupe and one in Puerto Rico.
The storm is expected to strengthen over the next day or two as it moves north, the National Weather Service said. The storm could be a high-end Category 3 or low-end Category 4 storm while it passes Turks and Caicos. Beyond Turks and Caicos the hurricane is likely to weaken as it moves between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.
Maria is not expected to threaten the United States mainland.
Maria was lashing the eastern end of the Dominican Republic with strong winds and heavy rain overnight. The eye was about 70 miles north of the resort town of Punta Cana at 5 a.m. and moving northwest at about 9 mph.

Even as the storm moved away from Puerto Rico, the island was still being hit with heavy rain bands Thursday. Storm surge was receding from Puerto Rico Thursday, but the U.S. territory was hit with 20 to 30 inches of rain in 24 hours, with some areas seeing 35 inches locally. Maria came ashore as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds -- the first Category 4 storm to hit the island since 1932.

Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric grid that cut power to every one of the island’s 3.4 million people.
Even though authorities had barely begun to assess the damage Wednesday evening, the scope of the catastrophe was evident, even if in snippets.
The capital city of San Juan got a walloping. Evacuees at a sports arena had to leave a ground floor when the roof sprang a leak, a space rocket adorning the park at a science museum keeled over and the roof of a radio station blew off, though it kept broadcasting despite the damage.
“We will find our island destroyed,” Abner Gómez, Puerto Rico’s emergency management director, warned before Maria’s eye had cleared the island. “It’s a system that has destroyed everything it has had in its path.”
Less was known about the damage beyond the densely populated San Juan region, although it was certain to be just as horrific, particularly on the normally idyllic southeast coast where Maria came ashore. The National Hurricane Center on Wednesday night warned that “catastrophic flash flooding was occurring over portions of Puerto Rico.”

Late in the afternoon, Rosselló imposed a 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, citing security concerns.
Northwest of Puerto Rico, Maria — as of Wednesday evening a Category 2 — was also expected to dump lethal amounts of rainfall on the Dominican Republic and Haiti while heading toward Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas later in the week. If the storm continues on its predicted path, it should not pose a danger to Florida but it was still too early to completely rule out some effects along the East Coast of the United States.
Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4, the strongest storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico since the San Ciprián hurricane killed more than 200 people in 1932. The storm made official landfall on the island’s southeastern tip and least-developed coastline. The region is home to nature preserves, some beach resorts and sugar plantations.
Forecasters said Maria went through an eyewall replacement cycle just offshore of Puerto Rico. That slightly weakened the storm but nearly doubled the width of its hurricane wind field, extending out 60 miles. On a tiny island about 40 miles wide, that likely brought Maria’s stronger right quadrant into San Juan, where early morning winds screeched like a wounded hyena.

No comments: