The world is shaking very hard right now. Within the last 30 hours:
- A shallow earthquake killed hundreds in Indonesia M5.6 (equivalent to 3788 tons of TNT or 0.2 atomic bombs!)…
- Two strong tremblors shook the Solomon Islands (M7.2: equivalent to 4.8 x 105 tons of TNT or 29.8 atomic bombs! followed by M6.0: equivalent to 15080 tons of TNT or 0.9 atomic bombs!).
- Another powerful M6.2 tremor hit off the coast of Baja California (equivalent to 30089 tons of TNT or 1.9 atomic bombs!).
That’s amazing 32.6 atomic bomb energy released within 36 hours… Crazy!
M5.6 earthquake kills 260+ in Indonesia
Indonesian rescue workers were racing to reach people still trapped in rubble one day after an earthquake struck the main island of Java, as the death toll rose to 268.
Monday afternoon’s quake, centred in the Cianjur region of West Java province, struck at a depth of 6.2 miles (10km), triggering landslides and damaging buildings, including thousands of homes.
The number of people killed is unclear. In an Instagram post on Tuesday the local government said 252 were confirmed dead, with 31 missing, 377 injured and 7,060 displaced.
Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, said the majority of the dead were children, many of them students taking extra lessons. “So many incidents occurred at several Islamic schools,” he said. Authorities were operating “under the assumption that the number of injured and [dead] will rise with time”.
Provisional data released by the authorities and cited by Save the Children said about 51 education sites were affected, including 30 elementary schools, 12 junior high schools, one high school, five vocational schools and one special school.
At a local hospital, overwhelmed by the number of patients, the injured lay on the floor on mattresses and blankets, or under makeshift tents. On Monday night, victims were treated in the dark, under torchlight, due to widespread power cuts.
“Everything collapsed beneath me and I was crushed beneath this child,” Cucu, a 48-year-old resident, told Reuters from the crowded hospital parking area. “Two of my kids survived, I dug them up … Two others I brought here, and one is still missing,” she said through tears.
BNPB said at least 25 people were still buried under the rubble in Cianjur as darkness fell on Monday. Efforts to reach victims been complicated by power failures, damaged roads and more than 80 aftershocks.
On Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers had been deployed to assist in rescue efforts, Dedi Prasetyo, the national police spokesperson, told the Antara state news agency. “Today’s main task order for personnel is to focus on evacuating victims,” he said.
Officials were working on Tuesday to reach the area of Cugenang, which had been blocked off by a landslide.
The earthquake damaged at least 2,200 homes and displaced more than 5,000 people, the national disaster agency (BNPB) said. It said it had confirmed the deaths of 62 people, but had not verified 100 additional victims.
Mus Mustopa, who lives in Padaluyu, a village in Cianjur, told Indonesia’s Kompas TV he helped a family recover the body of an 80-year-old woman who had died in the quake. It happened suddenly, he said. “I wasn’t prepared and saw houses reduced to rubble … Some 50 houses are damaged, with around 10 being heavily damaged.”
Several landslides were reported across Cianjur.
Ima Mafazah, a volunteer with the Indonesian Red Cross, said tremors continued late into the evening on Monday. “Until now, the earthquake still happens, but not as big as before. A minute ago it happened again. Many people don’t want to stay at their homes,” she said, adding that people were traumatised, afraid and sleeping outside.
Homes had been damaged across a wide area and access was difficult due to cracked roads, said Mafazah. Nurses had been sent by the Indonesian Red Cross on motorbikes to reach the injured in four of the worst-affected areas, about one hour from the main town, that were otherwise inaccessible.
The US Geological Surveys’s Pager system estimated that up to 242,000 people were exposed to “very strong shaking” and up to 978,000 people to “strong shaking”. The quake was felt 60 miles (100km) away in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, where high-rise buildings swayed.
Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, told Agence France-Presse that panicked workers ran for the exits of their building in Jakarta as the quake struck. “I was working when the floor under me was shaking. I could feel the tremor clearly,” she said.
Indonesia is especially vulnerable to earthquakes because of its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the most seismically and volcanically active zone in the world.
In February, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 others in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a quake of similar magnitude killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.
Salomon Islands M7.0 and M6.0 quakes
Buildings were left damaged and widespread power outages reported in the Solomons Island capital, Honiara, after two earthquakes struck just off the south-west coast on Tuesday.
The first magnitude 7.0 earthquake briefly triggered a tsunami warning from the United States Geological Survey, but this warning was withdrawn soon after.
A second quake, with a magnitude of 6.0, struck nearby 30 minutes later.
Power was out in some areas of Honiara and Solomon Islands Broadcasting said in a statement that all radio services were off air.
The Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, said the roof of the Australian high commission annexe in Honiara had collapsed, “which points to likely damage throughout the city”.
“We have contacted prime minister Sogavare to once again indicate Australia stands ready to assist.”
Albanese said all staff of the Australian high commission were safe, but confirming the safety of all Australians in Solomon Islands was difficult because telecommunications had been disrupted.
The quake near Malango was shallow, with a depth of 10km, the USGS said.
People reported violent shaking that threw televisions and other items to the ground.
Honiara got rocked by m7.0 earthquake. pic.twitter.com/CZk6JCbAeY
— John Muria (Jnr) 🇸🇧 (@Jnr_Muria) November 22, 2022
Freelance journalist Charley Piringi said he was standing outside a warehouse next to a primary and a secondary school on the outskirts of the capital, Honiara, when the quake struck, sending the children running.
“The earthquake rocked the place,” he said. “It was a huge one. We were all shocked, and everyone is running everywhere.”
The nation’s attorney general, John Muria, posted images on social media of office files spilled from large metal filing cabinets.
“This was a big one,” Joy Nisha, a receptionist at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara, told the AFP news agency. “Some of the things in the hotel fell. Everyone seems OK, but panicky.”
An AFP reporter in the capital said the shaking lasted for about 20 seconds.
M6.2 earthquake strikes Baja California, Mexico
Were the gods of sport angry? Just after their 0:0 vs Poland (World Cup), Mexico was hit by a powerful M6.2 earthquake just off the coast of Baja California.
No Tsunami is expected according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, but some damage is expected both in northwestern Mexico and southwestern California, USA.