6.0-Magnitude Quake Hits Off Papua New Guinea

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck just off the coast of Papua New Guinea Friday, US seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake hit at a depth of 52 kilometres (32 miles) about 59.1 kilometres from the nearest town of Finschhafen in Morobe province, the United States Geological Survey said.

The quake struck within three kilometers of the shoreline, with the potential for damage up to 45 kilometers away, Geoscience Australia said.

“There is potential for some damage to the local towns,” Geoscience seismologist Eddie Leask told AFP.

“Magnitude 6.0 is reasonable in its shaking… so you do have high-energy shaking in the local areas that can cause some issues.”

Earthquakes are common in PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

Quake Hits Southeast Iran, Destroys Homes; No Fatalities Reported

A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck southeastern Iran on Friday, injuring at least 42 people and destroying several homes in an area where most people live in villages of mud-walled homes. State media said no deaths had been reported.

Rescue workers, special teams with sniffer dogs and units of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia forces were sent to the quake-hit areas in Kerman province, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said.

State TV said many residents rushed out of houses in Kerman city and nearby villages and towns, fearing more tremors after some 51 aftershocks following the 6:32 am (0232 GMT) quake.

“The quake destroyed some houses in 14 villages but so far there has been no fatalities,” a local official told state TV. “Fortunately, no deaths have been reported so far.”

The quake struck less than three weeks after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit villages and towns in Iran’s western Kermansheh province along the mountainous border with Iraq, killing 530 people and injuring thousands of others.

The US Geological Survey said Friday’s quake, at first reported as magnitude 6.3, was centred 58 km northeast of Kerman city, which has a population of more than 821,000. The quake was very shallow, at a depth of 10 km, which would have amplified the shaking in the poor, sparsely populated area.

Head of Relief and Rescue Organisation of Iran’s Red Crescent Morteza Salimi told state television that at least 42 people were injured. Iran’s state news agency IRNA said most of those hurt had minor injuries.

“Assessment teams are surveying the earthquake-stricken areas and villages in Kerman province,” IRNA quoted local official Mohammadreza Mirsadeqi as saying.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said the quake had caused heavy damage in Hojedk town and some villages were hit by power and water cuts.

State TV aired footage of damaged buildings in remote mountainous villages near Hojedk town, the epicentre of the earthquake with a population of 3,000 people. TV said coal mines in the area had been closed because of aftershocks.

Iran’s Red Crescent said emergency shelter, food and water had been sent to the quake-hit areas.

Criss-crossed by several major fault lines, Iran is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

Bali Volcano: Cyclone Dahlia Intensifies Near Indonesia – But Will Dahlia Hit Australia?

As Bali’s Mount Agung continues to erupt a tropical cyclone has been intensifying near Indonesia’s island with the latest track model revealing it could hit Australia as it travels south east.

ropical Cyclone Dahlia has intensified to a category 1 cyclone near Indonesia.

No cyclone warning has been issued for Australia and its territories but the nation’s Bureau of Meteorology warned it could increase to category 2 by Saturday morning local time.

The cyclone is currently east-northeast of the Australian territory of Christmas Island.

A statement from the bureau in Western Australia said: “Tropical Cyclone Dahlia (Category 1) was located at 1.00 AM CXT near 9.6S 108.7E, that is 345 km east northeast of Christmas Island and moving east southeast at 22 kilometres per hour.

“During Friday Tropical Cyclone Dahlia will move further east away from Christmas Island.

“While gales are not expected at Christmas Island, squally conditions and heavy rain is possible Friday morning.

“During late Friday and Saturday Dahlia will turn towards the south and intensify.

“From Sunday conditions will become less favourable for development and Dahlia is expected to begin weakening as it continues moving south.”

Indonesia’s national disaster management (BNPB) in a statement said: “Tropical cyclone Dahlia emerged.

“BMKG (the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics) continues to deliver early warning of the existence of Dahlia tropical cyclone.

“On Thursday this Dahlia tropical cyclone shift was observed to the southeast with a motion speed of 13 km per hour.

“On Friday the tropical cyclone position is in the Indian Ocean south-southeast of Jakarta with maximum wind speed 95 kilometres per hour and moving towards the southeast away from Indonesia.

“It is estimated that there will be heavy rains with intensity of 50 millimetres per day and or high winds at speeds greater than or equal to 50 kilometres per hour.

“The potential for heavy rain and strong winds will occur from the west coast of Bengkulu to Lampung, south Banten, Jakarta and south west Java. Including the potential of strong winds with a force of 20 knots in the same area.

“People are encouraged to increase their vigilance against extreme weather. Heavy rain, high winds and high waves have the potential to occur.

“The threat of floods, landslides and tornadoes increases.”

It follows the devastation of tropical Cyclone Cempaka which caused landslides and flooding, killing at least 27 people.

At the time Indonesian officials warned the cyclone was pulling hazardous ash erupting from Mt Agung volcano.

Cyclone Cempaka has now dissipated, according to the BNPB.

16 Dead, 100 Missing As Cyclone Ockhi Hits India, Sri Lanka

A powerful cyclone has killed at least 16 people across India and Sri Lanka, uprooting trees and cutting power for millions amid warnings Friday that the storm would intensify.

Disaster officials said nine people were killed in India and seven in neighbouring Sri Lanka, most crushed by trees ripped up by destructive winds raging at 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour.

Warships have been deployed to comb the southeastern coast for fishing boats missing in wild seas, India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Another official said an estimated 100 crew were aboard the missing vessels, with fears held for their safety.

Torrential wind and rain unleashed by Cyclone Ockhi has shut down schools in Chennai, a coastal Indian city of seven million where conditions are set to worsen.

mages broadcast from southern India showed the scale of the destruction as the cyclone reached the shore, with electricity poles toppled and trees torn asunder.

Tourists in Kochi, a coastal city in the southern Kerala state, have been told to stay away from popular beaches where huge waves are pounding the shore.

Power was cut for millions in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu state as the storm made its way from Sri Lanka, with India’s meteorological department warning of worse to come.

“The system is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours,” the department said in its update.

India’s eastern coast — including state capitals like Chennai and Bhubaneswar that are home to millions — is prone to seasonal storms that wreak immense damage between April and December.

In 1999, more than 8,000 people were killed when a cyclone battered the eastern state of Orissa.