Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions strike Alaska, Japan and the Philippines

[PBS] A series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have hit the Pacific Rim.
Tuesday morning in the Gulf of Alaska, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake near Kodiak set off early tsunami warnings that extended across the southern coast of the state and into British Columbia. A volcano in a Japanese ski town erupted, killing one soldier and injuring at least a dozen others, according to the Washington Post. Monday afternoon, Mount Mayon, a volcano in the Philippines that has been rumbling since last week, gushed lava and ash, forcing mass evacuations.
The Alaskan earthquake struck around 12:30 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, approximately 180 miles southeast of Kodiak Island. Seismologists classified this event as a strike-slip earthquake, which is typically caused when two tectonic plates slide side by side. But the Kodiak earthquake was a rare intraplate earthquake — meaning all the action occurred within a single tectonic plate.
In general, strike-slip earthquakes present less of a tsunami risk. Three hours on, the National Weather Service measured less than a foot of tsunami at the Kodiak Island town of Old Harbor and had cancelled the tsunami warnings for most of Alaska and the West Coast. No immediate damages were reported.
Mount Kusatsu-Shirane is a 7,000 foot volcano located about 120 miles north of Tokyo. It erupted around 10 a.m. local time, triggering avalanches that trapped about a dozen skiers, including six members of Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force. All were rescued, according to Reuters, but one soldier died later. The Washington Post reported four others were injured by falling debris. 
Approximately 56,000 people sought shelter at evacuation camps on Tuesday, about half a day after Mount Mayon erupted multiples times overnight. The first evacuations had begun Jan. 13, after the 8,000-foot volcano produced a mile-and-half high plume of ash that coated nearby towns. Philippines officials have allocated about $100,000 to the disaster effort, but warned if the eruption continue into mid-February, then food, medical and water supplies may be depleted. Reuters reported that the ashfall diverted flights.
A 6.0 magnitude earthquake also struck 100 miles off the coast of Jakarta on Tuesday afternoon, damaging buildings and causing about a half dozen injuries at a schoolSee More