New Zealand evacuates quake-hit town Kaikoura.

New Zealand rescue workers are evacuating scores of tourists and residents from the town hardest hit by a series of powerful earthquakes.

Four air force helicopters are now airlifting people out of Kaikoura on the South Island after battling strong winds and heavy rain earlier.

The town, northeast of Christchurch, has been cut off by quake-triggered landslides.

Hundreds of aftershocks have rocked the area as well.

The capital Wellington on the North Island continues to see severe weather on Tuesday with heavy rain and flooding.

Two people were killed in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the South Island early on Monday.

Meanwhile three cows that were filmed stranded on a tiny island have reportedly been rescued by a farmer.

Air Commander Darryn Webb, the acting commander of New Zealand joint forces, told TVNZ that they are airlifting approximately 200 people out of Kaikoura on Tuesday.

There are an estimated 1,200 tourists at the popular whale-watching spot, which has a population of about 2,000.

Two ships and other aircraft are assisting with the evacuations as well, said the New Zealand Defence Force. Prime Minister John Key said the top priority was to provide desperately-needed supplies to Kaikoura.

Police have warned that water and electricity supplies are running out, and hundreds remain in evacuation shelters and community centres, reports the BBC.

At least 1,000 are housed in the local marae, or Maori meeting place, and had crayfish – the town’s specialty – for breakfast on Tuesday, after local fisheries’ tanks failed with the electricity shortage, reported Reuters.

Local divers and fishermen are also reportedly working to relocate tens of thousands of paua – a type of mollusc – and crayfish back to the sea after the seabed rose out of the water by around 2m (6.6 ft).

Transport Minister Simon Bridges told reporters on Tuesday that road and rail access to Kaikoura will take “several months”.

Officials who have begun assessing the aftermath say billions of dollars of damage was caused, with major road and rail links severed.

GeoNet, a government-funded project monitoring earthquakes, said that aftershocks would continue over the next few months.

BCPG President Kunle Awobudu Warns Of Possible Earthquake In Nigeria.

The national President of Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Mr Kunle Awobudu, has expressed the possibility of Nigeria experiencing earthquake and the need for the federal government to immediate take preemptive action by reducing the spate of substandard building construction across the nation.

Recall that mild earthquakes recently occurred in parts of Oyo, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Kaduna states.

According to him, vibrations accompanying the earth tremors resulted in the collapse of mud houses and infliction of visible cracks in modern buildings within the affected areas.

“This development has clearly ossified the harbinger on the possibility of Nigeria having an earthquake induced disaster in the near future,” Awobudu said.

In a press statement made available to journalists in Lagos, Awobudu expressed concern that the notion that Nigeria is safe or far from seismic active regions is no longer tenable.

He disclosed that Shaki in Oyo State has been subjected to intermittent earth tremors this year and climaxed in the first week of June 2016. More so, communities in Bayelsa and Rivers on July 10, 2016 had a similar experience but in this case due to prolonged effect of oil exploitation.

Records from the seismological station of the Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics (CGG) showed that the earthquakes that occurred in Kwoi area of Kaduna State on 11th and 12th September, 2016 ranged from 2.8 to 3.1 in magnitude.

The statement reads in part: “Shaki and Kwoi towns are not far from the Ifewara – Zungeru fault Zone, which is linked with the Atlantic fracture system. The fault transcends the South-West and North-West of the country, thereby making that stretch of land susceptible to seismicity due to stresses generated within the earth-crust, that is, partial reactivation of fossil plate boundaries.

“Earth tremors occurred in Nigeria in 1933,1939,1964,1984,1990,1994,1997, 2000, 2009, 2011 and now 2016. A series of earth tremors might not necessarily lead to the high intensity earthquake, a reason that should douse our fears.

“However, a study carried out by Dr. Adepelumi Adekunle Abraham of the Department of Geology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife and his team of researchers exacerbated the portentous signs in the following grim words, “After the earth tremor of 2009 in South- Western Nigeria, (which) was felt in several towns and villages in Oyo, Osun and Ogun States, a detailed short-term probabilistic earthquake prediction was carried out by our team, our findings indicated the probability of earthquake occurrence in the study area between the year 2009 and 2028 increased from 2.8% to 91.1%.

“The result also showed that the probability of three events occurring annually has the highest likelihood within the predicted years. Also, found that the Weibull probability density model predicts a damaging earthquake (Magnitude 5) before year 2020.”

“Buildings are the bastion of physical development which is used to adjudge a nation’s rung in the global socio-economic ladder.  Investors in buildings should be concerned about the durability of the buildings they are providing fund for. The longer a building exists, the more the revenue or value the owner derives from it. Indubitably, a solidly constructed building can stand the test of time.

“The wise learns from the errors of others. Nigeria must not continue to repeat the mistake of Haiti and Nepal where stringent building regulations were lacking, thereby aggravating the effects of  the earthquakes on buildings. In an earthquake disaster, the vulnerable, substandard buildings have always been the major cause of high death toll. And unfortunately in Nigeria, the National Building Code is legally and practically not in existence just as it was in Haiti.

“A 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred near Bukoba town in Northern Tanzania on September 10, 2016. According to local authorities, all fatalities were people ‘in brick structures’ that collapsed. Lesson from this experience is a warning to prospective homeowners and developers in Nigeria that they should endeavour to follow due process and avoid quakes. Government should pay due attention to building construction from the scratch by strengthening ministries of physical planning and development control, and also uphold the tenet of professionalism in the nation’s building industry.

BCPG in the statement reiterated the call by the Director of  Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics, in Toro, Bauchi State, Dr. Tahir Abubakar Yakubu that Nigerian government should establish additional seismological stations to monitor crustal movements in the identified earthquake prone areas, and the suggestions of Dr. Adepelumi Adekunle that Nigerian Government should invest in earthquake electromagnetic precursors monitoring devices that are capable of monitoring foreshocks, main shocks and aftershocks of any future earthquake event.

A nation without an effective national building code will end up in ruin in an occurrence of an earthquake. Enforcement of building regulations without compromise will prevent serious calamity in the future. Many nations, including USA, Japan and Australia have been constructing earthquake resistant buildings in their seismic regions. Nigeria can imitate such preventive measures. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” the statement reads.

Heartbreaking Photos From Earthquake Scene That Occurred In Italy

At least 10 people have been killed including a young family of four after a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Italy overnight.

Panicked residents were sent fleeing into the streets of numerous towns and cities as the powerful quake brought buildings – including a hospital – crashing to the ground earlier today.

Rescuers have been seen pulling bloodied victims to safety and frantically searching for survivors after voices were heard under the rubble. So sad. More photos below…


Earthquake Kills 235 In Ecuador

The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades flattened buildings and buckled highways along its Pacific coast. President Rafael Correa said at least 235 people had died and rescuers were struggling to reach survivors trapped in the rubble.

The magnitude-7.8 quake, the strongest to hit Ecuador since 1979, was centered on Ecuador’s sparsely populated fishing ports and tourist beaches, 105 miles (170 kilometers) northwest of Quito, the capital.

Correa reported the death toll on his official Twitter account while flying back from Rome to deal with the crisis. Officials earlier had reported more than 580 people injured.

Vice President Jorge Glas said there were deaths in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil – all several hundred kilometers (miles) from the center of the quake struck shortly after nightfall Saturday.

In Pedernales, a town of 40,000 near the quake’s epicenter, dozens of scared residents slept in the streets while men equipped with little more than car headlights tried to rescue survivors who could be heard trapped under rubble.

“We’re trying to do the most we can, but there’s almost nothing we can do,” said Gabriel Alcivar, mayor of Pedernales.

Alcivar pleaded for authorities to send earth-moving machines and emergency rescue workers to help find people amid the rubble. He said looting had broken out amid the chaos but authorities were too busy trying to save lives to re-establish order.

“This wasn’t just a house that collapsed, it was an entire town,” he said.

Correa declared a national emergency and urged Ecuadoreans to stay strong while authorities handle the disaster.

“Everything can be rebuilt, but what can’t be rebuilt are human lives, and that’s the most painful,” he said in a telephone call to state TV before departing Rome straight for Manta.

Credit: Guardian

Eight Killed As Earthquake Hits India

At least eight people were killed and scores injured Monday when a strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck northeast India, sending panicked residents fleeing into the streets even hundreds of kilometres away in Bangladesh.

Five were killed in India, the government said, while three people died in Bangladesh after suffering strokes or heart attacks following the early-morning quake.

Anurag Gupta of India’s National Disaster Management Authority said buildings had been damaged in Imphal, capital of Manipur state where the quake centred.

“Five people are confirmed dead and 33 have been injured in Imphal. A six-storey building in the capital was partially damaged and some small structures have also developed cracks,” he told AFP.

An official at one of the main hospitals in Imphal however said more than 50 people had been admitted since the quake with head injuries and limb fractures.

Imphal resident Deepak Shijagurumayum whose house was severely damaged described scenes of chaos after the quake.

“Almost everyone was asleep when it struck and were thrown out of their beds,” Shijagurumayum toldAFP by telephone from the city.

“People were crying and praying in the streets and in open spaces. Hundreds remained outdoors for several hours fearing aftershocks.”

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 4:35 am (2305 GMT Sunday) 29 kilometres (18 miles) west-northwest of Imphal.

The Press Trust of India news agency said buildings had collapsed near the epicentre and the electricity supply had been cut in parts of Manipur, which borders Myanmar and has a long history of separatist unrest.

Nearly 60 victims were being treated for their injuries in hospitals in Bangladesh, where the earthquake triggered panic on the streets of major cities.

One 23-year-old Bangladeshi man died after suffering a stroke when he ran out of his house, while another two people — a farmer and a university official — died of heart attacks, police said.

One of the wounded was a university student who jumped from a fourth-floor balcony and was in a critical condition.

There were similar scenes in the northeast Indian city of Guwahati, the main commercial city of the mineral-rich state of Assam, where an AFP correspondent said residents were “in a state of shock” after being woken by the shaking.


Afghanistan-Pakistan Earthquake Leaves Hundreds Dead

More than 260 people have died, mostly in Pakistan, after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan.

Tremors from the quake were also felt in northern India and Tajikistan.

At least 12 of the victims were Afghan schoolgirls killed in a crush as they tried to get out of their building.

The earthquake was centred in the mountainous Hindu Kush region, 76km (45 miles) south of Faizabad, the US Geological Survey reported.

The death toll is set to rise as the most severely affected areas are very remote and communications have been cut off.

A girl injured in the earthquake receives medical treatment at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan (26 October 2015)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThis girl was among those being treated at a hospital in Peshawar, in Pakistan
The abandoned shoes of Afghan schoolgirls involved in a deadly stampede are seen outside a school following an earthquake in Takhar Province (October 26, 2015)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe shoes of Afghan girls involved in a deadly stampede at their school in Takhar Province were left outside their building

In Pakistan, the death toll has risen to at least 214, in the northern mountainous areas.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone, authorities said at least 179 people were known to have died, and more than 1,800 were injured.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is cutting short a visit abroad and returning home.

Sunnatullah Timour, a spokesman for the governor of the Afghan province of Takhar, told the BBC that as well as the fatalities at the girls’ school, another 25 students were injured in the stampede.

Deaths and injuries have also been reported in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Kunar, with at least 52 killed in total.

Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted that the government had asked aid agencies to work with it to help those in need.

As it happened: Afghan earthquake

Injured brought to hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, October 26, 2015Image copyrightReuters
Image captionInjured people were brought to a hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan
An Afghan repairs his roof damaged in an earthquake, in Badakhshan, Afghanistan (26 October 2015)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThese buildings in Afghanistan’s Badakshan province, near the epicentre, were damaged

However as the earthquake originated more than 200km (125 miles) below the earth’s surface, the damage is less than that which a similarly powerful but shallow tremor might cause.

In the city of Karimabad, in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan, a witness who gave his name as Anas told the BBC that the quake had sent a landslide crashing into the Hunza river.

“At first it was as if someone was shaking us. There were about 20 of us and we just held on to each other,” he said.

“Right after that we saw a major landslide. Some people say it was a glacier that came down, some people say it was a hill. It fell right in front of our eyes.”

Pakistan Geological Survey head Imran Khan told the BBC there were reports of landslides disrupting the Karakoram highway between Gilgit and Baltistan. However, he said it was too early to say if any glaciers were destabilised by the quake.

A picture shows a landslide in Pakistan's northern Hunza valley following an earthquake (26 October 2015)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe earthquake triggered a landslide in Pakistan’s northern Hunza valley

Analysis by Jonathan Webb, BBC News science reporter

Even at its revised magnitude of 7.5, this was a powerful tremor. Around the world only about 20 quakes each year, on average, measure greater than 7.0.

But its focus was deep – much further below the surface than the 7.8 quake which brought widespread destruction to eastern Nepal in April. That event was only 8km deep and was followed in early May by an aftershock with magnitude 7.3.

Similarly, the devastating 2005 Kashmir earthquake was magnitude 7.6 and just 26km deep. Today’s quake, at a depth of more than 200km, appears to have caused widespread but less severe ground shaking.

Earthquake Hits Indonesia

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Indonesia’s Papua region on Tuesday.

It said the quake struck inland, some 244 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Jayapura. No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage.

Credit: NAN

Another Earthquake Hits Nepal

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes two weeks after massive quake killed thousands in Himalayan nation.  A magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck Nepal, two weeks after a devastating quake killed more than 8,000 people in the Himalayan nation, the USGS has reported.

USGS had earlier reported the magnitude at 7.1 but later upgraded it to 7.3. The quake, which struck 18km southeast of Kodari, near the base camp for Mt Everest, was measured at a shallow depth of about 18km.

Al Jazeera’s Annette Ekin, reporting from the capital, Kathmandu, said that there was “utter panic” in the capital. “The earth just started rolling. Everyone ran out onto the streets and all of the shops are now shuttered,” she said, adding that the quake seemed to last about 30 seconds.

A woman who works for a finance company in Thamel, in Kathmandu, told Al Jazeera that she had clung on to a pillar inside her building when the quake struck. “I was screaming. It felt like the house was falling,” she said.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, also reporting from Kathmandu, said the quake was so powerful that it made the building he was in “feel like jelly”.

Read Morealjazeera

Nepal Declares Three Days Of Mourning Over Earthquake

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala thanks donors as rescue operation continues with helicopters crisscrossing mountains.  Nepal’s prime minister has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of Saturday’s devastating earthquake which has left at least 4,700 people dead.

Rescue operations continued on Tuesday, with helicopters ferrying the injured and delivering emergency supplies to remote villages near the epicentre. PM Sushil Koirala also thanked donors in a televised address to the nation.

He had earlier warned that the number of people killed in the country’s worst earthquake in decades could reach 10,000. With the UN estimating eight million people have been hit by the disaster, Koirala said getting help to some of the worst affected areas was a “major challenge”.

He said authorities were overwhelmed by appeals for help from remote Himalayan villages left devastated by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Aid workers who had reached the edges of the epicentre described entire villages reduced to rubble.

“In some villages, about 90 percent of the houses have collapsed. They’re just flattened,” said Rebecca McAteer, a US physician who went to the earthquake zone from the distant Nepal hospital where she works.

Two rescue helicopters on Tuesday reached Ranachour village, in Gorkha district, evacuating eight women, two of them clutching babies, and a third heavily pregnant, to the nearby town of Gorkha.  “There are many more injured people in my village,” said Sangita Shrestha, who was pregnant and visibly downcast as she got off the helicopter.

In Barpak, further north, rescue helicopters were unable to find a place to land. On Tuesday, soldiers had started to make their way overland, first by bus, then by foot. Helicopters dropped food packets in the hope that survivors could gather them up.

Meanwhile, an avalanche struck a village on Tuesday in Rasuwa district, a popular trekking area to the north of Kathmandu. Uddhav Bhattarai, the district governor, said up to 250 people were missing.