7.7 earthquake jolts CNMI
by Ferdie De La Torre
Many CNMI residents were awakened when a 7.7-magnitude earthquake jolted
the Mariana Islands Saturday morning at 7:18am.
According to the U.S. Geological Service, the earthquake’s epicenter was
at 316 kilometers south-southwest of Agrihan at a depth of 212.4
Based on available data, there was no tsunami threat.
Saipan Tribune learned that there were no reports of injuries or damage
There were small aftershocks recorded.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on Saturday asked the public to keep themselves
and their families safe “as the situation continues to develop.”
The CNMI Joint Information Center did not indicate the cause of the
earthquake and its duration.
Glenn, a resident of Finasisu, said he was watching TV on the couch when
the two-story apartment building started to shake.
Glenn said as the TV was shaking hard, he stood up next to the door and
observed if the ceiling would collapse as the temblor took several
“I was scared! When I looked outside a few of my neighbors also went to
their doors, telling that it was a strong earthquake,” he said.
Josephine, 45, a resident in Chalan Kanoa, said she was awakened when
her bed was shaking hard.
Josephine said when she realized it was an earthquake she immediately
stood to check her children who were still sleeping.
Josephine said she immediately checked her Facebook if there’s a tsunami
warning, and that she was happy that there was none.
“It was long and scary!” she said.
On Rota, it was felt but not that strong.
Firefighter Christopher Hocog said not everyone felt the earthquake.
Hocog said when it happened he did not feel it as he was in a vehicle.
On Tinian, people felt the strong earthquake.
Fire cadet Esteven Sablan said he was sleeping in his house at the time
when he felt the shake.
“Other people felt it,” Sablan said.
The earthquake was also felt in Guam.
UN Says over 56 Million People Suffer Famine in 17 Countries Blighted
by Latin American Herald Tribune
ROME – Hell on Earth is how two United Nations agencies described on
Friday the repercussions of armed conflicts on some 56 million people
across the world.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme
(WFP) presented a report to the UN Security Council expressing their
concern over the available food supplies to 17 countries.
“A staggering 89 percent of all Syrian refugees currently in Lebanon
require urgent food,” the report said.
The statement said conflicts had “driven millions of people into severe
food insecurity and are was hindering global efforts to eradicate
War had pushed more than 56 million into either “crisis” or “emergency”
levels of food insecurity, the report said.
The worsening situation in Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Burundi and the
Lake Chad basin were of particular concern, according to the report.
About half of Yemen’s population, 14 million people, were affected.
In the case of Syria there were 8.7 million people (37 percent of its
population prior to the war) in need of urgent food assistance.
In South Sudan, the number was 4.8 million (40 percent of the
The UN showed particular concern with these last two countries as 2016
“marks a deteriorating trend due to the protracted nature of the
It warned that Boko Haram jihadist group violence had tripled the number
of displaced people around the Lake Chad basin stretching through
Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Countries that were recovering from protracted civil wars such as
Colombia were still suffering elevated degrees of food insecurity.
High overall percentages of the population of Burundi (23 percent),
Haiti (19 percent) or the Central African Republic (50 percent) required
Other countries that have also seen their food security compromised are
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast,
Liberia, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Both the FAO and the WFP said armed conflict was one of the main causes
behind famine as it destroys crops, cattle and agricultural
It also blocks markets and creates refugees, damages human resources,
contributes to the spread of diseases and obstructs aid.
“Approximately half of the global poor now live in states characterized
by conflict and violence,” the report said.
Zika virus outbreak 2016: 1.65 million childbearing women could
become infected by Zika virus
by Dr. Victor Marchione
An estimated 1.65 million childbearing women could become infected with
Zika virus, according to the latest research. The researchers in the
U.S. and the U.K. found that across Latin America and the Caribbean over
90 million infections could result from the initial stages of the spread
The estimates are based on the sum of thousands of localized projections
of infected people within every five by five kilometer grid. The number
of 1.65 million represents the upper limit estimate for the first wave
of the epidemic.
Professor Andrew Tatem, a geographer and researcher, said, “It is
difficult to accurately predict how many childbearing women may be at
risk from Zika because a large proportion of cases show no symptoms.
This largely invalidates methods based on case data and presents a
formidable challenge for scientists trying to understand the likely
impact of the disease on populations.”
The researchers took into account disease patterns in similar epidemics
along with factors that affect the transmission of the virus, climate
conditions, and virus incubation periods.
Professor Tatem concluded, “These projections are an important early
contribution to global efforts to understand the scale of the Zika
epidemic, and provide information about its possible magnitude to help
allow for better planning for surveillance and outbreak response, both
internationally and locally.”
Recommendations for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend
that pregnant women, or women looking to conceive, travel to countries
with known Zika virus transmission. If a woman does require traveling to
these areas, she must take the appropriate safety precautions to reduce
her risk of mosquito bites.
This includes using repellents, wearing long sleeves and long pants,
avoiding mosquito-breeding areas such as still water, and following any
other local recommendations.
Additionally, a woman should avoid sexual intercourse for some time
after visiting these countries, or if her partner has visited these
countries. Using protection during sex is also crucial for averting
possible Zika infection.
If a pregnant woman does begin to experience symptoms related to Zika
virus, she should go see her doctor and get tested immediately.
Because there is no cure or treatment for Zika, the best line of defense
is prevention of mosquito bites – for both men and women.