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Two 7.6 Magnitude Earthquakes! 8:33 pm
by Bill Steffen

Two Magnitude 7.6 earthquakes was recorded this evening along the Peru-Bolivia border. One was centered 105 mi WNW of Iberia, Peru and 428 mi. ENE of Lima, Peru. The quake occurred at 5:45 pm EST. It was followed by another 7.6 magnitude earthquake 5 minutes later. 5.9 magnitude aftershock. This was a very deep earthquake, 374 miles below the surface and it occurred in a sparsely-populated jungle area. It’s estimated that it was felt by over 1.2 million people in Peru, western Brazil and Bolivia. An estimated 30,000 would have felt it “strongly” or “very strongly”. At this time (8:20 pm) there are no reports of casualties.

Over the past century, 91 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater have occurred at depths greater than 300 km globally; 13 of these were located in the same region as today’s quakes. The largest nearby event at these depths was an M 8.2 Bolivia earthquake. The most recent large event in the immediate vicinity of the November 24, 2015 events was a M 7.0 earthquake in October 1990.

6.2 magnitude quake rocks Pakistan, tremors felt in north India, Afghanistan and Tajikistan
The Indian Express

The US Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude 5.9 earthquake has hit northeastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan and Tajikistan.

The US Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude 5.9 earthquake has hit northeastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan and Tajikistan. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The earthquake was most strongly felt in Pakistan, a 6.2-magnitude quake shook Karachi and north-western areas of the country though there were no reports of casualties.

The magnitude was recorded at 6.2 on the Richter scale by Pakistan Meteorological Department while the US Geological Survey (USGS) puts it at 5.9.

The epicentre of the quake was 86 kilometres deep and located somewhere in the border area of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Geo news reported.

It was felt in most of areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces.

The quake was felt in Muree, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Jehlum, Sialkot, Vihari, Sahiwal, Kasur, Sargodha, Bhakkar and Shaikhupura.

The tremors also rocked Peshawar, Mansehra, Shangla, Swat, Nowshehra, Dirbala and adjoining areas.

Panic-gripped people came out of their houses to take shelter in open especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where strong tremor was felt.

According to local media, several houses were damaged in Swat valley.

There were no reports of casualties so far.

Sunday’s earthquake comes nearly a month after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake jolted Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan on October 26, killing nearly 300 people.

Its depth was measured at 57.4 miles (92.4 kilometers).

The quake was felt across northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and in northern parts of India.

11 million children at risk of starvation, disease and water shortages, Unicef warns
by Aislinn Laing

Experts call on European leaders meeting in Malta to direct aid towards mitigating effects of extreme weather in poor countries "intertwined" with migrant crisis.

At least 11 million children in east and southern Africa face hunger, disease and water shortages because of the latest episode of the strengthening El Niño weather phenomenon, the United Nations’ childrens’ agency has said.

Unicef warned that El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific, has already caused heatwaves, droughts and floods around the world.

With its impact expected to intensify in the next six months, children in Somalia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Malawi are particularly at risk, the charity said.

Unicef called on governments to step up their aid plans before the situation deteriorates or face “stark pictures in the media” of starving children.

The warning comes ahead of a meeting of world leaders in Paris to discuss targets for slowing climate change and weather-related events, and as European leaders meet in Malta to discuss the refugee crisis in Europe.

European leaders are expected to offer countries from which migrants originate billions in aid in a bid to tackle the economic and security issues that prompt people to leave.

John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, drew the link between climate change and migration in an address at Old Dominion University in Virginia on Tuesday.

“People who can no longer make a decent living the way their families have for generations – by farming, fishing, herding – will have no choice but to seek other opportunities, mostly in other places,” he said.

This year’s El Niño phenomenon is tipped to be the strongest ever– with one scientist dubbing it the “Godzilla El Niño”. Scientists say its instances and intensity have increased in recent decades and point to climate change as a cause, though others say that is unproven.

Unicef blamed it for the worst food crisis in Malawi for nine years, affecting up to 15 per cent of the population, potentially devastating floods in Somalia and Kenya, bringing with them a heightened risk of disease, and a drought in southern Africa which could shut down Zimbabwe’s crucial Lake Kariba hydroelectric plant and has seen national prayer sessions in South Africa over crop failure and cattle deaths.

It has also been blamed for the worst famine to hit Ethiopia since the crisis that sparked Bob Geldolf’s 1984 Band Aid campaign, though the Ethiopian authorities insist that this time, they are better equipped to manage it.

James Elder, a Unicef spokesman, said after the conflicts in South Sudan and Eritrea sending refugees north, the consequences of extreme weather were also “intertwined” with migration.

“We appreciate governments are being pulled in many directions but in crises like these, investment now could stave off a bigger crisis,” he said.

Leonard Doyle, from the International Organisation for Migration, said helping countries to adapt to climate change and weather phenomenon should be among financial aid considered by European leaders in Malta to stem the migrant flow.

“There’s no question that it is part of the ingredients that lead to migration,” he said. “Money that goes towards stemming migration needs to be smart money.”

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