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Updated 2 Oct 2016 - 4 stories|
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‘Earthquake Storm’ Warns Big Quake
May Hit Southern California
Chriss W. Street
The U.S. Geological Survey put Southern California cities on an
unusually high alert for a potential “big earthquake,” as an
“earthquake storm” broke out near the Salton Sea late in the week.
Located on the 800-mile-long San Andreas, the Southern tip of the
Salton Sea suffered 142 quakes that ranged in strength from a
magnitude of 1.4 to 4.3 on the Richter Scale since September 26,
according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Cal Tech scientists estimate that due to the concentration of the
tremblors, Southern California has a risk of between 0.03 and 1
percent that the area will suffer a 7.0 magnitude quake in the near
future. That may not sound like such a high probability, but it was
a 7.8 magnitude quake that destroyed the Bay Area in 1906.
The turn-of-the-century Great San Francisco Earthquake and resulting
fires caused an estimated 3,000 deaths and $524 million in property
loss. Buildings and structures were damaged in all parts of the City
and County of San Francisco. In the downtown business district,
which was built on ground made by filling in the cove of Yerba
Buena, pavements were buckled, arched, and fissured; brick and frame
houses were extensively or destroyed; sewers and water mains were
broken; and gas pipelines caught on fire and caused a conflagration.
Ground movements between three feet up and down, plus 15 feet
sideways, were common in the City. The catastrophic quake caused
similar damage for almost 100 miles, from lightly populated
Mendocino County to Santa Clara County.
Kelly Huston, the deputy director of crisis communications for the
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said the heavy intensity
and strategic location of the swarm at the end of the San Andreas
Fault caused the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to issue
the extreme warning, which will last through October 4.
The southernmost tip of the San Andreas Fault has been building up
pressure since Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake of 1700 that was
the largest known to have occurred in the “lower 48” United States.
It rocked from California to Southern British Columbia. It also set
off a tsunami that not only struck the Pacific coast, but also
crossed the Pacific Ocean to Japan, where it damaged coastal
villages. Written records of the damage in Japan pinpoint the
earthquake to the evening of January 26, 1700.
Morgan Page, a geophysicist with the U.S.G.S. Earthquake Science
Center, told the Daily News that there is a common misconception
about earthquakes that smaller ones relieve pressure on a fault and
reduce the chances of a major earthquake happening. He warned that,
“Little quakes can actually trigger more powerful ones” and “there
is significant stress stored on the southern end” of the San Andreas
Breitbart News reported in 2014 that after two decades of mild and
intermittent earthquake activity, California suffered four very
serious high magnitude quakes in 2014 that included the 6.8
magnitude Cape Mendocino quake on March 9; the South Napa magnitude
6.0 on August 23; the 5.1 magnitude La Habra quake on March 28; and
the 4.4 magnitude Westwood quake on March 17.
The South Napa quake that hit at 3:20 a.m. was especially concerning
because it featured an “Earthquake Storm” with 60 smaller
aftershocks ranging in size from 0.6 to 3.6 on the Richter scale.
Geophysicist John Dvorak, author of the book “Is California Overdue
for a Big Earthquake?”, warned in a Christian Science Monitor
interview that a series of increasingly higher intensity earthquakes
could now be building over an extended period in California. He
cautioned, “A lengthy vacation from earthquakes certainly sounds
nice,” but a quake break can just be the calm before the earthquake
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Diarrheal disease outbreak grows
to nearly 800 cases
by Alissa Widman Neese
After grueling months of skyrocketing numbers, a highly contagious
diarrheal disease outbreak in central Ohio could soon taper off,
health officials say.
The number of diagnosed cryptosporidiosis cases in Franklin and
Delaware counties reached 792 as of Thursday, based on recent
figures from public health officials. That number, which increased
by about one-third over the past two weeks, has continued to climb
since the outbreak was first detected in late July.
But the number of daily reported cases is on the decline, which is a
great sign, according to Columbus Public Health spokesman Jose
This week, health departments in Columbus and Franklin and Delaware
counties are hearing of 10 to 15 cases each day, Rodriguez said. A
few weeks ago, they heard about 20 to 30 cases every day.
"It's starting to slow down, and it's our hope it will plateau
soon," Rodriguez said.
Cryptosporidiosis outbreaks often take a while to resolve because
the disease is extremely contagious and it's incubation period is
two to 10 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
It is caused by a microscopic parasite that is spread through feces,
often in swimming pools, and causes infection when swallowed. It
also can be spread through human contact.
An infected person can spread the disease for as long as two weeks
after diarrhea subsides, making it particularly difficult to
Health officials say people who are sick should stay home from work,
school or day care and avoid pools or water parks, where
cryptosporidiosis easily passes among people. They also should wash
their hands frequently with soap and water and clean surfaces in
their homes with hydrogen peroxide. Hand sanitizer and bleach don't
kill cryptosporidiosis germs.
Of this year’s 792 central Ohio cryptosporidiosis cases, 452
occurred among people in Columbus, 249 elsewhere in Franklin County
and 91 among people in Delaware County.
The outbreak is the largest in central Ohio in 15 years.
Its 792 cases are greater than the number of cases reported over the
last 11 years combined. The last time the area encountered a
significant number of cases was in 2008, when Delaware and Franklin
counties logged nearly 350 cases.
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Wars and Rumors of Wars
Why Are Pakistan
And India Fighting? Nuclear War Threatened After Kashmir Attack At
Uri Military Base
by Bruce Wright
India and Pakistan exchanged heavy gunfire Wednesday as the two
nuclear-armed neighbors edged closer to all-out war over an attack
on an Indian military base on Sept. 18 that killed nearly 20
"We will destroy India if it dares to impose war on us. Pakistan
army is fully prepared to answer any misadventure of India,"
Pakistan's Minister of Defense Khawaja Asif said Wednesday to a
local TV network. "We have not made atomic device to display in a
showcase. If such a situation arises we will use it and eliminate
Asif's threat comes one day after India announced it would boycott a
South Asian summit in Pakistan, saying Islamabad was responsible for
the attack on the military base in the town of Uri, BBC News
reported. The attack sparked days of protests in the disputed border
state of Kashmir during which demonstrators burned Pakistan's Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif in effigy.
In the attack, four militants armed with guns and grenades breached
the Indian military base in Kashmir, igniting some of the barracks
there during the hours-long siege, the Associated Press reported.
Such a high number of Indian soldiers were killed because a new
group of troops expected to take over the base were being housed in
temporary shelters and tents, which became engulfed in flames from
the attack. The militants were ultimately killed by Indian soldiers
India is reportedly reviewing a water-distribution treaty with
Pakistan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted as
saying: "blood and water cannot flow together." The Pakistani
Embassy in Washington, D.C., has appealed to the World Bank to step
in and fulfill "its obligations under the treaty while remaining
Modi decided against taking any immediate military action but has
reportedly vowed to "isolate Pakistan internationally" unless its
neighbor takes steps to end its support of Islamic militant groups.
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Libya: More than 100 families at
risk of starvation in Benghazi
More than 100 families trapped in a Libyan neighbourhood are at risk
of starving to death, Amnesty International has warned.
Children have been reduced to "skin and bones" as no food or water
reaches the district of Ganfouda, in Benghazi.
All entry roads are blocked by fighting or by the Libyan National
Army militia, which has cut off supplies.
The area has been the focus of fighting between Islamist militias
and troops loyal to Libya's eastern government.
The two-year conflict in Benghazi is focused on Islamist fighters
largely holed up in the besieged area.
But there are still 130 families and hundreds of foreigners living
in Ganfouda, unable to escape despite being desperate to leave,
according to Amnesty International.
A report by the human rights group reveals many now fear dying of
hunger after several months living under a military blockade.
'Skin and bones'
Mohamed, who is sheltering eight families, including 23 children, in
his home, told Amnesty they were desperate for even the most basic
The electricity has been cut off for two years already, medicine is
running out and people are reduced to eating rotten food to survive,
"Children look like skin and bones because of the lack of food and
poor nutrition … If they could just drop us some food for the
children or get them out of here, even if that meant leaving the
rest of us, that would be fine.
"There are no fighters amongst us: we're just normal civilians."
Another resident revealed he was trying to fool his two son - aged
three and two - into believing water was milk.
"We just want a safe way to leave," he said.
Adults have been unable to leave Ganfouda since the end of August,
when a tribal leader said no-one over the age of 14 was allowed out
Benghazi, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, has been a
battleground between government forces and Islamists since October
Since February, forces led by Gen Khalifa Haftar have been gaining
ground and closing in on the Islamist militants - forcing them into
one small area, Ganfouda.
Innocent residents say they are now too scared to leave their homes
because they might be mistaken for one of the Islamists.
Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director
Magdalena Mughrabi called on all sides to allow aid in, and people
"Time is running out for civilians in Ganfouda, who are being left
to die trapped by the fighting," she said.
Libya has become increasingly divided since the fall of Muammar
Gaddafi in 2011, with competing governments and rival militias
seeking to gain territory and influence.
The chaos had left Libya vulnerable to an influx of Islamic State
(IS) group fighters, many from Syria.
The US has voiced strong backing for the unity government, or
Government of National Accord, which began operating from the
capital, Tripoli, in April.
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