Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Peru Suffers Major Earthquakes

Magnitude 7's and above are often killer quakes. These 7.7, 7.5 have hit the capital of Peru. The epicenter is 11 miles (18km) away in Chincha Alta. Lima has sections of buildings especially built to withstand major quakes. Poorer sections of the city do not have the same protections. Damage reports are still coming in, and power is out in sections of the city. A resident's observations:

"But in other parts of Lima, where the buildings are often of very poor quality, there will have been considerable damage, I would imagine."

CNN reports Tsunami warnings have been issued. The Tsunami warning is for Chile, Ecuador and Columbia. While dodging the wrath of Flossie, Hawaii now has a Tsunami Watch in effect until further updates from the Tsunami center.

Updates: TBD 7:32PDT Casualties are starting to be reported. 7:49PDT One Quake at a massive 7.9. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the citizens of Peru.

Dale Grant, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado, said 17 deaths were reported in Arequipa, Peru, and 14 deaths in Minocqua. The U.S. National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; a tsunami watch for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama; and a tsunami advisory for Hawaii.

``An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,'' the weather service said in a statement on its Web site.

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake carries roughly as much energy as 199,000 tons of TNT, according to the USGS. That energy is spread out in waves and not in one particular spot.

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