2006 August - September


No damage after Samoa quake generates small tsunami Thu Sep 28, 6:42 AM ET SYDNEY (Reuters) - A strong earthquake with a magnitude of up to 7.0 hit near the South Pacific nation of Samoa on Thursday and triggered a small tsunami but there were no reports of damage, officials said. The center of the quake was between Samoa, Tonga and American Samoa and at least 250 km (155 miles) from the nearest major populated centers. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tide gauge in Pago Pago, American Samoa's harborside capital, had measured the wave at 8 cm. Australian seismologists said Samoa was lucky the quake wasn't bigger and that it was a long way from populated centers. Keni Lesa, editor of the Samoa Observer newspaper, said the quake was felt across the Samoan capital, Apia, when it hit early in the evening but no unusual wave activity had been experienced. "It was definitely felt here for at least 30 seconds or more," Lesa told Reuters by telephone from Apia about two hours after the quake struck. "I doubt there would be any damage," he said. A spokeswoman for Tonga's main hospital in the capital, Nuku'alofa, said she had not felt the quake. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/) put the quake's magnitude at 7.0. Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jetson said the quake had the potential to generate "a local destructive tsunami" but that the wave measured in Pago Pago was not big enough to cause major damage.

Quake knocks out power across Hawaii 27 minutes ago HONOLULU - A strong earthquake shook Hawaii early Sunday, causing a landslide that blocked a major highway on Hawaii Island and knocking out power across the state, authorities said. The state Civil Defense had unconfirmed reports of injuries, but communication problems prevented more definite reports. People were also trapped in elevators in Oahu, authorities said. Gov. Linda Lingle said in a radio interview with KSSK from Hawaii Island that she had no report of any fatalities. She said boulders fell on highways, rock walls collapsed and television had been knocked off stands."We were rocking and rolling," said Anne LaVasseur, who was on the second floor of a two-story, wood-framed house on the east side of the Big Island when the temblor struck. "I was pretty scared. We were swaying back and forth, like King Kong's pushing your house back and forth."The quake hit at 7:07 a.m. local time, 10 miles north-northwest of Kailua Kona, a town on the west coast of the Big Island, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami Center reported a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, while the U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.6. It was followed by several strong aftershocks, including one measuring a magnitude of 5.8, the Geological Survey said. Blakeman said there was no risk of a Pacific-wide tsunami, but a possibility of significant wave activity in Hawaii.

Scientists say Hawaii hit by two quakes Thu Oct 19, 1:06 AM ET HONOLULU - Scientists are investigating whether a magnitude-6.0 earthquake that rocked Hawaii within minutes of Sunday's 6.7 temblor was a separate quake and not an aftershock. The lead scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory and a seismologist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Wednesday they were two independent events. Others aren't so sure. The 6.7-magnitude quake struck 12.5 miles northeast of the Big Island's Kona airport at a depth of 24 miles at 7:07 a.m. Sunday. Seven minutes later, the 6.0-magnitude quake struck 27 miles north of the airport at a depth of about 12.5 miles. Jim Kauahikaua, the scientist-in-charge at the observatory, said the difference in depths establishes that the two are "independent." But Egill Hauksson, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, said it's too early to categorize the magnitude-6.0 event. Scientists still need to analyze the pattern of aftershocks in the coming months before determining whether the smaller event was an aftershock or a triggered earthquake, Hauksson said. "There's more research to be done," he said. Seismologist Vindell Hsu, of the tsunami center, said it's not uncommon for earthquakes to trigger others and it has happened in Alaska and at California's San Andreas Fault. "A major earthquake may trigger or activate a neighboring fault and start another good-sized earthquake," Hsu said. Kauahikaua expects several opinions. "Some of these earthquakes get worked on for years. Different techniques come up. People have different points of view," he said. "This is our assessment within the first three days after the earthquake. If somebody can make a powerful argument the other way, fine." Aftershocks are a series of smaller earthquakes that occur after the main shock and in the same geographic area. Aftershocks can rock a region for months or years. Generally, the bigger the main shock, the more intense the aftershocks will be. Dozens of aftershocks have been recorded since the initial quake. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, who served decades as the Big Island's civil defense chief, said the latest quakes came after a long stretch of seismic calm. Kim said a third to half of the population had never experienced a quake of Sunday's magnitude.

SS: the Home Reef eruption occurred 8 - 12 august and was followed by this 7.0 earthquake near Samoa Islands six weeks later .. Fourpeaks volcano in Alaska below was a 10,000 year old dormant volcano that suddenly erupted early September 2006 .. a 6.6M earthquake followed 15 October in Hawaii .

Pumice sightings between Tonga and Fiji.

Pumice rafts in northern Fiji

Pumice rafts in southern Fiji.



Plume confirmed from ancient volcano

September 21, 2006 at 06:01 PM Alaska Volcano Observatory staff flew over the Cape Douglas area Wednesday and confirmed that the source of dark cloud-like plumes witnessed by many Homer residents Sunday night came from near the peak of Fourpeaked Mountain, a 6,903-foot volcano across Cook Inlet. Staff have also detected a strong sulfur smell just downwind, east, of the volcano. Two white vapor plumes rose through the clouds, rising as high as 2,000 feet above the mountainís peak. Stephanie Prejean, a seismologist with U.S. Geological Survey/Alaska Volcano Observatory, said the Alaska Earthquake Information center reported some small earthquakes Sunday afternoon in the area, between .8 and 1.8 magnitude. Observatory staff are planting seismometers on the previously unmonitored volcano on the north end of the Alaska Peninsula, and trying whenever weather allows them to see whatís happening from airplanes and helicopters. The mountain has been inactive for thousands of years. "Weíre trying to get the area monitored so we can get an idea if it's over or if it's just beginning," Prejean said. Volcano experts arenít calling what happened an eruption yet. "Weíre kind of calling it some kind of volcanic event or emission," said Prejean. "Itís very exciting. It's an interesting problem for us."

Photo of plume coming from Cape Douglas area, as seen from Homer. Picture Date: September 17, 2006 21:30:00 Image Creator: Day, Ken Image courtesy of the photographer.

The Popocateptl volcano emits a column of ash and steam, as seen from the town of San Nicolas Panotla, in the state of Tlaxcala September 15, 2006. REUTERS/J Guadalupe Perez (MEXICO)

A hand written 'Sorry, we're close!! Mahalo' sign is seen on a McDonalds in Waikiki, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006 in Honolulu. A strong earthquake shook Hawaii early Sunday. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia) 

With food becoming scarce at many convenience stores in Waikiki, tourists stand in line waiting to buy goods at an ABC store after an earthquake caused a state wide power outage Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

A soldier mans his post to prevent villagers and onlookers from venturing closer to the lava flow of Mayon volcano (unseen) which already reached beyond the 6-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone from its crater Thursday Aug. 10, 2006 at Mabinit village in Legazpi city, Albay province about 340 kilometers (212 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, PHIVOLCS, has recorded a considerable drop in the number of earthquakes, from 21 Wednesday to three by midday Thursday as well as a relatively decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions, both strong indications of an explosive eruption. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

An armed soldier keeps watch in Bonga village which has been declared as a dangerous zone as Mayon volcano gears for a potential eruption. Philippine scientists renewed warnings of a major eruption at Mayon volcano, as steaming lava poured down its slopes and thousands huddled in evacuation camps.(AFP/Romeo Gacad)



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