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Death toll rises to four after China earthquake: Xinhua
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 23, 2014


5.7 magnitude quake rattles Romania, no injuries
Bucharest (AFP) Nov 22, 2014 - A 5.7 magnitude quake shook eastern Romania on Saturday evening and was felt as far away as the capital Bucharest, the National Institute for Earth Physics said, though no injuries were reported.

The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Vrancea region, some 200 kilometres (150 miles) northeast of Bucharest.

The quake struck at a depth of 39 kilometres.

A spokesman for Romania's emergency situations agency (IGSU) told AFP there were no reports of injuries or significant damage.

Romania is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in Europe, with its Vrancea region lying at the intersection of three tectonic plates.

In 1977, a 7.2 magnitude quake struck Vrancea and left more than 1,500 dead.

6.5-magnitude quake hits eastern Indonesia, no tsunami alert
Jakarta (AFP) Nov 21, 2014 - A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesian islands on Friday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), but no tsunami alert was issued.

The undersea quake, at a depth of 38 kilometres (24 miles), struck the Molucca Sea between Sulawesi and the Maluku chain of islands.

"The quake was felt strongly for five seconds, causing people to run from their homes," the National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

The quake was initially measured at 6.9-magnitude and 48 kilometres in depth but was later revised by the USGS to 6.5 in strength and 10 kilometres shallower than earlier reported.

In West Halmahera, an area close to the epicentre, panicked people took refuge to higher grounds for fear a tsunami might hit, a local disaster management official told AFP.

A 7.3-magnitude quake struck in the same area last weekend, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami alert, although it only generated small waves.

Officials said there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from Friday's quake.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

A huge undersea quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed more than 170,000 people in Aceh province, on western Sumatra island, and tens of thousands more in other countries with coasts on the Indian Ocean.

A 6.1-magnitude quake that hit inland in Aceh in July last year left at least 30 people dead and thousands homeless.

It caused a mosque to collapse in one village, killing six children as they took part in a Koran reading session.

The death toll from a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck a remote part of China's southwest rose to five on Sunday, as media reported the injured have all been successfully rescued.

The quake struck 39 kilometres (24 miles) northwest of Kangding in the mountainous west of Sichuan province at 0855 GMT Saturday.

The latest toll was reported Sunday by state news agency Xinhua, which also adjusted the number of injured from 60 to 54. Three were said to be in critical condition.

"Within nine hours, emergency services were able to successfully rescue all those injured," Xinhua said, without giving details on the current state of the rescue operation.

Just under 80,000 people were affected by the quake, the news agency said, adding that 25,000 houses were damaged and 6,200 people relocated.

Xinhua said the epicentre was at the town of Tagong, where a police rescue team arrived two hours after the tremor struck.

"Six military aircraft, 60 medical staff and nearly 1,000 soldiers and militia remain on standby," the report added.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake had a depth of 14 kilometres.

Southwest China lies where the Eurasian and Indian plates meet and is prone to seismic activity.

In May 2008 a 7.9 magnitude quake rocked Sichuan, killing more than 80,000 people and flattening swathes of the province. It was the worst quake disaster to hit China in more than three decades.

Strong Japan quake leaves 39 injured, hits popular ski resort
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 23, 2014 - A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake in central Japan left 39 people injured, seven seriously, and wrecked homes in a popular ski resort, the government said Sunday.

The quake struck at 10:08 pm local time (1308 GMT) Saturday at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) at the epicentre, in the north of Nagano Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, according to the US Geological Survey.

The government confirmed Sunday that the quake injured 39 people, destroying houses and snapping water pipes, with the worst damage in mountainous areas.

In Nagano Prefecture's famous Hakuba Village -- a popular ski resort that hosted part of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games -- many homes were toppled and destroyed, local authorities said. Bird's-eye footage by public broadcaster NHK showed houses reduced to rubble.

Around 30 people were trapped in the collapsed village houses soon after the quake, but were all rescued, Jiji Press said.

The meteorological agency warned strong aftershocks could still occur in the coming week.

There was no damage to the seven nuclear reactors at the sprawling Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in neighbouring Niigata prefecture as they have been off-line since 2011.

Other nuclear plants were also intact.

Japan is hit by around a fifth of the world's powerful quakes every year and sits at the conjunction of several tectonic plates.

A strong tremor revives memories of the 9.0 earthquake in March 2011, which triggered a tsunami that sparked the Fukushima atomic plant disaster and left 18,000 people dead or missing.

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