Entries in earthquake (25)


6.3-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Southern California

Jason Reed/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of southern California on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but no injuries or damages have been reported.

The quake, which was downgraded from a preliminary reading of 6.4, hit 163 miles south southwest of Avalon, Calif., at 2:36 a.m. local time.  It was seven miles deep, according to the USGS.

No tsunami warning was issued following the quake.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Great ShakeOut: Millions to Participate in Multi-State Quake Drill

Jason Reed/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's impossible to know when an earthquake will hit, but preparing for one can save your life.  That's the purpose behind Thursday's "Great ShakeOut."

The earthquake rehearsal drill will take place across more than a dozen states, as well as in other countries, at 10:18 a.m. in each time zone.  More than 14 million people have signed up for the exercise, including more than nine million in California.

Earthquake expert Brian Blake says a simple reminder saves lives.

"That is drop, cover and hold on, which involves getting under a table or desk and staying under there until the shaking stops," he says.

Also, avoid running outside, where falling parts of buildings could cripple or kill, advises Missouri State Emergency Management official Steve Bessemer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington Monument Could Remain Closed Until 2014

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Visitors to Washington, D.C., may not be able to tour the Washington Monument until 2014, due to extensive repairs resulting from last summer's earthquake.

Exterior scaffolding will have to be erected on the outside of the 555-ft. monument and extensive work done inside and outside to repair damage from last year's earthquake, the National Parks Service said. It's a project that could take 18 months.

The Washington Monument was first opened to the public in 1888.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


4.1 Magnitude Quake Hits California 

Zoonar/Thinkstock (DEVORE, Calif.) -- A 4.1 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter along the San Andreas Fault near Devore rattled the Inland Empire in California Saturday, The Orange County Register reports.

The quake struck at 8:07 a.m. PT. Two minutes later, a 2.0 aftershock followed about a half mile away, and a 1.8 aftershock hit again at 8:14, according to the Orange County Register.

Homeowners in Rancho Cucamonga reported slight damage, the paper says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mysterious Booms Return to Wisconsin Town?

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(CLINTONVILLE, Wis.) -- Have the mysterious booms in Clintonville, Wis., finally been caught on tape?

Townspeople say they are back, and an audio engineer may have given ABC News its first listen.

It was a little over a week and a half ago that residents of the town of Green Bay, Wis., with a population of 4,500, said they were awakened from their sleep by loud booms that shook their houses.  Night after night, there were more booms and more shaking.

The United States Geological Survey finally said it recorded a 1.5-magnitude earthquake on the morning of March 20.  It also recorded seismic activity the day before but could not pinpoint its location. 

Brian Sullivan, an audio engineer, wanted to see if he could record one of the booms.

ABC News watched him set up his recording gear.  The first night, no luck.  But, Sullivan said he captured a boom from this past Saturday, one minute before 4 a.m.  It’s short, but it sounds like a boom.

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This week, residents have been complaining about the booms returning to their small town.  USGS said it has not been able to record any new activity and added that it has been windy in the area, which can create ground vibrations making small quakes difficult to record.  There is discussion, but no decision, on placing a seismograph in Clintonville.

So is the mystery still solved?

Yes, says Paul Earle of the USGS.  All these booms and shuttering are “consistent with small quakes” that are right under some of the houses in Clintonville.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House: Malia Obama Safe From Earthquake in Mexico

Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Malia Obama is safe and out of harm’s way following an earthquake in Mexico on Tuesday, where the president’s eldest daughter is on vacation.

“In light of today’s earthquake, we can confirm that Malia Obama is safe and was never in danger,” the first lady’s communications director Kristina Schake said in a written statement.

A strong 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck beach resort towns and Mexico’s capitol Tuesday afternoon, with no injuries reported.

Reports that Malia, 13, was traveling in Mexico for spring break with friends first surfaced Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington National Cathedral Reopens After Earthquake

Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Washington National Cathedral reopened Saturday, 10 weeks after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Virgina and left cracks in the landmark.

The damage mostly occurred in the higher parts of the cathedral, which at 300 feet, is the tallest building in Washington D.C.

“What has happened over the past 10 weeks is workers have been stabilizing the building to reopen,” spokesman Richard Weinberg told

Safety measures will still be in place until all repairs are complete, including netting on the ceiling and a safety barrier on the perimeter of the building.

Weinberg said the cathedral still needs to replace the tower’s limestone pinnacles, which weigh a few tons each.

The pinnacles have been secured and have no bearing on the structural integrity of the cathedral, according to the Cathedral’s web site, however they do help to balance the weight of the building and counter the force of wind.

Repairing the cathedral has become a daunting challenge of money, skill and time.

“Just off the top of my head I could envision it taking at least two years to repair the tower and get all this stonework back,” lead mason Joe Alonso told D.C. mayor Vincent Gray, ABC 7 in Washington D.C. reported.

The stone landmark, which was built by hand and completely by donations, took 83 years to complete.

Officials said they hope to raise $25 million to help fund repairs.

More than half a million people visit the cathedral each year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japan's Tsunami Debris to Hit US Sooner Than Expected

Sankei via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March created lasting images of houses, boats, cars and entire neighborhoods pulled out to sea. It also caused a massive sea of debris -- up to 20 million tons of it, all of it potentially toxic -- in an area estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

Now, seven months later, that floating debris is on a direct collision course with the Pacific Coast of the United States -- and it might be coming sooner than expected.

“Across the wide Pacific, the drift rate is about five to 10 miles per day,” oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer told ABC News.

Early computer models predicted that the debris would not hit the United States for two to three years.  But a Russian training ship, the STS Pallada, following a map of the computer models, hit an extended field of debris in mid-Pacific, close to Midway Island, a U.S. territory about 1,700 miles from Hawaii.

The ship’s encounter with the 1,000-mile-long mass of tsunami debris came in September -- 300 miles ahead of schedule, and nearly 2,000 miles from the site of the tsunami in Japan.

The ship’s crew found a battered, 20-foot fishing boat marked “Fukushima,” the same spot in Japan that was ground zero for the tsunami.

The Pallada’s crew sailed through the debris, surrounded by everything from appliances and televisions to furniture, all of it now headed straight for Hawaii.

The first of it is expected to hit Midway Atoll this winter, then Hawaii in early 2013, and the U.S. West Coast -- mainly Washington and Oregon -- in early 2014.

Experts now estimate that lighter objects will wash ashore Midway’s beaches this winter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Climbers Rappel Down Washington Monument to Survey Damage

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A lone engineer anchored ropes to the pyramid atop the 555-foot Washington Monument Tuesday morning. Dave Megerle, from engineering firm Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, was busy working, securing four sets of ropes for climbers who will rappel down all four sides of the Washington Monument to look for damage inflicted by last month’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake.

The engineering firm is working with the National Park Service to survey any exterior damage caused by the quake. Climbers will scale the monument Tuesday to look for cracks and small rocks -- called spalls -- that may have come loose during the earthquake but are hanging onto the stone slabs.

“The climbers will communicate by radio with colleagues on the ground who will be documenting what the climbers observe,” Bob Vogel, of the National Park Service, said Monday. Vogel added the climbers will also remove any spalls they find by hand, if they can do so safely.

The monument remains closed to visitors; National Park Service said it will have a better estimate for the re-opening date in mid-October.

The park service released new earthquake video from the observation deck of the monument Monday that documents the violent rocking and shaking visitors felt near the top of the obelisk.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Climbers to Rappel Down Washington Monument to Survey Damage

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Professional climbers will rappel down all four sides of the Washington Monument Tuesday to get a closer look at any exterior damage caused by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Washington, D.C., in late August.
The project is part of the National Park Service’s ongoing damage assessment. For a thorough survey, said Brandon Latham, a climbing ranger from Denali National Park, Alaska, ropes will be anchored from an access hatch near the top of the monument. Climbers will then crawl out windows at the observation deck, and head upwards to the access hatch to complete a top-to-bottom survey.
While the project sounds like something out of a spy movie, it’s not an uncommon move. The project team handling the survey has rappelled down a 220-foot obelisk in New Jersey, numerous state capitols, and buildings that are about the same height as the 555-foot Washington Monument.
The climbers will be looking for any cracks, as well as small rocks that may have come loose during the earthquake and are still hanging onto the monument’s stone slabs. Such rock fragments, called spalls, have already been removed from inside the Washington Monument, said Jennifer Talken-Spaulding of the National Park Service.
The agency says the monument’s elevator cables, damaged during the earthquake, will be replaced. The elevator was at level zero when the earthquake struck. Once the climbers and surveyors have pored over the exterior of the monument, the National Park Service said it will cover all open joints and cracks to prevent further weather damage. At the moment, said Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall, a “substantial amount of water” is getting into the monument because of cracks and damaged joints missing mortar.
The park service did not give a date for when the monument will be open to visitors, adding that they will be in a better position in mid-October to estimate a re-opening date.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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