Sunday, April 13, 2014

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Powerful 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes South Of Kirakira, Solomon Islands; Second Mega-Quake In Less Than 24 Hours To Hit The Region; Tsunami Warnings Issued! [MAPS+ESTIMATES+TECTONIC SUMMARY]

April 13, 2014 - SOLOMON ISLANDS - A tsunami warning has been issued after a strong, 7.5-magnitude quake hit near the Solomon Islands in the southwestern Pacific for the second time in hours. It follows a 7.6-quake that rocked the region overnight.

7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes off Solomon islands, second big one in hours
USGS earthquake location map.

The shallow earthquake, originally registered at 7.7 magnitude, but later revised down to 7.5, was centered about 114 kilometers south of Kirakira in the Solomon Islands, at a depth of 20 kilometers, the US Geological Survey reported.

An aftershock quake of 5.7 magnitude followed the initial one just minutes after.

A tsunami warning was immediatly issued for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Small tsunami waves have been detected in the Solomon Islands, while the warning continues only for the Solomon Islands. The previous tsunami warning for Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea was canceled.

7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes off Solomon islands, second big one in hours
USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

The previous quake, estimated at 7.6, hit the region overnight. It struck 100 kilometers southeast of Kirakira at a depth of almost 30 kilometers. A tsunami warning was also issued for the first quake, but it lasted only for a few hours.

No damage or casualties have been reported. The USGS upgraded its pager status to ‘green’, meaning that “there is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.”

The Vanuatu Meteorological Service has issued a separate warning saying that the initial tsunami wave is estimated to hit the islands of Vanuatu about 12:45 am local time Monday.

View of Honiara, the capital city of Solomon Islands (Photo by Jenny Scott /

“People are advised to listen to all radio outlets,” the service said. “The next advisory will be updated today at 12:30am.”

The Solomon Islands are a sovereign country consisting of a large number of islands in Oceania, lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometers.

They are located on the eastern margin of the Australia plate, which is one of the most seismically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific tectonic plates.

In early April Chile was rocked by several earthquakes that killed six people and displaced almost 1 million. The quakes triggered deadly fires, which killed eight people and left at least 3,000 people homeless. - RT.

Tectonic Summary.
The April 13, 2014 M 7.5 Solomon Islands earthquake occurred as the result of nearly pure reverse faulting on an approximately east-west oriented structure near the oceanic trench that marks the plate boundary between the Australia and Pacific plates. At the location of the earthquake, the Australia Plate converges with and slips past the Pacific plate at a rate of 95 mm/yr. The April 13 earthquake occurred along a portion of this plate boundary that transitions from thrust to transform tectonics between the New Britain Trench to the northwest and the New Hebrides Trench farther east. The earthquake occurred about 110 km SSE of Kirakira, Solomon Islands.

The April 13 earthquake occurred less than 24 hours and approximately 20 km to the southwest of a M 7.7 strike-slip earthquake on April 12, 2014. While the April 12 strike-slip earthquake likely represented Australia:Pacific plate boundary faulting, the April 13 earthquake is located south of the plate boundary at a depth of approximately 35 km, and as such may represent tearing of the Australia plate to accommodate the abrupt change in Australian plate interaction with the Pacific plate (subduction to the north and west; left-lateral translation to the east).

The region of the April 12 earthquake is very seismically active, with 28 earthquakes of M6+ occurring within 100 km and 62 events of M7+ within 500 km since 1900. The majority of these earthquakes are grouped to the northwest around the Solomon Islands and to the east near Vanuatu and the Santa Cruz Islands. Notable earthquake within 100 km include a doublet of M7.0 events in November 1978, events of M7.1 in 1931 and 1937, and an M7.2 in 1910. The most recent local event prior to the April 12 earthquake was an M6.0 on April 4, 2014 94 km to the NW. The April 12 earthquake also occurred about 950 km to the SE of an earthquake sequence south of Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea that began with an M6.1 on April 11, 2014. On February 6, 2013, an M8.0 struck offshore of the Santa Cruz Islands about 340 km east of the April 12 event. The 2013 earthquake triggered a regional tsunami of about 1.5 m and was followed by aftershocks of M7.0 and two of M7.1.

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate.
The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (>120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet". - USGS.

EXTREME WEATHER: Massive Wildfires Engulfs Chile - 8 Killed; Over 3,000 People Homeless; Covers Over 2.5 MILLION SQUARE METERS; "Worst Disaster Ever Seen," State Of Emergency Declared! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

April 13, 2014 - CHILE - A wildfire in Chile has destroyed over 500 homes in six hours and continues to sweep the area, with strong winds fanning the flames. A state of emergency has been declared by the country’s president in an effort to help the army battle the fires.

View of houses in flames during a fire in Valparaiso, 110 km west of Santiago, Chile, on April 12, 2014.
(AFP Photo/Alberto Miranda)

Smoke from a forest fire is seen in Valparaiso city, northwest of Santiago, April 12, 2014. (Reuters/Cesar Pincheira)

At least eight people have been killed in the fire that swept more than 2.5 million square meters (660 acres), according to Chile's National Emergency Office (ONEMI).

Flames are blazing in the urban area that is only 80 kilometers from the country’s capital, Santiago, while strong winds are drives the flames on to the cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, situated on the Pacific Coast.

"This is the worst disaster I've seen in Valparaiso," La Prensa reported Ricardo Bravo, the local mayor, as saying.

 WATCH: Visuals of the massive fire in Chile.


"Now we fear that the fire could spread to the city center, which would increase the seriousness of this terrible emergency," Bravo said.

Firefighters from seven provinces, some of them in helicopters, are trying to battle the blaze.

A state of emergency has been declared by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, giving armed forces authorization to help firefighters tackle the fire.

More than 3,000 residents have been evacuated, according to La Prensa.

A firefighter works near houses on fire in Valparaiso, 110 km west of Santiago, Chile, on April 12, 2014.
(AFP Photo/Felipe Gamboa)

A firefighter stands next to burnig houses during a fire in Valparaiso, 110 km west of Santiago,
Chile, on April 12, 2014. (AFP Photo/Felipe Gamboa)

A local stares at houses in flames during a fire in Valparaiso, 110 km west of Santiago, Chile, on
April 12, 2014. (AFP Photo/Felipe Gamboa)

View of burning houses during a fire in Valparaiso, 110 km west of Santiago, Chile, on April 12, 2014.
(AFP Photo/Felipe Gamboa)

The fire, the cause of which is still under investigation, led to the suspension of drinking water and power outages in several neighborhoods of Valparaiso, to about 270,000 inhabitants.

Last February, 1,200 people were affected and 105 houses destroyed in Valparaiso in a fire reportedly caused by a 27-year-old man, who was arrested by police. - RT.

AGE OF OBAMA: Societal Collapse, Federal Overreach, Civil Unrest And Precursors To The End Of The U.S. Corporation - Nevada Rancher And Armed Militias Win Historic Standoff With Feds, Government Returns Cattle! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

April 13, 2014 - NEVADA, UNITED STATES - The tense stand-off between hundreds of protesters and police has ended in the Nevada desert, forcing the authorities to cancel the round-up of 300 animals and to return the cattle to their owner.


The standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and the US Bureau of Land Management has lasted over a week, after hundreds of armed agents with the United States Bureau of Land Management and the FBI turned up in the Clark County to execute the court-ordered confiscation of nearly 1,000 cattle. The US government says the animals have trespassed on federal property.

This provoked a fierce backlash from anti-government groups, right-wing politicians and gun-rights activists, who gathered near 67-year-old Cliven Bundy’s farmhouse to support him in the standoff against the government.

At the height of the protests, there were about 1,000 protesters outside the rancher’s home. Among them were militia members from California, Idaho and other US states, camouflaged, with rifles and side arms.

Despite the fact that Bureau of Land Management officials agreed to cease their operation to seize Bundy’s cattle
after a massive public backlash, Bundy demanded that Sheriff Douglas Gillespie disarm
BLM officials and return his stolen cows.

"If we don't show up everywhere, there is no reason to show up anywhere," one of the camouflaged men said, holding an AR-15 rifle. "I'm ready to pull the trigger if fired upon," Scott said.

In an interview before the bureau's announcement, Bundy stated that he was impressed by the level of support he had received. Local cowboys even attempted to retrieve some of his cattle, after the government’s agents wrangled one-third of his cattle Monday.

"I'm excited that we are really fighting for our freedom. We've been losing it for a long time," Bundy said.

WATCH: Historic - Feds Forced to Surrender to American Citizens.

The government declared they had decided to free the cattle.

"Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public," the bureau's director, Neil Kornze, said in a statement.

The crowd and the rancher’s family met the news with applause and relief.

"This is what I prayed for," Margaret Houston, one of Bundy's sisters, told Reuters on Saturday. "We are so proud of the American people for being here with us and standing with us."

Despite threats such as “one more step and you’re dead,” the protesters continued
their slow march towards BLM agents as bullhorns blared.

One of the rancher’s sons, Ammon Bundy, supported his aunt, saying: “We won the battle.”

The dispute between Bundy and federal authorities actually began in 1993 when he stopped paying monthly fees of about $1.35 per cow-calf pair to graze public lands. Plus, the government argues that Bundy has ignored cancelation of his grazing leases and defied federal court orders to remove his cattle.

The authorities said that Bundy still owes taxpayers more than $1 million, and that the government would work to resolve the matter administratively, through the court system.

Several US senators and the state of Nevada this week criticized what has been called the result of an “overreaching” agency acting overzealously, especially after a no-fly zone was enacted for a 3-square-mile area around Bundy's ranch. - RT.

PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Violence Erupts In Italy As Thousands March In Rome Against Austerity - At Least 80 People Injured As Protesters And Police Battle In The Streets! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

April 13, 2014 - ITALY - At least 80 people – both police and protesters – have been injured as street battles broke out in Rome, with rocks being flung and police deploying pepper spray. Thousands took to the street to march against austerity measures.

Anti riots policemen clash with protesters as thousands of people demonstrate against Italian government
and austerity measures on April, 2014 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Blasts and sirens could be heard as a splinter group of masked protesters launched firecrackers, eggs and rocks at police, who defended themselves with shields. One protester had his hand blown off by a firecracker he was yet to throw. At least six people were arrested, police said.

The march started at roughly 14:00 from Porta Pia, with the crowd stating they were protesting in favor of affordable housing and plans for new labor regulations which would make firing and hiring easier.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is in the process of making mass economic reforms. Youth unemployment has risen to well over 40 percent.

A demonstrator is detained by policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014.
(Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

A demonstrator is detained by policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014.
(Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

“Renzi's labour reforms will worsen the situation for workers without job security, hitting young people when they are already struggling. The rage of the people in the squares today is justified,” a 23 year old graduate from Modena named Federico Bicerni told Reuters.

Italy is still suffering from the effects of austerity measures, budget cuts and mass unemployment.

The Rome-based national statistics office, ISTAT announced at the beginning of April that Italy's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate spiked at 13.0 percent in February, rising from 12.9 percent in January - making it the highest level since records started being kept in 1977.

Demonstrators fight with policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014.
(Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

A demonstrator throws a stone at policemen during a protest in downtown Rome April 12, 2014.
(Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

Policemen take shelter from bottles and flares thrown by demonstrators during a protest in
downtown Rome April 12, 2014. (Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi)

“Unemployment levels are very high. For the time being people can survive thanks to family support…but this is very thin amount of reserves that families can spend to support their family members. At one point in time this could end and people will just be without anything. No job, no house, and no prospective retirement benefits,” Political Analyst Paolo Raffone told RT.

“Austerity measures as such are extremely painful if they are not followed by some measures to support people,” he said.

WATCH: Mass rally against austerity turns violent in Rome.


Tens of thousands also marched in France simultaneously. Police stated that some 25,000 joined the protest, while social media estimates placed the figure closer to 100,000.

Protesters in Paris waved banners declaring that “When you are leftist you support employees,” in criticism of Hollande’s business-friendly reforms which are seemingly abandoning the ideals of the left. - RT.