No Image

Major quake jolts Chile resort region; 21,000 homes lose power

Sun, 2016-12-25

SANTIAGO, Chile: A 7.6 magnitude earthquake jolted southern Chile on Sunday, prompting thousands to evacuate coastal areas, but no fatalities or major damage were reported in the tourism and salmon farming region.
Chile’s National Emergency Office (ONEMI) lifted both the evacuation order and a tsunami watch three hours after the Christmas Day quake struck, telling nearly 5,000 people who had evacuated they could return to their homes.
Onemi said one bridge in the area was impassible as crews worked to restore electricity to 21,000 homes without power.
Officials had issued a tsunami warning earlier for areas within 1,000 km (621 miles) of the epicenter, just 39 km (24.5 miles) southwest of Puerto Quellon, off the coast. But the warning was downgraded to a tsunami watch. Eight mostly small ports in the area were closed, Chile’s Navy said.
The quake was felt on the other side of the Andes mountains in Argentina, in the southwestern city of Bariloche, but structural damage in areas close to the epicenter was limited, witnesses said.
The quake’s depth was about 34.6 km (21.5 miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
“There was a lot, a lot of movement here, but besides that nothing of note, there weren’t houses falling,” said Alamiro Vera, owner of the Cabanas Hotel in the southern Chile fishing town of Quellon. “It was just scary, and some things inside fell.”
A Reuters witness said some roads and at least one bridge were damaged in Quellon, located on Chiloe Island, a tourist destination in Chile’s Los Lagos region.

‘Biggest scare of our lives’
The quake disrupted Christmas plans for thousands of people who fled their homes on foot, in cars and on horseback, seeking higher ground amid torrential rains as sirens warned about the potential tsunami.
Quellon resident Denisse Alvarado was preparing to travel to the countryside to celebrate Christmas with friends when she felt the quake and ran out of her home.
“All of a sudden it shook and shook and shook,” Alvarado, 46, told Reuters. “I thought the house would fall and the ground would open because it was very strong and very loud.”
“It was the biggest scare of our lives,” she added.
Though there were dozens of weaker aftershocks, damage was concentrated along a highway that runs across Chiloe Island, where traffic was shut down in one section and on smaller roads and bridges.
Local television showed damage to some homes, especially in Quellon and surrounding areas.

Salmon zone
The area hit by Sunday’s quake was south of Valdivia, Chile, where 1,655 people died in a 1960 quake ranked by the USGS as the most powerful recorded in Chile.
The region is home to several industrial salmon farms. An official with Chile’s National Fish and Aquaculture Service said several companies had evacuated employees and were evaluating their facilities for possible damage.
Fishing and agriculture company Empresas AquaChile SA said its employees in the watch zone had been evacuated and were safe, adding that there was no damage to its facilities.
Several other companies have industrial salmon farming operations in the region, including Blumar SA, Cia Pesquera Camanchaca SA, Australis Seafoods SA, Multiexport Foods SA, Invermar SA, and the local unit of Norway’s Marine Harvest ASA.
Chile is the world’s leading copper producer, but there are no major mines located near the zone affected by the earthquake.
Chile’s state-run oil company ENAP said its Bio Bio refinery in southern Chile was operating normally. The Puerto Montt airport was operating normally, a spokesman said.
Latam Airlines Group SA and Sky Airlines said their southern Chile routes were operating without major delays.
Chile has a long history of deadly quakes, including a 8.8 magnitude quake in 2010 off the south-central coast, which also triggered a tsunami that devastated coastal towns.

Main category: 

No Image

Israeli forces suppress Bethlehem’s ‘Santa Claus march’ with tear gas, rubber bullets

Israeli forces Friday suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation. A number of demonstrators, including five journalists and foreigners, participated in a march near the Israeli checkpoint 300 in the north of Bethlehem, which separates residents from Jerusalem. The march, which includes participants dressing up as Santa Claus close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and occupation are two sides of the same coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the birthplace of Jesus Christ. A reported of the Ma’an news agency witnessed Israeli forces fire rubber-coated steel bullets and tear […]

No Image

Tough road ahead for Saudi Aramco IPO plans

Foreign oil companies, including Aramco, have acquired substantial shares in US refineries and redesigned them to handle heavy, sour crude, versus …The post Tough road ahead for Saudi Aramco IPO plans appeared first on

No Image

Israel besieges Bethlehem villages in search of stabbing suspect

Israeli forces continued to crackdown on Palestinian villages in the southern occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem on Saturday, in search for a man who allegedly stabbed and lightly injured a settler in the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat southwest of Bethlehem Friday night. According to the Israeli army, a Palestinian infiltrated a settler home in Efrat, stabbed an Israeli man, and fled from the scene. According to Israeli media outlet Ynet, the 50-year-old man sustained light injuries in his back and neck. There was a heavy presence of Israeli soldiers in several areas across Bethlehem that continued into Saturday morning, with reports of clashes erupting between Palestinians and Israeli forces overnight Friday. Locals in the village of Wadi Rahhal […]

No Image

Tsunami Warning Issued After 7.7-Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Chile Coast

A 7.7-magnitude quake struck at 9:22am EST at a depth of 33 kilometers some 40 km southwest of Puerto Quellon in southern Chile on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said. 

The quake prompted a tsunami threat message by the Tsunami Warning Center for areas as far as 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the epicenter.

Tsunami Info Stmt: M7.7 in southern Chile
0622PST Dec 25: Tsunami NOT expected; CA,OR,WA,BC,and AK


— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) December 25, 2016

Details to follow.

The post Tsunami Warning Issued After 7.7-Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Chile Coast appeared first on

No Image

In defiance of UN, Israel reportedly set to approve thousands of settler units

Days after the UN Security Council approved a resolution affirming the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and called for their construction to cease, reports emerged that Israel is set to approve thousands of new settler units in occupied East Jerusalem. The Local Planning and Building Committee of the Jerusalem municipality is expected to approve some 5,600 housing units in East Jerusalem for illegal settlements, the Hebrew version of daily newspaper Israel Hayom reported Sunday morning. According to Israel Hayom, the move came as a direct response to the UNSC resolution 2334, that passed with unanimous approval from 14 council members, while the US abstained from voting. On Friday, in was reported that in revenge for the […]

No Image

Dabkeh dance gives Christmas a Palestinian flavour

Also Read: A Palestinian Christmas – the Church of Nativity, West Bank A Palestinian Christmas – Gaza Mahmoud Abbas: Christmas is ‘a Palestinian call for hope and justice’ Israeli rabbis launch war on Christmas tree

No Image

Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmers in Gaza

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmlands east of Khan Yunis in the southern besieged Gaza Strip Sunday morning as farmers attempted to tend to their land, witnesses told Ma’an news agency. According to the witnesses, Israeli soldiers stationed in watchtowers near the border fence east of the town of Khuzaa fired gunshots while Palestinian farmers were trying to reach their lands. No injuries were reported. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an in response to a request for comment that after “suspects reached the border area with Israel, forces fired warning shots into the air and the suspects left the area.” Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and […]

No Image

Mahmoud Abbas: Christmas is ‘a Palestinian call for hope and justice’

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Saturday evening to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, along with a number of ministers, lawmakers and mayors of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahour, were present at an official reception held at the presidential residency in Bethlehem near the al-Duheisha refugee camp. Abbas and his escorts were expected to parade to the Nativity Church later in the night to attend Christmas celebration and the midnight mass. PHOTOS: A Palestinian Christmas – the Church of Nativity, West Bank On Friday, Abbas released a Christmas message to the public, saying that Despite the Israeli occupation, our presence in our homeland […]