RENO (AP) —
A strong earthquake shook rural northeastern Nevada Thursday, causing at least
one building to collapse and forcing a truck stop to evacuate, authorities said.
magnitude of the quake, initially estimated at 6.3, was later revised to 6.0 by
the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden,
Colo. The quake was centered in a sparsely populated area 11 miles southeast of
Wells near the Nevada-Utah line.
pretty bad," said Jane Kelso, who answered the phone at the Motel 6. "Everything
in our whole building shook. "We have cracks in our walls."
The temblor was felt across eastern Nevada, Utah and as far away as Southern
California. In Twin Falls, Idaho, residents reported severe shaking and items
falling off shelves.
"Definitely a lot of people felt this, and if they were sleeping, they were
awoken," said USGS geophysicist Carrieann Bedwell.
Elko County Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said there were reports of some damage
to buildings. At least one building collapsed, he said, and a Flying J truck
stop was evacuated because of a propane leak, he said.
There were no immediate reports of serious injuries, but a manager at the truck
stop said the store was a wreck, with groceries and goods scattered. One woman
was reportedly injured when cigarette rack fell on her.
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AP) -- A moderate earthquake toppled several
houses Sunday in the Solomon Islands near where a quake and tsunami killed 52
people earlier this month, an official said.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 5.4 quake struck
mid-afternoon local time, 25 miles southeast of the region's main town of Gizo
and 6 miles beneath the earth's crust. The quake was too small to pose a tsunami
Provincial government member Danny Kennedy said there were reports of houses
being toppled on the island of Mono in the western Solomons, but he said Gizo
appeared to have suffered little damage. There were no reports of casualties.
''It certainly shook us quite a lot,'' Kennedy said.
A magnitude 8.1 quake and tsunami on April 2 killed 52 people, including 33 on
FOLKESTONE (Reuters) - Southeast England was hit by a small earthquake on
Saturday that brought down power lines and caused some structural damage.
Kent Police said they were working closely with emergency services in the
coastal town of Folkestone -- the area worst hit by the tremor -- in dealing
with more than 100 emergency calls. But there were no reports of serious
"Sussex police's helicopter is helping us with a view of the area, while the
Kent police marine unit is out as well," said a Kent police spokeswoman.
Experts gave differing estimates of the earthquake's strength with the U.S.
Geological Survey measuring the tremor's magnitude at 4.7 on the Richter scale
while the British Geological Survey put it at 4.3.
"It's similar to ones in 1950 and 1776," said Dr Roger Musson of the British
Geological Survey (BGS). "We're quite fortunate that it's as small as it is."
The earthquake brought down power lines with several thousand homes affected,
but EDF Energy Networks said service had been quickly restored to customers in
the Folkestone and Dover areas.
After the earthquake, local residents called television stations to report
feeling the ground shake, cracks appearing in homes and chimneys being brought
"It woke me. It felt like an explosion and my bedroom started shaking backwards
and forwards. It was a violent, violent rattle," Alison Reiney told Sky News
Witness Lorraine Muir said chimneys had come down, gas and electricity supplies
were off and people were being evacuated from their homes by the Salvation Army.
"We've been evacuated ... we've got no gas or electricity at the moment. It's
chaos up here," she said.
The earthquake had no effect on international travel services with Eurotunnel,
which runs cross-channel rail services to France from its terminal near
Folkestone on the English coast, running normally.
A spokesman at Dover, one of the busiest ferry ports in Europe, also said it was
operating normally. "There has been no impact on ferries or on checking in," he
The tremor, which struck at 0718 GMT, was the largest British earthquake since
the one that hit Dudley in the West Midlands in 2002.
HONOLULU, Oct. 15 — A strong earthquake struck the Hawaiian Islands early
Sunday, shaking residents and tourists from their sleep, knocking out electrical
power to several areas and setting off a landslide that rained boulders and
other debris on the major highway of the largest island.
The United States Geological Survey said that the main quake had a preliminary
magnitude of 6.6 and that there had been at least a dozen aftershocks, including
one that measured 5.8. Officials said the quake was the largest to hit Hawaii
since one of magnitude 6.7 in 1983.
Gov. Linda Lingle issued a disaster declaration Sunday afternoon and activated
the National Guard, which happened to be conducting a statewide drill this
weekend. The governor ordered her cabinet to convene at the headquarters of the
Hawaii State Department of Civil Defense, which is in Diamond Head crater in
Honolulu, the state capital, on the island of Oahu.
There were no reports of deaths, but there were scores of unconfirmed reports of
injuries. Kona Community Hospital had significant damage, and patients were
moved to a hotel, officials said.
The lack of electricity hampered communications, and officials could not say
exactly how severe the damage was or what the extent of injuries was. The
governor urged people to go to work on Monday as usual.
The quake, centered just off the northwest shore of the Island of Hawaii,
occurred at 7:07 a.m. local time, officials said. That side of the island
contains Kohala, a popular resort area.
The quake and its aftershocks set off fears of a tsunami. But the Pacific
Tsunami Warning Center issued a report saying that “no tsunami is expected”
because the quake was too deep and that its magnitude was below the tsunami
trigger point of 6.9.
Kawaihae Harbor, near the epicenter, was closed because of damage to buildings
and a fuel line.
Power was knocked out for hours in many areas, but by midafternoon, it had been
restored to Hilo on the Island of Hawaii and to parts of Maui.
Leonid Citer, 50, a photographer from Wayne, N.J., said in a telephone interview
that he was on his way to photograph a wedding in Kona when the quake hit. Mr.
Citer said he pulled to the side of the road when he felt the shock and debris
began to rain down.
“There are rocks and fruit all over the road,” he said. “There are police and
firemen at all the major intersections, and they were instructing people to go
up as high as they can, elevation-wise, and they are advising them to stay away
from the shore.”
Emergency management officials also urged residents and others to stay put if
they could, to keep roadways open for emergency vehicles.
Beth Chapman, who co-stars with her husband, Duane Chapman, on the A&E cable
reality series “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” said she was at their home in the
Portlock section of Oahu when the quakes hit.
“There were two quakes, one at 7:08 this morning and the second one at 7:12,”
she said in a telephone interview. “I know because the clock stopped when the
second one came.
“I was outside for the second one, and you could hear this strange noise coming
from the ocean,” Ms. Chapman said. “Then the ground shook, and there was a huge
wave in our swimming pool.”
Airports across the islands switched to emergency backup systems, which allowed
inbound flights to land and a few outbound planes to depart. By midday, all
flights out of the airports on Honolulu and Maui were canceled, as were flights
to Hawaii from the United States mainland. At the airports still in operation,
security officials checked luggage manually and agriculture agents used dogs to
sniff packages and luggage because X-ray machines were without power.
Officials asked cruise ships to keep guests on board, and ships scheduled to
make landfall in Hawaii were asked to head to their next location.
“We’re are dealing with a lot of scared people,” Harry Kim, mayor of Hawaii
County, said in a televised interview on KITV.
Governor Lingle was on the Big Island, staying at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, when
the building rattled.
“It shook very strongly and knocked the televisions off the bureaus in the
hotel,” she said in an interview on KSSK Radio, one of the few broadcast outlets
that was not knocked off the air. “TV’s fell, books fell, mirrors fell off the
Insurance experts said that early reports suggested relatively light damage to
homes and businesses and that perhaps the heaviest costs could result from
electric power failures in Honolulu and on other islands.
The insurers offered no immediate estimates on overall economic damage, but
Robert P. Hartwig, chief economist of the Insurance Information Institute, said
payouts for damage from insurance companies for the earthquake probably would be
“very modest,” perhaps under $25 million compared with $1.1 billion for one of
the least costly hurricanes last year, Hurricane Dennis, which hit Florida in
The most costly earthquake in the United States, the Northridge earthquake in
Los Angeles in 1994, cost insurers up to $26 billion in today’s dollars. It
measured 6.7. By comparison, the insurers paid out $41 billion for damage from
Mr. Hartwig said that probably no more than 25 percent of homeowners in Hawaii
and fewer than 50 percent of businesses had special policies that pay for
“Right now, it does not look like there is substantial structural damage or
major fires,” he said. “And it looks like very modest costs to insurers. It
could turn out to be higher if there is considerable damage to foundations and
walls that is not immediately obvious.”
Janis L. Magin reported from Honolulu,
and Maria Newman from New York.
Andrew C. Revkin, Joseph B. Treaster
and David Carr contributed reporting from