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Hundreds dead in Colombia floods & landslides
TRT World

Families and rescuers in Colombia are continuing to search for victims of floods and landslides that have killed at least 254, injured hundreds, and devastated entire neighbourhoods.

Heavy rains caused several rivers to overflow near the southwestern city of Mocoa in the early hours of Saturday, sending water, mud and debris crashing down streets and into houses.

"The children worry us a lot. More than 40 who died have been identified. About 22 or 23 have been admitted to hospitals. One of the problems, which we are keen to resolve as soon as possible, is finding their parents," said President Juan Manuel Santos.

Volunteers and firefighters found 82 bodies downstream in the town of Villagarzon.

But many corpses were still caught in debris, they said.

President blames climate change

Santos said on Sunday the pain would not go away, but ensured it would be possible to bring back hope.

He previously blamed climate change for the disaster, saying Mocoa had received one-third of its usual monthly rain in just one night, causing the rivers to burst their banks.

Disaster officials said more than 500 people were staying in emergency housing and social services had helped 10 lost children find their parents.

Families of the dead will receive about $6,400 in aid and the government will cover hospital and funeral costs.

http://www.trtworld.com/americas/hundreds-dead-in-colombia-floods-landslides-329255


Huge earthquake ROCKS the Philippines sparking tsunami fears
Express UK

A HUGE earthquake has struck just south of the Philippines, sparking tsunami fears.

The earthquake hit the Mindanao island with early reports suggesting buildings have been damaged.

The quake is also expected to cause “hazardous waves” within 186 miles (300km) of the epicentre, according to the Pacific Tsunami Centre.

Indonesia and coastal regions of the Philippines could be affected by the enormous earthquake, as reports claim the tsunami waves could rock the region.

However, the head of the Phillipines seismology agency said no tsunami warning had been issued.

It was measured at a depth of 10km, 68km south of the city of General Santos, the Centre added.

The US Geological Survey initially reported the quake measured 7.2, but later downgraded in to 6.8.

A man who felt the earthquake tremors expressed his horror on Twitter, writing: "That was the strongest earthquake i have ever experienced in my life. Magnitude 7.2."

Janet Bongolan, tourism officer at the Tuka Marine Park in Sarangani province, told Reuters that people came out of their homes and into the streets during the earthquake, but most had returned and there was no sign of panic.

She said: "There's no news here that there will be a tsunami. But we are watching out for aftershocks. We are careful here."

There are also reports that locals in coastal areas saw the waterline receding, prompting fears of an imminent tsunami, before returning to normal.

The Philippines lies on the so-called Ring of Fire, a region in the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

The country, which is made up of more than 7,000 islands, experiences regular earthquakes with several striking the main island of Luzon last month.

Janet Bongolan, tourism officer at the Tuka Marine Park in Sarangani province, said people spilled out of their homes and into the streets during the earthquake, but most had returned and there was no sign of panic.

Ms Bongolan said: "There's no news here that there will be a tsunami. But we are watching out for aftershocks. We are careful here."

Harry Camoro said: "A disaster official in Davao province, said people on the coast saw the waterline receding before retuning to normal. It was strong enough to awaken me and my family."

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/798049/philippines-earthquake-7-2-magnitude-mindanao-ring-of-fire


Chile rocked by 6.9-magnitude quake; no major damage reported
by Rosalba O'Brien

A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck off the west coast of Chile on Monday, rocking the capital Santiago and briefly causing alarm along the Pacific Coast but sparing the quake-prone nation of any serious damage.

The quake was centered about 85 miles (137 km) from Santiago, and some 22 miles (35 km) west of the coastal city of Valparaiso. The U.S. Geological Survey twice revised the magnitude before settling on 6.9, a strength usually capable of causing severe damage.

The epicenter's shallow depth of 15.5 miles (25 km) below the sea allowed it to be felt hundreds of miles (km) away. Santiago office buildings swayed for about 30 seconds at the end of the workday.

Closer to the epicenter, residents scrambled for higher ground, remembering the lessons of the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010.

"It was short but very powerful," said Paloma Salamo, a 26-year-old nurse, who was in a clinic in Viña del Mar, just north of Valparaiso, when the quake struck.

People ran from the facility carrying children and some headed for the hills when the tsunami alarm sounded, she said, but calm was soon restored.

"So far there has been no human loss nor significant damage," President Michelle Bachelet said, praising people for evacuating in an orderly fashion in the immediate aftermath.

Officials canceled a tsunami warning that had been issued in Valparaiso. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported small tsunami waves of half a foot (15 cm).

There were no reports of structural damage in Valparaiso, but cellphone networks were down in some places, a spokesman with the local government said.

FELT BEYOND THE ANDES

Videos from the Valparaiso area showed objects falling from store shelves, rocks falling onto roads and lights flickering. The quake was felt as far away as Argentina, on the other side of the Andes.

Interior Minister Mario Fernandez said there had been some landslides but "in general the situation is pretty normal bearing in mind the quake's intensity."

Strict construction codes in Chile limit damage to buildings.

Copper mining was unaffected, according to Chile's state-run Codelco, one of the largest copper mining companies in the world, and Anglo American, which has copper operations in central Chile.

But interruptions in the electricity supply led the Aconcagua oil refinery to temporarily suspend operations for safety reasons, state-run oil firm ENAP said. There was no damage to either of Chile's two refineries, ENAP said.

Several aftershocks including two of magnitudes 5.0 and 5.4 were recorded in the same spot and could be felt in Santiago, part of a cluster of tremors from that area in recent days.

Chile, located on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire," 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. More than 500 people died.

That was the sixth-largest earthquake ever recorded, according to the USGS. The largest recorded temblor in history was also in Chile, a 9.5-magnitude quake in 1960.

The long, slender country runs along the border of two tectonic plates, with the Nazca Plate beneath the South Pacific Ocean pushing into the South America Plate, a phenomenon that also formed the Andes Mountains.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien, Fabian Cambero, Gram Slattery, Felipe Iturrieta and Jorge Otaola; additional reporting by Sandra Maler in Washington; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by G Crosse and Mary Milliken)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-quake-chile-idUSKBN17Q2BE

 
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