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February 28, 2010

Somali opposition group al-Shabaab to block WFP food aid

Somali opposition group al-Shabaab to block WFP food aid

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

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Al-Shabaab, the Somali opposition group, has said it will stop food operations by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) in the country, accusing the agency of being politically motivated and disadvantaging local farmers.

File:WFPlogo130.svg
World Food Programme logo
Image: United Nations.

Al-Shabaab said that the agency was ruining local farming, as the quantity of the food aid didn’t allow farmers to sell their goods at reasonable prices.

A statement from the group read that “[g]iven the problems caused by the food WFP distributed, the movement of Shabab Al-Mujahideen banned the operations of the agency in Somalia generally starting from today. The contractors working with WFP must avoid collaborating […] anyone working with the agency will be seen serving the interest of WFP.”

The WFP, meanwhile, says that armed members of al-Shabaab have blocked off food aid to refugee camps in the city of Afgoye.

Peter Smerdon commented on the move to the BBC, saying: “The WFP is extremely concerned about the health of the displaced families who rely on humanitarian assistance reaching them. The people in Afgoye last received a general food distribution from WFP in November 2009, so we fear that they are going very hungry.”

“We fear they are suffering even more because food assistance cannot reach them, and some of them may be forced to leave Afgoye as conditions in the camp deteriorate,” he added. A statement released by the WFP claims that its motivations in Somalia were “impartial and non political”. On the agency’s official website, the WFP describes Somalia as being “one of the most dangerous places in the world”, and having “the highest humanitarian need for the size of its population”.

The official Somali government does not control much of the country outside of the capital Mogadishu; many areas in southern Somalia are controlled by al-Shabaab.

Related news

  • “U.N. pulls out of southern Somalia” — Wikinews, January 8, 2010



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7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes off Japanese coast

Filed under: Asia,Earthquakes,Japan — admin @ 5:00 am

7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes off Japanese coast

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

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Epicenter of the earthquake.
Image: USGS.

Map of the impact of the earthquake
Image: USGS.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 Mw struck the Ryukyu Islands, off the coast of Japan on Friday morning at 5:31am (20:31 UTC). A tsunami warning had been put in place. The precaution was cancelled later. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no “destructive threat” from the tsunami. At its center, the depth of the earthquake had been measured at ten kilometers (6.2 miles).

At 5:57am local time (20:57 UTC), the Japan Meteorological Agency recorded a ten centimetre (four inch) tsunami Nanjō, Okinawa. Initially the agency had predicted that the depth of the tsunami would be three feet (one metre). There were no reports of damage, although, according to the Agency, “there may be slight sea level changes from now on.”

The islands were advised to evacuate from the seashore were Okinawa Islands, Amami Islands and Tokara Islands. Ivan Brackin, a resident of Yoron Island, described his experience of the earthquake. “I woke up to violent shudders that lasted about six seconds then a pause followed by a couple of sharp jumps,” he stated. “Jumpers are the most dangerous so that sent me under the desk.”



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February 27, 2010

Snow-laden branch kills man in Central Park

Snow-laden branch kills man in Central Park

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

New York
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Central Park during the winter.
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A snow-laden tree branch killed a man on Literary Walk in Central Park in Manhattan on Thursday. The body was later identified as Elmaz Qyra, a middle-aged resident of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Qyra was found by a passerby around 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 UTC), and was pronounced dead by authorities at the scene.

One witness, who would not release his name, said, “It was obviously a direct hit to his head. There was this big pool of blood spreading through the snow. It was horrifying.”

Qyra’s shift at The New York Athletic Club (NYAC) had likely just ended. “It happened at the time he finished working. He might have been trying to get home.” said Gaz Bharmi, Qyra’s brother-in-law. “The breaking of the branch and the other fallen trees were likely caused by the accumulation of wet, unusually heavy snow,” the New York Parks Department said in a statement.

Qyra, an immigrant from Albania, came to New York with his family ten years ago in order provide them with a better life. Qyra “loved” Central Park, and would regularly have his teenage children meet him there after finishing his health club shift. “He goes there every summer with the kids to take picture and have hot dogs,” Bharmi remarked. Cesar Zuzunaga, Qyra’s NYAC supervisor said, “He was always talking about his family, and he was family to us here.”

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday.



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Pacific Rim braces for tsunami following major Chilean earthquake

Filed under: 2010 Chile earthquake,Chile,Hawaii,Oceania,South America — admin @ 5:00 am

Pacific Rim braces for tsunami following major Chilean earthquake

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

At 06:34 UTC today, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile, triggering a tsunami in the Pacific Ocean. The tsunami has already hit the French Polynesia islands, with waves reaching two metres (six feet) high damaging to the coast. In Fiji Japanese officials expect waves 2.3 metres (7.5 feet high). Australia and New Zealand are expected to receive waves of one metre (three feet) which are expected to hit within 24 hours of the earthquake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that there may be “widespread damage” from the waves, saying that “authorities should take appropriate action in response to this threat.”

In a special report, Wikinews looks at how different parts of the world have been affected by the disaster.

North American west coast and Hawaii

Hawaii is expecting to receive waves reaching 2.5 meters (8 feet) high. A warning went into effect at 6AM local time – 5 hours before the expected arrival of the Tsunami; Hawaiian Governor Linda Lingle declared a state of emergency. At present, there are confirmed reports from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center of waves hitting the islands’ eastern coasts.

Cquote1.svg Get off the shoreline. We are closing all the beaches and telling people to drive out of the area Cquote2.svg

—Hawaiian civil defence spokesman John Cummings

Additionally, the western coast of the United States – extending from California to portions of Alaska – is under a tsunami advisory.

The civil defence spokesman for the Hawaiian island of Oahu, John Cummings, encouraged people to “get off the shoreline. We are closing all the beaches and telling people to drive out of the area.”

Pacific Islands

The tsunami hit the Gambier archipelago at approximately 6:30 am local time. The Marquesas islands were hit about an hour later. Reports from the islands indicate that there was no significant damage or casualties yet. The islands followed the tsunami alert plans put in place following the major 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

New Zealand

In a statement, the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management commented, “[the] current assessment is for a non-destructive tsunami for New Zealand with wave heights at the shore of between 0.2 and one metre [three feet]. The first wave may arrive later and may not be the largest. Waves may continue for several hours.”

The centre, which also confirmed the initial Chile earthquake, also added that “sea-level readings confirm that a tsunami has been generated which could cause widespread damage. “Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this threat.”

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The government noted that the waves were not predicted to have destructive force. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the first waves would not hit the country’s shores until fifteen hours after the initial quake.

“Stay away from the beaches. Don’t go out on the water and if you are already out on the water up anchor and head to deeper water at least half a mile off shore,” warned Coastguard Northern Region duty officer John Cowan.

Meanwhile, the Marsden Point oil refinery, the only refinery in New Zealand, put all of its operations on hold as they were waiting for further information about the strength of the expected tsunami, according to production controller Ted Rye.

“We’ve just had a report from a trader fishing boat out at the Hen and Chick islands, about 10 kilometres off the coast, and they have noticed quite a significant surge,” he remarked.

New Zealand Civil Defence Minister John Carter also appealed for residents to heed officials’ warnings and stay away from shorelines throughout the day.

Australia

The east coast of Australia was placed under a tsunami alert; the impact expected in Sydney from 8:45am local time, Sunday there, and along other parts of the New South Wales coast. Areas in Tasmania potentially affected by the quake would be under tsunami alert until 7:45am local time.

“Boats in harbors, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront. Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further advised,” read a warning by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Center. “[…] Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first wave not always the largest.”

The centre noted that among the areas with a “potential tsunami threat” include New South Wales state, Queensland state, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. However, it also added that the bays and harbours of Sydney would not likely be affected by waves.

Media gallery

Please click an image to enlarge it and see more info.
Map highlighting coasts and countries that have tsunami alerts as a result of the quake

Map highlighting coasts and countries that have tsunami alerts as a result of the quake

Graphic representation of the southeastern Pacific tectonic plates near Chile which cause earthquakes in that region.

Graphic representation of the southeastern Pacific tectonic plates near Chile which cause earthquakes in that region.

US president Barack Obama being briefed about the earthquake

US president Barack Obama being briefed about the earthquake

Estimated time needed for tsunami waves to reach certain points of the Pacific Ocean

Estimated time needed for tsunami waves to reach certain points of the Pacific Ocean

Map of earthquake with star locating epicenter

Map of earthquake with star locating epicenter

Map of Chile from CIA World Factbook with the epicenter of 2010 Chile earthquake marked

Map of Chile from CIA World Factbook with the epicenter of 2010 Chile earthquake marked

Preliminary forecast model energy map of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami

Preliminary forecast model energy map of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami

Map of Chile with the epicentrer location of the earthquake

Map of Chile with the epicentrer location of the earthquake



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Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2010 Chile earthquake
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Libya\’s Gaddafi calls for holy war on Switzerland

Libya’s Gaddafi calls for holy war on Switzerland

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

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Gaddafi by Agência Brasil.
Image: Antônio Milena.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has called for Muslims to declare jihad against Switzerland, citing the recent Swiss ban on the construction of new minarets at mosques. Libya and Switzerland have been in a diplomatic dispute since the Swiss arrested one of Gaddafi’s sons in 2008. Gaddafi now states he would invade if the two shared a common border.

Yesterday, the Colonel addressed a gathering in Benghazi to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. During the speech, which The New York Times described as ‘rambling,’ he said that “[t]hose who destroy God’s mosques deserve to be attacked through Jihad, and if Switzerland was on our borders, we would fight it.” He called on Muslim nations to reject entry from Swiss ships and aircraft, and asked Muslims to boycott goods from Switzerland.

Libya has already recalled its diplomats and withdrawn its money from Switzerland. Oil shipments were disrupted, and two Swiss nationals were prevented from leaving Libya. One was released earlier this week after being detained for nineteen months, and the other remains in a Libyan jail, serving a four-month ‘reduced’ sentence. All these measures followed the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife under suspicion of assaulting their servants.

In response to a recent Swiss implementation of travel restrictions on Gaddafi and his relatives, Libya barred most of Europe from entering (totaling 25 countries). Last November, the Swiss voted to amend the constitution to prevent the construction of new minarets. This was the reasoning Gaddafi presented for his latest comments.

Spain and Italy have been attempting to mediate the dispute since the barring of European entry to Libya. The European Union has been “working closely with Switzerland to reach a diplomatic solution,” and says the timing of Gaddifi’s proclamation is “unfortunate.” France and the United Nations said Gaddafi’s words were unacceptable.

Gaddafi, who has a harem of young female bodyguards and a reputation for outlandish eccentricity, has been met with negative reactions from Muslims in Switzerland. “In my opinion, this is a purely political matter between Libya and Switzerland, and has nothing to do with Islam or with Muslims,” said the head of the mosque in Geneva. Yasar Ozdemir of the Swiss Federation of Muslim Associations said he was unsurprised by Gaddafi’s “nonsense.”



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Inquest held after air rifle shot kills 10-year-old boy in Swansea, Wales

Inquest held after air rifle shot kills 10-year-old boy in Swansea, Wales

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cymru / Wales
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An inquest was held this week after a 10-year-old boy died after being shot with an air rifle in Swansea, Wales. On September 27, 2009, Rhys Johnson and his friend, aged 12, took, without permission, an air gun which belonged to Rhys’ father. The two boys played with it near to the location of the Johnson house in the district of Llansamlet. They were unsupervised when they were shooting the gun at a bucket that was hanging in a tree and a tin can that was placed on a box.

The friend, who has remained anonymous, shot Rhys Johnson in the heart with the .22 caliber Webley Vulcan air gun at close range. Johnson died in a hospital at 0211 BST the next day from said wound. Philip Rogers, a coroner from Swansea, recorded the verdict as an accidental death. He was told that the friend had no intention of shooting Johnson. Therefore, no legal action has been taken against Johnson’s friend accordingly.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Morgan of South Wales Police said that “Rhys was standing to his left calling [his friend] and laughing. The boy held the rifle at the butt in his right arm with his finger on the trigger. As he turned he felt the gun to be heavy. As it fell away he pulled it towards him and accidentally fired the trigger. Rhys was holding himself to the chest—he thought he was joking then he thought he’s shot Rhys in the hand. He saw no blood and Rhys ran to the house.” The detective stated that the friend “was crying and apologizing for what happened.”

Rhys Johnson’s father, David, age 36, an engineer in a workshop and the owner of the air rifle testified, “I would allow him to use it if he was with me when I was up the garden or we were spending time together. Rhys would have shown interest in it from when he was about eight-years-old.” The coroner urged “anyone with children to try and ensure that such weapons are not used without parental supervision,” going on to say that he was “sure Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were not aware the children were using the weapon unsupervised.”


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Chile\’s President-elect\’s battle with delinquency becomes personal

Filed under: Chile — admin @ 5:00 am

Chile’s President-elect’s battle with delinquency becomes personal

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

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The President-elect visited his colleague after the incident

Late on Thursday, at approximately 21:20 local time, the home of Cristián Larroulet, the nominated Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency under President-elect Sebastián Piñera of Chile, was burglarized while his wife and son were home alone. Two suspects physically assaulted them, before making off with valuables.

Future Ministry Larroulet lives in the Santiago commune of Las Condes. Two subjects, presumed to be teenage delinquents, were surprised to find Larroulet’s wife, María Isabel Philippi, and son, Matías (aged twenty), on the premises. The two suspects, who used metal beams as weapons, proceeded to tie up their two victims with shoe laces, and assault them. Within ten minutes the suspects, whom the Chilean media describes as “anti-socials”, rampaged the home, leaving with jewelry, electronics including a laptop and an iPod, and other items.

Piñera arrived at the home at 00:10 hours on Friday in solidarity and support of Larroulet and his family. Both the identity and whereabouts of the two suspects is unknown at this time. The Chilean Carabineros (the uniformed national police) of the OS-9 force will continue with a full investigation. Larroulet stated on Friday morning that both his wife and son are in good condition following what he described as a “very raw experience.”

In the 1990’s, Chile’s crime rate was below that of the United States. In the past decade, however, Chileans have experienced an increase in violent burglary crimes, which are currently rated as moderate to high. One of Piñera’s main campaign promises was to combat crime in Chile, having posted billboards throughout the country reading, “Delinquents, your party is over.” Larroulet has criticized the politics directing citizen security under the current government party, the Concertación, stating, “I have no doubt that those governing the Concertación are missing a clearer political determination for combating delinquency,” adding “the importance is in condemning these acts and voice that combating delinquency is a priority for all Chileans.”



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Libya’s Gaddafi calls for holy war on Switzerland

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Other stories from Switzerland
…More articles here
Location of Switzerland

A map showing the location of Switzerland

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Switzerland, see the Switzerland Portal
Flag of Switzerland.svg

Gaddafi by Agência Brasil.
Image: Antônio Milena.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has called for Muslims to declare jihad against Switzerland, citing the recent Swiss ban on the construction of new minarets at mosques. Libya and Switzerland have been in a diplomatic dispute since the Swiss arrested one of Gaddafi’s sons in 2008. Gaddafi now states he would invade if the two shared a common border.

Yesterday, the Colonel addressed a gathering in Benghazi to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. During the speech, which The New York Times described as ‘rambling,’ he said that “[t]hose who destroy God’s mosques deserve to be attacked through Jihad, and if Switzerland was on our borders, we would fight it.” He called on Muslim nations to reject entry from Swiss ships and aircraft, and asked Muslims to boycott goods from Switzerland.

Libya has already recalled its diplomats and withdrawn its money from Switzerland. Oil shipments were disrupted, and two Swiss nationals were prevented from leaving Libya. One was released earlier this week after being detained for nineteen months, and the other remains in a Libyan jail, serving a four-month ‘reduced’ sentence. All these measures followed the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife under suspicion of assaulting their servants.

In response to a recent Swiss implementation of travel restrictions on Gaddafi and his relatives, Libya barred most of Europe from entering (totaling 25 countries). Last November, the Swiss voted to amend the constitution to prevent the construction of new minarets. This was the reasoning Gaddafi presented for his latest comments.

Spain and Italy have been attempting to mediate the dispute since the barring of European entry to Libya. The European Union has been “working closely with Switzerland to reach a diplomatic solution,” and says the timing of Gaddifi’s proclamation is “unfortunate.” France and the United Nations said Gaddafi’s words were unacceptable.

Gaddafi, who has a harem of young female bodyguards and a reputation for outlandish eccentricity, has been met with negative reactions from Muslims in Switzerland. “In my opinion, this is a purely political matter between Libya and Switzerland, and has nothing to do with Islam or with Muslims,” said the head of the mosque in Geneva. Yasar Ozdemir of the Swiss Federation of Muslim Associations said he was unsurprised by Gaddafi’s “nonsense.”



Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

8.8 magnitude earthquake hits Chile; tsunami warnings issued throughout Pacific rim

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Chile on Saturday, killing at least 147 people and causing significant structural damage. Sea level recording triggered a tsunami warning for Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. This was later extended to Colombia, Antarctica, and Central America. The earthquake was felt in Chillan, Talca, Concepcion, and the capital Santiago.

The earthquake, which started at 06.34.14 UTC, was felt as far as Argentina. The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for Australia in the wake of the quake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has announced that a tsunami warning is in effect, and that the wave will be arriving at Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica a few minutes after 13.00 UTC. It has also issued a warning for Hawaii, where the tsunami, estimated to be sixteen feet high, will hit at approximately 11:05 A.M. local time (09.00 UTC).

This earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The two plates are converging at a rate of 80 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as the Nazca plate moved down and below the South American plate.

Map of earthquake with star locating epicenter. Image: USGS.

Map of earthquake with star locating epicenter.
Image: USGS.

The plates involved are the Nazca and South American plates Image: USGS.

The plates involved are the Nazca and South American plates
Image: USGS.

Map of Chile from CIA World Factbook with the epicenter of 2010 Chile earthquake marked. Image: CIA World Factbook.

Map of Chile from CIA World Factbook with the epicenter of 2010 Chile earthquake marked.
Image: CIA World Factbook.

Preliminary forecast model energy map of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami. Image: NOAA.

Preliminary forecast model energy map of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami.
Image: NOAA.

Map of Chile with the epicentrer location of the earthquake Image: USGS.

Map of Chile with the epicentrer location of the earthquake
Image: USGS.

Travel time projection of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami. Image: NOAA.

Travel time projection of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami.
Image: NOAA.



Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
  • “Magnitude 8.8 – OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE” – USCS, February 27, 2010
  • “Huge earthquake hits Chile, 17 reported dead” – Reuters, February 27, 2010
  • Colin Freeman “Massive earthquake hits Chile” – Telegraph, February 27, 2010
  • “Australia on tsunami watch following Chile quake” – The Washington Post, February 27, 2010
  • “Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issues Tsunami warning” – Press Release, February 27, 2010
  • Doina Chiacu “Tsunami threatens Hawaiian islands: U.S. agency” – Reuters, February 27, 2010
  • “Death toll in Chile earthquake rises to 122” – RTÉ News, February 27, 2010
  • Alison Chung “Tsunami Warnings After Deadly Chile Quake” – Sky News, February 27, 2010
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

8.8 magnitude earthquake hits Chile

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Chile on Saturday, killing at least 147 people and causing significant structural damage. Sea level recording triggered a tsunami warning for Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. This was later extended to Colombia, Antarctica, and Central America. The earthquake was felt in Chillan, Talca, Concepcion, and the capital Santiago.

The earthquake, which started at 06.34.14 UTC, was felt as far as Argentina. The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for Australia in the wake of the quake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has announced that a tsunami warning is in effect, and that the wave will be arriving at Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica a few minutes after 13.00 UTC. It has also issued a warning for Hawaii, where the tsunami, estimated to be sixteen feet high, will hit at approximately 11:05 A.M. local time (09.00 UTC).

This earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The two plates are converging at a rate of 80 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as the Nazca plate moved down and below the South American plate.

Map of earthquake with star locating epicenter. Image: USGS.

Map of earthquake with star locating epicenter.
Image: USGS.

The plates involved are the Nazca and South American plates Image: USGS.

The plates involved are the Nazca and South American plates
Image: USGS.

Map of Chile from CIA World Factbook with the epicenter of 2010 Chile earthquake marked. Image: CIA World Factbook.

Map of Chile from CIA World Factbook with the epicenter of 2010 Chile earthquake marked.
Image: CIA World Factbook.

Preliminary forecast model energy map of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami. Image: NOAA.

Preliminary forecast model energy map of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami.
Image: NOAA.

Map of Chile with the epicentrer location of the earthquake Image: USGS.

Map of Chile with the epicentrer location of the earthquake
Image: USGS.

Travel time projection of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami. Image: NOAA.

Travel time projection of the 2010 Chile earthquake tsunami.
Image: NOAA.



Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
  • “Magnitude 8.8 – OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE” – USCS, February 27, 2010
  • “Huge earthquake hits Chile, 17 reported dead” – Reuters, February 27, 2010
  • Colin Freeman “Massive earthquake hits Chile” – Telegraph, February 27, 2010
  • “Australia on tsunami watch following Chile quake” – The Washington Post, February 27, 2010
  • “Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issues Tsunami warning” – Press Release, February 27, 2010
  • Doina Chiacu “Tsunami threatens Hawaiian islands: U.S. agency” – Reuters, February 27, 2010
  • “Death toll in Chile earthquake rises to 122” – RTÉ News, February 27, 2010
  • Alison Chung “Tsunami Warnings After Deadly Chile Quake” – Sky News, February 27, 2010
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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