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Phuket Gazette World News: Pacific tsunami alert lifted

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Gazette World News: Pacific tsunami alert lifted | Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Tsunami threat lifted after big South Pacific quake
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands earlier today, triggering a small tsunami that swept into isolated island communities and sparked tsunami alerts across the South Pacific that were later cancelled.

Damage reports were limited, and there were no reports of casualties.

The quake struck 340km east of Kira Kira in the Solomons, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii said.

A tsunami measuring 0.9 metres (three feet) hit remote Temotu province in the Solomons following the quake, the Centre said, but it later cancelled warnings for other South Pacific islands, as well as for Australia and New Zealand, as the danger of a major destructive wave passed.

Luke Taula, a fisheries officer in Lata on Santa Cruz Island, which took the brunt of the tsunami, said it arrived in small tidal surges rather than as one large wave.

“We have small waves come in, then go out again, then come back in. The waves have reached the airport terminal,” he told Reuters by telephone.

The worst damage would be to villages on the western side of a point that protects the main township, he said.

“There are no casualties reported so far. But there are reports that some communities have been badly hit, their houses have been damaged by the waves.”

About 5,000 people lived in and around the town, but the area was deserted as people fled to higher ground, Taula said, adding that aftershocks were being felt.

Hot Spot

The Solomons, perched on the geologically active “Pacific Ring of Fire”, were hit by a devastating tsunami following an 8.1 magnitude quake in 2007. At least 50 people were killed then and dozens left missing and more than 13 villages destroyed.

“It’s an area that is very prone to earthquakes,” said Jonathan Bathgate, seismologist at Geoscience Australia. “We’ve had seven 6-plus magnitude earthquakes in this region since January 31, so it has been very active in the past week.”

Initial signs were that the tremor was a thrust quake, in which vertical movement in the continental plates generates higher risk of tsunami, Bathgate added.

Authorities in the Solomons, Fiji, Guam and elsewhere had urged residents to higher ground before the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled its alerts.

“The earthquake would have to be quite a bit bigger to make a much more sizeable tsunami,” said Brian Shiro, geophysicist for the Centre in Hawaii.

“The good news for the folks in the region is that the tsunami appears to be constrained to the areas we’ve listed in our bulletins and it’s not going to be a an oceanwide threat.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Glass bridge in China shatters, tourist hangs on 100 metres above the ground

Tanutam Thawan

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A tourist walking on a glass bridge in China, looking down at the ground 100 metres below, quickly had to cling onto the bridge’s rails after high winds caused some of the panels of the glass-bottom bridge to shatter.

Reports say the wind blew at up to 145 kilometres per hour, damaging the glass bridge and leaving the tourists stuck in the middle. Firefighters and other emergency responders helped guide the tourist to safety.

The bridge was built at a resort at Piyan Mountain in Longjing. The scenic walkway has been popular among tourists. A photo of the tourists trapped on the damaged bridge was shared on the Chinese social media platform Weibo and other social media sites. One Twitter user reacted to the photo saying “This is basically one of my anxiety dreams played out in the real world.”

Glass bridge in China shatters, tourist hangs on 100 metres above the ground | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Daily Mail

 

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Third supsect arrested in bomb attack of Maldives ex-president

Neill Fronde

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Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed survived an assasination attempt May 6. (Via Flickr - Presidency Maldives)

After a bomb attack in the Maldives attempting to assassinate former president Mohamed Nasheed, police have arrested a third suspect. The Manhunt has continued in the Maldivian capital city of Malé as the police appealed to the public for any information they may have about another suspect. Religious extremists have been blamed for the attempt on the former president’s life.

Police did not release any details about the person that they arrested other than to confirm that they believed him to be connected to the bombing attack on Thursday. The bomb had been attached to a motorcycle that was parked near the Maldives ex-president’s car, and the owner of that motorcycle along with the second man was already arrested yesterday.

Mohamed Nasheed was not killed by the bomb detonation as he walked to his car, but he was seriously injured and has been hospitalized since the blast. The explosion injured 3 other people including one British national. The ex-president is now the Maldives parliament speaker and his family has tweeted updates about his condition since the bomb blast. He was moved from requiring life-support to intensive care yesterday after removing shrapnel from the blast in a 16-hour surgery. Doctors say one stray piece just barely missed his heart.

Nasheed had been the first democratically elected president of the Maldives in 2008 after decades of one-party rule. But a military coup in 2012 overthrew the government and ended his presidency. He was widely applauded for his progressive push for democracy and climate activism. The Maldives is a collection of 1,192 coral islands with no mountains, making it the lowest nation on Earth at just 1 metre above sea level on average. Nasheed’s pleas for action become a powerfully effective voice against climate change that could submerge the entire country he led.

Officials from the ex-president’s Maldivian Democratic Party have accused religious extremists of the attack believing that it could be politically motivated. But as of now, no group has claimed responsibility. The Maldives is mostly Muslim and has had problems in the past with an Islamic State recruiter injuring 12 Chinese tourists with a homemade bomb in 2007 and sending local recruits to Syria in 2019.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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World

UPDATE: Chinese rocket debris plunges into Indian Ocean

Thaiger

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PHOTO China's Long March 5B Rocket's debris will be crashing down to earth this weekend. (via CBS)

UPDATE:

10.30am (Thai Time) Trackers have confirmed that the debris has splashed down somewhere west of The Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

9.30am (Thai Time)

The Chinese Long March 5B carrier rocket should land in this area… 72.47°E longitude and 2.65°N latitude, just west of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. That’s according to China’s National Space Agency.

“Most of the rocket was “destroyed” on re-entry to the atmosphere.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

The Long March 5B rocket left the Earth on April 29th, launching from Hainan island in China.

The launch was the first part of an 11 part mission to construct China’s own space station in Earth orbit. The Long March 5B rocket was carrying an unmanned Tianhe module as its payload, the first part of many to be constructed together in space. When attached as part of a permanent Chinese space station, it will serve as living quarters for future astronauts.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson reassured that China is monitoring the rocket’s journey very closely and that most parts of the spacecraft would burn up on re-entry. Any debris looks likely to land in international oceans, and the chances of damage being done on dry land is considered to be extremely low.

The US military announced earlier in the week that the rocket would be tracked by US Space Command, calling it an uncontrolled re-entry. Statistically speaking, the debris is most likely to fall into an ocean somewhere as the Earth is 70% covered by water.

As the rocket tears at hypersonic speed into the Earth’s atmosphere, most debris would be quickly incinerated by the heat generated from the re-entry. But another Chinese Long March 5B rocket fell to Earth last year in May 2020 and some parts did hit land, doing damage to some buildings in the Ivory Coast.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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