Archive | September 24, 2015

Hajj Stampede: At Least 717 People Die In Mecca Crush

A location map of the hajj crush
At least 717 people have died and hundreds more are injured after a stampede on the edge of Mecca, Saudi authorities say.
 
Civil defence officials said more than 800 were also injured in the crush at Mina, on the outskirts of the Muslim holy city, where some two million people are at the annual pilgrimage, called the Hajj.
 
Some 4,000 rescue workers and 220 ambulances are involved in the emergency operation, officials said.
 
Pictures on social media showed a devastating scene, with dozens of bodies lying among water bottles and crushed wheelchairs.
 
Mina is where pilgrims go to carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against stone walls.
 
Witnesses said the stampede happened on Street 204, one of the main roads leading through the camp set up for pilgrims to get to the three stone walls, known as Jamarat.
 
More than 160,000 tents are set up in the area.
 
A statement from the Saudi embassy in London said: “Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour al-Turki told reporters that the initial investigations of the incident indicated that two pathways, one of which is Street 204, converged at the same time.
 
“The majority of Thursday’s victims descended onto a pathway toward Jamarat during a time that was not allocated to them.”
 
Fadi Itani, the director of Islamic Relief, who is in Mecca for the Hajj, told Sky News: “Since the morning there have been hundreds of ambulances. I’ve never seen something like this before.
 
“I haven’t such a huge number of air ambulances continuously arriving and departing.”
 
The embassy said it was still unclear if any British nationals were among the deceased or injured.
The deaths come on the first day of Eid, traditionally the most hazardous day of the Hajj because so many people are trying to perform rituals at the same time.
 
It also comes less than two weeks after a giant crane crashed down on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the site which is the focal point for the pilgrimage.
 
At least 111 people died then and more than 390 were injured.
 
The last time so many people died at the Hajj was in 2006 when at least 346 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in the same area. This disaster was the worst since July 1990 when around 1,400 pilgrims suffocated in a tunnel near Mecca. 
 
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered a review of the country’s plan for the Hajj and said he wanted a swift investigation into what had happened. 
 
It is seen as a religious duty for able-bodied Muslims to complete the Hajj at least once in their lifetime and take part in the rituals intended to cleanse their souls and promote the brotherhood and sisterhood of Islam.
 
David Cameron has tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed at the Hajj pilgrimage.”
Courtesy of Sky News

MAGNITUDE 5.1 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461287

Subject To Change

Depth: 42 km

Distances: 1065 km NE of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 381,900 / local time: 05:15:31.0 2015-09-25
655 km NE of Whakatane, New Zealand / pop: 18,602 / local time: 05:15:31.0 2015-09-25

 
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MAGNITUDE 5.6 COQUIMBO, CHILE

    
Subject to change

Depth: 32 km

Distances: 18km (11mi) WSW of Ovalle, Chile
39km (24mi) W of Monte Patria, Chile
81km (50mi) S of Coquimbo, Chile
87km (54mi) S of La Serena, Chile
314km (195mi) NNW of Santiago, Chile

MAGNITUDE 5.2 SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20003nr5#general_summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 1275km (792mi) SE of Easter Island, Chile
2427km (1508mi) W of Ancud, Chile
2435km (1513mi) W of Lebu, Chile
2438km (1515mi) W of Chonchi, Chile
2782km (1729mi) WSW of Santiago, Chile


MAGNITUDE 6.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461270

Subject To Change

Depth: 20 km

Distances: 105 km SE of Honiara, Solomon Islands / pop: 56,298 / local time: 02:56:55.9 2015-09-25
1184 km NW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu / pop: 35,901 / local time: 02:56:55.9 2015-09-25
1471 km E of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea / pop: 283,733 / local time: 01:56:55.9 2015-09-25

 
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MAGNITUDE 6.9 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461267

Subject To Change

Depth: 46 km

Distances: 1052 km SE of Davao, Philippines / pop: 1,212,504 / local time: 23:53:32.7 2015-09-24
321 km W of Manokwari, Indonesia / pop: 53,190 / local time: 00:53:32.7 2015-09-25
32 km N of Sorong / pop: 125,535 / local time: 00:53:00.0 2015-09-25

 
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MAGNITUDE 5.7 VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461251

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 529 km W of Vancouver, Canada / pop: 1,837,969 / local time: 06:48:59.2 2015-09-24
353 km NW of Tofino, Canada / pop: 1,655 / local time: 06:48:59.2 2015-09-24

 
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MAGNITUDE 3.2 FRANCE

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461243

Subject To Change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: 103 km NW of Monaco, Monaco / pop: 32,965 / local time: 14:53:41.2 2015-09-24
47 km E of Gap, France / pop: 42,715 / local time: 14:53:41.2 2015-09-24
9 km NW of Jausiers, France / pop: 1,026 / local time: 14:53:41.2 2015-09-24

 
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MAGNITUDE 2.8 FRANCE

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461229

Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 170 km SW of Saint Peter Port, Guernsey / pop: 16,488 / local time: 11:42:49.9 2015-09-24
71 km N of Quimper, France / pop: 63,849 / local time: 12:42:49.9 2015-09-24
3 km NW of Kernilis, France / pop: 1,174 / local time: 12:42:49.9 2015-09-24

 
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MAGNITUDE 4.9 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=461225

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 272 km NE of Sendai-shi, Japan / pop: 1,037,562 / local time: 19:04:58.7 2015-09-24
189 km E of Morioka-shi, Japan / pop: 295,172 / local time: 19:04:58.7 2015-09-24
121 km E of Miyako, Japan / pop: 51,721 / local time: 19:04:58.7 2015-09-24

 
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