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How effective are earthquake early warning systems?

How effective are earthquake early warning systems?

Science
Earthquake early warning detection is more effective for minor quakes than major ones.This is according to a new study from the United States Geological Survey.Seismologists modelled ground shaking along California's San Andreas Fault, where an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 or more is expected within 30 years.They found that warning time could be increased for residents if they were willing to tolerate a number of "false alarms" for smaller events.This would mean issuing alerts early in an earthquake's lifespan, before its full magnitude is determined. Those living far from the epicentre would occasionally receive warnings for ground shaking they could not feel."We can get [greater] warning times for weak ground motion levels, but we can't get long warning times for strong shaking," Sarah Mi...
Helicopter crashes near earthquake epicentre

Helicopter crashes near earthquake epicentre

World
Two people have been killed after a helicopter crashed while surveying the damage from a powerful earthquake in Mexico.The helicopter was carrying the Mexican interior minister Alfonso Navarrete and governor of the state of Oaxaca Alejandro Murat when it crashed on Friday night local time.They had been in a group of officials surveying damage from the earthquake, which hit the rural state and Mexico City on Friday evening.Mr Navarrete told the Televisa network: "I understand that there are people who have lost their lives."He said the helicopter pilot had lost control of the aircraft some 22 miles southwest of the quake's epicentre.The helicopter had been at a height of about 40m (130ft), he added.According to a Televisa reporter who had been on board, the helicopter had dropped after gene...
Iran earthquake survivors plead for help as death toll rises

Iran earthquake survivors plead for help as death toll rises

World
Iranians living outdoors in bitterly cold temperatures after an earthquake are making desperate pleas for help.More than 430 people were killed and about 7,000 injured when the quake hit near the Iran-Iraq border on Sunday.The government is scrambling to get aid to the worst-hit Kermanshah province, where hundreds of homes were destroyed.President Hassan Rouhani, visiting the region, said state-built houses suffered more damage, and those responsible would be held accountable.Temperatures in Kermanshah province fell close to freezing for the second night in succession.Ali Gulani, 42, lives in the province's badly-hit town of Qasr-e-Shirin, and told BBC Persian people were burning crates to try to stay warm."We are living in a tent and we don't have enough food or water," he said. "You can ...
Iran-Iraq border earthquake is deadliest of 2017

Iran-Iraq border earthquake is deadliest of 2017

World
A huge rescue effort is under way after a powerful earthquake struck Iran's mountainous border with Iraq, killing more than 400 people and injuring more than 7,000.Teams are looking for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings.The quake is the deadliest in the world this year.Most people who died were in western Iran in Sarpol-e-Zahab, a town 15km (10 miles) from the border, and other parts of Kermanshah province.The town's main hospital was severely damaged, leaving it struggling to treat hundreds of wounded people, state TV reported.A woman and her baby were pulled alive from rubble in the town, Iranian media said.Many buildings in the town appear to have collapsed, amateur video posted to Twitter by a radio station showed.Running water and electricity cut out in some citie...
Mexico earthquake: Children killed at collapsed primary school

Mexico earthquake: Children killed at collapsed primary school

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceAt least 21 children and five adults died at a primary school which collapsed in Mexico City during Tuesday's quake, the government says.The shallow, 7.1 magnitude quake killed at least 225 people in total and caused major damage across states in the centre of the country.Desperate searches for survivors under the rubble are continuing.Hopes rose at the school when a girl was located alive and a delicate operation to rescue her is under way. Dozens of buildings collapsed across the country, including several churches where worshippers were killed.Families with young children could be seen sleeping outside their homes in the street in the capital overnight. The tremor struck shortly after many people had taken part in an earthquake drill, exactly...